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    • I am giving you a link to a company https://www.valhallamedics.com/ that provides such services. You can contact them and find out all the details. One thing I can say for sure is that this company employs professional doctors who will definitely provide any medical assistance.
    • Halo 3 is celebrating its 15-year anniversary today, September 25, 2022. Below, we take a look at how one of its marquee new features, the Forge, had a massive impact on how fans think about and engage with the beloved shooter series. A gigantic futuristic Jenga tower, a medieval castle with jeeps speeding through it, and a frying pan full of metal flapjacks. These maps are just a small sample of some of the most memorable and iconic Halo Forge creations that have been built by fans over the years. "As you can tell, Forge is extremely important to Halo," Forge YouTuber Andrew "Ducain23" Franklin told GameSpot. "It provides ways to play the game that have never been thought of before." Jenga, Medieval Rail and Flapjack Frenzy--the maps mentioned above--only scratch the surface of the lake of unique fan-created game modes created in Forge's 15-year lifespan. Modes that put players in a trash compactor or in a zombie-filled mountain showcase the variety of fish swimming in that lake. Halo Forge--originally a map editor that was meant to let players make minor tweaks to developer-created maps--has turned into something fantastic over the decade and a half. It's spawned a vibrant community of creators who have built thousands of maps, making Halo much more than an adventure about space marines or traditional competitive modes like King of the Hill. "Forge allowed for that possibility," Halo Forge writer Micah Bandy told GameSpot. "I remember all the fun minigames and maps people created with such basic tools, classics like Duck Hunt and Halo on Halo, modes that brought people together for a fun party-game-like experience." After launching with Halo 3 in 2007, Forge has been expanded upon by later releases like Reach and Halo 5. It's become a much deeper tool than fans, as well as Bungie, originally envisioned. The upcoming Halo Infinite Winter update should continue that trend by making Forge an even deeper toolset than ever before. "Forge as many people consider it, began as a straightforward tool in Halo 3 allowing players to make simple adjustments to maps," ForgeHub admin Nick Bird, who goes by Sir Iron Wolf in the Halo community, told GameSpot. "The simpleness of the editor did not stop people from finding glitches that allowed for more advanced techniques to develop." Fans expected much of what they knew from the first two entries in the Halo franchise: a memorable single-player campaign that followed the super-powered Master Chief and deeply engaging multiplayer that could be played until fingers grew numb. But both experiences had a limited shelf life and would grow old like they did with every shooter that had launched before 2007. Forge expanded the promise that came with both those modes that extended the life of each Halo game by years. Forge changed what it meant to play Halo. "I remember being astonished," Bird said. "I was still in school when Halo 3 was released and every day I would finish my homework and then hop on Halo with my friends till my parents told me to go to bed. Back then, you could only have 100 maps saved and I remember constantly running out of space. I ended up making other Xbox Live accounts just to save more maps I made or calling up a friend to hop on and save a map I was working on." What began as a simple tool that allowed creators to place blocks, crates, vehicles and weapons has blossomed into a canvas of minigames, original maps and experiences that can't be found outside Halo. It was a precursor to Overwatch Workshop, Grand Theft Auto Online custom games, and Fortnite Creative. It's become the reason players continue to invest time and energy into Halo long after standard multiplayer has grown stale. A beta version of Forge is coming to Halo Infinite on November 8 alongside a bigger update. This version of Forge will let players scale objects to whatever size they prefer, combine weapons to create new abilities, and give them a deeper base toolset. Some players have gotten early access to Infinite's Forge through the Co-Op Flight program. Even though the mode hasn't been ready for player-side testing, long-time veteran creators have been impressed by what's possible with the latest iteration of Forge. "It's a beta release, so I'm managing expectations, but I have good reason to have a positive outlook for the tool," Carson Barry, a creator who has been using Forge since Halo 3, told GameSpot. "Even the half-busted build that people accessed [...] is blowing previous titles' editors out of the water, for both performance and visuals." Halo 5's Forge mode included a rudimentary scripting system that let creators implement enemy AI and other features, but it was a "pain to work with," according to Barry, who's deeply experienced with scripting within Forge. Halo Infinite's scripting feature will be much deeper than its predecessor, making many of the features that were difficult to implement in Halo 5 seamless in Infinite. "The visual scripting provided by the node graph interface in Halo Infinite frees us from those issues, and makes drafting in-game much more user friendly," Barry said. Creators who have already jumped head-first into Infinite have been creating incredibly impressive maps. They've designed Mario Kart-like power ups, Andy's room from Toy Story, and much more. We won't see a fully-featured Forge on November 8 since it's only a beta release, but a stream of content should slowly improve the workshop mode over time. Halo Infinite may have launched in 2021, but if Halo 3's Forge is any indication, its best content is yet to come. "The art-studies, detailed remakes, and scripting R&D that people have been doing have been great to see, and that's with broken, incomplete, software," Berry said. The actual retail build, and the stability and infrastructure that come with it should only serve to take things to greater heights. It's all excellent proof-of-concept work and I can't wait to see these ideas get stitched together into actual gameplay designs. These guys are just getting started." View the full article
    • Help find doctors who can be on duty at a large gathering of people.   
