Cooler Master has been a shining example of getting involved with community feedback. Last year they showed a line of products that were highly customizable. This year at CES 2018, Cooler Master took what they did well, and made it even better with the feedback they received from their fans. The M800 Gaming Series consists of several peripherals. Keyboards, a mouse, a headset, and a mouse pad. This is what Bram Rongen, Senior Product Marketing Manager at Cooler Master, said about the new series:
“The M800 gaming series embodies the best of the best. We aimed to raise the bar with unique technology and features such as the collaboration with Aimpad™, but also set the stage with a fresh level of design to ensure we deliver a premium gaming experience"
MK850 & MK851 Keyboards
Partnering with Aimpad was such a smart deal and an over all win for the consumer. It allows a cluster of 8 keys to essentially act like an analog controller. Many people didn't even know they needed it until they tried it. Similar to gaming console controllers, the keys will have press sensitivity. This is super helpful when playing games that require precise feedback, like racing games.
The MK851 will only have a Cherry Red switches option. Given the fact that it has pressure sensitivity, Reds were the only way to go. For the MK850, you will have the options of Cherry Blue or Brown switches. You'll also lose the number pad, which is a plus for people that play with a crooked keyboard. The precision wheel sits at the top of the keyboard and will work across MK800 devices since each peripheral will be part of a unified software. You'll also find that the new keyboards will have a premium weathered metal design. This means you wont get that plastic look we found on the MK700 series.
A mouse with a built in D-pad. Who would have thought. The D-pad has a grip that has a proper texture, so that you can easily feel the button, but it doesn't take away from the design. Outside of that, you'll get the RGB lighting with tons of options. Great more so for MOBA and MMO type games. Its rather light and well balanced as well.
The simple design keeps it clean and not over the top. There a rather large knob on both sides of the headset, but for good reason. One of the is an easy to access control for Focus FX, which will isolate the mid and high tones to hear subtle sounds such as footsteps during competitive play. Turning Focus FX off instantly elevates the bass thus providing an immersive gaming atmosphere.
The Focus FX being a toggle is definitely more convenient than trying to remove the cup covers while playing on the last years pair. Super comfortable. I wear glasses and the tension on the headband is tight enough to stay on, but not tight enough to push my glasses through my head.
Not too much to say here. Its a mouse pad with RGB lighting to complete the peripheral set. One side has a textured cloth, while the other side is a hard smooth surface. It's as easy as flipping it over.
All of these are very well made and have a minimalist design, which I love. A lot of gaming peripherals have become a bit too flashy, but Cooler Master is keeping it classy. I am definitely looking forward to reviewing these products to give you all full details.
What do you think of the new M800 Series? Was there a feature you wanted that was left out? Did Cooler Master nail down all your favorite features? We hope to get these products in for review soon so we can tell you in depth, what its like owning one. Keep an eye here for the future review.
The Nintendo Switch hasn’t officially ended its inaugural year yet, but the company has managed to sell more than 10 million units of the hybrid console, almost reaching the lifetime sales of the Wii U. However, Nintendo is not taking a break anytime soon, aiming to sell 20 million this year, and is already hard at work on making the Switch’s second year, even better than the first.
In an interview with a newspaper in Japan via NintendoEverything, Nintendo’s president Tatsumi Kimishima said that “in order (for the Switch) to be playable in the long term, the second year is crucial.” Nintendo is now acknowledging the big task that they are now faced and said that their priority is “to add more users, including people who barely touch game consoles.”
As of now, Nintendo is on the right track to make the Switch a long term console. The fact that the company is more than willing to encourage third party developers to make games for the Switch is already a step in the right direction. As numerous Nintendo and third party titles are headed for the Switch this year, I believe that this alone would attract new players to Nintendo’s hybrid console. You can check out the upcoming releases for the Switch in our summary of the recent Nintendo Direct mini here.
