Category Archives: Video Games

PUBG Goes Against Public Sentiment, Releases Loot Crates.

Is there any game in the world of video games hotter than PUBG? PlayerUnknown Battlegrounds has completely taken over the gaming world and the team of talented developers behind the title aren’t slowing down anytime soon. In fact, PUBG is looking to embrace their recent hot-streak by releasing a slew of new (potentially) controversially updates. Most recent out of the PUBG update crate is the addition of Loot Crates. Now, don’t whiplash cringe, but loot crates can be added to games without being terrible and game-breaking. Is this the case here?

Well, PUBG was always going to be catering to gamers with some level of gambling so we aren’t surprised to see the new crates added to the game. The two new crates being added are known as Militia and Fever. The Fever crate is only accessible to those with an Early Bird Key. In either event, both crates are going to be incredibly rare to find with the Militia crate owning the rarest item of the bunch. Let’s break each crate down individually so you can see if they are worth your while.

The Fever Crate addition is named after the wild and crazy ’70s and ’80s with clothing looking like it was pulled straight from the disco. These crates can have items as simple as a tight polo to an entire corset with loafers. We don’t think these crates will break the game with fashion, but a few customizable combos do like quite nice.

The Militia crate is probably going to be the more popular of the two thanks to its military theme. You’ll find utility bats, special hats, mercenary t-shirts and more. The rarest item in this crate, and the game is the military skirt which only has a .00064% drop percentage.

Fever Crates can be purchased with Battle Points and an Early Bird access key. The military crate is only available roughly 40% of the time when you purchase other boxes in the game.

Fortnite Releases Season 3 Update!

If you’re tired of sitting around waiting for the next iteration of Fortnite, well, wait no longer! The team at Epic Games just dropped a 2.5GB update to their wildly popular arena battler and fan reviews are already starting to pile in and we couldn’t be more excited. Ever since its launch, Fortnite has been fighting to separate itself from the similar-but-different super-success that is PUBG and we feel like the team might have inched just a little bit closer to that goal.

Fortnite’s Season 3 Update hit the PC, PS4 and XB1 on February 23rd, 2018 by way of a 2.5GB patch. The 3.0.0 patch adds Season 3 to the game while changing a few core components of the title. Battle Royale is now running at a smooth 60 FPS on consoles and the game looks better than ever as a result. You don’t have to have the Xbox 1 X or the PS4 in order to enjoy this new framerate. If you still like 30 FPS as a setting, you can go into your own private settings and change it back.

For Battle Pass owners, the game now has improved building modes in Save the World and for the Battle Royale players-only, the building has been modified and improved. There are going to be some bumps in the road to get used to the new settings but we feel like gamers will be quick to adapt. Among the other updates are John Wick inspired outfits, superhero-inspired outfits, and an aesthetic overhaul that really leans into Asian stylings. Additionally, Epic Games has released the Hand Cannon weapon which is, probably, one of the most entertaining single-handed weapons in the entire game. If you have been looking for a reason to boot Fortnite back up, wait no longer and get on your Xbox!

Video Games and Consoles Sold Like Crazy in January 2018

Video game sales experienced explosive growth in January 2018. Newly released data shows overall sales were 59% higher than compared to January 2019. Sales growth can’t be attributed to one great title, either; hardware and accessories are selling just as much as software.

In fact, hardware sales experienced the biggest growth, with a jaw-dropping 119% increase over last year’s figures. Over one million consoles flew off of shelves, with sales revenue almost dead even between the PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch and Xbox One. Although Sony’s PS4 was the most profitable, the Nintendo Switch made up for its lower price point with the highest number of actual sales.

As reported by Forbes, software sales hit $517 million. In January 2017, they were less than $400 million. Some of this growth was driven by new releases in two long-standing franchises: Monster Hunter: World and Dragon Ball: FighterZ. Other top-selling games included familiar staples like Grand Theft Auto V, Call of Duty: WWII and The Sims 4.

