Dotemu has recently announced that Ys Origin will be coming to the Xbox One this spring. This will mark the first time that an Ys game has hit an Xbox console. Ys Origin, initially released on PCs in 2006 in Japan and 2012 worldwide, and then on the PlayStation 4 and PS Vita last year, takes place seven hundred years prior to the events of Ys I and Ys II with the land of Ys on the brink of destruction. For anyone who hasn't played an Ys game before and are curious about Ys Origin, I'd say it's worth a shot. This was the first game in the series I ever played and while the earlier games can take some getting used to with how combat works, I'd say that Ys Origin was a good introduction for me.
This month marks four years since World of Tanks hit consoles beginning with the Xbox 360 back in 2014. Since then World of Tanks has hit the PlayStation 4 and all Xbox One generations, including as an Xbox One X launch title this past November. Since that initial release four years ago, the game has expanded from one hundred tanks from three nations and only twelve available maps, to over six-hundred sixty tanks from nine different nations and over ninety unique maps today. To celebrate this milestone, all players who log into the game through the end of the month and win a single match will get the Japanese Tier II Ashigaru Te-Ke tank.
Beyond is the 3rd season in Elite: Dangerous' expansion history and will be free for all players February 27th. It will add community-requested enhancements and new in-game content. The crime and punishment system is getting an overhaul to improve the response to players’ criminal activities in attempt to make the MMO more competitive.
The new Advance Tactical Response will be hunting repeat offenders, and crimes will be attached to ships, creating ‘Hot Ships’, with new notoriety levels leading to increased consequences for illegal activities. This should open up a new avenue of difficulty for experienced pilots.
Also being added is GalNet Audio. Now news and the latest updates can be easily accessible in game, with no need to leave the immersion. The season also brings added content to Elite Dangerous Horizons owners with the introduction of new contacts, tech brokers. These dealers of rare tools and technologies open up new items based on a player's personal narrative and experience. Material traders will also allow players to convert and exchange materials, opening up engineering and making missions with the tech brokers more accessible.
Beyond - Chapter One also adds a trade data overlay to track down the most profitable trades in the galaxy, changes to engineering mechanics and improved crafting, an overhaul of mission rewards, and a new combat ship, The Chieftain, to directly respond to the new Thargoid threat.
Elite Dangerous: Beyond - Chapter One is a free update on PC, PS4 and Xbox One; available February 27th.
Kingdom Come: Deliverance
According to the governor of Kentucky, guns don't kill people, video games kill people. A New Hampshire senator adds their voice to the concerns of the casino-like mechanics of loot boxes. And Super Seducer wades right into the middle of the #MeToo era with a self-help book's worth of pick-up artistry from a self-professed "renowned seduction guru."
So, what are you playing?
The inevitable finally happened; I'm back in Skyrim. I've logged hundreds upon hundreds of hours in this game and it's still not enough, and I could only take so much of my fiancee playing it (finally) before my resolve crumbled. Even now, somehow, I'm finding new things that I'd never discovered before, and new enjoyment from the things I'd known about for years. I'm level 44 on my new character—which is fairly decent, until you take into account the fact that I waited until then to do the final quest and as such had to fight off approximately 83 Draugr Deathlords at once in Skuldafn, but nuance. I'm taking a break to review Fe, of course, but the breakup was painful, and I'm sure I'll be back at Skyrim's side soon enough.
Out of excitement for Far Cry 5, I picked up a copy of Far Cry 4 to re-familiarize myself with the controls and game loops. I know that Far Cry 5 is just around the corner, but I'm in danger of getting sucked back in to 4 for a complete playthrough.
I'm also continuing on with Monster Hunter: World, poking around as usual and making no real forward progress.
Radiant Historia: Perfect Chronology is occupying all of my handheld time. I hate flying, and I'm actually looking forward to a flight this week so I can have some uninterrupted time with this classic game.
