Adventure Genre RSS Feed | GameSkinny.com Adventure on GameSkinny https://www.gameskinny.com/ en Launch Media Network Former Ubisoft And EA Exec To Head Up Google's Stadia Games Division https://www.gameskinny.com/n1cs0/former-ubisoft-and-ea-exec-to-head-up-googles-stadia-games-division https://www.gameskinny.com/n1cs0/former-ubisoft-and-ea-exec-to-head-up-googles-stadia-games-division Tue, 19 Mar 2019 19:54:16 -0400 QuintLyn

Alongside Google's official Stadia announcement and controller reveal today at GDC 2019, the company also revealed that it would entering yet another arena: game development. As most gaming platforms don't succeed post-launch without a library of games, the announcement comes as little surprise. 

To head up this new division focused on developing original games for Stadia, Google has tapped Jade Raymond, who has previously worked at Electronic Arts and, perhaps more notably, at Ubisoft on several Assassin's Creed games and the original Watch Dogs.

Last week, Google announced Raymond would be joining its staff as a vice president, but held off on revealing her official role until today.

At the keynote, Raymond spoke about her position and what she hopes to achieve, noting that she won't just be working to bring first-party games to the Stadia service, but she will also working closely with other developers to "reimagine the new generation of games," and bring "all of the bleeding edge Google technology" introduced during the keynote to partner studios.

Unfortunately, neither Raymond or any of the other presenters at the GDC keynote offered information on any of the titles that are currently being developed for Stadia, or what studios might be working with Google on the technology. 

As with more news on the service and controller, we'll have to wait until this summer to find out more information. 

]]>
Stadia's Wi-Fi Controller Looks Familiar, But Features Google Assistant https://www.gameskinny.com/1hak5/stadias-wi-fi-controller-looks-familiar-but-features-google-assistant https://www.gameskinny.com/1hak5/stadias-wi-fi-controller-looks-familiar-but-features-google-assistant Tue, 19 Mar 2019 16:35:57 -0400 QuintLyn

When Google announced its new streaming service, Stadia, today, the focus may have been on the system's back-end, how data will be sent to players, and what the company is doing to help developers. But that wasn't all Google had to reveal.

To accompany Stadia, Google not only revealed that Jade Raymond would head its new games division, but that it has also created its own console-style controller for the service.

For the most part, it looks like another in a long line of controllers gamers have become familiar with. As expected, it even has a share button, in this case called a "capture" button, which allows players to easily record gameplay and upload it to YouTube.

Since Google is building a good portion of Stadia around YouTube sharing and integration, including a button like this makes sense.

The second button is Google's answer to what the company is undeniably well suited for: finding information.

Now, instead of having to stop what you're doing, open a new browser window, do a search, and scrub through walkthroughs, users can simply hit the Google Assistant button on the Stadia controller and ask it to help them get past the section they're in.

Reportedly, Google Assistant will then pull up a video in-screen and take players right to the portion they need to view.

Another interesting feature of the controller is that it can be used with any platform, just like Stadia, because it connects to Google's servers via Wi-Fi. It's also capable of identifying what screen the player is trying to use, so it doesn't inadvertently cross screens.

Unfortunately, Google did not provide pricing information for the controller during its GDC 2019 keynote presentation. The company did, however, state that it would be offering more information this summer, so perhaps we'll see a price point then.

Considering what other gaming controllers of similar style and function currently cost, we'd guess those wanting to buy it will have to dole out at least $40-$50 USD.

The good news is that if players don't want to throw around that kind of cash when Stadia releases, Google confirmed the service also works with USB peripherals, including mice and keyboards. You just won't have the Stadia specific buttons.

]]>
Google Announces Cross-Platform Gaming Service Stadia at GDC 2019 https://www.gameskinny.com/s4xkq/google-announces-cross-platform-gaming-service-stadia-at-gdc-2019 https://www.gameskinny.com/s4xkq/google-announces-cross-platform-gaming-service-stadia-at-gdc-2019 Tue, 19 Mar 2019 15:36:20 -0400 QuintLyn

Today, during its GDC keynote address, Google focused entirely on a single project: a Chrome-based video game streaming service called "Stadia".

Stadia is a large, cloud-based project that will not only allow gamers to play any game on any platform (so long as they have Chrome installed) but one that also integrates with YouTube and Google Assistant.

Some gamers got a brief taste of Stadia last year when Google tested Project Stream. This experiment allowed participants to play Ubisoft's Assassin's Creed Odyssey over Chrome without downloading or updating the game.

According to the companies and testers involved, the trial run went rather well. So well, in fact, that Google is now getting into the gaming business. 

Reportedly, Stadia will allow users to not only play high-quality, AAA video games while seamlessly switching between multiple platforms, such as PC, tablet, and phone, but to also easily connect with other players, and even their favorite YouTube content creators.

While we don't know exactly how it will work, one feature Google showed off was called "Play Now." Using the feature, players will reportedly be able to watch any YouTube video and then immediately access the game featured in the YouTube video through Stadia.

Stadia is also intended to seamlessly bring players together in games. For example, Stadia will allow for cross-platform play, specifically between companies that allow it. And fans watching their favorite YouTube creators will now be able to join them in game with a simple click, directly from the YouTube stream, rather than queuing.

Of course, creators will have control over how this works on their particular channel. However, the keynote did not address how much control they'll have. In fact, there are a few things of note that weren't addressed during the GDC panel.

Multiple presenters spoke at length about the Stadia's backend, the amount of data the service can handle, and how Google is working with game developers to get the most out of the service by offering 4K, 60fps (and eventually up to 8K, 120fps) game streaming for players. They showed off a Wi-Fi controller with a built-in microphone and multiple share buttons, and said that Stadia data centers would use "custom AMD CPUs capable of hitting 10 teraflops", which is four teraflops higher than the Xbox One X, and more than six teraflops higher than the PS4 Pro.  

However, Google did not mention the amount of data gamers would actually be pulling when using Stadia; particularly, Google did not address how Stadia will affect users with data caps. Google also omitted if it will be doing anything at all to quell Chrome's appetite for RAM.

However, it seems we will get some more answers soon enough. During the keynote, Google announced the Stadia service will be launching later this year, that the company had formed Stadia Games and Entertainment under the direction of Jade Raymond, and that the company will be rolling out more information during the summer. 

Header source:Techradar

]]>
Get Your First Look At SHODAN In The New System Shock 3 Teaser https://www.gameskinny.com/marjg/get-your-first-look-at-shodan-in-the-new-system-shock-3-teaser https://www.gameskinny.com/marjg/get-your-first-look-at-shodan-in-the-new-system-shock-3-teaser Tue, 19 Mar 2019 13:01:48 -0400 QuintLyn

In case you missed out on the news, the annual Game Developers Conference is under way in San Francisco -- marking the start of the gaming and tech expo and conference season that will run until E3.

Over the next few months gamers can expect plenty of reveals -- either first time announcements about new games or teasers and trailers for games we already knew were coming but haven't seen much about.

Yesterday, fans of the classic System Shock series got the first look at the long-awaited System Shock 3 -- in the form of a new teaser trailer. Those familiar with the series will instantly recognize the face that confronts them midway into the trailer.

