The past few months saw what could have been the best stretch of quality games in recent memory. With games like the highly anticipated Final Fantasy VII Remake and Last of Us Part II, to brand new IPs like Ghost of Tsushima, one can only look forward to more as we head into the next generation.
August looks to slow down the pace a bit in terms of high profile releases but there are a number of gems spread throughout the month, like Horizon Zero Dawn for the PC, Battletoads for the Xbox One and PC, Fall Guys for the PlayStation 4 (which is free for PS Plus Subscribers), and No Straight Roads.
Here is your game release calendar for August 2020:
Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout (PS4)
Skully (PS4, Switch, Xone)
Fast & Furious Crossroads (PS4, Switch, Xone, PC)
Horizon: Zero Dawn (PC)
Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon: Infinite Combat (PS4, Switch)
A Total War Saga: Troy (PC)
UFC 4 (PS4, Xone)
Pathfinder: Kingmaker (PS4, Xone)
Microsoft Flight Simulator (PC)
Rogue Legacy 2 (PC)
PGA Tour 2K21 (PS4, Switch, Xone)
Samurai Jack: Battle Through Time (PS4, Switch, Xone)
No Straight Roads (PS4, Xone, PC)
Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: Remastered (PS4, Switch)
Tell Me Why: Chapter 1 (Xone, PC)
Surgeon Simulator 2 (PC)
Captain Tsubasa: Rise of New Champions (PS4, Switch)
Marvel’s Avengers is releasing on September 4 and one of the biggest criticisms about the game is that the players didn’t really get a feel of what the game was and how it would play. Developers Crystal Dynamics have been receptive, and in fact have gone on to host a couple of War Table streams outlining what players can expect from the game.
The biggest announcement was that of a demo that players will get to access throughout August. Each weekend starting August 7 until the 21st will have waves of beta players that will finally get to see for themselves what the game is all about.
We were fortunate enough to jump early into a beta build of the game, which is the same build that players will be exposed to on the 7th, and we’re here to share our impressions of the game. Got some questions you want answered? Let’s go!
The story so far…
So what exactly is Marvel’s Avengers? For those not in the know, it’s an action adventure game where you get to control some of your favorite Marvel superheros like Iron Man, Thor, Black Widow, Kamala Khan, Captain America, and much more. Apart from the character designs being different from their MCU counterparts, the game will also follow an original story centered around M.O.D.O.K as the villain.
The beta starts out during the unveiling of the Avengers’s new headquarters and Helicarrier, the Chimera. Because of an attack led by Taskmaster, the festivities were interrupted and in the aftermath, much of San Francisco was destroyed, including the Golden Gate Bridge among other casualties. With the Avengers bearing the brunt of the blame, a new organization called A.I.M. (Advanced Idea Mechanics) was tasked to take over hero duties with technology and robots. A-Day, which was supposed to be a day of celebration, became one of infamy.
Five years later, the Avengers have disbanded and A.I.M. is still in control. Enter Kamala Khan, an enthusiastic Avengers superfan who gained shapeshifting abilities because of A-Day, who sets out on a quest to reunite Earth’s Mightiest Heroes and uncover the truth behind everything.
A-Day of Infamy
The game starts during the events of A-Day where, for a brief time, you can control each of the featured Avengers. First thing you’ll notice is that they move and fight exactly how you’d imagine them to. Iron Man can fly and shoot repulsor blasts. Thor has a mean swing and can throw and recall his Mjolnir. So on and so forth.
Through this alone, the beta does its job pretty well of putting you through the paces of each character, allowing you to immediately get a feel of how varied each playstyle is going to be.
The controls are simple and actually easy to pick up and play. You have a standard and strong attack, a jump, and a dodge. The shoulder buttons are relegated to your character’s Heroic abilities, consisting of Assault, Support, and Ultimate. Assault is your offensive ability. Support varies per character and can affect your party in different ways. Black Widow, for example, can cloak the entire party while Hulk gets increased armor all while provoking enemy attacks. Ultimate Heroic abilities are your most badass moves, like Iron Man summoning the Hulkbuster to inflict massive damage. There’s a good and varied mix of heroic abilities per character, which is a good sign that Crystal Dynamics has heavily considered how much team roles and composition will matter in the full game.
Gameplay is actually crisp and responsive, but the flight sequences will take a bit of getting used to. The Hulk, in our experience, was a blast to play as, but we can’t quite give the same amount of enthusiasm for the others. Some of the other members, Thor in particular, lacked a certain oomph to his attacks, leaving us to wonder why he doesn’t feel as powerful as he should be. To be fair, Thor is only playable during the tutorials, which may explain why that could be the case.
After the events of A-Day, the Beta quickly shifts to Kamala Khan and Bruce Banner, out to once again reunite the Avengers, all aboard the semi functioning Chimera, which becomes your main base of operations and the main hub of the game.
We’ve come to bargain… again and again.
After quite a lengthy prologue, the world opens up and thus the “real” game takes place. If you’ve played games like Destiny or Anthem, you’d know what to expect from the Avengers – a cycle of story based missions to push the game forward, instance based ‘dungeons’ called War Zones, short objective based missions called Drop Zones, all while obtaining increasingly powerful loot.
