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  1. Lost Words: Beyond the Page - an "emotionally moving, fully-voiced" platformer written by Tomb Raider reboot writer Rhianna Pratchett - is out now, and it's exclusive to Google Stadia for one year. Whilst we haven't seen a lot of the game in the lead up to release, we did find out last month that the game would be exclusive to the streaming platform Stadia. This means you won't see it on Steam until at least March 2021. "'Stadia First' - what does this means for other platforms? Steam shows plain 2020," a commenter asked Modus Games on Twitter a few weeks back (thanks, PC Gamer), to which the publisher replied: "It will be exclusive to Stadia for the first year." Read more View the full article
  2. US specialist retailer, GameStop, has confirmed it's closing at least 320 stores over the next 12 months. The company has already closed 321 stores as part of restructuring efforts in the financial year ending February 2020, and now a similar number of its 5,500 stores are expected to shut by the end of this financial year, too. The closures come in spite of the company reporting a net income of $21 million (£16.8 million) at the end of the last financial year. Read more View the full article
  3. Two new glitches have popped up in Fortnite - one is making players invisible, and the other permits the players to break the sky boundary, escaping not only enemy fire but damage from the circle, too. As demonstrated by livestreamer LazarBeam (thanks, Slashgear), players that hide in a cardboard box and crouch whilst aiming the harpoon gun will remain invisible to opposing players. Interestingly you can't use any other firearm - they'll be visible even if you're not - and canny players have already learned to be cautious of open cardboard boxes. Read more View the full article
  4. Netflix's animated Castlevania series is returning for a fourth season. Making the announcement on the NXOnNetflix Twitter account - "Netflix's home of all things geek" - fans were encouraged to reply with clap emojis to summon Sir Mirror with news of the show. Naturally, they obliged, and just nine minutes later, this update appeared: I know: it doesn't tell us much, does it? We'll have to wait for more concrete details but for now, all we can confirm for sure is that "season four is coming". Read more View the full article
  5. Titan Comics has confirmed it's launching a new comic series based upon Horizon Zero Dawn. As spotted by our friends at VGC, the comic book series has been co-created by Anne Toole - who is one of the game's original writers - with artwork from Ann Maulina. The story will take us beyond the events of the game. "Talanah, a strong and determined hunter, struggles to find purpose after her trusted friend Aloy disappears," Titan explains. "When a mysterious threat emerges in the wilds, she sets out to hunt and to defeat it, only to learn that a whole new breed of killer machines stalk the land!" Read more View the full article
  6. Square Enix has confirmed it is bringing an "upgraded" version of Nier Replicant to PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One. The remake of the decade-old action RPG was announced earlier today on a livestream celebrating the game's tenth anniversary. Whilst Platinum Games isn't involved in the upgrade - that's being led by Toylogic - Takahisa Taura, who worked as the senior game designer on Nier: Automata, is reportedly involved (thanks, Siliconera). "NieR Replicant ver.1.22474487139..., an upgraded version of the original, is now in development for PS4, Xbox One and Steam!" the developer said via the official Nier Twitter account. "Enter an apocalyptic world as you play as a brother on a quest to cure his sister of a deadly disease in this unique action RPG." Read more View the full article
  7. In Spring 2016, I took part in a rather unusual archaeological dig. There was no dirt, no trowelling - in fact the excavation didn't even take place outside. It was just me, in my childhood bedroom, digging through old copies of Official Nintendo Magazine and realising that I could map my childhood obsession with video games from the stacks hidden in my bookshelf. Opening up an issue from February 2006 I found a feature lauding the mysterious new 'Nintendo Revolution' console and a caption jibing "Good looks and great to play with. Revolution sounds like our ideal girl." It's a window into a different time. 14 years later and some things have changed- we didn't get a Revolution, we got a Wii. I've grown up. Games journalism (for the most part) has too. Back in 2016 someone else was also rifling through some old stuff in their house, but their discovery would draw more attention. Dan Tiebold found the last known existing Nintendo PlayStation prototype in his dad Terry's attic. The console represents a turning point for the games industry; Nintendo and Sony were to collaborate on an add-on to the SNES. Nintendo infamously snubbed Sony in 1991 when it announced it had instead made a deal with Phillips. Sony would go on to release its own console, and the rest, as they say, is history. Fast forward to 2020 and the Nintendo PlayStation was once again in the limelight as Terry Diebold put his up for auction. On March 6th, Greg McLemore paid $380,000 in total to get his hands on a piece of hardware that had been touted as priceless. As an archaeologist, I'm familiar with the buzz that can surround individual artefacts, and the cognitive dissonance on display in auction houses putting the hammer down on 'priceless' objects to the highest bidder. While I've been intrigued by the billing of the Nintendo PlayStation as a fable turned to fortune, I wondered what video game historians and preservationists made of the furore surrounding it. Read more View the full article
  8. Modders are having fun with the Resident Evil 3 remake demo - especially with Nemesis. The game's teethy terror usually wears clothes - but in a new mod, he wears nothing but beach trunks. Umbrella-themed beach trunks. The Resident Evil 3 Remake Beachboy Nemesis Outfit PC Mod, created by a Patreon-funded modder called Marcos RC, does exactly what it says on the tin. I'll let the footage speak for itself: Read more View the full article