The new trailer was revealed by developer Warren Spector during Unity's GDC keynote.

The infamous artificial intelligence SHODAN is back, and she's watching you. Once again, the player is surrounded by danger in the form of homocidal robots, mutants, and cyborgs. There is nothing safe or comforting about the place they inhabit.

Unfortunately, the (extremely) short video doesn't provide any real details on System Shock 3's narrative. Nor does it include a release date. What it does tell us is that we're looking at "pre-alpha in-engine footage", meaning we're probably a good way out from getting our hands on the game.

We also don't know what platforms the game will be available on. Although, based on the history of the series, I would at least guess PC. It might also be a good bet that since the game is still in early stages, we might end up seeing it on the next generation of consoles.

System Shock 3 isn't the only thing fans of the series are waiting on. There's also the full remake of the original System Shock. This particular project was crowdfunded on Kickstarter in 2016. Despite some hiccups in the development process, we have seen some progress. In fact, earlier this year the developers dropped a preview of the game's finalized art.

]]>
Splatoon 2 Getting Special Demo, Free Trial, and Digital Discount https://www.gameskinny.com/ipunt/splatoon-2-getting-special-demo-free-trial-and-digital-discount https://www.gameskinny.com/ipunt/splatoon-2-getting-special-demo-free-trial-and-digital-discount Tue, 19 Mar 2019 12:00:32 -0400 Joshua Broadwell

Splatoon was one of Nintendo's surprise new IPs in the Wii U days, with its sequel being one of the most anticipated Switch titles after the system was first announced. Now, having sold approximately 8 million copies since its launch in 2011, Splatoon 2 is placed alongside the likes of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and Mario Kart 8 Deluxe as one of the Switch's evergreen titles.

8 million is a large number, but there are plenty of people who haven't picked the game up or are curious but don't want to commit without further details. Nintendo knows that and is offering a special demo with a Nintendo Switch Online trial. The demo started today, March 19 at 10:00a.m. EST and runs until March 25 at the same time.

The demo gives you access to 4-on-4 Turf Battles, the game's primary mode; Salmon Run, a two-to-four player co-op mode; and League and Ranked Online Battles, higher levels of Turf War open to teams with higher ranking levels. Players with the demo can play with others who have downloaded the demo or those who own the full game.

As such, the demo requires a Nintendo Switch Online membership. Those who already have a membership can jump right in. If you've yet to purchase one, after downloading the demo, you're given the option to start a free 7-day trial membership.

Note that unless you cancel the membership at the end of the 7days, it automatically converts to a monthly renewal subscription.

If you like what you see during the demo, you can take advantage of a special 20% discount on the digital version of Splatoon 2 purchased through the Nintendo eShop.

Splatoon 2 received many content updates during its first year, including an expansive DLC campaign. It also has online competitions on a regular basis, and is often considered one of the best co-op games available. If you feel a little overwhelmed getting started, though, check out our Splatoon 2 guide coverage to help you rise through the ranks

]]>
Roguelite Sparklite Gets Shiny New Teaser Trailer https://www.gameskinny.com/jr6sj/roguelite-sparklite-gets-shiny-new-teaser-trailer https://www.gameskinny.com/jr6sj/roguelite-sparklite-gets-shiny-new-teaser-trailer Tue, 19 Mar 2019 12:46:47 -0400 Joshua Broadwell

Last year, developer Red Blue Games announced a partnership with publisher Merge Games for a brand-new roguelite adventure called Sparklite. The game flew under the radar for many people at the time, but Red Blue recently released a new teaser trailer as well as a batch of details explaining what the nostalgia-heavy brawler is all about.

Sparklite's plot has a few throwbacks to Secret of Mana. Sparklite itself, apart from being the title of the game, is the substance that keeps the world alive. It's a powerful force that people can channel for good or bad, or one of which they can consume large quantities for immense power boosts and serious consequences.

A villain styling himself the "Baron" conceives of a plan to harness Sparklite to power his war machines and embarks on a venture to monopolize the material. However, his overproduction and overuse of Sparklite creates a wave of pollution that washes over the world and slowly begins corrupting it.

The world has hope, though, in the form of protagonist, Ada. If she can prevent the Baron from taking control of the Sparklite core, his plans can be overturned.

Ada has quite the adventure in store for her it seems.

Sparklite takes inspiration from The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past and Rogue Legacy, among other classic titles. With the help of Ada's gadgets and tools, players will fight their way through dungeons and overworld maps full of monsters.

The world of Sparklite is vast and varied, and Ada will explore dark mines, luminous nightscapes, and dense forests full of secrets along her journey.

The game's roots in A Link to the Past are visible in the gameplay trailer. However, Red Blue Games has yet to discuss much about its roguelite elements, though the developers are keen to point out that the game will carve its own identity to separate it from its inspirations.

Sparklite is set to launch sometime in fall 2019 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and Windows.

]]>
Ubisoft Fixes The Division 2 Skill Bug, But Problems Remain https://www.gameskinny.com/ngwo6/ubisoft-fixes-the-division-2-skill-bug-but-problems-remain https://www.gameskinny.com/ngwo6/ubisoft-fixes-the-division-2-skill-bug-but-problems-remain Tue, 19 Mar 2019 12:46:01 -0400 Joshua Broadwell

Ubisoft's Tom Clancy's: The Division 2 has had an interesting life so far. Its appearance on the Epic Games Store was a big step for Ubisoft away from Steam into a new method of PC games marketing that translated to higher pre-sales figures and more profit for Ubisoft.

Just a few days after launching, The Division 2 found itself at the top of the UK charts, despite selling only a fifth as many copies as its predecessors. Release has had its fair share of problems, in particular bugs.

One bug in particular created a rather undesirable situation for many players and greatly interfered with gameplay. Whenever a player would deploy a skill, the skill would perform as expected for a time, before fizzling out and entering cooldown.

This bug affected all skills, including the drone, grenade, and turret and had players scrambling to find a workaround that would let them still play and enjoy the game.

However, Ubisoft removed the game for a short time on March 18 so it could undergo some maintenance. The problem isn't completely fixed, but for the time being, the self-destruction and forced cooldown problems with skills shouldn't crop up — or, at least, shouldn't crop up as often.

Ubisoft took to the forums to inform players of the maintenance and explain that the company is still working on solving the root of the problem so skills won't be affected at all anymore.

While the investigation continues, Ubisoft advises players not to use OVERLAP and EXTRA talents. These two in particular seem to be causing the issues in some way.

For many players, not using these talents won't cause much trouble. They seem either not to work or their benefits are rather vague as explained in the talent descriptions. Perhaps Overlap not working is part of the issue Ubisoft is investigating, and it, too, will be fixed in time.

]]>
Jaws.io Guide To Winning Every Match https://www.gameskinny.com/6gixw/jawsio-guide-to-winning-every-match https://www.gameskinny.com/6gixw/jawsio-guide-to-winning-every-match Tue, 19 Mar 2019 10:41:52 -0400 Ty Arthur

While it's a rarity, Jaws.io is a legitimately Jaws-branded .io title straight from Universal Studios and not a knock off using similar imagery.

As you might expect, Jaws.io plays just like any other fast-paced .io game, but with a few minor tweaks. As expected, your goal is to move around the arena and grow in size while picking up items and avoiding other players.