    • Netflix has quietly been building its gaming section, and Oxenfree--a game centered around teenagers who accidentally open up a ghostly portal-- is the latest title to join the lineup. Oxenfree is a 2016 game by Night School Studio and its sequel Oxenfree II: Lost Signals is set to release sometime in 2022. In GameSpot's Oxenfree review, reviewer Alexa Ray Corriea praised the game for its unpredictable narrative and meaningful impact of different character choices. "Oxenfree is more than a ghost story with a Freaks and Geeks-like coating," Corriea said. "It's a tale of coping with loss, broken relationships, and the inflexibility with which teenagers deal with sudden change, all layered under an alarming paranormal encounter." Night School Studio is owned by Netflix now, so it's unsurprising the game is arriving on the app. Ostensibly, Oxenfree II will also be arriving in the service at some point in the future as well. Netflix's gaming section mostly offers mobile titles and boasts great titles like Into the Breach and Poinpy. Spiritfarer is another game getting added to Netflix soon, and so far, the selection of titles makes Netflix a worthy adversary of competitors like Apple Arcade. View the full article
    • Marvel comics has been making memorable and iconic characters since it first started printing comics more than 80 years ago. The publisher behind heroes like Spider-Man, Captain America, and the Fantastic Four is a household name, in part because of its steady stream of mega-blockbuster movies that all take place in a massive, interconnected world. The Marvel Cinematic Universe, or MCU, has made many of its characters mainstream in a way they never were before. The acquisition by Disney in 2009 only amplified its popularity and scope, as the entertainment mega-brand folds Marvel's heroes into its other iconic properties like Disney animation, Pixar, and Star Wars. Marvel has been lending its name out for video game adaptations for much longer, racking up an impressive list of classic games from long before everyone identified Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark. From beat-em-ups to fighters to puzzle games and pinball, Marvel heroes have appeared in just about every genre and type of video game. Here are 20 of the best Marvel games, spanning all the way from early arcade games to modern AAA productions. For even more on Marvel, check out our definitive ranking of all 38 MCU superheroes. And for more superheroic action, read our picks for the best superhero movies of all time. Captain America and the Avengers arcade (1991) Captain America and the Avengers One of the earliest of Marvel's beat-'em-ups brought together the Avengers long before they were a household name. The arcade game, later ported to Super NES and Genesis, featured Captain America, Iron Man, Hawkeye, and Vision as they battled against a range of villains like The Mandarin, Juggernaut, and Ultron, before finally confronting the arch-fascist Red Skull. One nice feature was how it paid homage to some lesser-known Marvel heroes with assist cameos from characters like Wonder Man and Namor. Spider-Man: The Video Game arcade (1991) Spider-Man: The Video GameWhile this beat-'em-up arcade game from Sega boasts Spider-Man as its marquee character, it's much more of a Spidey family game than you might expect. The four-player arcade let you select from the wallcrawler himself along with Black Cat, Sub-Mariner, and Hawkeye. This introduced some variety to their move sets, as Spidey and Black Cat were more melee-focused while Hawkeye and Sub-Mariner relied on ranged attacks. It even made use of Spider-Man's web-slinging ability, in a way, by letting him swing above the battlefield to close a gap or get out of a jam. X-Men arcade (1992) X-MenWho hasn't lost a few quarters (or dollars, or tens of dollars) to this arcade classic? This 1992 arcade game was a massive hit, and the deluxe version of the cabinet let you play with six characters at once across two screens. The roster included all of your favorite characters and also Dazzler for some reason, each using their own iconic power sets and screen-filling special abilities. In an era before pre-rendered cutscenes, this big beautiful sprite artwork was as cinematic as it got. The Punisher arcade (1993) The PunisherPerhaps the grimmest of Marvel's antiheroes, The Punisher is known for meting out brutal vengeance on anyone he judges as deserving. That made him a perfect candidate for a beat-'em-up arcade cabinet in 1993, when Sega put out this classic. You could play as Frank Castle, aka The Punisher, or '90s-era Nick Fury as the second player, as you punished street thugs and supercriminals alike. True to its comic roots this was an especially violent game, even by beat-'em-up standards, as Frank and Nick would often use firearms in the course of combat. Spider-Man and Venom: Maximum Carnage (1994) Spider-Man and Venom: Maximum CarnageAt the height of the '90s comics boom, readers couldn't get enough brooding heroes, which meant that some characters originally envisioned as villains made the jump to dark antihero. That was the case for Venom, a Spider-Man villain that became, essentially, a more badass version of Spidey himself. But they still needed someone to fight so the even darker character Carnage was born. Just two years later the storyline was adapted into this brawler that let you pick from the agile Spidey and the bruiser Venom to take on Carnage, along with other famous villains like Shriek and Demogoblin. Brawlers were a dime a dozen in the mid-90s but this one stood out thanks to its solid encounter design and timely comic references. Marvel vs Capcom (1996) Marvel vs CapcomAt the height of Capcom's fighting game domination came one of the best fighting series of all time, thanks to a mash-up of two very different franchises. Capcom combined the roster of comics royalty with its own well-known fighter characters, primarily from the wildly popular Street Fighter series. The result was a faster-paced game with wild screen-filling effects and a unique tag-team mechanic that added an extra layer of strategy. Though the first game in 1996 made the biggest mark, the series is best known for the stellar MvC2 in 2000. That game's expanded roster and refined mechanics made it a mainstay in the fighting circuit, and some fighter fans still swear by it to this day. Spider-Man 2 (2004) Spider-Man 2Spidey's web-swinging became such a mainstay in the many Spider-Man games Activision put out throughout the 2000s that it's easy to forget a time when it was novel. That arrival point was Spider-Man 2, the first game to actually make you feel like Spider-Man by letting you sling webs through a realistic (for the PS2) depiction of New York City. Later iterations of the character would improve on this aspect in almost every way, but the original earned a special place in our hearts by finally capturing the feeling of being