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Updated: 19 min 3 sec ago

Long-running Official Xbox Magazine shuts down

58 min 35 sec ago

The Official Xbox Magazine has closed down, Eurogamer has learnt.

OXM folded last week, with the magazine's last few remaining staff let go. Eurogamer understands OXM is one of six magazines closed at Bath-based media company Future, although it is the only gaming magazine among them.

The closure of OXM comes in the same year Microsoft plans to release its next console, the Xbox Series X. Just one day ago the OXM Twitter account advertised an OXM subscription.

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Categories: Video Games

If you're jonesing for some more Fire Emblem-esque action, Langrisser has you covered

3 hours 21 min ago

I'm not going to pretend to have played Langrisser games in their 90s heyday, though I will admit to being vaguely familiar with them. They're the epitome of 16-bit exotica, with only the 1991 original making its way out of Japan, and even then only doing so in North America and under the not-quite-so-striking title Warsong. After that the series remained in the east, where it built up a reputation as a solid alternative on Sega's platforms to Nintendo's burgeoning Fire Emblem series.

Given the rise in popularity of Fire Emblem in recent years - and especially after last year's breakout hit Three Houses introduced a whole new audience to the appeal of strategy RPGs - it makes perfect sense that publisher NISA and developer Chara-Ani would try and repeat the trick with Langrisser, and the recently-released remakes of original developer Masaya's first two games does a fine job of it too. This is a luscious package, presented with care and thought.

And they present two very robust takes on the genre, admirably untouched by more modern concerns. Which is a polite way of saying these are two very old school takes on the genre, with few of the flourishes you find in contemporary Fire Emblem - something which I'm sure many will take as a blessing. There's no tending to a curriculum, or taking time out for tea - this is purely the serious business of battle (although it's worth nothing that Langrisser 2 does introduce branching paths in its story).

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Categories: Video Games

Rhianna Pratchett's Lost Words: Beyond the Page is out now if you have Stadia

Sun, 29/03/2020 - 19:21

Lost Words: Beyond the Page - an "emotionally moving, fully-voiced" platformer written by Tomb Raider reboot writer Rhianna Pratchett - is out now, and it's exclusive to Google Stadia for one year.

Whilst we haven't seen a lot of the game in the lead up to release, we did find out last month that the game would be exclusive to the streaming platform Stadia. This means you won't see it on Steam until at least March 2021.

"'Stadia First' - what does this means for other platforms? Steam shows plain 2020," a commenter asked Modus Games on Twitter a few weeks back (thanks, PC Gamer), to which the publisher replied: "It will be exclusive to Stadia for the first year."

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Categories: Video Games

GameStop is closing another 300+ stores this year

Sun, 29/03/2020 - 18:35

US specialist retailer, GameStop, has confirmed it's closing at least 320 stores over the next 12 months.

The company has already closed 321 stores as part of restructuring efforts in the financial year ending February 2020, and now a similar number of its 5,500 stores are expected to shut by the end of this financial year, too.

The closures come in spite of the company reporting a net income of $21 million (£16.8 million) at the end of the last financial year.

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Categories: Video Games

These latest Fortnite glitches almost guarantee a win

Sun, 29/03/2020 - 17:34

Two new glitches have popped up in Fortnite - one is making players invisible, and the other permits the players to break the sky boundary, escaping not only enemy fire but damage from the circle, too.

As demonstrated by livestreamer LazarBeam (thanks, Slashgear), players that hide in a cardboard box and crouch whilst aiming the harpoon gun will remain invisible to opposing players.

Interestingly you can't use any other firearm - they'll be visible even if you're not - and canny players have already learned to be cautious of open cardboard boxes.

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Categories: Video Games

Yes, Netflix's Castlevania is coming back for a fourth season

Sun, 29/03/2020 - 15:44

Netflix's animated Castlevania series is returning for a fourth season.

Making the announcement on the NXOnNetflix Twitter account - "Netflix's home of all things geek" - fans were encouraged to reply with clap emojis to summon Sir Mirror with news of the show. Naturally, they obliged, and just nine minutes later, this update appeared:

I know: it doesn't tell us much, does it? We'll have to wait for more concrete details but for now, all we can confirm for sure is that "season four is coming".