You tackle these missions with 3 other companions and they can be either AI controlled or with 3 other players. The beta opens up Iron Man and Black Widow along with The Hulk and Kamala Khan, so your character options are pretty varied.
The Beta Missions are fairly short, usually a 10-15 minute romp consisting of just 2 or 3 areas each. On the way you will also pick up resources and gear, which will vary in rarity from common to epic (what we found so far). Adding to the grind are collectibles like comics and currency that allows you to purchase various outfits and hero cards for additional customization.
This is fairly basic stuff for a game of this type, and is something we’ve come to expect but from what we’ve seen so far, the game offers limited mission variety to make the grind interesting and worthwhile. For a beta, there is quite a nice selection of missions, but aside from a change of scenery, they all felt the same in level design and objective – get this, defend that, destroy those. More variety may open up at later levels though, so we’ll be keeping an eye out for that.
The enemies, while composed of generic grunts as well as bigger and badder variants, are pretty tough even at normal difficulty, which could factor into the whole multiplayer aspect of the game. While AI companions will only get you so far, taking on the harder missions of the game will require more coordination and proper team composition, which is something that players can look forward to.
Progression in the game is your standard RPG fare, with missions to reward you with loot and gear that lets you take on harder, higher leveled missions. Rinse and repeat. Gear also offers perks that will enhance your skills and your build, so the challenge is actually finding the perfect roll to fit your intended build.
As you level up, you also get skill points to use across multiple skill trees, prompting the players to employ certain builds, which is a great addition that allows for team composition aspects. Hulk, for example has trees focused on his melee, his grab attacks, and Heroic abilities, giving you a choice of what to focus on. Even in the beta, you will come to understand that certain characters are fit for certain roles, and they will surely factor in the harder challenges later in the full game.
From what we’ve seen, these skill trees add an attack or two here and there, improve an effect, but nothing that would really drastically change the style of play. To be fair, the recent War Table deep dive video specified that the full game will have multiple pages of skills, so we’ll have to leave out a final verdict on how varied builds can actually be. We understand that the beta shows just a glimpse, and in that sense, you can choose from quite a lot of options.
Perfectly Balanced, Like All Things Should Be
While this is just a beta, we expect some things to improve over time, but the game can be considered just as Thanos’s iconic line says: perfectly balanced. In other words, it’s good, but it also has some things that we’ll need to call out.
Character presentation is actually impressive, and while the character models aren’t those of the MCU’s, Crystal Dynamics have recreated the Avengers strikingly well. On the other hand, the in-game graphics look a wee bit average. It looks… good, and that’s it. Not really mind-blowing or breathtakingly good. Just good.
The audio of the game could use a bit of beefing up as well, as nothing really stood out from the game. Some of the explosions “feel” big and great, but there are a few things (Thor’s attacks, as mentioned earlier) that lacked a certain heft to it, making it feel less impressive than it should be.
The writing is also not something to write (heh) home about, as it comes off a bit too generic at times. While Kamala Khan is somewhat effective as the ‘superfan’ and Bruce Banner as the calm but witty doctor, some of Iron Man’s lines are rather eye-rolling and tend to feel a little off character.
One of our biggest gripes comes by way of the camera work. During hectic combat sequences, the camera tends to shake a bit too much, even getting caught in weird angles when in tight spaces, leaving us a bit disoriented after the battle. This is especially evident with melee based characters like Black Widow or The Hulk and while you get used to the fact, it is definitely something that could turn away some players. This can probably be solved by moving the camera back a bit, but as it is, it could be a minor nuisance to some.
We’re In The Endgame Now
Overall, our time with the Beta Version of Marvel’s Avengers was a perfectly balanced experience. The game has potential to be a fantastic multiplayer experience, but as with all others that came before it, endgame content is where the title must deliver.
Considering our gripes above are tolerable and can be fixed, this is a grind-based game and since you’ll be repeating missions over and over again, the game must make it feel interesting enough to be worth the time. So far, at least from what we saw, the missions could fall in the trap of feeling too generic and lacking in variety as you progress in the game.
The prospect of the higher leveled dungeons and raids using specific team compositions are quite enticing so we’re delaying passing judgment on the game but at least for the beta, it accomplishes its job of getting your feet wet pretty well, enough for you to make an informed decision on whether the game is for you or not.
Marvel’s Avengers will have 3 beta dates – August 7 for PlayStation pre-orders, August 14 for Xbox One / PC preorders and PlayStation players, and August 21 as an open beta for all.
Calling all mobile suit pilots! It’s been 2 years since the free-to-play team-based shooter Gundam Battle Operation 2 launched to celebrate the game’s 2nd year anniversary and its launch on the PlayStation 4, various reward campaigns will be made available to all players.
The campaign will run from July 21, 2020 to August 27, 2020 for a total of five weeks and here’s what you can expect:
Weekly 10 free draws with 1 guaranteed ★★★MS unit per week
For each week in the campaign you will be able to draw 10 times for free and all mobile suits (MS) and armaments in the Supply Drop will be available, for a total of 50 free draws. And that’s not all. For each week, one of your 10 free draws will be a guaranteed ★★★MS unit. In other words, there’s nothing to lose and much to gain, considering that’s a total of 5 guaranteed ★★★MS units during the campaign.