The change here is in whether you are playing Hunter mode, which lets you fire back at the shark, or in Jaws mode, which lets you eat any player boat you come across regardless of size. 

Below, we'll look at how to use the map to effectively as a shark to rack up points, how to get killshots as the hunter, and how to unlock skins. 

Using The Jaws.io Map Effectively

As the shark, your main goal in Jaws.io is to pick up as many items as possible to grow in size and rack up points, which means you want to hit the densest collection of objects possible, such as boats, swimmers, and docks. 

In most cases, the corners of the map are typically the best place to go because they have large collections of ships docked on the beach; you can plow through them all right from the start.

The brown docks can be picked up just like boats and swimmers, which means more points with less aiming.

It's worthy to note that the map is randomized in each match; sometimes the small islands toward the center often have larger clusters of docks, ships, and swimmers when the corners are randomly empty. Nearly everything is destructible, except the light buoys.

When playing as a Hunter, size only matters in relation to the other players, not in relation to the objects that can be picked up. In other words, you can hit a pleasure yacht that's three time your size on a dock and grow, but if you hit a player boat that's just slightly larger than your ship, you will have to respawn.

Also as the Hunter, the best way to avoid respawning is to move up and down an undulating wave or in Figure 8 pattern as soon as the red icon appears. This way, you can usually stay out of harm's way, sometimes indefinitely. 

 Dense areas like this are what you are looking for 

Landing The Killshot As A Hunter

Hunters' ships automatically fire directly at Jaws when he is in your line of sight. Take Jaws to zero health, and he respawns, netting you a huge point boost.

Aside from the auto fire, though, you also get a super shot, which charges up by collecting items. To charge faster for the killing shot, fire the super shot quickly the first time, then save your next shot for when the shark is low on health.

The bonus for landing the kill shot is so high that staying near Jaws and getting repeatedly eaten is a viable, worthwhile strategy. 

In the end score below, I ignored most of the docks at the edges and just trailed behind the shark until I got the kill shot, picking up anything he missed and occasionally running over smaller boats. With that strategy, I still finished almost 600 points ahead of the next player. 

How To Unlock Skins In Jaws.io

As with any .io game, progression focuses on unlocking new skins for Jaws or boat types for Hunters. Below is the full list of skins and their unlock requirements, although it's worthy to note that many of these can be bought outright for 0.99 cents instead:

  • Hammerhead Shark: watch 15 ads 
  • Battle Scarred Jaws: finish a match in 1st place
  • Whale Shark: play 3 days in a row 
  • Basking Shark: earn 50 shark points
  • Bull Shark: earn 450 shark points
  • Thresher Shark: earn 1250 shark points
  • Goblin Shark: earn 2450 shark points
  • Tiger Shark: earn 4050 shark points
  • Mecha Jaws: earn 6050 shark points
  • Jawsdroid: earn 7200 shark points
  • Holojaws: earn 9000 shark points
  • Yacht: watch 5 ads
  • The Orca: watch 30 ads
  • Sailboat: play 2 days in a row
  • Sumbarine: play 7 days in a row
  • Hooper's Boat: earn 200 shark points
  • Amity Police Boat: earn 800 shark points
  • Islander Boat: earn 1800 shark points
  • Racing Boat: earn 3200 shark points
  • Shark Hunter Boat: earn 5000 shark points
  • Riverboat: earn 10800 shark points

Jaws.io might be a relatively simple game on the surface, but getting the highest score can be tough. Hopefully, these tips and tricks will help you get the high score whether you're playing as the shark or the hunter. 

]]>
Generation Zero Takes Players To Alternate 1980s Sweden Filled With Hostile Robots https://www.gameskinny.com/qihvb/generation-zero-takes-players-to-alternate-1980s-sweden-filled-with-hostile-robots https://www.gameskinny.com/qihvb/generation-zero-takes-players-to-alternate-1980s-sweden-filled-with-hostile-robots Tue, 19 Mar 2019 09:49:58 -0400 QuintLyn

Yesterday, THQ Nordic shared the release trailer for its upcoming open-world FPS set in 1980s Sweden. Generation Zero takes players to an alternate version of the Scandinavian country where hostile machines roam the countryside. The game was one of our most-anticipated games of the year. 

In Generation Zero, players will defend themselves against these massive robots while [sic] unravelling the mystery of what is really going on."

This game isn't just a run-and-gun, however. In order to survive, players will use various tactics to lure, cripple, or destroy enemies. There's also player choice: take enemies on solo, or coordinate with up to three other players to complete objectives. Those electing to play in co-op will be able to compliment each others skills in combat by "support downed friends ... [to] share the loot after an enemy is defeated."

NPC enemies in Generation Zero are persistent, meaning that when a player destroys enemy armor, weapons, or other gear, that damage remains even if the enemy escapes. The next time a player runs across that particular foe, it will still be suffering from that same initial damage.

The interesting thing about this sort of mechanic is that it gives players the option to leave an enemy alive and come back for it when they're better prepared, rather than having to beat an enemy down all in one go.

On the more techy side of things, players may find it interesting that the game is rendered with the Apex engine, which was created by Avalanche Studios and used in games such as Just Cause 4 and Rage 2. This allows Generation Zero to have a dynamic day/night cycle, unpredictable weather, and, theoretically, complex AI behavior.

And, for the 80s fans among us, particularly where music in involved, Generation Zero features a full 1980s soundtrack. Queue the New Wave now.

Generation Zero is set to release on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Windows on March 26. To learn more about the game ahead of launch, be sure to head over to the game's website

]]>
The New 8-Bit Heroes Introduces NESmaker, Software That Lets You Create NES Games https://www.gameskinny.com/g9iq4/the-new-8-bit-heroes-introduces-nesmaker-software-that-lets-you-create-nes-games https://www.gameskinny.com/g9iq4/the-new-8-bit-heroes-introduces-nesmaker-software-that-lets-you-create-nes-games Mon, 18 Mar 2019 16:49:09 -0400 Joshua Broadwell

It's the dream of many a retro gamer or devoted programmer to see a game of their own making printed on a real NES cartridge. The New 8-Bit Heroes is making that dream a reality with their NESmaker software.

Platforms like Unity have made game development infinitely more accessible in recent years, but retro development remained in the domain of the particularly skilled programmers. NES development in particular relied on the now-obsolete 6502 Assembly programming language. Books and tutorials are available for learning the language, but it's a time consuming and difficult process.

NESmaker bypasses that issue by using an interface similar to Unity and GameMaker, which means retro enthusiasts don't even need to have programming knowledge to get started. The software provides several genre models for users to tinker with, including platform, scrolling shooter, and adventure.

However, it also includes options for those who do know or learn the 6502 Assembly language to build a game from the ground up.

The New 8-Bit Heroes creative director, Joe Granato, said:

Our goal is to give aspiring NES developers a new access point. ...for non-programmers, systems like the NES have an almost impossible barrier for entry. NESmaker opens up development for this system for artists and creatives of all types

Finished products are saved in a .nes file. The file can be used in certain emulators, including The New 8-Bit Heroes' recommended emulator Mesen. However, another feature that makes NESmaker unique is the ability to transfer your .nes file via flash storage onto a genuine NES cartridge.

