SKYRIM VR on PlayStation VR Review: A Jumping Hack and Slash

Let’s be honest everyone here has played Skyrim by Bethesda Softworks on one platform or another. Most of us have come away with the warm fuzzies after killing hoards of undead Dragons and Nords alike. Some of us played so long the only reason we stopped was that we got an arrow through the knee - that’s right I went there. So understandably I practically leapt at the opportunity to immerse myself in some sweet Nordic gear.

Story

See Skyrim for the Switch for a story brief.

Game Play

While I was eager to jump back into a great story I was unaware of the gameplay nightmare that awaited me. More specifically the movement both directional and facing will give you a headache. When I first started the game I immediately tangle myself several times in the wires that connected me to the PlayStation. Laughable I know but I loved the view. Soon I learned that to look around I wasn’t supposed to turn my head or body but to push the X or O button on the right VR paddle. That only turned my screen by 45 degrees. This became painful further on in the story.

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Soon I was running from a dragon and I discovered the biggest issue: my directional movement. There was no D-pad or thumb stick. So how did I move? Using the left VR paddle selector button and the placement of the left VR Paddle the character could take short steps in any direction or giant jumps depending on how much stamina you had at the time. Over time it wasn’t too difficult to get used to, until I had to hack and slash. At this point I found that it was all too easy to jump past my target or come up too short. This made fighting fairly difficult, unless you were to fight a fairly large enemy.

The hack and slash of it all was wonderful. Its response wasn’t perfect but fun enough to overlook a slight lag in an attack. Dual wielding, in fact, had me feeling like a child holding two plastic swords only with the much more satisfying after effect of actually killing my enemy. The shield was a little more difficult to use as it wasn’t just a wall I could put up between me and my enemy.  Magic, we should be all pleased to know, was something like firing a pistol. Just point, pull the trigger and roast or whatever you want to your closest enemies. The Bow, however, was slightly difficult it had no discernible aiming device. That being said it was very realistic, which made it all the more fun to use.

The graphics are as to be expected of a budding platform. It was like stepping back in time to my younger years. Everything got blurry much faster than some games we have come to expect from our consoles of late. In fact the further from the center of my screen things got the blurrier they got. Once again this was expected. In this way it even mimics human vision. It wasn’t so horrible that I would even say it needs to be improved. At least not until the technology for VR itself gets better.

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What Could Have Been Better

The movement control needs to be readdressed. The VR system is meant for allowing the user to turn in place and see the whole world. Instead of having a selector button on both paddles a return to the thumb stick for movement would allow more seamless movement and easier over all control of the character. Utilizing a paddle that is in every was similar to the current one with the exception of the thumb stick would allow you to enjoy all the benefits of multi handed weapons play while still keeping the movement natural and fluid.

Verdict

While I thoroughly enjoyed my return to White Run and Skyrim as a whole I do not recommend purchasing Skyrim VR if you do not already own the VR System. If, however, you already own the system, it is worth the 59.99 USD price being asked. While difficult to control the fun of hacking down or burning some bandits with your own two hands is fun enough to have you playing the whole game all over again from start to finish.

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Gamestop’s New ‘Elite’ Tier Pro Membership: Not the Best Way to Treat Pro Members

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Those of you that frequent Gamestop as often as I do, know all about the Gamestop Pro Membership. Those of you that don’t, it is simple…pay an annual fee to get discounts on used games and a magazine subscription to Game Informer, among a few other benefits. It’s been this way for a long time. Recently Gamestop rolled out a new tier of Membership: the “Elite” Pro membership.

Now to be fair, the Elite Pro membership, although it costs more (29.99 annually vs the regular pro at 14.99 ) it does come with increased benefits, including higher discounts and more points you can earn towards free merchandise. What bothers me is the two levels. Why, as a longtime Pro member, am I suddenly made to feel like I am not “elite” enough if I don’t get the upgraded package.

The worst part about this is for the salespeople. I really feel for the workers of Gamestop, who now have to explain to long time customers that they no longer get the “best” discount on items, unless they upgrade to the elite membership. When my cashier tried to “sell” it to me, he also failed to explain how the price increase worked.

Now I already dread the sales pitch the cashier gives me before I buy a game at GameStop. No, I don’t want to preorder anything, I would have told you. No, I don’t want to pay extra for the accidental coverage on my game. I treat my games well, you know because I always bring back the bad ones. Now you are going to insult me by saying even though I’m a “pro”, I’m not “elite” every time I check out, until I upgrade. This is borderline mental abuse, not only to me, but also to the poor cashier that is asked to say this to every customer.

