What's that you say? You didn't know there was a Payday 2 VR at all, much less that it was on sale? Well, I didn't know either. I'm glad I found out about it, though, because it is already on my top 10 list.
This is a trend that I hope continues. I could have bought Payday 2 pretty cheaply before, but it was released in 2013, so the graphics fare poorly in a comparison with today's standard. The Rift changed all that. I spend most of my time in VR now and frankly, circa 2013 are pretty much what I am accustomed to. This won't last, but it looks like there could be a fairly deep well of opportunity to bring back other similar types of games.
So, how much did I have to pay for the VR upgrade?
$0.00. It's totally free for owners of Payday 2.
I wasn't in that category, but I am now. I started to buy the base game for $4.99, but some reviews were pretty hissy about the large amounts of DLC. I opted for the Ultimate for $18 or so - I shouldn't be wanting for variety for awhile.
The sale ends April 29th.
Billy Mitchell, the Guinness World Records holder for the highest score in Donkey Kong, has been stripped of all his records for cheating; Mitchell plans to prove the validity of his high scores. Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice nearly swept the 2018 British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) awards. And Rampage is now the highest-rated video game movie on Rotten Tomatoes—at 50%.
So, what are you playing?
I'll be splitting my time between a couple of games on the Switch. With Manticore: Galaxy on Fire coming out this week (should be out by the time this gets posted), I'm trying to move through it as fast as I can, but I'm also learning that trying to take space pirates head on as they fire a barrage of bullets at you isn't really the best way to go about things. When I need a break from that, I've been firing up Toki Tori and giving my brain a good workout. Sometimes you just need to make the shift from a difficult dogfighting game set in space to a puzzle game that features a chicken collecting eggs.
I'm chugging along on the BioShock Collection, almost to the halfway point with the big twist. My fiancee has guessed a few things so far but hasn't sussed out the big turnabout yet, so I'm curious to see her reaction. I'll also try to get more The Last of Us Remastered in, and maybe wrap up Far Cry Primal as well.
My fiancee and I just found a free Wii Balance Board outside a GameStop—no lie. The people there said they weren't allowed to take the return, and the dude that brought it in got upset because he didn't want to lug it home—thus, he left it outside with a sign that said "FREE" without the employees knowing. Cue the two of us arriving a couple of hours later, finding the board, asking the employees about it, taking it home, and cleaning it up. Sure enough, it turns on, so I'm waiting on a copy of Wii Fit to ship in so I can test it for real. I've been reliving my late childhood with the Wii, let me tell you.
I also finally invested in a copy of Skyrim for Nintendo Switch, regardless of the fact that I haven't finished my current (but far from first) Xbox One playthrough. I've lost track of the amount of times I've played that game. It remains, to this day, my favorite game of all time, and I will dump as much money in Todd Howard's lap as it takes to get my fix.
This week seems to be all about games that cause me pain. I'll play Gun Club VR for as long as I can, but I get into the action so much that I end up in all kinds of twisted positions, especially now that I've worked my way up to the more difficult levels where targets pop up in a much broader range than the easier levels. This game is so well made that it has ruined me for the vast amount of poorly implemented shooting mechanics to be had in lesser games.
Once I inevitably get to a point where I need to sit down, I wiggle myself into my racing rig for some laps with either iRacing or Project Cars 2, depending on whether I want a sublimely superb solo session or a little bit less superb session racing against what has become a field of pretty darn good AI opponents. The force feedback from the beefy Fanatec wheel causes a sharp ache in my shoulders after too much intensive driving, so racing is also subject to how long I can bear to do it.
Once everything aches, I'll fall back to some not-very-relaxing but also not-very-physical helicopter flying in DCS, where I have created a mission that allows me to depart from the fantail of some type of destroyer in my trusty UH-1 Huey and fly alongside an aircraft carrier that is in the process of launching a couple of flights of F-14s. A group of landing F-18s is also approaching from the south. While all of this is going on, my home ship is launching missiles at some shore targets and a pair of incoming attack planes. It's all very frenetic and invigorating, although landing back on the rising and falling deck of the destroyer is, more often than I'd like or will admit to, fatal for me and my co-pilot. When that gets too familiar, I exit the mission to do the same thing, but at night. In that mode, I seldom die trying to land, mostly because I don't live long enough to even try. Flying at night is crazy hard to do. Landing at night is simply another form of suicide.
I have been on a Tera binge the last couple of weeks, trying without success to prevent my MMORPG addiction from once again overtaking my life. Now I am forced to stay up for a couple of hours every night after my wife goes to bed, running dungeons and grinding for gear. I'm sad. It's glorious.
