“Shadow of the Colossus” Thrives in a Open World Devoid of Activity

The Forbidden Land of 2005’s “Shadow of the Colossus” is a barren wasteland containing only a fraction of the elements found in other open world titles. With Bluepoint’s recent HD re-release on the PS4, players can savor the world without the PS2’s muddiness.

Players control Wander, a young man seeking to revive his deceased girlfriend. Wander enters the Forbidden Land and makes a pact with the dark god Dormin; Dormin will return his girlfriend to life if Wander murders 16 colossi. Although the Forbidden Land is vast and covers several biomes, few would consider this title as an “open world” endeavor. The newest generation of gamers, whom have been forged in an environment full of hand-holding and checkpoints, will likely find many minor grievances with Shadow of the Colossus.
• Other than the engagements between Wander and the unlucky colossi, players will have to hunt down waypoints across sweeping vistas. While the game features an expertly-drawn map, it only reveals what the player has already seen.

• When hunting colossi, players must raise Wander’s sword into the air and follow the general direction that sunlight bounces off. This can lead to some consternation as many colossi naturally blend into the terrain.

• Because the game is dedicated to hunting and killing colossi, its massive world is devoid of almost anything else for the player to interact with beyond lizards, fruit and coins.

By tracking and killing certain lizards, Wander’s grip meter, crucial in scaling colossi to reach their weak points, will increase. Certain trees bear fruit that slightly increase Wander’s vitality. Coins were added to this version of the game, with a new sword as reward for collecting all 79. Adept players can find a map that reveals every lizard and fruit tree location. Unfortunately, players have to really explore the world to discover these incremental rewards.

While Shadow of the Colossus offers few things, the colossi fights and exploration are their own reward.

Microsoft Adds Gaming Upstart To Its Portfolio

In big gaming news, Microsoft has acquired a small gaming start-up that it can add to its portfolio. This is a development company called “PlayFab”. They handle many of the live operations and other technical tasks so that those who develop games can focus more on that and less on keeping the games that they already have out there running.

PlayFab already manages a lot of the technical details for games that have a total worldwide player audience of seven hundred million players says Business Insider. This indicates that a lot of game developers trust them with even some of the most sensitive information that they possess. It is quite clear that this is a gaming start-up that will not remain just some small company for much longer. They are making big moves. Now that Microsoft owns them, the acceleration of this business is likely about to take off.

A lot of gaming is moving into the cloud. This means that it is becoming far more inter-connected, and far more reliant on the ability to play games live and compete with other players all around the world no matter where they are. Since this is what players want, it is a wise move by Microsoft to focus more energy into this aspect of the gaming world.

PC games in particular are white hot right now. It seems that just about everyone wants to take their skills to their computer and show other strangers around the world that they are in fact the best at whatever particular game it is that they want to prove their chops in. The exact game that one is playing may change from time to time, but the environment of online gaming has remained largely the same for some time now. Microsoft is simply consolidating some hold on that market.

Legendary Speed-runner Todd Rogers Loses Records

Video games were meant to be played in all sorts of ways. Some players take their time, exploring every edge and corner of the landscape possible, even doubling back to find hidden items and clues. Others try to defeat levels and games as quickly as humanly possible. They are called speed-runners, and the key phrase here is “humanly possible.”

On Monday, Todd Rogers, one of the legendary speed-runners in video game history, was stripped of all his time records by Twin Galaxies, a group responsible for monitoring video game records. He also received a lifetime ban because of accusations of cheating and fabricating records.

The main record on the chopping block was his speed run in the Atari game Dragster. His record had stood since 1982, making it the Guinness World Record-holder for longest-standing video game record in the world. Not only did Twin Galaxies strip Rogers of that record, but it also notified the folks at Guinness World Records, advising them to do the same.

Rogers had registered a time of 5.51 seconds in Dragster, a game that requires players to shift gears on their racer at just the right time. As the years went by and other players continued to be dubious of Rogers’ play, evidence mounted. Eventually, engineer Eric Koziel designed a computer program to see what was the literal fastest time anyone could achieve on Dragster, even beyond “humanly possible.” The search was for the greatest score the game would allow, and the answer was 5.57 seconds. If you believe Koziel’s findings – which Rogers does not – a time of 5.51 seconds was literally impossible.

Rogers had other suspicious speed-run and scoring records to boot. Many players accused him of cheating over the years. It seems like the powers that be finally agree.

February PS Plus Games Announced

Subscribers to Sony’s PlayStation Plus program are rewarded with several free games every month, and they now know what games will be provided in February after the list of six games was announced today. All six games can be downloaded for free starting on Tuesday, February 6. They must be downloaded before the beginning of March if you want them in your video game collection

The biggest game being offered for free on PS Plus in February is “Knack.” The cartoon platformer was originally released when the PS4 launched in 2013, so this is a great way for newer PS4 owners to pick up a game they may have missed. “Knack” may have a weak story and a few other flaws, but it still a very fun family-friendly game.