I know it’s not their fault, this is obviously a corporate mistake…and trust me, they know they are going to upset some people. In my case, when they finally tried to ring me up for the new membership, something went wrong and they gave me the wrong total price. Then it was even more then what I was told, when I actually went to pay. Cue the apologetic manager that has probably been dealing with this problem ever since they instituted the new membership level. I nixed the whole thing, and left without “upgrading” because it felt so forced…so greedy.

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I think GameStop either needs to do away with the “Pro” and keep the “Elite” or visa versa…but both is going to continue to create problems. Both long time customers like myself, and for the staff that has to explain to some people why they aren’t “elite” enough. Really bad timing on the part of the person who thought “elite” was a positive name for anything, I might add.

Although it is still a bit early to tell what the full effects of this will be, the pre-owned game sales are down 2.4% in the third quarter. I think this is another example of a company scooping too far into gamers pockets and not appreciating us for the money we already spend. Sorry GameStop, I’ll be buying digital copies of older games until you change things. They’ve been having some pretty impressive holiday sales online anyways, with the added bonus of no cashier to nag me about money I’m not spending. Call me inferior, if you must.

Are you annoyed by this Elite Tier? Is a GameStop membership something you have? Should we be excited for the Elite Tier?

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Is Twitch IRL Ruining The Sites Experience?

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Twitch IRL

Twitch IRL (In Real Life) has been a part of Twitch since 2016 and has continued to grow in popularity since it first arrived on the website. A lot of people really enjoy these vlog streamers and the content they offer, but many of us, including myself, see it as a real big problem for the streaming community. Twitch is a video game streaming service unlike any else, and it offers a new form of fantastic entertainment to millions of people every day. So why did they decide to bring IRL and how is it affecting the community? According to the Twitch's guidelines, IRL is supposed to be for streamers to“...directly interact with your viewers in a one-to-many vlog-like style.

Pros

IRL streams have become increasingly popular and are a large source of income for many of the IRL streamers, it's relatively easy to pick up your cell phone and talk at it for a couple hours and interact with your audience. It brings a large source of income to Twitch as well since many of these IRL streamers that are partnered through the website. So Twitch can look at this and say hey this seems to work.

This section allows many people to attain the audience they have been looking for, and if they get popular enough, they can become a partner. Hopefully the streamer can use this as a source of income. Since justin.tv was first born, it was a platform to stream all sorts of random stuff, but it rapidly turned into a place to stream live gameplay, and thus Twitch was born.

Cons

First of all the Twitch Community Guidelines clearly states “Inappropriate Broadcaster Behavior and Attire Nudity and conduct involving overtly sexual behavior and/or attire are prohibited.” Twitch Community Guidelines So with this being said let’s get into it.

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Ok now for the real bread and butter of why I wrote this article. Twitch IRL is not an inherently BAD section on twitch, like I said in the above paragraph, but it has turned into a much worse situation than I think Twitch thought it would be. First off, IRL has become a playground for girls to essentially just show case their breasts, with webcams up above their heads pointing down to very low cut tank tops.

This IRL section has quickly turned into a PG-13 cam girl section. Low cut tops isn’t even the worst part, we are also talking about shorts that are so short they basically look like thongs, and the girl will stand up at any opportunity and bend over, flashing her booty right in the camera, whether it's to write something on a chalkboard or to do a cartwheel. If IRL was used as Twitch intended it to be used, then there would not be as much of an issue. However, people have taken advantage of it to show off their bodies to people, many of which are young viewers looking for something like that without actually having to type porn into their web browser.

I have visited a few of these IRL streams and NONE of them offer a mature content filter before entering the channel where you can see a girl in nothing but a sports bra and such short shorts they might as well be panties. This isn’t just limited to females either. I have seen a few channels of guys without shirts on putting baby oil all over there muscles. That's not IRL, that's not even quality content, it's PG-13 cam girls and boys trying to be as sexy as they can without actually taking off their clothes. This is not something many streamers and viewers want on this site because it has nothing to do with gaming. Many are becoming increasingly more popular by doing nothing more than dressing scantily clad.

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I have actually even seen girls in short skirts lift up their skirts and flash their panties really quick, some have even gone so far as to actually show their breasts on camera for donations. I’m not blaming Twitch for this, but it needs to be stopped. Many people are abusing this section and using it to be softcore porn models. I don’t see how wearing tiny shorts and a sports bra while pole dancing or doing cart wheels to show half of your butt cheeks is considered vlogging.

