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Shenmue I & II Remaster Now Available On Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC

Posted on August 21, 2018 by Rae Michelle Richards

Ryo Hazuki returns to home consoles in his own title for the first time in 17 years with today’s physical release of Shenmue I + II on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. This remastered port is also available on Windows PC as well as a digital only release through Steam. 

Before Grand Theft Auto III, Saints Row and open world pioneers Shenmue attempted to create a semi open version of 1980s Japan and China respectively. With shops that have their own unique business hours, NPCs that have their own schedule for tasks and movements, part time jobs for Ryo, collectable capsule toys and real time weather there really was nothing quite like Shenmue when it dropped on the Dreamcast back in 2000. It is not surprising that Sonic Creator, Yu Suzuki’s magnum opus third installment still in development for the PlayStation 4. 

John Clark, a VP at SEGA Europe had this to say about today’s re-release: 

“SEGA Europe has wanted to re-release the Shenmue series for such a long time and thanks to tireless work behind the scenes, it is our pleasure to bring these games back, laden with accolades as one of the greatest gaming series of all time, for gamers of all generations,” 

Shenmue I + II HD features a number of new features that the Dreamcast originals simply was not capable of. PC users have complete control over the game’s resolution and neither the PS4 / Xbox One or PC versions will have the slowdown featured in the original DC release. Enhancements from the 2001 Xbox (original) re-release such as improved water textures, shadows and world textures are also present in today’s release. 

Digital Foundry did an exhuastive breakdown of all of the technical changes, improvements and differences between these 3 sets of Shenmue ports. 

Have you ever played Shenmue or its sequel? I played Shenmue I back on the Dreamcast back in the day but never finished. I also picked up Shenmue II on the original Xbox and actually got to finish that one. If you’re interested in a piece of gaming history that helped shape one of the most modern genres, this double feature is a definite recommendation. 

[Header Image via Youtube.com]

[News Source: SEGA America Public Relations]


E3 2018: Shadow of the Tomb Raider Gets First Gameplay Trailer and Screenshots

Posted on June 11, 2018 by Rae Michelle Richards

Square Enix revealed the first in-engine gameplay trailer for the upcoming third entry in the Tomb Raider reboot franchise, Shadow of the Tomb Raider. This 3 minute long cut of sequences seems to be taken from the same “first hour” demo that I got to play at the Shadow of the Tomb Raider reveal event back in April.

Demo stations featuring a slice of Shadow of the Tomb Raider will be playable at both Square Enix’s E3 booth and Microsoft’s Xbox Experience Theatre. E3 is also the first place that the public will get a look at SOTR running on PC hardware.

Here’s Square Enix’s official description of the demo that’s available on the show floor:

E3 attendees will have the opportunity to experience Shadow of the Tomb Raider firsthand with playable demos at the Square Enix booth and the Xbox Experience at the Microsoft Theater. Meanwhile, the NVIDIA booth will host a behind closed doors, first time playable demo of Shadow of the Tomb Raider on PC.

In the demo I got to play a massive tidal wave destroys an entire city during the climax. Here is how I described it back in April:

“This is where things went from standard action movie fare – as seen in the previous two titles – to nearly world shattering. A ginormous tidal wave quickly engulfs the cavernous tomb and sweeps Lara out and onto the city streets. What follows is an almost indescribable amount of devastation as the large wave carries Lara, innocent pedestrians, cars and anything not firmly cemented into a foundation along with it.”

Alongside the gameplay trailer Square Enix also released several brand new screenshots, which you can check out below:


Devil May Cry HD Collection Coming To PS4, Xbox & PC In March 2018

Posted on December 7, 2017 by Rae Michelle Richards

Capcom, not content with reviving the Mega Man franchise to much fan hype and positive coverage, has announced that the Devil May Cry HD Collection will be making its way to PC, Xbox One and PlayStation 4 on March 13th. 

This collection features up-rez’d ports of the 2001 PS2 original Devil May Cry, 2002’s Devil May Cry 2 and 2005’s Devil May Cry 3: Special Edition. All three of these games have enough demon slaying, arcade-style combo action that it’ll make you hungry enough for a slice of pizza (yes, I’m making the obvious DMC 3 references now). 

Greasy Pepperoni Goodness in HD! 

