We're looking for new writers to join us!

Sifu getting replay editor in Fall update

by: Jason -

Kung-Fu brawler Sifu is getting a replay editor feature with its upcoming Fall update, which will also add new character outfits. The update will be free for players, and developer Sloclap says it is "coming soon". The Fall update is the third of four planned updates for the martial arts title, with the final update arriving sometime before March 20th. That update will add a new game mode called "Arenas", as well as more outfits and new gameplay modifiers.

I haven't checked out Sifu yet, mainly because I was concerned about its difficulty as someone who does not like overly hard games, but apparently they added difficulty options earlier this year as well. Perhaps my time has come to become a Kung-Fu master. Check out a teaser of the upcoming replay editor in a Tweet from the game's official account:

Why a virtual reality noob pre-ordered PlayStation VR2

by: Jason -

Never in my life have I experienced virtual reality in any shape or form. I’ve never been in the same room as a VR headset, or even been invited to someone’s place to try it out. That is partially because VR is still so niche that it hasn’t become a widespread gaming utility yet, but it’s also because VR still has a lot to prove to me and gamers like me – traditionalists who grew up sitting in front of televisions with a controller in-hand.

I never felt compelled to buy Sony’s first iteration of PlayStation VR, which launched in 2016, and was last reported to have sold five million units as of January 2020. Part of my consternation at the time was the waning support for PlayStation Vita – a handheld I still own and adore. While Sony is nowhere near as prolific at killing their hardware and software as Google, they didn’t exactly throw their full might behind PSVR either. By my count, PlayStation’s stable of internal development teams only produced 15 games for the original PSVR. That’s not a sterling number for a VR rig that has been on the market for six years. Fast forward to 2022 and here we are yet again, left with a device in the original PSVR that Sony did not adequately support from their internal teams. It’s déjà vu for me, and I can’t help but wonder if Sony is rinsing and repeating with PlayStation VR2, or if this will be the device that sticks for them. Somewhat on the contrary, I also wonder if the first PSVR was a half-measure for them, and by the time they sold five million headsets, the ship had sailed on PS VR2. This new headset has been in development for years, after all.

Yet despite Sony’s recent history, and despite my trepidations, I pre-ordered PS VR2. And I went as far as one could go – opting for the Horizon Call of the Mountain bundle and adding-on the Sense controller charging station. You could say that I’m “all in”. Why? Perhaps I’m just caught up in the hype train (that’s always likely) but it’s difficult not to be enthused by the hands-on previews we have received to this point. Nearly everyone who has been able to experience it has been wowed by it, and some have called it a massive leap forward from the original PSVR.

That is also part of why I am so excited for PS VR2, as the technical specs and feature set of the new headset are quite impressive. 4K HDR on an OLED display – check. Sense controllers with haptic feedback and finger tracking – oh yeah. Eye tracking that does things like let me select a gun from a weapon wheel with just my eyes – yes, please. Beyond that, Sony seems to have really cleaned up their act in terms of user friendliness by reducing the setup needs to a single cable connected to the PS5, and it also does not require any additional camera to track your movements, as that is now all done within the headset itself.

And finally, one of the biggest reasons anyone gets excited about new hardware is of course the software that goes with it. While I am still skeptical of Sony’s long-term support for the reasons above, there are a number of titles already announced for PS VR2 that I am looking forward to. Horizon Call of the Mountain, Cities VR, Demeo, The Walking Dead: Saints & Sinners, Firewall Ultra, Crossfire Sierra Squad, Kayak VR: Mirage, Pistol Whip, After the Fall, and No Man’s Sky. Yes, some of those are just ports from other VR headsets, or upgrades from PSVR, but you have to remember this is uncharted territory for me. Even if you remove the upgraded titles from that list on principle, there is still plenty to be excited about in the launch window, in my opinion. The question is, will the support be there in a few years? Will PlayStation Studios get behind this thing? The answer is that they must, or they risk losing the faith of consumers like me who are willing to give the benefit of the doubt following the first PSVR.

So am I simply star struck by a combination of sexy sounding tech specs, overly positive preview coverage, and a few impressive looking launch window games? Perhaps. But the last time I purchased one of Sony’s niche devices, I fell in love with the PlayStation Vita. And like many hurt lovers, I keep coming back for more. Time heals all wounds, they say…but on the other hand, sometimes it rips them wide open again.

Vampire Survivors gets first post-launch update on Thanksgiving

by: Jason -

Vampire Survivors seems to have taken over the gaming world recently, or at the very least, it has taken over the Gaming Nexus Slack chat. The simple, yet addictive game burst onto the scene after launching its 1.0 version and hitting Xbox Game Pass earlier this year.

Now, the game is getting its first post-launch update on Thanksgiving Day for both Steam and Xbox. The new update will add a new stage, a new character, new achievements, and a new PowerUp.