I have even tried reaching out to Twitch to try and get any sort of comment about these issues with IRL, and it seems they have refused to make any sort of remark on the situation. So we can only assume they are avoiding the issues entirely or don’t want to acknowledge that it's an issue.

Thoughts

I strongly feel that Twitch should get rid of it entirely. Even though Twitch is not strictly a gaming website, that’s what people go to it for generally, but it’s turning into a place where you can get nearly naked on camera for people who aren’t even of legal age to be seeing that kind of content. Again, there is nothing wrong with the idea of IRL on Twitch but to many people have exploited it and are using it in inappropriate ways. 

What are your thoughts though? Do you agree with me or do you think IRL should stay? Let me know in the comment section below.

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Check Out The Trailer Of The Upcoming FINAL FANTASY FIGHTING GAME, Open Beta Available Next Month

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A few months ago, Square Enix released the first trailer for the upcoming fighting game called Dissidia Final Fantasy NT, however, last weekend, the company revealed a brand new trailer for the game at Jump Festa in Tokyo, Japan. The trailer showcased the “thrilling fast-paced action” for the upcoming 3v3 team based fighting game. In a press release, Square Enix revealed what players can expect from the game: 

"Developed in partnership with veteran fighting game studio Team NINJA from KOEI TECMO GAMES, DISSIDIA FINAL FANTASY NT features a playable roster of over 25 characters from the FINAL FANTASY series, allowing all manner of team combinations and tactical gameplay."

Dissidia Final Fantasy NT is slated to be released on January 30, 2018 exclusively for the PS4. Fans who are excited for the upcoming fighting game can get another preview of Dissidia as Square Enix announced that it will hold another open beta for the game before its official release early next year. The beta test for Dissidia Final Fantasy NT will begin on January 12 until January 21, and will be available for PS4 players with a PS Plus subscription. Square Enix is yet to reveal the contents of the beta and the specific time it will officially begin. Check out the brand new trailer below:

The publisher also revealed details in the press release regarding the new artwork that was unveiled for Dissidia Final Fantasy MT and a flowchart that guides players on which will best compliment their team in the game: 

"Additionally, new artwork of DISSIDIA FINAL FANTASY NT was unveiled, showcasing the powerful heroes and infamous villains of the FINAL FANTASY series that fans can look forward to playing as early next year. Finally, an informative flowchart has been released, guiding players to finding which powerful summon will best compliment their team within the game. Summons are epic beasts and allies that can either boost your team’s abilities to victory or rain destruction down upon your enemies, and each one could play an integral role in a winning team’s strategy to victory.

The game will also release a Digital Deluxe or Ultimate Collector’s Editions that will receive the game’s season pass, and will add an additional six characters to the game at post launch. The Ultimate Collector’s Edition will also include a Warrior of Light bust figure, a soundtrack containing 15 songs, a hardcover art book, and a unique steelbook case. 

Dissidia Final Fantasy MT will be released on January 30, 2018 exclusively for the PS4. Are you ready to battle it out with your favorite Final Fantasy characters? Which 3 characters will be part of your team? 

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There Is An ADVENTURE TIME Open World Game Coming To Consoles And PC In 2018

An open-world Adventure Time game is slated to be released for the PS4, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, and PC next year. The game is developed by Outright Games and is called Adventure Time: Pirates of the Enchiridion that promises an original story and will be voiced by the show’s voice actors. 

Fans of the series and newcomers to Adventure Time can expect characters such as Finn, Jake, BMO, and Marceline to be playable. The characters will be able to explore the environment freely in an open-world setting. Check out the game’s official description from the developer: 

“The Land of Ooo is underwater, and it’s up to Finn and Jake to find out why. Join our heroes as they explore dangerous waters, search for clues, interrogate pirates and fight bad guys to solve this wet, wet mystery and save the day!”

Outright Games is also letting fans of the game to name the boat that Finn and Jake will embark on their newest adventure. Check out details of the boat naming here and who knows? Your crazy idea might be included in the game. The contest will end on January 2, 2018 so there is still plenty of time to submit your idea. 

"Got an idea for a boat name? Submit it using the form below by the 2nd January 2018. We’ll pick our top four. Then you can vote for your favourite via a special poll on our Facebook page between the 5th and 10th January. The winning name will be used in the game! Shmowzow!"

Adventure Time: Pirates of the Enchiridion is slated to be released on Spring 2018, see images below. In the meantime, you can also check out previous games of the series such as Adventure Time: Finn & Jake Investigations, which was released in 2015 for all consoles and the PC. 

