Digital Foundry Retro: Shenmue 2 – A Masterpiece Revisited

Digital Foundry produces a number of great videos that focus on analyzing games but to me, the best content they produce has easily been the ‘Digital Foundry Retro’ series. They cover Retro games and titles from the past, how they stack up, and the differences between versions of games.

The very first episode was on the original Shenmue and now, we get the second episode.

John revisits Shenmue 2, checking out what made it special, how well it holds up today and the best way to play in the 21st century. Plus: all the Xbox vs Dreamcast graphics comparisons and performance tests you’ll need.

This is one of my favorites in the series, going into pain-staking detail about every aspect of Shenume 2 across the Dreamcast and Xbox versions.

There Is No Such Thing As A Cinematic Video Game – Article by Kotaku Writer GB Burford

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Video games are a very interesting medium for storytelling but when you think about how games tell their story, you do wonder how it works. Kotaku writter GB Burford recently wrote a fantastic article on storytelling in games.

Have you ever wondered why we tell stories?

I’ve heard a lot of reasons over the years, but the big one, the important one, is that stories are a human necessity. If dreams are the brain’s way of transferring memory from short term to long term storage, stories, it seems, are the brain’s way of helping us make sense of emotions. A story that doesn’t make you feel anything isn’t a story worth telling. This is why we rely on stories to help us work through our emotions. Good storytelling is fiber for the soul.

You tell stories every day, and when you’re not telling them, you’re probably listening to them. Stories are everywhere. Some are factual, some are not, some are advertisements, others are songs, some are movies, or television, or novels, or an anecdote from your best friend or most irritating coworker.

You’d think that we, the human race, would’ve collectively figured out how to tell a story by now. You’d think it’d be second nature. But it’s not, especially in video games. While I love the medium dearly, it’s historically poor at storytelling. I’d like to talk about why that is, and hopefully, somewhere in this essay, I’ll say something useful.

You can read the entire article by clicking this link. 

Lara Croft GO Coming to PS Vita & PS4 – Trophies Release (Wario64)

In some very exciting news, the fantastic mobile title Lara Croft GO is coming to the PS Vita and PS4 in the future! Wario64 discovered trophies of the game online and this could indicate that the title will either be announced at the PSX event or it will release during the event.

This is great news and I am very excited to finally play this game in the future!

PlayStation Plus Games (NA & EU) for December – Stories, VVVVVV, Hyper Void and More!

December’s PS+ games are official released and outside of a rumor being correct about the PS4 games, we have some great surprises for PS3 and Vita owners.

  • Invisible, Inc., PS4
  • Stories: Path of Destinies, PS4
  • Hyper Void, PS3
  • Tiny Troopers Joint Ops, PS3 (Cross buy on PS4 and Vita)
  • Color Guardians, PS Vita (Cross buy on PS4)
  • VVVVVV, PS Vita

Source: PlayStation Blog NA

Yacht Club Games Has Special Announcement at The Game Awards

The upcoming Game Awards event will have a lot of announcements……but Yacht Club Games will also have on for the event. This could be anything; a new project, new Amiibo’s of Shovel Knight, a publishing deal with another indie studio or even a Specter Trailer!

This is very exciting and I’m hopeful the announcement leads to something great releasing from the studio.

RUMOR – Sonic Boom Franchise Ending?

Originally discovered by the Sonic Stadium and reported on by ‘Sonic News Channel’, Sonic Boom might be facing an end in the near future. The rumor states that the sub-series of Sonic isn’t meeting SEGA of Japan’s expectations and after the second season is fully complete, the series will be shut down.

This is a rumor, so this could easily be false. Please do not take this as an official announcement from the different branches of SEGA or Sonic Team.

I am hopeful this rumor is false, as I personally enjoyed the cartoon and thought the latest 3DS game was a greatly improved game.