Originally the Devil May Cry HD Collection was released on Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 in April 2012. Ninja Theory’s reboot of the franchise D.M.C  was also ported to 8th generation consoles back in 2015 but if recent leaks are to be believed, we could see a continuation of the original white-haired Dante’s story with the announcement of Devil May Cry 5 at The Game Awards later tonight. 

Above: Launch trailer for the 7th generation release of DMC HD Collection from 2012.

Source: Capcom Unity Blog


Meet The Latest Hero For Overwatch: Moira

Posted on November 4, 2017 by Rae Michelle Richards

The latest ‘Hero’ to join the ranks of Overwatch’s roster is the Tallon geneticist Moira. Clad in purples and blacks this support hero uses her scientific knowledge to heal her allies and damage her foes, sometimes simultaneously. Needless to say, her reveal came as a complete surprise, unlike last year’s Sombra reveal, Jeff Kaplan got to keep Moira’s debut a complete secret until he could unveil her to millions of fans during the BlizzCon 2017 opening ceremonies. 

She has a healing beam which is she uses to restore health on her allies using her left hand. A dark energy creeps out from her right hand, dealing damage to her foes and healing her and replenishing her ‘biotic energy’.  Biotic Orb is a rebounding projectile that damages any enemy it passes through and heals any friendlies it may come in contact with. Fade allows Moira to teleport a short distance, similar to Reaper’s Wraith Form. Finally, her ultimate, Coalescence, as her firing both her healing beam and damaging beam at the same time. 

Here are the official descriptions of her kit from the Overwatch website:  

Using her left hand, Moira expends biotic energy to heal allies in front of her. Her right hand fires a long-range beam weapon that saps enemies’ health, healing Moira and replenishing her biotic energy.

Moira launches a rebounding biotic sphere; she can choose between a regeneration effect that heals the allies it passes through, or a decay effect that deals damage to enemies.

Moira quickly teleports a short distance.

Moira channels a long-range beam that both heals allies and bypasses barriers to damage her enemies.

Moira is expected to be released on Overwatch’s Public Test Region sometime next week. For now, we’ll all have to watch the videos of her in action coming from the show floor.



The Elder Scrolls Online: Clockwork City Expansion Now Has A Release Date & Price

Posted on October 11, 2017 by Rae Michelle Richards

Adventurers should be prepared to enter the world of mechanical gears and golden wonders as Bethesda & Zenimax Online Studios have announced that the Clockwork City DLC for The Elder Scrolls Online will be available on PC & Mac on October 23rd.  Xbox One and PlayStation 4 players will receive the add-on two weeks later, on November 7th. 

Players looking to experience the brand new single player content that ESO: Clockwork City has to offer will have a few different options to access the content. Clockwork City can be purchased as a standalone add-on pack through the Crown Store for 2000 crowns (closest IAP 3000 crowns for $39.99 CDN) – this adds the new zone to a players game forever without subscription. Those looking for a more premium package can opt for the Clockwork City Collector’s Bundle which includes the base DLC as well as “Clockwork Skeevaton pet, the Kagouti Fabricant mount, and Five Crown Experience Scrolls” additional items (closest IAP in the Crown Store being 5500 crowns for $49.99 CDN). Clockwork City will also be included as part of an Elder Scrolls Online Plus subscription which retails for $14.99 per month, although subscribers lose access to any unpurchased DLC should they end their subscription. 

A prologue quest leading up to the beginning of Clockwork City – titled “of knives and long shadows” can now be accessed at your local Mage’s Guild.

Here is the official description on how to begin that quest:

“Prominent diviners, scholars, and planar archaeologists are being killed by their own shadows, and it’s up to you to investigate these deadly assaults. To get started, travel to any local Mages Guild headquarters in Tamriel and find the note on a nearby table titled “Order of the Eye Dispatch”. Read the note to receive the quest “Of Knives and Long Shadows” and begin your new adventure.” 



Nintendo Direct reveals tons of new games for Switch & 3DS

Posted on September 14, 2017 by Jason Nason

Origianlly I held back because I wanted to do in depth posts for each game revealed in yesterday’s Nintendo Direct, but there are so many games that it may take me a while. So for now check out the full Direct video below as well as Nintendo’s press release from yesterdays announcments.