Spider-Man. Hulk Ultimate Destruction (2005) Hulk: Ultimate DestructionVarious games have featured the Hulk, but this 2005 game was the first to understand that what we really wanted to do as Hulk was simple: smash. An open world design did wonders for the character, since it gave him an unprecedented level of freedom to wreck the place. You're a hero doing heroic things, sure, but your surroundings are going to get decimated in the process. Unlike Spider-Man 2, though, this game that absolutely nailed its title character never got a sequel, leading to several years of fans pining for more ultimate destruction. Marvel Ultimate Alliance (2006) Marvel Ultimate AllianceYears before the MCU started mashing together heroes like action figures, Marvel Ultimate Alliance let you play with all your favorite heroes to build your dream team comp. Marvel Ultimate Alliance and its sequel, MUA2, are remembered for their unique isometric gameplay featuring four characters at a time, letting you build a team and swap between favorites like Spider-Man, Wolverine, Daredevil, and Captain America on a dime. They even featured some more obscure characters, like Black Panther long before he became a household name thanks to the MCU film. Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3 was a Switch exclusive that got a good-not-great reception, but it still scratched the itch. Wolverine (2009) X-Men Origins: Wolverine - The Video GameThe Wolverine Origins movies were not great, but this game tie-in actually was. Raven Software took liberties with the movie script and combined it with comics lore to create a semi-original story for the hack-and-slash featuring everyone's favorite Canadian superhero. The marquee feature was a graphic depiction of Wolverine's mutant healing factor, which let you see the muscle and sinew rebuild itself after he got into a particularly ugly scrape. In effect it was just a flashy way to show auto-healing, but seeing it on Wolverine just made it so cool. Besides that, it was a decently fleshed-out game in general, with a full skill tree and good variety to the enemy encounters. Marvel Pinball (2010) Marvel PinballNot long ago, mega-successful franchises would get physical pinball tables manufactured and distributed to arcades and bars across the country. Pinball is more of a niche hobby now, but Zen Pinball has kept the trend going with a wide array of virtual pinball tables, which often tie into popular movies and TV shows. Marvel Pinball is a hub for these inventive table designs, starting with a few heroes like Spider-Man and Wolverine and eventually expanding with DLC to include comic arcs like World War Hulk and the Infinity Gauntlet. Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions (2010) Spider-Man: Shattered DimensionsActivision and Beenox produced a series of Spider-Man games to mixed results, but Shattered Dimensions had the creative hook of bringing together the Spider-Man multiverse. Rather than playing as a single iteration of Spidey, you got to web-sling as both the Amazing Spider-Man and Ultimate versions, along with 2099 and Spider-Man Noir. That gave it a nice variety of tones and scenarios that had been lacking from other Spider-Man games. If the pitch sounds familiar, that's because it went on to inspire the Spider-Verse comic books, which in turn were adapted into the hit movie, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. Marvel Puzzle Quest (2013) Marvel Puzzle QuestThe Puzzle Quest series had humble beginnings as a somewhat generic swords-and-sorcery epic, albeit with the clever hook of adding RPG mechanics to a match-3 game. It's spun off in several directions since then, but Marvel Puzzle Quest might be the most successful. The live service mobile game has continuously added new heroes and scenarios for players to tackle as they expand their roster of heroes, using the same tried-and-true match-3. While it's a free-to-play game, players agree it's a relatively generous one that allows you lots of play time without having to pay a cent. Lego Marvel Super Heroes (2013) Lego Marvel Super HeroesThe Lego series of games lends itself to properties with plenty of playable characters and lots of unique environments to explore, so of course Marvel was a perfect fit. Lego Marvel Super Heroes and its sequel both use the enormous roster of iconic Marvel characters to let you team up with Captain America, Star-Lord, Spider-Gwen, and more. Like many Lego games it sorts its roster of heroes into different skill sets for puzzle-solving and combat challenges, so you can revisit stages with newly unlocked characters to uncover hidden secrets. See on AmazonGuardians of the Galaxy: A Telltale Series (2017) Guardians of the Galaxy: A Telltale SeriesIn the waning days of Telltale, the developer was putting out games based on just about every pop culture property you could think of. Guardians of the Galaxy had grown in popularity thanks to two successful films, and the bickering squabbles of the Guardians made it a good match for Telltale's style of storytelling. As Peter you had to make some tough choices that might anger Rocket or Gamora, and it all led to a galaxy-saving conclusion that nevertheless presented you with one more difficult decision. Following the lead of James Gunn's musically reverent films, each episode was named after a famous classic rock song. See on AmazonMarvel's Spider-Man (2018) Marvel's Spider-ManInsomniac's take on the iconic wall-crawler followed years of middling games, and revitalized the hero for a new generation of consoles and gamers. The new Spider-Man took what was great about many of the classics like Spider-Man 2--namely the thrill of web-slinging your way across a realistic Manhattan--and added more fluid combat inspired by the Batman Arkham series and a filmic original story scaffolded by gorgeous cutscenes. This version of Spider-Man--recognizable by a suit unlike any of the character's hundreds of other incarnations--has earned his own place in Marvel lore. Insomniac's well-drawn Spidey universe will continue in Marvel's Spider-Man 2. See on AmazonIron Man VR (2020) Iron Man VRLots of video games are about living out your wildest power fantasies, but VR can take it to the next level by letting you actually feel like you're flying high above the clouds. That was the concept behind Iron Man VR, a PSVR exclusive that put you behind the helmet of one of Marvel's most iconic heroes. The game let you explore freely, and critics praised its naturalistic flying mechanics--no easy feat in a VR game. See on AmazonMarvel's Avengers (2020) Marvel's AvengersMarvel's Avengers has become known mostly for its divisive ongoing live service, as some players keep up with it regularly and others found it too exhausting to run the treadmill. Whatever you might feel about that aspect of the experience, the package as a whole is impressive. Crystal Dynamics made a full-fledged campaign starring relative