Top Of The Table – Starfinder

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Top Of The Table – Starfinder

Most creative works emerge along clear lines of inspiration from what came before. In the case of Paizo’s sprawling new sci-fi/fantasy tabletop role-playing game, Starfinder, the lines of source and influence are clear. Starfinder is a futuristic spin on Paizo’s own Pathfinder fantasy game, which is an outgrowth from the Dungeons & Dragons 3.5 edition ruleset, itself a seemingly endless and winding iterative process that traces back to the earliest days of RPGs. It’s because of that clear lineage, and not despite it, that Starfinder emerges as such a deep and rewarding game; strong, familiar core rules and mechanics ground the game. Simultaneously, creative universe-building, stellar art, and innovative design help Starfinder feel fresh.

Five Anime Game Adaptations We’re Dreaming Of

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Five Anime Game Adaptations We’re Dreaming Of

With Dragon Ball FighterZ making waves among the gaming community, one can’t help but wonder what other anime properties would make for phenomenal video games.

Many series already have mobile games and visual novels, or have had games release in the past, but others still haven’t made the jump to the interactive virtual medium or seen a full-scale console title released this generation. Whether it’s an engrossing story, the scope of the battles, or the evocative art style, each of these series has something that, with the right studio behind them, could make for top of the line gaming experiences.

HellsingCreated by Kouta Hirano, this series reimagines Bram Stoker’s iconic count as Alucard, a red-coated agent under the command of a private peace-keeping organization in Britain. Wielding two pistols, supernatural abilities, and a disturbing toothy grin, he teams up with a number of other strange individuals to take on a group of vampire Nazis set on starting World War III.

Developers (And Others) Share Their Appreciation And Dream Games For The Dragon Ball Franchise

about X hours ago from
Developers (And Others) Share Their Appreciation And Dream Games For The Dragon Ball Franchise

The Dragon Ball franchise has been around for more than 30 years and has served as a huge influence to game developers and those connected to the industry in myriads ways. As part of our month of Dragon Ball coverage coverage in anticipation of Dragon Ball FighterZ, we reached out to folks in order to have them share their appreciation for Dragon Ball, and where applicable, pitch their own dream Dragon Ball video game.

Hidetaka “Swey65” Suehiro is best known for his work on Deadly Premonition. We asked him if Dragon Ball has inspired or influenced him in any meaningful ways.

The one takeaway I had from Dragon Ball growing up was there’s a part in the series where a character called Udon who received panties from God. Somewhere in there, that whole episode allowed me to understand that panties are not necessarily erotic. It means that everything is fine!

The Design Failure Of The Loot Box

about X hours ago from
The Design Failure Of The Loot Box

Microtransactions make a great game worse. The concept of small (or not so small) real-money transactions rubs a lot of people the wrong way, but increasingly, the business move is shrugged away by both creators and consumers as an inevitability of the times. The way that game publishers and developers make money is a complex issue, and I’m certainly not ready to wholesale condemn a business for trying to find a route to solvency. But with the increasing rise in the practice, especially in triple-A games that already have a hefty price tag attached, I find myself returning to the biggest reason these money exchanges frustrate me: Building in a money-making scheme in the midst of an otherwise great game design weakens the entire experience, harms immersion, and diminishes the broader meaning and strength of in-game reward systems.

Much of the conversation around in-game microtransactions in recent months has moved toward whether something is “pay-to-win” or not, or dissolves into a defense of the unfortunate gamer with too little time who just wants a chance to keep up with his friends. I think those arguments fail an important litmus test of whether these systems make a given game experience better or worse. 

Blog Herding – The Best Blogs Of The Community (October 18, 2017)

about X hours ago from
Blog Herding – The Best Blogs Of The Community (October 18, 2017)

Wow do we have some awesome blogs this week! It was super hard to choose what to include, so I implore everyone to peruse the User Blog area for more great content.

Community Blogs For October 12 – October 17:

Top Ten Gaming BeveragesTo some this might seem like a ridiculous blog for Boo to write. For me, I saw the BAWLS drink and fondly remembered partaking in the Smash Bros. Melee tournament the company sponsored while I was in high school and still decent at fisticuffs between Nintendo characters. This blog is just loads of fun, and kind of sad, now that I think about how good I once was at Smash.

Science-Fiction Weekly – Watch Us Play The Opening Moments Of Elex

about X hours ago from
Science-Fiction Weekly – Watch Us Play The Opening Moments Of Elex

Two hours. That's how much time I wasted trying to write up a brief summary of Elex. As I read over my work, new paragraphs and sections were added. I soon reached 2,000 words, and realized that I hadn't even communicated how the game worked yet. Long story short, Elex is a huge mess of a game, blending science-fiction and fantasy into a strange post-apocalyptic world governed by a rock. Yes, you heard me right. A rock.