Stay tuned for some more details about some of the games that I’m most excited for as well in the coming days.

Read More


Liquid Sky To Feature Radeon GPUs When Free Service Rolls Out March 14th

Posted on March 2, 2017 by Rae Michelle Richards

AMD’s brand new Radeon Virtualized Encode platform will power the full release of LiquidSky’s cloud gaming platform on March 14th. The CEO of LiquidSky Ian McLoughlin took the stage to demonstrate Battlefield1 being rendered on the newly announced hardware. Both AMD and LiquidSky touted the announcement of Radeon Virtualized Encode as bringing the power of high end graphics cards to the masses through affordability.

CEO Ian McLoughlin At The AMD Ryzen / VEGA Event.

LiquidSky’s upcoming March release will enable anyone to earn up to 2 free hours of gameplay time using their new “Gamer Package” – which is the equivalent to the top tier package on offer during their closed beta – by watching sponsored advertisements. Players will be able to use the LiquidSky mobile app to earn “Sky Credits” (free time), which is stackable up to 14 hours per week. Ian also mentioned during the AMD event that players could use all of these free hours in one shot – want to save up all of our hours and play a 14 hour stretch of Overwatch? You can.

Alongside the launch of LiquidSky 2.0’s new datacenter and mobile app is a brand new client for Windows and Mac which will allow users to hang out in themed chatrooms known as the “Sky Lounge” to connect with other players while waiting for their games to install. One downside to the datacenter upgrades to the VEGA platform is that all LiquidSky services will be down from March 7th – 14th and all existing computers will be wiped.

Check out our previous coverage of LiquidSky 2.0 – We will be covering the launch of their new service later this month once it has launched.


GDC 17: AMD Capsaicin & Cream Event Report

Posted on March 1, 2017 by Rae Michelle Richards


AMD held their second annual gathering of developers and press focusing on the company’s line-up for the coming year. The processor manufacturer, console architect and videocard producer invited Broken Joysticks to the event and we had a front row seat for all of the major announcements. While Advanced Microdevices did a little bit of reflecting on the successes of 2016, this latest showcase was really about their upcoming line of AMD Vega GPUs, brand new partnerships with developers and to a lesser extent the imminent launch of the Ryzen processor.

Chief architect of the Radeon Technologies took the stage as the primary presenter during the hour long conference. He reflected upon the release of the Radeon 480 this past June and that the eventual launch of the AMD new RX VEGA line of graphics card will put them into direct competition with offerings from rival GPU maker Nvidia.


Virtual Reality was one of the primary focuses of AMD’s presentation with the photo-realistic characters of The Sword of Bahubali: A VR Experience wowing viewers both in the form of a pre-rendered concept trailer, an on stage presentation of the VR Experience running on a Ryzen + VEGA setup and the promise of a version that will be compatible with existing hardware to be released soon. The Bahubali VR Experience is still under development and it was briefly mentioned that the final product may require dual Radeon 480s just to be rendered in real-time on modern VR headsets.

During the development of AMD’s VEGA line of GPUs a large focus was placed on memory optimization. Using technologies like AMD’s High Bandwidth Cache Controller and New Geometry Pipeline developers can get the performance of today’s 4GB cards into as small of a footprint as 2GB. Smaller memory footprints will also allow VEGA to produce exceptional results even if a PC gamer has opted to skip the jump to the Ryzen line of processors.


Speaking of optimized performance, a number of on stage demonstrations touting the power of the upcoming Ryzen + VEGA combo utilizing several different AAA releases. Developers from Rebellion took to the stage with the recently released Sniper Elite 4 showcasing the game running at 4K on a single Radeon 480 and a dual Radeon 480 set-up on a Ryzen rig. With a single 480 Sniper Elite 4 is able to push a stable 30 FPS while at 4K while the dual setup was able to maintain a mind-blowing 60 frames per second using AMD’s current flagship GPU. It makes one wonder just what the VEGA line of cards could achieve with titles like Sniper Elite 4.

Returning to Virtual – Reality folks from Steam took the stage to discuss the fact that the development version of the Steam VR Tracker, which allows developers to introduce real world objects into a virtual environment will launch for $99 USD and will be supported by AMD’s crimson drivers. We also got a look at four world exclusive VR experience reveals utilizing AMD hardware including an updated version of ROM: Extraction, an on-stage side by side demonstration of ROBO Recall and the first look at Sprint Vector – a VR focused endless runner.

