Smile for Me is a delicious joy-maker that you may have missed

2 days 2 hours ago

One particular facet of video games that has always fascinated me is games where you attempt to make someone happy. I don’t just mean rescuing the princess at the end of a campaign of violence, I’m talking specifically about games where the crux is to solve people’s problems to complete the game. Since the dawn of video games, combat has been central. If it wasn’t conflict, it was the competition of sports. Not a whole lot has changed since then, but gradually, games where you’re not shooting or kicking stuff have crept in.

There’s games like Moon: Remix RPG, Chulip, Chibi-Robo. Facets of the spread-love-not-violence philosophy even crept into games like The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask and Yakuza; games where you assist people by saving their cows from alien abduction and helping them come to terms with their kinks. Sure, violence is still front and center with those games, but at least you don’t spend all your time being a murderous jerk.

One game that belongs to this mindset flew directly into my radar while I was browsing through Steam sales, and that is Smile For Me. With a tantalizing art style and the promise of lots of joy spreading, I was willing to dive into something I had never previously even heard of. And I don’t regret it.

Smile for Me is a delicious joy-maker that you may have missed screenshot

Author
Zoey Handley

Registration for Final Fantasy 7 battle royale, The First Soldier, is now open

2 days 2 hours ago

Registration to participate in the closed beta for Square Enix's upcoming battle royale, Final Fantasy 7 The First Soldier, is now open.

Prospective players have from now until 27th May 2021 to register their interest, although right now, the beta is restricted to players with 64-bit, 7.1+ Android phones with at least 3GB of memory available.

As is usually the case with these things, registering does not guarantee you a spot in the closed beta, but the sign-up page hints that it wants "tons of players" to get involved.

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Rumour suggests two new colourful DualSense controllers could go on sale "very soon"

2 days 3 hours ago

A new rumour purports two new DualSense controllers could be coming to market "very soon".

According to AreaJugones - a Spanish-language site that has previously correctly leaked a PlayStation Plus freebie lineup ahead of confirmation from PlayStation - the new colour schemes deviate from the current white and black scheme to include shades of red and grey.

Without photographic evidence, it's not possible to know precisely how the colours will be used, or what parts of the controller will be more colourful (or even if it's true; right now, we can only take this as pure speculation), but the leak - reportedly from an "internal contact" at Sony - says the company will launch the new red and black and black and grey variants "very soon" (thanks, TheGamer).

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Genshin Impact Summertime Skins Rumored To Be Coming Soon

2 days 3 hours ago

Genshin Impact, the wildly successful free-to-play gacha game with similar gameplay to The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, may soon be getting some summer-themed skins for certain characters, if recent leaks turn out to be accurate.

Per the Project Celestia Twitter account, which has accurately detailed various Genshin Impact leaks in the past such as new characters and events, it looks like new summertime skins for characters like Jean and Barbara are on the way. Project Celestia says the leaks come via datamining the game's latest available client, and that information obtained this way could be removed or changed at any time.

Leaked images show a more casual outfit for the master of the Knights of Favonius, Jean--who is usually seen sporting a full body suit, pants, and a cape--now wearing shorts and a flowing top as she dips her toes into the ocean.

Jean's younger sister, the idol Barbara, also looks to be getting a beach-themed skin, swapping out her usual dress for a sailor uniform-inspired outfit. How both these skins will be obtained is currently unknown.

Author
Cameron Koch

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Careful, Wattson fans - her fence in Apex Legends is useless right now

2 days 3 hours ago

Respawn has seemingly nerfed Wattson's electrified fence in Apex Legends.

As spotted and shared by Twitterer LilakeyLK, it looks as though the latest season has not only introduced a new Legend and competitive mode Arenas, but it's also made a tweak to one of Wattson's key defences... with an emphasis on "fence".

Previously, running into Wattson's fence would slow down an opposing player, but now it looks as though the slowdown and corresponding stun has been removed, essentially making the fence useless (thanks, PCGN).

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Remnant: From the Ashes gets a free next-gen upgrade later this week

2 days 4 hours ago

Remnant: From the Ashes will shortly receive a free next-gen update to "enhance both frame rate and resolution".

According to developer Gunfire Games, on 13th May players will "receive a free major upgrade patch that will add the option to run the game at 4K resolution at 30fps the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X, or 1080p resolution at 60fps on both the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X/S".