  9. Undoubtedly the biggest surprise of The Game Awards back in December 2019 was Microsoft's decision to reveal Xbox Series X: the name, the branding - and most crucially, the form factor. It was a console quite unlike anything we'd seen before, possibly the most original home console design since Nintendo's GameCube way back in 2001. During our recent visit to the Microsoft campus in Redmond WA, we had a chance to meet key members of the hardware team that created this remarkable-looking device - and in the process, we gained a much better understanding of why Xbox Series X required a top to bottom revamp of the traditional console form factor. "When we started thinking about how we would design this, everything was theoretical," says Chris Kujawski, principal designer at Microsoft. "We didn't have stuff we could test, we didn't have measurements we could take, we knew it was going to be powerful and we knew it was going to require a totally different way of thinking about how to design a console." The key issue facing the designers came down to power and target performance. The Xbox system architects decided from the get-go that the next generation console had to deliver an absolute minimum of twice the overall graphics performance of the Xbox One X, meaning 12 teraflops of GPU compute, sitting alongside the Zen 2 cores that would deliver a 4x improvement in CPU power. At the same time, the mandate was set that the machine also had to equal the acoustic performance of the Xbox One X - a tall order when system power would be increasing significantly. Read more View the full article
  10. Video game preservationists have obtained a 33-year-old, extremely rare Sega Master System educational game about traffic safety - and even released an English language version. The game is called Game de Check! Koutsuu Anzen, which was developed by Sega for release in 1987 on a commission from The Tokyo Marine and Fire Insurance company. It is thought only 300 copies were made, and it wasn't sold - instead it was available for rent only, making it one of the rarest Master System cartridges in existence. You can see gameplay in the video below: SMS Power, the Sega 8-bit preservation group, clubbed together to buy a cartridge for around £3800 from a Japanese auction in December 2019. Here's what the team received, courtesy of a Japan to France delivery with help from the NPO Game Preservation Society: Read more View the full article
  11. Square Enix has issued a warning about the release of Final Fantasy 7 Remake, saying it cannot control the date the game comes out because of the coronavirus outbreak. Meanwhile, the Final Fantasy 7 Remake street date has been broken, with copies finding their way into the hands of fans two weeks ahead of the official 10th April 2020 release. In a blog post, Square Enix said the global lockdown will likely affect the distribution and retail landscape in the west at the launch of Final Fantasy 7 Remake. Read more View the full article
  12. Capcom has pulled the Resident Evil Resistance open beta on Steam and PlayStation 4 over technical issues that prevented players from finding games, "We're working to resolve the issue as soon as we can and will keep you updated," Capcom said in a tweet. "Apologies for the inconvenience." The Xbox One version of the open beta remains online. Read more View the full article
  13. A magical door in a magical forest? Who can resist that? Not me, at least - particularly when the art has the style of those Atomic Age children's books from the US: flat, four-colour printing, a hero with a sort of Charlie Brown squiggle for a quiff, everything thick and dash and aching of mimeo-ink. Jeepers! So yes, The Other Side is a puzzle game for smartphones with a killer sense of art. And it's wonderful to play with, too: a game about getting characters - sometimes one, sometimes more - to the door in a level and then on to the next one. You do this by pulling them along on conveyor belts that move them and everything else that's on the belt with them - trees, bushes, water towers, bits of fence and chimneys. The twist is that various belts overlay each other, so you move a guy left, then get him onto a down belt, them move him down and along and...and...and... man it gets tricky fast. Read more View the full article
  14. Netflix has picked up the rights to a live-action movie based on Dragon's Lair, according to a new report. The Hollywood Reporter said Deadpool actor Ryan Reynolds is in talks to star in and produce the film. Dragon's Lair began life as a popular '80s arcade game that caught the eye for its animation-style graphics, by ex-Disney animator Don Bluth, and laserdisc tech. In the game, protagonist Dirk the Daring is a knight who attempts to rescue Princess Daphne from the evil dragon Singe, who has locked the princess in the evil wizard Mordroc's castle. Gameplay wise, it's a rock hard interactive cartoon quicktime event fest, and looks like this: Read more View the full article
  15. Everything you need to know about MaoMao Castle is that it stars a flying cat dragon. You are the flying cat dragon, in fact, and you need to chase rainbows and survive without losing your nine lives. That's it. Pretty simple. Oh but I forgot to mention it speeds up the further you get. What feels at the beginning like a leisurely fly forward in some giant, saccharine pixel world - you wheeling the dragon around carefree with your mouse - soon becomes something else, something like panic. At the beginning, it's no sweat to fly through the rainbow windows around the course, or cut the grass by swiping side to side on the floor, or collect puzzles, or go over and under walls, or gobble up the pebbles but skirt the lighthouses, or dodge the trees. But as the pace-handle cranks, the objects you're watching become blurrier and blurrier until they're whizzing at you so fast you can't tell what's going on. Read more View the full article
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