February 2022

Off Topic: High spirits: the most precarious of cinematic genres

4 months 4 weeks ago

I don't know if you've seen Hudson Hawk. Not many people have. And those that have are probably drawn to it because they've heard that it's terrible. Not so. Or at least, that's not the whole story. The truth is that Hudson Hawk belongs to the most cursed of cinematic genres, albeit one you never saw getting its own aisle in Blockbusters and one you never see as a heading on Netflix. It's a genre I have come to call: high spirits.

Hudson Hawk is a Bruce Willis action-comedy from the early 1990s. Now, there are three warning signs in that sentence. In escalating order of seriousness here we go: Bruce Willis. Early 1990s. Action-comedy.

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Author
Christian Donlan

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SNK Announces Six New DLC Characters for KOF XV

4 months 4 weeks ago

KOF XV DLC KOF XV Team South Town Team Garou

SNK revealed DLC characters Rock Howard, Gato, and B. Jenet will be added to KOF XV in March 2022 as Team Garou. Team South Town will follow suit and join KOF XV in May 2022, featuring Geese Howard, Billy Kane, and Ryuji Yamazaki. Two more teams will release sometime during the Summer and Autumn seasons, totaling 12 new DLC characters.

Team Garou is comprised of characters that made their debut in the Fatal Fury franchise, specifically Garou: Mark of the Wolves in 1999. This includes Rock Howard, Gato, and B. Jenet. Similarly, Team South Town consists of the main antagonists and criminals of the South Town underworld featured prominently in the same series. Notably, Rock Howard's biological father and criminal kingpin Geese Howard is leading Team South Town.

Furthermore, SNK uploaded a character trailer that shows off the move sets and abilities Team Garou members will bring with them to KOF XV. The trailer shows Rock Howard using his Chi attacks, while Gato is fighting with energy-infused martial arts. B. Jenet still wears her signature purple poison dress, and even uses her high heels to beat up opponents as a finisher.

You can check out the KOF XV DLC characters trailer below:

https://youtu.be/QlyzD75j0JM

Author
Andrew Kiya

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Wordle bought by the New York Times for a seven-figure sum

4 months 4 weeks ago

Oh sure, Sony buying Bungie was big buyout business news yesterday, but the real mega-acquisition of the day was Wordle. The New York Times, a hardcopy blog, are buying the viral hit word puzzle game for "an undisclosed price in the low-seven figures." They say it will be free when it moves under their banner, though it's not clear if it will stay that way.

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Author
Alice O'Connor

Why don't games play around with time more?

4 months 4 weeks ago

I am a lonely little probe, sent deep into space, for there's a menacing anomaly on the space-time horizon and I must investigate it. I have journeyed for hundreds of years. Are my creators still alive, is their civilization still alive? For I exist outside of their cycles of life and their experiences of time. I last. It's why I was sent here. I drift, listening and scanning planets to hear what they have to say. And sometimes they speak back.

This is the opening concept of a very small, very short, free Itch.io game called Lone Signal. It's a game that doesn't do much, it's mostly text, but what it does do is ask you to consider death and how we deal with it, and it's poignant in that regard.

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Author
Robert Purchese

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The Dark Pictures developer trademarks five future titles

4 months 4 weeks ago

Supermassive Games, developer of Until Dawn and the ongoing The Dark Pictures anthology series, has trademarked logos and titles for five future projects.

All five appear to be upcoming releases in The Dark Pictures series, are styled with the franchise's logo, and were registered via the European patent office yesterday, 31st January (thanks, Gematsu).

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Author
Tom Phillips

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Bravely Default Brilliant Lights Surpasses 2 Million Players

4 months 4 weeks ago

Bravely Default Brilliant Lights Players

Square Enix announced registered players for Bravely Default Brilliant Lights has surpassed 2 million. This comes shortly after the Japanese release of the game, which arrived on January 27, 2022. Players will receive in-game rewards for reaching this milestone. Players will be able to receive the reward after maintenance has concluded. Additionally, a series of commemorative illustrations has been released to celebrate the occasion. [Thanks, Gamer!]

