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    Parents beware: hackers are reportedly smuggling pornographic images into Super Mario Odyssey's online mode...

    NewsRyan Lambie
    Jun 25, 2018

    Parents or those with a sensitive disposition may want to tread carefully when playing the online component of Super Mario Odysseyon the Nintendo Switch.

    According to a user on Reddit, hackers have managed to place pornographic images in Luigi's Balloon World - a mini-game in which players hunt down hidden balloons.

    Ordinarily, those balloons would simply show the avatar image of the user that originally hid them. According to the poster on Reddit, at least two of those avatars contained pornographic imagery. The user provided photographic evidence (which was censored) to support the claim.

    Nintendo's profile options don't normally allow Switch users to upload their own images -- they typically provide the option of selecting a pre-drawn image or a shot of a Mii. The recent appearance of a piece of development software called DevMenu, however, appears to have blown all this wide open. According to Polygon, the development software leaked out into the public, and it's this that an anonymous hacker (or hackers) has used to replace his/her avatar with a pornographic image.

    Right now, the situation doesn't appear to be particularly widespread, but if there are indeed not safe for work images creeping into Super Mario Odyssey, then it's a clear sign that Nintendo needs to take action.

    Nintendo's paid-for online service launches in September. We'll have to wait and see how secure it will be from mischievous hackers.

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    Racing sequel Forza Horizon 4 has a garage of over 450 cars - as revealed when files from the PC version emerged early...

    NewsRyan Lambie
    Jun 25, 2018

    Anyone wondering what the roster of cars coming up in Forza Horizon 4 will look like is in for a treat. Thanks to a technical glitch on the part of Playground Games, the racing sequel's list of vehicles has emerged early.

    For one PC user, a preload of the game appeared via the Windows Store, and they were able to comb through its files and figure out what vehicle names are contained within. That list of vehicles can now be found on Reddit, and contains the names of over 450 cars and trucks, all ordered by manufacturer.

    Microsoft has since chimed in with an update on the situation, though it doesn't say exactly how the mistake happened:

    The list is apparently not a complete one and is said to represent some 80 to 90 percent of the vehicles expected in the finished open-world racer.

    All the same, it gives players a chance to see if their favorite car's made the current list. For now, we're just disappointed at the lack of love for the Hillman Avenger.

    Forza Horizon 4 is due for release on Oct. 2, 2018 for PC and Xbox One.

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    Things are not looking good for Atari's retro console.

    News Matthew Byrd
    Jun 25, 2018

    The Atari VCS crowdfunding campaign, which has raised over $2.9 million on Indiegogo as of this writing, has hit a bump in the road thanks to some drama between the game company and a media outlet.

    This drama started when The Register published an article that revealed that Atari had accused the outlet of making up quotes and other information featured in a largely negative preview of the Atari VCS. To counter these claims, The Register published audio logs of the interview in question and went so far as to say that "Atari is so full of crap that it should be designated a hazardous waste zone."

    The gist of The Register's - and, for that matter, IGN's - concerns regarding the Atari VCS is that Atari seems very confused about the finer details of the console's hardware and functionality. For instance, Atari COO Michael Arzt wasn't sure whether the device could be plugged into a computer and seemed to indicate that Atari still hasn't decided which chip it's going to put into the device. 

    The concerns raised by that now-infamous interview, as pointed out by the Register in its response to Atari, is that there are many reasons to believe that the game company has very little idea what the Atari VCS is really supposed to be - or how to make it - and that the company desperately needed the crowdfunding money to start working on a prototype. 

    Tommy Tallarico, the recently appointed president of Intellivision Entertainment, suggested that he has similar concerns. Tallarico has stated that Indiegogo, Atari's crowdfunding platform of choice, could theoretically allow a company to "crowdfund something, a piece of hardware, never come out with it, and keep 3 million dollars." That's because Inidiegogo's policies seemingly don't require a campaign starter to submit proof of hardware prior to starting their campaign. That may be part of the reason why Indiegogo is having to help backers recoup their money on old video game hardware campaigns.

    While many of these concerns are somewhat speculative until proven otherwise, none of the news coming out about the Atari VCS in recent weeks has been encouraging.

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    Mario Tennis Aces lack of real rules and custom settings has some people asking for refunds.

    News Matthew Byrd
    Jun 25, 2018

    Some gamers are trying to get refunds for Mario Tennis Aces for a very odd reason. 

    It seems that the latest game in the Mario Tennis franchise doesn't let you actually play a full game of tennis outside of CPU tournaments. Otherwise, you play a best-of three-match that can be won with as little as eight points. In real tennis, meanwhile, you must win six games and win the final set by at least two games. Such as it stands, there is no setting that you can enable or alter to allow you to play a full game of tennis in most of Aces' modes. 

    There's a logical way to look at this. Clearly, Mario Tennis Aces isn't a tennis sim. It's a Mario version of tennis that is meant to be fast-paced, wacky, accessible, and generally fun. Nintendo never actually suggested that "full games of tennis" can be completed in all of the game's modes. However, most people agree that Acesshould probably feature a simple setting that lets you change how many game wins are required to win the match. 

    That's the logical view. Some, though, are electing to take a much more passionate stance on this matter that highlights how much this rule change means to tennis fans. 

    "It belittles the mental warfare you and your opponent are having as you try to outplay one another," says Reddit user Ventus55 who was one of the first to draw significant attention to this issue. "It erases the incredible comeback victories you can have after being down 90 percent of the match. It completely shatters the rewarding feeling of fighting tooth-and-nail for 20+ minutes to come out the victor by a tiny margin."

    As Eurogamer notes, Ventus55 is joined in his outrage by fellow Reddit user MarioKartGuy27 who went so far as to try an receive a refund for his copy of the game. He failed to get a refund, but he did take some time to voice his outrage.

    "You can't call it 'tennis' without it actually being a tennis game," wrote MarioKartGuy27. "Wouldn't you be pissed if you bought an NFL football game that only allowed for you to be on offense once or twice before the game was over?"

    The simple solution to this strange mess is for Nintendo to just add some customization options. Let's see if they choose to do so in the coming months. 

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    The next Life is Strange adventure will begin in September.

    News Matthew Byrd
    Jun 25, 2018

    The first episode of Life is Strange 2 finally has a release date. 

    You'll be able to download the first adventure in the true sequel to Life is Strange starting on September 27th. It will be available for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Windows. In this instance, it feels oddly necessary to identify Life is Strange 2 as a sequel. After all, we did get a new Life is Strange adventure recently (Life is Strange: Before the Strom), but that was a prequel to the original game. 

    There's also the intriguing, and free, The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit, but that game is a standalone adventure that takes place in the Life is Strange universe and seems to run parallel to the events of Life is Strange 2

    So what is Life is Strange 2 besides a proper continuation of the original game? That's a great question that we surprisingly don't have many answers to. Even though the game is set to debut in just a few months, developer Dontnod Entertainment hasn't revealed much about this sequel. What we do know is that they currently plan on saying more about the game sometime in August. 

    Part of the reason why so many fans are intrigued to see more from this sequel is that the original Life is Strange's plot was a fairly complex piece of storytelling that could end in different ways based on the choices you made along the way. While that's a fairly standard claim for such a game, Life is Strange subtle plot differences can lead to players experiencing some fairly different games. This makes us wonder how they will actually continue the story. 

    We'll bring you more on Life is Strange 2 as additional information becomes available. 

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    Fortnite's sometimes forgotten co-op mode is getting a ton of new content.

    News Matthew Byrd
    Jun 25, 2018

    Fortnite's often overlooked co-operative Save the World mode is set to receive a series of major updates. 

    The most significant upcoming update in terms of content is the new Canny Valley campaign. This new campaign will take players across the "Arid parts of the Fortnite world" and will give co-op adventurers "many new and unique places to explore." Epic is also promising that the story of this campaign will answer many of the questions that linger from previous Save the World adventures. 

    It seems that the Canny Valley campaign will be released across several acts with the first act set to launch sometime after the eventual v5.0 update. 

    Epic is also working to improve Save the World's enemy and mission varieties. While they didn't go into detail regarding the full extent of their plans to improve the variety of the game's objectives and enemies, they did confirm that they are introducing a more powerful version of the Shielder enemy and that he will be joined by a new foe called the Zapper. It seems that more changes and enemy implementations will be introduced in the coming months. 

    The v5.0 update will also feature a "re-introduced" take on the Challenge the Horde mode. This re-worked mode is said to be the "primary focus" of the v5.0 event and will feature improved difficulty progression, a reworked combat system, mini-bosses, and brand-new rewards. These updates will also incorporate areas and content from the Arid biodome introduced in the Canny Valley campaign. 

    Finally, Epic wants to make it easier to report bad players. Players whose reports lead to another player being penalized will soon receive a notice that their reports led to some kind of punishment. Epic hopes that this system will encourage more people to report those who exhibit "improper conduct."

    For more information on these upcoming Fortnite updates, be sure to check out Epic's latest blog post.

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    The identity of the mysterious villain from Spider-Man's E3 2018 trailer seems to have been revealed.

    News Matthew Byrd
    Jun 25, 2018

    In case Tom Holland's Spider-Manfilm title spoiler wasn't enough for all you true believers out there, we've got a potential Spider-Man game spoiler for you. 

    Many of you who watched the Spider-Man trailer from E3 2018 will remember that the footage ends as Spider-Man is talking to who we assume will be the game's main villain. While many people have speculated who that might be - there were more than a few hints in the trailer - developer Insomniac hasn't formally revealed the final foe's identity. 

    However, in an interview with a YouTuber named Drift0r, voice actor Chris Jai Alex (who plays Rhino in the upcoming Spider-Man game) referenced his role in the superhero title and talked about the challenges of playing that character. He also casually mentioned a little villain by the name of Doctor Octopus who until now hasn't been referenced as a confirmed villain in the upcoming Insomniac title. 

    It's possible that Alex just misspoke or referenced Doc Ock when speaking about some aspect of the game that doesn't involve the hidden villain in the E3 trailer, but we highly doubt that's the case. 

    First off, Doc Ock just makes too much sense in the role of Spider-Man's mystery villain. Not only can you hear what seem to be Doctor Octopus related sound effects in the game's latest trailer, but it's clear that the Sinister Six is going to be in the game in some capacity, and Octopus was the guy who helped form that famous villainous faction. There's also the meta element to consider. Spider-Man 2 is regularly thought to be the best Spider-Man game ever made, and that title featured Octopus in a leading villain role. 

    Assuming this is true, we're very excited to see how Doc Ock fits into Insomniac's take on the Spider-Man universe. 

