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TweakTown News Posts - Page 17

Cuphead is perfect for the Switch

By: Derek Strickland | More News: Gaming | Posted: 1 week, 6 days ago

Cuphead is a nice fit for Nintendo's new Switch handheld-console hybrid, and here's why.

 

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After years of development and two delays, Studio MDHR's Cuphead is finally out in the wild, 1930's cartoon style and all. And it's since become a smash hit. Since Microsoft helped fund the project with its ID@Xbox program the game may not come to the Switch nor the PS4...but it's a perfect fit for the former.

 

With its enamoring style, Cuphead will instantly attract anyone in the room. I've shown Cuphead to about a dozen non-gamers in my life, and they all liked it--they smiled and asked me what it's from. They all wanted to know more about this delightful-looking visual experience starring two anthropomorphic beverage brothers. This folds neatly into a byproduct of the Switch: engagement.

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Report: Marvel vs Capcom: Infinite had meager budget

By: Derek Strickland | More News: Gaming | Posted: 1 week, 6 days ago

Sources reportedly close to Capcom tell YouTuber "Gaming History Guy" Liam Robertson that Marvel vs Capcom: Infinite's budget was rather meager, and that the team recycled art assets and animations from previous games in the series.

 

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There's something off about Marvel vs Capcom: Infinite. Gamers knew right away from the trailers, which were near universally panned by fans, but the fighter's actual release confirmed their suspicious--something weird was going on with the game. According to unnamed sources who are reportedly close to the developer (who affirmed their veracity by being right about the upcoming Monster Hunter DLC for MvC: I), this is because Marvel vs Capcom: Infinite had a restricted budget and developers had to make do with what they already had from previous games like MvC 3. How much did Capcom spend on the fighter? The sources say the "shoestring budgeting approach" amounted to little over half the reserved budget for Street Fighter V's DLC.

 

 

"A vast amount of Infinite was apparently cobbled together from pre-existing internal assets to cut costs. The main source for these assets was Marvel vs Capcom 3," Mr. Robertson said in the video. Capcom developers were concerned about recycling assets, but management saw no real issues with this approach and typically ignored their workers, sources told Mr. Robertson.

 

If this is true, it paints a bleak picture for the game's success where it matters most: hardcore fans that will continue buying the games. And Disney's Marvel team can't be too happy about these reports, either, although they'd likely care mostly about sales. The Marvel vs Capcom series is lucrative--Marvel vs Capcom 3 sits at number 25 on the publisher's top-selling franchises--and it's likely that Capcom spent most of its allotted budget on the upcoming Monster Hunter World, a cross-platform online RPG that's the most ambitious game in the massively popular series of games.

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Don't expect a Spec Ops: The Line sequel

By: Derek Strickland | More News: Gaming | Posted: 1 week, 6 days ago

Spec Ops: The Line is regarded as one of the best storied shooters on the market, but veterans at Yager who made the game happen aren't up for a sequel.

 

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Spec Ops: The Line's rough five-year development cycle has been chronicled many times in the industry, highlighting the game's unique narrative design and the toll the experience took on the developers. "It was a 5 year process, so that it would be hard to fully encapsulate that in a reply here. In short, it was hard, stressful, occasionally soul-crushing, educational, enlightening, and ultimately very rewarding. When development was over, I think a lot of us were left with our own lingering pain and trauma from the experience. But ultimately, were proud of what we'd made," Mr. Williams said in a recent Ask Me Anything post on Reddit.

 

But what about a sequel? Even if 2K Games' parent company Take-Two Interactive magically greenlit plans for a sequel, and sought out the original dev team to make it, Mr. Williams says no, it's probably not ever going to happen--he'd rather eat glass than do another Spec Ops game.

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343 Industries is super passionate about mixed reality

By: Derek Strickland | More News: Virtual & Augmented Reality | Posted: 1 week, 6 days ago

343 Industries exec Kiki Wolfkill is very, very passionate about Microsoft's new Mixed Reality platform--so much that we should expect to see more Halo games based in the new medium.