Bravely Default Brilliant Lights is a mobile entry in the Bravely Default series. Announced in July 2021, the title features similar mechanics to the console entries of the game. Players can utilize the Brave and Default system to take on enemies. Additionally, the game offers various other activities players can engage in, including raising their friendship with the cast of characters to recruit them onto their teams. Players can also obtain costumes by increasing a character's rank. Additionally, a multiplayer mode exists in Bravely Default Brilliant Lights, where players can group up to take on various challenges.

Author
Kazuma Hashimoto

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BlazBlue Centralfiction Rollback Netcode Implemented for Steam Version

4 months 4 weeks ago

BlazBlue Centralfiction Rollback Netcode Steam

Arc System Works announced the rollback netcode for the Steam version of BlazBlue Centralfiction is live. Which means that the public testing period ended. In December 2021, Arc System Works announced the PC version of BlazBlue Centralfiction would receive an update that would implement rollback netcode. Public tests for the rollback netcode began in early December 2021. It was open to all Steam users up until January 31, 2022.

In addition, Arc System Works has plans to implement the same system to BlazBlue: Cross Tag Battle sometime within 2022. It has yet to announce a solid date for this, however.

Other Arc System Works titles, such as Guilty Gear Strive, utilize rollback netcode. In December 2020, Arc System Works officially implemented the system for Guilty Gear XX Accent Core Plus R. As with BlazBlue Centralfiction, a public testing period was made available as the developer worked on bringing this feature to the PC version of the game.

BlazBlue Centralfiction is available on the PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, and PC.

Author
Kazuma Hashimoto

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Fate/Grand Order Creative Producer Leaves Delightworks

4 months 4 weeks ago

Fate Grand Order Creative Producer

Fate/Grand Order's Creative Producer Yosuke Shiokawa has left Delightworks to form his own studio. According to a Delightworks spokesperson, Shiokawa left the company in late January. Shiokawa's completely owns this new studio, named Fahrenheit 213. The studio will focus on developing entirely new IPs, as opposed to working on already existing franchises. [Thanks, Bloomberg!]

In an interview with Bloomberg, Shiokawa stated that he will focus on "creating new game franchises for any platform, regardless of [its] size." Additionally, he believes going independent will allow for more opportunities to partner with other companies. Shiokawa is largely credited with making Fate/Grand Order the massively successful mobile game it is today. He became Creative Producer of Fate/Grand Order in 2016, which signaled a turnaround for the title, and resulted in its popularity.

Author
Kazuma Hashimoto

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FFXIV Valentione’s Day Event Will Reward Players with Chocobo Barding

4 months 4 weeks ago

FFXIV Valentiones Day 2022 Chocobo Barding

Square Enix shared details regarding FFXIV's 2022 Valentione's Day event. These included rewards players will be able to obtain and where the event will take place in-game. The FFXIV 2022 Valentione's Day event will be held from February 8-21, 2022. Players can pick up the event quest in Old Gridania, and a total of two rewards will be available for players to obtain. One will be Valentione's Day Chocobo barding. The second reward is a mobile furnishing item that features several Valentione's Day motifs, such as hearts.

To start the event quest, players simply need to head to Old Gridania and speak to Lisette de Valentione at X:10.2, Y:9.4. However, players must be at level 15 in order to accept and complete the quest. Additionally, some items from previous Valentione's Day events will be available to obtain through the House Valentione Maid NPC.

You can take a look at the FFXIV 2022 Valentione's Day event rewards, which include the festive Chocobo barding, below.

FFXIV Valentiones Day 2022 Chocobo Barding

Author
Kazuma Hashimoto

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American McGee’s Alice in Wonderland Is Getting Its Own TV Adaptation; David Hayter Attached to Write

4 months 4 weeks ago

We’ve had a spate of video games making the jump to TV and film as of late. From It Takes Two to Fallout to The Last of Us, it seems that the next big arms race is all set to take place on streaming services battling over which video game property will make for the next big TV show.

Earlier today, though, we learned that EA’s American McGee’s Alice – a dark and twisted interpretation of Lewis Carrol’s literary classic – will be next on the list, as it too will be getting its very own TV show adaptation.

The news comes by way of a recent report from THR, which revealed that David Hayter – the scribe behind the Watchmen and the first two X-Men films – has boarded the project to help spearhead the production. Some of you out there may also be familiar with David Hayter for playing the iconic voice of the one and only Solid Snake from the Metal Gear Solid franchise.

