Test Chamber – An Early Run Through Mirror's Edge Catalyst

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Mirror's Edge Catalyst, the sequel to the 2008 parkour simulator, is getting ready to enter beta soon, and we took an early look at this pre-release peek.

The beta goes out to those in the Frontrunners program on April 22 and to the general public on April 23 and ends on April 26. We got a chance to get started on it a little early, and played portion of the game's opening, saw the story setup, played around with Faith's new abilities, and even get a brief look at the potential of the open world.

It was announced this morning (while we were recording this video, coincidentally) that Mirror's Edge Catalyst will be taking an extra two weeks to polish up a few things and release on June 7. For more on Mirror's Edge Catalyst, check out six improvements we hope to see.

Opinion – Star Fox Gimmicks Grounded A Once-Proud Fighter

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Opinion – Star Fox Gimmicks Grounded A Once-Proud Fighter

Star Fox holds a special place in the hearts of many due to its exciting aerial combat, colorful characters, and impressive boss battles that captivated their imaginations during gaming’s formative years. The franchise, once acclaimed for its fluid controls and branching story paths, has recently become more notorious for its failed follow-ups.

A prevailing issue for Star Fox has been attempts to implement unnecessary gimmicks. Nintendo’s unflinching insistence to innovate could be seen as the reason for the poorly-received follow-ups over the past 15 years, but looking back, the Star Fox franchise has always experimented with new technology, control schemes, and directions. The difference between success and failure lies in whether or not those new ideas add to the experience.

With the original Star Fox in 1993, Nintendo touted its use of the Super FX chip, a 3D graphics accelerator that allowed for the impressive visuals and effects of the game on the Super Nintendo. Using the chip, Star Fox defied estimations of what was possible on the system and delivered an experience that became a showpiece title for the hardware. 

Square Enix Reflects On Final Fantasy's Drive For Cutting-Edge Tech

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Final Fantasy has been around since the 8-bit era, and the series has adapted to every wave of new hardware the gaming industry has seen since. Not only has the franchise survived these transitions, but it has also used them as opportunities to take new chances in the role-playing genre. With Final Fantasy XV on the horizon – the first entry exclusively on PS4 and Xbox One – we take a look back with some of Final Fantasy’s key figures at what moving to new technology has meant for them, the individual games, and the series as a whole.

After three 8-bit entries (though only one released in North America), Final Fantasy IV was the first time Square faced the prospect of using new technology to update its approach. While the SNES certainly provided additional options, most of the improvements were steps forward on familiar fronts – it’s not like the series was moving to 3D or adding voice acting yet. “Since we were just moving from NES to SNES, it’s not like we were drastically changing,” says Takashi Tokita, Final Fantasy IV’s lead designer. “But where we were limiting ourselves previously in terms of colors or amount of story we could implement, that drastically improved. Rather than challenges, there was much more freedom that enabled us to do more.”

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

about X hours ago from
Chronicles – Watch Episode Fourteen 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.

Blog Herding – The Best Blogs Of The Community (April 21, 2016)

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Blog Herding – The Best Blogs Of The Community (April 21, 2016)

This week of blogs covers everything from gaming woes to Destiny to Kingdom Hearts. It's odd to write Kingdom Hearts and actually have a new game out for the series. Anyway, enjoy this week's blogs! 

Community Blogs For April 14 – April 20:  

3 Gaming Trends That Need To Stop  Edwinjoe450 writes that greed has changed the gaming landscape. His list of things that need to change follows that theme, including DLC, sequels, and season passes. I can't remember the last time I bought a season pass or full-priced DLC. And don't get me started on pre-order bonuses that happen to be digital.  

Rethinking Video Game Novels With Boss Fight Books

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Boss Fight Books is a small press with a large sense of scale. Series Editor Gabe Durham Kickstarted a line of books that encapsulates classic video games. Each book is filled with an individual author’s thoughts on a game, relationship to it now, and experiences surrounding their time with it.

The small press has published 11 full-length books including Earthbound, Chrono Trigger, Shadow of the Colossus, and more. Each game is covered by a separate author, ranging from writers completely outside of gaming to people deep in the trenches of the industry. This includes Derek Yu, who recently released his autobiographical reflection on his indie hit, Spelunky. We talked with Durham to find out how Boss Fight Books touches on the personal side of gaming, stays on people’s radar, and what the future of the small press looks like.

Boss Fight Books sits in a unique position, as a small press, for homing in on the more personal stories attached to games. I feel like some video game books come off as too clinical. What kind of personal stories can readers expect to come across in the series?I think you're right that the personal side can often be highlighted because that's not always what we see in games culture. So, my take is that there are so many ways to approach games, and that we can benefit from all of them.

Two Dark Souls III Amateurs Discuss Their Early (Mis)Adventures

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Two Dark Souls III Amateurs Discuss Their Early (Mis)Adventures

From Software's Dark Souls series has garnered a dedicated cult following over the years, but not everyone is a true believer. Jeff Marchiafava and Jeff Cork discuss their early adventures in Dark Souls III, along with what they love about the game, and what they would chuck into the nearest bonfire.

Jeff M: So Cork, we both have kind of been caught up in the communal excitement for Dark Souls III, at least enough to try out the game. Before we dig into our main thoughts, what is your past experience with From Software's previous games?

Jeff C: If we're talking specifically about the Souls games, I've played a bit of all of them to varying degrees. It's a series that I'd like to like more, since the various components that it's assembled from are things I generally love. I'm a huge fan of exploration and discovery. I like dark-fantasy settings and themes. I like cryptic, minimal storytelling. I'm up for a good (but fair) challenge. I like dinking around with stats. But for some reason, the franchise hasn't clicked completely for me. That could very well change with Dark Souls III, though.

10 Classic Games That Deserve Modern Makeovers

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Remakes and reboots are all the rage these days, and it seems like a new one is always around the corner. Publishers are more eager than ever to bring their classic titles to a modern audience while tugging at the nostalgia of old fans at the same time. The recent Ratchet & Clank reboot is a great example of this, as well as the upcoming Doom reboot and the Final Fantasy VII remake. But there are plenty of other games that deserve to shine again, and we’ve compiled a list of some of the most deserving ones.

There are countless games we’d love to see return to the spotlight, but we’ve tried to keep this list fairly realistic. If you’re desperately craving a remake of The Adventures of Bayou Billy, don’t expect to find it here. These are 10 titles that could make at least some business sense today, and might stand a chance of actually happening at some point.

How Final Fantasy XV Is Redesigning Your Favorite Monsters

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The Final Fantasy series has had its share of iconic monsters. From the adorable Cactuar and Moogle to the vicious Malboro and Behemoth, these classic creatures have made multiple appearances, often redesigned to fit into each entry’s universe. Stumbling upon one in a new game is part of the fun, since not only do these famous fiends spark a feeling of nostalgia, but seeing them take new designs and forms is exciting in its own right. The Final Fantasy XV team put a lot of thought into creating monsters to fit its universe, and this extends to some of its most popular beasts. While at Square Enix’s Tokyo offices, we chatted with the art team about recreating monsters for Final Fantasy XV’s more open world, while they walked us through redesigning the Catoblepas.

Note: Click on images for full size versions

Right Out Of National Geographic

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

about X hours ago from
Chronicles – Watch Episode Thirteen 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.