Find Who Is The Best Assassin In New PvP Game MURDEROUS PURSUITS

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We have all had time on the battlefield, sneaking around and trying to get the best of our enemies so that we can eliminate without alarming the rest, but how good at that are you exactly? We can find out, come March 2018 on Steam, which of us are the best assassin's in the all new PvP stealth-em-up title Murderous Pursuits by Blazing Griffin.

In this Victorian-era game, you will play as a passenger on the Brutanic who has been hired to eliminate another player on board. With your task freshly given to you by Mr. X, it's your job to remove your target as discreetly and quickly as possible. Check out the announcement trailer:

I love the fact that you won't know who has you as their target as you attempt to hunt down your own target. A new level of awareness will be needed in order to climb the ranks on a game like this.

Basically, Murderous Pursuits will have players surrounded by scores of innocent AI party-goers and patrolling guards. There will be up to 8 passengers, humans or bots, that must compete for the favor of Mr. X as they plot their gloriously violent acts, all while hiding in plain sight. There are special locations that allow players to participate in a variety of activities, like appreciating art and discussing foreign economics. There will also be a wide variety of disguises, weapons, and tools around for you to complete your job.

Yet another multiplayer title that I suggest you keep your eye on. It may not be entirely original, but it has a very intriguing set up. What do you think of the playstyle Murderous Pursuits will offer? 

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Check Out Behind The Scenes Of The Classic SHADOW OF COLOSSUS In This Boundary Break Episode

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Once again, YouTuber Shesez takes us behind the scenes to one of our favorite games so that we can see what was going on behind what we were able to see. Following the exciting launch of the Shadow of Colossus Remaster, he went through the classic title from the PS2 and found some interesting tricks the developers used to pull off such an amazing game. Check it out:

I always enjoy a good Boundary Break episode, but this one is definitely one of my favorites, along with Mortal Kombat and Metal Gear Solid. Seeing the colossus in a bowing position and finding out that they didn't use trickery to create the guiding light were the best aspects from looking behind the curtain.

I'm hopeful that he will be able to follow this one up with an episode based on the new Remaster so that we can see if they used any of the same setups or perhaps enhanced the way they hid things before they are triggered to appear. What did you think of this episode of Boundary Break? What game are you interested in seeing behind the scenes?

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The Latest In The Series, HARVEST MOON: LIGHT OF HOPE, Makes Its Way To Consoles May 2018

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One of the series that has some of the most loyal and dedicated fans have recently launched a new title on Steam, that has received mostly positive reviews, not long ago. Thanks to Rising Star Games and Natsume's success with Harvest Moon: Light of Hope on PC, they are bringing it over to both the Nintendo Switch and PlayStation 4 this May! The console version will be titled "Special Edition" and has some brand new features only available on the console versions. If you haven't seen it yet, here's the trailer:

Once again, the indie developers have stepped up to provide their community of players with what they have been requesting. Check out what Hiro Maekawa, President & CEO of Natsume, had to say about the console launch:

"Harvest Moon fans have been eager to experience the series on Nintendo Switch and PlayStation 4, so we are happy to be able to give them a date to put on their calendar! The Special Edition has new features made specifically for console gamers that we will be unveiling throughout the coming months."

This statement is backed up by Martin Defries, Managing Director of Rising Star Games, as he goes on to say:

"The series has delighted game fans for many years; the versions that release this Spring will bring happiness to console gamers across the PlayStation and Nintendo Switch universe."

There are plenty of reasons to pick up Harvest Moon: Light of Hope for the console editions. From more convenient ways to play to the fact that there will be exclusive content for the console players should be more than enough to make current Harvest Moon fans ready to get their hands on this launch. Tell us, is this a must have or a hard pass for you?

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SEVEN DEADLY SINS: KNIGHTS OF BRITANNIA Will Be Exclusive On PS4

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One of the greatest adventure anime's is finally getting an exclusive title for the Playstation. Bandai Namco is launching Seven Deadly Sins: Knights of Britannia in March 2018 and it really looks like the anime! This third person, action-adventure is going to take you all through the land of Britannia with over 100 quests. Check out the announcement trailer:

It's amazing how well Bandai Namco is able to make anime titles that look like you are literally in control of the anime. First they were able to make the most aesthetically pleasing Dragonball game with FighterZ and now they have Seven Deadly Sins coming out.