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    Want to play Galaga or Ikaruga vertically on your Nintendo Switch? Then a handy gadget on Kickstarter could be the answer...

    NewsRyan Lambie
    Jun 26, 2018

    As well as some corking first-party games, the Nintendo Switch also has a growing library of classic arcade titles. And if you love such vertical games as Galaga,Ikaruga, and Strikers 1945, you'll know that they all come with an option to flip the screen so that the action can be viewed as it was supposed to be on its original hardware.

    The trouble is, playing the game vertically is quite tricky with the Switch's hardware as it stands - we've even taken to propping up the screen with a few books to play a bit of Galaga 88, for example.

    Over on Kickstarter, the Flip Grip provides a handy solution to all of this. In essence, it's a compact cradle that allows for vertical-mode gaming: the Joy-Con connect to each side, pretty much as they do on the standard grip, while the screen slides neatly down the middle.

    Here's what it looks like: 

    Although we can't attest to the Flip Grip's build quality from its photos and description, it's clear that the gadget's been put together with a lot of precision and thought: there are gaps designed in to allow for airflow, and Fangamer, the company behind the project, is honest about the Flip Grip's limitations. Nintendo hasn't created a user interface that caters for playing the console in vertical mode, so flicking between, say, Ikaruga and things like the main menu or eShop will require users to regularly slide the screen in and out of the Flip Grip (or, alternatively, turn their heads 90 degrees).

    Nevertheless, the Flip Grip sounds like an exciting proposition for anyone who's a fan of classic arcade games. With this gadget installed, you'll be able to play things like Donkey Kong, Punch-Out!!, and Pac-Man as they were meant to be played.

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    You'll be amazed by the best and worst Jurassic Park games ever made!

    Feature Luke McKinney
    Jun 26, 2018

    Last week, we got Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom from the powerful creative team of "They really liked Jurassic Park" and "We really like easy money." But the whole point of Jurassic Parkis that resurrecting old ideas is a guaranteed disaster. Forget resequencing sixty-five-million-year-old species: Jurassic Park III taught us even an eight-year-old movie was taking things too far.

    But we still love dinosaurs. They're counting on that, so we're counting through every Jurassic Park game ever made to highlight the best, worst, or outright craziest examples of each species:

    Platformer: Jurassic Park (Genesis)

    1993 | Blue Sky Software

    Officially licensed platform games are the perfect representation of Jurassic World: an unoriginal waste of an amazing idea stamped out for the money. The 1993 Genesis platformer was the worst waste of dinosaur technology since the velociraptor-hide smartphone case.

    You could play as Dr Alan Grant or a raptor, which sounds amazing, but both just gently jogged through an environment where the worst hazard meant sometimes having to wait for an obstacle to cycle out of your way. I think they accidentally wrote a game about a regular amusement park.

    There are rogue dinosaurs, but Alan has tranquilizer darts and grenades, which cause them to fall over as if they'd just gone to sleep. It's less thrilling cross-species conflict than it is an extremely boring game of catch.

    This was a game where you could be attacked by raptors capable of flying kicks, or be a velociraptor capable of flying kicks, and still managed to be boring. And every Jurassic platformer was exactly this bad. Because they were made by people who'd not only waste dinosaurs on a platformer, but didn't know we already had the best dinosaur platformer.

    Other titles: Jurassic Park(Genesis, Game Gear, Master System), Jurassic Park 2: The Chaos Continues (SNES, Game Boy), Jurassic Park III, The Lost World: Jurassic Park(PlayStation, Sega Saturn, Game Boy Color, Game Gear,, Jurassic Park III: Dino Defender (PC), Jurassic Park III: The DNA Factor(GBA)

    Arcade: The Lost World: Jurassic Park (Arcade)

    1997 | SEGA

    Shooters are an excellent option for Jurassic Park conversions, because it's something they didn't do in the movies, but absolutely what any real person would do if they were in the movie. The script might make pretend idiots plink away at an armor-plated eating machine with a pistol, but in the real world Jurassic Park would be the first place where security guards really were armed with rocket launchers.

    The game's plot made some nonsense noises about using tranquilizers to calm the dinosaurs for later recovery, but it was easy to forget that as you blazed away at a T-Rex trying to eat an entire jeep with you inside it. It was the perfect arcade light gun game: fast moving, scene-changing, rewarding accurate shooting with bonus items and boss-encounters where a crack shot really was the difference between life and death. That never works in the movies because you know the hero will make it. When it's you and your fifty cents at stake, you know no such thing, making it so much sweeter when you pull it off.

    Other titles: Jurassic Park, Jurassic Park III

    Shooter: Jurassic Park: Trespasser (PC)

    1998 | DreamWorks Interactive

    Trespasser was a perfect recreation of Jurassic Park: an attempt to create incredible entertainment which went disastrously wrong. If EA had been building an actual Jurassic Park, Trespasserwould have been a half-finished frog wondering why its front legs were so short.

    The game shifted from survival horror to action late in development. Meaning you've got a game specifically designed to be slow-paced, awkward, frustrating, and mostly silent, and then they said it was an action game. And saying "it's an action game" was pretty much the only change they had time to implement. The game was so unfinished it didn't even have a difficulty setting. It didn't have an ammo counter. The game was so crippled that even the main character had a broken arm because the makers could only program one hand at a time. That's not a joke! That really happened!

    You had to pick up guns and wait for a voice sample to tell you if was is loaded, then try to aim it with no crosshairs and a jellied wrist. Your character could only carry two things and frequently dropped them. The controls were so bad they inspired Surgeon Simulator 2013 and Octodad, games specifically about ragdolling as a result of screwing up. The graphics clipped so badly that just before release, the dinosaurs were forbidden from even jumping at you. They'd just walk up to be shot at, and it was still a challenge. The game wouldn't work right even on a game with dual Voodoo2 graphics cards, and back then dual graphics cards were enough power to take over small countries.

    Other title: Jurassic Park (SNES, PC:DOS, Amiga, partial shooter levels)

    Point and Click: Jurassic Park (Mega CD)

    1993 | SEGA

    The only lumbering technological abomination here was the Mega CD. Never mind merging the mythos of resurrected species with investigative gameplay. This couldn't even get the basics of pointing and clicking right. The game had to be completed within a real-time 12 hour limit, which meant that instead of investigating each scene's puzzles or soaking in the licensed atmosphere, the entire game was played in a vaguely panicked flail. Nothing spells fun like half a day of unclear time pressure.

    The awesome storage capacity of the SEGA CD was used to render grainy footage of talking heads, like a 90s child trying to find unscrambled late night porn and stumbling on an educational channel. But the result was even more disappointing. You spent most of the game hauling your crudely pixelated self around by dragging your cursor to the edge of the screen. It was less a game than a simulation of a job unsticking printer paper jams.

    A recent point-and-click by Telltale Games made an even worse mistake: concentrating on the human characters. Listen, it's not Anthropecene Park. If we want to watch irrelevant humans talk about nonsense nobody cares about, we'll hire you to make the Friends point-and-click game.

    Make a game about the internal power-struggles of a stegosaurus society, and then we'll talk. Even if we have to invent an entire dinosaur language to do it. It's not like the franchise could get any more scientifically inaccurate.

    Other title: Jurassic Park (Telltale Games)

    Strategy: Jurassic Park: Chaos Island (PC)

    1997 | DreamWorks Interactive

    Far too many games turned Jurassic Park into a top-down "you're still a silly pink monkey" maze. Chaos Island knew how to do it: you're playing as humans, but only so that they can create and unleash dinosaurs. Which is the real plot of the movie. Unfortunately, it's not the "Command & Conquer& Pikmin& Tyrannosaurs" game it should have been. But now that that awesome title has been written down, we're trusting that it's only a matter of time until someone makes it happen.

    The game was a great idea, and well-received, but still limited by the ridiculous thought that we care more about Jeff Goldblum than giant dinosaurs. I'd feed Ian Malcom to a raptor in the first scene if it meant the camera would follow an actual dinosaur for the rest of the movie.

    Other titles: Jurassic Park (NES, Game Boy, SNES, PC:DOS, Amiga), The Lost World: Jurassic Park (Genesis), Jurassic Park III: Island Attack (GBA)

    Fighting Game: Warpath: Jurassic Park (PlayStation)

    1999 | DreamWorks Interactive & Black Ops Entertainment

    Warpath: Jurassic Park combined Jurassic Park with the game Primal Ragein the same way the movie combined Jurassic creatures with frog DNA: it led to a disaster. Except frog DNA is more fun to play with.

    A 2D one-on-one fighting game is an even more unnatural environment for dinosaurs than an amusement park. It didn't help that the enemy AI was a realistic simulation of a dinosaur's intelligence, and could be defeated by doing the same couple of moves over and over again. Yes, a T-rex repeatedly lunging and biting should win any fight, but that's the wrong place to go for realism in a fighting game.

    The problem was that the developers didn't go far enough with the dinosaur adaptation. The combination of special moves with giant reptiles was ridiculous: an Acrocanthasaurus doesn’t need a special button combination to remind it of how to get in and chew on something. It just needs a single button marked "be an Acrocanthasaurus." If you're going to have dinosaurs scheduling to meet each other at gas stations (yes, really) and agreeing to fight for exactly sixty seconds, go the whole hog and give them fireballs and headbands. Hell, arm them with cyborg limbs and levitation. Maybe then we'll finally create something which can counter Ken's fierce Shoryuken.

    Gimmick: Jurassic Park III: Scan Command (PC)

    2001 | Vivendi Universal

    Jurassic Park III: Scan Command could only have been made to prove that Jurassic Park IIIwasn’t the most desperately commercial cash grab in the series.

    You modified your dinosaurs with barcode DNA and issued instructions as they fought against enemies. It even had a potentially cool DNA block assembler where you fit Tetris-shaped jigsaw pieces together to build your dinosaur's stats. Let's be clear here: Scan Command could have invented "Jurassic Pokemon." 

    Worse, the evil villain was only practicing his skills on dinosaurs, and used them to bring back the "Primos," an ancient race of humans who worshipped the dinosaurs. Because we bought a Jurassic Park game to mess around with humans again. Listen, everyone involved in making games, the humans who want to praise the dinosaurs are us! Us right now! MAKE A GAME ABOUT THE DINOSAURS.

