RUMOR: A Final Fantasy VII Remake PlayStation Plus Demo Could Be on the Way Just After E3

Got PS Plus? It looks like Square Enix might have a treat for you.

The post RUMOR: A Final Fantasy VII Remake PlayStation Plus Demo Could Be on the Way Just After E3 appeared first on PlayStation LifeStyle.

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Total War: Three Kingdoms Review – Elegantly Embellishing An Era

Publisher: SEGA
Developer: Creative Assembly
Release:
Rating: Teen
Reviewed on: PC

As a franchise, Total War is known for realism, with lowly axemen eating barrages of arrows as trebuchets tear into city walls. Then the Total War: Warhammer games bent those rules, and now that bending continues with Total War: Three Kingdoms,  albeit in a less extreme fashion. This installment embraces Chinese fantasy in the era of Romance of the Three Kingdoms, with larger-than-life commanders and their reigns. History-driven battles take a backseat to lively hero duels and big personalities. The experience is more enjoyable if you’re willing to suspend your disbelief and engage in a massive rise to power with a bit of wondrous awe – as if someone was regaling a crowded feasting hall with an embellished tale, rather than coldly narrating from the annals of a historical text.

Click here to watch embedded media

On the real-time battlefield, the moment-to-moment tactics are a bit underplayed because of the focus on the legendary commanders and their skills. With various commander types to pick from, hooking them up with weapons, armor, and horses and tapping into their special abilities to turn the tide of battle feels flavorful and suitably epic. Watching two magnificent lords tear each other apart in a crazy one-on-one in the middle of a huge fight doesn’t feel like traditional Total War, but it’s pretty satisfying all the same. Battles are often won and lost on the backs of these epic encounters, which can leave the little men out. 

One of the ways to play, called Romance mode, also has less of a realistic emphasis on how your armies consume resources and supplies; it’s more about letting you get in and play around with your whimsical warriors of note. A separate option, Records mode, lets franchise purists dial back on the fantasy elements, with none of the insane powers and more realistic resource management for armies, but the major draw (and the place where the interesting innovation is happening) is on the fantasy-tinged side of the battlefield.

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Three Kingdoms is beautiful on the turn-based map and beyond. Cherry blossoms bloom on your development tree, snow splashes softly across the land, and awesome animated cutscenes punctuate world events and major occurrences, capturing the pure romantic notion of ancient China. Your road to emperor through a combination of military might, city-building and expansion, and shrewd diplomacy is paved with elegant and exquisite detail that make it one of the most aesthetically appealing titles in the entire series.

Diplomacy, espionage, and trading are easy to work with and essential to ruling your ever-growing sphere of power off the battlefield. A streamlined system allows for single-click dealing and negotiations if you just want to get on with the next turn. Managing your relationships is critical, and it feels good to be held to your alliances and contracts or face fairly significant consequences. Myriad opportunities arise to make fun choices outside of your standard building and battling – faking my own assassination attempt to boost my image was a fun little side moment. Your characters also build and destroy reputation with each other in battle, so you can separate those that don’t get along and put friends and family together. Your court is always ready to give you bonuses by installing commanders in various roles and positions.

While those looking for the pure historical war experience may find themselves wanting a bit more, with such a critical emphasis on the commanders and their supreme battlefield presence, those willing to indulge in a more prodigious past have lots to enjoy. With strict historical adherence out the window and a bit of a streamlined tactical combat experience, Three Kingdoms still has a lot to offer the strategy enthusiast.
 

Score: 8.5

Summary: A captivating dive into warfare and political intrigue.

Concept: Unite the kingdom and become emperor in a world based on the Chinese epic Romance of the Three Kingdoms

Graphics: From snow-scattered landscapes to beautiful cutscenes and animations, the graphics immerse you in a captivating and compelling land

Sound: The sounds of clashing swords and prolonged sieges are standard, and solid music accompanies the brutal battles and political intrigue

Playability: With countless choices to make (some even a game begins), the game is inherently complex with many layers of customization and strategy, despite massive onboarding options

Entertainment: Three Kingdoms is a striking addition to the Total War series with plenty to love, though it takes a slight dip in on-the-field tactical choice

Replay: Moderate

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Resident Evil 4 On Switch Is Missing Something Pretty Major For Nintendo Fans

A swing and a miss?