Furthermore, the report also revealed that Radar Pictures has acquired the rights to American McGee’s Alice and is officially working with EA behind the scenes to get the project off the ground.

Author
Dylan Chaundy

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Startup Panic is a fun management game about a social media company, but will it be as bold as I'd like?

4 months 4 weeks ago

I often find myself intrigued by games where you have to manage a business - not the slow, thoughtful ones like Strange Horticulture (which I like for a different reason), but the surprisingly deep management ones that are like strategy games except for coffee production instead of war.

I am usually catastrophically bad at these games, as I lack the sheer nerve to commit all my assets to something at once, or take out loans to cover a product run, even in a fictional digital setting. Still, I was drawn to Startup Panic like a moth to a flame, and giggled to myself at the prospect of cosplaying as a Silicon Valley nerd trying to reinvent having a chicken coop. I called my founder Beth, and the company was therefore Betherium. But it turned out that the product I was tasked with making and selling was, basically, Facebook.

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Author
Alice Bell

Supermassive Seems to Have at Least 6 More Dark Pictures Anthology Games Planned

4 months 4 weeks ago

Supermassive Games seemingly has plans to release at least six more Dark Pictures Anthology games on top of its upcoming The Devil in Me.

The developer has trademarked six further titles in the franchise with the European Union Intellectual Property Office, as spotted by @the_marmolade on Twitter.

The six games trademarked, all under The Dark Pictures Anthology brand, are called Switchback, Directive 8020, The Craven Man, Intercession, Winterfold, and O Death.

Supermassive Games has already released three games in the series - Man of Medan, Little Hope, and Houses of Ashes - and has confirmed a fourth is on the way. The upcoming game, The Devil in Me, was announced by the studio in October and revealed to be a Season One finale for the series.

Ahead of the franchise's first release, Man of Medan in 2019, Supermassive Games said The Dark Pictures Anthology would span eight games with a release schedule of two per year.

If all the trademarked games are released, however, that would bring the total up to ten games, two more than the developer initially planned. There's no guarantee that Supermassive Games will develop all of the trademarked titles into full games, but it's likely some of them will be in the initially planned eight-game release schedule.

Author
Ryan Dinsdale

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Microsoft-Activision Blizzard Deal Will Reportedly Be Reviewed By the FTC

4 months 4 weeks ago

The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) will reportedly be taking the reins on reviewing Microsoft's intended acquisition of Activision Blizzard – amid a more aggressive stance from the government agency on Big Tech mergers.

Bloomberg reports that a source pointed to the FTC taking the lead role in investigating the proposed takeover – a job it handles alongside the Justice Department. The role of the review is to determine whether the near-$70 billion deal could harm consumers, rivals, and partners.

On the same day as Microsoft's deal was announced, the Justice Department and FTC announced plans to rewrite merger guidelines, warning that US industries had become increasingly concentrated. FTC chair Lina Khan said that such concentration could lead to price rises and lower wages.

The Wall Street Journal has previously reported that the FTC is particularly concerned with Big Tech companies like Microsoft, and that Khan has been reframing the argument against major mergers not just by its traditional effect on consumers and rivals, but to partner companies – for instance those who are effectively forced to sell through the Apple Store, or Amazon's digital storefront.

Author
Joe Skrebels

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Demon Slayer Tengen Uzui Nichirin Blades Replica Will Be Sold

4 months 4 weeks ago

Demon Slayer Tengen Uzui Nichirin Blade Proplica

Bandai Spirits confirmed that it will produce and sell Proplicas of Tengen Uzui's Nichirin Blade from the Demon Slayer franchise. The company made the announcement on the Tamashii Nations Twitter account.

Tengen Uzui is the Sound Hashira combatant who is extensively featured in the Entertainment District arc. This arc is part of the second anime season, and it started airing in December 2021. Tengen wields a pair of cleavers connected with a metal chain. Due to the sheer size of the weapons, he stores them with wrapping cloth in lieu of sword sheathes.

The Proplica will reproduce the Nichirin Blades to the details. In addition to the amber-colored blades, it will also feature the "Destroyer of Demons" kanji inscription.