 

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Mixed reality--the mystical combination of virtual and augmented realities--has been lauded by evangelists and challenged critics since its inception, but the Halo developers at 343 Industries are keen on using the fancy technology to tell Halo stories. The studio plans to release Halo: Recruit--a small slice of tech demo that's "not a game, not even part of a game" but a five-minute toe-dipping that represents 343i's very early adoption of mixed reality--this month on Microsoft's new Mixed Reality platform. The ecosystem sees major OEMs like Dell, ASUS, Acer, LG and even Samsung working together to further VR and AR technology while being tethered to the Windows 10 operating system.

 

I've talked to a few people who tried the Halo: Recruit demo and the consensus is it's pretty bad and meager--it's this weird combination of 2D and 3D tech that actually simulates a theater-like experience that sees players take on the role of a UNSC recruit who shoots enemies on a 2D screen. Halo: Recruit is a glorified target range and really shouldn't have the Halo name attached to it--It's totally not what you'd expect from a Halo Mixed Reality experience, and you're not dropping into Master Chief's shoes to blast enemies who are projected in your home environment, AR-style.

 

But with enough time, those experiences could come, and the upcoming Halo 6 may even have a VR or AR tie-in of sorts. This could be a brand new medium to tell Halo stories on, to breathe new life into the universe.

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Final Fantasy XIV may go free to play if users demand it

By: Derek Strickland | More News: Gaming | Posted: 1 week, 6 days ago

If enough gamers want it, Final Fantasy XIV MMO game director Naoki Yoshida says the game could go free-to-play one day--or at the very least he'll consider it.

 

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Final Fantasy XIV is one of the best MMOs I've ever played because it adds tremendous value to your experience. The amount of effort Square Enix puts into this game is staggering, and you feel that your money is well-spent. The game is one of the last bastions of subscription-based gaming out there, and throughout its triumphant relaunch as A Realm Reborn, the team has opened the experience up with an expansive free trial and some microtransaction additions. But it never lost its high-quality focus for active subscribers. So far lots of gamers agree with my asessment: Final Fantasy XIV broke subscriber milestones this year and saw 10 million cumulative players.

 

But Yoshida-san is so ardent in his cause to serve the community that if enough Final Fantasy XIV players demanded the game to F2P to make it more accessible, he'd consider the possibility.

 

"That being said, if 80% or 90% of our players are demanding we go free-to-play, then we might need to look at shifting our business model," Yoshida-san said in an interview with GamesIndustry.biz. "But we would also need to change our game design to match that business model. It all depends on what the game design should be based on what our players' needs are."

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Forza 7's 'pay to earn' scheme isn't anything new

By: Derek Strickland | More News: Gaming | Posted: 1 week, 6 days ago

Forza 7 has gotten lots of flak recently for its "pay to earn" scheme that sees gamers optionally paying real-world money not to directly buy in-game rewards, but to boost the possible outcome of said rewards. But this isn't a new trend in gaming--far from it.

 

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Pay to earn is actually an old staple of freemium microtransactions, but it's used in new AAA games too. Take Destiny 2, for example. Destiny 2's microtransactions are creatively tied with the base game to essentially whet the appetite of players who become locked into the game's addictive ecosystem--addictive because of the loot grind cycle that's freely available to all players, but mTX offers yet another calculated layer to the addiction. Destiny 2, a paid $60 AAA game, contains a pay-to-earn tick...although it's more indirect than Forza 7. In Destiny 2 players can buy Silver to exchange for Bright Engrams, which contain mods, cosmetics, emblems, and most importantly, shaders. But if you don't like what you get, you can dismantle the loot box gear for Bright Dust, which is used as a second currency to buy other items, including EXP and loot boosts. So essentially you can convert real-world money into loot boosts--or you can simply level up an get Bright Engrams for free.

 

The second and third examples are free-to-play games. Blizzard's Heroes of the Storm lets you exchange Gems, which are bought with real-world money, for stimpacks, which boost the XP outcome for a period of time. Star Wars: The Old Republic, another free-to-play game, lets players buy Experience Boosts to increase their EXP gain and level up faster. While the trend may not exactly be new, the inclusion of these schemes in full-priced AAA games kind of is.