These cartridges come with a variety of benefits, including flash storage, so there's no need to remember passwords. Yet they are still recognized by NES and Famicom machines (but not Retron consoles), making the experience as natural as possible.

The NESmaker software, bundled with a DVD documentary detailing the project's origins can be purchased from The New 8-Bit Heroes website for $40. The site also includes a range of beginner's and intermediate tutorials.

Users wishing to transfer their games to actual cartridges would need to head to Infinite NES Lives, a retro programming site The New 8-Bit Heroes recommends, to purchase individual NES cartridges, the INLretro USB Programmer, and necessary circuit boards.

Those who are interested in seeing how the finished products look and play can check out The New 8-Bit Heroes' arcade section here.

]]>
The Division 2 Guide: How to Upgrade the Crafting Bench https://www.gameskinny.com/y6ipi/the-division-2-guide-how-to-upgrade-the-crafting-bench https://www.gameskinny.com/y6ipi/the-division-2-guide-how-to-upgrade-the-crafting-bench Tue, 19 Mar 2019 11:03:16 -0400 Synzer

Tom Clancy's: The Division 2 lets you craft plenty of weapons, armor, and mods to help get specific pieces. At first, the quality of gear is pretty low and not worth your time. As you level up and advance into higher world tiers, you can also upgrade the crafting bench so you can craft high level gear.

In this guide, I'm going to explain how you can upgrade the crafting bench and the requirements to unlock those upgrades.

How to Upgrade the Crafting Station to Superior and High-End in The Division 2

These are the easiest unlocks.

  • When you first unlock the crafting station, you can make the Specialized (Blue) quality gear
  • Once you reach level 24, you unlock Superior (Purple)
  • At level 29, you unlock High-End (Yellow)

Unlocking these upgrades is not enough, you will need to actually craft the crafting bench upgrade before you can get higher quality gear.

You can see the required materials needed to craft it by going to the crafting station and looking to the left before trying to craft anything.

the division 2 how to upgrade the crafting bench

If you have the required materials, simply hold the upgrade button until it finishes and you'll reach the next tier.

As long as you have been deconstructing most things and looting as you level, you will have plenty of materials for both upgrades. You will need to upgrade the crafting bench to Superior, before you can upgrade it to High-End.

How to Upgrade the Crafting Station to Higher World Tiers

Once you reach level 30 and finish the Capitol Building Stronghold, you'll advance to World Tier 1.

Each World Tier drops higher level gear. That also means you can upgrade the crafting bench yet again, for each World Tier.

When you reach a new World Tier, you will get a project that gives you the blueprint to upgrade your crafting bench. This only requires you to complete an Invaded Stronghold.

The cost, however, for each upgrade is pretty steep.

Titanium and Electronics

The biggest concern will be getting enough Titanium and Electronics. The best way to go about getting these is to explore to world, particularly the underground areas, and kill enemies.

I noticed Black Tusk enemies dropped quite a bit while doing an invaded mission or stronghold.

---

That's all you need to know to upgrade the Crafting Bench in The Division 2. Leave a comment if you have any questions or need further explanation.

]]>
New Nindies Showcase Announced for March 20 https://www.gameskinny.com/kz9cv/new-nindies-showcase-announced-for-march-20 https://www.gameskinny.com/kz9cv/new-nindies-showcase-announced-for-march-20 Mon, 18 Mar 2019 14:27:41 -0400 Joshua Broadwell

Since the Nintendo Switch launched two years ago, it has received massive support from independent game developers. Indies comprise some of the system's best offerings and most anticipated ports, such as the hardcore platformer Celeste and the quirky story adventure Night in the Woods, along with universal smash hits Stardew Valley and Undertale.

Every year, at least once, Nintendo hosts special presentations known as Nindies Showcases, focused specifically on its upcoming indie offerings. This year's first Nindies Showcase is set for just a couple of days from the time of writing, March 20.

What stands out about this Nindies presentation is the length. In previous years, the showcases have clocked in between 10 and 20 minutes long. The March 20, 2019 Nindies Showcase is set to be approximately 30 minutes, nearly three times the length of last spring's showcase.

The broadcast begins at 12 p.m. EDT, and you can watch the livestream directly on Nintendo's website here.

It's easy to overlook indie games on the Switch just because there are so many. However, the Nindies Showcases usually focus on particularly high-quality games or games from well-known developers. These are the sort of games Nintendo used as a third pillar of sorts to keep the Switch alive in between major releases.

For example, the first Showcase in 2017 previewed games that would eventually find great success, like Golf Story and SteamWorld Dig 2. Other games previewed might not go on to do quite so well — Dragon Marked for Death and Mulaka come to mind — but highlight the creative talent and visionaries in the gaming industry.

Another reason these presentations are important is that indie developers need to be spotlighted to get noticed. Despite Nintendo wanting to bring 20-30 indie games to the Switch per week, the Switch eShop has yet to receive a worthwhile update that makes finding specific games or following developers easy. The "Featured" tab often just highlights first party games as well.

]]>
Microsoft's "Halo Insider Program" Gives Fans A New Way To Offer Input On Games https://www.gameskinny.com/65x7m/microsofts-halo-insider-program-gives-fans-a-new-way-to-offer-input-on-games https://www.gameskinny.com/65x7m/microsofts-halo-insider-program-gives-fans-a-new-way-to-offer-input-on-games Tue, 19 Mar 2019 09:16:41 -0400 QuintLyn

Microsoft and 343 Industries have announced a new program that allows Halo fans a way to provide input on upcoming games, products, and services.

Named the "Halo Insider Program" the initiative gives players the opportunity to participate in early access play sessions with Halo games that are still in development.

Players can opt into what the developers are calling "public flighting" on PC or console in order to participate in these play sessions. In exchange, to gaining access, players will be asked to provide feedback.

Effectively, this sounds like what any gamer would expect from alpha or beta game access. However, the requirements seem to be a bit more strict.

While most alpha and beta testing events are more or less open to anyone who signs up, the Insider Program is intended for experienced Halo players. When signing up for the program, players will be asked questions about their experience with the Halo series. They'll be required to provide information on what Halo games they've played, and they'll also be asked questions regarding the modes they have the most experience with.

These questions aren't just to figure out if those signing up are actually familiar with the franchise, but also to determine which sessions players will be invited to participate in. As the website notes, each flight has specific goals, and not all insiders will be invited to particpate in them.

But don't worry, players who don't qualify for one will likely qualify for another.

For this reason, players are encouraged to keep their Halo Insider settings up to date so that they can be certain they will be invited to participate in flights for which they qualify.

It's also worth noting that those who wish to participate in flights will be asked to sign Non-Disclosure Agreements (NDAs). Players will not be able to share certain data about their experiences. 

If you're a Halo fan and would like to find out how to sign up for the Halo Insider program, all the information you need is available on the Halo Waypoint site.

