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Are Persona 5 Streaming Guidelines Unreasonable?

Are Persona 5 Streaming Guidelines Unreasonable?

After being put off – literally for years – Atlus has finally released Persona 5, and even they’re allowing jokes about that delay. How could they not when April 2017 is a long way from Winter 2014? All kidding aside, though, don’t make any jokes about their streaming guidelines. Atlus didn’t hold onto Persona 5 all this time to permit a deluge of spoilers.

Game streaming has become a standard part of the gaming experience and while early reviewers almost always receive guidelines that limit how much they can reveal to the public via video, it’s unusual for a company to institute such rules once the game is released.

Interestingly, the rules for average gamers regarding streaming Persona 5, however, are almost identical to early reviewer rules. Is this fair – or even reasonable?

Preventing Spoilers

On the one hand, Atlus has been very clear about why they don’t want players to publish videos that reveal later game play or videos more than 90 minutes long – they want to keep this long-awaited video game under wraps for players and prevent game spoilers. They’ve even vowed to remove social media posts containing spoilers.

On the other hand, though, no one is making you watch an hour of video revealing serious gameplay; in a long form game, a single sentence of text isn’t going to kill the whole experience. After all, gaming is about the journey.

Preventing Deeper Engagement

While Atlus is busy telling users they can’t push the limits of streaming because of the risk of game spoilers, many gamers recognize that streaming – including user commentary, failures, and extraordinary feats – are part of the fun. And it’s not just the gamers; other game publishers share this perspective. Immediately following the Atlus announcement, Devolver Digital issued its own “guidelines.” The rules include “spoil it real hard” and smile while you do it.

In essence, telling gamers they can’t stream significant parts of Persona 5 or post spoilers or key plot points means that Atlus is creating a barrier to deeper engagement with their game. For something as long awaited as Persona 5, this could be a real problem. Yes, people want to play, but they also want to be part of an online community that’s loudly and actively talking about the game – and Atlus is saying no, you can’t do that.

All in all, we think Atlus is taking this all too far and too seriously, especially when they say they’ll issue account suspensions to those who don’t abide by the streaming rules. Gamers are shelling out for your long awaited product and now you’re telling them what to do with it. If Atlus wants to keep a loyal following, they need to let gamers play by their own rules.

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EntertainmentVideo Games

PAX East 2017: Songbringer Thoughts

PAX East 2017: Songbringer Thoughts

Slated for release at the end of this year on Steam as well as DRM-free for Windows, Mac and Linux, Songbringer is a whole new world of adventure. Following in the footsteps of Zelda, yet leaving it in the dust with a trail of innovation including non-linear progression, Songbringer takes gaming to a mystical level with a touch of random chaos.

Created by Nathanael Weiss, this game generated 759 backers on Kickstarter who pledged a total of $15,063 to bring his project to life.

Before the game begins, you’ll select a 6-letter “world seed” word which generates the details of the world including the entire planet, its overworld, secrets, and even its dungeons. With the possibility of generating 308 million worlds, each level in this action RPG adventure is generated randomly so you won’t get the same adventure twice. Unless, of course, you choose to enter the same world seed over and over again, but where’s the fun in that?

You can even play against your friends (or with them in cooperation), because when you enter the same world seed codes, you’ll all be in the same world.

When you explore these worlds as accidental hero Roq Epimetheos, you just want to party and make music while you cruise across the galaxy in a ship called Songbringer. On your quest for planets devoid of galactic police, you’ll be met with demons just awakened, virus androids, and a plethora of interesting characters to contend with including an evil ancient army.

Take your teleport orb to the droidsmith to create some serious alchemy and generate a fire teleport orb. Or bring the droidsmith your microcord, poison, and a tophat and he’ll turn it into a poisonous boomerang tophat.

As you move through these weird, 16-bit worlds using your nanosword to vanquish giants in order to save the planet from their takeover, your mission is to collect ancient relics and devices in order to combine them to form powerful artifacts. Beware if you find yourself in a cave in the jungle on planet Ekzerra, though. There’s a sword inside that will jail you as well as your enemies.

Catch a sneak preview on YouTube and get an early piece of the action.

Songbringer is loaded with non-traditional weapons, space demons, psychedelic mushrooms to help you find secret areas, and even random, secret exploding walls.

Stay tuned for the release so you can start soothing monsters and opening those portals with your electric guitar.

