Sunday Video Round Up: December 3 – 9

This week is really the perfect example for why I ultimately moved the Round Up to Sunday. This week was a big one in the industry as a couple of major game events happened. On my old schedule, the article would have been posted early Saturday morning, essentially cutting off the PlayStation experience content. While there wasn’t a ton of major surprises, there’s a couple of new videos from the show waiting for you below.

Obviously, the biggest thing this week was The Game Awards, an annual event put out by Geoff Keighley to essentially celebrate the best games from the past year. Not only does the event hand out awards, but the show has also become a spot to announce all sorts of new games or release “world exclusive” trailers. Since this is a ‘Round Up’ I’ve gathered each and every announcement for you below. Enjoy!

I’ve also got new videos for Metro Exodus, Bayonetta 3, Fornite Battle Royale, and so much more after the break, so come check out this week’s batch of trailers!

The full list of videos awaits you after the jump…

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The Game Awards 2017 Reaction Post

Crazy to think that it’s almost the end of 2017. Where did the time go?

Since it’s December, fans should be well aware that the PlayStation Experience and The Game Awards do a great job of providing a bit of excitement before the new year kicks off. Last night annual Game Awards event kicked off and as expected, the show revealed a ton of new games and trailers.

the game awards logo

So, let’s have a recap of what was announced as well as some off the cuff thoughts by yours truly.

Honestly, I’m less concerned with the details surrounding who won what award so I’m not going to cover any of that here. Let’s get to the meat of the show and react to all of the trailers and announcements!

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Happy 30th Birthday Mega Man! Here’s A New Game

Well, you can certainly file this announcement under the “I didn’t see this coming” category.

During a week when most companies are preparing big announcements for The Game Awards and PlayStation Experience, Capcom got out ahead of them all to hold a little celebration for the Blue Bomber. After all, it’s his 30th birthday and sadly, the franchise has been pretty dormant for the past few years.

While we got cool announcements such as the Mega Man X franchise finally coming to PC and current consoles (not sure if they’re doing it as another anniversary collection like they did previously), Capcom likely shocked many folks when they officially revealed Mega Man 11.

While not expected for release until late next year, the game sheds the retro aesthetics that Mega Man 9 and 10 brought back for something a little more modern. Mega Man 11 opts to go for a 2.5D look and feel, keeping the classic side-scrolling gameplay and pairing it with 3D models. The game’s still super early, so most of the other details aren’t known yet though I’d imagine players will still be facing off against 8 themed robot masters.

As excited as I am to see where this goes, did anyone else get a Mighty No. 9 vibe from the trailer? Remember how much hype that game had, considering that Keiji Inafune tried to deliver a Mega Man style experience to fill the void that Capcom didn’t appear to be willing to fill? Here’s hoping that Mega Man 11 doesn’t share that same fate, yeesh.

As a lifelong Mega Man fan, I’m thrilled a new game is coming. Even more than that, I’m over the moon that Capcom is once again interested in bringing this franchise back.

During the reveal video, they showed Mega Man running through his history starting in 1982 and all the way to now. It was really fun revisiting all of the games that encompass the entire franchise while also jamming out to iconic tunes. What really hit me though was when Mega Man ran through the past seven years: they were completely empty. Those were certainly dark times in his legacy with all of the cancellations, false starts, and general apathy. I’m glad the series is able to move forward once again.

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Saturday Video Round Up: Nov 26 – Dec 2

Aaaaaaand the Round Up has returned after a week off for the Thanksgiving holiday.

Before we dive into this week’s batch of videos, there’s a little housekeeping matter to discuss. Since we’re now into November, that means the Round Up is actually winding down right alongside most of the games industry. Can’t have a round up when there are not videos and trailers, right?

So all in all, this is probably going to be the second to last Video Round Up of 2017. I say that because next week is obviously the Game Awards, an annual event that features a ton of new reveals and trailers. It should be a good time, so make sure to come back for that one. After that, the Round Up will be on hiatus until January. Filling that gap though is my annual Gamer Crash Awards, where I hand out imaginary awards to some of my favorite games of the p[ast year. I’ll have more on this soon.

Okay, with that out of the way, on to the Round Up!

I continued to be enamored with the new look of Shadow of the Colossus. Sure, it’s a remake of a remake, but Bluepoint Games appears to have taken a lot of the game back to the drawing board. A new developer commentary goes into detail on those new animations and visual details at work by a few of the folks at the studio. Not only can you see the game in action, but you’ll get some great insight as well.

I’ve also got new videos for Destiny 2: Curse of Osiris, Marvel vs Capcom: Infinite, Xenoblade Chronicles 2, and so much more after the break, so come check out this week’s batch of trailers!