That's not all, either. On the same day, the game will also be added to the PC version of Xbox Game Pass - up until now it's only been available in the console Game Pass library - with cross-play support for Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, and Windows 10 players, too.

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Spirit Swap is a match for therapeutic gaming

2 days 5 hours ago

I've been lucky enough to get to meet a lot of game developers from very different walks of life. From people at big names like Nintendo, Microsoft, Sony, Devolver, Riot, and Bethesda, to little indies likes Tom Happ and Joakim Sandberg, I respect them all, and hope they all get what they want out of this unpredictable, often terrifying industry.

That said, there are some games I feel more hopeful for than others; the games that I think might be "good" for people in the ways that matter. Not just an OK way to spend a few hours, or worse, a way to be preyed upon by predatory game design strategies. I mean games that actually make your life better. Those are the games I throw my heart towards all the way. 

Spirit Swap (now on Kickstarter) may be one of those games. 

Author
Jonathan Holmes

Activision severs links with Call of Duty Ghost voice actor following misogynistic comments

2 days 5 hours ago

Activision has cut ties with Call of Duty: Modern Warfare's Ghost voice actor Jeff Leach following the dissemination of a video that compiles his misogynist comments.

The montage - which was shared online by streamers hitting back at Leach's derogatory statements - is described as containing "serious personalised intrusive sexism" and shows Leach using sexually explicit and aggressive language as well as personal insults.

"In 2021, misogyny has no place," states a caption on the video. "Yet female gamers regularly experience sexist abuse" and goes on to suggest that as Leach remains, at the time of writing, a Facebook Gaming partner, "doesn't that mean by affiliation Facebook is okay with what's being said?"

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Five game franchises that need to collab with Build-A-Bear next

2 days 6 hours ago

When I was growing up, going to Build-A-Bear was a big deal. There was one in the mall we would frequent when I was a kid, and I always dragged my mom out of our way to walk by when we were there. I even preordered the Toothless plush from the collaboration they did for the release of How to Train Your Dragon 2 when I was in high school.

Point is, I am something of a Build-A-Bear fangirl. That's why I get excited (and a little jealous) to think about all of the kids today that get to bring home their favorite video game characters! I know if I got to go make my own Pikachu stuffed animal when I was little, I would have lost my mind.

Five game franchises that need to collab with Build-A-Bear next screenshot

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Author
Noelle Warner

Dissecting Dead Space 2's most memorable level

2 days 8 hours ago

While videogame sequels have never quite gained the erratic reputation of their respective cinematic experiences, there's always a fear that a follow up won't quite hit the heights of its predecessor. Not so Electronic Arts' and Visceral's Dead Space 2, ten years old this year and rightly regarded as one of the finest sequels of its generation.

Having survived the many trials and dangers of the first game, engineer Isaac Clarke awakens three years later on the Sprawl, a huge space station in orbit around the Saturn moon of Titan. Now in possession of a voice, Clarke is soon knee-deep in necromorphs as another outbreak of the undead creatures threatens to engulf the station. Throughout the first few hectic and horrific levels of Dead Space 2, the player guides Clarke across urban areas and the headquarters of the shady Unitology religion.

Meanwhile, lurking in the background and often visible to an alert gamer is the formidable planet cracker spaceship of the first game, its spiky angular shape haunting Isaac as he seeks to escape the necromorphs once more. "Very early in the game you can see the Ishimura parked up out there," says Ian Milham, Visceral's art director on Dead Space 2 and the driving force behind the game's most famous level, chapter ten. "And y'know, we're not hanging a lantern on it so it's so literal. But we wanted to plant that seed, like, 'oh man, are they gonna make me go back there? That's going to be terrible.' That was the idea, to spend the first part of the game hyping it up."

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Review: Resident Evil Village

2 days 8 hours ago

How did we get here?

It feels like just yesterday that I rode to the store (RIP Power Video) to rent the original Resident Evil, which transported me to a magical haunted mansion for an entire weekend. From there Capcom slowly ramped up the action and ham to the utter point of excess in RE6. People couldn't take it anymore! I think some of you drew the line at Wesker's anime son punching zombies.