newcomer superhero Kamala Khan, aka Ms. Marvel. This faithful adaptation of her comic book power set was a well-told superhero coming-of-age story and a great bit of Muslim representation to boot. The powers of the rest of the heroes are nicely differentiated, whether you prefer a bruiser like Hulk or a ranged attacker like Iron Man. This was a game that had an uphill battle to convince a skeptical public, and it pulled it off--mostly. See on AmazonSpider-Man: Miles Morales (2020) Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles MoralesInsomniac's Spider-Man teased the arrival of fan-favorite character Miles Morales, who is a friendly neighborhood Spider-Man of his own. This spin-off game helped usher in the PS5 by giving Miles his own adventure, but it was more than just a palette swap for Miles' slick black suit. Morales' Spider-Man got his own full-fledged story complete with his own set of villains, having to learn the ropes of being a Spidey and protect the city while Peter was out of town. It also takes place in winter time, giving the whole affair a nice seasonal effect. See on AmazonGuardians of the Galaxy (2021) Marvel's Guardians of the GalaxyAfter the mixed reception to Marvel's Avengers, expectations were tempered for Square Enix to produce another Marvel game. Similar to Avengers, Guardians of the Galaxy from Eidos-Montreal was its own Guardians universe, distinct from the MCU, and told an original story more inspired by the comic books. But this version of the Guardians actually had a stellar story with tons of heart, following the found family of space rejects as they grappled with a massive cult creeping its way across the cosmos. The combat had you squarely in the role of the group's leader, Peter Quill aka Star-Lord, as he commands the guardians and even gives pep talks. See at Amazon View the full article
    • Hot Drop is GameSpot's Apex Legends column, in which Jordan Ramée takes a closer look at Respawn's battle royale to provide additional insight into the game's evolution, as well as dive deeper into its episodic storytelling and characters. Man, I haven't written a Hot Drop in a hot minute. And for that, I apologize. Y'all deserve regular opportunities to get in the comments and tell me how absurd my many Apex Legends' theories are, or how I'm 100% correct in my prediction that the Apex Games are moving to the moon of Seer's home planet, Boreas, in Season 15. To make up for my absence, let's talk about something spicy, like Apex Legends Mobile lore. Apex Legends Mobile has been a tricky topic for Apex Legends lore hounds because it seemingly goes against a lot of the established history and storyline of Respawn's battle royale. In Apex Legends Mobile, the legends fight on the original versions of Kings Canyon and World's Edge, which makes little sense given how both have been regularly destroyed and rebuilt over the seasons in the console/PC game. Some folks originally theorized that Apex Legends Mobile may take place in the past, prior to the devastation that occurred on these maps in Apex Legends. But that can't be the case, given that the legends first traveled to World's Edge because Kings Canyon had been partially destroyed and needed to be rebuilt. And Loba, who was added to Apex Legends Mobile post-launch, coincided with the destruction of Skull Town and Thunderdome on Kings Canyon. Yet, if you play Apex Legends Mobile, both landmarks continue to stand. It certainly doesn't help that Apex Legends Mobile has exclusive legends--Fade and Rhapsody--which begs the question as to why they haven't factored into Apex Legends' story up to this point and continue to be left out of every subsequent Quest storyline, Twitter comic, and cinematic trailer. For all intents and purposes, Apex Legends Mobile and Apex Legends appear to be a part of completely different universes. Which, granted, could be the case, given that the Titanfall universe has a multiverse of realities thanks to Apex Legends. However, I think it's more fun to imagine that the two games do exist within the same universe. After all, why else would Apex Legends Mobile lead writer Mike Rosenthal tell me that his team and the Apex Legends writing team share their work with one another? "We share our work and seek feedback during every step of development," Rosenthal said. "This helps ensure our new characters fit well within the established Apex universe." If you're putting in the effort to make the lore and characters of two games work within the same space, I think it warrants trying to make the two of them fit within the same universe--even if the maps and characters seem to be implying the opposite. The best explanation for how the two games fit together is that Apex Legends Mobile's maps aren't real, and are instead virtual battlegrounds created as some sort of training field for the legends and would-be Apex Games participants. In a tweet, Apex Legends world director Eduardo Agostini writes, "Now that we've established old [point-of-interests] can be resurrected/rebuilt in this old IMC Simulation Dome somewhere in the Outlands, what past POIs do you think should make a comeback--especially for a mode like Gun Run?" The tweet is more a call for players to mention which of their favorite POIs that are no longer in Apex Legends should make a return in future limited-time modes, like the Beast of Prey Collection Event's Gun Run. It hasn't been confirmed to be an official lore tweet, it's more of an asking-for-feedback tweet. But I like the idea of considering this a lore tweet. We've already had several examples over the years of old POIs returning to Apex Legends for a limited time. We've even had entire maps that are no longer in the game come back, like the original Kings Canyon and World's Edge maps returning to Apex Legends during the Genesis Collection Event. In hindsight, it should have been impossible to play as Loba on the original Kings Canyon during the Genesis Collection Event, since she blew it up prior to that. But that's not an impossibility if the Syndicate has indeed orchestrated a virtual training ground for the legends, appropriating an old IMC Simulation Dome to resurrect long-gone POIs and maps. And then, on occasion, broadcasting these training sessions from that dome to the rest of the Outlands as official Apex Games matches, which are the ones we play during limited-time events. Such an explanation allows Apex Legends Mobile to better fit into the overall lore of Apex Legends because it recontextualizes what the mobile game is. Matches in the mobile game aren't out in the world on the real Kings Canyon and World's Edge--these matches are all being held in an IMC Simulation Dome. It's an entirely separate league of the battle royale bloodsport that exists within the Apex Legends universe, much like the NBA and EuroLeague are both professional basketball leagues, but they're entirely separate competitions. So when the likes of characters