On top of that, characters from the popular anime and manga series as players assemble a legendary gang of rebels who have been blamed for overthrowing the Kingdom of Liones and are currently being hunted by elite guards known as Holy Knights. Each of the twenty confirmed playable characters will have a unique skill and ability to use as players engage in dynamic battles.

How many of our Playstation 4 and Seven Deadly Sins fans are looking forward to another amazing title from Bandai Namco?

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New Legendary Pokemon comes to POKEMON GO!

image from bulbapedia

image from bulbapedia

Pokemon Go, that game that everyone flocked to for a couple months before realizing the sun was too bright, has released the newest legendary Pokemon out into the world. This time it is Rayquaza who comes from Pokemon's Hoenn region. The snake/dragon-like Pokemon originally appeared in Pokémon Ruby and Pokémon Sapphire.  From February 9th to March 16th trainers from all walks of life will be able to attempt to catch Rayquaza in raid battles all around the world. 

Additionally, there will be several new dragon and flying type Pokemon joining the legendary creature for the first time starting today. The reason they are doing this? Because there are now over 100 Pokemon available from the Hoenn region that you can catch in the game. To celebrate this fact PokemonGo is making every Pokemon encountered from now until February 13th one you would originally find in the region, then on February 14th, the currently available legendary Kygore (which is a water-type Pokemon) will leave completely. So if you are looking to catch Kygore it's best to start sooner rather than later. 

To help players gain access to raid battles in their cities there will be special boxes available for purchase in the in-game store. The boxes will contain Raid passes, Incubators, and Star Pieces to help players attempt to catch this new and exciting Pokemon.

Though I slightly mocked the game earlier here, I actually am happy that Niantic has delivered on its promise to not only improve the game but to continually add constant updates so that those who still play the game on a regular basis have new and exciting things to do when they venture forth into the world. 

Do you still play PokemonGo? Do you think it's still worth getting back into after all the changes made from its initial release? I would love to hear your thoughts!

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Review: Attack of the Earthlings – Turn Based Genius

I love XCOM, I remember sitting down, glass of coke in hand, turning on my faithful Pentium II and booting up XCOM Apocalypse in 1999.  From then I became engrossed with turn based strategy titles and eagerly awaited each new XCOM release.  Attack of the Earthlings has been described many times as a form of 'reverse XCOM', where the player's sympathies lie, not with their own species but with the native aliens of the planet instead.

The Story

Attack of the Earthlings takes the traditional space invasion plot and turns it on it's head. The evil human corporation Galactoil has landed on Planet X13 and like most greedy human corporations, wants to milk it dry.  It's inhabitants - the Swarmers, aren't very happy about this and begin to go on the offensive to stop the evil humans from destroying their planet. 

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This is an incredibly fun story, told with tongue firmly in cheek.  It's a refreshing change to have a turn-based strategy where we are not facing the cliched destruction of Planet Earth.  The humans are incredibly inept and hilarious to observe.  This is a game which delights at poking fun at the exploits of capitalist industry and middle management.  Directing the human defenses is Mr. Pecker, who is a sadistic character whom you enjoy thwarting time and time again.  The plot progresses with dry English humor and even pokes fun at a certain President of the United States in the upper management's Mr. Dickinham.

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The interactions between the human guards are works of hilarious genius and really help bring an atmosphere of fun to the title. 

Gameplay

Attack of the Earthlings is a classic 'turn based strategy' title, it could be described as squad based in a manner similar to XCOM.  Although the major difference is that your 'Squad' is spawned by one main unit as she consumes the humans in each level.  The concepts are fairly simple, each of your troops has a number of points to spend on moving, attacking and using special abilities.  You can do any of these in whichever order you desire. Once you have taken all your actions, you click the End Turn button, play then cycles to the human troops for the computer to make it's move.

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You make your way through the corporations ship from the Drilling level and steadily progress to the boardroom to confront the evil executives.  As stated before, this isn't a traditional strategy game where you build units from base buildings.  Instead, you begin with one base unit, the matriarch, who serves as your base. She can consume 'biomass' from humans that have been recently killed either by herself or her offspring.  This biomass can then be used to create the basic 'grunt' unit.  These units are initially useful, but they have low health, low armour and soon you will want to be able to use units with more versatility. 