Sure enough, Capcom got back to their roots with the spooky Resident Evil 7, and it paid off, big time, as it's the most successful entry to date, and their overall second-best-selling game ever. Village brings back some of that lovely Christmas glazed ham and pairs it with the first-person horror of RE7. But mostly in a good way.

Review: Resident Evil Village screenshot

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Author
Chris Carter

Resident Evil Village puppets new episode features another gala of gore

2 days 12 hours ago

Today sees the launch of Capcom's fantastic horror-adventure, Resident Evil Village. Far more important, however, is the premiere of the second episode of the wonderful "Let's Play in Bio Village", the adorably grim puppet show starring the sequel's rogues' gallery.

Episode two sees Heisenberg hard at work on some kind of contraption that appears to have been designed for the sole purpose of turning man into mush. Moreau, kind soul that he is, wants to help Heisenberg out, with predictably gooey results. Having survived his slice 'n' dice escapades, and now wearing his internal organs externally, Moreau rejoins the gang, but the death and destruction isn't quite over just yet...

...Ah, Moreau, will you ever win?

Resident Evil Village puppets new episode features another gala of gore screenshot

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Author
Chris Moyse

Cool archive footage features 1995 Sega Fighting Vipers cosplay tournament

2 days 13 hours ago

A delightful piece of archival footage has surfaced on YouTube, which shows Japanese cosplayers battling it out in a 1995 tournament on Sega's Fighting Vipers. The footage appears as part of a Japanese gaming show, and was uploaded to YouTube this week by user "Kukun Kun". before being spotted by the eagle-eye of history lover John Andersen.

Cool archive footage features 1995 Sega Fighting Vipers cosplay tournament screenshot

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Author
Chris Moyse

The Community Spotlight 2021.05.08

2 days 18 hours ago
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Hello and welcome to the latest edition of the Giant Bomb Community Spotlight. I, @zombiepie, am once again honored to be your host as we look back at the week that once was. Before I share how the recent events have made me feel I wish to emphasize how hard the introduction to this Spotlight was for me to write. I scrutinized over three drafts trying to avoid the usual soundbites and tropes. To call the exits of Alex, Vinny, and Brad an "end of an era" does not do things justice. All of them helped pioneer the identity of what this website stood for over a decade. Many of you are users of this site and members of this community because of them.

As Jeff put it, it fucking sucks that they are leaving, but you have to respect their decision to leave and wish them the best. The countless hours of entertainment they have provided and the in-depth discussions and coverage of this industry and hobby will not go away. That they remained committed to this site for as long as they did, is something we should all be grateful for, and something we should never forget.

Author
Marino - Brad Lynch

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Screaming Into The Void

2 days 20 hours ago

Welcome to Snapshots, Kotaku’s weekly round-up of the best and coolest screenshots from around the web. This week I got a ton of emails from folks and it was hard to pick the best of the best. And our first screenshot from Resident Evil Village. I can’t wait to see what folks do with that game in the coming weeks!

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Author
Zack Zwiezen

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Die Hard's John McClane teased for Call of Duty: Warzone

2 days 20 hours ago

The 1980s action movie heroes are coming en masse to Warzone. After this week's tease that Rambo will be added to the battle royale, Activision has indicated Die Hard's John McClane is on his way, too.

Activision even created a website for a fictional air conditioning repair company called Nakatomi Duct Cleaning, offering its services in Verdansk.

The website says "A NAKATOMI CORP DIVISION MASTERING A/C DUCT CLEANING SINCE 1988", but the current Warzone map is set in 1984. Nah... I'm applying too much logic to Call of Duty here.

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Capcom made a huge chalk lycan on a hill in Somerset to promote Resident Evil Village

2 days 21 hours ago

This week, if you pottered along to the Mendip Hill near Cheddar, Somerset, you'd probably have caught a glimpse of something a bit off: a huge chalk artwork of a lycan.

Local press reported the strange image on Monday, 3rd May after it popped up overnight - and seemingly had no idea what it was about or who made it.

Its true nature was revealed when Resident Evil Village came out on Friday - it was a Capcom PR stunt. And a pretty cool one, I'll admit.

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Someone At Capcom Really Hates Ethan's Hands

2 days 21 hours ago

Ethan is the main protagonist of Resident Evil Village. He has a rough life, what with all the dangerous monsters trying to kill him. Ethan’s hands seem to be the main target. They get treated so poorly that I’m starting to suspect someone at Capcom hates Ethan’s hands and wants to destroy them as much as possible.