What will you suggest as the name of the boat Finn and Jake will take on in their adventure? Share your thoughts in the comments below. 

What will you suggest as the name of the boat Finn and Jake will take on in their adventure? Share your thoughts in the comments below. 

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DYING LIGHT: BAD BLOOD Announced, A New Expansion Inspired By The Battle Royale Genre

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After being out for nearly three years now, Dying Light is still getting an expansion from Techland. The publisher has announced that due to “numerous fan requests” they are announcing Dying Light: Bad Blood, which will be a standalone expansion independent of past DLCs the developer has continued to release for the game. 

Observing the trends in the industry, with the rise of battle royale style of games such as Fortnite and PUBG, Bad Blood will be introducing a similar style of gameplay while “retaining the core of what made people fall in love with Dying Light in the first place,” says Techland in a press release. The publisher promises a “violent and dynamic” online experience while introducing a PVP with PVE mechanics. 

“Our aim is both to satisfy players’ demands for competitive PvP gameplay and to explore new directions for Dying Light’s multiplayer experience,” said Tymon Smektala, Producer at Techland. “Since Bad Blood was inspired by fan requests, we want player feedback to be an integral part of our development. That’s why we’re inviting Dying Light fans to take part in our Global Playtest. They can play the expansion early and share their thoughts, knowing their feedback will have a major influence on Bad Blood’s development.”

You can sign up for Bad Blood’s Global Playtest for the PC here, and access the game early and give your comments and suggestions on how Techland can further improve the experience. 

In light of the numerous negative feedbacks some game publishers are getting due to micro transactions, it is refreshing to see developers such as Techland who are committed to support their games even after it is released for a few years now. Besides, Bad Blood, Dying Light has been receiving free, yes free DLCs from Techland (check out our interview here) to ensure that players feel supported. Kudos to Techland for actually caring about their players, and I really appreciate their commitment to hear our feedback with the upcoming Dying Light: Bad Blood expansion. Never change Techland!

Dying Light: Bad Blood is due to be released sometime in 2018. Techland is yet to announce on which platforms the game will be available, so stay tuned for updates to come!

Who’s signing up for the Global Playtest? Share with us your best Dying Light moments in the comments below. 

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MONSTER HUNTER: WORLD – Will Western Gamers Finally Embrace this Popular Japanese Game Series ?

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 Monster Hunter: World is set to release January 26, 2018. Current fans of the series who played the beta are already touting it as the best Monster Hunter made to date. Some first timers to the game in beta seem lukewarm about it, with complaints that the button mechanics are unfamiliar and not intuitive, although that may simply be the result of the beta version having such a bare bones tutorial. Gamers that enjoy open area environments with interactive ecosystems, and hunting and taking down large prey through a combination of combat tactics and tracking are most likely in for a treat.

The past year has been popular for dinosaur fans in the gaming world, from shooting mechanical monsters in Horizona Zero Dawn to taming a T-Rex and riding it around in ARK: Survival Evolved there has been plenty of oversized lizards for us to both fight and ride. Now Capcom is throwing a hat in the giant lizard themed game ring with a new installment of Monster Hunter: World, which held a free beta for playstation players over the weekend.

Although Monster Hunter: World already brings with it fans of earlier games, with eight previous international titles for both Playstation and Nintendo, overall the series has been far more popular in Japan than anywhere else, thirteen titles have been released there and reception of the games have always been more positive. Capcom, known to be making some major changes in their budget lately, is trying to translate the success  of the title in Japan to the international stage. They have made some major changes in this latest game including updating and modernizing gameplay,  removing loading screen time beween areas on the map, taking time to focus even more on graphics, and releasing a free beta version to wet the appetite of first time monster hunters.

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One of the outstanding aspects of the game so far has been the lighting quality within the environment, and Kaname Fujoka the executive Art director of Monster Hunter: World explains why it looks so realistic,  “We were able to make dark areas slightly brighter using secondary light reflection, as well as show light permeating monster wings and plants. They (development engineers) provided stacks of technical proposals that allowed us to produce natural, realistic light using physics-based calculations.” This kind of attention to detail, both in art direction and gameplay, may be what finally brings the western audience onboard with this popular Japanese franchise. Capcom is due for a win after recent declines of both sales and profits, and if it delivers all that it promises with Monster Hunter: World, this may well be it.

Did you get a chance to try out the Beta? What did you think? Let us know in the comments below!

