Where's Our Tales Of Arise Review?

about X hours ago from
Where's Our Tales Of Arise Review?

Tales of Arise's review embargo is up, but more time is needed with this expansive RPG before a verdict can be delivered. Our reviewer, Jason Guisao, is deep into the endgame and should have the review up prior to the game's September 10 launch (this Friday). As a little tease, Jason has been raving about the game for a week and says what he's played is "excellent."

Tales of Arise was recently featured on Game Informer's cover as the standout title in an expansive RPG roundup. The "Tales of" series has always been held in high regard, but from the moment Arise was announced, it has looked like something different, an entry that could elevate this series to the next level.

If you want to learn more about Arise before the review hits, Game Informer's Kimberley Wallace recently had the chance to play through the opening act and gives a detailed walkthrough of everything you can expect, including how character bonding is handled. Kim also recorded a video of a boss fight to show how combat has been improved and how player choice is woven into dungeon exploration.

Nihon Falcom's 40 Years of RPG Glory

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Nihon Falcom's 40 Years of RPG Glory

Founded in March 1981, Nihon Falcom is one of the oldest active video game studios. Celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, the company helped pioneer the action-RPG genre, shaping both the JRPG industry and PC gaming scene in Japan. These days, Falcom is best known for its iconic Ys and Trails franchises. While only recently attracting more attention in the West, the studio has retained a strong reputation in Japan, often cited alongside juggernaut Square Enix as one of the most influential and distinguished RPG developers. To honor four decades in the business, we chatted with Nihon Falcom president Toshihiro Kondo to reminisce about the company’s history.

Nihon Falcom’s roots are very much in the PC scene; the Falcom name even nods to it. For the moniker, founder Masayuki Kato was inspired by Star Wars’ Millennium Falcon, but he changed ‘con’ to ‘com’ to represent the company’s focus on computer gaming. The studio’s first game, Panorama Toh, hit in 1983, with Yoshio Kiya at the helm. Kiya would later go on to create Falcom’s popular and influential Dragon Slayer and Brandish franchises.

Get Away From It All With Lake

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Get Away From It All With Lake

I spent the last week leaving my job working in technology and traveling back to my lakeside hometown to deliver mail. It was every bit as uneventful as you might expect.

Lake is a strange game. Built as a story-driven experience, it nonetheless firmly refuses to tell much of a story. It’s an open world where you freely drive a vehicle around, but built-in safety measures keep you from ever bumping into pedestrians or going too far off-road, ensuring you're always a law-abiding citizen. Lake is also about characters and dialogue choices, but the decisions you make are so low-drama as to barely matter most of the time. And yet, against all odds, Lake is also a surprisingly intriguing and amusing affair.

Players step into the shoes of Meredith Weiss, a middle-aged software developer in 1986 who heads back to her tiny hometown to deliver mail in place of her father, who is taking a well-deserved vacation after his years in the postman’s truck. As Meredith, you must deliver mail, catch up with people you haven’t seen since childhood, and find something to occupy your evenings, like reading a book, watching TV, or getting together with a friend.

What We Want From The Dead Space Remake

about X hours ago from
What We Want From The Dead Space Remake

So you want to make a Dead Space remake, EA? That's great! It's a beloved horror franchise, and honestly, we were all getting worried that you had forgotten about it. But can we trust you to recapture the magic of the original, because some of us still haven't gotten over Dead Space 3's release. To make things easier on developer Motive Studios, we compiled a list of five things that the Dead Space remake must nail to succeed.

Dead Space has an extraordinary sci-fi world, and the original game was full of incredible action, puzzles, and set-piece moments. However, horror is the most essential aspect of Dead Space's identity. The original Dead Space nailed the isolating atmosphere of films like Alien and Event Horizon. Whether we were dodging the writhing tentacles of a baby necromorph, stopping to listen to the creeks of a massive derelict spaceship, or running through an engine room in a panic as alarms drowned the sound of approaching enemies, the original Dead Space played our heart like a fiddle. You probably can't repeat all those tricks and expect the same results, but we'd love to see you try Motive.

The Tragedy Of Hawke, Dragon Age 2's Schrodinger's Hero

about X hours ago from
The Tragedy Of Hawke, Dragon Age 2's Schrodinger's Hero

Dragon Age 2 did many things right – and many things wrong – but one thing that stands out the most to me is the tragedy that is Hawke. In many stories where there is a hero at the heart of the tale, that hero goes through Hell and back to become a shining beacon of triumph and prosperity. For Hawke, however, each win came with ten losses behind it, ultimately leaving them to be one of the most heartbreaking protagonists in gaming to date. 

When we first meet Hawke in Dragon Age 2, they are a humble farmer from a small village near Amaranthine whose life is suddenly upended due to the ravaging Blight seen in Dragon Age Origins. Escaping a simple life alongside their mother, Leandra Amell - a former noble that left the "good life" behind to find love with her apostate husband, Malcolm - and their two siblings, twins named Bethany and Carver, the first loss ends up being one of many. When escaping the hordes of monsters thirsting for destruction, Hawke and their family experience their second loss following the death of Malcolm some years before. Depending on which playable class the player chooses, either Bethany or Carver will be crushed to death by a vicious ogre. It's a startling way to begin any game, but what's worse is this is one of the easier horrors that this family will face. 