Author
Kite Stenbuck

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Phantasy Star Online 2: New Genesis Will Get More CAST Mecha Parts

4 months 4 weeks ago

Phantasy Star Online 2 New Genesis CAST characters - Jalil and Mohsen

Sega will add mechanical CAST parts more frequently in Phantasy Star Online 2: New Genesis. The company made the promise in the NGS Headline program that aired on February 1, 2022.

The original Phantasy Star Online 2 featured many CAST part sets. It also included crossover content from Kotobukiya's Frame Arms and Frame Arms Girl series. But when New Genesis launched in the latter half of 2021, Sega only added four new CAST sets (two for each body type) in the first six months.

When a user asked Sega about the avatar parts ratio in December 2021, the company claimed that it based the parts ratio on all players' body type usage. It showed that more players used humanoid avatars than mechanical CASTs, and it would not change the ratio unless there is a notable change in the players' usage rate.

In the latest NGS Headline program, Sega addressed the parts ratio once again. The company said it has set up a new development system to create new CAST parts. It now expects to be able to release CAST parts more frequently, albeit not every month. Additionally, Sega also revealed plans to release New Genesis versions of older CAST parts starting from April 2022.

Author
Kite Stenbuck

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Ghibli Park Official Website Shows More Concept Art

4 months 4 weeks ago

Ghibli Park official website opened

Studio Ghibli has opened an official website for its upcoming Ghibli Park. The site is also available to view in English, and it shows off concept art for the new park that will appear in November 2022 in Aichi, Japan.

When the park opens, people will be able to visit Ghibli's Grand Warehouse, Hill of Youth, and Dondoko Forest. The warehouse will showcase artifacts from various Studio Ghibli movies, and the Hill of Youth will have a reproduction of the World Emporium antique shop from Whisper of the Heart.

Meanwhile, the Dondoko Forest will let people visit the world of My Neighbor Totoro. The forest will feature landmarks from the famous title, such as Satsuki and Mei's House. It will also have a Dondoko-do playground attraction modeled after Totoro.

[gallery ids="914686,914687,914688" link="file"]

The second phase will add the Valley of Witches and the Princess Mononoke-inspired Mononoke Village to Ghibli Park. While the English page had these facilities listed as "TBA," the Japanese version listed the 2023 fiscal year as an estimated schedule for the additional spots. That would range from April 2023 to March 2024.

[gallery columns="2" link="file" ids="914689,914690"]

Out of the concept images revealed so far, Satsuki and Mei's House is the only spot that uses real photography. The house is the first, finished attraction within the park. Studio Ghibli and the Aichi Tourism Bureau highlighted the house in a promotional video published earlier in January 2022.

Author
Kite Stenbuck

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Valorant Patch 4.02 Makes Minor Changes to Improve Performance & Fix Bugs

4 months 4 weeks ago

Valorant Episode 4 introduced a bunch of new content to the game that included an addition to its Agent roster, map changes, and various weapon balancing tweaks. It’s not too surprising, then, that the subsequent patches since have been small in nature, and the latest follows that same trend. Patch 4.02 notes released today by Riot Games detail minor updates to help performance, social functions, and generally fix bugs.

Here’s the full overview:

Performance Updates

  • Improved latency for Windowed Fullscreen mode to match closer to Fullscreen Exclusive
    • These improvements should play well with in-game overlays, however, having another program’s window on top of your gameplay window will negate these benefits.

Social Updates

  • AFK detection buff
    • Updated detections for non-participatory behavior in game
  • Agent-select reporting
    • Looks like there’s been some confusion around Agent-select reporting. Remember, you can right-click players in pre-game and report them if they’re being disruptive!

Bugs

  • Fixed a bug where the pulsing FX around the Spectrum Z logo were appearing next to the trigger during second inspect animation on the Bulldog.
  • Fixed issue where Killjoy’s Alarmbot and Turret were unretrievable after being resurrected by Sage.
  • Projectile Follow currently bugs out for Observer Followers

In other recent Valorant news, the latest weapon skin bundle celebrates Lunar New Year 2022. It’s called Enter the Tigris, and you can check out its cinematic trailer here.