In other Halo news, Microsoft recently confirmed that Halo: The Master Chief Collection would be finding its way to PC

]]>
The Division 2 Tops UK Charts, But Sells Just 20% of Division 1's Initial Figures https://www.gameskinny.com/hxzcl/the-division-2-tops-uk-charts-but-sells-just-20-of-division-1s-initial-figures https://www.gameskinny.com/hxzcl/the-division-2-tops-uk-charts-but-sells-just-20-of-division-1s-initial-figures Mon, 18 Mar 2019 15:01:20 -0400 Joshua Broadwell

Tom Clancy's: The Division 2 was a highly anticipated game in a variety of ways. Not only was it a follow-up to an acclaimed shooter, but it marked a big business move for Ubisoft too. Following in 4A Games's footsteps, Ubisoft abandoned Steam and put its newest release on the Epic Games Store in a bid to maximize profits.

The result was mixed. The Division 2 was the best-selling game in the UK last week, true. However, there weren't many new releases. It's also difficult to compare sales figures across the pond, since the US does not publish sales data the same as the UK.

Either way, The Division 2's initial sales figures made up only 20% of the original's opening sales numbers. There are a few reasons for that, though.

The original Division launched on a Tuesday, which gave it almost a full week to rack up numbers. The sequel launched on Friday, so it had less than half the time. There's also the issue of digital sales, which don't get tracked like physical sales do. 

The other possibility is simpler: people just don't want it. Reviews for The Division 2 were positive for the most part. However, a common thread — even in the good reviews — is that the game doesn't have enough new content to fully differentiate itself from the original. It plays well, but it's largely just more of the same.

That being said, Ubisoft put a lot of effort into the game, and it's something many people who do pick it up appreciate about it. It's safe to say Division 2 is dividing audiences, then.

What makes the news particularly surprising is how it compares to Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot's early estimates of the game's impending success. In an announcement shortly after moving The Division 2, Guillemot said initial pre-order numbers had already exceeded those for the original.

Leaving Steam had apparently driven more people to Ubisoft's own site, which Guillemot suggested was why sales figures were starting off so strong.

Cutting out the middleman like that would mean more profit for Ubisoft in the long-term, but only time will tell if The Division 2 lives up to the company's expectations.

]]>
Devil May Cry 5 is Getting a Brand-New (Free) Survival Mode on April 1 https://www.gameskinny.com/rjs2v/devil-may-cry-5-is-getting-a-brand-new-free-survival-mode-on-april-1 https://www.gameskinny.com/rjs2v/devil-may-cry-5-is-getting-a-brand-new-free-survival-mode-on-april-1 Mon, 18 Mar 2019 11:01:08 -0400 Joshua Broadwell

Devil May Cry 5 has only been out for a short while, but Capcom has already announced the game's first update. 

The hit action game is getting a new survival mode called Bloody Palace, featuring waves of enemies and timed battles, and it will be free for all current owners of the game. Despite being scheduled to launch on April 1, Capcom was quick to say this isn't a joke in poor taste. It's the real thing.

Bloody Palace will let you choose between Dante, Nero, and V. Players will face off against waves of enemies and bosses, and as is usual in these kinds of survival modes, the enemies gradually become tougher as you progress. The timer will add a slightly different, yet not unfamiliar, wrinkle. 

Capcom was quiet about further details, including what rewards players might get for completing the mode and whether they would carry over into the main game. However, with Devil May Cry 5's survival mode launching so soon, there will doubtlessly be updates with more information in the coming weeks.

Devil May Cry 5 isn't alone in getting a new survival mode. Darksiders 3 recently added a similar mode, though admittedly for different reasons. It was an attempt to win players over and provide more incentive to play.

Capcom doesn't need that sort of pull, though, because its year is certainly off to a strong start. Resident Evil 2's remake astounded fans and critics alike and brought Capcom's classic survival series back on track with what made fans love it to begin with.

Now, DMC 5 is repeating that success story. It released to rave reviews, even though some believe Nero isn't quite the hero the series makes him out to be.

Regardless, between this year's successes, Resident Evil 7, and last year's Monster Hunter World, Capcom is hitting its stride. 

 

 

]]>
11 Best Weapons in The Division 2 https://www.gameskinny.com/qezsi/11-best-weapons-in-the-division-2 https://www.gameskinny.com/qezsi/11-best-weapons-in-the-division-2 Tue, 19 Mar 2019 12:32:25 -0400 Sergey_3847

[{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/u/n/t/untitled-ae495.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/u/n/t/untitled-ae495.jpg","type":"slide","id":"195701","description":"

Classic M44 Carbine

\n

The last good weapon in The Division 2 is another sniper rifle with an insane damage output. However, with each consecutive shot the fire rate, which isn't high to begin with, decreases even further.

\n

This means that you have to be very precise with your shots and try to kill enemies with single headshots. This, of course, requires a lot of practice and patience.

\n

As usual, you can attach optics and improved muzzle to M44 and make it a truly serious weapon.

\n

---

\n

Which of these weapons excite you the most? Share your opinion in the comments section below, and be sure to come back soon for more guides for The Division 2 on GameSkinny.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/u/n/t/untitled-2c7de.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/u/n/t/untitled-2c7de.jpg","type":"slide","id":"195706","description":"

M870 Express

\n

Here is the classic police and military shogun M870. It's not as powerful as DBS, but it has a bigger magazine tube.

\n

The real reason why you would want to look out for M870 instead of DBS is that you can actually modify M870 with attachments that will eventually make it a more exciting weapon than it is, while DBS can't be modified at all.

\n

If you like to give your weapons a bit of boost in terms of accuracy and fire rate, then M870 with a couple of attachments would be the best choice for your shotgun slot.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/u/n/t/untitled-3fc83.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/u/n/t/untitled-3fc83.jpg","type":"slide","id":"195700","description":"

Double Barrel Shotgun

\n

Usually shotguns are not necessarily the most sought out weapons in the game, but picking up the DBS isn't such a bad idea if you're looking for a sheer power.

\n

Just look at that damage stat and imagine what it does to enemy players in close range. You guessed it - it absolutely devastates them.

\n

Of course, you can't use it effectively against a group of enemies but if you're having a hard time dealing with one or two opponents in a closed environment, then a shotgun will serve you the best.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/u/n/t/untitled-3158e.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/u/n/t/untitled-3158e.jpg","type":"slide","id":"195704","description":"

Classic M1A

\n

Sniper rifles are just as important here as any other weapon. The M1A rifle is considered by most to be the best sniper rifle in the game.

\n

Of course, you will need to find a scope for it and maybe even a bigger magazine to make it so much more effective. But this high-end sniper rifle has a huge damage output and a really high fire rate for a rifle of this type.

\n

But the best part is the hit range that reaches up to 60-70m and beyond, which is incredible. If you like to take out your enemies from afar, then this would be the best choice for you.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/u/n/t/untitled-d2e0d.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/u/n/t/untitled-d2e0d.jpg","type":"slide","id":"195703","description":"

M249 B

\n

This light machine gun is very similar in stats to M60, but it loses in terms of stability a little bit. This means that your first few shots may miss the desired target. But as soon as you're firing on all cylinders, M249 B will get better and better.

\n

This is a typical trait of heavy weapons that tend to stabilize the longer you shoot. But besides that it is a great alternative to M60 in case you can't find a better option in The Division 2.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/u/n/t/untitled-a3bc0.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/u/n/t/untitled-a3bc0.jpg","type":"slide","id":"195702","description":"

Black Market T821

\n

The Italian UZI, as it is known among veteran players, is the epitome of fun. If you're not too interested in getting FAMAS, but you still want a weapon with a high fire rate, then this is an excellent alternative.

