In this episode of the Beatz N’ Bitz Podcast the Executive Producer of the show DJ Killzown Jones is joined once again by Crimson Knight and Hitman0769 who discuss their reactions to today’s X018 Event as well as a number of other hip hop and video game related issues surrounding the entertainment and technology industries which are so intertwined in this day and age.
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, Red Dead Redemption 2, The Quiet Man, and the status of Capcom / Square Enix in the Japanese gaming sphere are given an in-depth appreciation and evaluation during one of the busiest gaming seasons of the entire generation, possibly ever. Tekashi 6ix9ine and XXXTentacion are in the headlines once again. The subject of hip hop artists beefing while being multi-millionaires as well as the overall aspect of post-mortem dissing come up again as XXX has a new album dropping which will benefit the family members left behind by his legacy.
Next-generation gaming consoles and the move to more digital distribution is debated and analyzed. New hip hop album drops, record deals, and ongoing developments in the business are also discussed as well as the future of video games journalism and where we see ourselves in the next 5 years in terms of favorite gaming consoles, podcasting, and beyond.
Xbox provided a 2 hour livestream from Mexico City during their X018 Event showcasing their lineup for 2018 / 2019 and revealed world premiere content for first party and third party games. There was also two new studio acquirement announcements for Microsoft Studios and a large number of ways that Xbox plans to get more gamers into their brand by remaining consumer-friendly and increasing their investment on quality content for the future.
Set in 1924, Call of Cthulhu: The Official Video Game follows the down on his luck detective Edward Pierce, a struggling war veteran who operates out of Boston Massachusetts is asked by a Mr. Webster to investigate the mysterious death of the Hawkins family on an island called Dark Water just outside of Massachusetts. While working on this case he discovers a cult that wishes to bring back ‘the old gods’ from the worlds of Lovecraftian horror lore. The game is in first person view and is a survival horror type game with very little combat, some stealth elements, and a heavy reliance on Investigation.
Party Hard is a unique serial killer simulator released in 2015 that attempts to combine dark comedy with enjoyable gameplay and gruesome, but calculated murder. The result was a huge hit with the Steam version of the game receiving very positive reviews from thousands of gamers. With a pixel art landscape, stealth objectives, and various strategies to enact in order to achieve your goals, players must take out certain members (or the entire crowd) of an ongoing party. This has to happen with the least disruption and panic as to avoid being caught by the police. Witnesses are also not good!
Tons of Easter eggs, hidden objectives, and secret interactive objects leading surprising and satisfying moments are present in the original and in the sequel. Party Hard 2 is different in a number of ways, and gradually provides more reasoning behind the events of the two games.
Black Ops 4 marks the first Treyarch developed COD game since 2015 and the extra time taken for its development certainly shows. While not perfect, this year’s Call of Duty has taken on a lot of praise from skeptics and loyalists alike. There’s a reason why sales in the series have been going downhill whenever Treyarch isn’t involved, and with BO4 they’ve proven once again that they’re not to be underestimated. At the top of the priority list for BO4 is quality, performance, precision, and a brand-new take on battle royale.
There’s a lot of reason as to why players may be hesitant to embrace a Call of Duty game with no offline campaign mode, including previous problems in the series like Treyarch de-ranking players in Black Ops 2 for having high-speed internet, rather than admitting their own game engine problems. While those kinks have been ironed out this time around, there’s still a few issues to be had. Despite a well-intended Black Ops Pass and reduced Black Market grind, the micro-transactions in Black Ops 4 don’t manage to feel appropriate.
With all of that being said, the game still accomplishes a lot for the series and has won back many gamers leading to over $500 million USD in sales within the first 24 hours alone. For the 30% (on average) of folks who earn trophies in the single player campaign modes of COD, you’ll have to dedicate to online multiplayer this time around. However, for the other 70% of the franchise audience, you’ve been given more bang for the buck with 3 full online games packed into one – and hosting many different modes and variations.
An Odyssey awaits. Explore the past within the world of Ubisoft’s flagship Assassin’s Creed franchise. This time instead of running through streets in white hoods and being a blade to the crowd players head back to 431 BC in Ancient Greece. Assassin’s Creed Odyssey takes place during the Peloponnesian War which was fought by the city states of Sparta against Athens.
The choice is yours to control either Alexios (grandson of King Leonidas of Sparta) or Kassandra (his older half-sister). The series builds upon what was started in last year’s Assassin’s Creed Origins and goes full RPG with branching dialogue trees, player choices, proper stat / skill trees, and inventory management. There’s also a fully open world wherein all that can be seen is also ready to be explored.