    Other titles: Jurassic Park: Dinosaur Battles (PC), Jurassic Park III: Danger Zone (board game)

    Theme Park: Jurassic Park: Operation Genesis (PC, Xbox, PS2)

    2003 | Blue Tongue Entertainment

    How did it take this long to make the game? It was eight years after the film before the first park-building game, and another two to get one on a system which wasn't portable. You'd think the movie's lesson was that actually trying to build a Jurassic Park was a bad idea. But that's in a movie world where chaos and rampaging dinosaurs are a bad thing. In a game, it's glorious.

    The game lets you arrange and build your own park, and by far the best feature is the a goat-elevator. You can release goats into the dinosaur pens to feed them, and you do it through an overcomplicated piston-platform ascending from underground, exactly the way a megavillian would do it. 

    Like any good management game, it had a disaster mode, and who needs earthquakes when you have all these dinosaurs. They would break lose, and you'd have to save the civilians, even climbing into a helicopter to shoot the dinosaurs yourself.

    Completing all the assigned missions unlocked Site B, a fence-free dinosaur park with no humans, stress, or disease. That's the sweetest game ending I've ever seen. You don't just win, you get to be the god of dinosaur heaven.

    Other title: Jurassic Park III: Park Builder (GBA) 

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    Make it rain microtransaction cash cards in the next GTA V update.

    News Matthew Byrd
    Jun 26, 2018

    The next GTA Online microtransaction cash grab...err...content update lets you own and operate your own nightclub. 

    Los Santos: Nightclubs, which is set to release sometime in July, is highlighted by a new feature that will allow online players to purchase their own nightclub, customize the club's look, hire staff, and even bring in some music acts to distract the patrons from the fact that they've just spent $15 on a beer that is actually just a $2 bottle of water with a Miller High Life label on it. 

    However, owning a club in GTA Online isn't just about recreating the real-life experience of visiting a club near you. Like many other high-value purchases you can make in GTA Online, nightclubs are designed to generate income for their owners. They also let you launder some of the money that you earn through less than legal means in GTA Online meaning that they might actually be a better investment than some of the other big-ticket GTA Online purchases of the past. 

    There's no word on how much nightclubs will cost, but the history of GTA Online events suggests that they will not come cheap. If you're looking to score a little extra cash before this update hits, you can log-in to GTA Online between now and July 2nd to receive some bonus in-game currency and an Orange Wireframe Bodysuit to wear to the club when the next update hits. Rockstar has also teased the release of some additional bonuses at a later date. 

    Jokes about nightclubs and "GTATM Online" aside, we remain impressed by Rockstar's commitment to regularly updating GTA V's online mode. While we also would have loved to have received just one single-player content update, the sheer amount of content that Rockstar has added to GTA Online since its release is enough to fill a brand-new Grand Theft Auto game at the very least. 

    We have a feeling that they'll continue to update the game up until the release of GTA VI

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    PlayStation has stepped in to prevent the super creepy Omega Labyrinth Z from receiving a global release.

    News Matthew Byrd
    Jun 26, 2018

    Some gamers are ready to take PlayStation to the hentai-st court in the land after they blocked the release of sexy anime dungeon crawler Omega Labyrinth Z

    Originally, the controversial game was set to be released in North America, Europe, and Australia, but a series of rulings derailed developer PQube's ambitions. It started when the Video Standards Council refused to certify the game for a UK release even though the game was initially awarded a PEGI 18 rating. While some thought that the game might still be released in other Western countries, an update from PQUBe reveals that the game is being blocked from releasing on PlayStation 4 or PlayStation Vita in the West. 

    "It is with sadness that we announce that the game is cancelled on both platforms and all Western regions permanently," reads a statement from the developers released via Twitter. "We will not comment further on this matter. Thank you for your support."

    PQube elaborated on that statement and suggested that PlayStation themselves stepped in to request that the game not be formally released in the West. While this isn't the first time that PlayStation representatives have stepped in to block a game due to controversial content - they recently denied the pick-up artist simulator Super Seducer a PlayStation release - it doesn't happen that often. 

    So what's the problem with this game? Well, we can assure you that it goes well beyond some digital nudity. Along with gameplay elements like a "Shame Break" that causes some female characters to lose their clothes, and a disturbing scene involving a dog and honey, there's the matter of the implied age of many of the characters. Most of the women in this game are implied to be very, very young. The VSC noted that one of their main reasons for blocking the game in the UK had to do with the way that it sexualizes children. 

    While this block doesn't technically make the game illegal, it does mean that you're not going to be able to go to GameStop to get your tentacles on Omega Labyrinth Z

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    Developer Telltale Games might be moving to the unity engine for future projects.

    News Matthew Byrd
    Jun 26, 2018

    Telltale may finally be ready to abandon their iconic, but controversial, video game engine. 

    A new report from Variety suggests that the developers of The Wolf Among Us, The Walking Dead, and other popular adaptations are abandoning the Telltale Tool engine used to create the studio's most popular games. Multiple sources inform the publication that the current plan is for Telltale to utilize the popular Unity Engine instead. At present, it seems that The Walking Dead's final season will be the last game to use the old Telltale Tool engine.

    The users over at ResetEra may have beaten Variety to the punch regarding this announcement. They spotted some Telltale job listings back in January that called for developers with experience working with the Unity Engine. 

    So why would Telltale change their engine now after insisting for so many years that they had no desire to do so? Well, the most obvious reason is that the Telltale Tool engine is somewhat embarrassingly outdated. Telltale has been using the engine since the company was founded in 2004, and the technology hasn't been improved all that much since it debuted. Users often criticize the Telltale Tool for its sluggish animations, weak facial features, and tendency to produce various glitches. 

    The other, arguably more pressing, reason that Telltale might abandon their iconic engine is that the studio is not doing very well at the moment. They recently had to lay off 25% of their staff and the company's former CEO is suing the company over a supposed breach of contract. Telltale's lawyers are saying that the lawsuit is "meritless" and is an apparent "means of extracting revenge."

    A new engine might help Telltale properly kick-off a new era. We'll see whether projects like The Walking Dead's final season, The Wolf Among Us Season 2, and the recently announced Stranger Things adaptation will turn their fortunes around. 

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    Kingdom Come: Deliverance is about to receive a ton of new content.

    News Matthew Byrd
    Jun 26, 2018

    One of the biggest surprise hits of 2018, Kingdom Come: Deliverance, is set to receive its first significant piece of story DLC. Here's the first trailer for From the Ashes:

    As you can see in the trailer above, From the Ashes will seemingly task the player with rebuilding a worn-down province. It also appears that you'll be required to judge disputes and perform other official duties as bailiff of the region. It's not entirely clear how all of these mechanics will work, but developer Warhorse Studios should reveal more about the story DLC in the near future as they state that it is set to release "soon."

    However, that's not the only new piece of content that Kingdom Come fans have to look forward to. Today, Warhorse Studios has also released a free Hardcore Mode for all versions of Kingdom Come: Deliverance

    Just as it sounds, this Hardcore Mode will significantly increase the difficulty of the base Kingdom Come experience. It removes the health and stamina bars from the game, prevents autosaving, makes combat even more realistic by making experienced NPC fighters even tougher, removes directions from the compass (forcing you to use the position of the sun), removes fast travel, prevents you from eating out of scattered cooking pots, and more.  

    Even better, this new mode will force you to choose two at least two negative perks at the start of the game. Said perks do everything from make you bleed more to suffer from shakes that make firing a bow and picking pockets even harder. You can also choose the Somnambulant perk which will sometimes result in you waking up on a random place on the map. 

    You can read a full breakdown of the hardcore mode patch here

    It's great to see that Warhorse has kept their promises and remain committed to improving Kingdom Come. Here's hoping they're able to help the game realize its full potential. 

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    NBA Live 19 will star one of the most exciting young players in the league.

    News Matthew Byrd
    Jun 26, 2018

    As revealed at E3 2018, NBA Live 19 will emphasize a career/story mode that will allow you to control the career of a custom player as they go from an amateur to an NBA all-star.

    “Create your player and rise to legend-status by playing at the most respected courts all over the world, and by building your squad to challenge for global dominance in THE LEAGUE and THE STREETS," reads an official description for the game. "With gameplay innovation including Real Player Motion Tech and new ways to develop your player, NBA Live 19 is the most authentic and responsive experience in franchise history.”

    We'll have to wait and see what the extent of this new mode is, but those who played Madden's surprisingly excellent recent story modes know that EA is on to something in regards to how much even a simple narrative can add to the typical sports game. Now, the question is whether or not the NBA Live team can tweak the series' mechanics enough to help ensure that it will be more than just another "typical sports game." 

    Here's what we know about NBA Live 19.

    NBA Live News

    NBA Live 19's cover athlete is none other than the Philadelphia 76ers phenom, Joel Embiid.

    "It’s great, it’s amazing. I’m thankful for this opportunity, especially as a basketball player,” said Embiid regarding his cover star status. "You work so hard because you have goals in life, you want to be in the Hall of Fame but also, being on the cover of a video game is something I’ve always dreamed of and I’m happy to be in this position.”

    Here's the first official image of Joel Embidd on the cover of NBA Live 19:

    NBA Live Trailer

    Here's your first look at the next NBA Live game. 

    NBA Live Release Date

    NBA Live 19 is currently scheduled to be released on September 7th for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. A free demo for the game will be released on August 24th. 

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    The Walking Dead wants to capitalize on the Pokemon Go trend with a new mobile augmented reality game.

    News Matthew Byrd
    Jun 26, 2018

    The Walking Dead: Our World - the new AR game from AMC and Next Games - is set to release on July 12 for Android and iOS.

    The Walking Dead: Our World is an AR mobile game that allows you to wander the streets of our world and pretend that you're in the middle of a zombie apocalypse. From what we can gather, it seems that the gameplay largely consists of locating supply drops and other such beneficial items while avoiding the zombie hordes. Should you encounter one of the hordes, you'll transition into an AR viewpoint that will allow you and your teammates - who all seem to be popular Walking Dead characters - to do battle with the undead

    So yes, Our World does sound a lot like Pokemon Go with zombies. There are some differences - it seems there will be some kind of loot system that allows you to locate weapons of various quality - but the concepts appear to be relatively similar. 

    The Our Worlddevelopers at Next Game have stated that the game's information will be taken from Google Maps, meaning that the app should be able to keep up with changes to your location roughly as they occur. They're hoping that will help enhance the game's sense of "immersion." We'll see whether or not the team is able to recreate the theoretical thrills of a zombie apocalypse via this design style when Our World launches soon.

    Of course, this isn't the only Pokemon GO-style mobile game in the works. There's also a Jurassic Park AR title in the works as well as a Harry Potter AR title that we still don't know that much about. 

