Taking A Trip Through The First Hours Of Final Fantasy XV

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Taking A Trip Through The First Hours Of Final Fantasy XV

At PAX West 2016, I hopped in my sweet ride with Noctis and the gang from Final Fantasy XV and played for almost two hours, from the start of the adventure to some off-road exploration. While I won’t get into story aspects here as there are some that could spoil your upcoming adventure, I’ll talk about combat, collecting, and some of the other systems that come into play. I will say one thing, though. If you’re interested in the story of Final Fantasy XV, do yourself a favor and make sure you check out Kingsglaive before you dive in – it will help things make a lot more sense and provide invaluable perspective on the events of the first few hours of gameplay.

Your main crew consists of Noctis, Ignis, Gladiolus, and Prompto. While I appreciated the banter between members of the gang as we took on the first few challenges and quests, Prompto’s character is likely to make me cringe over and over when the title fully releases. Prompto is a true product of Instagram and Snapchat insanity, featuring obsessive photo-taking and mind-shattering quips like “totes adorbs” that hurt me inside. With that notable exception, the rest of the characters offer reasonable input as you drive around or set up camp.

Take On Your Friends In Divinity: Original Sin 2

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While the first Divinity: Original Sin surprised me as an awesome throwback to the glory days of PC RPGs, the upcoming Divinity: Original Sin 2 is bringing even more to the table on top of the single player experience. Players can form special groups and actually take on their friends (or enemies, or random people) in turn-based arena combat, letting players engage with the elemental combinations, knockdowns, blessings and curses in whole new ways, far from the beach critters and swarms of spiders, undead, and NPCs. At PAX West 2016, I had my first opportunity to take on another player with all of the cool skills and abilities that make up the turn-based combat of Divinity: Original  Sin.

Painting The World In Paper Mario: Color Splash

about X hours ago from
Painting The World In Paper Mario: Color Splash

At PAX West 2016, I had a hands-on session with the upcoming Wii U title Paper Mario: Color Splash, taking on an arena full of koopas, shyguys, and goombas.

While the arena itself had plenty of characters to talk to and secrets to find in hidden areas, the core draw was the combat. Using a collection of colorful cards to set up attacks isn't anything new,  but integrating timing mechanics as the battle plays out ensures that every jump and hammer smash keeps the player invested and active throughout the "turn-based" action.

The Jackal Assault VR Demo Is Equal Parts Intriguing and Confusing

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Along with demos for Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Remastered's multiplayer (as well as the new "Zombies in Spaceland" mode), Activision had a demo of Infinite's Warfare's PlayStation VR demo at this year's Call of Duty XP event. Titled Jackal Assault, the demo was brief, and while it offers some interesting glimpses into what we can expect when traditional gameplay mixes with VR, it doesn't quite sell the technology it's centered around.

The demo straps you into the titular Jackal spacecraft, explaining the controls as you get ready for take off. The left analog stick acts exclusively as your thrust, while the right stick orients your view. After takeoff, you follow an allied ship around a cluster of ships as a way to get a feel for movement. Eventually, you come across some debris, which you can clear away with your ship's machine guns using the R2 button.

Then, in the most telegraphed twist possible, enemy ships warp in, seemingly out of nowhere. At this point, a second reticle appears on-screen and the first indication this is a VR game appears; you can aim your ship's missiles independently of your gunfire by looking around the cockpit, firing them off with the triangle button after locking on.

Zombies In Spaceland Has Some New Tricks, But Still Feels The Same

about X hours ago from
Zombies In Spaceland Has Some New Tricks, But Still Feels The Same

If Call of Duty cashes in on a trend, is that trend past its tipping point? If that’s the case, 80s nostalgia might finally be on its way out.

Call of Duty’s latest Zombies mode is dubbed Zombies In Spaceland as a nod to schlocky retro horror titles, but this round of wave-based survival borrows from all kinds of 80s culture. The characters playable at yesterday's Call of Duty XP press day were modeled after Run-DMC, Marty McFly, the stereotypical nerd from a John Hughes film, and the cheerleader from same. When a zombie downs you, you see the distorted scanlines of a VHS tape being fast-forwarded instead of a slow fade to black.

It’s an interesting look, even it hass been done to death. This isn’t to say there’s nothing new to see. In fact, if you haven’t been keeping up with Zombies, this might seem like the most fleshed-out version of the mode in years. But for all the tweaks and changes, I couldn’t help but feel as though this pillar of the Call of Duty single-player, multiplayer, and co-op trinity is the one most in need of a substantial shake-up.

The Remaster Of A Classic Is Faithful In All The Right Ways

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The Remaster Of A Classic Is Faithful In All The Right Ways

The fit and finish of Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare’s remaster is not as you remember it. The iconography is different: the minimap, the on-screen d-pad, to the ammo counter have all gotten a facelift. I can’t be certain, but I swear the soundbite of the radio voice saying “enemy UAV is online!” on the Crash map is also different. The point count for kills is an inflated to match the series’ current totals (100 instead of the previous 20). So if you’re looking for something that will scratch your visual and auditory nostalgia for one of the defining games of the last generation of consoles to the letter, this may not be it.

But other than the visual makeover, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Remastered has been preserved as well as you’d hoped. Every map and gun seems to have their textures uprezzed instead of redone, the latter of which you might expect after seeing the single-player portion of Remastered. But the blocky outlines of crashed helicopters, of hollowed-out homes and fountains, look exactly like how I remembered them, and I like it that way.

Infinity Ward’s First Three-Year Project Makes Some Smart Changes

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Infinity Ward’s First Three-Year Project Makes Some Smart Changes

The days when Call of Duty was essentially two sub-series (Treyarch’s Black Ops versus Infinity Ward’s Modern Warfare) fighting for supremacy are long gone. Since Call of Duty: Ghosts, Infinity Ward has begun building on the improvements made by Treyarch and Sledgehammer rather than attempt to carve out its own niche. With Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare, it seems more willing to do that than ever, and it might end making the series better in the long run.

Infinite Warfare’s approach to multiplayer takes a number of cues from Black Ops III. For starters, just about every mobility option from that game returns: you can powerslide, sprint along walls, and use a jetpack to give yourself a short boost. This makes Infinite Warfare feel more familiar at the outset than any Infinity Ward-made title in the series, since you don’t have to relearn your moveset for the umpteenth year in a row.

Joule's Dad Has Some Words For Her In The Launch Trailer

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Joule's Dad Has Some Words For Her In The Launch Trailer

Recore, from developer Armature and Keiji Inafune, is right around the corner and a new launch trailer offers some insight into the story.

We get a recap of the game's mechanics, see a new human character (other than protagonist Joule), and hear voice-over from her dad, who is confident in her abilities, but is clearly apologetic about leaving her behind.

Recore launches on Xbox One on September 13 and you can check out the trailer below.

89 Things We Know About NBA 2K17

about X hours ago from
89 Things We Know About NBA 2K17

After a long summer drought of information, Visual Concepts and 2K Sports are finally opening up about the changes heading to its beloved basketball franchise. We went hands-on with NBA 2K17 to experience the new changes to the gameplay, investigate how the franchise/online modes are evolving, and try out "The Prelude," the pre-release MyCareer content coming September 9 that lets you check out the new player creation engine and take your prospect through his first year of college.

Here's a bullet point breakdown of all the changes we spotted. 

PRESENTATON