\n

Although T821 has a lower fire rate than FAMAS, this seeming disadvantage actually adds up to its accuracy. It also has a much faster reload time of only 1.9s, which is essential for a close range combat.

\n

The only actual drawback here is that you will need to supply it with a lot of ammo, since those rounds sink really fast.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/u/n/t/untitled-345fb.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/u/n/t/untitled-345fb.jpg","type":"slide","id":"195696","description":"

FAMAS 2010

\n

The legendary FAMAS or Bullfrog is a cult weapon at this point, and an obvious choice for many The Division 2 players. This assault rifle has the highest fire rate amongst all weapons in the game, which equals extremely high damage output.

\n

However, FAMAS is not the best choice for long range shooting. In case your gameplan includes sniping enemies from afar, there are better weapons for that kind of purpose.

\n

But if you do enjoy shooting opponents in the face at close range, there is no better option for that in the game right now.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/u/n/t/untitled-4f527.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/u/n/t/untitled-4f527.jpg","type":"slide","id":"195699","description":"

Military Mk17

\n

Although Mk17 is categorized as a standard rifle in The Division 2, many players simply call it the "Cannon". It has a rather low firerate, but the damage output is so high that you don't need to shoot too fast, really.

\n

Another cool feature of Mk17 is almost a complete lack of recoil, which makes it very accurate by definition. On top of that, this weapon doesn't care about the range. It takes care of targets at close, mid, and long ranges equally effectively.

\n

So, if you're looking for a precise weapon with high DPS, then military variant of Mk17 would be an excellent choice.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/u/n/t/untitled-e8a94.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/u/n/t/untitled-e8a94.jpg","type":"slide","id":"195698","description":"

Classic M60

\n

LMGs are without a doubt the most versatile and effective weapons in The Division 2. The classic variant of M60 is probably the best LMG you can currently get.

\n

Many players may skip on an LMG as their main weapon due to a very long reload time, which at times can take 5-6s. That is a lot, especially when you're in the middle of a shootout.

\n

But M60 has an advantage over the rest of the LMGs in the game due to its huge magazine capacity and sheer damage power. This means that you will kill a lot more enemies with it and reload a lot less.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/u/n/t/untitled-7b249.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/u/n/t/untitled-7b249.jpg","type":"slide","id":"195697","description":"

AUG A3 Para XS

\n

What sets apart the A3 SMG from other, similar weapons is the prolonged barrel. This feature makes this weapon very accurate, which is exactly what many machine guns lack.

\n

It also has the highest rate of damage among all SMGs in the game, although its magazine slot needs to be upgraded, as it's rather limited in the vanilla version.

\n

Taking all this into consideration, it looks like AUG A3 is one of the best options for both PvP and PvE. Everything from DPS to RPM is very well balanced here for any kind of situation.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/u/n/t/untitled-b2bf2.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/u/n/t/untitled-b2bf2.jpg","type":"slide","id":"195695","description":"

AK-M

\n

Kalashnikov is a staple assault rifle in many shooters, including The Division 2. It has a rather large recoil, which can be annoying at times but the amount of damage it deals totally compensates this little nuisance.

\n

It is recommended to shoot AK-M in short bursts, so that it doesn't stray away from its target too much. And if you manage to hit your target, most likely it'll be dead already. That's the power of Kalashnikov!

\n

The black market version of AK-M can be modified with long underbarrell rail and 7.62 muzzle, but if you get the classic variant it's going to do the job just as well.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/u/n/t/untitled-c9474.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/u/n/t/untitled-c9474.jpg","type":"slide","id":"195688","description":"

Tom Clancy's: The Division 2 is finally out, and as is the case with many other Ubisoft games, players will have the chance to discover new locations, complete story and side quests, and destroy opponents in PvP mode.

\n

The Dark Zone is also back and players can fight each other for various weapons and gear once again. In general, the gameplay component and the mechanics of the The Division 2 are not much different from those in the first game of the series.

\n

Right now there are over 70 variants of weapons in the game, but if you never played the first The Division, you will never know which ones are the best. So we're here to help with our selection of the best weapons you can currently get in The Divsion 2.

"}]]]>
Population Zero Update Will Bring New Biome, Quests, And More https://www.gameskinny.com/3ar3u/population-zero-update-will-bring-new-biome-quests-and-more https://www.gameskinny.com/3ar3u/population-zero-update-will-bring-new-biome-quests-and-more Sat, 16 Mar 2019 11:49:23 -0400 William R. Parks

This month marked the beginning of alpha testing for Enplex Studio's upcoming survival MMO, Population Zero. While one such alpha playtest is scheduled to begin this weekend, it appears that Enplex already has its eyes set on the future, as the studio has recently revealed several new features that fans can expect in the next build of the game.

That is, as soon as this weekend's tests conclude, Enplex will begin work on version 05.03 of Population Zero, which will include a notable addition to the game in a new jungle biome. The company has previously referenced this region, stating that the jungle's trees will provide players with opportunities to explore high up locations, and it seems that its implementation is coming shortly. 

Additionally, the new build will bring to the game tutorial quests that focus on building, combat, and character progression. Over the past months, Enplex has provided details on how these systems work in the MMO, but alpha testers that are finding themselves confused about some aspect of Population Zero's gameplay are certain to appreciate this addition. 

These tutorial quests will also allow Enplex to expand upon these systems, having confidence that the foundation of the title's gameplay is adequately established for players. Indeed, expansion is part of the plan for version 05.03, and fans can expect "dozens of new technologies and perks" when the new build goes live.

Furthermore, the update will bring "significant changes" to the creatures that inhabit Population Zero. Specifically, it will facilitate the game's fauna in interacting with itself, allowing creatures to fight or form packs. Players will also be able to use bait to distract pursuing predators, while beasts in distress will have the ability to call for help.

For those that are interested in experiencing these additions, Enplex is continuing to send alpha invitations to select players that signup on the game's website. Fans that want to guarantee their participation can also opt to purchase the Sentinels Founder's Pack for $50.

As Population Zero moves towards its beta testing phase, Enplex continues to reveal more details about its intentions for the game. While it remains to be seen if the title will live up to its attempt at being a "reimagination" of the genre, the material that the studio is releasing is certain to be turning some heads.

]]>
Kirby's Extra Epic Yarn Review: Patchwork Brilliance https://www.gameskinny.com/ksvmo/kirbys-extra-epic-yarn-review-patchwork-brilliance https://www.gameskinny.com/ksvmo/kirbys-extra-epic-yarn-review-patchwork-brilliance Sat, 16 Mar 2019 12:04:41 -0400 Joshua Broadwell

Almost 10 years ago, near the tail-end of the Wii's life-cycle, developer Good-Feel games released an unlikely game starring one of Nintendo's legendary mascots. That game was Kirby's Epic Yarn, a unique experience that stripped away everything that made a Kirby game, well, a Kirby game.

Players were treated to worlds themed around crafts, with felt, stitches, and yarn as far as the eye could see. It was an example of successful experimentation with a franchise, and it spawned additional, equally solid releases from Good-Feel later down the line.