    It's hardly surprising to see so many mobile games recreate the Pokemon GO gameplay design given that GO is one of the most successful mobile titles ever. What is surprising is how long its taken for these studios to jump on that particular bandwagon. It remains to be seen whether or not these games can inspire people to wander the streets and engage in an AR communal experience once more. 

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  • 06/27/18--10:00: 60 Underrated PS1 Games
  • Here are our picks for the top 60 underrated PlayStation One games for the console that changed home gaming as we know it...

    Feature Aaron BirchRyan Lambie
    Jun 27, 2018

    This article originally appeared at Den of Geek UK.

    Sony's original PlayStation was launched in Japan in 1994, hitting the rest of the world in 1995, and it proceeded to revolutionize the console market. It took a pastime that was seen as exclusive to geeks and children, and turned it into a true mainstream phenomenon. PlayStation made gaming "cool," and it brought with it a huge catalog of games, introducing us to all-time classics like Final Fantasy VIIMetal Gear SolidWipeout, Resident Evil, and many, many more.

    However, for all the critically and publicly acclaimed titles the unit had, it also had a whole selection of underappreciated releases. Some of these are titles that may not be for everybody, but still offer superb entertainment to many Others are simply great, but failed to shine due to poor advertising or low sales. These facts don't change the quality of these titles, and here we're going to take a look at our own top 60.

    Of course, being a list of underappreciated games, these are titles that range from obscure, cult classics to games that just didn't sell, despite being good releases in their own right, so don't expect to see acclaimed titles like the aforementioned Metal Gear or Final Fantasy VII here. Let's not waste any more time and get to it...

    60. YoYo's Puzzle Park

    Here's a decidedly strange arcade action game from Irem, which is actually a spin-off of a larger series of Japanese, Lemmings-like puzzle titles called Gussun Oyoyo. YoYo's Puzzle Park is a single-screen platformer with a surreal premise: controlling the baby-like hero, you jump around and stun enemies with what looks like a giant party popper. Once a foe's incapacitated, you finish them off by kicking a bomb in their face.

    Even at the time of its release in the late '90s, YoYo's Puzzle Park felt like a bit of a retro throwback to games like Rodland or Psycho Pigs UXB, which means it never got much of a release in the west. All the same, it's colorful and lots of fun, particularly in two-player mode.

    59. Gradius Gaiden

    You'll know all about the Gradius games if you're into your retro 2D shooters, but the PlayStation-exclusive Gradius Gaiden is undoubtedly one of its most obscure entries. Released only in Japan, Gradius Gaiden saw Konami attempt to update the spaceship shooter template a little, with polygon graphics, additional weapons systems, and a greater variety of difficulty levels to court the less seasoned gamer.

    It's a superb game and one that takes great advantage of the PS1's processing power. Its action may be rooted in '80s arcades, but its big, meaty explosions and background effects (including a nice-looking aurora borealis shimmer on level one) give it a glossy feel.

    Sadly, Gradius Gaiden's limited release makes it a bit of a collector's piece these days. If you can't afford the PS1 version, it's also contained on the Gradius Collection release for the PSP.

    58. Hogs of War

    This turn-based strategy game got a bit of a lukewarm reception on its release in 2000, but we'd argue that it's worth overlooking its more annoying quirks. In essence, it's a kind of 3D take on the classic Worms, with rival squads of porcine soldiers murdering one another with a variety of tanks and explosives.

    The controls are nicely tailored for the PS1's controller, and there's a surprising amount of tactical depth beneath the cartoonish presentation. Hogs of War also contains a welcome voice-over by the late, great Rik Mayall.

    57. R-Type Delta

    Like Gradius Gaiden, this is another console-only entry in a much-loved shooter series, and Irem's first attempt to move its visuals from traditional sprites to 3D polygons. As a result, R-Type Delta doesn't quite have the timeless quality of the original R-Type or its sequels, but it's still a great shooter. This time, there's a whole hangar of variant R-series ships to choose from, each with their own variations on the Force - the little indestructible satellites you can use as shields or deadly weapons.

    Polished, slick, and ferociously difficult, R-Type Delta's one of the very best sequels Irem ever made to its seminal 1987 blaster. Indeed, we'd go out on a limb and say that Delta's a little better than the beautiful-looking yet glacially-paced PS2 swansong, R-Type Final.

    56. Mr. Driller

    We've no idea why Namco's adorable Mr. Driller isn't a more popular franchise than it is. First appearing in late '90s arcades, it's an action game with a hint of strategy: your job is to drill down to the bottom of each stage, busting through rocks and collecting the air capsules that keep your ever-depleting energy bar from running out. The twist is that the blocks you drill through are shaped a bit like the ones in Tetris and have a tendency to fall down and crush you if you're not careful.

    From a simple premise, Namco created a hugely addictive and replayable gam. No two levels are alike since the blocks are randomly generated. This means that, even as your digging skills get sharper, you're still only one poor choice away from an ignominious death. It's a great game on the PlayStation and we'd love to see a Mr. Driller revival on the Nintendo Switch. How about it, Namco?

    55. In the Hunt

    If you're fond of the Metal Slug series, then you'll immediately recognize the stunning sprite design in this horizontal shooter. You control a miniature submarine charged with blasting a path through an entire ocean of enemies, ranging from planes patrolling the skies above to huge bases on the seabed.

    In the Hunt was overlooked at the time of its release, perhaps because its publishers tried to hide its 2D roots on the cover. Boot the thing up, though, and you'll discover one of the most fun and original shooters the PS1 has to offer.

    54. No One Can Stop Mr. Domino

    This is one of those quirky-looking games that, at first, seems completely impenetrable. Once you play it for a few minutes, though, No One Can Stop Mr. Domino proves to be challenging and curiously addictive. Traversing a range of 3D courses (which look a bit like the ones in those Micro Machines racing games), you control Mr. Domino, a lively little chap who refuses to stop running. The aim is to avoid hazards and obstacles while placing dominos on pre-defined squares by pressing one of the PS1 controller's face buttons at just the right moment. Once they're all in place, the dominoes are knocked over and the stage is cleared.

    In essence, Mr. Domino's a kind of racing puzzler and one filled with the kind of surreal Japanese humor we'd see years later in Katamari Damacy. If you can find it at a reasonable price, this is an obscure title well worth picking up.

    53. Pop 'n Pop

    An adorable little action puzzle game that feels more like something from the SNES era than the cooler-than-thou days of the PlayStation, Pop 'N Pop provides an affectionate nod to the classics of Taito's '80s era. Playable characters include Tiki the Kiwi from The NewZealand Story, the bubble dragons from Bubble Bobble, and lots more besides.

    In essence, Pop 'N Pop's a riff on the Puzzle Bobble/Bust A Move color-matching theme. You fire colored balloons at the other balloons at the top of the screen and burst them by matching like with like. That the balloons move left and right, and gradually descend towards your character at the bottom of the screen, means that Pop 'N Pop has as much in common with Space Invaders as Puzzle Bobble. If you love Taito's old output, this is a must-have.

    52. Zanac X Zanac

    Japanese developer Compile was responsible for some classic shooting games, most memorably Musha Aleste on the Sega Mega Drive (or Genesis). Zanac X Zanac takes the firm right back to its beginnings since it brings together a port of the original Zanac (one of its earliest shooters) and pairs it with a 15th anniversary update, Zanac Neo. It's all of a piece with the fast-paced, vertically scrolling action Compile perfected in the Aleste series, but Zanac Neo looks and sounds great on the PlayStation, even if it isn't quite up to the peak brilliance of Musha Aleste.

    Another low-key release in 2001, when 2D shooters had fallen out of favor, Zanac X Zanac is a bit of a collector's item today. Regrettably, it was also one of Compile's very last releases, so if you loved this studio's shooters, then you may want to splash out and add this one to your collection.

    51. Starblade Alpha

    We love a good rail shooter and this is one of our favorites on the PS1. It's simple, arcade-style stuff: taking on the role of an ace star pilot, you fly through asteroid fields and space danger zones, blowing up all the stuff that comes at you. Meanwhile, a commander barks orders at you to add a bit more atmosphere.

    Starblade Alpha is, unfortunately, a bit pricey these days, but if you love blowing stuff up and generally pretending you're the kid out of The Last Starfighter, then this '90s Namco offering's well worth your consideration.

    50. One

    One is a fast-paced shooter in which you play as an amnesiac with a gun arm on a mission to find out his identity. He attempts to discover the answer across six levels, and is constantly pursued by the police and military.

    The game is an early example of a 2.5D title, and as the player runs through the various 3D rendered worlds, the camera zooms around automatically, giving the game a more cinematic feel. Action is thick and fast, and boss battles are challenging, often requiring special tactics to survive.

    One received pretty high scores on its release back in 1997, and is still held in high regard by fans.

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    49. Rampage World Tour

    If you're an old-school gamer who was around in the 80s, you'll no doubt remember the classic arcade title, Rampage. Starring three B-movie monsters – George the giant gorilla, Lizzie the dinosaur, and Ralph the giant werewolf, the game simply tasked players with one goal, and that was destruction of various cities.

    Rampage World Tour on the PlayStation is a more up to date take on the classic, with better visuals, new locations spread around the world, and new power ups. The core gameplay, however, remains the same, and allows players to smash buildings, eat civilians, and mash enemy tanks. It's simple, yes, but still as fun as it was back in the 80s.

    48. (c-12) Final Resistance

    Clearly inspired by a certain Arnie-powered killer robot, (c-12) Final Resistance is a third-person shooter that sees players take on the role of cyborg soldier Riley Vaughan, as he attempts to fight invading aliens who want the planet for the abundance of carbon.

    Okay, so the story is a bit of old guff, but the actual game is very good, and takes place in various ruined cities and wartorn environs. Riley can utilize a range of weapons, including a powerful sniper scope, and he has to complete various other tasks alongside killing invaders to proceed on his mission.

    Visually impressive for the PS1, (c-12) Final Resistance came out of the respected SCE Studio Cambridge, which would go on to become Guerrilla Games, of Killzone fame, making this an early example of things to come.

    47. LSD: Dream Emulator

    Without a doubt the most bizarre game on this list, and possibly of all time, LSD: Dream Emulator is as messed up and drug-induced as it sounds. Based upon the creator Hiroko Nishikawa's own dream journals, the game lets you explore totally random and weird worlds, and was sadly, only released in Japan.