We’re currently playing our way through Resident Evil 4 for our review, and while the prospect of once again enjoying what is perhaps the zenith of the entire franchise has pleased us greatly, there’s one thing missing from the Switch port: motion control.

It would seem that Resident Evil 4 on Switch is very much a straight conversion of the PS4 and Xbox One HD update from a while back, and no attempt has been made to factor in the motion controls that made the Wii edition of the game so appealing.

Read the full article on nintendolife.com

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New Elder Scrolls Tabletop Game In Development


Fans of Bethesda and tabletop games can rejoice as an Elder Scrolls miniature game is currently in development. Modiphius Entertainment, the creators of Fallout: Wasteland Warfare, are bringing the world of Tamriel to the table, starting with the province of Skyrim. Fans can expect to see iconic characters such as Ulfric Stormcloak and General Tullius in high quality 32mm resin.

Called The Elder Scrolls: Call to Arms, the figures will begin production with Stormcloak and Imperial Legion miniatures with additional races and factions planned for release later down the line. While the first wave of figures are Skyrim-exclusive characters, expansions based on The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion and The Elder Scrolls Online are also scheduled for production. 

Take charge of up to six hero characters with troops in tow and tackle in-game scenerios like ‘dungeon delves, where you seek out lost treasure, to running battles across the ruined outposts that dot the landscape of Tamriel, all the while fulfilling quests and narrative-driven scenario objectives that will see your band of heroes grow from game to game’ according to a Modiphius statement. 

Modiphius will begin shipping their first figure, Dragonborn Triumphant, the first week of June 2019. The full game is slated for release around Christmas 2019.

For more on tabletop games, be sure to check out Matt Miller’s column on the subject: Top of the Table.

[Source: Polygon]

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May 20th : New Preview Alpha Ring 1906 Update (19060.190516-1940)

Starting at 2:00 p.m. PST today, members of the Xbox One Preview Alpha Ring will begin receiving the latest 1906 Xbox One system update (19H1_RELEASE_XBOX_DEV_190618362.4028.190516-1940).   DETAILS: OS version released: 19H1_RELEASE_XBOX_DEV_190618362.4028.190516-1940 Available: 2:00PM PDT 5/20/19 Mandatory Date/Time: 3:00 AM PDT 5/21/19   New Features:   This first update is meant to lay the groundwork for what’s to come in 1906, so while you’ll find fixes and known issues listed below, please keep an eye out for feature announcements as they’re ready to be previewed. Thanks, as always, for your passion for helping make Xbox One system updates the best they…

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Outer Wilds Releases At The End Of This Month


Ever since Annapurna Interactive announced Outer Wilds, an adventure title that charts a middle path between Majora’s Mask and No Man’s Sky, we have been eagerly awaiting the chance to take the full game for a spin. It seems we’ll get out chance sooner than we thought, as Outer Wilds releases in just ten days, May 30, on Xbox One and PC via the Epic Games Store.

The game is about all about exploring a pre-designed galaxy with planets that take different shapes, forms, and environments. As an alien explorer, the protagonist is eager to get off his small backwater rock and explore the galaxy in a spacecraft, but space is as dangerous as it is vast. We have played the game at a number of events over the last year and it always manages to surprise us and pique our curiosity.

You can check out the launch trailer below.

Click here to watch embedded media

Annapurna Interactive is releasing Outer Wilds as a console exclusive on Xbox One and a timed exclusive on the Epic Games Store, though it will eventually filter out to other storefronts. On the Xbox One, it will be a day-one Game Pass title, so subscribers to Microsoft’s game download service can start playing it for no extra cost on that first day. 

Hopefully you do not get caught in a time loop between now and May 30.

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Audeze Mobius Headset Review – All Purpose, High Quality

There’s something to be said for premium audio technology.

The post Audeze Mobius Headset Review – All Purpose, High Quality appeared first on PlayStation LifeStyle.

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Random: $10,000 Pokémon Competition Winner Reportedly Found To Have Violated The Rules

Talk about putting your foot in it.

Back in October, clothing brand Uniqlo hosted a competition which asked Pokémon fans to design a new t-shirt. The winner was to receive a lovely $10,000, a special trophy, invitation to an award ceremony in Tokyo, and even an invitation to the 2019 Pokémon World Championships.