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Thankfully you can upgrade or mutate these basic grunts into more robust units.  The Stalker - an assassin unit with armour penetration), the Disrupter (ranged attacks and decoys) and finally the Goliath (a tank character, strong with powerful armour). You can also use your Matriarch unit to possess a human character to act as a scout.  Being able to move around the level without alerting the humans to your presence.

I personally didn't miss the base building concepts, as the game directs the player to one thing.  Combat.  This streamline approach works far better than it ever did in the ill fated Command and Conquer 4.   There's real challenge later in the game where you have limited resources and must choose how to upgrade your characters (as you complete each level you obtain mutagen to upgrade units).  There's also significant choice in how you tackle each situation, as there are multiple methods of completing objectives in the levels.

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Graphics and Sound

First impressions of the game present an attractive game with middle production values.  The game is presented in 3D, but only permits the camera to be moved 90 degrees.  The graphics have an almost cell shaded cartoon quality to them adding to the humorous atmosphere.  One detraction is that the levels look the same after a while.  The character models are very good for the most part, but I would have liked more variety in the human civilians.  The animation of the alien characters is good and you do feel a sense of connection between the Matriarch and the spawn at her (and your) command.

The soundtrack is quirky and fairly atmospheric, the sound effects are top quality with screams and various weapon sound effects.  One of the detractions of the game is the fact that the dialogue is only partially voiced, but the human enemies such as Pecker are voiced superbly. Most of the script from the other human characters is told in text format, with only grunting noises told over the top.

Replayability

There's not much here to warrant another playthrough, once you finish the campaign, you have seen everything there is to see in the game.  There are different methods of exploring through the levels and some achievements to be gained, but it's unlikely you will push through the game all over again.

What Could Be Better

I would have loved to have heard more voiceover content rather than having to read through text.  The script is incredibly well written and it would have been fantastic to hear quality voice artists read it and make the characters come alive.  The Level designs feel very similar and at times they didn't feel distinct from one another.  A little more imagination and variety for the human character models would have really polished the game as well.

Overall

This is a fantastic real time strategy game with unique game mechanics, ingenious story design and challenging, well-balanced gameplay.  This is well worth your time and money.

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Vampyr – Developer Diaries Episode 3: Human After All Released

A game which has excited me since it's announcement is the action RPG Vampyr from DONTNOD Studios.  It promised a deep narrative and extensive character development as you take on the role of a recently turned vampire - Dr. Jonathan Reid.  The city of London in 1918 seems to be cured with a plague similar to Spanish Flu and with this backdrop and the main characters personal circumstances, DONTNOD set up one of the most interesting dynamic tensions seen in a game plot.

Beautifully atmospheric graphics set the tone for this extravagant RPG Title

Beautifully atmospheric graphics set the tone for this extravagant RPG Title

The vampiric Doctor finds that he must make choices - will he abandon all morality and embrace the monster within or use these abilities to defend the streets of London.  These choices come in the form of choosing victims, you need to remain strong to uncover the mystery unfolding around him.  Who will you choose to feed on?  The Priest, the father of a young child or the killers and thieves who roam the city?

In the third part of the developer diaries regarding this potentially phenomenal game, we are invited to look at the unique crafting of the characters.  It's clear that the developers take tremendous effort to make the NPC characters feel truly alive.  Part of the goal was to make the player feel as if they were confronting real human beings, which makes interaction and the choices made through that feel real.

Jonathan can also use firearms to eliminate enemies

Jonathan can also use firearms to eliminate enemies

DONTNOD have also attempted to craft a true depiction of historical London society, building characters from every economic and social layer. This is to immerse the player in a truly realistic world.  Again highlighting the goal of making the player feel that each action they undertake has a significant effect on the world around them.

This is one game which I hope equals if not exceeds expectations which I have after watching the developers discuss their high level concepts. 

Vampyr has a confirmed release date of the 5th June 2018 for consoles and PC

Find out more at the developers website

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MONSTER HUNTER WORLD Now Ranks As The Top Paid Game For Xbox One And PS4 Stores

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It seems like the Monster Hunter craze that is currently happening in the gaming community is far from over. Last week, Monster Hunter: World, Capcom’s latest entry to the franchise, made headlines after they were able to sell 1.35 million copies of the game in its home country in Japan just after a few days post release. Now, it seems like the game is also doing well worldwide. 