    As with most dreams, these worlds make little sense, and by touching any object, be it a person, creature, or even a wall, you'll jump from one dreamscape into another. Hitting people and certain objects makes your dreams stranger and stranger, and there are actually some genuinely scary moments to be witnessed. Dreams are measured in four categories – upper, downer, dynamic, and static, and after a set time you wake up, able to carry on with another, new dream, advancing the game's day count by one. Eventually, you can replay your dreams, unless you run into a a man wearing a grey hat and trench coat, who can take this ability away.

    It may not look all that attractive, in fact it's downright primitive and ugly, but that's not the point here. There's not even any real goal, all you do is simply wander around tripped out worlds, over and over. For some reason, this is very addictive.

    46. In Cold Blood

    In Cold Blood is a third-person adventure with some action elements. Players take on the role of MI6 agent John Cord, who infiltrates the fictional Russian state of Volgia. Unfortunately, he's captured and tortured, and this leads to him losing his memory. So yes, you've guessed it, it's your job to help him escape and to ultimately remember his past and the events that led to his capture.

    The game mixes in a lot of puzzle and stealth elements into the third person adventure, and the story is actually very interesting, keeping you ploughing along, despite some awkward action sequences. The high-tech spy setting and decent visuals are paired with some solid voice acting, and while it isn't recommended for pure action fans, adventure buffs should seek it out.

    45. Crusader: No Remorse

    Also available on the Sega Saturn and PC, Crusader: No Remorse is an isometric shooter that few people have ever played. It may have blatantly stolen its main character design from a certain Star Wars bounty hunter, but the gameplay is great.

    Developed by Origin Systems, the game mixes shooting and puzzles within a rich and detailed world. As the crimson-clad hero, the Silencer, you have to infiltrate various facilities, bypassing security systems, hacking computers, and taking out guards to achieve your ends. To do this you have a range of weapons and abilities, and you can destroy a lot of the objects in the world.

    The controls are a little clunky and take some getting used to, but the slower-paced combat and flexible approach to completing your objectives are great.

    44. Rapid Reload/Gunners Heaven

    A blatant clone of Treasure's Mega Drive classic, Gunstar Heroes (even the characters are treasure hunters), Rapid Reload is, nonetheless, a great side-scrolling shooter packed with action and some memorable boss battles.

    Like Gunstar Heroes, the game features different ammo types, including a flame thrower and homing shot, and characters also have a grappling hook to help them navigate the six levels.

    Rapid Reload was originally part of the first wave of PlayStation titles released, and although it didn't push the platform technically, it was, and still is a great early outing, and the gameplay holds up today.

    43. Fighting Force

    Fighting Force is a 3D scrolling beat 'em up in the same style as Sega's Street of Rage, and earlier classics like Final Fight and Renegade. In fact, it was originally planned as a Street of Rage title, but was later re-branded.

    It features four different characters, with their own strengths and weaknesses, and alongside the usual melee combat, players can utilize weapons, guns, and the environment. Different paths through the game can also be chosen.

    The game arrived to fairly average reviews on release, limiting its potential, and despite a sequel on the Dreamcast (which was fairly poor), it quickly vanished. The original is still held in high regard by fans, though, and it's one of the first 3D beat 'em ups of its type, which makes it well worth a punt.

    42. Wargames: Defcon 1

    Although the only thing similar to the 1983 Matthew Broderick flick is the name and the inclusion of NORAD and WOPR, Wargames: Defcon 1 is a great game anyway, so it doesn't matter if you like the film or not.

    The story takes place 20 years after the film, and sees NORAD doing battle with the WOPR forces, which, like its digital buddy, Skynet, wants to eradicate mankind (why do computers need to be so bloody evil all the time?)

    An action strategy title, players control various units on the battlefield directly, able to jump from one to another at will. Units not under player control can be given basic orders, including forming up on the player vehicle, and the two sides have vastly different forces, with NORAD having traditional tanks and aircraft, and WOPR sporting sci-fi mechs and advanced vehicles. Of course, the game also taunts you if you lose, asking if you prefer a nice game of chess. Nice.

    41. Intelligent Qube / Kurushi

    A simple, but devilishly challenging puzzler. Kurushi sees you trying to stay alive by destroying blocks that are continuously rolling towards you. You do this by highlighting areas of the floor to detonate, and timing the blast to hit the cubes as they roll over them. Some blocks can cause larger explosions and chain reactions, and others need to be left alone, otherwise you lose a part of the floor you're standing on. It sounds simple, but this is an addictive and tough title.

    40. Bloody Roar

    What's more fun than playing a larger-than-life selection of martial artists with over-the-top special moves? Playing a larger-than-life selection of martial artists with over-the-top special moves who can transform into animals, of course!

    Bloody Roar may not be the best example of the combat genre, and other games like Tekken and Soulcalibur do a better job mechanically, but Bloody Roar's animal transformation and brutal specials create a supremely satisfying and enjoyable scrapper. Where else can you pit a mole against a tiger and have a good, balanced fight?

    Even though it isn't as polished as Namco's offerings, Bloody Roar plays very well, with decent combo systems, and as each character has a human and animal form, the range of moves and tactics open to players is impressive. Well worth a look for beat 'em up fans.

    39. Myst/Riven

    The Myst series as a franchise is far from underappreciated, but on the PlayStation it hardly made a splash. True, the slide-show puzzler has always been about as divisive as you can get, with console owners being far from the game's original core demographic, but as a game in its own right, few can hold a candle to the brilliant puzzles and superb atmosphere Cyan Worlds' titles ooze.

    Both Myst and Riven appeared on the PlayStation, and for those looking for a truly challenging brain bender, this is a good choice. The mysterious island and the worlds that follow all contain some of the most bizarre landscapes around, dotted with tough puzzles. Solving the game requires all of your grey matter, and this changed little on the PlayStation.

    Riven was, and still is, the hardest of the series, and ups the ante when it comes to mental callisthenics, and is every bit as absorbing as the debut title, Myst.

    38. MDK

    It seemed like a big release for its time, coming from Shiny Entertainment, creator of Earthworm Jim, but on the PS1 it didn't really get out of the starting blocks. This is a shame as, although short, MDK was a great third-person shooter, packed with humor and unique features for the time.

    As heroic janitor Kurt Hectic, you have to save the earth from invading aliens, and you use the powerful coil suit to do so. This suit allows Kurt to glide long distances and take out his foes both at close and long range, thanks to a powerful arm machine gun which can be slotted onto Kurt's head to form a sniper rifle.

    It's a very quirky title with impressive visuals for the time, and some interesting missions and mini games. It spawned a sequel, but many fans still say the first is the best of the two.

    37. Jade Cocoon

    This is an RPG that combines some of the more traditional RPG elements with creature training and evolution. The protagonist, Levant, is a Cocoon Master who is able to capture and tame Minions. These creatures can be used to fight for Levant, and can be fused together with other Minions to create more powerful beings that inherit the skills of the paired creatures.

    Battles mainly consist of plentiful use of elemental powers, with the various abilities having strengths and weaknesses against others. Fire attacks beat wind, for example. Minions possess these elemental powers, with more powerful, new generations of creatures having more than one. The graphics are good, the audio design great, and the game world is expansive, making for a unique, well-rounded RPG.

    36. Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain

    The first game in the Blood Omen series, preceding the more well-known installments like Soul ReaverBlood Omen: Legacy of Kain is not a 3D action adventure like it's sequels, but is a top-down action RPG. It features full voice acting (some of which is unintentionally humorous), and simple, but enjoyable hack-and-slash world-roaming and dungeon-crawling.

    The game is an origin story, depicting the series' main antagonist Kain's rise to power as he hunts down and slays the Circle of Nine. As well as his martial skills, Kain also possesses various magical abilities, such as shape-shifting, and he attains more skills and items as he progresses, similarly to Nintendo's Zelda series.

    35. The Misadventures of Tron Bonne

    Part of the Mega Man Legends series, The Misadventures of Tron Bonne casts players as the titular anti-heroine, and features various gameplay styles, including 3D action, puzzles, and strategy. Using her robotics and army of Servbots, Tron is on a mission to raise money to pay off a family debt, which means making money in any way possible, usually by stealing.

    Tron's army of Servbots is a big feature of the game, with each one having its own personality, and they can be improved by undergoing training minigames. The visual style is the same as the other Legends games, and it's a gleefully colorful and enjoyable robotic romp, even if it strays far from the usual Mega Man-style of play.

    34. Galerians

    Galerians is one of the more interesting Resident Evil clones, and focuses not on traditional, scour-the-area-for-every-single-bullet play, but instead features the use of mind powers. As protagonist Rion Steiner, a boy who wakes up with no memory, players explore the hospital he wakes up in. By using special drugs, he can utilize his psychic powers to combat foes. If Rion takes too much damage, he can unleash a powerful, but uncontrollable assault, killing foes instantly.

    Still satisfying the survival horror mechanic, Rion needs vials of drugs to fuel his powers, of which there is a limited amount, so conservation is still needed while navigating the world and solving puzzles.

    Galerians was originally lost in the fever surrounding Resident Evil and Silent Hill, but genre fans should certainly check it out.

    33. Tobal 2

    Sadly, Tobal 2 never got a release outside of its native Japan, which is a shame as it's one of the better fighters on the system. It might not have the mainstream appeal of Tekken and its ilk, but the core fighting engine of Tobal 2 is one of the best of the generation, and the combo system is fast and fluid, all running at an impressive 60 fps. There's even an RPG-style quest mode spanning several dungeons to add more longevity to the core fighting. This combat doesn't need all that much help, though, with around 200 characters to choose from, and a fully 3D fighting arena. A quality title that's a must import for the genre's fans.

    32. Tempest X 3

    For the handful of people who bought an Atari Jaguar (and the few who didn't immediately take it back to the shop), one of the best games for the system, and an all-time classic arcade title, was Tempest 2000. Tempest X 3 is basically the same game, but for the PlayStation.

    Jeff Minter's trademark acid trip visuals and a thumpingly brilliant soundtrack accompany the eye-melting action, and the result is a digital, high score-seeking drug. As simple as it is addictive, Tempest's gameplay hasn't aged one bit, and this is clearly evident in this version of the game, which is straightforward, reflex-challenging bliss.

    31. Disruptor

    Created by Insomniac, the team responsible for the Resistance series, Disruptor is a great early example of a non-N64 console FPS title that worked well, with decent controls and steady challenge.

    Disruptor is a traditional corridor shooter at heart, with a range of decent weapons and psi powers accompanying the bullet-slinging. It looks pretty good for an FPS release of the time, and although it does little all that differently from other similar period entries in the genre, psi powers aside, it's one of the best FPS releases on Sony's debut platform.