Even console-specific titles showed up in the list of the twenty best-selling games of January 2018. Nintendo’s Mario Kart 8, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and Super Mario Odyssey all placed in the top ten.

It’s unclear if these high sales number are due to Christmas stragglers picking up late gifts, gamers accepting the holiday sales season is over or other factors. What is clear is that the gaming industry continues to grow, with both newcomers like the Nintendo Switch and long-running staples like GTA V attracting gaming revenue.

Windows PC Edition of FF XV Launches

The long-delayed Windows iteration of “Final Fantasy XV” finally has a release date of March 3. One of the notable rewards for early purchasers includes a special costume for main protagonist Prince Noctis Lucis. Until May 1, anyone who purchases Square Enix’s title through Steam will be able to dress up the lead character as Gordon Freeman, the lead character from the “Half-Life” series of PC titles.

The full Freeman outfit includes his orange Hazardous Environment suit, glasses and a free crowbar weapon. Furthermore, this outfit is available for use within the multiplayer Comrades gameplay mode that was added in a post-launch patch.

While the vision of Noctis bumming around Eos as “the one free man” may be an odd sight, it is far from the first cross-promotional endeavor for FF XV.
• The stylish Regalia, inspired by the Jaguar S-type, is one of the premium cars in “Forza Horizon 3.”

• A limited-time event, inspired by the “Assassin’s Creed” franchise, allowed Noctis and friends to dress up like the Assassins and take on an evil company dressed similarly to that franchise’s Templar antagonists.

• “Kingsglaive” began life as a prolonged full motion cutscene to give backstory to the game but ended its creative gestation period as a theatrical film.

• A series of animated shorts were produced in order to better flesh out the relationships between Noctis and his friends.
Although FF XV released in late 2016, Square Enix continues to add new updates, add-ons and spinoff releases. The most recent iteration was a super-trimmed version for mobile systems. Beyond the chance to dress like Gordon Freeman and whack “Daemons” with a crowbar, the Windows edition will offer options for 4K and 8K resolutions, first-person gameplay, a refined map and even a boat to traverse the world’s waterways.

New Xbox Games with Gold Announced

One of the biggest perks of Microsoft’s Xbox Live Gold subscription is the ability to get four free games every month. While these games are usually older titles, video game fans are never going to turn down the opportunity to get free games. After weeks of anticipation, the Xbox Games with Gold have just been announced for the month of March.

Two games will be available to download at the start of March. “Trials of the Blood Dragon” is a stylistic motorcross game on the Xbox One that is unlike anything we have ever seen from the “Trials” franchise. If you are a fan of the other games in the series, then you will enjoy “Trials of the Blood Dragon.” The other game available on March 1 is the video game adaptation of the Pixar movie “Brave.” The cartoon platformer may not appeal to many older gamers, but the kids will absolutely love playing “Brave.”

The final two games offered to Xbox Live Gold subscribers can be downloaded starting on March 16. “Superhot” is easily the most interesting of the four games coming in March. The first-person shooter creates interesting puzzles by freezing time when your character stops moving. This means your bullets will only move while your character is also moving. The unique game mechanic earned “Superhot” rave reviews from the critics when it was released in February 2016.

“Quantum Conundrum” was probably overlooked by most video game fans when it was first released on the Xbox 360 in January 2012, but it is a game that everyone should play. “Quantum Conundrum” was designed by same person that created “Portal,” so both games share a lot of similarities. The graphics and sound in “Quantum Conundrum” are not great, but it still has some of the best puzzles in video game history.

Call of Duty Eyes Sicario 2’s Sollima For Director’s Chair

may finally have a director. In a Hollywood environment saturated with franchises and cinematic universes, a fair number of studios have looked toward video games as a jumping-off point. Sadly and despite multiple attempts, efforts to produce a glowingly-reviewed video game film have yet to bear fruit. One of the video game IPs being shopped around for the big screen is Call of Duty, a project that has been in development hell for years.