Given that the game has always been popular in Japan, it is no surprise that Monster Hunter: World was able to take the top spot on the PlayStation Store. Currently the first two spots are occupied by Monster Hunter: World with the full game on the top spot, and the slightly more expensive Digital Deluxe version on the second. In third place on the PSN top games is the newly released Dragon Ball Fighterz, and Call of Duty WWII in fourth place. 

On the other hand, Monster Hunter: World was able to overtake PUBG as the top paid game on the Xbox Store. In fact the game was able to take the first and third spots for both the physical and digital versions of the game. PUBG on the other hand, is still able to secure a top spot as it is currently the second top paid game in the store, with Madden NFL 18 GOAT Super Bowl Edition in fourth place. 

It seems like Capcom was able to achieve their goal in making Monster Hunter: World more appealing to gamers worldwide. In past franchises, Monster Hunter was not able to reach a wide audience outside of Japan. Personally, I’m not surprised that the game is doing well everywhere. After spending 20+ hours on the game, I feel like I’ve barely scratched the surface and that there is still more to do. You can check out our full review of the game here if you’re still undecided whether to get the game or not. 

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Retro Corner: Super Castlevania – Belmont’s Finest Hour

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A Genre defining Classic

One of the most memorable entries in the 16-bit era. Super Castlevania brought to a new generation of consoles, powerful graphics and sound mixed with new gameplay mechanics and a beatable but tough challenge.  Super Castlevania is the fourth installment in the series (sometimes called Castlevania IV) but it is actually a re-imagining of the first title released on the NES. Starring as the original whip-welder, Simon Belmont, this brought an entirely new gaming experience to the 16-bit generation.

Imaginative and impressive bosses based on the horror theme were some of the highlights

Imaginative and impressive bosses based on the horror theme were some of the highlights

The version brought beautiful and detailed graphics, memorable music, a wider array of attacks and effective use of the SNES's Mode 7.  This allowed the developers to scale and rotate layers, which, in turn, allowed Konami to craft one of gaming's most memorable sequences.  

Powerful Introduction

With the advent of the Super Nintendo, Konami was able to give Castlevania the horror theme that it deserved. From the bugs crawling on a crumbling brick wall on the title screen to a fantastic introduction which takes us to Dracula's resting place.  An ominous bolt of lightning strikes the tombstone shattering it in two.  A bat is released into the night sky, the ominous score begins and the story text begins to scroll slowly.  It's an introduction which highlights how creepy the game is intended to be and it works.  Eventually you stand as the mists sweep across the screen and you gaze towards your destination - the Castle which appears every 100 years - the Castle of Dracula!

Castle Dracula's dark and brooding presence on the Intro Screen

Castle Dracula's dark and brooding presence on the Intro Screen

Superb Enemy Design

The superb presentation of the horror theme continued in the superb enemy and boss design from Skeletons and Zombies to the strange dancing dead nobles.  This game oozed some of the best enemy design of any horror game.  For me, the boss battles really stood out as some of the best in the series.  Just like the original game on the NES, this was pure homage to the popular Hammer Horror films as well as the Universal Monster Pictures.  

Starting with Rowdain, an undead jester who, along with his faithful steed, is placed to guard Dracula's stables to battling through mythological villains such as Medusa, the Orphic Vipers (similar to the Greek Hydra monster).  Moving through familiar Horror film bud guys like the Battle with the Mummy at the Clock Tower and the beast of a man known as Frankenstein's Monster. Encountering original Bosses such as the Knight Sir Grakul, a knight who bursts out of his glass case and assaults the player with an axe to the strangest boss of the series, a pair of dead, dancing nobles.

Frankenstein's monster is an iconic boss to battle in a lonely, dank, dungeon

Frankenstein's monster is an iconic boss to battle in a lonely, dank, dungeon

Imaginative Level Design

Whereas earlier titles threw the player straight into the action in Dracula's Castle, Super Castlevania decided to portray the journey towards the castle first.   Beginning with the Outer Walls, featuring an innovative method of allowing the player to go behind the scenery, allowing Simon Belmont to move on either side of the fence.  This guides you to a crumbling gatehouse and haunted stables.

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Beating the Skeleton Knight Rowdain led you to a forest, where you were required to fight against Spiders, zombies and purples hands that rose from shallow graves.  Eventually fighting against the flow of a river the player will find themselves at the lake near the infamous castle.