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INJUSTICE 2 Is Having A Free Trial This Week

For a limited time only, DC’s superhero fighting game Injustice 2, is having a free trial this week that will begin on December 14 until December 18 for the Xbox One and PS4. The free trial will give players access to the game’s entire multiplayer and versus modes. It will also give players a preview to the first three chapters of Injustice 2’s Story Mode. 

The trial will also let players explore the full roster of the game’s base characters with the exception of Braniac. "Players will have the opportunity to try select DLC characters in the single player Multiverse mode.” Check out the free trial trailer below:

Unfortunately, Injustice 2 Free Trial will only be available to download for the PS4 and Xbox One, there is no announcement as of yet on whether the PC will also be included, but since the date of the free trial is near, it probably won’t be available to the PC. If you’re still pondering on whether to get this game, this is the best chance for you to have a peek at the popular fighting game for free. Injustice 2 won the best fighting game during last week’s Game Awards. Check out the full list of winners here. If you decide to get the game, Injustice 2 will be 50% off during the free trial period. Check out our full review of the game here.

Which DC character will you be trying out this week? Tell us in the comments below. 

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Nintendo Has Sold 10 Million Units Of The Switch, How Did It Succeed?

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As of this month, Nintendo has sold 10 million Switch consoles to players worldwide, the company announced via a tweet. This achievement is of great importance to Nintendo as it is a reflection of the success of the innovative hybrid console. The Switch, which has only been in the market for almost a year now, is already catching up to the sales of Nintendo’s Wii U, which has sold 13.5 million units to date, after being released for five years now. 

So what made the Switch such a success that surprised the gaming community? Well first off, it delivered its promises. Prior to the launch of the Switch, I was a bit skeptical of the hybrid concept. I guess part of my hesitation was my disappointment with Nintendo’s last console the Wii U, that effectively ruined Nintendo’s reputation in terms of innovative hardware during those dark times. When the Switch finally came out last March, I did not pick it up immediately, but when I did last September, I was not disappointed at all. The seamless transformation of the Switch from a handheld device to your standard home console blew everyone’s minds. 

Another thing that contributed to the Switch’s success, and is the most important one in my opinion, is the variety of good first party games, and Nintendo’s commitment to encourage third party developers to make games for the Switch. 2017’s Game Of The Year recipient, The Legend Of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is definitely responsible for the initial sales of the console. Follow that up with other cool first-party exclusives like Super Mario Odyssey, Mario Kart 8, and Splatoon 2 and no wonder why the Switch is doing so well. 

On the flip side, the Switch’s success pulled the focus of many publishers who traditionally prefer other platforms to Nintendo’s console. Currently, the Switch has awesome third party games such as Resident Evil Revelations, Stardew Valley, Doom, and even Skyrim that attracted gamers who loved these games on other platforms, but would want to experience the portability that the Switch is offering. 

In the end, the Switch is still in its early life and has a long way to go. Nintendo’s sales figures is definitely impressive and hopefully, they keep the momentum going for 2018. I wouldn’t worry too much on the console’s future, at least for next year, as there are many announced games such as Bayonetta 2, Mega Man 11, and Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus, to name a few, that are headed for the console in 2018. In case you’re still thinking on whether to pick one up, check out the five best games you can play on the Switch right now. 

Why do you think the Switch is such as success compared to last generation’s Wii U? Tell us in the comments below. 

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HARRY POTTER: HOGWARTS MYSTERY, A Mobile RPG Announced For 2018

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Good news to all Potterheads out there who, after all these years, can’t get enough of the magical world of Harry Potter. It has been announced that a mobile game, entitled Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery will be released by next year. 

The game is developed by Jam City and published under Portkey, Warner Bros. new Harry Potter games label. Hogwarts Mystery will be an RPG game that will allow players to create their very own wizard. The player will guide their character as they study on the famous magical school of Hogwarts. As a fan of the series myself, I am very interested with the concept of participating in magical classes learning about different spells, potions, and magical creatures. Who knows? We would probably bump into Mr. Potter himself. Check out the official description of the game below:

"Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery is the first game in which players can create their own character and experience life as a Hogwarts student. The game will launch under Portkey Games, a new label dedicated to creating experiences inspired by the magic and adventures of J.K. Rowling’s Wizarding World.”

The initial announcement is still lacking specifics that we are all dying to know about the game. We will have to wait for the developers to share with us on how classes will run and how the players will interact and participate on the activities the game will bring. The most important thing to remember for now, is that this game is happening and it is the chance we have all been waiting for to experience life as a Hogwarts student. 

Who’s ready to take some magical classes? Which house do you think you’ll be sorted to? Tell us below. 

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