Gaming

Kingdom Hearts III’s Co-director Discusses Difficulty, Final Fantasy Characters, And Memorable Moments

Difficulty means different things to different people, and I think it’s important to remember that what comes easily for one person might be an arduous task for another. People of all skill levels play games, and we all have our strengths and weaknesses. One of the biggest complaints about Kingdom Hearts III has been that it’s too easy, especially for veteran players. Square Enix has responded to this feedback by working on critical mode and making sure it’s more than just a value change. The mode is set to release soon, although Square Enix still doesn’t have an exact date.

That being said, I had an opportunity to chat with co-director Tai Yasue while at GDC this week, particularly about critical mode. During our chat, we reflected on the game, discussing its finer points and where fans were disappointed. Yasue is responsible for the gameplay, while Nomura handles the story beats, so he wasn’t able to answer what’s in store for the future, like the upcoming DLC we’ve heard about, which Square Enix confirmed to me is currently in development. Trust me, I tried. Even so, Yasue had some great insight into why the team made some …read more


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How Nintendo Switch Is Becoming the Best Place for New Games

There’s been a massive wave of indie love and support for the Nintendo Switch. Everyone wants every game to come to Switch, and that desire is shared by many of the game developers out there making them as well. But the Switch didn’t just stumble into being one of the best places for new games – we spoke to a number of the indie devs showcased in this week’s Nindie Direct, and all of them gave credit to Nintendo itself for putting in the effort to make it that way.

If you ask Kirk Scott, Nintendo of America’s Manager of Publisher-Developer Relations (and all-around Nindie guy), you wouldn’t think what they are doing is such a big deal. “I think what Nintendo is doing specifically to support the indie devs is just making ourselves more available,” Scott told me. When you put it that way, it sounds simple, but Scott explained that they have a whole team dedicated to finding, elevating, and supporting great indie games – and the active support they provide is, in reality, a very big deal.

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SwitchArcade Round-Up: ‘Baba is You’ Review, the Top-Selling Switch Indies, ‘Unravel Two’ Releases, and Even More Sales

Hello gentle readers, and welcome to the SwitchArcade Round-Up for March 22nd, 2019. After that absolute slobberknocker of an Indie Showcase the other day, we’ve got a whole lot of games to look forward to over the next few months. But intriguing as they are, those indie games aren’t all we have coming. Nintendo Labo: VR Kit is coming in just a few weeks. The creator of the Zero Escape games has something new coming this summer. And my oh my, are there a lot of sales going on right now. More than 10% of the Switch’s library is discounted at the moment, so beg or borrow from your friends or family (don’t steal, that is bad) and nab some stuff for your backlog. Let’s see what we can do!

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Check Out This Preview for ‘Nintendo Labo: VR Kit’

Nintendo’s quirky take on VR is set to release before too long, and in addition to providing hands-on time for many members of the press who don’t live in the countryside of Japan, the company has also started its marketing in earnest. In this video posted to Nintendo’s YouTube channel, we get to see a lot …read more


How Remedy Is Approaching Side Missions In Control

Remedy Entertainment has garnered a reputation for engaging storytelling through guided, linear experiences thanks to standout titles like Max Payne, Alan Wake, and Quantum Break. However, Control looks to smash preconceived notions about the projects the studio works on by delivering a more open-ended experience. One way Remedy is hammering home this idea of encouraged exploration is through optional side missions that players can choose to engage with or ignore altogether. These missions not only give you new, unique gameplay to explore, but you’re also able to glean more information about Jesse, The Oldest House, the Federal Bureau of Control, and the Hiss.

Control is a game based in the unexpected and unexplainable, so you can expect many mysteries during your journey through The Oldest House. The nonlinear format of the game let Remedy experiment more with side content for those who truly want to learn all they can about the supernatural entities and mysteries of Control’s world.

According to game director Mikael Kasurinen, when developing past games, Remedy has typically looked for an exciting 30-second loop of action, then attempted to recreate that experience throughout the entire game. The team is taking a vastly different approach with Control.

“Here, we …read more


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Microsoft Announces Indie Showcase Stream, Starting March 26

Microsoft has announced ID@Xbox Game Pass; a new series of livestreams to showcase indie games coming to Xbox Game Pass. The first broadcast will be on Tuesday, March 26.

Announced on the Xbox Wire blog, the first episode will premiere at 9:00am PT (12:00 ET, 04:00pm UK, 02:00am AEST), and offer new dives into After Party, Void Bastards, and Supermarket Shriek.