Login Bonus Every Week
Expect some neat stuff when you login within each of the weeks during the 2 Year Anniversary Campaign, including an unknown bonus during the final week:
Week 1 – 39 Tokens
Week 2 – 10 MS units
Week 3 – MS Enhancement Set
Week 4 – Operator Tender
Week 5 – ???
You can also expect to see a new Gundam join the line-up, and it’s none other than the ZZ Gundam for the Mobile Suit Gundam ZZ series. A visual for the new mobile suit have also been released.
Special time-limited missions will be available and completing these rewards will earn you the Gaza C mobile suit.
Clan Leveling Reward Increase
Join a clan and battle online to receive 5 times the clan reward when your clan levels up.
Welcome Campaign for New and Returning Pilots
Players new to Gundam Battle Operation 2 will receive 5 times the base reward (DP, EXP, and CP) provided they joined the game in less than 14 days. The same benefits will also effect returning players who have not logged in within 45 days.
More information may be announced on a later date so do check Mobile Suit Gundam Battle Operation 2’s official website for more updates.
Our review format is not your usual fare and we’ve broken it down into 3 very simple ratings!
“Buy it!” means that the game deserves a place in your collection. Be it day 1 or a slightly delayed purchase, it’s hard to go wrong with this title. In numbers, this is around an 8/10 and above.
“Wait for it…” means that the game probably isn’t worth it at its day 1 price point, we suggest you wait for a sale before jumping in. In numbers, this is around a 5 – 7/10.
“Ignore it!” means that the game is not something we’d recommend playing, whether it be now or in the near future, unless you want to intentionally hurt yourself. Let’s not even go to the numbers for this one.
Release Date: July 9, 2020
Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch
Similar Games: The Legend of Zelda III: A Link to the Past
Price: Estimated PHP995
Retro gaming will always have a place in the modern landscape. For those who grew up during the 8-bit era or even earlier, the appeal of retro type games is no surprise, having experienced them first-hand. Despite the technical limitations of the time, some titles have made their mark in gaming history eventually becoming iconic classics whether it be in terms of gameplay, story, or a combination of both. Enter developer Radical Fish who knows the importance of the past as well and shows it with their release of the PC, and now console, Role-Playing Game CrossCode.
As advertised, CrossCode is a retro inspired Role-Playing Game and it’s very clear from the moment you see it. The bright pixelated art style and graphics, the fixed top view angle, the blocky terrains and towns. All of it will remind you of the NES and SNES era RPGs like the original Final Fantasy and Legend of Zelda.
CrossCode is set in the distant future, where you are a player inside CrossWorlds, a massive MMO Role-Playing Game where the story takes place. Without giving anything away, as the main character Lea, you will embark on a journey of discovery throughout CrossWorlds meeting different characters, exploring everything the game-within-a-game has to offer, and uncovering the mysteries that may very well go beyond the game.
If this all sounds familiar, then you’ve probably seen shows with similar premises of being inside a game. Shows like Sword Art Online and .hack will likely come to mind. Of course story is only half of what CrossCode has to offer.
Learn the ways of the Spheromancer, Grasshopper
The gameplay of CrossCode is, in short, amazing. Having started with RPGs like The Legend of Zelda III, Final Fantasy III/VI, and Chrono Trigger on the SNES, I was expecting something similar, and I did get what I expected and a whole lot more. The initial impression would be that it’s a retro gameplay overhaul.
First off, the combat is really fast paced. It’s an action RPG so no turn-based mechanics anywhere here. As a Spheromancer (one of the classes in CrossWorlds) Lea has access to both close combat and ranged moves. She can get in close doing melee attacks or fire projectiles from a distance. Blocking is relegated to one of your shoulder buttons, there is a short dodge to move away from enemy attacks that you can execute using the PS4 controller’s analog, and the same analog is used to aim your Spheromancer Balls at enemies.
It was all pretty foreign at first on account of analog sticks not being available before, so to use it for aiming and dodging in a retro style RPG was a different feeling, but it certainly fit well and it should be second nature to you within minutes.
Lea will be able to level up and learn different Arts courtesy of the game’s Circuit System. It wouldn’t be wrong to say this is CrossCode’s version of Final Fantasy X’s Sphere grid because it is, only a bit simpler. You earn Circuit Points (CP) in combat and you use this to move around Lea’s Circuit Grid increasing attributes like HP and melee/ranged damage, and learning different Combat Arts based around Dash, Guard, Melee, and Throw.
The game is fairly generous when it comes to CPs but you will really need to choose wisely in what parameters to level up Lea in. And it shouldn’t come as a surprise that said Circuit Grid will expand to accommodate Elements like Fire and Ice as you progress through the game, since elements are a staple of any RPG after all. It gets pretty deep, so RPG fans will definitely get a kick out of the system.
What I did find unique is that when presented with a decision to choose between 2 different Arts in a certain parameter, you’re actually able to swap between either and it won’t cost any CPs to swap. In other words, there is a bit of preference involved. For example in terms of Melee Arts do you prefer the Sphere Saw path which is a powerful attack in one direction or the Spin Cut path which is a less powerful spinning attack that can hit multiple enemies surrounding you?