    30. Vandal Hearts

    This was one of the first tactical RPGs to arrive on 32-bit, and is very similar in gameplay to Sega's Shining Force series. Unlike Shining ForceVandal Hearts is an isometric game with much better visuals. Players take turns moving their units around the grid-based battlefields, which feature varying heights and terrain types. Units can attack and use abilities, and when all have had a turn, the enemy units have their go.

    It's an RPG game of chess, where the outcome isn't simply decided by higher levels or even a player's manual dexterity, but instead well planned out tactics and strategies. This makes Vandal Heartsa very different RPG experience to the majority of similar titles on the PlayStation, and one that should be very welcome to players looking for a more mental role-playing challenge.

    29. Alundra

    Want to play Zelda on your PlayStation? Well, although impossible at the time of release and today, there's always a great alternative in Alundra.

    Clearly a blatant Zelda clone for Sony's console, Alundra is a top-down action adventure with light RPG elements. It features the same hack-and-slash combat as Nintendo's series, as well as item gathering, and adds in the ability to explore other people's dreams and nightmares. There's also a heavy puzzle element, some of the most difficult in the genre.

    28. Ehrgeiz

    Ehrgeiz is a dream game for many PlayStation owners. Not only is it a cross between Tekken and Powerstone, but it features Final Fantasy characters battling it out in full 3D. Yes, fans actually get the chance to wield Cloud's Buster Sword and to play as the iconic Sephiroth.

    It isn't as smooth as competing fighters, but this is a fighter that's sold on the strength of its characters, and for Final Fantasy VII fans, this is more than enough. Sadly, though, it didn't do all that well commercially when it released.

    Alongside the combat modes, the game also features a quest mode, much like Tekken's later installments that are crammed in as a side show. This boasts a long dungeon crawl-style of play, complete with item looting and a hunger status. Other minigames are also featured, further bolstering the longevity of the title.

    27. Persona 2: Eternal Punishment

    Now a cult series of wacked-out RPGs, the Persona series also found a home on the PS1, and Persona 2 is a great example of what the traditionally off-the-wall series has in store. Played in third-person, with random battles and the persona system that grants new strengths and abilities, it's a different, but no less absorbing role player.

    Personas can be levelled up with use, and new personas are acquired by gathering tarot cards and attracting demons. The rumor system is intriguing, and new rumors can be collected with various outcomes if the player pays for the rumor to become fact. Quriky? Yes. Great? Most definitely.

    26. Heart of Darkness

    This was quite the hype monster back before its release in 1998, and it took six years to develop. It includes an impressive orchestral score (one of the first games to do so), FMV cutscenes, and some of the best graphics around at the time. It also plays well, and features a myriad of ways for the main protagonist to die, some actually pretty grim to be honest.

    Sadly, the game didn’t live up to its lofty ambitions, and partly due to a very short length, it didn't do all that well at retail. This is a shame, as it's still great, and it could have been a decent series if the developer, Amazing Studios, hadn't moved on from game development.

    25. Suikoden II

    The second game in the series, and another excellent JRPG for the PS1, Suikoden II doesn't try to follow many of its stable mates by using flashy 3D or technical prowess. Instead, it simply goes for pure, traditional JRPG 2D quality, and tasks you with recruiting a myriad of characters to aid you in your fight.

    The storyline is one of the better to be found in the often poorly-translated JRPG genre, and the purposely traditional design focuses fully on gameplay, and it doesn’t disappoint.

    24. The Legend of Dragoon

    A Sony-published RPG, and one that was initially criticized for being overly generic, The Legend of Dragoon has become a cult classic for PS1 fans. The game is a clear product of the Final Fantasy era, and has many similar features, including random encounters (which can be avoided if the player wishes).

    Although it apes a lot of FF features, The Legend of Dragoon also has some unique features, most notably the Additions system that features user-input combos to open up more powerful attacks. Characters can also transform into the titular Dragoons once they acquire a Dragoon Spirit.

    Many fans of the game actually consider The Legend of Dragoon to be superior to the Final Fantasy series, such is its impact, and this definitely makes this a game to seek out if you're looking for some classic PS1 RPG action.

    23. Rival Schools

    One of Capcom's most overlooked releases, Rival Schools is a great example of the 3D one-on-one brawler. Set in typically colorful Japanese-style schools, complete with dodgy schoolgirl underwear flashing, combatants vary from martial artists to sports players, and you pick two of them at a time. One is your actual combatant, and the second is used to the game's team-up special attacks.

    Rival Schools only uses four attack buttons, which was odd for a Capcom title, but the fighting system works well, and is surprisingly deep and satisfying. The characters are all interesting and different from the usual selection of overused world warrior archetypes, and the introduction of the "vigor" meter allows access to more powerful moves as you fill it up during a fight. It also includes launch moves that open up air combos and juggles. Great stuff.

    22. Klonoa

    Klonoa is a lesser-known 2.5D platformer, and to genre aficionados it's one of the best on the system. It features a striking art style and a main character who can pick up and throw his foes at each other, or use them as stepping stones for higher jumps.

    This is wrapped up on some of the most well-implemented platforming on the system. It's a shame the game is a little short, even for a platformer, but while it lasts, it's gold.

    21. Silhouette Mirage

    Treasure is one of the the most acclaimed developers of the 16- and 32-bit era, and it made a big name for itself by creating off the wall titles with distinctive twists. Silhouette Mirage is one of those titles, and it's a side-scroller that plays like a mash-up of two other Treasure titles, Gunstar Heroes and Ikaruga.

    The main twist of the game is main character Shyna's split abilities. Using both Silhouette and Mirage powers, you have to attack your foes with the opposite power, similar to Ikaruga's polarity-switching mechanic. Silhouette enemies are defeated by Mirage, and vice versa. The added twist is that to use each power, you need to be facing the right direction.

    This produces a very interesting and quirky take on side-scroller play, and being a treasure title, it packs in great visuals and a well-balanced difficulty. It's also very challenging for completionists, as you have to complete the game numerous times with only a handful of continues to unlock all of the secrets.

    20. Jumping Flash

    One of the PlayStation's launch titles, and still to this day, one of the best. Jumping Flashwas one of the first ever attempts to create a first-person platformer, and for the most part, it worked. This is big praise as even now, very few games that have attempted the same thing have got it right. Oh, and you play as a robotic rabbit named Robbit, which is nice.

    The game features bold, colorful worlds to jump around in three dimensions and sports a rather unique interface, complete with radar and an auto view tilt when you jump, so you can see where you were going to land. It mixes this platforming with first-person shooting of sorts, and item collection goals with boss battles.

    The game plays well, even with the PS1's limited tech, and it set the stage for 3D platformers to come when it first arrived, so it deserves praise if only for its precursor status.

    19. Tomba 2/Tombi 2

    A 2.5D platformer of the Metroidvania-style, this is another often overlooked, but trend-setting title on the PS1, despite the protagonist having bright pink hair. As the feral hero, players explore the large environments of the game, jumping in and out of the background and breaking the traditionally linear platforming mold. Players can also choose where they want to go at various points. Some areas of the game open up with top-down gameplay that allows more freedom, and there are tons of missions to try out, over 100 in total.

    The variety in the game is pretty good for a platform title, and in order to fully complete it, you have to finish every challenge, which is quite tricky. Each completed mission grants adventure points, used to open reward boxes scattered around the world.

    Taking a page out of Mario's book, Tomba can also wear various power-up suits that give him different abilities, such as a flying squirrel that allows gliding and pig suit that lets him talk to pigs. This, and its prequel, were also among the first titles to utilize the now standard DualShock control method.

    18. Silent Bomber

    Imagine Hudson Soft's Bomberman series, only faster, with open levels and more anime hair, and you've got Silent Bomber. This is a great fast-paced, top-down action title in which you complete missions by running around like a loon, jumping, and wall climbing, while throwing and detonating bombs to blow up your foes and objectives.

    It features a character upgrade system, big boss fights, great set pieces, and some pumping audio driving the action along, and the quick fire bombing holds up throughout.

    17. Star Ocean: The Second Story

    On a platform that's so well endowed with RPGs, especially of the JRPG persuasion, it's easy for truly great titles to get lost in the mix, and Star Ocean is one such example. Although overshadowed by other, more recognized titles, Star Ocean: The Second Story is one of the best RPGs on the system.

    Underneath some great and lovingly polished presentation, the game has a solid combat system, a massive quest, a unique item creation tool, and multiple endings. The series has jumped ship to various platforms since, but this is one of the best, and it's well worth seeking out if you still have your PS1, and are a fan of classic JRPGs.

    16. Puzzle Bobble 4/Bust-A-Move 4

    Most gamers are well aware of the Puzzle Bobble/Bust-a-Move series of games, and the slew of clones that have carbon-copied the series into obscurity, especially on mobile devices. Taito's franchise was the first, though, and most would agree, the best.

    Puzzle Bobble 4 on the PS1 is one of the best examples of the series, too. With well over 600 levels and new pulley/scale system game mechanics, this is also one of the finest puzzlers on the platform, period. Both a story and arcade mode are present, along with puzzle mode, challenges, and more. You can even use the level editor to create your own challenges. Chain reactions are also introduced in two player matches (and 1P vs. CPU). The various modes and excellent two player challenges make this a no-brainer for puzzle fans.

    15. Super Puzzle Fighter 2 Turbo

    With Street Fighter dominating the genre, Capcom decided to broaden the series' horizons by creating Puzzle Fighter. Like many of the best puzzle games, the core gameplay is simple - match colored blocks and drop them on your opponent. It features cutesy versions of popular Street Fighter characters and special moves based on the fighting title.

    As with many popular puzzlers, the game has been cloned (it was itself based on Capcom's Pnickies), most notably in Mortal Kombat: Deception. It's also been ported to modern consoles via PSN and Xbox Live, but the PS1 version is one of the best, and despite bearing the Street Fighter name, could have done much better.

    14. Legend of Legaia

    Consistently brought up in underrated discussions by fans, Legend of Legaia is one of the most fondly remembered titles on the platform by genre fanatics. One of many examples of fine JRPGs on the system, it features a turn-based combat system that allows players to choose the type of attack by selecting left or right attacks, as well as high and low. Depending on the equipment used, these attacks can be greatly affected. High and low attacks can be useful in different situations, with low attacks missing flying enemies, for example. Characters can also team up with powerful entities called Ra-Seru, which augment their abilities.

    Although not entirely revolutionary, Legend of Legaia is a great RPG that ticks all the boxes needed to produce a winning formula, and it remains a firm fan-favorite to this day.

