Blog Herding – The Best Blogs Of The Community (April 14, 2016)

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This week features mechs, horror, and more! A lot more, because we kind of maybe got busy last week and weren't able to post Blog Herding. That just means more sweet, sweet blogs for all of you to read! 

Community Blogs For March 31 – April 13:  

Flash of Brilliance: Why DC's The Flash Deserves His Own Video Game MightyMagikarp is correct: Flash needs to be in a game he can call his own. As a fan of him in cartoons, comics, and the hit TV show, I can say with confidence that if done right, this could be the next great superhero game. This blog is a long read, but stick with it.  

Test Chamber – Checking Out Gears Of War 4's Multiplayer And New Dodgeball Mode

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During our cover trip for Gears of War 4, we didn't get that many details about the game's multiplayer modes. However, editor Javy Gwaltney recently got to spend around two hours with team deathmatch and a gameplay mode that's new to the series, Dodgeball.

Dodgeball is a 5v5 team deathmatch variant where every person on both teams is limited to a single respawn, so once you're out, you're out...unless a teammate kills an opponent and brings you back into the game. It's an exciting mode with a lot of back and forth, and we've got footage of it (and some gameplay of standard team deathmatch) right here as well as our cheery commentary.

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The Rocky History Of Live-Action Shows Based On Games

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The Rocky History Of Live-Action Shows Based On Games

The intersection of live-action shows and video games is a strange thing. There have been plenty of animated shows based on games, but the live-action adaptations have often been odd, awkward attempts at bridging games and the real world. However, they’ve also changed dramatically with time – from the cringeworthy live-action/animation hybrids like The Super Mario Bros. Super Show and Captain N all the way up to more modern takes like Defiance and Bright Falls. Dozens of live-action films based on games have been released throughout the years, but serialized TV programs are comparatively rare. With the recent launch of Quantum Break and its own unique use of live-action in a game, we’ve decided to share a brief history of live-action shows based on games to see how the concept has transformed up to today.

Opinion – Some Of The Best Stories In Games Aren’t Spoon-Fed

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I remember my first hour with Dark Souls. It was 2011. I was slowly creeping back into video games after being away from them for four years. Chatter about Souls’ difficulty had been flying about my social network feeds for weeks. Friends from college who didn’t play games kept talking about how amped they were to play something that harkens back to the punishing difficulty of old-school adventure games and platformers.

As someone who spent hours upon hours of his childhood tackling Mega Man and ridiculously obtuse text adventures, I was in. I bought Dark Souls from a Target down the street, pushed it into my Xbox 360’s disc tray and sat through the lengthy installation process. When the game finally loaded up, I was treated to a stunning introduction filled with dragons and necromancy, a hodgepodge of maddening poetry from which I could discern no straightforward plotline. There was something about the age of men, a rebellion, some sad dude holding a little flame in malnourished arms as well as an old woman narrator fond of the phrase “ah yes, indeed” for some reason. 

How Final Fantasy's Past Is Shaping Bravely Default's Future

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With the impending release of Bravely Second: End Layer for Nintendo 3DS on April 15, we asked co-producer at Square Enix Masashi Takahashi about the sequel to the 2014 surprise-hit JRPG, Bravely Default. We wanted to find out how the game has changed during localization, what design decisions shaped the game, and where the series will go from here.

Recently, Nintendo made a statement detailing that some dialogue at the end of side quests is being changed for the U.S. version of Bravely Second: End Layer. Japanese players felt dissatisfied with how their party lamented the quest’s conclusion regardless of the player’s choices. Are there any stand out pieces of feedback that were considered for Bravely Second?We put together a survey to collect user opinions on 100 proposed improvements. Despite the sheer number of questions, a great many players took the time to answer. In the end, we were proud to implement 80 of these improvements (with seven proving too difficult to address, and another 13 deemed better as is). They were reflected for the international release of Bravely Default, and now in Bravely Second. They range from extremely fine details, like skippable logos when starting the game, to now-standard features, like the auto-advance mode for cutscenes.