Author
Alex Gibson

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Ghostwire: Tokyo is looking rad as hell and unashamedly strange

4 months 4 weeks ago

Ghostwire: Tokyo is an upcoming action-adventure game from Tango Gameworks (aka the The Evil Within factory), which means it has ghosts and ghost-adjacent monsters in it. I have now seen just over half an hour of the game in action in a hands-off presentation, and it reminded me much less of The Evil Within than I expected. It has a lot of horror elements, don't get me wrong, but Ghostwire: Tokyo is much more of an action game using the language of horror to convey its themes than the other way around. Rather than time spent on the back foot, creeping around in the hope you can get past a lumbering ball of dead lady limbs with most of your health intact, time in Ghostwire: Tokyo is more likely spent one-shotting headless demon schoolgirls with a bow and arrow.

The arrows are a restrained resource, in fairness, and most of the time the protagonist Akito uses a kind of ghost-hunter martial art called Weaving, using his hands to launch attacks, deflect and parry, and pull the core out of spirits' chests as if he were tugging out their heart with a piece of gold string. The general vibe, if not the specifics, reminded me a lot of classic, thundering 90s and 00s action films like Blade. So, in other words, Ghostwire: Tokyo looks rad as hell. Even better, it's also unashamedly strange.

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Author
Alice Bell

The Waylanders review: a classic RPG that's as endearing as it is janky

4 months 4 weeks ago

I keep trying to figure out how to describe The Waylanders’ unique blend of endearment and jank. Unfortunately I am cursed with chronic writer’s brain so all I can come up with is this: it feels like a really good first draft.

For every aspect of worldbuilding that I enjoyed, there was a bug that had to be overlooked. For every character that I found charming, there was some voiceover that was jarring. For every area that was absolutely gorgeous there was a part of the script that made me extremely grateful for having editors on all my writing. Over and over, I found these flaws didn’t stop me from enjoying the core that I could see underneath. At least, until the game (as far as I can tell) bugged so badly that I literally couldn’t continue.

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Author
Jay Castello

Microsoft Flight Simulator has prettied-up Australia in a free update

4 months 4 weeks ago

World Update 7 has landed in Microsoft Flight Simulator, continuing efforts to fancy up the globe with more-detailed terrain and handcrafted models for landmarks. This time Australia gets the polish, with scanned photogrammetry replacements for 11 cities, handcrafted models for 94 landmarks and points of interest, and new local missions. It looks pretty! Check out the trailer below.

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Author
Alice O'Connor

World of Warcraft is relaxing the age-old Horde vs. Alliance factional divide

4 months 4 weeks ago

Blizzard has announced the unthinkable: the Horde vs. Alliance factional divide in World of Warcraft is being relaxed. As in, soon you will be able to invite an Alliance character to your Horde instancing party and vice versa. No longer are we to be enemies! Now we shall be... ugh... argh... gah.... I can't quite say it... Friends.

The news comes from WoW boss Ion Hazzikostas, who announced and explained the decision on the game's website.

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Author
Robert Purchese

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Bloodborne demake out today

4 months 4 weeks ago

The highly anticipated Bloodborne demake is out today, complete with a brand-new launch trailer.

The Bloodborne demake is the work of Unreal Engine 4 tech artist and engineer Lilith Walther, and harkens back to the graphics of the PlayStation One era, this new demake embraces its pixelated predecessors' history in gloriously nostalgic detail.

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Author
Victoria Kennedy

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CrossfireX Takes Point For Xbox Game Pass' February Offerings

4 months 4 weeks ago

February is already a stacked month filled with major releases. In case Horizon Forbidden West or Elden Ring isn’t enough Microsoft has rolled out the next batch of incoming Xbox Game Pass titles. The North American debut of multiplayer shooter CrossfireX, one of the biggest games in the world, headlines the batch. Furthermore, it has a newly-created campaign made in part by Alan Wake developer Remedy Entertainment. If shooters don’t tickle your fancy, read on to find the other titles filling out the month. We've also included handy review links for the games we’ve evaluated if you need a second opinion on which titles to prioritize. 