There will also be a behind-the-scenes element to the stream, with a segment featuring Afterparty and Oxenfree developer Night School Studio.

The blog posts promises new reveals, gameplay highlights, and conversations with developers.

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Exclusive Reveal: ‘Valor’s Reach’ from Wizards of the Coast Brings the ‘Magic: The Gathering’ Universe to Mobile in a Brand New Way

Making the granddaddy of all collectible card games into something you play on the go is not a new idea. There are several Magic: The Gathering mobile games out there right now, including Magic Duels (Free) and Magic: The Gathering – Puzzle Quest (Free). Neither is the full MTG experience, however, and while there are still justifiable hopes that the excellent Magic: The Gathering Arena will make its way to phones and tablets. Wizards of the Coast is preparing to help you scratch an itch you didn’t even know you had with Valor’s Reach.

If you’re up on your Magic lore, you undoubtedly recognize the name as a stadium where magical duels are fought. That makes it fitting for a mobile card game that is not trying to recreate the physical card game (and thus won’t be confused with Arena), but instead looks like it will be very much its own unique thing: As Wizards puts it, “quick, competitive, and casual 1v1 battles that can be played anytime, anywhere.”

Valor’s Reach is a fast, fun, and explosive mobile CCG that features a rich variety of heroes based on Magic: The Gathering’s Planeswalkers,” said Executive Producer Dan McAuliffe.

He also provided us …read more


Ethereal Review – Stay In Your Lane

By restricting traditional movement and thrusting you into carefully constructed 2D mazes, simply getting around

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Movement in Ethereal is central to its puzzles. You’re restricted to sliding across 2D planes, with carefully placed walls blocking your progress. You overcome them by hopping through the closest wall either above or below you, shifting you into an entirely new row to move across. It’s slightly confusing to wrap your head around at first, but getting the hang of seamlessly moving around each stage is satisfying to learn. Identifying patterns in level layouts lets you quickly zip around …read more


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NimbleBit Announces ‘LEGO Tower’, a Stunning Rebuild of ‘Tiny Tower’ in LEGO Form, Launching This Summer

NimbleBit just gets mobile gaming. Ever since the early days of the App Store, they’ve released titles that are perfect for smartphones, and even as a big premium evangelist, almost every NimbleBit release has managed to obsess me to levels that only the likes of Animal Crossing and Pokemon GO (Free) had previously achieved. My own personal NimbleBit highlight has to be Tiny Tower (Free), as building my own skyscraper whilst mercilessly firing incompetent staff managed to bring out the capitalist scoundrel inside me. I’ve always been waiting for a sequel, and despite over two years since the last NimbleBit mobile release, today we’ve finally heard news of their brand new project. Introducing LEGO Tower – a complete reimagining of Tiny Tower with LEGO graphics and characters, releasing this Summer. I’m already in love with the reveal trailer, which you can see below.

Seeing NimbleBit partner up with such a major international brand in LEGO is awesome, and the results are exactly what you’d expect – a stunningly realistic recreation of the Tiny Tower skyscraper, floors and eccentric characters in LEGO form. I was already a huge fan of Tiny Tower’s pixel …read more


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Hellboy Characters Will Be Added to Brawlhalla Next Month

In celebration of the upcoming Hellboy film, Ubisoft has announced that it has partnered with Lionsgate and Millennium Media to bring Hellboy, Nimue, Gruagach, and Ben Daimio to Brawlhalla, its free-to-play platform fighting game.

These characters from Hellboy will be new guest characters that will be joining a roster of over 40 characters that also features Rayman, which was made possible after Ubisoft purchased Brawlhalla developer Blue Mammoth Games last year.

Hellboy, created by Mike Mignola, is being adapted once again into a feature film and will see “the legendary half-demon superhero called to the English countryside to battle a trio of rampaging giants.”

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Outward Gives Detailed Look at Its Split-Screen RPG Co-op

Outward has continued to look even more interesting with each new peek we get at it. The medieval fantasy, open-world third-person RPG promises a big world with plenty to do. The hook, compared to other games with those descriptors, is that you are not “The Chosen One” or any kind of hero. You’re just a nobody, and you’ll have to survive the world before you can overpower it.

The new developer diary video, shown at the top of this page, showcases split-screen co-op, with a developer explaining how it works. Take a look, and if you like what you see, click on any of the other recent videos below for more on Outward.

Ryan McCaffrey is IGN’s Executive Editor of Previews. Follow him on Twitter at @DMC_Ryan, catch him on Unlocked, and drop-ship him Taylor Ham sandwiches from New Jersey whenever possible.

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