Kimishima also recognized the upsides of inviting third party developers to make games for the Switch but he stated that the industry is extremely competitive and other companies may release hardware that would steal the Switch’s momentum and attention. Personally, I don’t see Kimishima’s concern as a threat to the Switch’s popularity because Nintendo is already known to have pioneered the home console/portable handheld technology. Even if other companies such as Sony and Microsoft would develop systems with similar features, it would just look like they have copied it from Nintendo. Lastly, the likelihood of Sony and Microsoft to develop a sort of “hybrid system” like the Switch is unlikely, given that those companies are more focused on graphical performance and VR support than portability.
In the end, even if Nintendo is on the right track with the Switch, they still have to start listening to the feedback of their community if they want the system to be even more successful. First of all, they should have already introduced the Virtual Console on the Switch, which is one of the most requested features fans have been asking for. Secondly, if Nintendo wants to bring in people who barely touch game consoles, then Nintendo should offer more features that are not related to gaming. On the top of my mind, a Netflix app will definitely be helpful in attracting more people to purchase a Nintendo Switch. Although Netflix has stated that they are working with Nintendo on this issue, Nintendo should act quickly if they want the second year of the Switch to be more successful than the first.
What features would you like to see on the Nintendo Switch? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
Elite Dangerous Season 3 kicks off with a free beta test available to all PC players. In an announcement made by Frontier Developments a few days ago, it was revealed that the open beta test for Elite Dangerous: Beyond - Chapter One will begin on January 25.
Elite Dangerous: Beyond Chapter One is the first update of the third season of the game after the devastating assault of the Thargoids on humanity’s starports. The recent update will introduce several gameplay enhancements, including a variety of gameplay experiences that allows players to trade, fight, or explore in Elite Dangerous’ “massive multiplayer galaxy.”
Prior to the release of the update, the Chapter One beta will be available to all PC Elite Dangerous players, giving them a preview of what to expect on the game’s new contents and a chance to give their feedback on the update before it's official launch. In a press release by the developer, fans were told what they can expect from the open beta:
“In the open beta, Wing Missions bring challenging team-based objectives for players to complete with friends and community members around the world. Commanders will share their adventures - and rewards - with allies while working together to overcome dangerous obstacles.”
“Advanced in-game Trading Data will empower traders to make better deals and smoother transactions. Information on the galactic economy is now more freely available, allowing every commander to become a master merchant as they journey among the stars.”
“The Elite Dangerous galaxy becomes more realistic and beautiful than ever before with reworked planet rendering technology in Frontier’s COBRA game engine. In Beyond - Chapter One vibrant surface colors better reflect planetary geological properties, enriching the full-scale Milky Way.”
Elite Dangerous: Beyond - Chapter One will be available in Q1 of this year for free to all players on the PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One. The open beta will kick off on January 25 for PC players through the in-game launcher.
So today I was looking at this article on PSU, which was “reporting” on an apparent leak of information on the Final Fantasy VII Remake—which came from 4chan and is pretty transparently false… I mean… Final Fantasy vs. XV? Are you kidding me?—anyway while the info itself should be disregarded, there was one portion that got me thinking about the combat in the remake and the nature of modern battle systems that try to walk the line between the strategy of command based systems—where you control multiple party members—and the excitement of action based systems.
Before we jump into that though, let’s take a look at what the 4chan post has to say about the Remake’s combat.
Again, don’t believe a word of what you’re seeing here, just wait for an actual reveal, but that being said… I kinda like this idea. The thought of a combat system that moves in real time, but also allows you to select commands for the other party members and even switch between them is promising. That’s essentially what I’ve been wanting from this modern take on Final Fantasy combat for a long time. Now the question becomes how can that be executed in a way that is both strategic, exciting, and avoids being too overwhelming to the player.
Here’s where the biggest issue lies in my opinion. I put this really crude graph together in about two minutes but hopefully it will demonstrate the point.
On one side you have traditional turn based combat, which I think can be defined as slow-paced, party-oriented, strategic, and procedural. On the other side you have action based combat, which I would define as being fast-paced, single character focused, exciting, and skill-based. I’ll venture to say that the aspects of turn based combat that are most important to fans of that style are the party-oriented and strategic parts. On the other side, I’d say players value the exciting and skill-based facets. So, if we’re creating a hybrid of these two very different gameplay styles, I’d say we’d want to create something that incorporates all four of those—meaning we’d want the combat to feel party-oriented, strategic, exciting, and skill-based. Sounds simple enough, but in reality it’s actually very difficult to pull that off.