Pokémon Sun and Moon Become Fastest-Selling Games in Nintendo History in NA

After becoming the most pre-ordered video games in Nintendo history, Pokémon Sun and Pokémon Moon –  ... Pokemon Sun & Moon are huge success, which is no surprise given how many people love the Pokemon series (plus past games selling like hot-cakes on the GB, GBA, DS and 3DS) but the success of Sun & Moon really surprised Nintendo in NA.

After becoming the most pre-ordered video games in Nintendo history, Pokémon Sun and Pokémon Moon – the latest games in the wildly popular Pokémon franchise – have now become the fastest-selling games that Nintendo has ever launched in the Americas. In less than two weeks, Pokémon Sun and Pokémon Moon for the Nintendo 3DS family of systems sold a combined total of 3.7 million units. That’s an 85 percent increase over Pokémon X and Pokémon Y– the previous record holders for Nintendo’s fastest-selling games – during the same period when those games launched in 2013.

After becoming the most pre-ordered video games in Nintendo history, Pokémon Sun and Pokémon Moon – the latest games in the wildly popular Pokémon franchise – have now become the fastest-selling games that Nintendo has ever launched in the Americas. (Graphic: Business Wire)

“With these huge sales figures, Pokémon Sun and Pokémon Moon have proved themselves as two of the hottest video games to buy this holiday season,” said Doug Bowser, Nintendo of America’s Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing. “With great reviews and outstanding fan response, these next iterations in the Pokémon series are sure to please any player in the family.”

All Pokémon-related software has sold more than 280 million units* worldwide since launching with the Pokémon Red Version and Pokémon Blue Versiongames in 1996. The Pokémon Red Version and Pokémon Blue Versiongames are both available for download in Nintendo eShop for Nintendo 3DS. Other notable launches in the Pokémon series include Pokémon X and Pokémon Y(15.64 million games sold globally life-to-date), Pokémon Omega Ruby and Pokémon Alpha Sapphire (13.18 million games sold globally life-to-date).

They were expected to do well, but they greatly exceeded expecations, which is great news for Nintendo. With high reviews for Sun & Moon being present and many enjoying the game, it is great seeing Pokemon continue being successful for Nintendo.

Source: Nintendo Press Release

Titanfall 2 New Map Released – Angel City (TF1 Map) Trailer

A new map is landing in Titanfall 2 in the near future!

Experience a remastered version of the fan favorite map from the original Titanfall, Angel City. Stand by for the first free DLC for Titanfall 2 with “Angel City’s Most Wanted” available on December 1st for all players. This content includes new cosmetic options to add more flair to to the Frontier.

Get access to “Angel City’s Most Wanted” DLC, available December 3rd: http://x.ea.com/21817
Titanfall 2 is available now for the Xbox One, Playstation 4, and Origin for PC.

Stephen Hornback Passed Away (Artist from 3D Realms) November 29th

In very somber news, we lost a talent in the world of video games and game development on November 29th, 2016.

Stephen Hornback passed away on Saturday due to a heart attack. He was 62. Hornback is best known for his work at Apogee Software (which later created the publishing label 3D Realms and went on to adopt it as its primary brand) on everything from Duke Nukem II to Rise of the Triad to Shadow Warrior. He also claimed responsibility for designing the original 3D Realms logo, which is still in use today.

3D Realms marked Hornback’s passing with a Facebook post today that included obituary details and the following remembrance from Apogee founder Scott Miller:

“He was the first artist I hired in the early ’90s and he was a great artist working during a time when the tools and techniques were very primitive. My highest respect for him. His work will live on forever in Rise of the Triad, Duke Nukem 3D and several other games.”

Reported originally by Gamasutra, this news is horrible to hear. Stephen Hornback was a talent that helped create games that are fondly remembered today. Working on the early versions of Prey, working on Duke Nukem II and 3D and many other amazing games, he did a lot for the gaming industry.

He will be fondly remembered by the gaming community for the foreseeable future. Thank you Stephen for producing some of gaming’s most influential titles. We will always remember you.

PS4 Pro Assassins Creed Syndicate Analysis – Digital Foundry

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-fKrX3KvQFA