    13. G-Police

    A technical powerhouse, and a perfect game to show off the power of the PlayStation, G-Police was one of the most impressive releases on the system in its day. Developed by Psygnosis, the game puts players in control of agile Police craft in a sci-fi setting.

    Utilizing unique (at the time) vibration features alongside some truly impressive visuals, G-Police is one of the hardest games on the platform. Some may argue that this is due to clunky controls, but fans weren't, and still aren't put off, and the game is still a firm favorite, and can even be bought for the PS3 via PSN.

    12. Colony Wars

    Although the space setting isn't quite as technically impressive as G-Police's fully rendered cityscapes, Psygnosis' Colony Wars is arguably the better actual game of the two. It also spawned two sequels in Vengeance and Red Sun, but the series faded away, which is a shame.

    A space combat sim, Colony Wars features smooth space dogfights, and a non-linear mission structure, with mission failure not always leading to a game over, but instead changing the progress of the missions, a nod to the classic, genre stable mate, Wing Commander.

    The game features a number of possible endings, making for increased replayability, and there are few similar titles of this genre as good on the PS1.

    11. Bishi Bashi Special

    Long before Nintendo's Wario developed a taste for tiny, bite-size minigames, Bishi Bashi Special was shaking soda bottles and wasting mechanical pencil lead on the PlayStation with style and content that could only come from Japan.

    One of the best party games ever made, especially if you use two PlayStation mult-taps to enable eight player support, there are few times when button mashing is so much fun, even in the wake of motion-controlled silliness. What makes it all the most enjoyable is the bizarre nature of it all, and the crazy selection of challenges, something of a rarity at the time of release for Western audiences, only served to make the whole thing more of a post-pub staple for drunken gamers, a trend that continues for fans today.

    10. Um Jammer Lammy

    A sequel of sorts to the more famous Parappa the Rapper, Um Jammer Lammy follows the same formula as the previous release, but has a focus on guitar playing, rather than rapping. Like Parappa, Lammy has to play various songs alongside her teachers with players reproducing button presses as instructed.

    The game is more difficult than Parappa, which puts many off, but it's the superior of the two as it not only has a more in-depth challenge, but also a two player mode and Parapparemixes. Once again, it makes for a brilliant party game, post-pub or otherwise, and few games, even the original Parappa, can match its psychedelic visuals.

    9. Ghost in the Shell

    Based on the popular anime, Ghost in the Shell is a third person shooter which puts players in the cockpit of a powerful, wall-climbing, 'Fuchikoma' tank. This tank is impressively agile, offering the kind of freedom of movement few others games possessed at the time of release. Many levels see you jumping and climbing around increasingly more complex landscapes, and this is necessary as the enemy can be very dangerous, so you need your agility to get the drop on them.

    Ghost in the Shell is widely considered to be one of the best anime tie-in games, even if it didn’t originally sell all that well, and was missed by many. Whether of not you like anime or the series the game is based on, this is a great action shooter regardless.

    8. Bushido Blade

    As with a lot of underappreciated titles, Bushido Blade is a game that takes a famliar genre and attempts to do something differently. This time it was to replace fisticuffs and flashy special moves with realistic, insta-death sword fights.

    Although it may not have worked from a commercial standpoint, hence its inclusion here, Bushido Blade's combat is both rewarding and addictive. It does away with the ability to button mash your way to victory, and instead features a combat system that requires genuine skill and perfect timing, especially when going up against another human opponent.

    Perhaps its focus on a more realistic and low-key setting, coupled with the rather mundane characters, compared to the competition at least, did it no favors initially, but overlooking this yields some truly brilliant combat packed with depth.

    7. Die Hard Trilogy

    The only thing better than one John McClane is three of him, and that's just what Die Hard Trilogy delivers, and it does so in a very impressive way.

    Spanning the first three Die Hard movies, Die Hard Trilogy features three different games in one package, all of which are great. Die Hard is a third-person action-shooter, Die Hard 2: Die Harder is a Virtua Cop-like shooting gallery (with light gun support), and the jewel in the crown is Die Hard with a Vengeance, which is a challenging, checkpoint-lead driving game.

    All three titles are full games in their own right, and the mixture of styles make for a long-lasting challenge, and what a challenge it is. The on-rails Die Hard 2 is enjoyable, but both Die Hard and Die Hard with A Vengeance are very tricky, with the latter being the hardest of the three. This challenge is always on the right-side of fair, though, and for its time, this was a very impressive compilation. And it's Die Hard, which just never gets old (until Die Hard 4.0, anyway).

    6. Policenauts

    Directed by Metal Gear creator, Hideo Kojima, Policenauts is very similar to the previous, excellent Sega CD title, Snatcher. Like the previous game, this is a point-and-click interactive comic of sorts, with shooting segments. By clicking on the environment, the protagonist, Jonathan Ingram, can analyze items and converse with people in order to investigate the circumstances surrounding his wife's death.

    Unlike Snatcher, which was a cyberpunk story set in Neo Kobe on Earth, Policenauts takes place primarily in space, on the colony Beyond Coast. Also, like Snatcher, it's one of the first games to feature such high quality voice acting throughout, and also sports FMV cutscenes.

    The game has never been released outside of Japan, and was initially only available on NEC PC-9821, 3DO, Sega Saturn, and PlayStation. However, a fan-made English translation has since surfaced online.

    5. Vib Ribbon

    Released in Japan in 1999, and everywhere else in 2000, Vib Ribbon is one of the most original titles you're ever likely to play, and is one of the best examples of the music genre. You don't even need a cheap, plastic guitar.

    Using either the supplied music, or your own, your goal is simple, to guide the enigmatic protagonist, Vibri, along a straight line that warps and shifts along with the music. As the music plays, the line changes, generating obstacles that can be avoided with well-timed and correct button presses. The obstacles are generated in time with the music, which means that the style and tempo of music you use can actually affect the difficulty.

    Classical and chill out music may be relatively simple and sedate, while heavy metal or dance music can produce the kind of obstacle avoidance test that could tie your fingers in knots.

    The gameplay is as simple as it gets, but is brilliantly implemented, and although Vibri is made up of basic, vector-style lines, he's a charming and likable character, and evolves or devolves depending on your progress, much like the later, PS2 and Dreamcast music title, Rez.

    4. Future Cop LAPD

    A criminally (if you'll forgive the pun) overlooked gem of a game. Future Cop LAPD is a great sci-fi action title that sees you control a powerful law enforcement mech (that can transform into a car) on a series of missions. The gamepley somewhat resembles that of EA's Strike series (which is well overdue for a return), and the entire campaign can be played in split-screen co-op.

    Alongside the main content, there's also a basic strategy game included, complete with unit building. This can also be played by two players. Great value and a great game.

    3. Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver

    Considered by many fans to be the best of the long-running series, Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver is a Tomb Raider-inspired Gothic adventure in which you play as Raziel, an-ex vampire lord who now stalks the world devouring souls looking for revenge against his former master, the titular Kain.

    Created by Crystal Dynamics, who ironically now heads Tomb Raider, the game takes plenty of inspiration from Ms. Croft's outings, including a heavy focus on block puzzles and environmental navigation. Unlike Tomb Raider games of the period, however, Soul Reaver features a large, open world with no loading times, a big feature at the time of release. This world is split into various regions, each ruled by a different vampire clan, the leader of which Raziel has to locate and defeat in order to acquire new abilities. Raziel can also switch from the living and dead planes, and this serves as a major puzzle and plot device.

    This all amounts to a brilliant mixture of Tomb Raider and Metroid, with areas opening up once Raziel acquires the powers needed to access previously closed-off zones. Throw in some Zelda-style combat and all sorts of supernatural abilities (which also make for some very impressive puzzles) and you have a fantastic fantasy adventure.

    2. Parasite Eve 2

    While Resident Evil and Silent Hill may have captured all of the mainstream attention in the survival horror genre, there was another series that was every bit as good - if not better, according to its fans. This was Parasite Eve, which mixed Resident Evil-style survival horror with RPG elements to create a very different take on the genre.

    Parasite Eve II is the highlight, and stars returning protagonist, FBI agent Aya Brea. She's once again investigating outbreaks of Mitochondrial creatures, in events set two years after the first game.

    Unlike the first title, PEII features a real-time battle system, reminiscent of Resident Evil, and this is tempered by the Parasite Energy system that grants Aya special, magic-style abilities. Although it's certainly a survival horror, complete with puzzles and pre-rendered environments, there's a larger emphasis on combat, and here you also need to level Aya up, improving her abilities and customizing her weapons. This is important, as later enemies became increasingly more and more deadly, and unprepared players can be unceremoniously destroyed.

    The far deeper gameplay and great presentation arguably make Parasite Eve II the superior title to Resident Evil, so it's strange that is sold relatively poorly.

    1. Vagrant Story

    It's crazy to think of a SquareSoft RPG title as being underappreciated, given that the PS1 was arguably one of the finest hours for the company, but the sublime Vagrant Story is just that. It is a very different kind of RPG for the traditionally turn-based JRPG developer, but one that's blissfully refreshing and difficult.

    As elite an Riskbreaker named Ashley Riot, your mission is to infiltrate the creepy, abandoned city of Lea Monde in pursuit of cult leader Sydney, who's kidnapped the Emperor's son. The city is populated with all manner of beasts and monsters, along with powerful bosses. Along the way we also discover Ashley's troubled past.

    What sets Vagrant Story apart from its RPG brethren is the overall style. Instead of a traditional turn-based approach used by the likes of Final Fantasy, here the game fuses both turn-based and real-time with action-adventure exploration and puzzle solving.

    Combat is essentially turn-based, but is more fluid. You can move around during combat, which flows seamlessly with exploration, eschewing random battles, and you use a unique targeting system to strike various enemy body parts. As you fight, your "risk" meter fills up. The higher it gets, the less likely your hits are to connect, but critical hit chances are increased. With careful timing, you can string together attacks endlessly, using your own custom move set, and a full counter attack system is in place.

    Outside of combat, Ashley can craft his own weapons, and all of these gain experience (affinity) against specific enemy types as they're used. There's also a hefty dose of block-based puzzling, all wrapped up with a visually impressive, very different style, and a good story with strong characters.

    The game is very tough, requiring the mastery of all of the game's systems in order to survive. You could say this was the Dark Souls of its time, and it's the go to game for RPG fans wishing for both a unique experience and a big challenge. Sadly, these strengths didn't turn out to be enough when it released, and any hopes for a sequel were dashed.

    Did we miss something? Is there an underrated gem you fondly remember? Lets us know in the comments.