Author
Marcus Stewart

Battlefield 2042 Season One Delayed To Give Dice Time To Improve Core Game, Address Issues

4 months 4 weeks ago

EA Dice Battlefield 2042

If you've been following Battlefield 2042 since its launch back in November, then you likely know that Dice is facing an uphill battle when it comes to improving the game. It launched with bugs galore – something touched on in the Game Informer Battlefield 2042 review – and post-launch updates and patches have been focused almost exclusively on squashing them and fixing other issues

Through all of it, Dice has recognized the shortfalls of 2042, promising to get the game up to shape and meet fan expectations for EA's latest FPS. To do that, Dice is delaying the game's first season. 

Click here to watch embedded media

Author
Wesley LeBlanc

PlayStation X Discord Account Linking Features Detailed

4 months 4 weeks ago

Discord PlayStation

It's been several months since the PlayStation X Discord partnership was first announced, but the team-up has borne fruit. A new update on the official Discord Blog revealed Discord integration with the PlayStation Network has begun, so people can show what they're playing on a PS4 or PS5.

According to the blog entry, users on the PS4 and PS5 will be able to link their PSN accounts to Discord. This will enable them to display their game activity on those platforms within the Discord app. They'll also be able to display their PSN online IDs to their Discord friends. The blog brings up one specific benefit of this scenario: Players who play a cross-platform compatible game will be able to coordinate joining games more easily. The feature is "gradually" rolling out to Discord users.

To actually sign up for the PlayStation X Discord integration, the process is fairly simple and similar to other Discord service hookups. Players can connect their Discord and PlayStation Network accounts via the user settings page on mobile, web, or the desktop app. Once connected, Discord will then be able to show off players' PS4 and PS5 game activity in real-time.

One caveat: PlayStation users must set their PSN Online Status and "Now Playing" visibility settings (seein in the PSN privacy settings) to "Anyone". Otherwise, Discord won't be able to broadcast their status.

Discord is available on PC and mobile platforms. The PSN integration is in gradual rollout.

Author
Josh Tolentino

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Tales of Arise Gallery App Released

4 months 4 weeks ago

Tales of Arise Gallery App Released

Back in December 2021, Bandai Namco announced it would release a Tales of Arise Gallery App on consoles. Now it announced that the application will be available on both the Microsoft Store and PlayStation Store. However, the pages for it don't appear to be live in browsers just yet. Someone will need the PS4 or PS5 demo to use it.

Author
Jenni Lada

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Pokemon Heal Ball Poke Ball Replica First of 4 New Models

4 months 4 weeks ago

Pokemon Heal Ball Poke Ball Replica First of 4 New Models

More Poke Ball replicas are on the way. The Pokemon Company International and The Wand Company confirmed four more will appear in 2022. The first will be a Heal Ball. That $99.99 toy will show up sometime in "early" April 2022. Pre-orders are open at The Pokemon Center until April 1, 2022. It will be followed by the Cherish Ball, Friend Ball, and Quick Ball.

As with all of these stainless steel replicas, they use AAA batteries to respond to people’s touch. The button will light up if you place your hand near it. Pressing its button causes it to light up as well. The case it can be placed in can also use batteries for additional lights.

The Wand Company's Poke Ball replica models first appeared back in 2020. Things started with a basic version in February 2020. However, in 2021 additional designs showed up. The Dark Ball, Great Ball, Premier Ball, and Ultra Ball showed up in The Pokemon Center as 2021 ended.

The Heal Ball Poke Ball replica will be the first variant in this latest wave. It is expected to ship in "early" April 2022. They will be sold in Australia, Europe, North America, and New Zealand.

Author
Jenni Lada

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FFXII The Zodiac Age Leaving Xbox Game Pass

4 months 4 weeks ago

FFXII The Zodiac Age Leaving Xbox Game Pass

The Xbox Game Pass Final Fantasy library is dwindling, as FFXII: The Zodiac Age is about to leave. The RPG joined the roster back in February 2021. One year later, it will leave the collection on February 15, 2022.

However, this doesn't mean people will see it disappear from game streaming services altogether. Rather, Final Fantasy games are transitioning from Xbox Game Pass to PlayStation Now. The new deal took effect in September 2021. Since then, as titles leave Microsoft's service, they end up showing up on Sony's.

Here are all the Xbox Game Pass games joining in February 2022.

Author
Jenni Lada

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