I'm officially in dereliction of duty. Instead of writing up my preview of Ash of Gods: Redemption, or my so-late-nobody-cares-anymore review of Assassin's Creed Origins: The Hidden Ones, I'm playing Kingdom Come: Deliverance. I haven't been this shackled to a game since last winter, when I'd finally gotten Elite Dangerous and was eating, drinking, and breathing the Milky Way. Now, with Kingdom Come, I'm eating, drinking, and breathing 15th century Bohemia. But—and this is an unintended side effect of that—I'm now way more knowledgeable than you about medieval Czech peoples, places, and things. This game is a cult classic in the making, and I'm going to be here for every minute of it. [Edit: It's sold 1 million copies in a week, so "cult classic" is probably a misnomer. -RK]
I’m finally back, I mean really back. No more of this in between homes and in between games nonsense. I plan on playing a lot of Vive, not even sure what yet, but a lot of VR for sure. I also started up Spec Ops: The Line from internal recommendations from the GN staff. And there will be some ARK: Survival Evolved to wrap up that review, all done on a new setup from Roccat I’ll be demoing and writing about soon. That’s it for the PC, but I'm sure I’ll be on the PS4 too, probably splitting time between Horizon Zero Dawn and Farpoint. I might try and clean up Fallout 4 on PS4 as well; with the VR version high on my PC list it would be good to polish off that platinum first.
I have gotten two or so achievements in Mutant Football League for killing, mauling, and shooting players. It really is a fun game and it works pretty good with friends too.
I had a good time playing South Park: The Fractured But Whole this weekend too, however, the shock and awe that the Stick of Truth gave was definitely worn off by the time I was 10 minutes into the game. This game has a ton more structure and storyline than the last game and has a more involved battling screen. More later.
[CORRECTION: Curse of the Pharaohs DLC has been pushed back from March 6 to March 13.]
Assassin's Creed Origins: Curse of the Pharaohs DLC is less than two three weeks away, launching March 6 March 13 as part of the season pass.
The Hidden Ones DLC raised the level cap from 40 to 45. This upcoming Curse of the Pharaohs DLC raises it from 45 to 55. With level-based enemies, this means you do not want to jump into Curse of the Pharoahs without leveling up first by completing vanilla Origins [GN score: 8 out of 10] and then The Hidden Ones. Otherwise, if you aren't leveled up, you'll just be seeing a bunch of unbeatable enemies with skulls over their heads, indicating that you've wandered into the wrong part of Egypt, my friend. There are new fighting skills to unlock, and whichever developer is playing in this video knows how to wreck shop with them. They're making undead pharaohs look like chumps; nothing more than a nuisance for you to sweep aside on your way to the bathhouse.
Curse of the Pharaohs unlocks the city of Thebes which stands near the Valley of the Kings. Valley of the Kings is where enormous tombs were excavated from the rock for 16th to 11th century BC Egyptian rulers and nobles. Focusing on Egyptian mythology, you'll face off against undead resurrected rulers of Egypt, like Nefertiti, traveling into their individual afterlives—which are, in and of themselves, maps connected with portals to their tombs. The afterlife operates by its own rules. So be prepared for human-faced birds, ships sailing through golden fields of grain, and Fallout-sized scorpions.
Assassin's Creed Origins: Curse of the Pharaohs DLC launches March 6 March 13 on PC, PS4, and Xbox One.
Major League Soccer is teaming up with EA Sports and PAX East to bring the eMLS Cup to life. The cup will play out on FIFA 18 as 19 elite FIFA players will each partner with one team form the MLS, 10 form the Eastern Conference and 9 from the West. The field will whittle itself down throughout the convention, April 5th-8th, and compete for spots in the FIFA 18 Global Series Playoffs on the Road to the FIFA eWorld Cup 2018 as well as other prizes. The rules of the eMLS Cup state that competitors will choose their squads of 11 starters, 7 bench players and 5 reserves from the FIFA catalog, but must field at least 3 MLS players at all times and 2 from the MLS teams they represent. I'm actually pretty interested to see how this team selection plays out.
Preliminary rounds start on Thursday and Friday, April 5th and 6th, at the eMLS HQ at PAX East. The prelims will see a round robin where each competitor plays the rest of the conference once. The top eight players from each conference advance to knockout rounds on Saturday with the eMLS Cup Final on Sunday, April 8th. Those Saturday and Sunday’s matches will be at the PAX Arena Main Stage and live-streamed on PAX’s Twitch channel. The Final will also be live-streamed on the MLS homepage, www.mlssoccer.com.
For more information on PAX East, visit http://east.paxsite.com.
The Dirty South monster hunter, Hunt: Showdown, is out of closed beta and now on Steam Early Access. For $29.99, you'll head into a Crytek-powered PvP sandbox populated with actual monsters and, let's be real, other human players who'll be the real monsters.
