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  • Recent Status Updates

  • Recent Posts

    • The remake of Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII that was announced last month won't just see the game's visuals upgraded, but also its gameplay. One aspect of the Final Fantasy VII prequel that will remain intact though is its unique Digital Mind Wave combat system, which was one of the more well-regarded parts of the PSP game when it first released. Functioning as a slot machine-like gameplay mechanic, the DMW would automatically spin once Zack Fair had earned enough Soldier Points by defeating enemies. If luck was on your side, you'd line up the same three images and unleash the appropriate Limit Break attack on enemies. Other bonuses included Zack being healed, his Materia being powered up, and his stats increasing tremendously if the reels all showed a lucky seven image. The Final Fantasy VII account had tweeted this week that Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII Reunion will feature a new menu-based battle system, leading some fans to believe that the DMW system had been done away with. In a follow-up tweet, the Final Fantasy VII account clarified that DMW is still in the game, and appears to be unchanged. Other changes coming to the game include improved camera and character movements, an optimized UI, new background music arrangements by Takeharu Ishimoto, and full voice-acting throughout the prequel. In case you missed it, the Final Fantasy VII 25th Anniversary Celebration livestream also revealed a closed beta test for mobile RPG FFVII Ever Crisis, the first trailer for Final Fantasy VII: Rebirth, and confirmation that the Final Fantasy VII remake project will be a trilogy. While you'll have to wait until next year's winter season to play Final Fantasy VII: Rebirth, Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII Reunion will launch this winter on Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, PS5, PS4, Switch, and PC. View the full article
    • The first major content update for Diablo Immortal is right around the corner, bringing with it a new battle pass, Helliquary raid boss, and the game's first limited-time event. Blizzard has detailed what's next for mobile-first, free-to-play ARPG in a new blog post that, in addition to outlining some of the new content coming to Diablo Immortal in the near future as part of season two, attempts to address player concerns over in-game bugs and bot accounts. It does not, however, announce any changes in regards to the game's controversial microtransactions, which has been the primary topic surrounding the game since its early June launch. Diablo Immortal season two will kick off July 7 at 3 a.m. server time. That's when the game's season two battle pass will go live, which introduces new cosmetics and also includes various crafting materials players may find useful. There is a free battle pass reward track, as well as a paid "Empowered" reward track that can be further upgraded with the purchase of a "Collector's Empowered battle pass." A new raid boss, Vitaath the Shivering Death, will also be available, though the high combat rating requirement for the boss means many players will likely be unable to challenge her anytime soon. Season two will also see the launch of Diablo Immortal's first limited-time event--the Hungering Moon. From July 15-18, players will be able to earn a new item called Moonslivers which can be exchanged for Blessings. After acquiring seven Blessings, players can trade them in for random rewards. The season two update also brings balance changes to the Wizard and Monk and addresses various bugs. In regards to the game's bot problem, Blizzard is encouraging players to use in-game reporting tools to flag potential bot accounts. Blizzard teases there will be at least one more major update coming later in July. That update will add additional content as well as the previously announced Class Change feature, which will allow players to essentially convert their current character into another class without having to start over from scratch. Despite Blizzard's blog post offering the first real news in regards to Diablo Immortal's post-launch plans, it makes no mention of having heard player feedback in regards to Diablo Immortal's heavily criticized microtransactions and pay-to-win mechanics, which have upset many in the Diablo community. Anger over how the game is monetized has resulted in the PC version of Diablo Immortal earning the unfortunate distinction of having the lowest user rating score on Metacritic of all time. In GameSpot's Diablo Immortal review, we said the game is a "surprisingly premium-feeling adventure, even if its endgame starts to depend on microtransactions too heavily." In the wake of the pay-to-win conversation surrounding Diablo Immortal, Blizzard has clarified that while Diablo IV will have an in-game shop that will sell cosmetics, players will not be able to become more powerful by spending real money. View the full article