Activision Blizzard decided to establish its own film studio, with Call of Duty being planned as one of its big projects. If the studio’s co-presidents get their wish, the Call of Duty film will lead to a “Marvel-esque” universe.

Actualization toward a Call of Duty film reached new material with news that the studio is seeking out Stefano Sollima for his work on “Sicario 2: Soldado.” Beyond his work on Sicario 2, Sollima has handled multiple television projects and films like “A.C.A.B.” and “Suburra.” The studio’s interest in a director may be indicative that Call of Duty is nearing the final stages of pre-production.

Activision Blizzard’s interest in Sollima’s work could be reflective of a change in studio vision. While initial aspirations reflected the establishment of a cinematic universe, Activision would likely benefit from taking an approach closer to the realistic and brutal world of Soldado; more than one commentator remarked that Soldado’s first trailer reflected the visceral tone set by Denis Villeneuve’s “Sicario.”

While Call of Duty currently lacks an official director, news pursuing a name marks a big step toward its creation. As things currently stand, Call of Duty only has a draft penned by Kieran Fitzgerald, whom will remain on staff. Neither a plot nor era has been revealed for the film; the game series has tackled military engagements during World War II, the near future of less than 100 years ahead and contemporary engagements.

US Senator Calls for Review of Loot Box Policies Over Ethical Concerns

After the massive backlash against video game publishing companies like Electronic Arts late last year, numerous politicians from around the globe have weighed in on the subject of loot boxes in games. Many of them call for an outright ban to them, with others demanding a review over their policies and ethics at the minimum.

United States Senator Maggie Hassan of New Hampshire has become the latest to join the cause, sending an open letter to the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) asking them to consider their internal review and rating systems in relation to games that include loot boxes. In it, she specifically cites the harm that these simulated gambling systems can and do have on children.

While there is still debate as to whether or not microtransaction-based loot boxes are a form of gambling (something Senator Hassan acknowledges in her letter), the fact that they so closely mimic gambling is cause for concern. She hopes to convince the ESRB to investigate as to whether or not loot boxes are marketed “in an ethical and transparent way that adequately protects the developing minds of young children from predatory practices.” She also urges that they collect data on how loot boxes are used by publishers and how players respond to them for future research needs.

While Senator Hassan has not joined the growing movement to have government regulators step in, she has posed the question as to whether or not loot boxes and microtransaction systems in video games should be a concern to all four Federal Trade Commission nominees recently. During the Commerce Committee hearing at which she posed these questions, she also made sure to point out that the ESRB is seen as extremely effective and a good example of what a voluntary enforcement board can accomplish.

It’s because of this last point that she feels confident progress will be made concerning loot boxes and their potential bad influence on children. Only time will tell whether or not her faith will be rewarded.

‘GTA 5’ Comes to Nintendo Switch Amid Flurry of Excitement.

Nintendo continues to do things the right way with their commitment to bringing in mature ports for their latest release, the Nintendo Switch. Nintendo has always largely been a relatively wholesome and family-focused company, but they are starting to open their eyes to older gamers who grew up with their systems and are looking for a more mature experience. This has led Nintendo to work hard to expand their library with high-quality ports of classic games. Among those classic and mature ports are ‘Skyrim’ and ‘Doom’ and now ‘GTA 5’ is getting added to the list.

Okay, so Nintendo hasn’t officially added the title to their list of ports yet but rumors are increasingly circulating which makes gamers of all stripes increasingly interested and excited. Nintendo has been pushing more and more toward becoming a full third-party partner and adding titles ‘GTA 5’ from companies like Rockstar is pretty much the peak of what could be their porting process. Of course, had you brought up the idea of a GTA title on a Nintendo console, not through emulation, we would have scoffed at the prospect. GTA is about as non-family friendly as you are going to find in the wide world of gaming and that means that Nintendo would had to have shifted their marketing techniques in a big way. Yet here we are and it is looking all the more possible.