I have also been playing a few games on Switch for review, Layers of Fear and Brakes are for Losers. These two games could not be more different from each other, but I am enjoying them each for what they are. It's nice to take my Switch for a spin. I haven't really messed with it since the holidays, so it feels good to give it a workout.
This week I'm finally writing my own Endless Legend. My underground-loving people's religion is pretty much "No Gods or Kings, Only Rocks." Their cities look like carved out caverns with the mountain peeled away. My snow-shod marines do the heavy lifting when it comes to neighborly relations, but my hunger for gold drives most of narrative. I've spread too thin, the winters are unpredictably long, and I have the sneaking suspicion that the game isn't telling me something.
And God of War. How Kratos has gone from an angry-guy meme generator to the most thoughtful examination of fatherhood since The Last of Us is a minor miracle. Also, every skull he splits with his axe feels good, every treasure chest he bashes open with his fists feels good, and every bend in the map builds a wonderful Norse mythology that, up until now, was only a vague pantheon of easily forgettable fables.
Well, since I finished my three Brothers in Arms games (which are all mostly great), I will probably go back to Battlefield 1. I just finished my thesis, and I'm honestly too tired for anything else. But hey, Shadow of the Colossus is on sale on Amazon, so I might pick that up if I'm in the mood for an amazing time.
This has been a slow gaming week due to my birthday and a hospital visit for my mother-in-law, but...I persevered nonetheless.
I have been playing a rather interesting game called Ys Origin for my next review and I can say it is a rather warmhearted dungeon crawler. So far, the game has a beautiful story—albeit a simple one—and has had no oddities. I am looking forward to another week of getting further into this one. More later in the review.
Titan Quest will probably consume the rest of my time this week (heck the next three months or so too) and I can say it is a nostalgic romp. I can say I have not played the PC version in years and the Xbox version is sooo much more smooth. I fired up the original and though the mouse made for easier targeting, the gameplay was choppier, glitchy, and felt more like an average app then a full-on PC game. Might be the newer operating system and the like, but that is what I have, so it is wonderful to have the Xbox version playing velvety smooth.
It's Skyrim VR and probably only Skyrim VR this weekend. I'm going to try to do a few more things before I shore up my review and be done with that. I won't stop playing, but I'll stop messing around and get into the meat and potatoes of the game, like doing the Dark Brotherhood quest and joining the College of Winterhold.
Since it's my son's birthday party this weekend, I'm tasked with demoing the VR to a few kids, so I'll get to see if they prefer the HTC Vive or the Samsung Odyssey.
This week's Nintendo Download has Switch owners heading on down to South Park to have themselves a time, as South Park: The Fractured But Whole arrives on the eShop on the 24th. While the previous game had a Lord of the Rings, Game of Thrones-esque theme the sequel shifts the focus to Cartman's superhero team, Coon and Friends. As the new kid you must join the team and help Cartman get a Marvel-style movie deal. From what I've heard this game goes less for shock value than Stick of Truth did and has more ironic humor, but retains the same great RPG gameplay.
Also this week Animal Crossing Pocket Camp gets an update that adds new features and animal townspeople. A fortune cookie shop has opened in town, which gives you random items based on the type of cookie, which of course you can buy with bells or leap tickets. This sounds suspiciously like lootboxes to me, so I guess we'll see if Pocket Camp goes full Battlefront II or keeps its random drops more tightly controlled.
You can check out all the releases and deals in the press release after the jump.
Studio Croteam and publisher Devolver Digital have just dropped the teaser trailer for the long-in-development Serious Sam 4: Planet Badass. We're getting a full reveal at E3 but the short teaser hints at Sam going full open world for the fourth game. So far I'm liking the game's subtitle and the fact that Sam has a sick motorcycle now.
That said, I don't want the words "battle" or "royale" anywhere near this game. There's enough Fortnite and PUBG ripping off going on already, and that's not how the Sam series works. Serious Sam is always about a modern take on classic shooter mechanics; the third game, released back in 2011, billed itself as the anti-Call of Duty and it worked amazingly well. Serious Sam has always been the shooter we needed but didn't deserve, so I have high hopes that an open world setting will just make the carnage even pants-on-head crazier than it was last time.
Call of Duty: WWII's newest event, the Blitzkrieg, launches players into new maps, game modes, and weapon variants.
The pretense is that the Germans have breached the Allied front lines, so there are now two new additions to help fight them back: Ground War, a 9 v 9 game mode, as well as a free playable map in HQ for the game modes Prop Hunt and Gun Game.
Ground War will include six new playable weapons, including the Itra Burst rifle, the Type 5 semiautomatic, the Sterling submachine gun, the M2 Carbine, and the Type 38 sniper rifle.