There was a lot to be excited about at AMD’s Capsaicin & Cream event yesterday – most notably the 4 VR experiences and demonstration of the VEGA graphics card line. While the demonstrations were certainly impressive and the promise of technologies like High Bandwidth Cache and Rapid Pack Math tantalizing, it would have nice to get some solid details on the pricing and general availability of RX VEGA – especially with Ryzen’s impending release just a few weeks away.


What does the possible elimination of the NEA mean to video games?

Posted on January 27, 2017 by Meghan Kass

In the United States, there is a federal agency that goes by the name the National Endowment of the Arts. According to their website, they are “an independent federal agency that funds, promotes, and strengthens the creative capacity of our communities by providing all Americans with diverse opportunities for arts participation.”. On January 19th, a report from The Hill, and an unnamed source reported that the NEA was on the chopping block for budget cuts under the reasoning that taxpayers should not have to pay for such things such as plays, paintings, scholarly journals or other such works and that it was a “waste”. While it can be debated whether or not the NEA is necessary or not, what can not be debated are the numbers. The NEA and NEH (National Endowment of Humanities) would only be 0.0006 percent of the 2016’s federal spending, a minuscule amount for something that provides a lot of opportunities to so many Americans. This is also particularly disappointing as only as recently as 2012 was the NEA paying attention to the world of video games and funding such projects as Walden, a game and allowing what was once thought of as mere children’s toys to be seen as a serious medium for art. How will the elimination of the NEA effect the gaming community?

A Still From Indie-Cade 2015, a popular gathering of indie developers.

In 2012, $290,000 in grants were given to 4 video game projects. This opened the door to new types of video games and new creators. It was even inspiring non profit organizations such as the WITS (writers in the schools) to utilize grant money to incorporate video games into the education of students in reading and writing by using their inspiration and knowledge to make whole video game projects and stories. If not for the NEA, some creators may not have had the opportunity to explore video game creation and bring their ideas to life in this medium and with the NEA offering millions of dollars in grants each year, who knows what new creations could be made or what brilliant new artist could be discovered? If the NEA is eliminated, this could potentially hurt the progress of video games being explored and expanded as a medium even further, especially since it had only just gotten its chance to shine as a federally funded art form in America.


The freedom of indie developers mean that exploring with emerging technologies like VR is possible.

While the gaming industry is still going to be standing and even the indie community will still find its funding, especially with crowd funding as an increasingly viable option, the elimination of the NEA still destroys an opportunity for learning and growth for some and it is now more than ever important  for Americans to help support its gaming  community and its creators and continue to grow and evolve video games. Art, in any form, is essential to culture, building creativity, empathy and education and that most certainly includes video games.


Niantic Enrages Pokemon Go Players By Speed Limiting PokeStops

Posted on November 7, 2016 by Rae Michelle Richards

The latest Pokemon Go update on both Android and iOS adds some great additions like daily quests and bonus XP for taking over gyms but players have found that PokeStops are no longer commuter friendly.

In the past if your character was traveling faster than what the game considers walking speed you would need to tap an “I’m a passenger!” dialogue box in-order to continue playing the game. After this latest update the dialogue box still appears but attempting to spin a PokeStop while on a commuter train or in a car may result in a “Please Try Again” message. It should be noted that these messages do not appear on 100% of available stops when traveling fast.


Can’t Spin Poke-Stops While Going Fast!

Reddit user BrandonOR did some experimenting in their city and found that when traveling at 18 – 20 Miles Per Hour the “tray again” error message was prevelant. When traveling at 25 MPH the game would allow them to claim 60% of available PokeStops.
Here is the relevant bit from that Reddit thread:

“Update: after a few more loops it feels odd, like 18-20 mph will make it say try again later but I was collecting from them at 25mph. It may be that the game is just running poorly but 40% of my poke-stops did this, that’s a big ass chunk of what I should have, and no, I am not getting stuff behind the scenes. My journal shows nothing “

User JacobRFeenstra feels for the rural users who might have limited amounts of Poke-Stops in their city but perhaps these changes have to do with Trainers being behind the wheel:

“I feel for commuters and rural players. In the Netherlands most people have at least 5 pokestops if they live in a small town and live in close proximity (10-20kms) to a larger city with an abundance of stops. I despise people who use their phone behind the steering wheel and i’m pretty sure Niantic is trying to reduce those, those momo’s are putting other people’s lives in danger. Just drive 30 minutes to a place and walk for an hour. “

How do you feel about the speed locking of Poke-Stops?