This is especially true of the party-oriented part of that equation, which I think is the most problematic in a real-time battle system. The issue here is simply the limits of the human brain. Imagine you’re playing Dark Souls for instance, except you’re actually controlling three characters at the same time, trying to position them in different places around a boss, to dodge, block, attack, retreat, move in, cast spells, heal, etc., for three different characters all at once. Just the thought of that is a nightmare, our brains can’t handle it, nor should they be expected to. This is why games like Final Fantasy XII and XV allow you to control one character at a time (we’ll get into XV’s character swapping in just a second). However, in Final Fantasy XII for instance you have the option to select every party member’s actions manually in real-time. I would say that attempting to play that way would be incredibly overwhelming for the majority of people, but maybe we have some prodigies in the audience who can pull it off. In any case, for most people, a sacrifice has to be made there. Do you turn on wait mode and sacrifice the fast paced nature of the battle system to give yourself more control of the party, or do you let the AI take over for the party, sacrifice your control, and enjoy fast-paced combat? Are you starting to see how these two gameplay styles are diametrically opposed?
Now, personally I’m okay with sacrificing fast-paced combat for full party control, because I believe we can still retain the excitement of action battle systems with slower-paced combat. This is why I like to play Final Fantasy XII with wait time on. I also want to point out how this was handled in Dragon Age: Inquisition, where you could pause the battle and give commands to your allies in a more traditional, Obsidian crpg-like point and click system. I love that idea, that you can fight in real-time, blocking, dodging, timing your attacks, etc., while also stopping battle at any time to direct your allies. Adding on top of this the ability to switch control among the party during combat is just amazing. In my opinion being able to swap party members during battle is a HUGE must for the FF7 remake, but I say this with one important caveat. Do NOT do it like it’s been implemented in Final Fantasy XV and Type-0. I do not want to have the party member I’m switching to fly over to my current position. I really want to see a system where positioning is key, and where I can direct the AI controlled characters to specific spots on the map, switch over to them, and remain in the position where they were. I understand that in real-time combat, moving the camera quickly to a different position could be disorienting and dizzying for some players—which may be why it was disregarded for games like Type-0—so perhaps they could tie the ability to stop combat to a face button like triangle or something to compensate for those players.
However, we have to realize that if they go this route it would mean we’d be leaning more on the command based side of the spectrum, and we’d primarily be sacrificing fast-paced action. Personally I’m happy to do that if we can retain party-oriented strategy, but perhaps there are others who care more about fluid combat. If that’s the case, then having the option between real-time and wait-time would be a good way to please both sides, and if they added a gambit system of some kind to dictate how the AI would act that would be even better. However, what I’m primarily hoping to see is a way to work in exciting skill-based combat—where timing your attacks, dodging and blocking with skill, and reading the enemies—can co-exist with feeling in control of my entire party, and being able to switch between them at will. While I haven’t played Dragon Age: Inquisition myself, it seems to me that Bioware was onto something with the combat system in that game, and I think Square-Enix could take some inspiration from that and continue to build on it in exciting ways.
For instance—and I can’t take credit for this idea, this one comes from a viewer called Hian—imagine if there was a slider control between real-time and wait-time that the player could adjust. On one side, when let’s say Barret’s ATB bar fills up, battle would stop entirely while you gave him a command, and on the other side the battle would continue at full speed. However, if you put the slider somewhere in the middle, you would get this bullet time slow motion, and the rate of that slo-mo could be customized with the slider. Additionally, rather than having a command menu pop up, you could have the player hold down the R2 button which would transform the face buttons into pre-selected materia slots, sort of similar to how its done in Ys VIII. You could expand that a bit by making the d-pad buttons into materia slots as well. That way you wouldn’t have to navigate any menus at all. There are definitely a lot of interesting possibilities there.
