Monster of the Deep: Final Fantasy 15 is a fishy use of VR

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Monster of the Deep: Final Fantasy 15 is a fishy use of VR

The Final Fantasy 15 universe continues to expand in some ... curious directions, and the upcoming PlayStation VR title Monster of the Deep may be the most curious of all. A demo I checked out during Tokyo Game Show suggested that this might be the flimsiest Final Fantasy 15 spinoff yet — and certainly the fishiest.

You’ll have to pardon that obvious pun here. Monster of the Deep: Final Fantasy 15 is essentially a VR fishing experience. Playing as a nameless, faceless friend of the main game’s dudes, I embarked upon a quest given to me by my best boy Prompto. The quest was a simple one, and likely a tutorial-level one: Catch three fish. Any three fish. Just catch ‘em and drop ‘em in the bucket.

A guy in a cat suit rocked out at Tokyo Game Show, and it was amazing

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A guy in a cat suit rocked out at Tokyo Game Show, and it was amazing

Only two days in, there’s a clear winner of this year’s Tokyo Game Show: a giant red cat who also happens to be an extremely good heavy metal drummer. Joined by Tak Fujii — you know, the guy from Konami’s E3 2010 conference — the mascot performed an intimate, hard-rocking concert for a crowd of just a dozen attendees, with strobe lights and headbanging to boot.

The concert was ostensibly meant to promote Gal Metal, a rhythm game for Nintendo Switch that marks Fujii’s return to game development after leaving Konami in 2014. Gal Metal, as its title suggests, is about a bunch of gals who are into metal. (I’ll have more thoughts on it later.) A special heavy metal show in the game’s demo area made sense to me as a live event at a convention packed full of them.

Iron Rain is a new style of Earth Defense Force

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Iron Rain is a new style of Earth Defense Force

This year’s Tokyo Game Show was a big one for Earth Defense Force, D3Publisher’s long-running third-person shooter series. There were three EDF games playable at the show: Earth Defense Forces 5, Earth Defense Force 4.1: Wingdiver The Shooter (a new top-down shoot ‘em up) and Earth Defense Force: Iron Rain. It was the last title that was most intriguing.

Earth Defense Force: Iron Rain is fascinating for a number of reasons. It’s not being developed by series creator Sandlot, but by Yuke’s, an Osaka-based studio likely best known for its recent work on WWE and UFC games. Iron Rain also appears slightly more grounded in tone than the EDF series has been in the past. But it’s not taking itself too seriously; you’re still shooting giant bugs and building-crushing kaiju along the way.

With Dynasty Warriors 9, Koei Tecmo is fighting franchise stagnation

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With Dynasty Warriors 9, Koei Tecmo is fighting franchise stagnation

A longtime criticism from players of Koei Tecmo’s Dynasty Warriors series — and, well, just about anyone who pays any attention to it — is the rote nature of its gameplay. Dynasty Warriors and its many Musou-inspired spinoffs are a known quantity; players slash through hordes of mindless enemy soldiers in historical battles.

But with Dynasty Warriors 9, coming next early next year to PlayStation 4, Windows PC and Xbox One, even developer Omega Force is feeling the series’ stagnation. The studio is hoping to mix things up, starting with a new open-world structure for Dynasty Warriors 9.

Destiny 2’s Faction Rallies special event goes live on Sept. 26

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Destiny 2’s Faction Rallies special event goes live on Sept. 26

If you’ve reached Level 20 in Destiny 2, you’ve probably found yourself wondering aloud, “What should I be doing now to get those sweet, sweet power levels?” Beginning next Tuesday, Sept. 26, at 2 a.m. PT you’ll be able to pledge yourself to one of three factions when the game’s Faction Rallies go live.

What that means, in specific terms, is you go to the Tower, talk to one of the three above faction leaders, and then do some activities, like “public events, explore Lost Sectors, complete strikes, clear the raid, or compete in the Crucible.” Do stuff, get faction tokens, exchange faction tokens for loot. It’s Destiny! You’ll have until 2 a.m. PT on Oct. 3 to collect those tokens and the winning faction will be announced at 10 a.m. PT.

The Witness finally launches on iPhone and iPad for $10

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The Witness finally launches on iPhone and iPad for $10

The Witness, the celebrated brain-melting puzzle game from Thekla Inc., is now available on iOS devices.

Thekla is selling the iOS version for $9.99 in the App Store — just one-fourth the price of the Mac, PlayStation 4, Windows PC and Xbox One versions, which cost $39.99. The Witness debuted on PC and PS4 in January 2016. It was released on Xbox One in September 2016, Nvidia Shield in January 2017 and Mac in March.

Four Halo games now playable on Xbox One via backward compatibility

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Four Halo games now playable on Xbox One via backward compatibility

Microsoft just made a major addition to the Xbox One’s backward compatibility library: Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary, Halo 3, Halo 3: ODST and Halo 4 are now supported in the program, the company announced today.

Halo studio 343 Industries said in early July that support for these games was on the way. All four titles are already playable on Xbox One — Halo Anniversary, Halo 3 and Halo 4 were included in 2014’s Halo: The Master Chief Collection, and 343 released an upgraded version of Halo 3: ODST’s campaign on Xbox One in May 2015. (It was available free for some Master Chief Collection players as a make-good for the compilation’s botched launch.) The other Halo game that Bungie made, 2010’s Halo: Reach, has been backward compatible since December 2015.

Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite’s Monster Hunter DLC trailer unveiled

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Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite’s Monster Hunter DLC trailer unveiled

Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite hasn’t even been out a week and we’re already seeing trailers for the game’s upcoming DLC characters. A day before the release of the game, Capcom officially announced the full roster of DLC characters coming out this year and today we get our first glimpse of Monster Hunter, one of the game’s first downloadable fighters. You can watch her character trailer above.

Just like her counterparts from the franchise she shares her name with, Monster Hunter enters the world of Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite with armor and weapons crafted from the bodies of various creatures she’s defeated. And just like that game, Monster Hunter wields various weapons similar to the classes you’d find in the franchise. Her main attacks seem to mimic the classic strikes you’d see from players equipped with the Great Sword, Dual Blades and the Bow.

Doom on the Switch is real Doom ... on the Switch

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Doom on the Switch is real Doom ... on the Switch

Perhaps the most surprising thing about Doom — a game defined by its speed and precision, not to mention its gleeful application of gore — running on the Switch is that it’s not surprising. It’s right there: Doom on the Switch. It’s the campaign, the enemy placements and behaviors, the arcade mode. While I didn’t play the multiplayer component, it will be available as a separate download for those who want it. It’s a modern, cutting-edge, game of the year-winning shooter and it’s running on a Nintendo handheld.

First things first: Bethesda isn’t sharing details on the frame rate or resolution, and for good cause. The answer is: Neither are as good as on the Xbox One or PS4, or the gaming PC you built to play it maxed out, so why supply the ammunition? While the console versions enjoyed a steady 60 frames per second — a feature that helped advance the game’s focus on speed and precision — the Switch version runs mostly* at a smooth 30 frames per second.

Watch The Evil Within 2 gameplay

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Watch The Evil Within 2 gameplay

Shinji Mikami is best known as the godfather of the third-person survival horror genre, having created the iconic Resident Evil series. His The Evil Within was reasonably well received, cleaving closely to the formula that made his name. Its sequel — out next month — sticks to the script. Once again, you can expect creepy corridors, nasty shocks and large monsters.

The story follows Detective Castellanos as he travels of the city of Union in search of his daughter Lily. He finds himself caught between the real world and a ghastly alternative universe conjured by an evil corporation. This includes unnerving puzzles and horrid monsters.