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EntertainmentVideo Games

PAX East 2017: Top 5 Games of Show

PAX East 2017: Top 5 Games of Show

1. Hob

In a silent, seemingly abandoned world with no text and no dialogue, Hob is a mysterious world with a somber undertone. You’ll be battling bosses, solving puzzles to move through the environment, activating hidden switches, and leaping across ledges that seem impossible. If you dare to go anywhere you shouldn’t, you’ll find secrets. Hob will be available for PC and PS4.

2. Hands of Fate 2

If you’ve ever wanted to turn your poker games into an action game, Hands of Fate 2 does just that. In a whimsical adventure, you’ll have to make some hard pressed decisions to risk your own life to save others while playing a tabletop card game. However, when it’s time to battle, the game will get serious. You can even customize your characters to be more like you – or someone you admire. Hands of Fate 2 is coming out for PC, PS4 and Xbox One.

3. Perception

This game takes horror games to a new level. As a heroine named Cassie, you’re blind and have to navigate a haunted house using echolocation. But there’s one caveat – echolocation is noisy, and the ghosts who reside in the house don’t like noise. What’s more, they’re invisible and they can kill you. You’ll have to hide from them sooner than later.


As the winner of both MIGF 2016 for art direction and E3 2015 for best of the mix, GNOG is perhaps one of the coolest 3D puzzle games to ever be released. It’s an immersive experience in a 3D world full of toys and monsters where you get to explore various environments to play, discover secrets and hidden stories, and solve puzzles. As you explore, you can press, pull, slide, click, grab, and rotate robot heads to uncover moving parts and puzzles. GNOG is being released for PS 4, Steam for Windows and Mac, as well as iOS.

5. Refactor

If you’re a Tetris fan you’ll probably love this game. You are a block, and your goal is to escape from a factory graveyard where defective puzzle pieces go to die.

Refactor gives you the ability to become a cube to turn on switches and bust down walls. You can even become a T-block when you want to swing around as if it’s a grappling hook. This game allows you to rearrange the rooms and alter the map.

These are the 5 best games to come out of PAX this year, so keep your eyes peeled for their release!

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Video Games

Nintendo is Discontinuing the NES Classic – Here’s Why That Sucks

Nintendo is Discontinuing the NES Classic – Here’s Why That Sucks

We have serious video game nostalgia – seriously, what was better than Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 for SNES or the original Super Mario Kart? Simply put, the 90s were a good time for gaming. That’s why we were so disappointed to hear that Nintendo is discontinuing the incredibly popular NES Classic.

The final NES Classic shipments will hit stores this month and that will be the end of the run, which only lasted 6 months. Prices for the console are soaring on eBay and fans of the mini system and old school gaming are in mourning.

A Major Misstep

Not only are we upset that Nintendo is closing shop on the NES Classic, it just doesn’t make any sense. The company seems simply to have miscalculated here – they under-produced from the start and were never able to meet demand. They could have kept selling this simple console for years and continued to turn a profit. And we would all have been delighted to have those 30 preloaded, old school games on hand.

A Marketing Ploy

By discontinuing the NES Classic, Nintendo may have also made a big mistake in terms of consumer trust and loyalty. Though they now state repeatedly that the $60 console wasn’t meant to be a long-term product, customers didn’t seem to get that message at the time. Thus, an item that we all took to be a standard gaming platform is now a collector’s item. You can bet we would have treated this precious system differently if we had expected this outcome.

What Now?

Without the NES Classic, what’s our relationship with Nintendo? Nintendo wants us to pay attention to their new Switch system and that’s cool – we really dig the new portable console concept – but it’s not even remotely an equivalent. The Switch is far more expensive, requires separate game purchases, and doesn’t have any of the nostalgia factors of the NES Classic.

In many ways, the market is entirely different. People who aren’t going to buy a new console were psyched for the NES Classic, but don’t care about the Switch. In fact, it appealed to buyers who didn’t care about video games as far back as the original Wii. They’ve been out of the gaming world for years, but the NES Classic was a special treat.

Are There Alternatives?

If you couldn’t get your hands on an NES (and have no intention of shelling out hundreds on eBay), you might consider an all-in one system like Retro Freak. While you’ll still need the separate games and the system is pricier – it doesn’t have a standard distributor – you can play everything from NES games to old Game Boy cartridges on this. It doesn’t have the cache of an NES classic, but this is definitely nostalgia central.

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EntertainmentVideo Games

Project Scorpio’s Specs Announced

Project Scorpio’s Specs Announced

While you’ve had your eyes trained on the Nintendo Switch, which launched earlier this year, you may have missed something even bigger: the Project Scorpio specs. Project Scorpio is the next console project out of Microsoft and shunning the Xbox label with good reason. The Xbox isn’t a hot model right now, but Project Scorpio is structured for high-powered gaming, set to outpace all competitors.