Combat mechanics are fairly deep for something that’s considered retro but nonetheless a welcome feature as it keeps the fighting fast and fun. And you’ll need to get good as the foes and bosses you fight in the game don’t play around. Some fodder can be dispatched with a constant barrage of attacks, easy. Others though are not pushovers, and these are just grunts. Some will have weaknesses and hitting these will cause them to go into a Break state and it’s only here that you can deal massive damage.
Bosses you fight will also test you similarly, only these bad boys hit way harder and need a lot of trial and error to beat. It’s still a matter of finding patterns to memorize, weaknesses to exploit, and finding the right tools for the job , or in this case the right Arts to use. Not to mention fast reflexes and timing are a must. And each boss you fight just gets progressively more challenging.
To compliment your stats, in true RPG fashion, stores are available in the towns of the different areas in CrossWorlds where you can buy items, armor, and weapons. Not only that, but there are also trading posts where you can exchange goods. And these trading posts sometimes have some useful gear you don’t see in the stores so you’ll be really motivated to trade.
There is also a sense of aggressiveness the game encourages because in combat, there is a rank system where your rank increases relative to the number of enemies you defeat. And the higher the rank, the better rewards you get. We say aggressive because after every fight, there is a cooldown timer represented by blue borders that will return you to the lowest rank when they disappear. So to stay in the coveted S Rank, you got to keep on the offensive constantly finding enemies on the map to beat.
We should also mention that one of CrossCode’s really great features is your HP regenerates after every fight if you opt to take a breather instead of chasing after that S Rank. The other is that majority of enemies in the field will NOT attack you unless you attack them first. It made exploring a tad bit easier if you’re not in the mood to fight. Not all though will be just as passive and there will still be enemies that will attack you first. These two were really convenient features along with the ability to save the game anywhere. And that’s not all. The game also offers fast travel options provided you found the teleportation areas in the map.
Don’t think you’ll be doing all this alone too. CrossCode may be a single-player game but you will be able to partner up with certain characters you meet to help you in combat. You AI allies are fairly competent and you’re able to customize their behavior according to their targets and aggressiveness. If anything, it’s a little disappointing that Lea is your only playable character. Spheromancer isn’t the only class in CrossWorlds and trying out others like Emilie’s punch specializing Pentafist class would’ve been interesting.
So basically in CrossCode, combat is all about getting strong and being smart. And speaking of smart, your intellect and wits won’t be used just to dispatch your enemies.
Is this game CrossWorlds or PuzzleWorlds?
It really wouldn’t be too far off to call CrossCode a puzzle game disguised as an RPG, though at its core it’s definitely a Role-Playing Game and you do normally find puzzles in RPGs. In the case of CrossCode, the number of puzzles you will find in this game is just astounding, and definitely challenging.
Now puzzles to advance inside dungeons are a given, and they are definitely an exercise for the brain that will require almost everything you can think of whether it be timing, memorization, or trial and error. What can be a bit overwhelming if you’re a completionist is that similar puzzles can be found just travelling around CrossWorlds.
There is no jump button, but walking towards certain terrains will make Lea auto jump, whether it be a short elevation or jumping short distances to other platforms. The moment I realized this could happen I already knew I was in for a whole heap of puzzles as throughout CrossWorld’s different areas there are certain items that seem out of reach at first until you realize that exploring and finding paths you can jump to will let you reach otherwise unreachable areas.
Not only chests with items, but exploring and finding places you can jump to will also net you time saving shortcuts. And you’ll also need to think outside the box here as finding said hidden paths will sometimes involve you moving in between different parts of a map. Not to mention with a few new upgrades later, newer paths will open.
In other words, throughout CrossCode you’ll be constantly presented, may we even say bombarded, with puzzles to solve and though majority are just optional, for those who can’t ignore a challenge it’ll mean almost not running out of things to do. Albeit it can be a bit exhausting. And remember, you can’t avoid fighting enemies as you need to level up and get stronger too.
I am… whatever these quests ask me to be
Towns are also your source of side quests in CrossCode. Sure you can find certain NPCs with “!” their heads as you go around but the hub in the different towns should help you find where they are.
These will net you pretty neat rewards and experience points needed to get stronger. NPCs will have all heaps of things for you to do. If you don’t mind those usual quests of go do this, find that, go here, defeat this enemy, deliver x item to this place, etc. then maybe the tediousness and kind of boring grind won’t really get to you.
Now fortunately, if some of these mechanics overwhelm you, CrossCode offers accessibility options where you can adjust the game’s puzzle and combat difficulty…to a certain extent. CrossCode is definitely not an easy game, and it’s so-called “default” difficulty setting offers puzzles and enemies that can maybe cause you to tear your hair off. So there’s no harm in making the game a bit more bearable, like making some puzzle timings easier for example. If challenge is your thing though, then leaving the game in its default setting is the way to go. And there’s really nothing like the feeling of solving a difficult conundrum on your own.
Next Level Retro
CrossCode definitely gets points in presentation as it shows what a next-generation retro game can look like. Sure everything is clearly pixelated, there’s lots of repeat animations, and it’s easy to spot similar NPC sprites everywhere, but that’s the point of a retro RPG and simply put Radical Fish went beyond expectations. It’s especially a nice touch that you’ll see other NPC CrossWorlds players moving around towns and battle areas that it gives off the illusion of a constantly active online player community.