Now, at the tail-end of the 3DS' life-cycle, Feel-Good brought Epic Yarn back for the 3DS family of systems in the form of Kirby's Extra Epic Yarn. The "Extra" in the title refers to some new mini-games and modes, but the core of the game remains largely the same.

That certainly isn't a bad thing, though. Kirby's Extra Epic Yarn is a high-quality port of an already great game, bringing Kirby and platformer fans the ability to play one of the pink puff's most unique games on the go.

New Worlds

Most Kirby games don’t revolve around deep plots with twists and turns, and Kirby’s Extra Epic Yarn continues in that tradition, which is to its benefit.

One day while trying to grab a luscious Metamato he spied in the distance, Kirby falls foul of the evil yarn magician, Yin-Yarn. The wizard sucks Kirby into his magic sock (it’s true), which transports the pink powerhouse to a new world: Patch Land.

As befits a world by that name, Patch Land is made entirely out of crafty-type things. Yarn, naturally, comprises a good deal of the material, but felt, needles, bobbins, and other sewing and knitting equipment make their appearance quite regularly as well.

What could possibly go wrong in such an adorable land? Yin-Yarn broke it into pieces, and the magic yarn that ties everything together is guarded by a variety of terrifying yarn monsters. What’s more, the dastardly sorcerer created yarn copies of traditional Kirby enemies that are now running about, wreaking havoc in Patch Land, and even making their way back to Dream Land.

Now, Kirby must travel through Patch Land’s six fragmented regions and help Prince Fluff, his blue counterpart, restore order to the world.

The story is as utterly adorable and charming as you’d expect from a Kirby game and a Good-Feel game. That it has no great depth doesn’t matter, especially when it provides the backdrop for such creative graphics and gameplay mechanics.

The only detraction here is some slightly sketchy narration in each major story sequence. It isn’t terrible by any means, but the voice doesn’t quite match the content.

Held Together with Pins (In a Good Way)

Kirby’s Extra Epic Yarn doesn’t play like your usual Kirby game. For one thing, there are no copy abilities (since Kirby doesn’t have a stomach anymore). Instead, he uses a bit of yarn to pull things around, unraveling enemies and opening hidden passages in the process.

Our hero also loses the ability to inflate, since he loses, well, an actual body to inflate. Instead, when he jumps, Kirby turns into a cute little yarn parachute if you hold "A," which slows his descent some and requires a better sense of timing and landing judgement than most Kirby games.

These two factors also completely necessary for the game’s platforming, which relies entirely on the yarn mechanic in one form or another.

To get to high or distant platforms, Kirby can sometimes take advantage of a nearby pull-string with a strand of yarn to bunch up the environment and pull platforms closer. Or he can use a nodule on a dandelion puff to swing over to where he needs to go. There might also be times when Kirby has to unravel himself to squeeze through a small gap, outrunning yarn snakes at the same time.

The possibilities are almost endless, and Good-Feel created levels in such a way that these basic, core mechanics never get boring.

For example, obstacles like erupting volcanoes would normally be impassible or require a precise feat of platforming. But when they’re made out of felt and resemble drawstring bags, all Kirby has to do is pull the string tight and (quickly) pass over unhindered.

Ravel Abilities

In place of Kirby’s copy abilities, he gets ravel abilities, such as Wire (sword), Marking Pins, Nylon, and Knitting Needles.

Each ability has its own strengths, and some are used to solve simple puzzles. Nylon (aka the whirlwind), for instance, is useful for helping Kirby go just a little farther and higher, making it easier to reach certain platforms.

The Marking Pins let Kirby chuck three sharp pins (with cute star-shaped heads) in a chosen direction, which is useful for taking on incoming enemies before they get too close.

For the most part, though, they act the same as copy abilities — helping Kirby clear through a horde of enemies or overcome a particularly tough spot without being absolutely necessary to finish levels. They do sometimes help reach secret areas or hidden collectibles, though, and are just plain fun to play around with.

Collectibles

If you’ve played Yoshi’s Woolly World or its 3DS version Poochy and Yoshi's Woolly World, you’ll know Good-Feel makes collectibles an integral part of its games. Extra Epic Yarn is no different.

Each stage has three different collectible items to gather as you progress — two pieces of furniture (more on that later) and that stage’s soundtrack you can play back in the hub area. There are also secret Stars you can gather.

The primary collectible to gather, though, is beads. Beads are the currency of Patch Land and also act like Rings in Sonic games — get hit, and they all go flying. Kirby has no health meter in Extra Epic Yarn’s primary gameplay mode, so he can’t really die.

However, beads are necessary for purchasing goods from vendors in the hub town, plus gathering enough in each stage to earn a gold medal means you unlock extra stages after clearing that region’s boss battles.

Keeping hold of the beads you find becomes more challenging later in the game. Beneath Patch Land’s cuddly looks and deceptively calm first world lies a cleverly designed platformer with hard-to-find secrets, devious enemies, and areas that force you to think on your toes or risk losing everything you collected in that level.

Vehicles

Extra Epic Yarn (and the original Wii version) borrows the vehicle mechanic from Yoshi’s Island from time to time as well, varying the gameplay and offering some additional challenge. It’s actually incorporated more often and more smoothly than in many Yoshi games, as you tend to find at least a short vehicle segment in every or every other level.

The vehicles range from a massive Kirby tank complete with yarn missiles to a UFO that sends out an electric shock after absorbing objects, and even a fire engine. You’ll transform into some more than others, though, especially the mole digger, which is delightfully reminiscent of Drill Dozer’s mechanics.

Many of these segments are more challenging than the regular gameplay. One example involves the UFO, where you must maneuver it around bumpers to avoid hitting enemies or obstacles, yet move quickly enough to avoid getting squashed by the moving screen.

Fortunately, the challenge is purely in the gameplay and not in the controls. Each vehicle controls smoothly and easily. That’s a good thing, since completing most of these segments is required to finish the level.

Challenge

The difficulty in the base game varies. With Kirby being essentially immortal, you’d think the game would be a complete cakewalk. However, if you go into it expecting a game where you can surf the ‘net or watch something while you play, you’ll be surprised the further you get into Patch Land.

The drive to preserve your bead collection will vary from person to person, but this writer found trying to keep every bead Kirby picked up more compelling than keeping a health meter full.

Stop, Look, and Listen

Epic Yarn was a lovely looking game when it debuted on the Wii, and Extra Epic Yarn is no different on the 3DS family. In fact, Extra Epic Yarn looks markedly better than its forebear. Colors are brighter and more vibrant, which goes a long way in making Patch Land stand out.

Extra Epic Yarn's soundtrack is quite a feat in itself, and like the game, it hides depth beneath simplicity. The soundtrack utilizes the piano almost exclusively and manages to create a unique and fitting atmosphere for every stage.

There will be a sort of overall theme in whatever world Kirby is in at the time, with each stage taking it and turning variations of all or parts of it into something completely new. If you're the type of gamer who does go back and re-listen to a game's tracks, then it's definitely worth the effort to find each stage's track.

Basically, it's a Good-Feel game. The studio isn't named Good-Feel for nothing. Like its older Yoshi siblings, Extra Epic Yarn has the power to make you smile or give the warm fuzzies just by powering it on.