In any case, the truth of the matter is that because of the fact that these two gameplay styles are in many ways incompatible, there are going to be people on one side or the other that will feel unsatisfied with a hybrid system. Some people just don’t want to have their party members controlled by an AI at any time, and if that’s how you feel then an action system simply isn’t going to work—you can’t control more than one character in real-time, it’s not possible. On the other side of that coin, if you can’t handle having the battle pause for a moment then you also won’t be able to control a party. So, where do you guys fall? You can vote by clicking on the icon in the top right of your screen. Do you want full control of your party at all times, more party control with wait-time but mixed with skill-based combat, less party control with real-time but super fast-paced combat, or straight up skill-based action where you only control one character? Sound off with your thoughts in the comments, and let’s hope the reveal for Final Fantasy VII Remake comes sooner than later.
It seems as though the announcement of the Detective Pikachu game as well as the Amiibo are not the only exciting Pokemon themed releases. Today Nintendo announced the release of the New Nintendo 2DS XL Pikachu edition. The entire 2DS is themed like everyone favorite pokemon, complete with brown/white buttons, and Pikachu’s face smash dab in the middle of the handheld console. The only way they could make this more adorable would be to include a power cord that is shaped like the Pikachu’s lightning bolt shaped tail.
For those that don't know, on top of this Nintendo has also announced that the Detective Pikachu game will release March 23rd and accompanying it will be a Detective Pikachu Amiibo. The Amiibo will unlock cutscenes in the game, as well as help with hints when solving different mysteries. The combined Amiibo, Game, and 2DS XL will have die hard Pikachu fans satisfied for the time being until the release of the Detective Pikachu movie in 2019.
The Pikachu edition which releases on January 26th, will cost $159.99 which is roughly the cost of all the other editions of the console. Seeing this version makes me want to see other popular pokemon turned into Nintendo merchandise. Imagine Mew or Bulbasaur turned into a 2DS or Switch console.
The smash hit prison-escape game, The Escapist 2, developed by Team17 together with Mouldy Toof Studios, is now available on Nintendo Switch. The original Escapist was initially launched on Steam back in 2015 and it was received so well that it warranted a sequel that has just arrived for Nintendo’s hybrid system.
The Escapist 2 still retains the pixelated sandbox prison-escape game style but has improved graphics and better crafting and combat systems. The game also introduced a multiplayer option, a feature that fans of the game requested the most. The Switch version of the game allows players to team up with another inmate via a local two player split screen mode, that will take advantage of the Switch’s Joy-Cons, or Pro Controller. For the first time in the series, players can now work together or against one another and see which convict can make the quickest escape.
The game’s version for the Switch will also feature 10 unique themed prisons to escape from, an online multiplayer mode, a highly customizable character with over 300 customization options, and a dedicated tutorial for newcomers to the series. Check out the official description of the game below:
“Risk it all to breakout from the toughest prisons in the world. Explore the biggest prisons yet, with multiple floors, roofs, vents, and underground tunnels. You’ll have to live by the prison rules, attending roll call, doing prison jobs, and following strict routines; all the while secretly engineering your bid for freedom! Your prison escape antics will take you from the frosty Fort Tundra, a train hurtling through the desert, and even to the final frontier!”
The Escpaist 2 is now available to download on the Nintendo eShop for $19.99. Will you get The Escapist 2 on the Switch? What do you think is the best strategy to escape a prison? Share your thoughts on the comments below.
Capcom’s upcoming game, Monster Hunter: World is only two weeks away from it's release on the PS4, and Xbox One. The game will also come to the PC but will be delayed with Capcom aiming for a release in autumn of this year.
The producer for the game, Ryozo Tsujimoto, quickly responded with an explanation as to why Capcom is delaying the release of Monster Hunter: World for the PC. In an interview with GamesRadar, via PC Gamer, Tsujimoto said that the main reason why the PC is getting a delayed release is because Monster Hunter: Worlds will be the first PC game to come to Capcom's Monster Hunter franchise.
“For the main Monster Hunter game, this is our first PC title and it’s something we want to make sure we get right,” Tsujimoto said in the interview. “So rather than having it taking up resources during the console development and not it being able to have our full attention on it. We want to get console out of the door and we’re going to take some extra time and try and get the PC version as good as possible.”