The full list of videos awaits you after the jump…

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Now Arriving: Games of December 2017

Well, here it is folks, the final month of the 2017 calendar year. Typically, December is viewed as a time to catch-up. A month where players use to not only catch their breath from the whirlwind release schedule of the past three months but to finally get a chance to play many of those games.

The trend this year is largely the same as it has been, though the truth of the matter is that December does hold a few gems as well.

The biggest of them all this month is likely PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, which finally enters into the Xbox One Game Preview program. The unstoppable force from the PC hopes to have the same effect on console now, which has since been dominated by its closest rival, Fortnite. I, for one, am looking forward to seeing if the game can translate that PC momentum to console, or if Fortnite has had too much of a lead to this point.

For you PlayStation fans, a number of collections for popular games you may have missed are finally being released as well including the complete edition for Horizon: Zero Dawn and Dead Rising 4 which captures all of the previously released content from the former Xbox One/PC timed exclusive. Okami HD is also making its grand return, sporting updated visuals and 4K for you premium console fans.

As expected, it’s a down month for video game releases. Still, there are some interesting prospects out there for those of you looking for new things to try. Also, don’t forget that I’ll be unveiling my annual Gamer Crash Awards this month, so make sure to stay tuned for those!

The complete release schedule for December 2017 awaits your eyes below. Enjoy!

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The Loot Box Effect

As I was cruising around for deals last week during Black Friday, I began to notice a trend starting to take shape with online stores. As you might imagine, recent EA games have begun to take a nose dive with user reviews (fair enough) thanks to all of the loot box insanity that has arisen with Star Wars Battlefront 2. The backlash has spread to games like Madden, FIFA, and Need for Speed Payback, which is a game that was also hammered for curiously gating much of its customization and progression through the idea of loot boxes.

Curiously enough, other loot box friendly games like Middle-earth: Shadow of War weren’t included in this practice, with many still sporting a sparkling 5 star user review.

So why is this? I can’t be 100% sure, but I do have a theory based on how the microtransactions and loot boxes are integrated into normal gameplay. With EA, it seems the publisher has made a point to tie a number of gameplay systems into the loot boxes including player progression.

Take Battlefront 2 for example. At its core, players upgrade their classes, vehicles, and heroes through star cards, which are earned only through loot boxes. Unlike Overwatch, loot boxes are purchased through in-game currency, and prior to its change of heart a couple of weeks ago, through premium currency. At the time, this meant that a player willing to spend real money on premium currency could effectively purchase new loot boxes faster than someone who was relying on currency earned through normal play.

So what we have here is a system that actively wants and rewards players for spending money on loot boxes.

When looking at Warner Bros and Shadow of War, we see a different style on display. The loot boxes in this game are basically more of a shortcut method. Using the in-game store, players can open chests that grant new orc followers or other in-game items and gear. Like most microtransaction enabled games, players can opt to spend premium currency purchased with real money or spend currency earned by playing.

As I played through the main game, I never once felt compelled or pressured to buy a loot box, even with my earned, in-game currency. Shadow of War always presented me with new loot and new orcs that using money in the store was really unnecessary. Yes, I could have purchased some epic level orcs, but honestly, part of the fun is just doing it yourself. The newly enhanced Nemesis System really takes care of you in this regard.

So could it be that the reason why Shadow of War has escaped the public’s wrath is that the game doesn’t reward people for spending money or tying critical gameplay elements to the in-game store? I can’t be 100% sure if this growing trend is a result of the aggressive nature of microtransactions in these EA games or perhaps that Battlefront 2 seems to have been the tipping point for the whole loot box concept.

Now, I’m not trying to justify the inclusion of microtransactions, I’m just trying to make sense of an interesting trend I’ve started to see online. Either way, it looks like games such as Shadow of War managed to dodge a bullet on this one. I’m curious to see what kind of change this outrage has brought on going forward.

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Happy Thanksgiving/Black Friday: A Small Site Update

Hope you’ve all had a fantastic Thanksgiving and are enjoying the madness of Black Friday. May you be lucky enough to score all of those deals you’re after.

Me? Well, I’m kicking my feet up and taking some much needed time away from the site. Considering the holiday week we’re currently in, I’ve decided to also give the Video Round Up the weekend off, so I’m sorry to disappoint if you were looking forward to it.

With that said, we’ll be back up and running full tilt next week, just as you expect. There’s only a handful of Round Ups left in 2017 and the annual Gamer Crash Awards are quickly approaching as well.

Hope you’re all having a great week, have a wonderful weekend, and I’ll see you right back here next week. Until then!

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