I like what I see, though. Poor, shack-like dwellings, swampy backyards, fire, fog, moonlight, iron sights on the guns, no mini maps. Pick up some bounties and other loot along the way. This stuff gets me going.
The video showcases actual player's chatting with their team during gameplay. The monsters are key to the whole setup, but it's far more interesting watching the players PvP all over each other.
Hunt: Showdown hits Early Access on PC today, February 22.
JRPG fans, 2018 is a time of glorious riches. The Radiant Historia revamp came out last week, Ni No Kuni II is right around the corner, and now Atlus USA is prepping FURYU Corporation’s The Alliance Alive for on March 27.
Written by Yoshitaka Murayama (you might have heard of another little game series that he created that goes by the name of Suikoden), The Alliance Alive takes place is a world that has been invaded by daemons, resulting in reality being split into five separate realms by a mysterious force called Dark Current. The player must gather a team of nine characters and journey between the Rain Realm, Burning Realm, Caged Realm, Snow Realm and Crystal Realm in an attempt to defeat the daemons, remove the Dark Current, and restore the world.
With classic RPG gameplay, including an intricate turn-based battle system, seven weapon types, and a variety of vehicles that the team can use to explore the world, The Alliance Alive looks like it will be rich with the sort of golden-age RPG goodness that fans can’t get enough of.
The Alliance Alive is available for pre-order now for $39.99. Like Radiant Historia, the launch edition comes with a lot of goodies, including a soundtrack CD, an art book, and a cool little keychain.
Zen Studios’ Pinball titles are gaming mainstays for me. I have their various pinball applications downloaded on my iPad, PS4, PS3, Vita, Switch, you name it. Further, I never delete them, no matter how dire my data storage situation becomes. When I have a thirty-minute window before work, or I’m sitting on the sofa waiting for the wife to get ready to go somewhere, I can always dip into my reliable pinball collection for some quick thrills.
Zen’s licensing team must work overtime, because the only other game series that can even come close to landing so many giant franchises is the Lego series, and I feel like Zen has the upper hand at this point. Star Wars, Marvel Heroes, South Park, The Walking Dead, Back to the Future, Fallout, Aliens, the list just goes on and on.
Roaring into the fold this week (I’m sorry, but I had to use “roaring” somewhere) is the new Jurassic World Pinball pack. Consisting of three tables (Jurassic World, Jurassic Park, and Jurassic Park Mayhem), this new set of tables is playable through Zen’s freely downloadable Pinball FX3 platform on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, Steam and Windows 10 (also available on iOS, Google Play and Mac through the Zen Pinball app, because Zen likes to cover all their bases).
With the steady stream of tables released by Zen, Pinball FX3 is one of the best platforms in gaming. I come back to it, over and over again. If you haven’t tried it, I would encourage you to give it a shot. The FX3 app is free to download, and comes with one table. Additional tables are usually around five bucks, and three-packs are in the ten-twelve dollar range (though you can sometimes catch older sets on sale). I haven’t tried Jurassic World Pinball yet, but you can bet I’m gonna. Setting aside the mediocre Jurassic World, the JP franchise is one of my all time favorites. Zen's tables all feel unique, with different look and feel for each, so there is a lot of play packed into each set they release. Ten bucks for hours and hours of fun is my kind of deal.
Northgard, which quietly became one of my favorite strategy games from last year, launches out of Early Access on March 7. That's a couple weeks away. A new single-player campaign is the biggest proclamation coming out of this launch. The vanilla Civilization-style rando game sessions are 100 percent solid in their construction. But it will be cool to follow this new protagonist, Rig, on a tale of revenge through the crafted continent of Northgard in an 11-chapter campaign.
Now, I understand, looking at screenshots and videos of Northgard may not be the most convincing argument. The game isn't over the top. It's not pushing graphical limitations or wowing people with bombastic cinematics. What the trailers aren't showing, though, is the white-knuckled panic that pairs up with the deceptively sedate landscapes and animations. The trailers also don't convey the well-paced and board gamey nature of its gameplay. You'll win some and you'll lose some, but I'm most impressed with how every uncovered tile of land presents interesting but tough choices for you and your Viking clan.
Northgard launches March 7 on PC.