PS4 owners will also get the opportunity to download “Rime” and “Grand Kingdom” in February. “Rime” is one of the most beautiful games of its generation, so it is worth your time even if you are not a big fan of puzzle games. “Grand Kingdom” is a Japanese role-playing game that forces you to use precise tactics to take down the enemies. Thanks to cross-play, you will also be able to enjoy “Grand Kingdom” on the PS Vita.

The other three games offered in February are only available on Sony’s older devices. If you still have a PS3 handy, then you can add “Spelunker HD” and “Mugen Souls Z” to your collection. “Spelunker HD” is a high definition remake of the popular platformer that was released on the Atari in 1983. “Mugen Souls Z” will satisfy most RPG fans, but everyone else will likely find the game to be extremely shallow. The 2D adventure game “Exile’s End” will also be available for the PS Vita next week.

Video Games You Don’t Want to Miss in 2018

Last year was a great year for the video game industry. Heavy hitters such as “Super Mario Odyssey,” “Persona 5” and “Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild” ensured that 2017 was a year that gamers won’t soon forget. Looking ahead, 2018 looks like it may be just as impressive. Below is a list of games that you can look forward to this year.

“Shadow of the Colossus”

Who would’ve thought that one of the best PS2 games in 2005 would be one of the most anticipated tiles of 2018? Well, it is thanks to the upcoming PS4 title “Shadow of the Colossus.”

“Shadow of the Colossus” is back with a complete makeover in HD. The goal of the game is to take down larger-than-life monsters. This was a hit years ago, and it’s shaping up to be one of the hottest tiles of the year. Keep an eye out for the game when it launches on February 6th.

“Bayonetta 2”

If you’re one of the few people who owned a Wii U, then you may have experienced the Bayonetta series reboot with “Bayonetta 2.” The game wouldn’t have been possible without help from Nintendo, but few people got to experience it. Thanks to the Nintendo Switch, they can.

Coming February 16, Nintendo is re-releasing “Bayonetta 2” on its newest console. Buying a copy will also let you download a digital copy of the first “Bayonetta.” That’s two games for the price of one. Both of them should get you pumped for the recently announced “Bayonetta 3,” which is also coming to the Switch but has no official release date yet.

“Red Dead Redemption 2”

You can’t have a list of the most anticipated games of 2018 without talking about “Red Dead Redemption 2”. This is a follow-up to the award-winning “Red Dead Redemption” that came out on the PS3 and Xbox 360.

Once again, you’ll get to experience the old west in a massive open world much like the Grand Theft Auto series. You can take on a slew of missions and watch this world come to life. Rock Star has indicated that the game is set for a second-quarter release.

What games are you looking forward to this year? Is 2018 shaping up to be as good if not better than 2017? In either case, most would agree that there are a lot of great games to look forward to.

World Record for Atari Dragster is Thrown Out

Twin Galaxies, a group that tracks top performances in video gaming, has announced that it will throw out a record that has stood for 25 years.

The player at the center of the controversy, Todd Rogers, submitted proof in 1982 for a record performance in the Atari Dragster game. The game is a side-scrolling driving simulation that challenges the player to switch gears at precise moments in order to speed up a car. Rogers supposedly beat the game in 5.51 seconds and took a Polaroid photo of the time before submitting it to the developer of the game.

The Dragster record was added to the Twin Galaxies system in 2000, which qualified it as a Guinness World Record for being the longest held video game record. For years, other players tried to match or beat Rogers’ time, but the next closest performance was 5.57 seconds.

The decision by Twin Galaxies to nullify the Dragster record came after the video game community gathered evidence to suggest that Rogers had fabricated his performance. Software analysis has suggested that 5.51 seconds is a physically impossible time for a human player in Dragster. As part of its finding, Twin Galaxies has erased all of Rogers’ other video game records from its database as well.

Rogers has yet to publicly respond to the decision by Twin Galaxies, but he has previously argued against his detractors by claiming that he used a special shifting strategy when setting the record for Dragster. The developer of the Atari game has not produced any new evidence to validate Rogers’ original time of 5.51 seconds, but the debate over this record in speed video gaming is likely to continue into the future.

Microsoft looking to buy Electronic Arts

There may not be a company that had a tougher year than Electronic Arts did in 2017. Does that mean the firm might be on the block? Reports began surfacing on Monday afternooon that EA might be up for sale and the company that might buy them is Microsoft.