such as Loba and Crypto came to Apex Legends Mobile as new characters, they weren't doing so as brand-new competitors. They've been a part of the Apex Games that exist on the very real Kings Canyon, World's Edge, Olympus, and Storm Point. But they've only ever participated in the virtual league in a limited capacity, likely as a means of training for the real deal. Now they're in the virtual league in a more permanent capacity as official competitors. If Apex Legends Mobile and Apex Legends cover different leagues of the same bloodsport, it would also explain why Apex Legends Mobile has features like AI-controlled opponents that fill in sparse lobbies. It's the virtual league. Those entirely AI-composed squads you run into that are easy-as-heck to kill are opponents created by the simulation, almost like a virtual reality training program. It also explains why simulacrum characters like Revenant and Ash don't have boatloads to say about a character like Fade, who wears a simulacra suit. Or why an acclaimed DJ like Rhapsody hasn't stepped up to talk to Vantage about her terrible music choices. I don't think these characters participate in the same league, and, as such, they likely don't run into each other all that often. And it would explain why Fade and Rhapsody aren't in the cinematic trailers or Quest storylines for Apex Legends, as that's a whole different competition from the one they fight in. I'm sure that's what they strive for--Respawn can't call Fade and Rhapsody "mobile-first legends" in all the marketing material and then expect me to not think they won't be in the console/PC game one day--but for now, they're only good enough for the virtual competition. Both video games are the Apex Games, they're just different leagues of the Apex Games. And until Respawn actually steps up and explains how Apex Legends and Apex Legends Mobile are connected and exist within the same time and place, that's the reasoning I'm going with. But if you have a better theory, I'm all ears in the comment section below. View the full article
    • Few games are as influential to the modern gaming world as King's Field, From Software's 1994 PlayStation 1 dungeon crawler. Almost every game in From Software's catalog owes something to King's Field. The studio iterated on King's Field's dark fantasy setting, unrelenting difficulty, and hands-off storytelling until eventually spawning Demon's Souls and, most recently, Elden Ring. Without King's Field, there is no Armored Core, Sekiro, or any of the vast swathes of games from other studios inspired by From Software's now-prolific catalog. King's Field is also notable for bridging the gap between console and computer RPGs that existed in the early '90s. King's Field blended the real-time combat, free-roam first-person movement, and player-driven exploration of '90s PC dungeon crawlers like Ultima Underworld with the streamlined role-playing mechanics and minimalist storytelling of early console RPGs like Dragon Quest. The result is a wholly unique RPG unlike any game before it--or after it, for that matter. Yet, despite its importance, few people know of King's Field today, and even fewer have played it or its sequels and spin-offs. Part of the issue is availability. From Software rarely ports its older titles to new consoles outside of Japan, where some older From games have reappeared as PS1 classics on the PlayStation Store. However, none of the three King's Field titles released in North America have ever been ported to newer consoles, and only two of its spin-offs are currently available on the US PlayStation storefronts: Eternal Ring on PS4 and PS5 and Shadow Tower on PS3 and Vita. Fans routinely ask the studio to port or remaster King's Field and its other classic dungeon crawlers, but From Soft president Hidetaka Miyazaki is openly hesitant to touch the series without King's Field's original producer, Naotoshi Zin. King's FieldPlayability is also an obstacle. Products of their time, the King's Field series and its spin-offs feature graphical styles and control schemes that modern players would consider "clunky" at best, and few who brave these brutally tough adventures make it very far in the first place. "My first impression of the original King's Field (US) was probably similar to that of every other new player: 'This controls terribly and it is aesthetically offensive,'" says independent game designer Michael Alexander Tröls of his first exposure to the game in 2014. Despite his first impressions, Tröls pushed through those opening hours and, like many other players, discovered a hidden PS1 gem. He moved on to the other King's Field titles and spin-offs and eventually sought more exploration-focused dungeon crawlers on console, but there were few beyond From Software's output. The closest things were the PC games that influenced King's Field like Ultima Underworld, Arx Fatalis, and Eye of the Beholder--but those RPGs are very different from the streamlined and atmospheric style of From Software's output. So, inspired by what he calls a "severe lack of options," Tröls decided to fill the gap with his own King's Field-inspired RPG, Monomyth, which launches in Fall 2022. MonomythMonomyth is just one of several "King's Field-likes" cropping up recently. These games aim to capture the feeling of From Software's classic dungeon crawlers while modernizing aspects of the experience. Monomyth, for example, features more flexible gameplay systems than From Software's now-archaic dungeon crawlers. "King's Field is an impressive game in terms of scale, but the feature set is relatively straightforward," says Tröls, alluding to the King's Field series' emphasis on player growth through world exploration rather than grinding experience or skill points. While that makes exploration highly rewarding in King's Field, it's also a comparatively limited RPG experience--something Tröls aims to change in Monomyth. While Monomyth still features the crisscrossing metroidvania level design of its spiritual progenitors, players have more agency in Monomyth's world through "immersive micro features," as Tröls calls them. These include small touches like "baking bread, fishing, [and] playing instruments," to "more involved systems like different ways to deal with locked doors, or the fire of a torch interacting with different elements in the game world," which allow for more open-ended problem-solving and player expression than one would find in King's Field. So far, the formula has paid off. "People have actually responded surprisingly well to what I believe is the minimization of comfortability features in favor of immersion," Tröls says about Monomyth's early demo feedback. "I believe that people are more than ready to accept 'unconventional' or 'old-school' design if only they can provide a certain level of immersion." King's Field's unconventional design and old-school pacing were also primary inspirations for Devil Spire, a challenging