Character sprites and massive bosses move smoothly in-game and the portraits during conversations are very expressive. You’ll know this is true when you see all the faces Lea makes. It’s also neat how the developers try to give characters you meet a bit of a personality through the writing. And to think this is retro so no voice-overs.
You can clearly see Lea’s friend Emilie, for example, is French from all the French words in her dialogue that you can almost hear her accent. Not to mention hear her real world talk. CrossWorld is still an MMORPG after all, though a highly advanced futuristic one at that, so the players you meet are still real people with mundane real life issues.
There’s also an annoying loudmouth you meet early on that counts as a mini boss fight that you don’t need to win to progress. But let’s just say that when you meet this certain character, you will WANT to grind to oblivion and beat said character to the ground for the sheer satisfaction of it. You can’t help it. In any online RPG you’ll meet all sorts of player types.
Music in CrossCode is also something worth noting. Set in a distant future, you can definitely feel it from the music in this game when some of the game’s combat music starts up. There’s even a different track from when you reach the highest rank in combat and its fast pace really sets the tone for wanting to find more enemies to defeat. Not all tracks stand out though. Some are just the normal variety like town BGMs, but they do the job of setting the mood.
This all feels a bit too familiar…
Now with everything good going for it, CrossCode isn’t exactly the pinnacle of gaming. The story can be considered nothing new especially if you’ve seen other trapped-in-a-game type shows, so you might be able to predict somewhat how the plot goes. That shouldn’t stop you though from pressing on and finding out for yourself.
The characters too were fine but didn’t really feel all too memorable. It felt like checking boxes of what character archetypes did the developers want to put in CrossCode. The dialogue though was at times funny. They just don’t stick in your mind for too long. If anything, what you’ll likely remember are the faces Lea makes.
Some of the side quests too don’t really feel worth doing. They can get really tedious and can become the boring kind of grind, especially when some quest objectives tend to repeat. We did say only some as certain quests do pit you against strong foes so challenge seekers may find something worthwhile. Either way, the bottom line is at least you get items and experience points for your trouble. It may very well the only reason to tackle these side quests, save for maybe the drive to complete everything.
What we liked:
Smooth classic retro graphics
Accessibility options for different players
What we didn’t like:
Average and predictable story
Tedious and repetitive side quests
Only one playable character class
Verdict: Buy it!
So in the end despite some gripes with story, characters, and quests, CrossCode is still actually worth getting on account of what else it has to offer players. We want to be clear that the story and characters aren’t exactly bad, they’re just not exactly groundbreaking. But that shouldn’t stop you from experiencing CrossCode as the combat and puzzles make it worth the journey. And we have to mention this is available for $19.99 or roughly PHP995 so for a game heavy on gameplay and a beautiful retro look to boot, that’s really not a bad deal all things considered.
CrossCode is available via Digital download but for physical boxed version collectors, it is available also from the Inin Games Website.
CrossCode was reviewed on a PlayStation 4 Pro via a code provided by the publishers.
Hunters, ready to answer the call once again? Monster Hunter World Iceborne’s latest free update is dropping soon, beginning with returning fan favorite monster Alatreon on July 9, 2020.
The developers at Capcom were so excited to bring you the juicy bits in a special developer diary, detailing what they have in store for all of you who can’t get enough of the thrill of the hunt.
Check out the video below:
New monster, Alatreon
Beginning with the most obvious reveal, Alatreon will be the next monster on everyone’s hitlist when it drops on July 9, 2020. But being the terrifying boss of Monster Hunter Tri that he is, Alatreon will definitely NOT go quietly, as explained by the devs.
Hunters will need to bring their A-game for this hunt as Alatreon is still able to change Elemental properties at will, shifting between Fire, Ice, and Dragon. Not only that but his strengths and weaknesses will also change according to his current Element. And that’s just half of what hunters will need to worry about.
When changing between elements, Alatreon will let out a devastating attack called the Escaton Judgment that has a wide area of effect and is capable of draining two (Yes two!) full life bars. The developers however gave a tip that to weaken the impact of the Escaton Judgment you must attack Alatreon with its current elemental weakness. It’s really sounding like Alatreon will not be easy to bring down, but the rewards look promising enough to press on.
Alatreon Armor Set
When you do bring down this beast, here’s what hunters can expect should they want to complete the whole Alatreon armor set. Both male and female sets look quite stunning and really bring out the Alatreon’s scaly design. The same can be said with the Palico set. But that’s not all.
All you hunters who work with elemental damage may find this armor useful as equipping two pieces will net you the armor’s unique set bonus. To put it simply, not only will it boost up all your elemental resistance, but the set bonus will also increase the elemental damage of the weapon you’re using, depending on what elemental property it has.
New Monster, Frostfang Barioth
The newest monster variant also revealed during this Developer Diary is the Frostfang Barioth.
Sporting a more rugged and menacing look judging from the messed up fur and eerie glowing eyes, this Barioth variant will have more powerful ice attacks as its breath can freeze the ground you’re standing on, and even deal iceblight status ailment.