The deal makes quite a bit of sense for both entities, which probably means it’s not going to go through. For Microsoft, it would allow them a studio that could put together quite a few Xbox only games. For EA, it would mean that they are teaming up with one of the titans of the video game world. They might also be able to repair some of the problems we’ve seen in the last few years if there was another set of eyes looking at the products EA is pushing out there and telling someone they need to be rethought.

The two firms are a couple of the biggest in the video game world. As Polygon points out, Microsoft could likely make the purchase of EA without making much of a dent into their profits. The firm that has just launched the Xbox One X is valued at somewhere in the neighborhood of $130 billion. EA, on the flipside carries a value of about $35 billion.

Those are big dollar values being through around, but in what is becoming very big video game business, it appears as though EA could be had by Microsoft for chump change. It should be pointed out that rumors about takeovers like this are almost always going strong this time of year. There are some rumblings that have made this set of rumors seem to have a bit more traction underneath them. When you’re talking about Microsoft’s cash and EA’s PR problems, a sale could indeed be on the horizon.

Spider-Man release date might have been leaked

Since the Spider-Man game for the PS4 was first shown off, the gaming public has been salivating thinking about when they might finally be able to get their hands on it. The graphics were top of the line, the story seemed to be one that no one had seen before, so it wasn’t something that people knew what was coming.

The action sequences especially were getting people very excited to play a super hero game for the first time in a very long time. The only problem was that nobody knew when they were going to be able to get their hot little hands on the game.

Spider-Man was once again showcased at a number of different gaming conventions in the last year, all making people think this was a game they would really like to play, whenever it comes out. While we still don’t have an official release date from the developers themselves, we might have a hint on when we could expect the game.

There have been plenty of people who have thought that the earliest we would see this new super hero game would be in early 2019. That was based mostly on the fact that it looked awfully in depth and no one had heard about it before it was shown off at E3.

Now a leak from the retailer Cool Shop, might just have the official release date. According to a listing from that store, we can expect the game to hit shelves on September 28, 2018. Cool Shop, according to Gaming Bolt is a retailer that can be leaned on for the truth more often than not. That date would also make sense because it would be the beginning of the fall flurry of new games. Until the developers confirm the date, we’ll just have to hold out hope.

Video Game Movies Have the Potential to be The Next Big Thing in the Industry

One thing that has been common throughout the history of Hollywood is trends. There have been plenty of trends coming and going in Hollywood. One example of a trend is the Western. For a time, westerns have come out and dominated the big screen. They have since been taken into the background. While there is still a western film every once in a while, there are more films with a western influence that are not necessarily the old frontier movies. Right now, the current trend is the comic book film. However, people are anticipating its slow down.

This begs the question as to what is next after the comic book movie. A little bit of attention is being brought to the video game movie. Many people are doubting that there is going to be a huge rise of video game movies due to the low quality of the adaptations. As a matter of fact, there is something known as the video game movie curse. However, this is not that different from an age of comic book movies when they were not so good either. For one thing, comic book movies were handled by people that didn’t really care much for the source material. The same can be said right now for video game movies.

There are a couple of video game movies that are coming out. One of them is a Tomb Raider Reboot. The other is Rampage starring Dwayne Johnson. In all honesty, neither of them look like the movies that are going to break the video game movie curse. However, there is still hope. All that is needed is for some of the video game properties to be put in the right hands.

Madden NFL 18 Predicts Super Bowl Winner

It’s that time of year again. With just one week until the New England Patriots take on the Philadelphia Eagles, it’s time to see what the people at EA Sports have to say about the outcome of the game. As it has done for several years in a row now, the latest version of the Madden NFL video game took a crack at predicting who was going to win the Super Bowl.

As has been the case for most of these simulations, the Super Bowl is projected to be pretty close if the Madden version is to be trusted. As Polygon points out, most of the of the games in the Madden series have come down to the last play. This year is no different.

Madden NFL 18 claims that the Patriots are going to beat the Eagles thanks to a last second touchdown with a final score of 24-20. That score is somewhat popular in the annals of the Madden series as it has also projected a team would win 24-20 in two other Super Bowls. The game was sealed for the Pats when their defense knocked down a last second hail mary pass from Nick Foles to Alshon Jeffery.

In the 2015 version of the game, it was a hail mary pass that allowed the winning team to pull victory from the jaws of defeat. That hail mary pass meant that the winning team managed to squeak out a 28-24 victory.

There have been times when Madden has been oddly on track with its predictions. Other times they are quite a ways off what really happened. No video game could have predicted what the Patriots had to do in order to rally to victory against the Atlanta Falcons. As another celebration of the Super Bowl, the digital download of Madden NFL 18 has been deeply discounted.