The new stage, called “Tiny Bridge”, sees two factions battling atop a bridge with the heroes caught in the middle of the fighting. Meanwhile, the new character is named Scorej-Oni and gets a hidden Lightning Ring every eight levels. The new item is the “Seal PowerUp”, which allows the player to Banish an item from level-up choices, or a pickup from light sources.

I’m one of the few at the website who hasn’t been bitten by the Vampire Survivors bug yet, but if it ever comes to PlayStation…never say never. Full patch notes will be live tomorrow, but in the meantime, you can check out a small update teaser below:

Dodge’em up roguelike game Swordship wants to channel the spirit of high-speed movie chases

by: Jason -

In a new developer diary video, indie team Digital Kingdom shared that its main inspiration for upcoming dodge’em up roguelike game Swordship were fast-paced chase scenes from blockbuster film franchises such as Fast & Furious and James Bond. Digital Kingdom puts a unique twist on the idea by not including any offensive weapons, and instead requires players to manipulate enemy attack patterns and use abilities to dodge and weave, turning enemies’ attacks against them.

The studio also opted for a reversed camera angle that doesn’t allow players to see ahead of them, as to maintain that constant feeling of being chased. It’s an interesting twist on the genre, and it looks like a cool mix of bullet-hell and twin-stick shooter - I think I'm in. Have a look at the developer video below, but be warned that unless you speak French, it requires some light reading. Tu sais que je ne parle pas français!

The Battle of Caporetto comes to WWI multiplayer shooter Isonzo on December 5th

by: Jason -

Developer BlackMill Games will add the Battle of Caporetto to their WWI first-person multiplayer shooter Isonzo on December 5th as part of a free expansion. The update will be available on PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X|S.

The Caporetto expansion includes the new “German Empire” faction, 10 new weapons, and the first of three new maps planned for release between now and the middle of next year. The first map in this Caporetto offensive will be a hillside assault during rainy autumn weather, with the German army attempting to capture the peak of Hill 1114.

Isonzo is the third game in the “WWI Game Series” from Blackmill Games. It released back in September and features battles that took place on the Italian front during the World War I. It was preceded by Tannenburg, which released in 2017 and focused on the eastern front, as well Verdun in 2015 which featured the western front. There are two additional major expansions planned for Isonzo called “White War” and “Solstice”.

Roguelite thriller Paper Cut Mansion cuts out a December 5th release on PlayStation and Switch

by: Jason -

After releasing on Xbox and PC earlier this year, developer Space Lizard Studios has announced that cardboard cut-out roguelite thriller Paper Cut Mansion will come to PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, and Nintendo Switch on December 5th.

Play as a detective named Toby as you solve puzzles, battle creepy enemies, and complete quests to try and uncover the mystery behind an ominous mansion. In this roguelite, each new run represents an opportunity to gather a new piece of evidence as you piece together just what exactly is going on, and what the game's creepy cast of characters is up to. Some will offer rewards for completing quests, while others will not have such good intentions.

I've been intrigued by Paper Cut Mansion and its unique cardboard cut-out art style since I first wrote about it last month. Check out the game's official launch trailer:

Atlus celebrates Black Friday with multiple discounts on hit games such as Persona 5 Royal & Soul Hackers 2

by: Henry -

Atlus has unveiled their Black Friday sale on a bunch of their hottest titles. In addition, they have also released an accolades trailer for their hit JRPG released earlier this year Soul Hackers 2. Soul Hackers 2 is a spin off of Shin Megami Tensei that is considered a subseries of the mainline SMT games. While this one will have many similarities to both the first Soul Hackers and the mainline titles, it will feature a brand new standalone story. No prior knowledge is required so newcomers to the series should not be discouraged to give this game a try!

Please see below for all the discounts offered:

  • Persona 5 Royal - Up to 50% off on physical and digital versions
  • Soul Hackers 2 - Up to 50% off on physical and digital versions
  • Shin Megami Tensei V (Nintendo Switch) - Up to 50% off all physical and digital versions
  • Shin Megami Tensei III Nocturne HD Remaster (Nintendo Switch, Steam, and PlayStation 4) - Up to 60% off all Remaster and Digital Deluxe Edition versions
  • Persona 5 Strikers (Nintendo Switch and Steam) - Up to 60% off Digital Deluxe and Standard Edition versions
  • Persona 4 Arena Ultimax (Nintendo Switch and Steam) - 40% off digital versions

In case you missed it, check out our reviews of Soul Hackers 2, Persona 5 Royal, Shin Megami Tensei V, and Persona 4 Arena Ultimax.