Rather than try to explain what that means, why don't you watch the opening of the game to see exactly what madness developer Piranha Bytes has put together. I grabbed my friend Kyle Hilliard (who was the only person here early in the morning) to give his two cents on this oddball RPG. We do a terrible job of describing the game, but this glimpse does show you how the adventure unfolds, and how fantasy, sci-fi, and post-apocalyptic themes can all live together.

I'm intrigued by this game. It also scares the crap out of me. Let me know what you think of our playthrough (and the game) in the comments section below.

Everything We Know About Android 21 (So Far) In Dragon Ball FighterZ

about X hours ago from
Everything We Know About Android 21 (So Far) In Dragon Ball FighterZ

Every character shown for Dragon Ball FighterZ to date – even the ones who are not fighters like Bulma – have been familiar characters from the anime and manga. The one exception is Android 21. She is a brand new, original character to the Dragon Ball universe and she is making her debut in FighterZ. We still don't know a lot about her, but gathered below is everything we do know so far, which should give us plenty of ammunition to theorize about her in the comments.

She is a researcherAfter her reveal, Bandai Namco released a small follow-up trailer showing a cutscene featuring 21. In it, she seems like a good guy, and implies that she can help Android 18 who has been injured. She calls herself a researcher in the scene. Separately, FighterZ producer Tomoko Hiroki used a different term to describe her profession, saying, "And because she herself is a scientist of the Red Ribbon Army, you can guess that she also has a connection with the Androids.”

She is affiliated with the Red Ribbon Army
Which brings us to another element of her character: She is part of, or at least affiliated with, the Red Ribbon army. Bandai Namco has made no attempt to hide this fact with the logo appearing on her lab coat and the device she is holding in her reveal trailer, and she herself also says she was a researcher employed by the Red Ribbon army.

Five Games That Tackle Mental Health Issues

about X hours ago from
Five Games That Tackle Mental Health Issues

It can be hard to express, process, or understand mental health issues, but these games are great places to start.

Of the many themes and ideas tackled in indie games, mental health has stood out as a topic that, when handled right, offers a chance for empathy, understanding, and discussion some might argue is only possible through the medium of gaming. To be clear, many of these games aren’t fun, and they aren’t perfect representations of these illnesses, but they do offer a good jumping off point for learning more about the causes or impact of mental illness. These five in particular are some of the best options for approaching mental health discussions, whether you want to learn more or are looking for a game to convey the experiences you go through yourself. *Spoilers ahead for each game*

Wildlands' PvP Based Ghost War Mode Carves Its Own Niche

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Wildlands' PvP Based Ghost War Mode Carves Its Own Niche

Seven months after Ghost Recon Wildlands’ debut, the popular open-world cooperative shooter finally has a competitive mode. On October 10, Ubisoft officially launched the free Ghost War update, which pits two teams of four ghosts armed with all the latest Ghost gadgetry against each another at various locations around Bolivia.

Like Rainbow Six Siege before it, Ghost War only has one multiplayer mode with a unique set of rules. The best-of-three-round battles have no other primary objective than neutralize the opposing team. The setup sounds basic, but the interesting rules of engagement and class system help Ghost Wars feel unlike any other competitive experience out there.

Each round starts with teams spawning at opposite ends of the map, which range from dense forests and logging sites to coca farms and quarries. The mode only has eight maps, but variations like weather and time of day inject more variety into the experience. No matter the weather report, taking a cautious approach is critical while getting the lay of the land. The environments are small enough to traverse into hot zones quickly, but large enough to create an element of uncertainty as to what the other team is doing. Did they set up along the perimeter, hoping to get the drop on you from afar? Are they rushing toward the buildings that frequently sit at the center of a map?

Microsoft's Shannon Loftis On The Xbox One X Future, Minecraft Exclusivity, And Scalebound

about X hours ago from
Microsoft's Shannon Loftis On The Xbox One X Future, Minecraft Exclusivity, And Scalebound

The launch of the Xbox One X this holiday season is a crucial moment for Microsoft. Lagging behind the Sony PlayStation 4, the Xbox One never managed to escape its poorly received launch, clouded with mixed messages and unpopular policies that Microsoft has spent the last four years winding back. The Xbox One X – referred to as “the most powerful console ever made” in its marketing – is a chance for a clean break.

If it’s to be a success, Shannon Loftis will be one of the people most responsible. In her role as general manager of Microsoft’s Global Games Publishing, she partners with development studios and publishers across the world to bring their titles to Xbox. We caught up at Gamescom to talk about the cancellation of Scalebound, the Play Anywhere program, the impending launch of the Xbox One X, and if Microsoft has enough exclusives to stand tall with the competition.

Game Informer: You work closely with numerous studios. Is there a particular trend at the moment that developers are excited by? Looking towards the future, is there one thing that stands out to you?