PC-Level Tech

Perhaps the most obvious advantage of Project Scorpio is that it’s less like other gaming consoles and more similar to a sturdy gaming PC. Boasting 24 GB of RAM, a 1 TB solid-state drive, and high speed graphics processing, this console is probably running a more aggressive system than your work laptop.

Huge Design Potential

Of course, the only reason to have PC-level specs is if you’re going to build games that take advantage of them – and that’s exactly what Microsoft wants to encourage with Project Scorpio.

Although Project Scorpio will still run all the Xbox One games, new releases will push the limits of gameplay, including in the realm of VR. Though Xbox lead, Phil Spencer, doesn’t necessarily love VR across the board, the gaming community is on the edge of their seats awaiting Fallout 4, a VR release for Project Scorpio. Fallout 4 is currently in development and gamers can expect a fully immersive experience unlike any other.

Your Old TV Won’t Kill The Experience

It’s enough that you’ll be shelling out for a new console when Project Scorpio hits the market, but even if you wait for a price drop after a few months, will you have to buy a 4K TV to enjoy these high-end games? Don’t worry – the Project Scorpio designers have thought this issue through, as well.

Project Scorpio features several different graphics settings, allowing you to reduce the intensity of the visuals, but more importantly the console has eliminated frame tearing. That means no more weird glitches because you have a great new console and an underpowered TV.

Overclocking Without Overclocking

If you’re not already poised to purchase a Project Scorpio console because you have a great gaming PC, for example, this may be the selling point for you: we’re talking about a system so fast that you’d basically have to overclock your computer and install extra cooling mechanisms to match this console.

The engineers built a customer cooler for the tiny Project Scorpio system, which also includes eight CPU cores set up in two clusters. Unfortunately, due to manufacturing schedules, it doesn’t include ADM’s Ryzen technology, but that doesn’t seem to be a significant barrier to performance.

Simply put, Project Scorpio is set to destroy the divide between consoles and gaming PCs and that may the biggest industry break the industry has seen in years. As for those on the gaming side, though, Project Scorpio is set to bring an immersive level of power. Enjoy – and don’t forget to sleep once it comes out.

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Video Games

Will TitanFall 2 Outperform the First Version?

Will TitanFall 2 Outperform the First Version?

The question of how well the new TitanFall 2 release is going to perform is one that a lot of hardcore gamers are going to be discussing for a good while. Although there will probably be differing opinions, they should still break down into a few basic responses.

There are two large, related questions, as well: How does the TitanFall 2 experience compare directly to the original TitanFall title, and how does the TitanFall 2 experience relate to other games that are currently on the market in similar genres?

The Direct Comparison

In the short time since the release of the new TitanFall, lots of people have chipped in their two cents about the differences between the two games. Many of the details revolve around the idea of unlockable content.

A big complaint about the original title was that there simply were not enough of possibilities to work for. That is there weren’t sufficient options for progression as the gameplay went on, which meant that what seemed initially extraordinary soon became familiar, with little or no path in sight to develop deeper skill sets or even more detailed storylines.

The new title doubles up with regard to many of these unlocks, as well as improving the number of options for both the Titan and the pilot under the control of the player. This includes a lot of major stuff (such as new weapons and different types of movement), and useable modifications to these categories as well.

A few of the less popular options were taken away; for example, choosing different voices for your Titan. Most likely, this was done in order to maintain the purity of the narrative throughout the storyline.

Early opinions suggest the new storyline has more emotional depth as well: It gives players a more complete experience.

Compared To Other Titles

The other valuable consideration with regard to outperforming the original title is how well the new one compares to other games currently being released. The newest Call of Duty appears to offer nearly the same theme, but gamers have enthusiastically noted that TitanFall 2 does a far better job of bringing the player into the universe: allowing options for greater mobility, and creating an immersive environment overall that modern gamers clamor for.

By the Numbers

In a few months, the question of improved performance will be settled, though early signs suggest that most gamers will agree the verdict is good. Single and multiplayer versions are available, and once the early adopters have settled into their comfort zone, the rest of the tribe will join the fold as well.

Initial price points have less to do with the overall equation than the number of people signed up and the total hours logged by gamers, so there will soon be plenty of statistics to crunch and analyze.

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Video Games

10 Things We’re Excited About with the New Nintendo Switch

10 Things We’re Excited About with the New Nintendo Switch

With each new iteration of smarter and faster technology in video games and gaming comes another breakthrough or release to delight the faithful. Currently slated for March 2017, the next generation will descend upon us in earnest … in the form of the Nintendo Switch console.

