Secret of Mana's 3D remake is good fun - but won't impress retro purists

about X hours ago from
Secret of Mana's 3D remake is good fun - but won't impress retro purists

A genuine Super NES classic, Secret of Mana holds a special place in the hearts of those that played it back in the day. Its blend of role-playing action, gorgeous visual design and evocative music remains a treat even today. The series has persisted across multiple generations since, but the original is still best. Or is it? Last week, Square-Enix released a 3D remake for PS4, PS4 Pro, PC and even PS Vita - and we've played them all.

But what makes this game special? Secret of Mana holds up today and was considered good enough to make the top 21 line-up for SNES mini, and this is perhaps surprising bearing in mind its troubled development. Originally designed for the Super NES's CD-ROM attachment, a collaboration with Sony, the game was originally lined up as a launch title for the Super Disc format - a vast adventure that would take full advantage of the extra disc space rather than simply slapping a few Redbook audio tracks on the disc like many other titles. When the CD project was killed off, Square management pushed the team to complete the game on cartridge instead. The team was forced to cut content and dialogue, reducing the game to the form we know today but despite obvious shortcomings resulting from this process, the game still went on to become a classic.

The retro gaming industry could be killing video game preservation

about X hours ago from
The retro gaming industry could be killing video game preservation

There's arguably never been a better time to be play older games. Companies like Nintendo and Sega are reconnecting players with their heritage via products such as the SNES Classic Edition and the smartphone-based Sega Forever range, while a flood of third-party companies like Analogue, Hyperkin, Retro-Bit and AtGames are manufacturing clone systems which offer a means of playing original cartridges with creature comforts such as HD output, save states and much more besides. On top of that, we've seen vintage games appear on a myriad of digital storefronts, most notably the Nintendo Virtual Console and Switch eShop, the latter of which has been getting fresh Neo Geo games each and every month since launch thanks to Japanese company Hamster.

The fast-moving nature of the games industry and the dizzying number of different consoles, each with their own unique technical specifications and foibles, once led some experts to ominously predict that unlike music, TV and film - mediums which can be easily transferred from format to format as new storage technologies appear - video games were in danger of being locked in the past, fenced-off behind the peculiarities of their host hardware. Emulation has done an excellent job of preventing this grim future, but ironically the new-found commercial success of this burgeoning sector could end up crippling its long-term prospects.

Can Kingdom Come Deliverance's tech deliver its ambitious vision?

about X hours ago from
Can Kingdom Come Deliverance's tech deliver its ambitious vision?

Conceptually, Kingdom Come Deliverance is an intriguing proposition. What if the Elder Scrolls formula were transplanted across to a real-world location, steeped in history? And what if Skyrim's less than state-of-the-art technological underpinnings were replaced with one of the most powerful game engines on the market?

As the debut project from Czech developer Warhorse Studios, this ambitious, crowdfunded RPG uses the CryEngine technology - as seen in the likes of Ryse, Prey and Homefront the Revolution - but with a Skyrim-style canvas of terrain to explore. From beautiful, dense woodlands to idyllic early 15th century European villages, there's a grounded, almost photorealistic look to the world in many areas. The big difference next to a game like Skyrim though, is the swapping out of fantasy elements for a more historical setting. Dragons and magic are out, and the focus here is on a brutal power struggle in the Kingdom of Bohemia.

Jelly Deals roundup: Nintendo Switch bundles, Dark Souls Remastered, 4K TVs and more

about X hours ago from
Jelly Deals roundup: Nintendo Switch bundles, Dark Souls Remastered, 4K TVs and more

A note from the editor: Jelly Deals is a deals site launched by our parent company, Gamer Network, with a mission to find the best bargains out there. Look out for the Jelly Deals roundup of reduced-price games and kit every Saturday on Eurogamer.

Another week has passed, Valentine's Day has come and gone, Pancake Day was a thing and both Bayonetta games have been re-released on Nintendo Switch. It's been a pretty eventful seven days. Buried amongst all of that, the past week has given us a brand new batch of deals to check out and that's what we're all here for.

As usual, we've got deals that'll work in the UK, deals that'll work in the US and some deals that will work in both the UK and US, as well as presumably many other places. Let's get started.

Dynasty Warriors 9: the lowest performance we've seen on PS4 Pro and Xbox One X

about X hours ago from
Dynasty Warriors 9: the lowest performance we've seen on PS4 Pro and Xbox One X

A classic franchise returned this week, powered by a brand new engine and supporting both the current-gen consoles and their mid-generation refresh equivalents. There are key enhancements here - a seamless open world with no loading, dynamic time of day and weather rendering plus a new system for dealing with animation and in-game physics. However, what's immediately clear from booting up the game is that Dynasty Warriors 9 has issues. Despite the inclusion of performance and image quality orientated modes (on all systems bar base Xbox One), frame-rate is sub-par, no matter which system you own or which mode you use. At best it's sub-optimal, at worst it's a mess.

What's also curious is that the implementation of the 'action' and 'movie' modes varies across platforms. So, let's kick off with what we thought would be the most optimal way to play the game - action mode on PS4 Pro and Xbox One X. In both cases, frame-rate is unlocked and v-sync is disabled, meaning that the uneven action is accompanied by ever-present screen-tearing. Busy scenes drop to the low-20s here - not exactly the kind of performance level we'd expect from the enhanced consoles. Pro runs at 1080p resolution, but Xbox One X trumps it with a native 1440p framebuffer - albeit with some cutbacks to the visual feature set and an overall lower level of performance.