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Categories: Video Games

New Horizon Zero Dawn comic series will release later this year

Sun, 29/03/2020 - 14:23

Titan Comics has confirmed it's launching a new comic series based upon Horizon Zero Dawn.

As spotted by our friends at VGC, the comic book series has been co-created by Anne Toole - who is one of the game's original writers - with artwork from Ann Maulina. The story will take us beyond the events of the game.

"Talanah, a strong and determined hunter, struggles to find purpose after her trusted friend Aloy disappears," Titan explains. "When a mysterious threat emerges in the wilds, she sets out to hunt and to defeat it, only to learn that a whole new breed of killer machines stalk the land!"

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Categories: Video Games

"Upgraded" Nier Replicant announced for PC, PS4 and Xbox One

Sun, 29/03/2020 - 12:53

Square Enix has confirmed it is bringing an "upgraded" version of Nier Replicant to PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.

The remake of the decade-old action RPG was announced earlier today on a livestream celebrating the game's tenth anniversary. Whilst Platinum Games isn't involved in the upgrade - that's being led by Toylogic - Takahisa Taura, who worked as the senior game designer on Nier: Automata, is reportedly involved (thanks, Siliconera).

"NieR Replicant ver.1.22474487139..., an upgraded version of the original, is now in development for PS4, Xbox One and Steam!" the developer said via the official Nier Twitter account. "Enter an apocalyptic world as you play as a brother on a quest to cure his sister of a deadly disease in this unique action RPG."

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Categories: Video Games

Who gets to write video game history?

Sun, 29/03/2020 - 09:26

In Spring 2016, I took part in a rather unusual archaeological dig. There was no dirt, no trowelling - in fact the excavation didn't even take place outside. It was just me, in my childhood bedroom, digging through old copies of Official Nintendo Magazine and realising that I could map my childhood obsession with video games from the stacks hidden in my bookshelf. Opening up an issue from February 2006 I found a feature lauding the mysterious new 'Nintendo Revolution' console and a caption jibing "Good looks and great to play with. Revolution sounds like our ideal girl." It's a window into a different time. 14 years later and some things have changed- we didn't get a Revolution, we got a Wii. I've grown up. Games journalism (for the most part) has too.

Back in 2016 someone else was also rifling through some old stuff in their house, but their discovery would draw more attention. Dan Tiebold found the last known existing Nintendo PlayStation prototype in his dad Terry's attic. The console represents a turning point for the games industry; Nintendo and Sony were to collaborate on an add-on to the SNES. Nintendo infamously snubbed Sony in 1991 when it announced it had instead made a deal with Phillips. Sony would go on to release its own console, and the rest, as they say, is history.

Fast forward to 2020 and the Nintendo PlayStation was once again in the limelight as Terry Diebold put his up for auction. On March 6th, Greg McLemore paid $380,000 in total to get his hands on a piece of hardware that had been touted as priceless. As an archaeologist, I'm familiar with the buzz that can surround individual artefacts, and the cognitive dissonance on display in auction houses putting the hammer down on 'priceless' objects to the highest bidder. While I've been intrigued by the billing of the Nintendo PlayStation as a fable turned to fortune, I wondered what video game historians and preservationists made of the furore surrounding it.

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Categories: Video Games

Nemesis in beach trunks is the true Resident Evil 3 remake horror

Sat, 28/03/2020 - 20:07

Modders are having fun with the Resident Evil 3 remake demo - especially with Nemesis.

The game's teethy terror usually wears clothes - but in a new mod, he wears nothing but beach trunks. Umbrella-themed beach trunks.

The Resident Evil 3 Remake Beachboy Nemesis Outfit PC Mod, created by a Patreon-funded modder called Marcos RC, does exactly what it says on the tin. I'll let the footage speak for itself:

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Categories: Video Games

Building Xbox Series X: why Microsoft redefined the console form factor

Sat, 28/03/2020 - 19:03

Undoubtedly the biggest surprise of The Game Awards back in December 2019 was Microsoft's decision to reveal Xbox Series X: the name, the branding - and most crucially, the form factor. It was a console quite unlike anything we'd seen before, possibly the most original home console design since Nintendo's GameCube way back in 2001. During our recent visit to the Microsoft campus in Redmond WA, we had a chance to meet key members of the hardware team that created this remarkable-looking device - and in the process, we gained a much better understanding of why Xbox Series X required a top to bottom revamp of the traditional console form factor.