Top 10 Apple Arcade Games Worth Playing

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Top 10 Apple Arcade Games Worth Playing

There’s a widespread stigma attached to mobile titles that has pushed them to the bottom of the popularity charts for years … at least when compared to PC and console experiences. Of course, there are exceptions. Pokémon Go and Clash of Clans, for example, have proved games on the smallest screen are more than just microtransaction-heavy propaganda or digitized tabletop adaptations. Like other extensive catalogs, Apple Arcade is filled with games that raise the bar – from experimental JRPGs to ported blockbusters. Try out the ten gems listed below if you’ve got an iOS device and want to break into the mobile scene.

The most mechanically involved game on this list, Oceanhorn 2, offers a fantastical sandbox in third-person perspective with a dynamic camera. Visually reminiscent of Breath of the Wild, the RPG is also available on last-gen consoles, making this solid port all the more impressive. The graphical fidelity is particularly striking – city towers cast long shadows over cobblestone paths, and scalable grassy knolls stretch as far as the eye can see. Real-time combat with well-timed dodge-rolls, opportune sword slashes, and precise accuracy with sidearm makes the moment-to-moment action feel fluid and exciting. Oceanhorn 2 isn’t The Legend of Zelda, but it comes damn close and shouldn’t fly under your mobile radar. 

Who Is Lilith, The Main Villain Of Marvel's Midnight Suns?

about X hours ago from
Who Is Lilith, The Main Villain Of Marvel's Midnight Suns?

As we already covered in a previous look at Marvel's Midnight Suns, you play as The Hunter. This all-new hero is sought out by an all-star cast of Marvel characters and awakened to help fight off the evil entity known as Lilith. But why is Lilith so important that she requires the combined powers of Marvel's most powerful heroes in addition to an ancient, legendary warrior? We spoke to the team at Firaxis Games to learn more about the menacing villain.

Lilith was once a warrior of light as a member of a race called The Blood. She is a descendant of the Elder Gods and fought the forces of darkness alongside her sister, Caretaker, for thousands of years. During the late 1600s, Lilith sold her soul to a corrupted, evil Elder God named Chthon in a moment of weakness.

"Your best villains, in their mind, they're not evil; they're doing something for good, but her motivations for her fall are actually very personal and very tragic," director of narrative Chad Rocco says.

DokeV Has The Potential To Be A Surprise Hit

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DokeV Has The Potential To Be A Surprise Hit

DokeV has been kicking around for the better part of two years, but the trailer at Gamescom (which you can watch below) was the first time I laid eyes on it. At the time, I could only describe what I saw as a fever dream but looking closer at this mystifying game reveals a promising mix of open-world adventuring, Pokemon-like creature collection, and exciting arena battling. DokeV even has a bit of Monster Hunter DNA in there, which piques my interest even more. What's been shown so far has an infectious energy, and each element seems playful and fun. Granted, there's not much information out there about the game, but I think DokeV is worth keeping an eye on in the coming months.

This Dragon Age Origins Mod Imports Isabella's Dragon Age 2 Design

about X hours ago from
This Dragon Age Origins Mod Imports Isabella's Dragon Age 2 Design

Dragon Age Origins is the first game in the iconic fantasy BioWare series, and for many, it is the most enjoyable. What was not enjoyable was Isabella's design in the first game – especially compared to the sequel. In Dragon Age 2, the fiery pirate became the very definition of a "glow up." For those who prefer the more personalized style of Dragon Age 2's Isabella, this Dragon Age Origins mod gives you what you want. 

Created by modder 'GirlStandStill' over on Nexus Mods, this Dragon Age Origins mod does exactly what it promises: it imports the model of the devil-may-care Isabella from Dragon Age 2, bringing her into the first game to replace her original, more generic-NPC look. 

Personally, I love this. Isabella is one of my favorite characters in the Dragon Age-verse. She's overcome so much to become who she is, but she still has room to grow when we meet her in Dragon Age 2. Don't we all? Romancing her is one of my most favorite memories from this series because that is when you truly see her growth and get to watch her learn to trust others again and trust her own voice. I found that great to see, and she's a beacon for many of the other companions, including Fenris, making her a treasured character.

Who Is The Hunter In Marvel's Midnight Suns?

about X hours ago from
Who Is The Hunter In Marvel's Midnight Suns?

Marvel's Midnight Suns brings together disparate members of the Marvel Universe into a supernatural adventure. This quest to save the world features Iron Man, Captain America, Captain Marvel, Wolverine, Blade, Doctor Strange, and Ghost Rider, plus a few lesser-known heroes like Magik and Nico Minoru. However, players see this icon-riddled adventure through the eyes of The Hunter, an all-new hero designed by Firaxis in collaboration with Marvel.

Working with Marvel to create a brand new hero was a dream come true for the Firaxis Games team, but they needed to make sure The Hunter could stand up next to the other iconic characters in the Marvel Universe. "There's a specific way that Marvel heroes become heroes, and there's a specific way that Marvel villains become villains," creative director Jake Solomon says. "You can't just wave a wand and say, 'Oh cool. The Hunter exists now.' We had to think about what is the backstory, why do they have meaning in this setting, why would all these characters with all these powers [recruit] them to potentially lead them in this fight? If we make them central, it has to be authentic to this story and why the other heroes would look to The Hunter as an equal."