Odyssey has challenged itself to be many things at once; a true Assassin’s Creed game, an open world RPG, a recreation of Ancient Greece, and of course a good overall gaming experience. So, has the game succeeded at its lofty goals and become an Odyssey for the ages?
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.
The internet is abuzz today with a new set of specs, release date information, and features rumored for the PlayStation 5. The supposed leak came in the form of a slideshow which is highly suspicious. Although it is likely that the slides circulating in the gaming community right now are fake, there are some points of interest which seem to be based on real leaks currently taking place.
The unfortunate blending of false and true information done by online broadcasters looking to capitalize on views makes it impossible for us to know what to believe for sure. It appears that either a hoax agent has created these slides which appear to combine predictions from fans, vague chatter among devs, evidence from AMD’s actions, and information allegedly leaked by high priced insider paid subscription websites.
Recently Final Fantasy fans got teased with the possibility of a Final Fantasy VII compilation comprising of every relative title ever made. The idea was proposed by interviewers in Japan after an inspiration from the announcement of Kingdom Hearts: The Story So Far exclusively released on PlayStation 4 last week. Among the names include rarities that even the most die-hard FFVII fans may have never heard of. Take a look at the list of potentials for yourself.
[Update #2: Lord Fluffy, the Diablo streamer who asked if Diablo Immortal will come to PC, has released a detailed overview of the context behind his question and Activision Blizzard’s reaction]
[Update: Activision Blizzard stock value has dropped 7.2% (resulting in $3.7 billion USD lost) following the Diablo Immortal announcement discussed below]
Some companies are so loved by gamers that they can do no wrong. Others discover, they are no longer part of that club! In a disastrous move, Activision Blizzard announced Diablo Immortal for mobile to close out their keynote speech at this year’s Blizzcon 2018. The game is being developed by NetEase and will see the franchise delve into the free-to-play MMO genre.
The original Diablo 2 producer has come out and said he doesn’t believe Blizzard understands gamers anymore. Fan reactions to this announcement have been so negative that the PR team behind this game is now censor criticism from the internet as a petition against its release is gaining momentum. So why are people so upset? Where did it all go wrong?
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.
On another episode of Beatz N’ Bitz Podcast featuring DJ Killzown Jones, the Beatz N’ Bitz Team, and Jon Iro – a number of topics get discussed including Red Dead Redemption 2 sales, our individual feelings on the game itself, Target’s Black Friday 2018 leaks, this morning’s Super Smash Bros. Nintendo Direct, and more.
Hip Hop topics for the week include Nicki Minaj vs Cardi B and their cold war tactics as well as an inner struggle going on between the management teams of each artist. Vinnie Paz and his new album is also discussed as well as Westside Gunn’s Hitler Wears Hermes 6 full album from Buffalo, New York, and B.E.N.N.Y. X DJ Green Lantern’s The Butcher On Conway from the 90s scene. Hideo Kojima, PlayStation Classic, and Tetris Effect are also discussed and DJ Killzown Jones gives his hands-on impressions of Battlefield V.
In the news lately is a major battle for free speech taking place on the internet as Alex Jones becomes the first martyr of the truther movement leading to over 800 publications becoming banned on over 100 websites including all major social media platforms. DJ Killzown’s recent video about big content creators complaining on platforms they don’t own is discussed in relation to this matter as well as the topic of censorship and the right to free speech in the modern age.
Over the course of gaming sessions lasting 4 – 8 hours or more, it has been discovered that significant eye damage can occur from the Blue Light spectrum of radiation coming from HDTV and 4KTV sets. Years back, I began to review a new category of products that set out to protect gamers from this problem – however, most of them made everything you see tinted by a yellow or orange film. While they performed the job they were meant to do, Eagle Eyes are combining several technologies into one versatile and impressive piece of eye-wear that not only makes gaming more safe, but also driving, while allowing in a new spectrum of light previously unseen by the human eye.
RDR2 is a cinematic action game for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One which tells a story of the last real outlaw gang in the wild, wild west. Historical accuracy of the 1899 time period is paired with some of the most well polished storytelling, gameplay design, visual effects, and soundtrack ever seen. The result is that Rockstar Games’ latest release has set a new record of ‘largest entertainment launch weekend of all time’ by making over $725 million in its first 3 days and surpassing every film, television show, book, or video game (except GTA V) ever made in sales.
The B.E.T.A., or Break-It-Early-Test, for Bethesda Game Studios’ Fallout 76 begins today and is available for pre-load now on Xbox One for those who have pre-ordered the game, and will become available on PS4 and PC Tuesday next week. There will be limited times for each day in which the Beta’s servers are available. The times selected by Bethesda are meant to help stress test the game at varying degrees.