Furthermore, Tsujimoto explained in the interview that bringing the title to PC would entail extra work for the team.
“There’s extra work you need for PC as well. On console you use first party matchmaking, you just kind of plug into it, whether it’s PSN or Xbox Live, but on PC we’re going to have to work more to get our own matchmaking working. So, hopefully, PC users won’t mind waiting a little bit longer for us to bring you a really great optimised PC experience.”
The team’s reason behind the delay of the development of the game for the PC release is definitely understandable. I would rather have a game that is delayed a few months but works well with the platform rather than having a poor version of Monster Hunter: Worlds on the PC at the same time as consoles.
Monster Hunter Worlds is set to release on January 26 for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, with the PC version following by the end of the year.
With the variety of games launching and being remastered, it just feels like a few top named games are being overlooked. As much as I enjoy having the first Resident Evil on every platform possible and venturing through Rapture in the Bioshock series, I would like to mention a top few titles that I think deserve a remaster and should be brought to the latest generation of consoles.
1) Metal Gear Solid 1 through 3
The first game that comes to mind is the one that filled up majority of my gaming experience on the PS1 and PS2. Metal Gear Solid is one of the most iconic games out there and became incredibly popular with the launch of Metal Gear Solid V. The first three games of this series was the absolute best though, but are restricted to only those who have the previous generation consoles to play them.
I would love to go back to Shadow Moses and infiltrate the facility as Solid Snake on the mission that brought this series to my attention in the first place. It was a ton of fun back then and could only be better with a proper remake. The same could be said for playing as Raiden in Metal Gear Solid 2 and the original Big Boss in Metal Gear Solid 3. This series was a big part of my childhood and I am sure many others. Its time that this series gets remade. Lets hope this becomes the focus once Konami is done with Metal Gear Survive.
2) Socom 1 through 3
Next up is the game that once competed with the Call of Duty series. Socom is known to many as the best military story mode game series out there should be enough to make it on this list. We all know that there is going to be plenty more Call of Duty titles to come, but the fans of Socom are being left behind in the old generations. It was an easy choice to add this to the list because it is long overdue for Socom to launch again, even if it isn't a new game and only the classics remastered. Let's see this happen!
3) Dino Crisis 1 and 2
One of the most popular game series from the early Playstation days in the survival horror category is Dino Crisis. It is upsetting to know that this game series has gotten no love in the past years and it completely deserves a remaster! Could you imagine running into half of the crazy scary dinosaur creatures that you encountered in that game with todays graphics? Would make for the perfect game to be remastered for all our survival horror fans out there. The good news here is that there are rumors of this being a possibility! Fingers crossed everyone.
4) Resident Evil 1 through 3
The series that only seems to think the first one is worth remastering. Resident Evil's entire series from the Playstation one should be remastered instead of just the first one. The first instance to play as Leon and our encounter with Nemesis itself are all the reasons I need to add this series to the list. We got the first one on the PS4 already, so lets see the next two make their way over with an awesome remaster that also gives the option to play without tank controls.
5) Resistance 1 through 3
Ending the series on the game series that started off the PS3 days. Resistance is one of my favorite game series that gives you the freedom to go around an apocalyptic world and fight off hordes of aliens with a widespread variety of styles and skills. It also had one of the best multiplayer set ups in its day that would be a ton of fun to revisit. Not to mention that I would love to see what a Bullseye gun would look like with graphics available today.
Honorable Mention: Silent Hill 1 through 4
This entire series from the PS1 and PS2 were incredible games with the most twisted stories. I would love to visit Silent Hill again with clearer graphics that really let us experience what it would be like to come face to face with all the different creatures inside of these games. It didn't make it on the top 5 list, but I couldn't finish off a Remastered games list without this iconic game series.
That makes up my list of games that I would like to see remastered soon. Do you agree with my list? What game series do you hope to see remastered?