World of Final Fantasy Demo Skips PS Vita In North America

Posted on October 17, 2016 by Rae Michelle Richards

Square Enix has released a limited demo version of their upcoming fan service filled spin-off World of Final Fantasy across all major PlayStation Store regions. Unfortunately for handheld owners in North America the PS Vita demo version is not a random encounter on the PlayStation Store despite an English localization of the handheld demo being available in European countries.

World of Final Fantasy is the latest spin-off for Square’s long running RPG franchise and could be considered a “best of” collection, as the game features allusions to prior entries as well as chibi versions of characters from previous titles.  In World of Final Fantasy the player guides a pair of siblings as they explore a fairy tale world where “giants” are able to transform from the chibi-style of character to full sized human beings at will. Featuring the classic Active Time Battle system combined with an intriguing “Mirage catching mechanic” not unlike the monster collecting in Nintendo’s Pokemon titles, World of Final Fantasy includes a heavy dose of nostalgia for the well informed and some new toys to play with that may intrigue newcomers.

The demo version is said to be light on plot, as it features the same combat tutorials and single explorable dungeons to the version that we sampled at the September Penny Arcade Expo.


World of Final Fantasy releases next Tuesday October 25th with the “day one” edition including extra DLC – the Japanese voice add-on pack probably being the most noteworthy. It is a bit of bummer that Square Enix chose to forgo releasing the PS Vita demo version in North America considering that the handheld version will be launching here in just a week’s time. Perhaps the best move for players who want a taste now is to create a separate European PSN account in-order to play the localized demo.

You can grab it at the links below:

North American PS4 Demo 

European PS4 Demo 

European PS Vita Demo 


Tales of Berseria Gets a Western Release Date & Collector’s Edition

Posted on October 11, 2016 by Rae Michelle Richards

Bandai Namco has announced the North American and European ship dates for their upcoming action RPG Tales of Berseria along with new details about the game’s limited collector’s edition. Tales of Berseria will ship on both Steam and PlayStation 4 on January 27th 2017 in Europe and January 24th 2017 in North America.

Fans looking for will have to act fast because it will be limited to a production run of 1500 copies according to a press release issued by the publisher. It is not known if this allotment will be divided between the North American & European regions or if each has their own 1500 Collector’s Editions up for grabs.


As for what $199.99 CDN will get you, here is the complete list according to the official Tales Of blog:

  • Tales of Berseria game
  • The Collector’s Edition box
  • 2 Chibi Kyun characters figures (Laphicet and Velvet)
  • 3 Metal Coins
  • Exclusive Bienfu metal case (to complete your Mascots metal case collection)
  • Game soundtrack
  • Artbook
  • Starter strategy guide

Everyone who pre-orders the game will be given a limit edition set of collectible pins featuring characters from the game. Also available (depending on region) will be a limited edition keychain for those who pre-order.

Here is a look at both pre-order bonuses:



Tales of Berseria was originally this past August for both PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4. Odd that the PS3 version has been omitted for the western release but perhaps it has something to do with absolutely massive adoption the PS4 was seen in recent years.


Scott Cawthon releases Sister Location

Posted on October 8, 2016 by Meghan Kass

Five Nights At Freddy’s fans can rejoice again, Scott Cawthon has delivered the next chapter of his hit series is out. Not only are there new animatronics to meet and fear,a new setting to explore, new voices and new clues to the ongoing and increasingly convoluted lore. Will this be a hit with the fanbase or will it be a miss? Either answer, what isn’t debated is the excitement.