Final Fantasy XV Director Says It's 'Make Or Break' For Franchise

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While he's no stranger to the Final Fantasy name, Final Fantasy XV is the first numbered entry directed by Hajime Tabata. While visiting Square Enix's office for our May cover story on Final Fantasy XV, I sat down with Tabata to get a better sense of his thoughts on the franchise's place within the modern gaming industry. He has a shockingly blunt perspective on why fans of the series have been disappointed lately and why he hopes Final Fantasy XV reminds players of their first experiences with Final Fantasy VI or VII.

Watch the interview below to learn more from Tabata, look inside the game's development, and see exclusive new gameplay from Final Fantasy XV.

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Chronicles – Watch Episode Eight Of Our Dark Souls III Death March

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Chronicles – Watch Episode Eight Of Our Dark Souls III Death March

The Dark Souls franchise continues with a powerful third entry into the world of dark, demanding fantasy action. Join Daniel Tack, Andrew Reiner, Kyle Hilliard, and Javy Gwaltney in an epic game of "pass the sticks" as they attempt to conquer fantastic environments and towering bosses in From Software's latest ashen wasteland. Be aware that there may be spoilers as we move from episode to episode.

Will the crew finish? Will they smash controllers in frustration? Or will the team find new strength and resolve to persevere in the face of relentless and uncaring foes? Will the team go the extra mile and complete the game or go hollow as they bash against the endless tides of freakish minions? Find out on Chronicles: Dark Souls III edition.

Check out our review of Dark Souls III here.

Chronicles – Watch Episode Seven Of Our Dark Souls III Death March

about X hours ago from
Chronicles – Watch Episode Seven Of Our Dark Souls III Death March

The Dark Souls franchise continues with a powerful third entry into the world of dark, demanding fantasy action. Join Daniel Tack, Andrew Reiner, Kyle Hilliard, and Javy Gwaltney in an epic game of "pass the sticks" as they attempt to conquer fantastic environments and towering bosses in From Software's latest ashen wasteland. Be aware that there may be spoilers as we move from episode to episode.

Will the crew finish? Will they smash controllers in frustration? Or will the team find new strength and resolve to persevere in the face of relentless and uncaring foes? Will the team go the extra mile and complete the game or go hollow as they bash against the endless tides of freakish minions? Find out on Chronicles: Dark Souls III edition.

Check out our review of Dark Souls III here.

5 Things I Learned The Hard Way In Fallout 4’s Survival Mode

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Fallout 4’s revamped survival mode recently went into beta on PC. The difficulty now adds a few extra systems and obstacles to Bethesda’s RPG, including sleep, hunger, and thirst cycles; extra weight on crucial items like ammo and fusion cores; and the elimination of fast travel. With the recent releases of Fallout 4’s Automatron and Wasteland Workshop (which came out today) DLC on my mind, I hopped into Survival Mode to see if it would make a second playthrough of the game more interesting. Here’s what I learned.

1. Home Is Where The Heart IsA lack of sleep will quickly deplete your stamina in survival mode, and the only way to get a full night’s rest is to sleep in a real bed. Dirty mattresses just won’t cut it anymore. Therefore, building a functional shack for your hero is critical, as finding an unclaimed bed in the Commonwealth can be a very difficult task indeed. 

The Rocky History Of Live-Action Shows Based On Games

about X hours ago from

The intersection of live-action shows and video games is a strange thing. There have been plenty of animated shows based on games, but the live-action adaptations have often been odd, awkward attempts at bridging games and the real world. However, they’ve also changed dramatically with time – from the cringeworthy live-action/animation hybrids like The Super Mario Bros. Super Show and Captain N all the way up to more modern takes like Defiance and Bright Falls. Dozens of live-action films based on games have been released throughout the years, but serialized TV programs are comparatively rare. With the recent launch of Quantum Break and its own unique use of live-action in a game, we’ve decided to share a brief history of live-action shows based on games to see how the concept has transformed up to today.