When Woolly World first came out, some looked back at Epic Yarn and criticized its less dynamic designs and visuals. With Yoshi's Crafted World coming out later this month, similar comparisons will doubtlessly be made.

However, it's not a fair comparison. Apart from being based on an older game on less powerful hardware, Extra Epic Yarn's charms are more visual than tactile. True, you can't just about feel the feltiness of the felt like you can with Woolly World, but it's a delight to witness anyway.

So What's New?

If you've played Epic Yarn, then you likely know almost all of this already. But Extra Epic Yarn does include a few new gameplay features to set itself apart. Chief among those is Devilish Mode. This challenge mode adds a 5-hit health meter (shaped like a felt star) to include an element of risk, and there will also be a yarn devil pop out from behind the scenes periodically to chuck things at Kirby.

The thing is, it's not a necessary addition. As mentioned already, the base game presents its own take on challenging gameplay, and the same spots that would cause you to lose your beads are the ones that'll most likely take a chunk out of your star meter too, so it doesn't really add anything. The devils don't do much either and are easily dispatched.

More importantly, the soundtrack change when the devils appear is incredibly abrupt and jarring. Since it happens regularly, it ends up just making each stage annoying.

There's a time attack mode included as well, where you can try to beat your fastest times in each stage. On top of that are two rather fun new mini-games: Dedede Gogogo and Meta Knight's Slash and Bead.

The former is an endless runner in the vein of the Poochy stages in Poochy and Yoshi's Woolly World, while the latter is akin to an arcade game, where Meta Knight must destroy as many enemies as possible in each stage.

Both are nice ways to take a break from the main game, and performing well earns you mats and beads you can use to make decorative items just for fun.

Then there's Kirby's new pad. Remember those collectible items you gather from each stage? They serve as furniture for Kirby's apartment in the hub area. There's a wide variety of furniture to find, with each piece being themed around the world it's hidden in. The apartment is admittedly small, but like pretty much everything else in Extra Epic Yarn, it and the furnishings you can fill it with are absolutely adorable.

You get three different layouts you can decorate to your liking as well, which is good since the apartment's size means you have to choose carefully what you want to place in it.

Two vendors set up shop in Quilty Square shortly after the game begins as well, and you can buy new furniture and fabrics (used for creating wallpapers and the like) with your beads. They change their stock each time you unlock a new world, so it's worth checking back if you really want to dive into the crafting and furnishing side of the game.

One thing Extra Epic Yarn didn't keep is multiplayer. Unlike the Wii version, it's single-player only; Prince Fluff just offers moral support and some items in each stage.

---

Pros

  • Clever level design and gameplay mechanics
  • Exemplary soundtrack
  • Plenty of content beyond the main story

Cons

  • Not much new content in the main game itself
  • The primary new mode is more annoying than anything

The lack of new content makes Kirby's Extra Epic Yarn difficult to recommend to those well acquainted with the Wii original. However, newcomers, hardccore Kirby fans, and fans of clever level design and visuals could do far worse than spend their time with the pink puffball in Patch Land.

[Note: A copy of Kirby's Extra Epic Yarn was provided by Nintendo of America for the purpose of this review.]

]]>
There's A Lot Of Stuff Coming To The Epic Games Store https://www.gameskinny.com/pk1lc/theres-a-lot-of-stuff-coming-to-the-epic-games-store https://www.gameskinny.com/pk1lc/theres-a-lot-of-stuff-coming-to-the-epic-games-store Fri, 15 Mar 2019 18:22:09 -0400 QuintLyn

Since it launched near the end of last year, gamers have been comparing the Epic Games Store to Steam. Notwithstanding the conversations that centered on how each storefront would pay developers, the average gamer was more concerned about features that many felt should have existed on the platform at launch.

Due to its long, long life, Valve's Steam platform boasts a plethora of features that most gamers expect other stores to have at launch. While it's true that Steam took a while to add things like user reviews, wishlists, tag supports, and a shopping cart, the logic goes that since it exists on Steam, other companies should know these are things people want.

Although they are going a different direction than Steam, it didn't take long for Epic to announce plans for user reviews. Where Steam users can openly review any game uploaded to the platform, Epic plans on letting developers opt in to reviews, meaning devs that don't want their game to be reviewed don't have to enable the feature.

Of course, reviews aren't the only things users have asked for. The good news is that Epic has plans for a lot of new features. The less good news is that some of them may take a while.

The company shared their plans for the Epic Game store via a roadmap on a public Trello board. The board is divided into five main sections, "Recently Shipped Features", "Near Term (1-3 Months)", "Mid Term (4-6 Months)",  "Long Term (> 6 Months)", and "Date TBD". 

Near Term items include features like a store page redesign and the ability to search games by genre and tag. Cloud saves and store video hosting are also on the list.

Mid Term goals include adding mod support for games, the addition of wishlists, and adding new currencies.

Those hoping for a shopping cart are going to have a longer wait, as it's one of the four features in the long term section.

Gifting is a good ways out, too, so far out, in fact, that it's categorized with Korean game releases in the TBD section.

All in all, it looks like Epic has pretty solid plans for the service. Players should probably be wary of expecting everything exactly when it's listed on the roadmap, though. We all know how this kind of stuff works out.

]]>
Epic Games Responds to Theories It Is Spying on Gamers Through the Epic Games Store https://www.gameskinny.com/migro/epic-games-responds-to-theories-it-is-spying-on-gamers-through-the-epic-games-store https://www.gameskinny.com/migro/epic-games-responds-to-theories-it-is-spying-on-gamers-through-the-epic-games-store Fri, 15 Mar 2019 18:34:59 -0400 QuintLyn

It's not a secret that gamers really, really hate some of the additional software that comes with the games they play. A lot of this software is intended, at least as far as developers admit, to track a number of activities, such as cheating and actions that might go against a company's terms of service.

Players, on the other hand, tend to see this software, at minimum, as bloat-ware that needlessly eats away at their processing power and memory. At the worst, they might believe it to be the game company spying on them.

This is doubly true if the game in question has any ties to specific companies, such as China's Tencent.

So, it probably shouldn't be surprising that gamers poking around the back end of the Epic Games Launcher have decided that Epic is purposefully spying on players at the behest of Tencent, who they then believe is feeding their personal information right to the Chinese government.

One player posted his findings on the Phoenix Point subreddit, noting the client was accessing DLL files, reading root certificates, and accessing keys associated with their browser.

Of course, it didn't take Epic long to respond to the Reddit thread, offering information on what some of these behind-the-scenes activities are doing.

According to the reply by Epic's VP of Engineering, Daniel Vogel, the company uses a tracking pixel to track and pay creators in the Support-A-Creator program.

Root certificate and cookie access is reportedly used by the launcher's UI to make use of the open source Chromium, causing launcher startup to mimic browser startup.

Another interesting note is that according to the response, the Epic launcher scans active processes to keep games that are running from updating at the wrong time. The post also notes this particular bit of information is not sent to Epic.

Vogel closed out the post by addressing concerns over who is in charge of Epic and who they provide information to.

Epic is controlled by Tim Sweeney. We have lots of external shareholders, none of whom have access to customer data.

Of course, Vogel's reply doesn't seem to have calmed all players. In fact, it left some with even more questions.

At present, Epic has provided no other information on the situation. 

]]>