Check out the official accolades trailer for Soul Hackers 2 below (we're featured at the 0:11 mark!):

Marvel Snap shows off upcoming season, token system, and pools 4 & 5

by: Elliot -

While my daily playtime has dropped since I started Marvel Snap a few weeks back, I still play daily. I’ve cleared rank 60, working my way up to 70 to unlock a variant on this season's rewards list. While the Warriors of Wakanda season is still in full swing for another few weeks, developer Second Dinner has released a YouTube video looking ahead to the upcoming season for December, The Power Cosmic.

New variants available on the season pass include The Infinaut and The Collector, cards that I use in my decks all the time. The Silver Surfer is this season’s character; he’s a 3-0 card that gives your other 3-cost cards +3. Now I’ll need to start looking now at my other 3 cost cards and see what combinations I can come up with. Remember, if you don’t want to purchase the season pass, you can still collect Silver Surfer and the variants, they become available and free for players who are in the pool 3 of cards two months after the season ends, so February of 2023.

Besides the seasonal update, the video also talks about the roadmap update that will be coming next month with the new season. The token shop will have a rotation of characters that you do not have in your deck. Every eight hours a new character will appear. Starting at collection level 500 you begin to earn tokens. If you see a character you want but do not have enough tokens you can “pin” the character in the shop, freezing them from leaving until you have enough tokens to buy it. Pool 4 and pool 5 cards are also making a release. You can watch the video below, talk about pool 4 and 5 begins at the 4:40 mark.

I love the idea of the token shop. I’m glad everyone is getting at least some tokens regardless of your collection level. As I have said earlier I am not a huge fan of adding a new pool to the game at this point in time, let alone two new pools. I feel Second Dinner has done a solid job of balancing Marvel Snap, and an even better job of listening to player feedback, so I am willing to give these changes a shot.

Watching my kid take his first steps in gaming

by: Rob -

I remember my gaming origin story - it was Christmas Day and my brother and I unwrapped an Atari 2600. We couldn't even believe my parents could afford such a thing and devoted hours on PacMan, Missile Command, and Combat (we tried to play Pitfall but it was too hard as we were too young). This kicked off my obsession with gaming that is still going strong these 35 or so years later. Now I'm a proud father and this last week got to watch my son take his first steps into gaming as well. 

He's been watching YouTube clips (we call them "tiny videos") of Mario Party Superstars for a while. So he's familiar with most of Nintendo's lineup of characters despite never having played a game. He even recreates the mini-games in the bathtub mapping various toys of matching colors (mostly Duplo bricks and a collection of baby shark cake toppers) as stand ins for Mario, Luigi, Princess Peach, Bowser, etc.

So the first game I ever let him play?... Vampire Survivors of course! While at first this might not make much sense and you may be entirely correct to question my choice to introduce a game with horror themed villains to someone so young (and no, I'm not even going to list my son's age here as even mentioning I have a kid is already more detail that I'm comfortable with sharing online...), Vampire Survivors is this unique game, $5 on Steam, that has taken the GN staffroom by storm. Basically you are a survivor and Dracula and a horde of undead are coming to take you down. You collect gems to acquire and level up your weapons and hope you become powerful enough to survive wave after wave. If you make it to 30 minutes you have "beaten" the level and death himself comes to finish you off. (You can actually beat Death once, if you have the right weapons and power-ups but then another Death that can't be damaged comes to end your run for good.)

(continue reading at the "Read More" link below the video... Also, you can play the Vampire Surviros "demo" for free over on itch.io: https://poncle.itch.io/vampire-survivors)


Black Friday deals are a week long thing now

by: Rob -

I do like Black Friday. The deals on games are good and there were a few things I would pick up every year specifically at this time - like renewing my PS Plus subscription or picking up my annual copy of FIFA at half off. But if you're still waiting until the end of the week for gaming purchases, let me tell you there really is no reason anymore. This really began during the pandemic but pretty much any deals you were going to find on software is already out now. 

As for my shopping list, I've already scored:

  • Mario Party Superstars $30 for Switch - This game never seems to go on sale and physical copies are half off in a few places, but digital is also available from Target for the same price.
  • LEGO Marvel Collection $9 for PS4 - this is technically part of the WB sale, not the Black Friday sale. LEGO Marvel Super Heroes 2 and LEGO Marvel Avengers regularly go on sale but the original (and allegedly best) LEGO Marvel Super Heroes is always hovering at $20. Now the entire collection and DLC is just nine bucks on the Playstation Store
  • Playstation Plus %25 off. Subscription renewal time. Premium and Extra plans are at a discount through the end of the year but I can get a full extra year on the basic plan (which is all I really want anyway) at a good savings.

There are heaps of other deals across all the marketplaces and all systems. The point is there is no need to wait until after Turkey Day on software or games and most hardware as well. The deals are already available. I'm probably done for now, although I am eyeing the Destiny 2 Beyond Light DLC on the PS Store despite having some deep misgivings about that DLC in the past. I'm not selling out, I'm buying in. There's a difference...