roguelike dungeon crawler with a retro 3D aesthetic. "I noticed that the industry offered very little of what I wanted to play: an immersive, procedurally generated first-person dungeon crawling adventure in a dark and cryptic world, and that's what I set out to make," says the game's lead developer, Ithiro Sumi. Despite the overt Demon's Souls homages in the game's key art and logo, Devil Spire is Sumi's attempt to recapture the feeling he had playing King's Field on PlayStation 1 as a child. "I had never felt anything like that for any game since then, so I set out to recreate it," he says. "I wanted to bring that unique experience of conquering a world that's dangerous and mysterious, yet oddly alluring and comforting in its melancholy, to the modern times." Devil SpireUsing a mix of lo-fi 2D character sprites and blocky 3D environments, Devil Spire looks and feels like a PS1-era game (in a good way). But instead of meticulously designed levels, Sumi opted for procedurally generated dungeons. "I have a great admiration for procedural generation, and the kind of experience roguelite games can give you, and I really felt like the two could be combined to bring what I held in my heart to life." Sumi wasn't the only one seeking that same experience; Devil Spire launched on Steam in February and has earned a "Very Positive" average rating from user reviews. Like Monomyth, players are responding well to Devil Spire's old-school approach. This raises the question: if there's such a demand for King's Field-like games, why did it take so long for them to show up? "I don't think there was a lot of appetite for 'King's Field-likes' until fairly recently because most people didn't know about these games," says indie developer and YouTube creator AesirAesthetics. He attributes King's Field's recent revival to YouTube and Twitch creators finally giving these games a fair reappraisal. "As more and more people start diving into those games for content, the barrier to entry keeps getting lower and lower." Like many recent King's Field converts, Aesir was a fan of Demon's Souls and Dark Souls long before experiencing King's Field. He only checked out the game at the request of his viewers, and his first impression was less than ideal. "Initially I thought the first King's Field was absolute dog****, but I kept playing, and when it finally clicked, I fell in love with the thing." Naturally, Aesir's experience with King's Field and From Software's other dungeon crawlers impacted his own indie development projects, most notably Snail!, which blends the obtuse gameplay of From Software's games into a top-down action-adventure reminiscent of Nintendo's 2D Zelda titles. Snail!But even though Snail might not be a King's Field-style dungeon crawler, From Soft's design philosophy nevertheless influenced its creation. "There's a lot of experimentation in those games which in hindsight you would never think to do today [...] because no one experiments like this outside of the indie scene," he says. "I don't really make hard games, but this idea of not trying to please everyone has drastically changed up my approach to designing games." Every developer I spoke to echoed Aesir's sentiment. They feel From Software's recent games lack a certain "jank" or experimental edge compared to King's Field--or even Demon's and Dark Souls. You won't find inscrutable features like Demon's Souls' World Tendency in Elden Ring, for example. And for some developers, restoring a sense of mystery to the genre is a major motivation behind their games. "I miss the slower pace and sense of lower-budget indie strangeness the older [From Software] games could have," says Kira, a game developer and musician well known in the indie horror scene thanks to games like Lost in Vivo and Uktena 64. Their newest project, Lunacid, is an RPG inspired by King's Field, as well as From Software's other forgotten dungeon crawler gems, Shadow Tower and Shadow Tower Abyss. The Shadow Tower duology are first-person dungeon crawlers like King's Field, but with polarizing gameplay mechanics like aggressive weapon and armor durability, unorthodox leveling systems, and stringent in-game economies. These games are much harder than anything From Software tried in the King's Field series, and their settings are even stranger. The first Shadow Tower is more akin to a gritty, medieval survival-horror game than a fantasy RPG--though quirky characters like a talking mole and a grumpy dwarf show up throughout the dungeon to alleviate the tension. And Shadow Tower Abyss takes place in a subterranean alien megastructure where you fight giant bugs, trolls, and eldritch horrors using swords, magic, and… machine guns. While few mainstream games would ever feature such risky ideas, indie developers like Kira are inspired by them. The inspiration is most evident in Lunacid’s setting: a giant well that stretches deep underground, where criminals and exiles try to survive amid gloomy ruins teeming with monsters and demons. LunacidHowever, making a game like Shadow Tower or King's Field was not necessarily Kira's original vision for Lunacid. "For a long while, I've wanted to make something akin to a first-person Castlevania. I wasn't aware of the King's Field or Shadow Tower series until after starting to work on Lunacid," they say. "[But] once I started playing them, I realized that those were very much what I wanted all along. They became a great source of inspiration for Lunacid." Of course, not everything about those old From Software games made it into Lunacid's design. "I made a conscious effort to try and modernize the gameplay somewhat, and while I really like the circle strafe and flow of older From Soft combat, I feel that some modern players don't have the patience for it." Other elements, such as the movement, inventory, and fast-travel systems, are also more approachable by today's standards than those found in King's Field or Shadow Tower. Kira is careful not to overdo it with these modernizations since part of their goal is to preserve the King's Field "vibe" they and many others are after. "I was first worried about it being too fast or too modern," they admit, though its cult following on Steam and Discord and active community wiki make it clear something is working--and serve as additional evidence that players are ready for more games like King's Field, even if they’ve never played the original game. Dread Delusion"King's Field has become a sort of mythological game; everyone seems to know of it and want to talk about it, but few people have actually played it," says James Wragg, lead developer on the upcoming retro-3D RPG, Dread Delusion. "In some ways, that's really in keeping with the game's strangeness and esotericism; it's a legend whispered in hushed tones, though few have experienced it firsthand." Dread Delusion is a strange and esoteric game in its own right, set in a world where humans live on floating islands