What Is the Switch?

From its first appearances and trailers, The Switch appears to be a console designed for the purpose of mobility. It hasn’t been heavily advertised yet, so don’t be surprised if you haven’t heard a lot of chatter about it.

But when it does hit, there will be a lot to get excited about, including the following 10 items, which can be loosely classified for two groups: hardcore gamers or casual newcomers to the gaming tribe.

For the Hardcore Gamer

1. Take it wherever you go.

Early indications exhibit multiple ways to enjoy the system, such as in front of a large display or in a handheld capacity.

2. Multi-player potential.

How many people can you hook up to the same network with this game? It’s not known exactly, but previews suggest lots of exciting configurations.

3. You trust Nintendo.

You’ve been with Nintendo this long, and this is the next step forward in production to add to the company’s already long and illustrious history.

4. Bigger, better, and faster.

Every new system that comes out supplies more opportunity for sensory immersion. This release is no different.

5. Modifications and add-ons will be available.

The modular setup of the new Switch system is a gamer’s dream in this case. Additional options are possible in many esoterically game-centric directions.

For the Casual Newcomer

6. Nothing like this exists.

If you haven’t been into games before, this may be the best introduction to what millions of people around the world enjoy.

7. The best games will be available.

Once all the kinks have been worked out of the prototype and test versions, every game maker is going to want to make their titles available, so new people will have the pick of “the best of the best” to check out.

8. Connecting on a social level will be easy.

Given multiplayer options, even people who haven’t known how to connect socially on gaming platforms in the past will have an easy time with Switch.

9. It’s a more active overall vibe with the Switch.

Once you see how the gameplay is configured, you’ll understand that you don’t have to play only in certain ways or at certain places. You can go mobile with your new hobby!

10. Cost should be non-prohibitive.

Early indications suggest that buying Switch won’t leave you penniless. Many systems that have this kind of a power are inaccessible to people who aren’t already part of the video game culture. This one should be a different story!

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Video Games

Will Pokémon Sun and Moon Be The Best Pokémon Games Yet?

Pokémon Sun and Moon

Ever since Pokémon Go smashed its way onto the digital game field, it’s garnered a lot of attention, both among veteran thumb typers, newbies, and the media. Don’t assume that the original Pokémon adventures have stopped evolving in new directions, however.

With Pokémon in particular, it’s fairly difficult to determine an overall “best” stamp of approval, but you can weigh some of its facets and ideas in comparison to itself. Different people like Pokémon for different reasons, and the Sun and Moon series is apparently aimed at pleasing a broad swath of the video game community.

About Pokémon In General

Before we go too far into the quality of products in relation to Pokémon Go, it’s worth looking back at a bit of the historical context. Pokémon has undergone transitions from comic book to TV show, video games to playing cards, and board games, and it has a strong narrative and physical products list (clothes, shoes, backpacks, household items, etc.) to go along.

Many people relate to the characters in the storyline as well as the actual Pokémon creatures themselves, based on the personalities that have evolved over the years. Depending on the person you talk to, you’re apt to get different versions of why they have connected emotionally with one of the characters … everything from how they were drawn to where they happen to fit in the story line.

About Pokémon Sun and Moon

As far as assessing whether Pokémon Sun and Moon might be the best Pokémon games ever, this is how you’re going to have to approach the question. If you watch the trailers for the game, there’s an introduction to three new characters, and then a vague reference to sun and moon characters.

This seems to be a natural extension of the Pokémon universe and will be an exciting way for current players to dive further into that world. As far as gameplay, graphics, and narrative go, there aren’t a lot of spoilers yet (the game is scheduled for release later this month), so the mystery and secrecy that surround it, for the time being, are going to be a major factor in how much attention it ultimately generates.

About Pokémon Go and the Attention Gathered

Returning to the appeal of Pokémon Go, if you have enjoyed the concept of Pokéballs, and evolving characters, battles, and teams, then you are probably going to celebrate the fact that Nintendo is giving you more to work with.

You can take the draw from the augmented reality aspect of the series and find out more about why that Pokémon world came to exist in the first place. From there you can arrive at your own conclusion about whether the video game series compares well against other things you do.

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EntertainmentVideo Games

E3 2016: Top 10 Games of Show


E3 2016: Top 10 Games of Show

This year’s E3 featured all kinds of great new games from major developers, but 10 in particular blew my mind. Here’s what should be on your must-have list:

1. Zelda: Breath of the Wild

The latest installment of the Zelda franchise is a free-map exploration that once again has Link tracking Ganon through the Hyrule universe. Stellar new graphics and a new storyline are the best part of this update, and I may be just a little too excited, but this could be the best Zelda game yet (at least, I sure hope so!).