Metal Gear!? No, not that kind of Metal Gear, this is Metal Gear Survive, the latest entry in the series from Konami. The five minute gameplay trailer from IGN shows what we can expect to be doing in this new spin on the Metal Gear Universe. The beta starts next week January 18 and the game releases February 20, so if you haven't decided if your going to pick it up, you will have your chance to try it for yourself. To prepare you for next week, here is some fresh gameplay down below.
The game looks like it is going for a survival (hence the title) and resource management playstyle. It will feature the same “infected” enemies that were seen in some moments during Metal Gear Solid V The Phantom Pain and the trailer shows off some new bloated enemies as well. It seems like the dead resurrect into zombie-like wandererswhich are hellbent on attacking anything that moves. There also seems to be an abundant of fresh weapons, including melee, that will accompany players on their fight for survival. Using tools such as placeable chain linked fence and barbed wire barricades will give players the freedom to travel on foot and defend themselves at any time. Clearly Konami took some notes from The Walking Dead because that scene in the Metal Gear trailer when the player uses his spear to stab the wanderers through the chain linked fence gave me some major flashbacks of the Prison in season 3. The game seems to be adding a lot more features to the existing Phantom Pain gameplay and tailoring it to have more of a survival feel.
Base building and resource farming seem like a huge mechanic in the game. Watching the trailer reminded me of Fortnite’s Coop mode, where you need to build and improve your own base and prepare for incoming zombie hordes. It’s interesting to see that the game will feature full length cutscenes, implying that there will be some type of plot to the single player experience. It will be a miracle if Konami can explain what the hell is going on in the Metal Gear Universe and have it make any type of sense.
For those of you who don’t know, series Creator/Director Hideo Kojima had left Konami in 2015. Metal Gear Solid V The Phantom Pain was Kojima’s final game in the series. That being said, Konami is continuing the franchise without Kojima and plan on making more Metal Gear games, starting with Metal Gear Survive. It is clearly a vastly different take on the series than we have ever seen before under Kojima’s direction, but is that a good thing? Do you like this new direction the series is going toward? I personally think the game looks like it will be fun but I’m not expecting a true Metal gear experience.
Whether you agree or disagree, let us know in the comments what you think about this new addition to the Metal Gear franchise
Last month, Retro-Bit announced a partnership with SEGA to “produce accessories for SEGA’s gaming platforms…” This decision was monumental for SEGA fans as it had the potential to breathe new life into SEGA's old consoles. At CES this week, Retro-Bit unveiled some exciting new products for the SEGA platforms. Let's take a look.
First, the obvious. New controllers. Retro-Bit has created controllers for the Genesis, Saturn, and Dreamcast that look like the real deal. You will notice that each controller has three variants: classic connection for use with an existing system; USB so you can use it on your computer; and Bluetooth for wireless playing. The Bluetooth controller is designed to work with your PC, Mac, iOS, or Android devices, but you will also be able to purchase a Bluetooth Adapter so you can use it with your original (or clone) system. You can now sit on your couch to play your favorite Sonic game without the need for a long wire in the middle of the room!
Retro-Bit is also providing extension cables for your controllers so you can sit further back, new AV cables including S-Video, new power adapters, and a VGA Box for the Dreamcast. That’s right, between S-Video and the VGA Box, you’ll be able to up the video quality of your favorite SEGA console(s) for even more enjoyment.
This is killer for SEGA fans. To get an update like this so long after the production of the consoles is incredible. It would be like if a company worked with Atari to create new controllers and AV cables for the Atari 2600. OK, maybe not quite like that since the Atari 2600 is a lot older, but you get my point. The President and CEO of Retro-Bit’s distributor Innex Inc., Titi Ngoy, had this to say during the official press release:
“With retro gaming on an upswing, we are pleased to offer officially SEGA licensed accessories in their original format as well as apply the innovative classic gaming enhancements that have become the hallmark of Retro-Bit.”
It’s true that retro gaming is pretty big right now with the NES Classic and SNES Classic being some of the most popular gifts these past couple of years, not to mention all of the clones for retro consoles that are coming out. These controllers look great and I would hope they handle just as well, if not better than the originals they are based on.
Are you excited for Retro-Bit's new products? Let us know in the comments!