populated by clockwork automatons, undead creatures, and dead gods. There are warring factions to join, heaps of side quests to undertake, and lore-filled books to pore over. It's an ambitious game, with a scope closer to Bethesda's classic RPGs like Morrowind or Daggerfall--which Wragg openly cites as other major inspirations for Dread Delusion's setting--than From Software's older titles. Yet it is King's Field's "presence of real danger and mystery" that inspires Wragg most. "There's a certain school of mainstream game design that seeks to streamline the experience of play; to remove any genuine danger or mystery, so that every player is guaranteed to unlock all the content they paid for," he says, noting that "King's Field eschews this style of game design. If you play any of those games, you will experience fear, confusion, horror, failure. There are secrets hidden away that few players will ever experience. But more than that, a player who perseveres will have told a genuine story through their [in-game] actions." To be fair, all of From Soft's Soulsborne titles and many of the Souls-like games they inspire provide player-authored experiences like Wragg describes. However, there's clearly something special about King's Fields' slower, meditative pacing that many players and developers alike are seeking, but few AAA RPGs provide. Wragg sees this moment as the beginning of an indie-led renaissance of obtuse and experimental dungeon crawlers that can pick up where games like King's Field left off and finally bring these experiences to modern players. "Indie devs now have the tools and know-how to make fully 3D RPGs and release them to an engaged audience, while big budget RPGs are stagnating," he says "As devs we can take inspiration from the past, both with mechanics and aesthetics while innovating and experimenting in our own way. It's really exciting." View the full article
    • I love playing call of duty. Recently I purchased my new pc and wireless gaming headset to fulfil my craziness about this game.
    • Move over, AMVs--The Sims music videos are what's hot right now and Orange County ska band Half Past Two is out to prove it. Earlier today, the ska ensemble released their music video for "Curtain Call," which was shot entirely in The Sims 3. The music video kicks off with a sim version of the band's lead singer, Tara Hahn, riding her bicycle before kicking into the upbeat, pop-punk track. What ensues is a whole lot of Sim-ly hijinks involving trampolines, bull-riding, and the game's infamous Dance Sphere. Much like any other music video, this endeavor featured a director: Rae Mystic. While Mystic has shot plenty of music videos using more traditional methods (including some of Half Past Two's previous videos), filming one entirely in The Sims 3 was a new and exciting challenge for them. "I’ve been playing The Sims since the first generation of it and I’ve always wanted to make a Sims music video, since I was a kid," Mystic said in a press release. "I posted on Twitter expressing my wish and Half Past Two was the first band to jump on." "When Rae threw out the idea of creating an entire music video in The Sims, I DMed them back immediately to let them know we were in," guitarist Max Beckman added. "I completely trust Rae’s artistic vision and knew they would deliver a creative, entertaining video, despite never having worked in the medium previously. I also got to breathe a sigh of relief not having to plan a video shoot around eight members for once!" However, while not having to coordinate eight people might have been a welcome change of pace, Mystic added that there were still a lot of processes involved--and getting the members' corresponding sims to do exactly what they wanted wasn't always simple. Ultimately, the project took Mystic about 13 hours to complete. "I shot the music video like any other: I built a set in-game, customized the lighting, and, of course, made sure that I made avatars for everyone in the band. Creating and 'filming' took about 13 hours, not including the editing. It was challenging to force Sims to do what I wanted them to do with the loose story board I had written down. Tara riding the bike in the beginning was planned, Mark riding the bull was not planned but seemed fun to throw in!" View the full article
    • League of Legends: Wild Rift was released in October 2020 and has already amassed more than 20 million average monthly players. Wild Rift takes many favorites from League of Legends proper such as Ahri, Senna, Lucian, Vi, Jinx, and Caitlyn to name a few, and lets players use them in mobile team matches. If you're unfamiliar, Wild Rift works from the core League of Legends as a pivotal foundation but employs mechanics, game length, and even character choices differently from the PC game. The characters, however, do stay true to their PC counterparts mechanically and aesthetically. Wild Rift matches are about 15 minutes long in comparison to League of Legends' typical 45 minutes. Wild Rift is basically an expedited version of playing League of Legends on your phone, but flourishes in its own right, grabbing players from all over with the ease of playing with mobile. GameSpot recently sat in on a roundtable discussion of Wild Rift’s newest patch, 3.14: Power Spike. This patch adds new items, characters, and balance changes to the Wild Rift roster and it's available now. If you want to check out exact balance changes, and specific stats buffs/nerfs to characters, you can check out the Champion Changes for Wild Rift 3.4 that goes into detail on all of your number needs. You can go here for the patch notes but below you can learn about what's new and on the horizon for Wild Rift from the developers directly. New Champions The additions to Wild Rift’s roster will be added over time with patch 3.14: Power Spike. Gwen, the Hallowed Seamstress, and Yone the Forgotten made their debut in Wild Rift on September 15 and September 22 respectively. “2022 is going to have a lot of edgelords,” David Xu, product manager on Wild Rift, quipped about the upcoming character releases of Gwen, Yone, Vex, and Warwick. The newest Wild Rift characters released for September are Gwen and Yone.Gwen brings her fabled Hallowed Mist with her iconic scissors in hand and is able to burst down enemies. Yone brings his dual swords, and his spirited mechanics of slashing enemies with elegance, grace, and swift death. “2022 is very much going to be focused on bringing some of what we believe are some of our heavy hitters--the heavily requested Champions,” Xu said. “In 2023, this is when we'll start to bring in some more niche Champions. Champions that are more filling specific thematics or specific gameplay [mechanics] that we’re looking for. Expect to see some of the other treasure trove of Champions from League of Legends PC in subsequent milestones.” Gameplay Changes Outside of the Power Spike update, Wild Rift also received its