Ready your ice resistance equipment to fight this monster beginning August 7 to 19 as an Event Quest as a Tempered monster.
Frostfang Barioth Armor Set
Here’s what you can wear when you get enough materials from this Barioth Variant. Sporting a more heavy armor look for both male and female sets, the armor set really reflects the Frostfang Barioth icy and ferocious demeanor… in other words, it looks badass! Even the Palico set looks stylish.
The bonus skills may also be useful to most hunters. Great Sword users will be happy to know that equipping just one piece of the armor set will give you Punishing Draw right off the bat, and being able to deal increased damage along with a stun effect on your draw sounds like the right fit for a Great Sword. On the other hand, equipping 3 pieces will grant hunters Slugger secret which basically lets weapon that normally don’t stun deal stun damage.
Sizzling Spice Fest Event
Also revealed in the Developer Diary, Monster Hunter’s next major event will be the Sizzling Spice Fest which has more of a Brazilian carnival motif to it. That would explain why the Pukei-Pukei is at the center of the theme on account of the monster’s colorful design. And like past events the hub and all its staff will be dressed for the occasion.
As expected of the event’s theme, it’s pretty safe to assume you’ll earn tickets to craft these colorful armor sets that just screams samba. Palicoes won’t be left out as you can craft Pukei-Pukei themed armors for them.
And of course the Handler and everyone’s favorite pig Poogie aren’t left out as they’re also dressed for the occasion. Poogie is already cute but that Kulu Ya Ku themed piggy costume just ups the cuteness even more.
Those of you who also like to play with snowmen will be getting a treat as even the snowmen will be given the Sizzling Spice Fest makeover.
Not only that, but also expect to craft these new, and a bit disturbing, new gears for your hunters. Yes, when we said disturbing, we mean those Kelbi and Aptonoth heads. They’re still awesome though. At least there’s those cute bunny ears or that Gold Pearl Snatcher head accessory.
And we can’t forget these new mug shaped Dual Blades. Who says you can’t drink on the job now.
Feast on hearty meat meals and party on in your best samba gear when the Sizzling Spice Fest drops from July 22 to August 6.
Upcoming Updates and Add-Ons
The developers also announcement lots of new features that hunters will find useful and even enjoy.
Those of you having a hard time finding that certain monster in the Guiding Lands will be happy to know that you can now craft Special Tracks to lure specific monsters, provided that you have the necessary materials and that you’ve already encountered said monster in the Guiding Lands.
There’s going to be some new pendants like these butterflies and fulgurbugs, as well as more new room decors to customize your room with. New Guild and Squad cards, some reflecting the festivities, will also be available.
Finally the Developer Diary presentation concluded with a look on what’s coming up next on the roadmap, and your attention surely must have went to those spots that say “Returning Monster” and “Master Rank Layered Armor,” because who doesn’t get excited speculating what new monster will be coming to Iceborne. Not to mention to be able to wear your favorite Master Rank armor sets as cosmetics.
The next update is packed with content that hunters would want to look forward to when it hits starting July 9!
June was quite the exciting month in gaming as The Last of Us 2 finally hit retail along with other notable entries like The Isle of Armor for Pokemon Sword & Shield and Valrorant, among others.
July is shaping to be another month to look forward on account of a diverse lineup of games. It’s all here: VR, returning IPs, new IPs, remakes… You name it, July has got it!
Here are our picks for games to look out for this month!
Marvel’s Iron Man VR (Playstation VR) – July 3, 2020
It’s been a long time since the MCU’s Infinity Saga concluded but the memorable cast of Marvel’s heroes and villains are still fresh in the minds of everyone, especially MCU poster boy Iron Man. PS VR owners are in for a treat as they become the one and only Iron Man in this VR adventure that’s sure to give you the ride of your life.
CrossCode (Playstation 4, Switch, Xbox One) – July 9, 2020
Released back in 2018 for the PC, CrossCode will definitely get your attention for its 16-bit look, and there’s good reason it’ll be releasing for consoles this July on account of the praise it has been getting not only for the nostalgic retro look but also its action and puzzle elements. This blast from the past title is certainly something to look out for.
Story of Seasons: Friends of Mineral Town (Switch, PC) – July 10 (PAL) and 14, 2020 (NA)
If you can’t get enough of the farming life, then you’ll very likely want to get this entry in the game series that introduced us to the joys of farming, Harvest Moon aka Story of Seasons. It’s actually a remake of the Game Boy Advance title of the same name (just with the title change) and has already been released for the Switch in Japan back in October 17, 2019. This July 2020 though, the West will be able to now experience it with an English release for not only the Switch, but also on PC.
Paper Mario: The Origami King (Switch) – July 17, 2020
You can never count everyone’s favorite plumber out when it comes to a game release. Mario is back and is in a new Paper Mario title for the Nintendo Switch. Those who can’t get enough of Paper Mario’s action RPG type gameplay will have something to look forward to now with this newest entry in the series.