 

But what makes Forza 7's pay to earn system so bizarre is that every Forza game before it allowed players to adjust these settings manually without having to spend in-game currency.

 

Users could simply adjust the track conditions like making it night, making it rain, etc, to earn extra cR. But now they spend cR, which can both be bought and earned in-game, to earn more cR and fuel the grind. Free-to-play games typically pull maneuvers like this to amplify the "time vs money" argument for its consumers and give players a choice to either spend time or spend money to unlock new content.

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Dota 2 Midas Mode tournament set for November 18

By: Shaun Grimley | More News: Gaming | Posted: 1 week, 6 days ago

With Dota 2's new competitive season about to commence, much of the discussion has been about Valve's new Minor-Major system that begins with StarLadder October 11. In somewhat of a slight novelty, MoonduckTV has announced a new concept entitled "Midas Mode", with the tournament commencing November 18. Midas Mode pits eight teams (4 North America and 4 European) against each other in somewhat of a Fantasy Football meets Dota 2.

 

 

Each team is given a set amount of virtual currency, or "Moonbucks", this currency is then used to purchase actions in every aspect of the game. This includes picking and banning heroes, playing as Radiant or Dire and pausing in game will all cost you Moonbucks. This adds an extra level of strategy to the game as popular heroes will cost more, in fact hero prices will fluctuate depending on their win-rate and popularity. Do you spend Moonbucks picking popular heroes? Or do you spend your Moonbucks banning opposition comfort picks? It is up to the team's captain, he just has to make sure there's enough Moonbucks to pause for toilet breaks!

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MSI introduce the new Force GC20 & GC30 game controllers

By: Shaun Grimley | More News: Peripherals | Posted: 1 week, 6 days ago

MSI have introduced an all-new series of gaming controllers specifically designed for multiple platforms. MSI's new Force range introduces the Force GC20 and Force GC30.

 

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Compatible with Windows, Android and consoles, both the GC20 and GC30 controllers feature an 8-way D-pad with a replaceable metal cover kept in place by a premium magnetic design that allows the user to adapt their controller to the genre of game they're playing. These controllers feature rubber side grips on both handles that assists grip during those long gaming sessions and also feature haptic feedback that is able to enhance gaming experience.

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Halo Recruit announced, a new mixed reality experience

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Gaming | Posted: 1 week, 6 days ago

Microsoft has surprised with the announcement of Halo Recruit, a new Halo experience that uses mixed reality technology inside of the Windows Mixed Reality platform.

 

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Microsoft's Mixed Reality boss Alex Kipman explains Halo Recruit as "It's a fun, brief introduction into the world of Halo. You'll see a variety of iconic characters in mixed reality for the first time". 343 Industries worked on Halo Recruit, but other than that we have no idea what to expect from Halo Recruit just yet.

 

Halo Recruit will be available on October 17, with Microsoft explaining on their own Windows blog that Halo Recruit is a "fun, brief introduction into the world of Halo - where you'll see several iconic characters in mixed reality for the very first time".

Western Digital announce HGST Ultrastar Hs14 - 14TB HDD

By: Shaun Grimley | More News: Storage | Posted: 1 week, 6 days ago

Western Digital have announced the world's first 14TB harddrive, the HGST-branded Ultrastar Hs14. Perfect for cloud-storage and hyperscale data centers, the HGST Ultrastar Hs14 combines HelioSeal and host-managed shingled magnetic recording (SMR) technology to offers 40 percent more capacity and more than twice the sequential write performance of its SMR predecessor and features a 2.5million hours MTBF rating.

 

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This 3.5-inch HDD helps address Big Data challenges and the emerging sequential write workload segment in data centers by focusing on total cost of ownership (TCO). Prioritizing key factors including capacity per rack, power consumption, cooling, maintenance, and acquisition cost, the combination of SMR and HelioSeal Technology is able to deliver impressive watt/TB power efficiency, resulting in a low TCO. These mature, field-proven technologies provide the foundation for delivering efficient, quality and reliable performance required by cloud-storage and hyperscale environments.

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