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Author
Zack Zwiezen

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Modder's Nier: Automata HD texture pack finally complete after four years of development

2 days 22 hours ago

A modder has released their final Nier: Automata HD texture pack after four years of development.

GPUnity's texture pack mod began life soon after Nier: Automata launched on PC in March 2017. They've continued to work on the mod since then, and now, four years later, released the final version.

Nier: Automata's PC version is infamous for a raft of technical issues that were fixed by modders, including a constant stutter tick due to the game running at around 59 frames per second (this is something explored in the Digital Foundry video below).

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Sega: No plans for Lost Judgment on PC "at this time"

2 days 22 hours ago

This week, Sega announced Lost Judgment for PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X and S, and Xbox One - but there was no word of a PC version.

It seemed an odd omission - Tojo Dojo noticed the Yakuza spin-off sequel was briefly listed as coming to PC on the official countdown website that was home to the Lost Judgment announcement. Even after mention of PC was removed from the website, fans spotted mention of the Steam logo in the Lost Judgment website source code.

Unfortunately, it appears Lost Judgment will not come out on PC when the game launches on consoles on 24th September 2021.

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Resident Evil Village Eased Up On "Tension Curve" After Players Found RE7 Too Scary

3 days ago

Resident Evil Village is a horror game at heart, and it builds on the return to the classic, slower-moving horror of Resident Evil 7 that was also a signature of the early games. However, Capcom took a slightly different approach to how it handled scares this time around, as it didn't want to overwhelm the player with terror like it sometimes did in Resident Evil 7. After all, what good is having scares if people quit before they see them?

Speaking to Axios, producer Tsuyoshi Kanda said Capcom received Resident Evil 7 feedback and some players felt it was actually too scary. Scary is obviously the goal in horror, but not if it means players don't want to keep playing it for fear of an unexpected bowel movement.

"In one regard, that's exactly what's we're striving for, so it's a huge compliment for us," he said. "But at the same time, it's always our goal to create something that anybody can feel comfortable jumping in and playing, so we eased up on the tension curve [in RE Village] relative to Resident Evil 7: Biohazard, so players aren't in constant fear."

That constant fear was especially noticeable during the early portions of Resident Evil 7, which often found Ethan Winters chased through a large house by terrifying family members. These moments weren't always scripted, requiring constant vigilance as players tried to unlock doors and progress the story further. Similar moments appeared in the two recent remake games with Nemesis and Mr. X, who would routinely track you down and force a quick-thinking escape to avoid death.

Author
Gabe Gurwin

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The Witcher 3's PS5 and Xbox Series X Upgrade May Feature Fan-Made Mods

2 days 23 hours ago
The Witcher 3's PS5 and Xbox Series X/S next-gen upgrade may be implementing fan-made mods like The Witcher 3 HD Reworked Project when it launches later this year. As reported by Kotaku, The Witcher 3 HD Reworked Project's creator Halk Hogan announced that he has been in talks with CD Projekt Red about including his mod in the upcoming release. [ignvideo url="https://www.ign.com/videos/2021/04/02/the-future-of-cyberpunk-2077-the-witcher-on-ps5-xbox-series-x-next-gen-console-watch"] "Hello my dear friends! It’s been a long time since the last video," Hogan wrote. "I know I announced a new HDRP preview in early March but I was silent the whole time. Sorry for that. But in return, I have some good news, and the reasons why I was quiet and why I don’t have too much to show. "I think the most important news is that I got an official message from CDPR about cooperation. While it’s not certain yet, it’s very likely that HDRP will be included in the official next generation update. I will inform you what’s next.
Author
Adam Bankhurst

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Overgrowth developer felt he "had no choice" in filing antitrust suit against Valve

3 days ago

Last month, Wolfire Games - developers of bunny kung-fu game Overgrowth - filed an antitrust suit against Valve. In the suit, Wolfire Games and two other plaintiffs allege that Valve have employed "anti-competitive practices" to "protect its market dominance."

In a new blog post published May 6th, Wolfire Games co-founder David Rosen writes that he felt he had "no choice" in bringing the suit, after Valve told him "that they would remove Overgrowth from Steam if I allowed it to be sold at a lower price anywhere."

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Author
Graham Smith