Ghost of Tsushima (Playstation 4) – July 17, 2020
It would be a crime to leave this out of the list. Another highly anticipated Playstation exclusive, Ghost of Tsushima, is looking to fulfill your samurai fantasy upon its release where you play as Jin Sakai, one of the last remaining samurai in Tsushima Island during the Mongol invasion of Japan. Bring out the Samurai in you using stealth or head-on sword fighting, and with the developers very hard at work to make the swordplay something worth your while, we just can’t wait.
Destroy All Humans! (Playstation 4, PC, Xbox One) – July 28, 2020
Last month, a classic Spongebob game was remastered. This month sees another well-known title get the remastered treatment. Destroy All Humans was an exciting sandbox title back when it was released back in June 21, 2005 where, as an alien named Cryto, your job is… well… to destroy all humans. It spawned a few more sequels due to its success and we’ll see if lightning strikes twice when the remake launches this July 2020
Grounded (PC, Xbox One) – July 30, 2020
Here’s something for all the Xbox owners. Developers Obsidian Entertainment, of Fallout and Outer Worlds fame, are crafting this interesting title that hits very close to home. That’s because the adventure takes place in your own backyard. Playing as a shrunken individual, you will need to survive against mundane creatures and hazards that became very dangerous at your current size. It’s definitely a quirky new idea and will be interesting to see how it fares when it is released.
Sucker Punch co-founder Chris Zimmerman was very enthusiastic in his recent Playstation Blog entry, discussing the sword combat they developed for Ghost of Tsushima. He was pretty detailed and technical about it too, citing samurai movies like 13 Assassins for inspiration and taking into consideration human reaction times. Generally speaking, they summed it up to three aspects: Speed, Sharpness, and Precision.
Sucker Punch is going for some realism here in Ghost of Tsushima, so they put a lot of effort to making the speed of a katana swing as believable as possible. The realism of speed also applies to the enemy Mongols you will be fighting in the game. Basically, attacks will be quite fast but the developers want to give players a chance to react to the first attack in enemy attack strings, thereby making players learn to anticipate.
“Katanas aren’t heavy — roughly two to three pounds — so quick slashing attacks are at the center of most katana fighting styles. All the attacks in the game are captured on our in-house motion capture stage, so they represent realistic movement speeds. Those realistic speeds created an interesting problem — they were too fast to react to.”
Let’s face it, samurai fights in movies are pre-choreographed so they look awesome to watch, but as much as said movies are their inspirations, the developers would want to capture more the intensity of these scenes. They did this by making enemies be able to overlap, meaning expect multiple enemies coming at you (two or even three at once, according to the devs) where an attack will be coming while you’re still dealing with another. As Zimmerman says, “Ideally, players leave fights a little bit exhilarated, because that’s how Jin feels. Barely in control, barely alive, but moving forward nonetheless.”
“Respect the katana.” This was the developers’ mantra when it comes to designing the damage system in Ghost of Tsushima. All it takes to kill is a few sword cuts, and this will apply to both you and your opponents, as evidenced in the video clip above where our protagonist could possibly die in as little as 3 hits.
“Sharp weapons and aggressive enemies mean that death is always nearby. That sense of danger, that you’re never more than a few mistakes away from dying, is crucial to Ghost of Tsushima’s tone. Players have plenty of techniques to defend themselves, and even more ways to attack. If you concentrate, if you stay focused, you’ll survive the fight. If you lose focus, you’ll die. We’re trying to put you in Jin Sakai’s footsteps; those are the rules he is forced to live by, and they apply equally to you.”
The developers’s approach to precision has multiple facets to it, namely offense, defense, and stances.
Players will be able to block attacks with the L1 button. Easy enough. But the developers want to reward precision here. By pressing the L1 button before an attack lands, a block becomes a parry leaving your opponent open to a counter-attack. Successfully doing this earns protagonist Jin some Resolve, which the developers describe as “Ghost’s measure of the samurai spirit that lets him push through the pain and injury he sustains”. After considerable upgrades, the parry can become a perfect parry letting you deal a stronger counter-attack and earn much more Resolve.
Offense was more simple to grasp, in that Jin will be able to cancel out of slow attacks depending on the situation. This would mean in the middle of a slow attack, should you be attacked from behind, you can stop and deal with said attack. And this is pretty helpful considering that enemies in Ghost of Tsushima won’t wait to get slashed. When fighting a group up to two or three can attack you and even do their best to flank you.
Finally, stances let players deal with different situations as each stances are effective against certain enemies. The example given here shows Jin going into his ancestral Stone stance to deal with a swordsman and then going into the water stance to deal with the shield user. This would mean players will need to be quick to adapt as well given any situation in a fight.
Sucker Punch is surely putting emphasis in the swordplay for Ghost of Tsushima and it shows in the amount of detail, incorporating a mix of old and new concepts all rolled into just one game to potentially offer a fresh kind of combat experience that is both satisfying and challenging.
Ghost of Tsushima releases on July 17, 2020 exclusively for the Playstation 4.
Samurai Shodown (Samurai Spirits in Japan) is a fighting game series that’s beloved just as much as fighting game giants Street Fighter and Tekken, so its return to the scene with the 2019 reboot was a welcome sight to fans of the series!
SNK has supported the game since its release by bringing back recognizable characters from Samurai Shodown’s wide history in the form of DLC characters. Characters like Shizumaru, brothers Sogetsu and Kazuki, and Iroha. Now, SNK will release a brand new character to the roster, and it’s someone we never saw coming, but somehow fits right in.