Still, there are some hurdles in the way of this becoming a reality and a few of them may not be obvious at first glance. The first hurdle that Nintendo would have to clear with a port is the issue of memory. GTA 5 is a monolithic game and the Switch only has a 32GB internal HDD. Nintendo has plans to address this in 2019 when they release their 64 GB HDD but that won’t happen for a while now. The second sticking point, and likely the biggest, is how Nintendo would handle GTA Online which is essentially the only reason the title is still popular. Still, we’re at a point where anything is believable and our fingers are crossed.

Fortnite Plans Changes to Weapon Selection

Gaming in 2018 is going to be defined by arena brawlers like ‘Fortnite: Battle Royale’ and ‘PUBG’ and we couldn’t be more excited. Fortnite: Battle Royale made waves last year as a free-to-play game that offered fans the chance to get into a massive 100 person PVP matches from the comfort of their console or PC. Finding themselves a hit right off of the bat, the development team at Epic Games has been quick to strike while the iron is hot. Epic Games announced this week that they were making a few adjustments to the core gameplay in Battle Royale by addressing balancing issues derived from one of the most popular weapons int he game, the SMG.

Epic Games released their update online stating that the SMG would be pulled out of Battle Royale for the PC, XB1, and the PS4 at the time of this writing. While the move is ostensibly going to be a temporary one, it should put Battle Royale fanatics on notice — Epic Games is ready and willing to make changes to their title in response to fan outreach. Epic Games also released a few notes on other potential updates coming to the game, including a 60 FPS mode for high-end consoles.

Still, the biggest update from Fortnite will revolve around the SMG and how fans react to it no longer being in the game. The SMG is being sent away to Epic Games’ so-called ‘Vault’ and there it’ll sit while they continue to adjust the roster of available weapons. Epic Games said, through a rep on Reddit, “Expect more items to be released (and likewise vaulted!) in the future”. The representative went on to say that they’ll not hesitate to bring weapons that have been put into the vault back, but the timing has to be right in order for it to happen.

Finally, Epic Games also noted that they’ll be releasing a shortened game-mode known as ‘Blitz’ which features 50 v 50 gameplay.

Nintendo Switch Unlikely to Get ‘Monster Hunter: World’

If you haven’t been living under a gaming rock for the past couple of months, you’ll likely know just how popular ‘Monster Hunter: World’ has been since its release on the PS4 and XB1. Monster Hunter: World is the sequel to the original title, ‘Monster Hunter’, which was released on the PlayStation 2 back in January of 2008. ‘World’ is an epic, sprawling video game adventure that allows gamers the chance to crawl through a massive open world in order to capture a variety of unique creatures. Featuring gorgeous graphics, an engaging capturing system, and a beautifully designed world it is no stroke of luck that the title has been so successful. With all of that being said, Nintendo Switch owners might have to just take their lumps on not getting a chance to play the game.

The developers at Capcom have already gone out of their way to admit that it is unlikely to see Monster Hunter: World ported over to the Nintendo Switch anytime soon. The biggest issue is, of course, storage requirements and processing hardware. The Nintendo Switch only has a native 32GB harddrive though Nintendo has already made plans to add a 64GB harddrive at some point in the future.

Haruhior Tsujimoto, President at Capcom, sat down for an interview with Toyo Keizai in order to expound on the success of the title while explaining some of the difficulties they are facing in terms of porting the title out to other consoles. Tsujimoto went on to point out the fact that the Nintendo Switch plays and handles differently than traditional consoles like the PS4 and the XB1. Tsujimoto was hesitant to definitively rule out a Nintendo port, but his phrasing makes it seem unlikely. Tsujimoto did go on to say that Capcom will be focusing on making titles explicitly with the Nintendo Switch in mind for their future releases. While this is a nice thing to hear, it really won’t soothe Switch owners who are missing out on the year’s best title so far.