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    Halo Infinite is an opportunity for 343 to answer some of the universe's most burning questions.

    Feature Megan Crouse
    Jun 27, 2018


    With this distress signal, Halo Infinite situates its story on the last remaining Halo ring. While 343 has kept silent about the story and gameplay thus far, we know that at the very least we'll spend a lot more time with series protagonist Master Chief this time around, as he faces down Cortana's Guardian invasion.

    "In Halo Infinite, the game will focus on the Master Chief and continue his saga after the events of Halo 5,” said 343 Industries studio head Chris Lee. That emphasis on the iconic space marine comes directly from fan feedback about the dual protagonists of Halo 5: “The team also heard feedback loud and clear on the amount of time spent playing as the Master Chief in Halo 5,” Lee wrote. The focus on Chief has extended to tie-in material as well, with Silent Storm, a novel focused on the Chief, coming out on Sept. 4, 2018. 

    Meanwhile, Halo 5 and the tie-in novels have left us with plenty of questions that might connect to Chief’s story in Halo Infinite

    What Is Installation 07?

    Speaking of the Halo ring, that iconic landscape in the trailer is from Installation 07, the only Halo ring left out of the original network of superweapons. In the in-universe story, the Halo rings were built to prevent the spread of the Flood parasite but were gradually destroyed in galactic conflict. 

    In terms of marketing, there’s no better way to indicate that Halo is back. With 343 returning to the brightly colored, smooth look of the original Halo trilogy, the horizon stretching up into a ring around the world is sure to be an integral part of the new game. After all, the unique setting is what brought a lot of fans on board in the first place, along with the gunplay and well-managed multiplayer. At the present moment in the timeline, Installation 07 is the site of a joint UNSC-Elite mission to make sure a Flood outbreak doesn’t recur.

    What Does Cortana’s Invasion Mean for Humanity?

    The biggest shock in Halo 5: Guardians was Cortana’s return from the grave to take over the universe. The Master Chief fought the Covenant and the Forerunners with the help of his AI partner for the first four main Halo games. Master Chief was unable to come to terms with Cortana's plan for galactic domination in Halo 5, but now he's witnessed the damage she's caused, as her Guardian army invades Earth. It would follow for Master Chief's quest in Halo Infinite to have something to do with talking her down.

    In the novel Halo: New Blood, we learn that Cortana “took Earth offline,” and various other tie-in stories talk about the havoc the robotic Guardians have created under Cortana’s command. Might Infinite include some missions on Earth as well as on the ring installation? Capturing Cortana still seems like the most imminent task for humanity in the new era of Halo. Maybe a mission related to that will lead players back to our planet.

    How Does the Chief Feel About It?

    The plot of Halo Infinite looks like it will involve a new conflict on the surface of Installation 07, but the connection between Chief and Cortana is still the most significant emotional story in the saga. Don’t expect Chief to emote too much, but hopefully, the game will establish something about his response to the news that his companion is deathly serious about her plan to mobilize the galaxy’s AI against their makers. It’s also possible that the story might move away from the plot set up in Halo 4 and Halo 5: Guardians, bypassing the story of Cortana and the alien Precursors for something more in the vein of Halo: CE’s human vs. alien war. 

    What Happened to Blue Team?

    The Master Chief’s brothers and sisters in arms had a major role in Halo 5, but it isn’t clear whether they will be returning for Infinite. Halo 5’s campaign co-op allowed people to play as all four members of Blue Team, but it was sometimes dodgy, with characters who were supposed to heal the player just as often dying in the line of fire.

    The squad of soldiers we saw in the first trailer doesn’t seem to include Blue Team, so maybe they don’t return. Chief and groups of marines would be a return to the original game’s mold. Blue Team have been around in the expanded universe material since the very beginning, though, so some explanation for their absence can be expected if they aren’t in the game proper. 

    Does Doctor Halsey Have a Plan?

    The creator of the Spartan program has been many things over the years, from mother figure to war criminal to a rebel affiliated with the Elites. Now, she is missing one arm and reunited with the UNSC. There are several possible ways she could be involved with a plot focused on the Master Chief: as Cortana’s creator, she might have a way to stop her. She might have been involved with the creation of a new AI partner for Chief, as was seen at the very end of the Halo Infinite trailer. 

    What Happened to Fireteam Osiris? 

    Jameson Locke was set up in Halo 5 to be a foil to the Master Chief, but it looks like 343 is moving away from his story to focus on Chief. Locke and Fireteam Osiris are still out there, though. Hopefully, there will be some kind of closure for them. It might be easy to declare that they’re on board the Infinity, the massive human flagship, and leave it at that. But they also represent the “new generation” of Spartans, so if Halo Infinite wants to allow players to embody the Spartan-IVs or make a statement about the volunteer super soldiers, Locke and company are ready.

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    The studio behind PUBG have dropped their lawsuit against the Fortnite team for undisclosed reasons.

    News Matthew Byrd
    Jun 27, 2018

    PUBG Corp has withdrawn their lawsuit against Fortnite developer Epic games. 

    According to a report by Bloomberg, the developers of PUBGhave sent a letter of withdraw to Epic Games Inc's lawyers in order to close the case that was filed in South Korea. While PUBG Corp and their legal representatives have confirmed that the lawsuit has been withdrawn, they have not issued a public statement regarding their reason behind withdrawing this lawsuit or whether it involves any compensation. 

    As reported by the Korea Times, PUBG Corp filed an injunction against Epic in January related to the copyright infringement allegations. While it appears that the formal legal filings related to this case have only begun in the last few months, some of you may remember that the PUBG team first alleged last year that Epic had copied aspects of the company's own battle royale game. Some felt that it was odd the PUBG team would levy such an accusation given that PUBGisn't the first battle royale title, it turns out that the PUBG team's claims go deeper than that. 

    "We've had an ongoing relationship with Epic Games throughout PUBG’s development as they are the creators of UE4, the engine we licensed for the game," said Bluehole VP and executive producer Chang Han Kim. "After listening to the growing feedback from our community and reviewing the gameplay for ourselves, we are concerned that Fortnite may be replicating the experience for which PUBG is known."

    Bluehole, PUBGCorp's parent organization, also stated that this matter isn't simply related to Fortnite and PUBG belonging to the same genre of game but instead has to do with the working relationship between PUBG Corp and Epic. PUBG Corp finds it odd that the company would pay Epic royalties for the use of their game engine and that Epic would turn around and utilize aspects of PUBG and add them to Fortnite.

    As noted by Bloomberg, both Epic and PUBG Corp are partially owned by Tencent Holdings Inc. Some believe that Tencent may have played a role in the decision to drop this lawsuit. 

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    Sony is looking into ways to let you play Fortnite and other games with competing console owners.

    News Matthew Byrd
    Jun 27, 2018

    Shawn Layden, president and CEO of Sony Interactive Entertainment America, briefly addressed the PlayStation 4's controversial crossplay policies at the Gamelab conference in Spain.

    "We're hearing it. We're looking at a lot of the possibilities," said Layden. "You can imagine that the circumstances around that affect a lot more than just one game. I'm confident we'll get to a solution which will be understood and accepted by our gaming community, while at the same time supporting our business."

    That statement was issued in response to a question from Eurogamer regarding how the PlayStation 4's crossplay policies, especially as it relates to Fortnite, fits into the general idea that the PlayStation 4 is all about the players and the games. While Layden's full comments suggest that there are things being worked on which he cannot - or will not - directly comment on at this time, his reply doesn't inspire much confidence that a fix to the Fortnite problem is imminent. 

    To recap, the Fortnite PS4 issue gained steam when Fortnite launched on the Nintendo Switch. It was then that players noticed that they were unable to log-in to the Nintendo Switch version of Fortnite using their accounts if those accounts were created on the PS4. However, those who created their Fortnite accounts on Xbox One, PC, and other platforms are able to log-in to the Nintendo Switch version of the game via their original accounts. 

    While the Fortnite controversy is all the rage at the moment, it's not the only game affected by the PS4 crossplay console policies. Simply put, Sony doesn't really allow PS4 gamers to play games with Xbox One or Nintendo Switch players. While some games like Fortnitedo allow PS4 gamers to play against those playing the game on PC, iOS, Mac, and Android, they are not able to play against users on competing consoles. 

    According to John Smedley, ex-head of H1Z1 developer Daybreak Game Company, the issue is related to money. Smedly says that while he was at Sony, the general mentality was that "[Sony] didn't like someone buying something on an Xbox and it being used on a Playstation." He also noted that he felt it was a "dumb reason."

    If Sony is indeed holding out for some kind of financial compensation, they may be in for a long battle that may not win them a lot of great PR. 

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    The original voice actor of Metal Gear Solid's Snake returns in an unusual way.

    News Matthew Byrd
    Jun 27, 2018

    As part of their continuing effort to seemingly use Bomberman as a resting home for their other video game franchises, Konami has invited Solid Snake voice actor David Hayter to voice Solid Snake in Super Bomberman R

    That's a lot of "Wait, what?" to digest, so let's break this down. First off, there's a Super Bomberman R patch set to release soon that will add some classic Konami characters to the game. That patch includes the addition of Naked Snake Bomber and Solid Snake Bomber. While this isn't the first time that Konami has released MGS-related content since Hideo Kojima's departure from the company (who can forget Metal Gear Survive?), the return of David Hayter as Solid Snake is surprising. 

    Some of you may remember that Hayter was replaced by Kiefer Sutherland in Metal Gear Solid 5 (Sutherland played Big Boss in that game). While it was never properly explained why Hayter was replaced in that game, comments that surfaced following Hayter's replacement suggested that Hideo Kojima may have actually been trying to replace Hayter for years. Hayter said he had to re-audition in order to voice Big Boss in Metal Gear Solid 3 and noted that he had heard that Kojima had tried to replace him with Kurt Russel

    In an old interview, Kojima noted that his desire to replace Hayter stemmed from his desire to recreate the series. He also suggested that he wanted a new actor who might be able to more accurately perform the motion capture and voicework needed to successfully portray an older version of Snake. As some have noted, though, Sutherland is only two years older than Hayter, Solid Snake/Big Boss doesn't have that many facial expressions, and the same person that voiced Otacon was asked to voice Otacon's father. 

    In any case, 2018 marks a surprisingly big year for Hayter. Not only is he voicing Snake in Bomberman, but he's also going to voice the character in the upcoming Super Smash Bros. Ultimate

    Whether or not Hayter will ever again be asked to voice Snake in a proper MGS game remains to be seen. 

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