Microsoft Ran Its E3 2018 Media Briefing Like A Streaming Service Would

Microsoft's studio acquisition announcements from E3 2018

One overarching subject came to my mind during Microsoft’s E3 2018 media briefing when the company was revealing the video game studios it had acquired for the purpose of making exclusive games. When people were cheering these acquisitions I realized you’d probably never see reactions like that in other entertainment industries, not for a platform holder or service provider locking up future content exclusively to its platform and services. E3 has almost always been a vehicle for platform wars, and that’s one of the things that’s still really peculiar about console games. Continue reading

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What’s Hiding In The Shadows Before E3 2018?

Cyberpunk 2077 at E3 2018

If Cyberpunk 2077 isn’t one of those games that gets mostly shown behind doors this year, I think it could be the main sleeping giant of E3 2018. We know almost nothing about it, but what little we do know sounds extremely ambitious, and it’s from the developer of one of the best-rated games of this console generation. To me it just feels like it has the most potential in proportion to how little people are talking about it in the run-up to E3. Other than that I guess Super Smash Bros. for the Switch is the big thing I’m looking forward to. That’s another game we know almost nothing about other than what’s obligatory in Smash Bros. games, but is gonna be a main-pillar game for some people (myself included).

Those are the two games that immediately pop into my head in terms of personal interest and potential future hype at E3 2018. In March I wrote about my anticipation for a new Splinter Cell as well, which is looking increasingly likely to be revealed at E3. Something else I hope E3 reveals is the Prey expansion pack Arkane has been teasing. Microsoft is also rumored to be bringing out the bulk of its first party lineup at E3: Halo 6Gears of War 5, and Forza Horizon 4. I guess enough time has passed since the last entry in each of those franchises for at least one of them to show up this year. Another rumor going around is Mortal Kombat 11. The last rumored reveal I can think of right now is that people are speculating Nintendo will show off the new Metroid Prime and a new Star Fox game… or whatever it is Retro Studios has been working on. Continue reading

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Bethesda, Games As A Service, Fallout 76, And The Console Survival Game Market

The idea of a Fallout-themed online survival game has a lot of market potential.

I have no idea if the rumors that developer Bethesda’s recently-announced Fallout 76 will indeed be an online survival game in the style of Rust or DayZ are true, but it would make a lot of sense for multiple reasons. If so, I also see it’s another sign the publisher Bethesda is inching more and more into games-as-a-service, which it has been doing much less than other big western game publishers. Continue reading

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[GDPR] Something To Look For In Tech Privacy Policies

GDPR

All these data privacy policy emails you’re probably getting because Europe’s new GDPR rules are coming into effect have basically become a meme at this point. Most people probably aren’t actually reading them, maybe a few have renewed their vigilance over where their data is going. I did an article for Unwinnable last week specifically focusing on Oculus’s privacy changes, and investigating it revealed to me what you should really be thinking about when wondering which social networks or whatever are gonna collect and sell your information.

A really basic question to ask is this: Where does the company make its money? Continue reading

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My Own Guide To the Yakuza Series, I Guess (Since People Keep Asking) [UPDATED]

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Update (May 22, 2018).

So SEGA just announced its also going to release Yakuza 3Yakuza 4, and Yakuza 5 on PS4 over the next couple years. These ports probably won’t come out in English for a long time, and they aren’t going to be exactly like Yakuza 0 and Kiwami. They’re going to be straight ports of the games as they were on PS3, just with a higher resolution and framerate. This means they won’t have the gameplay features 0 introduced like the multiple-fighting-style system or passing random pedestrians in distress. Playing them after the newer games will feel like a serious downgrade in terms of gameplay features.

I think there are generally two paths to go here depending on whether you care more about the gameplay of the Yakuza series or the story arc of the whole saga.

If you care more about the gameplay — the combat system and minigames, just play everything in order of release for whatever hardware you own. If that’s only a PlayStation 4, then start with Yakuza 0 and Kiwami, then just go straight to Yakuza 6, then play Kiwami 2. After that, the PS4 remasters of 3, 4, and 5 might actually be optional. If you want the full emotional impact of the saga and its characters and don’t care about gameplay downgrades, then just play the games in chronological order of when they take place. That means waiting for Kiwami 2, then the upcoming remasters.

Original Post.

There are plenty of guides to SEGA’s Yakuza series that have popped up in the year since Yakuza 0 became the game to finally get the franchise some recognition in western territories after 10 years of longtime fans begging for localizations that then sold very little. The official English website for the franchise has a whole timeline and character spreadsheet. Even still, people keep asking where they should start. When I bought Yakuza 6 the cashier asked me where they should start after I told them I’d played all the previous games. I guess it couldn’t hurt for me to put down my own opinion on where to start based on what systems you own and whether you miss out by skipping any games. Continue reading

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Virtual Console, And The Two Ways Platform Holders Are Maintaining Classic Games

 

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Virtual Console, one of my main hopes for the Nintendo Switch, isn’t coming to the system. Oh classic games are being and will continue to be released for the system, but that wasn’t the point. Virtual Cosnole represented the prospect of something Nintendo seems to have left behind today. Today there seem to be two main ways in which companies are bringing back classic games. Continue reading

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Why Some Games Really Do Deserve Remakes

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I finally started catching up with the Yakuza series a few months ago. I’d played the games since the English version of the original came out in 2006 but fell off at some point after Yakuza 4. After recently finishing 5 and Zero I’ve just started Kiwami — the remake of the original. To me, it feels oddly like a PS2 game, for better or worse. Continue reading

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Taking Stock Of My Reliance On Algorithms (Or Lack Thereof)

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The recent controversies surrounding social networks and what they do to people’s perceptions of reality has gotten me to take a bit of a deeper look at the ones I use and, particularly, the extent to which I rely on algorithms in each one. To be honest, I’m not sure I’ve let algorithms run my life that much at all. The battle over how to curate social media really comes down to one question though: do you trust users or the network to avoid getting users caught up in bubbles? Continue reading

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Arma 3 “Tanks”: More Toys In The Sandbox

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Arma 3’s final expansion, “Tanks,” came out last week and I was able to check it out for a bit. I don’t think anyone else outside hardcore military simulation fans are talking about it so I thought I’d go into it a bit here. Despite my 450+ hours on the game, I definitely wouldn’t say I’m “in deep” with the MilSim crowd.

I remember seeing videos of some other hardcore tank simulator, but I have no idea how Arma 3’s “Tanks” compares to a single-purpose simulator like that. I imagine it’s not as in-depth since it’s a combined-arms game with a far broader spread of gameplay from on-foot to vehicles to aircraft. That being said, what’s in “Tanks” is still somewhat bewildering to someone like me. Continue reading

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Are We Ready To Talk About PS5?

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Some rumblings about a “PlayStation 5” have been going around lately. I either haven’t laid out what I think might happen with the next Sony console or just haven’t done so in at least a couple years. As the current console generation drags on almost two years after the release of upgraded consoles and going on five years since the initial launch of this generation, how much longer do we have to go? Continue reading

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