Here's how PUBG on mobile phones compares to the original game

about X hours ago from
Here's how PUBG on mobile phones compares to the original game

Earlier this week, a live action trailer for PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds was released and it quickly went viral. There were two main reason for this; firstly it was excellently produced and exciting to watch, but the real surprise was that it was advertising PUBG on mobile phones. Yes, you heard right, PUBG, the game Team Eurogamer play way too much of, is now playable on Android and iOS devices. Bonkers!

Getting to play PUBG on mobile is a bit of a mission, however, as it's currently only available to download in China. Happily, there are a couple of ways to trick the system and play the game in your own region and it's not especially hard to do. I mean, if I can work out how to get it working on my iPhone 6, surely you can.

Be warned though, it turns out there are actually TWO official PUBG mobile games available to download. PUBG: Army Attack puts an arcade style spin on the original concept and includes things like naval battles, whilst PUBG: Exhilarating Battlefield (or PUBGEB as I've decided to call it) comes much closer to recreating the feel of PUBG on the PC.

I owe everything I am to Buck Rogers: Countdown to Doomsday

about X hours ago from
I owe everything I am to Buck Rogers: Countdown to Doomsday

I can still remember when I first laid my eyes on it. On a shelf full of the usual mid-1990s suspects - Streets of Rage, Sonic the Hedgehog, Revenge of Shinobi, so many sports games - Buck Rogers: Countdown to Doomsday stood out. A distinctive red box with some garish and heroic art, it couldn't help but stand out. I'd later learn this was the NTSC version of the game (fortunately, it was region-free), but for now, that just made it look a bit exotic for an 11-year-old who mostly bought into the 'judge a game by its cover' conceit. At that moment, I was just delighted that I'd stumbled across this game at a rare time when I had £15 to spend. £15! It was a veritable fortune back then, and this proved to be the perfect investment.

I had an almost idyllic childhood: happy parents who loved each other and did everything to support me and make our lives exciting and enjoyable. We never had much money, but ultimately, that didn't really matter. While money gives you opportunity, it doesn't always give you happiness, and my youth was rich with that which you can't buy. What the lack of money did mean was that the rare occasions when I was given a decent sum of money, and sent into a game shop to buy something? Those were a really big deal.

System Shock reboot put on "hiatus", 18 months after it raised £1.3 million on Kickstarter

about X hours ago from
System Shock reboot put on

Developer Nightdive Studios has announced that it's putting its highly anticipated System Shock reboot on "hiatus" after letting "things get out of control", just 18 months after the project was successfully Kickstarted to the tune of $1,350,700 USD.

Originally pitched as a remake of Looking Glass Technologies' classic first-person sci-fi horror System Shock, Nightdive's project quickly ballooned in scope. By the time its Kickstarter had commenced in July 2016, the studio was calling it a full reboot, and last year, midway through development, it elected to move the game from Unity to the Unreal Engine.

"As our concept grew and as our team changed", explained Nightdive CEO Stephen Kick in new update on Kickstarter, "so did the scope of what we were doing and with that the budget for the game. As the budget grew, we began a long series of conversations with potential publishing partners. The more that we worked on the game, the more that we wanted to do, and the further we got from the original concepts that made System Shock so great.

Stellaris' upcoming Apocalypse expansion and free 2.0 Cherryh update detailed in new video

about X hours ago from
Stellaris' upcoming Apocalypse expansion and free 2.0 Cherryh update detailed in new video

Paradox has released a new video breaking down the various new features of Stellaris' upcoming Apocalypse expansion and free 2.0 "Cherryh" update, due to arrive next week.

Paradox outlined Stellaris' war-focussed new Apocalypse expansion when it was announced last month. Its new video breakdown, however, goes into a greater detail, showing the kind of things that furious intergalactic warmongers will be able to do come its arrival.

Broadly, the expansion's three main areas of focus are combat, warfare, and planetary destruction. At the heart of all this are the massive new Colossus warships, which can be equipped with one of numerous planet-annihilating weapons. The exact weapon you can use, explains Paradox, will vary depending on the type of empire you're playing as,.

Farming Simulator 19 reveal trailer introduces dog, handsome farmer, barn

about X hours ago from
Farming Simulator 19 reveal trailer introduces dog, handsome farmer, barn

Publisher Focus Home Interactive has unveiled the first trailer for this year's entry in the enormously popular Farming Simulator series.

Farming Simulator 19 is due out at the end of the year on PS4, Xbox One, and PC, and promises to offer more of the series' oddly relaxing agricultural exploits - think crop planting and harvesting, livestock rearing, forestry, and product selling - alongside a dog, a barn, and a handsome farmer too, if the reveal trailer is any indication of the proper game.

According to Focus, Farming Simulator 19 will feature a completely overhauled graphics engine, said to offer "the most striking and immersive visuals and effects to date". Whether the final game's farmers will be of the same high-calibre handsomeness as the trailer's once the new graphics engine has had its way with them, remains to be seen.