"When we started thinking about how we would design this, everything was theoretical," says Chris Kujawski, principal designer at Microsoft. "We didn't have stuff we could test, we didn't have measurements we could take, we knew it was going to be powerful and we knew it was going to require a totally different way of thinking about how to design a console."

The key issue facing the designers came down to power and target performance. The Xbox system architects decided from the get-go that the next generation console had to deliver an absolute minimum of twice the overall graphics performance of the Xbox One X, meaning 12 teraflops of GPU compute, sitting alongside the Zen 2 cores that would deliver a 4x improvement in CPU power. At the same time, the mandate was set that the machine also had to equal the acoustic performance of the Xbox One X - a tall order when system power would be increasing significantly.

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Categories: Video Games

Preservationists unearth Sega's ultra rare Master System traffic safety game

Sat, 28/03/2020 - 18:11

Video game preservationists have obtained a 33-year-old, extremely rare Sega Master System educational game about traffic safety - and even released an English language version.

The game is called Game de Check! Koutsuu Anzen, which was developed by Sega for release in 1987 on a commission from The Tokyo Marine and Fire Insurance company. It is thought only 300 copies were made, and it wasn't sold - instead it was available for rent only, making it one of the rarest Master System cartridges in existence. You can see gameplay in the video below:

SMS Power, the Sega 8-bit preservation group, clubbed together to buy a cartridge for around £3800 from a Japanese auction in December 2019. Here's what the team received, courtesy of a Japan to France delivery with help from the NPO Game Preservation Society:

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Categories: Video Games

Final Fantasy 7 Remake street date broken as Square Enix issues release warning

Sat, 28/03/2020 - 17:11

ORIGINAL STORY 28/3/20: Final Fantasy 7 Remake publisher Square Enix has asked fans not to spoil the game, as it acknowledged copies would likely turn up early in Europe and Australia.

The first began appearing over the weekend, as we reported below. Now, a new statement from the publisher has explained this is because it deliberately shipped them early amid the ongoing disruption caused by the coronavirus, to ensure they reached fans by release date.

"Our highest priority is that all of you, including those who live in countries currently facing the biggest disruption, can play the game at launch, so we made the decision to ship the game far earlier than usual to Europe and Australia.

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Categories: Video Games

Capcom pulls Resident Evil Resistance open beta on Steam and PS4

Sat, 28/03/2020 - 16:01

Capcom has pulled the Resident Evil Resistance open beta on Steam and PlayStation 4 over technical issues that prevented players from finding games,

"We're working to resolve the issue as soon as we can and will keep you updated," Capcom said in a tweet. "Apologies for the inconvenience."

The Xbox One version of the open beta remains online.

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Categories: Video Games

Great art and puzzles converge with real style in The Other Side

Sat, 28/03/2020 - 16:00

A magical door in a magical forest? Who can resist that? Not me, at least - particularly when the art has the style of those Atomic Age children's books from the US: flat, four-colour printing, a hero with a sort of Charlie Brown squiggle for a quiff, everything thick and dash and aching of mimeo-ink. Jeepers!

So yes, The Other Side is a puzzle game for smartphones with a killer sense of art. And it's wonderful to play with, too: a game about getting characters - sometimes one, sometimes more - to the door in a level and then on to the next one.

You do this by pulling them along on conveyor belts that move them and everything else that's on the belt with them - trees, bushes, water towers, bits of fence and chimneys. The twist is that various belts overlay each other, so you move a guy left, then get him onto a down belt, them move him down and along and...and...and... man it gets tricky fast.

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Categories: Video Games

Netflix is making a Dragon's Lair live-action movie

Sat, 28/03/2020 - 13:48

Netflix has picked up the rights to a live-action movie based on Dragon's Lair, according to a new report.

The Hollywood Reporter said Deadpool actor Ryan Reynolds is in talks to star in and produce the film.

