Never Played Shenmue II? Watch Us Play The First 21 Hours

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Never Played Shenmue II? Watch Us Play The First 21 Hours

Last year, over the course of four months, we played through Shenmue for the Dreamcast in its entirety. It was an experimental video series, with an undefined schedule that allowed us to take in all the feedback for each episode by reading and responding to comments in (almost) real time. The experiment was a success! So we immediately decided (after playing through Dark Souls III, Tex Murphy: Under A Killing Moon, Shadow of the Colossus, and Resident Evil 4) that there was no time like the present to return to Yu Suzuki's masterpiece. For the sequel, we're playing the Xbox version that was published by Microsoft in 2002.

Two Rounds Of Mario Kart 8 Deluxe's New Battle Mode On Switch

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Two Rounds Of Mario Kart 8 Deluxe's New Battle Mode On Switch

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is a week and half away, but we were able to spend some time in the new Battle mode with an early look.

Battle Mode is, of course, not new to Mario Kart, but it is new to Mario Kart 8. We played two rounds of the newish mode. Once in full-screen against the A.I., and once in 4-player split-screen mode to see how Switch holds up to Mario Kart 8 chaos. For the true experience, we all used a single Joy-Con.

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe releases next Friday, April 28, and you can look out for a full review of the Deluxe version of the game soon.

Science-Fiction Weekly – What It's Like To Go To Star Wars Celebration

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Science-Fiction Weekly – What It's Like To Go To Star Wars Celebration

Conventions are big, noisy, crowded, and intimidating. I've been to dozens of them – including every Electronic Entertainment Expo – and there is no easy way to navigate them. The feeling that you are an insignificant speck in a huge sea never leaves you, but neither does the sense of awe, especially for Star Wars Celebration. Everywhere you look there's a sight worthy of a picture, whether it's a legion of stormtroopers marching in formation down the hall, or an authentic prop from the film like Rey's Jakku speeder.

Everyone is there for their love of Star Wars. We're seeing generations of families at the show – from children dressed up as Rebels characters to grandparents that make convincing Old Man Ben Kenobis. The growing popularity of Star Wars was one of the big takeaways from this year's Star Wars Celebration in Orlando, Florida. Star Wars' popularity is bigger than the show. Lucasfilm clearly didn't envision this many people would come.

The Sports Desk – The Disappearance Of Splitscreen Racing

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The Sports Desk – The Disappearance Of Splitscreen Racing

Richard Petty is quoted as saying, "There is no doubt about precisely when folks began racing each other in automobiles. It was the day they built the second automobile." Yes, racing is in our blood, which is why all racing games need some kind of multiplayer component. These days that means online racing, although there are still lots of people who love to trade paint racing with the person physically next to them as well as up on the TV screen. However, local, offline splitscreen multiplayer remains an infrequent feature of racing games. In this edition of the Sports Desk I talked to some racing developers to find out why this is and if we can hope to see the feature in more racing titles.

The Cost of Development

The main reason splitscreen racing isn't in more racing titles according to the developers I talked to is that it takes a lot of time and resources to implement. It's not just a case of two cars up on screen – it's doubling everything. "It's a pretty high load," says Rich Garcia, president of Monster Games (NASCAR Heat Evolution), "because it's not just the cars, it's the particle effects or anything that's going on." For example, he mentions the game having to be ready to load two different victory sequences depending on who wins.

Persona 5's 10 Funniest Meme Videos

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Persona 5's 10 Funniest Meme Videos

Persona 5 is a great game thanks to its fantastic story and entertaining loop of dungeon crawling and social simulation. It's also one of the most stylish games in years, and a lot folks are having fun with that, mixing 5's battle theme, "The Last Surprise" as well as the game's beautiful UI into various video clips.

Here are the funniest ones for you to enjoy.

Apparently all you need to make Spider-Man 3 a decent movie is a smidge of Persona.

How A Fighting Game Documentary Survived 9/11 And Became A Cult Favorite

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How A Fighting Game Documentary Survived 9/11 And Became A Cult Favorite

On the day Peter Kang’s years-long passion project went up in flames, it wasn’t his biggest concern. Two commercial airliners had just collided with the World Trade Center in New York, and while the morning news was inundated with coverage of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, Kang didn’t need to watch. “I looked out the window, and of course the north tower’s on fire from the first crash,” Kang says. As he was escorted out of Battery Park to safety by the NYPD, the Street Fighter documentary he’d been editing was the last thing on his mind.

But since then, Kang’s been thinking about it a lot. After turning what little footage he had left into the award-winning film Bang the Machine, he’s been on a 15-year, on-and-off journey to have it see the light of day. The road has been rough and Kang still hasn’t defeated the film’s toughest opponent, but as in the scene he documented at the turn of the millennium, victory is always within reach.

Afterwords – Horizon Zero Dawn

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Afterwords – Horizon Zero Dawn

For years, Guerrilla Games has been synonymous with its sci-fi FPS series, Killzone. However, the studio's decision to change gears – and genres – for Horizon Zero Dawn has already proven an astounding success, selling over 2.6 million copies in less than a month. We recently spoke to the team about Horizon's intriguing world, characters, and gameplay, what the future holds for the fledgling series.

What was the most difficult aspect about transitioning from first-person shooters to a huge open-world RPG?Hermen Hulst, managing director: This project was out of our comfort zone on so many levels. Even aspects that we felt were relatively "safe," such as our goal to preserve the intense and tactical style of combat that we were accustomed to from the Killzone series, proved much more difficult to achieve in an open world. We quickly found that the designers for these combat encounters had far less control over the position of the player character and the enemy characters than they would have in a linear setting. And other project goals were just as daunting. For example, we wanted to have a level of visual detail in Horizon's open world that was similar to or greater than what we were used to from our Killzone games; you can imagine the hurdles our tech and tools teams had to take to achieve this.

How Super Smash Bros. Melee Has Stood The Test Of Time

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How Super Smash Bros. Melee Has Stood The Test Of Time

No other game in the fighting-game community has managed to stay relevant for as long as Super Smash Bros. Melee. With a 16-year lifespan and a community that puts it above all else, Super Smash Bros. Melee continues to evolve without ever receiving a single patch. A closer look at the community reveals what sets it apart from other fighting games. The incredible depth of Melee, combined with the undying love of a dedicated fanbase has forged the game into a powerhouse that continues to thrive while other games dwindle and die.

“The Greatest Game Ever Created”Christopher “Wife” Fabiszak, is veteran Melee player and commentator who understands Melee’s complexities. When he calls Melee “the greatest game ever created,” he’s not just talking about how fun it is in comparison to other games, but how deep the gameplay goes. 

“Smash is a sandbox fighter,” says Fabiszak. “The nearly infinite range of movement allows for creativity and expression like no other game.”

Highlighting History's First Female Game Designers

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Highlighting History's First Female Game Designers

Video games have come a long way in the industry’s short history. Besides evolving from Pong and Space Invaders to Breath of the Wild and Halo, the industry itself has grown in other ways. Prominent figures such as Siobhan Reddy, co-founder of the studio behind LittleBigPlanet who was named one of the UK’s 100 most powerful women, have brought greater visibility to women working in the gaming industry. Though it might be difficult today to imagine Uncharted without Amy Hennig or Journey without Robin Hunicke, women in the early days of video games rarely had their time in the limelight. Carol Shaw and Dona Bailey, creators of River Raid and Centipede respectively, were two of the first female game designers in video game history, yet their contributions have often been overlooked… Until now.