first considerable map update with Elemental Rift. “We made huge changes to the objective system as well as the map changing throughout the game.” The Infernal, Mountain, Elder, and Ocean Dragons of Elemental Rift join with ferocity.Wild Rift itself has different issues and priorities to tackle in contrast with League of Legends PC such as the pinging system. There is less functionality on a mobile platform to be communicative with teammates in relation to League of Legends on PC, the developers said. "For Wild Rift, oftentimes, there are unique challenges and differences for our game that are specific for Wild Rift compared to League. We really wanted to tune [the] Elemental Rift to help players get better agency over their games, and feel better overall when it comes to pacing and how much game stress there was,” Adnan Mirza, gameplay producer for Wild Rift, said. One example offered by Mirza is that communication is generally more difficult between players on mobile devices as the audience doesn't really like to speak or use headsets. Sometimes this means changing things that are working in League of Legends to fit better on mobile. “Whenever [players] would see any content, even if it’s from League PC, we’re always thinking about how it would best fit Wild Rift. [For example], we've tuned out some of the complexities in the game and some of the decision points because that was causing a lot of fatigue for our players.” In-game communication in team-based games can be arduous on a mobile platform, but this Wild Rift update will have new ping system options. These new options do not replace the default ones, but are extra preferences. “Improving communication’s going to always be a big [aspect] for us,” Mirza said. New Items Similar to League of Legends PC, Wild Rift's latest update will also add additional items to the game. New item releases can aid in providing improved benefits to players that previous items could not contend with. Sometimes specific roles need to be given more options of items to equip, so they can be in a better state for the match or the game on the whole. “We wanted to make the gameplay experience better for supports. We made a lot of balance changes in those spaces to add new Enchants, tune some parts of the game, and now add support items. The supports now have a better ability to control their own experience, and have more agency, Mirza said.” Player feedback is always given to developers for MOBAs such as Wild Rift, and the team at Riot wants to take into account the feedback or qualms players may find themselves in while playing Wild Rift. “We’ve been seeing [increased] success with either player feedback [and] the other different metrics we have,” Mirza stated. A prime example is feedback from players having a tougher time using supports in-game in compared to other roles. The developers would like to bring future Wild Rift content that is not solely from, or has prior foundational elements, from League of Legends PC. Skins Skins have been a mainstay with League of Legends PC for years. They are meticulously, extravagantly, and wonderfully crafted themes or aesthetic modifications for already-released Champions. Some of the skins released in the Power Spike update are Space Groove Gwen, Crystal Rose Yone, Bewitching Vex, and Superhero Jayce. Wild Rift's newest skins are Space Grove Gwen and Crystal Rose Yone.“We still want to keep releasing fan-favorite skins from PC that people really liked, and making sure that players of Wild Rift have the opportunity to choose something that really resonates with them or speaks to them in a particular way,” Jared Berbach, the game director for Wild Rift, said. Like the other developers of Wild Rift have stated, Berbach is also looking forward to future releases in 2023, “Our story is really about, how can we make things that feel more uniquely Wild Rift and are potentially even exclusive to Wild Rift? Just kind of a treat for our player base that we want them to enjoy.” Berbach said, “We have a lot of players that choose to stick with us [exclusively] on Wild Rift, and we want to reward that investment with our time with really cool, new thematics they can enjoy.” History and Diversity League of Legends, and Wild Rift in particular, are played by players from all over, with many different groups of color, marginalized identities, and ethnoreligious backgrounds. In the past, Riot Games has had explicit problems in its release of characters, where there is a prevalent whitewashing of ethnicities from characters of color such as Lucian. The company has even had white characters receive very Orientalist aesthetics, tropes, or skins over the years with Lunar reveals, for example. When asked, if they induce more forethought, when creating skins for Wild Rift, Berbach said, “We know that to reach global audiences, we need to be able to represent all of those underrepresented groups.” Riot has established RIGs (Riot Interest Groups) with the idea of bringing together groups of people to represent people of underrepresented identities. "They are always part of a process that we use in [the] creation of Champs and skins. For example, when we created Lucian, we had a very extensive process between the game team and that RIG to specifically support them, their thoughts about how we could authentically bring that character in, and avoid a lot of the tropes that [Veerender Singh Jubbal] is describing,” Berbach said. Mirza chimed in from a personal standpoint, “I worked on a lot of the gameplay and have less direct involvement with the art, but I do see the conversations and the feedback. I am also South Asian, and know that colorism occurs, sometimes, and am reminded of pretty prominent marketing slogans in Urdu like ‘Of Gora hoga’. They will be light-skinned or fair-skinned now. Something I am pretty well aware of, and from my perspective it’s never felt really intentional at all from [Riot Games]." When moving across mediums within a company, concerns or problems can arise solely from the switch of different teams or developers in the creation process. An immense amount of creative effort goes into the concept art of a character all throughout until it is playable to the public. Errors such as authenticity may not be translated completely into the entire process. “Sometimes I think there’s been a loss from a translation aspect when you go from one medium to another either in-game or 2D art. Sometimes these things don’t quite line up, but the team tries very hard to get ahead of these [aspects], and when you mess up--you try really hard to fix it." Mirza said. "I do have the sense of sensitivity from my sense because of the culture I am from. We never claim to be perfect, but we try really hard and try to listen to feedback [to] make changes when these different arts don’t quite line up with what they are supposed to be.” View the full article
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