There are also some new digs and accessories that players can dress their guns up with, so they can look cute while killing Nazis.
The Blitzkrieg Community Event lasts till May 8th.
In what surely is a breakthrough for artificial intelligence analyzing our every move so that they can one day pinpoint our weaknesses for the domination of the human race, Amazon's Alexa can analyze your playstyle in the Domination game mode in Call of Duty: WWII.
In addition to that, this Alexa Skill can fine-tune your unique style in order to help your improve your gameplay.
It can also track what contracts you have available or are currently doing.
Alexa Skill is currently in Beta for the countries of US, UK, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada.
In my deeply considered opinion, there is no better deal that a late-stage Early Access title in Steam. Sure, there may still be a few features to add and bugs to squash, but the game has pretty much been developed to its final state.
As an example, The Thrill of the Fight, an amazingly good VR boxer, has released a major update that merges the beta branch into the main, soon-to-be-released branch. Already a bargain at $9.99, it is also now on sale for $7.99 on Steam. Thrill of the Fight is, by far, one of my favorite VR games, along with being pretty much the only cardio workout I need. A three-round fight has me huffing & puffing for a good half hour after the final bell has rung. Besides the non-traditional health benefits, it is actually great fun!
The Thrill of the Fight is available in the Steam Store here. The $7.99 price is good through April 23rd.
Fornite's popular and limited 50 v 50 mode returns and has some improvements to go along with it.
The popular limited time mode, 50v50, is back with improvements in Fortnite Battle Royale! In this new version, each team has a bus that approaches from opposite directions of the map. On the map, the friendly bus has a blue outline, and the enemy has red. The final storm circle is visible on the mini-map from the start and players are given 10 minutes to loot the map as the storm closes in on the circle, then five minutes to fight, and another five minutes as the storm shrinks to the end.
Supply drops come in batches of 3-6, fall every two minutes, and only land in the final storm circle. A dotted line has been been added to the map to indicate “battle lines” between the two teams. While players can cross the line, this will make running into enemies more likely! Other tweaks have been made, including increases to resource gathering, item spawns, ammo, and more.
Players will also earn double XP from today, April 19th through Sunday, April 22nd.
In response to overwhelming demand, Sega has finally announced that Shenmue I and II are going to be re-released on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC. It's been lauded as one of the greatest gaming series of all time, so it seemed like only a matter of time before something like this reared its head (what with the recent wave of remasters and relaunches).
You'll follow Ryo Hazuki as he attempts to avenge his father's death and uncover the mysteries behind the Dragon Mirror. The game, as before, will bring to the table its unique combination of jiu-jitsu combat, investigation, role-playing, and even real world elements such as day/night cycles and shifting weather.
Of course, it's not all the same, or else it wouldn't be worth much as a re-release. New features include fully scalable screen resolution, choice of modern or classic control schemes, PC graphics options, an updated user interface, and both original Japanese or English voiceovers.
Both physical and digital editions will be available for pre-order. Though we don't have an official date yet, we know it'll be sometime this year, and SEGA will keep us updated here.
Not one, not two, but three of HyperX's PC peripherals were recently announced to have won 2018 Red Dot Awards for product design. For around fifteen years, the company has been developing and refining products for PC users, but in the past couple of years it's really distinguished itself.
First up on the winner's list is the HyperX Alloy Elite RGB gaming keyboard. Using its NGenuity software, the user can customize and save up to three lighting profiles to the keyboard's on-board memory, but of course it has far more color options than just those three. Its unique quick access buttons (such as lighting customization and audio) and sturdy build made it quite a contender for the start, and it's no surprise that it took the Dot.
Then we've got the HyperX Pulsefire Surge RGB gaming mouse, which I talked about a little while ago—and frankly, I'm not surprised it won the Red Dot Award. It has a similar lighting system to the keyboard, with its three on-board save slots, not to mention that it was designed with pure comfort in mind, and is apparently a pleasure to use. Not too bad to look at, either. There are a couple other specs on the last post that any interested buyers might want to check out. (Let's just leave it at 16,000 DPI to set the tone.)
And of course, the picture wouldn't be complete without audio—everything but the kitchen sink, you might say. Launched earlier this year, the HyperX Cloud Flight wireless gaming headset won the Red Dot Award in part for its comfort—rotating memory foam ear cups—and in part for its battery power—up to 30 hours, which is at the top of its class.
HyperX seems to be the model of consistency as of late, with quality design in both performance and comfort. I thought my new keyboard may have cemented me with Razer, but it looks like I may be taking some trips over to the HyperX camp in the near future—and honestly, I'm pretty excited about it.