Early in the day today, Five Night’s at Freddy’s: Sister Location was in the Steam Store, ready to purchase and play. While FNAF: World may have been a disappointment to both Scott and many fans of the series, Sister Location appears to be a return to form with its dark, eerie atmosphere, claustrophobic setting and uneasy voice guiding you through the work you do at your new job. The job this time is a late night technician at Circus Baby’s Pizza World. This game not only connects to previous FNAF games, but also references the novel “Five Nights at Freddy’s: Silver Eyes” with the character William Afton, who eventually in Silver Eyes becomes the infamous “Purple Guy”.

Youtubers, such as MatPat from Game Theory and Markiplier excitedly streamed the game, while commenting with their thoughts and theories on where Sister Location fits in the FNAF universe and what it means for the lore. It seems this takes place before all the previous FNAF games as this shows the early work of Afton as a technician and it also appears any classic FNAF animatronics are shiny and well kept. This game promises to be a welcome Halloween treat with plenty of jump scares and eerie mechanical murderers whether you are a fan of the theories and lore of the game or not. If you want to join the FNAF fun, pick up your copy and enjoy.


Digital Homicide filing lawsuit against Valve

Posted on September 20, 2016 by Meghan Kass

Indie developer, Digital Homicide has been under hot water recently. The developer is currently looking to raise money and seek legal representation to sue steam users due to poor reception of their games. While Digital Homicide states they are fighting against harassment, Valve had a different perception.

Digital Homicide has produced over a dozen games, such as Galactic Hitman (as pictured above), using the steam platform. These games have received numerous poor reviews and have gained the attention of the Steam community and YouTube personalities. They have been accused of using paid assets and having very little effort put into their games, which is reflected in those poor reviews, along with a reputation of putting out games fast and low quality. Because of these accusations and comments, founder James Romaine filed an $18 million “personal injury” claim and a subpoena with the demands that the data of 100 steam users who are part of a consumer advocacy group. According to the Digital Homicide website, they are still currently raising the money and seeking legal representation.

[Ed Note: This video explains just how publishers like Digital Homicide make their money off deeply discounted bundles and Steam Trading Cards.]

Valve’s response to Digital Homicide’s claims was to discontinue business with the developer due to “[hostility] towards Steam customers” and ban them from using Steam to produce their games. Digital Homicide had in turn, released a response on their website stating that Valve was “disgusting” and they were excusing harassment of not only the development team, but the customers who were legitimately interested in their product.

Currently, the subpoena has not been signed by a judge and therefore has only been proposed, not granted. Should the subpoena be granted, Valve can contest the claim at a hearing. Along with this, there are also plans to bring a lawsuit to YouTube personality, Jim Sterling over videos criticizing the group’s development practices and quality of their products. Whether any of these lawsuits are successful, only time can tell.


The Developers of PS VR Title”London Heist” Are No More As Sony Shutters Studio

Posted on September 19, 2016 by Rae Michelle Richards

Developers of The Getaway & The Getaway 2 for PlayStation 2 and most recently the upcoming London: Heist for PlayStation VR are no more according to reports. Sony Computer Entertainment London had been a first party owned development team based in the U.K. since 2004 when Sony folded ‘Team Soho’, creators of The Getaway franchise, into the now defunct subsidiary.

Members of the team affected by the lay-offs include senior development staff, artists, programmers and others. In a statement issued to GamesIndustry.biz Sony Computer Worldwide Entertainment said these staffing changes were the result of “regular reviews”

“Unfortunately, there will be a number of compulsory redundancies within the London Studio. We accept that this will mean that we risk losing high calibre staff whose projects have reached completion and where possible, we will try to reallocate people to new projects currently being nurtured.” 

Sony has positioned the lay-offs as a routine business decision often made when projects have been completed. For the members of Sony Computer Entertainment London it must be frustrating to have finished work on a project only to have your employer pass you a pink slip or offer you a position within an other team. Sadly, it has become commonplace within the industry as team sizes swell and the budgets for AAA games balloon into the hundreds of millions.


London Hiest was one of the earliest demonstrations shown by Sony for then code-named “project morpheus” and tasks players with tanking on elaborate hiests using an innovative control system where the PlayStation Move controllers act as the players arms and hands, allowing for immersive gun-play. It will be available alongside the PlayStation VR headset on October 13th.

Sony Computer Entertainment London was quite acquainted to trying to innovate on Sony’s latest hardware – they also had a hand in the development of Eyepet for the PlayStation Move back in 2010.


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