Dragon's Lair began life as a popular '80s arcade game that caught the eye for its animation-style graphics, by ex-Disney animator Don Bluth, and laserdisc tech. In the game, protagonist Dirk the Daring is a knight who attempts to rescue Princess Daphne from the evil dragon Singe, who has locked the princess in the evil wizard Mordroc's castle. Gameplay wise, it's a rock hard interactive cartoon quicktime event fest, and looks like this:

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Categories: Video Games

MaoMao Castle is a face-melting arcade game about a flying cat dragon

Sat, 28/03/2020 - 13:00

Everything you need to know about MaoMao Castle is that it stars a flying cat dragon. You are the flying cat dragon, in fact, and you need to chase rainbows and survive without losing your nine lives. That's it. Pretty simple.

Oh but I forgot to mention it speeds up the further you get. What feels at the beginning like a leisurely fly forward in some giant, saccharine pixel world - you wheeling the dragon around carefree with your mouse - soon becomes something else, something like panic.

At the beginning, it's no sweat to fly through the rainbow windows around the course, or cut the grass by swiping side to side on the floor, or collect puzzles, or go over and under walls, or gobble up the pebbles but skirt the lighthouses, or dodge the trees. But as the pace-handle cranks, the objects you're watching become blurrier and blurrier until they're whizzing at you so fast you can't tell what's going on.

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Categories: Video Games

Massive Call of Duty datamine reveals Modern Warfare 2 Campaign Remastered art and a whole lot more

Sat, 28/03/2020 - 12:47

A massive Call of Duty datamine has leaked a raft of details about Activision's upcoming plans for Modern Warfare and Warzone, as well as the unannounced Modern Warfare 2 remaster.

Notorious Call of Duty leaker Senescallo, who revealed accurate Warzone details ahead of time, took to Reddit to dump information revealed by this week's update for Modern Warfare and Warzone.

The highlight here is art for Modern Warfare 2 Campaign Remastered, as well as information on how it will be sold. It sounds like you can buy it standalone, or buy it from within Modern Warfare 2019.

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Categories: Video Games

The Almost Gone is a gorgeous little pastel nightmare

Sat, 28/03/2020 - 12:00

We're taking Rezzed online over the next few days, presenting sessions and bringing you highlights of what's new and interesting in the world of independent games. You can find more details on exactly what's going on over here, and we'll be bringing you more write-ups over the coming days.

More and more it feels like games are oscillating between two different extremes, with twee comforts on one end and challenging, gritty-or-else pretense at the other. Or maybe I've just been playing too much Animal Crossing and Doom.

Still, at the very least it feels refreshing to play a game like The Almost Gone, a cutesy, pastel-pink diorama with a venom-green sting in the tail. Your mind will jump straight to Gone Home, when you first play it, which would be understandable but not entirely a justice. The Almost Gone is more subtle than that, more refined and more restrained.

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Categories: Video Games

Dungeons of Naheulbeuk is an adorable XCOM-alike

Sat, 28/03/2020 - 11:00

We're taking Rezzed online over the next few days, presenting sessions and bringing you highlights of what's new and interesting in the world of independent games. You can find more details on exactly what's going on over here, and we'll be bringing you more write-ups over the coming days.

An XCOM-style strategy game in a high fantasy setting is an idea that makes so much sense you've got to wonder why no one's come up with it before. Nothing says this kind of game has to be set in space, and Dungeons and Dragons, the tabletop game that started the collective obsession with strategic high fantasy RPGs, is a turn-based game that shares a lot of the same principles.

XCOM and DnD are inextricably linked, but it took me Dungeons of Naheulbeuk: The Amulet of Chaos to actually realise that. I know - the name doesn't do it any favours. But it speaks to the game's slightly goofy charm, however unintentional - eager, sometimes a bit too much. This isn't a dark, epic kind of fantasy, it's the one where the demo starts with your party instantly cracking terrible jokes. All your DnD races and classes are there, and the sprites are very, very cute. The green troll looks a little bedraggled and has a snaggle-tooth poking out from under his lip. The dwarf has eyebrows so bushy they seem to cover his eyes.

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Categories: Video Games