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Reaching the Lake, you traverse through an underground cavern, facing up against rock men who, when hit with the whip, split into several smaller rock men, the cave will begin to collapse around you as you scale a waterfall.  This shows hints of an ancient civilization and eventually as you reach the top you will encounter the Orphic Vipers.

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On defeating the Hydra like monster, a level of traps and tricks is then presented.  In one of the most stunning levels of the 16 bit era.  You find yourself trapped in a spinning room which can engage a little motion sickness.  This showed off the SNES' mode 7 capabilities excellently - albeit with a little slowdown.

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Defeat this nauseating experience and only now do you enter the castle, in the courtyard you will encounter harpies who will attempt to impede your progress. Eventually you will enter the Haunted Hall, filled with Zombies and dogs.  You will have to dodge flying coffins and it is here that you will have to defeat the infamous dancing dead nobles.

Bizarre but effective villains, this couple will stop dancing and charge you with spectral swords

Bizarre but effective villains, this couple will stop dancing and charge you with spectral swords

After fighting through a ghostly library, dodging spike traps, you descend to the dank and dismal dungeon.  Giant Spiders and eyeballs will attack you and it is here that you face the shambling man made monster that was created by Dr Frankenstein

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One of my favourite levels is the treasure, filled with all the glittering gold that you would expect an undying monster to collect over the centuries. This is another visual spectacle and undead spirits and flying spectral coffins attempt to push you into the windholes throughout the level.  These will suck you in and you will be lost forever!  (or at least lose a life)

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This led to one of the hardest platforming levels in the game - the Clock Tower, jump on moving cogs as you travel endlessly upwards, grapple onto hooks that operate as pullys and desperately dodge falling cogs.  It is here you face the dreaded Mummy boss.

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Cross over the final bridge and you will, finally reach your ultimate nemesis, Dracula. You must do epic battle in his personal chambers - defeat his various forms and you will be victorious!

The Grand Finale is no easy boss battle!

The Grand Finale is no easy boss battle!

It is this epic journey which sets this Castlevania title apart from the previous games in the franchise.  Beautiful and detailed levels, cleverly constructed obstacles and a prevalent ambience and tonality brought each ghoulish section to life.  The levels are also examples of perfect platforming opportunities, the NES versions were always plagued with the player having to achieve pixel perfect jumps.  Super Castlevania aided the player during platforming and with Simon's more agile whip, presented opportunities for the Player to swing across ledges in spectacular style.

Overall

This is one of the most influential games of the 16 bit era, beautiful graphics, responsive controls and an iconic and striking soundtrack.  This has lived on in my memory as a defining classic and one I play through a couple of times a year.  This holds a special place in my heart. I recently purchased a SNES Classic Edition and was very pleased to see that this made the list of games included.

Please share your memories of this game with me, when did you play it, what did you think of it and did you complete it?

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THE SURGE 2 Is Announced For A 2019 Release

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Developer Deck 13’s sci-fi Soulslike game from 2017 is getting a sequel soon. In a Facebook post from the official Surge profile, the developer announced that The Surge 2, promises a “larger and more ambitious level design, more brutal combat, and an expanded limb-targeting system.”

Furthermore, Deck 13 also revealed that the sequel will also introduce a bigger arsenal of weapons, abilities, implants, and drones to aid players in defeating new and improved enemies and bosses. The Surge 2 will also retain some of the core elements of its predecessor, including the limb targeting system, that gives players the ability to aim for an enemy’s weak spot for loot based rewards. 

The game will also be created using an upgraded engine that will allow Deck 13 to create a more diverse environment that will take the form of a city in ruins, that will introduce a bigger area for players to explore and a more challenging and ambitious level design. Besides the Facebook post, and the image posted above, Deck 13 did not go into detail on how the game will look like. However, it has been announced that Deck 13 will share more information on the game during the Focus Home Interactive’s annual “Le What’s Next De Focus” event, which will happen today and tomorrow. Hopefully, Deck 13 will release more images, or better yet, a preview trailer to really show players what to expect on the upcoming installment to The Surge franchise. 

Have you played the first Surge game? Don't forget to check out our full review of the first game here. What features would you like to see on its upcoming sequel? Share your thoughts in the comments below. 

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