2. God of War

Sony’s new iteration of the God of War series for Playstation is deep, dark, realistic, and immersive. The narrative continues with Kratos showing his child all the necessary skills to be a God, and the child bringing his father back into the realm of human feeling. Psychology and gameplay combine in one for this title.

3. Battlefield 1

Battlefield 1, from EA, is a first-person shooter game, set during World War I, with machine guns, tanks, deep storylines, and more explosions that you can shake a stick of dynamite at. Look for previews if you want to see the gameplay, and be prepared to be blown away.

4. Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare

Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare takes you into space, gives you three modes of gameplay, and makes previous versions of the game seem like practice for this epic, cinematic adventure. Stellar voice acting and graphics take the experience to a much deeper level, for old hands and newbies to the Call of Duty franchise alike.

5.Resident Evil 7

Want to feel scared? Puzzled? Confused? Frustrated? Then give Resident Evil 7 a whirl. Even people who have invested hours and hours into this game can’t quite determine what it’s about. Intrigued? Then join the masses and poke your way through the house. Good luck finding your way out!

6. For Honor

In the fantasy realm of good guys, bad guys, peace, confusion, hatred, and thousands of years of destruction, For Honor takes you to a new place and forces you to gain skills and knowledge. Both medieval and deep, put on your thinking caps and check your reflexes before you step too far into this one.

7. Gears of War 4

Microsoft and Xbox bring you the 4th installment of Gears of War. Test your skills and strategies against the universe in this fan favorite franchise. Multiplayer functionality is what’s really going to hook you. Add the gross out factor for folks who enjoy the gore scene, and you’ve got a winner.

8. Sea of Thieves

Your crew against the world. Bring it on! With more of a focus on humor and community, Sea of Thieves will keep you entertained – all the way up until you drunkenly fall of your ship, or your find yourself caught in all of those details that are required to set sail in the first place.

9. South Park: The Fractured But Whole

No top 10 list would be complete without some absurdity in the mix, and that’s what the latest South Park title brings to the table.When it comes to this game, expect the unexpected, and appreciate that gaming only has to be as serious as Matt and Trey are willing to make it.

10. Ghost Recon: Wild Lands

Mix a little bit of realism with a whole lot of spy novel fantasy business, and you get Ghost Recon: Wild Lands. Hyper accentuated personalities and fight scenes are going to be the name of the game on this one, so be prepared for some colorful personas and situations to work your way through.

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EntertainmentVideo Games

Battlefield 1 or COD: Infinite Warfare – Which Will Be Better?

Battlefield 1 or COD: Infinite Warfare

Battlefield 1 or COD: Infinite Warfare

E3 showcased a lot of games and opinions from gaming experts. Will gamers love the new games or will they hate them? A couple of big topics, as far as the games went, were Battlefield 1 and COD: Infinite Warfare.

As any gamer knows – or anyone who’s ever had any kind of relationship, for that matter – it’s exciting to wait for new games and the next versions of your favorite games. E3 2016 took a good look at Battlefield 1 and COD: Infinite Warfare and evaluated their strengths.

Here’s an overview of what you might have missed. Plus, a guess at which game may be better than the other.

Battlefield 1

When you watch actual gameplay footage of BattleField 1, you see footage that looks incredibly real. You almost feel like you’re watching a movie, which is the case with most games these days, whether they’re computer or console versions.

What’s one of the coolest things that Battlefield 1 has going for it? Instead of it being just a first person view of the scenario, you get more of an every angle view, which makes the experience feel much more immersive.

COD: Infinite Warfare

Call of Duty is a well-known name in the gaming world, but it seems like there are a lot of people who don’t like this gaming franchise:

It’s basically your classic, first person shooter game with awesome graphics. It might be the whole first person thing that people are bored with, as many gamers say the creators just continually recycle the last game.

Which One Will Be Better?

Well, to be honest, with COD having such a love/hate relationship with gamers, and Battlefield 1 being dubbed the new best game from EA and Dice, it makes sense that Battlefield 1 would be the better choice. While COD offers a more “out of this world” look with space stations and spaceships, Battlefield 1 offers a more grounded scenario.

Another deciding factor? It seems that the way the trailers were received says a lot about which game people want. The trailer for COD was one of the most hated gaming trailers of the year, while the one for Battlefield 1 was much better received.

It’s likely that there will still be plenty of gamers who will love Call of Duty, and the franchise will continue to be successful, but Battlefield 1 wins this competition.

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