Bushido and Chivalry will clash as Samurai Shodown’s newest fighter is none other than the Warden from Ubisoft’s For Honor. Looks like Charlotte and Galford won’t be the only fighters of Western lineage now!
The Warden from For Honor really looks right at home with the crew of SamSho. Sporting his iconic armor and two-handed Longsword, the Warden from the Knights faction is set to dish out his brand of honor and valor, bringing along a few moves from his game… like a devastating catapult.
The staff at Ubisoft are thrilled to have For Honor represented in the game and For Honor game director Nicolas Bombray and Associate Art Director Andrew Im have a special message to everyone.
Check out some of the screenshots below:
For Honor’s The Warden will be released as a DLC Guest Character for Samurai Shodown this June 24, 2020.
For all you trophy hunters out there, we’re pretty sure you’re already working your way towards that oh so sweet Platinum trophy in The Last of Us Part II. So here’s a list of all the trophies you’ll need to get in order to do so.
Fortunately, there really isn’t anything very spoilerish in terms of plot, so it’s quite safe. Nonetheless, those who want to experience the game completely blind should avoid reading further…
Anyone wanting to avoid even minor spoilers may leave now…
You still got time…
Feel free to walk away…
You’re really sure?
Disclaimer – This post contains minor spoilers. Do not read past this point if you want to experience the game on a clean slate.
Okay time’s up! So without further ado here’s the complete Trophy List for The Last of Us Part II:
Every Last One of Them (Platinum) – Collect all trophies
What I Had to Do (Gold) – Complete the story
Survival Expert (Gold) – Learn all player upgrades
Arms Master (Gold) – Fully upgrade all weapons
Archivist (Gold) – Find all articles and journal entries
Master Set (Gold) – Find all trading cards
Numismatist (Gold) – Find all coins
Prepared For the Worst (Gold) – Find all workbenches
Mechanist (Silver) – Fully upgrade a weapon
Specialist (Silver) – Learn all player upgrades in one branch
Safecracker (Silver) – Unlock every safe
Sightseer (Silver) – Visit every location in downtown Seattle
Journeyman (Silver) – Find all training manuals
Survival Training (Silver) – Learn 25 player upgrades
High Caliber (Silver) – Find all weapons
In the Field (Silver) – Find 12 workbenches
Tools of the Trade (Bronze) – Craft every item
Tinkerer (Bronze) – Upgrade a weapon
Apprentice (Bronze) – Learn a player upgrade
Starter Set (Bronze) – Find 5 trading cards
Mint Condition (Bronze) – Find 5 coins
Looks Good On You (Hidden) – Put a hat on your companion
Sharpshooter (Bronze) – Win the marksmanship competition
Put My Name Up (Bronze) – Earn the high score in the archery game
Relic of the Sages (Bronze) – Find the Strange Artifact
So Great and Small (Bronze) – Find the Engraved Ring
You’ll notice immediately that gone are the multiplayer trophies (due to the fact that the game has no multiplayer yet), and gone are the difficulty trophies as well. The Platinum Trophy should be easy pickings and should require at least 2 playthroughs.
Disclaimer – This post contains minor spoilers. Do not read past this point if you want to experience the game on a clean slate.
If you’re only diving into the game now, enjoy! Here are some fast facts that you need to know about the game before you start:
The Last of Us 2 takes is the sequel to the first game, so there will definitely be references to the first. For the best experience, we recommend playing the first game before diving into Part 2.
The initial file size of the game is 77.32 GB, not including possible new patches. For Physical purchases, the game will come in 2 discs. For team digital, we hope you’ve already pre-loaded the game!
The game spans anywhere from 25-35 hours long, depending on how you choose to play it. That’s nearly 2-3 times longer than the first game!
The game has a dedicated Photo Mode, enjoy taking (and sharing) your unforgettable moments in the game!
Similar to the first game, Part 2 has a TON of collectibles which you’ll need to collect in order to unlock that Platinum Trophy. There are in total 127 Artifacts, 48 Trading Cards, 32 Coins, 20 Journal Entries, 25 Workbenches, and 14 Safes.
There is a new game + that will allow you to play the game again with your upgrades intact. If you’re missing a card or an artifact somewhere, the game actually allows you to replay specific chapters and sequences to make acquiring that Platinum even easier!
Game got you stumped? There is a handful of difficulty options which you can tweak to suit your playstyle like enemy perception, accuracy, an enemy’s ability to escape grabs, or your allies’ability to escape grabs individually.
The game now has a dedicated dodge button, which allows for more dynamic gameplay against your foes.
Supplement upgrades are back but have changed quite a bit. There are upgrade trees now that you can upgrade depending on your playstyle like crafting centric upgrades and stealth upgrades among others.
Playing through the campaign will earn you points that you can use to unlock items in the game’s Model Viewer and Concept Art gallery. You’ll want to unlock everything because the artwork in this game in exquisite!
The Last of Us 2 boats of impressive accessibility options that will suit any impaired gamer that would want to play and enjoy the game. From a high contrast mode to a text to speech option, you’ll be able to tailor fit the game to your liking.