Earlier today, that very winner was announced. Chinese artist Li Wen Pei took home the cash by submitting the Magikarp and Gyarados design you can see below. As an added bonus, the shirt was also revealed to be wearable in the upcoming Pokémon Sword and Shield games for Switch; incidentally, this appears to give more weight to the idea that character customisation will indeed play a part in the new games.

Read the full article on nintendolife.com

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The Division 2’s Raid Took Console Players 3 Days To Beat


Funny To A Point: The Division 2 Is Actually Fun – At Launch!

Raids in The Division 2 were always meant to be tough. But seeing how even the most accomplished of players have handled the challenge, Ubisoft may be reconsidering the difficulty, especially when it comes to console. PC players were the first to complete a raid — five hours after Operation Dark Hours’ launch. As for console players, it took three days.  Players were split between wanting the raids to cater more towards those that don’t have hours on end to play, while the other side embraced the challenge wholeheartedly.

A huge factor is PC players using a keyboard and mouse, which has quicker aiming and sleeker movement compared to console controllers. Ubisoft is taking this into consideration and has come forward on Reddit addressing the concerns of the challenge. The company has claimed the raids are supposed to be the game’s toughest challenge yet, but “That said, raid difficulty is certainly feedback that we have been looking at since the release of Dark Hours, and it is not outside the realm of possible that tweaks will be made moving forward”.

This is not a confirmation changes will be made but it does point to the possibility that the company is considering tweaking the difficulty.

[Source: Eurogamer}

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Xbox Head Phil Spencer Addresses Toxicity In Gaming And Outlines A Plan To Combat It


In a newly published op-ed by Phil Spencer, the Xbox executive outlines the Xbox team’s plans to fight toxicity in gaming. Leading with a short anecdote about how gaming served as a portal for him and his father to begin programming, Spencer then transitions into the two “fundamental truths” he holds about gaming: Gaming is for everyone, and it should protect everyone who partakes in it.

“If you imagine gamers as predominantly men and specifically teen boys, think again,” Spencer says. “We are a 2.6 billion-person strong community of parents playing with our kids, adventurers exploring worlds together, teachers making math wondrous, grandmothers learning about their grandchildren through play, and soldiers connecting with their folks back home. Most gamers today are adults; nearly half are women.”

Spencer continues to overview the ways games and gamers have been “dismissed or maligned,” offering counters to this viewpoint with multiple studies showing the mental, social, and academic benefits gaming offers both children and adults.

“Gaming is uniquely designed for equality,” Spencer says. “We don’t just walk in someone’s shoes – we stand on equal footing, regardless of age, education, socioeconomics, race, religion, politics, gender, orientation, ethnicity, nationality, or ability.”

Spencer then outlines his and Xbox’s plan to combat toxicity. The first step, says Spencer, is to expand the reach and scope of the Xbox Safety team, nicknamed the “Defenders of Joy.”

“A welcoming community is the key to a safe community,” Spencer says. “Our 150,000 Xbox Ambassadors – community leaders, stewards, and allies – will be engaged to embark on new community missions to help create an inviting and safe environment for all gamers.”

Additionally, Spencer delves into content moderation for children and teens, citing workshops and online resources Microsoft has offered to parents looking to protect their children from adult content or online harassment. Spencer also mentions the upcoming “Gaming Summer Camps,” where children can be offered “new ways to explore life skills and practice healthy habits that can be used in gaming and everyday life.”

“We’re innovating now in these and other concrete ways to reduce, filter, and develop a shared understanding of toxic experiences, and to ultimately put our community of gamers, and their parents or guardians, in control of their own experiences,” Spencer says.

According to Spencer, Microsoft intends to share this technology and knowledge with police and other technology companies to create a safer universal gaming space.

Closing his statement, Spencer cites the approaching launch of streaming services such as Microsoft’s Project Xcloud, as well as the Apple Arcade and Google Stadia, to stress the importance of immediate improvements to player safety from abuse and harassment.

“Our industry must now answer the fierce urgency to play with our fierce urgency for safety,” Spencer says. “We invite everyone who plays games, and industry partners, to join us in following these principles to help unify the world and do our part: make gaming accessible for everyone and protect gamers, one and all.”

[Source: Microsoft via The Verge]

Xbox’s supposed willingness to share its safety resources with other tech companies is a good move, and continues the trend of Xbox listening to its fans. Toxic culture in games isn’t going away any time soon, but if Spencer’s promises are followed through, there might be more resources for people to fight it.

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