    • Following the Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade, a number of Activision Blizzard employees are concerned about what the news could mean for women and LGBTQ+ workers. As such, the Activision Blizzard King Workers Alliance has scheduled a walkout for July 21 to demand "protections of ABK employees from external threats like the recent overturn of Roe V. Wade, and internal threats such as retaliation and harassment while in the workplace." In the series of tweets announcing the walkout, the ABK Workers Alliance states that the company's current healthcare policies do not "adequately protect" its workers. At the present, Activision Blizzard reportedly offers up to $4,000 reimbursements for out-of-state medical care, but leaves employees open to legal prosecution. The Alliance demands include ensuring that workers can "safely, affordably, and legally maintain access to life saving procedures like abortions and trans-affirming healthcare." Additionally, the ABK Workers Alliance is demanding protection from internal retaliation following claims of harassment and intimidation by the company. "While 'retaliation' is prohibited on paper, the company has been actively engaged in union busting for a year now, and employees have been harassed and intimidated for organizing," Alliance members wrote. The protesting workers are therefore demanding that Activision Blizzard "begin and maintain dialogue with the members of the Committee Against Sex and Gender Discrimination, and legally commit to neutrality in our workers' attempts to organize." In the past year, the ABK Workers Alliance has called for multiple walkouts to protest the company's history of discrimination and unethical labor conditions. According to the Alliance, the organization has attempted to work directly with Activision Blizzard management to address "issues of this nature," but has repeatedly had its concerns dismissed. The Alliance says that demonstrations have been proven to be "the most effective solution" to getting the company to address employee demands. GameSpot has reached out to Activision Blizzard for a comment on the walkout, but has yet to receive a response. View the full article
    • The smattering of streams showcasing announcements and upcoming titles continues with Nacon Connect. Nacon publishes video games and develops gaming accessories. Most prominently, the showcase will release new footage and/or information about The Lord of the Rings: Gollum and Test Drive Unlimited: Solar Crown. Let’s take a look at the details below. When is Nacon Connect? The presentation will premiere on Thursday, July 7 at 10 AM PDT / 1 PM EDT / 6 PM BST. Other regional times are listed below. Nacon Connect start times on Thursday, July 7 10 AM PT 12 PM CT 1 PM ET 6 PM BST 2 AM JST (Friday, July 8) 3 AM AEST (Friday, July 8) How long is Nacon Connect? Nacon has released no details as to the length of the event. How to watch Nacon Connect You can find the presentation on Nacon’s official YouTube and Twitch channels. What to expect at Nacon Connect Nacon announced that there will be five exclusive reveals at the event, as well as showcasing 12 previously announced games. Some gaming accessories will also be shown, including the Daija arcade stick, the Pro Compact Colorlight, and Rig, which is Nacon’s headset brand. The confirmed games at the event are listed below in alphabetical order: Ad Infinitum Blood Bowl III Chef Life Clash: Artifacts of Chaos Hell is Us The Lord of the Rings: Gollum Robocop: Rogue City Session Steel Rising Test Drive Unlimited: Solar Crown War Hospital WRC Generations View the full article
    • Apex Legends developer Respawn Entertainment has released a series of in-game cosmetic items representing five of the 40 professional esports teams that will compete in this year's Apex Legends Global Series tournament. The tournament kicks off tomorrow, and players can now rep their favorite teams via the cosmetics in the ALGS Team Shop. The cosmetics were released alongside yesterday's surprise Summer Sundown Flash Event, and can be found under the "featured" section of the in-game store. The ALGS teams receiving themed cosmetics are TSM, 100 Thieves, Crazy Raccoon, Cloud9, and NRG. The ALGS Team Shop contains one cosmetic bundle and one team-themed banner frame for each of the five competitors. All banner frames are universal and can be used with any Legend. The announcement did not detail why these five teams were given special cosmetic items for sale. They are among the most popular and favored teams in the tournament, which could have played a part. ALGS team cosmetic bundlesThe ALGS Team Shop currently has the following items for sale: TSM TSM '22 banner frame (Epic) - 500 AC TSM Bundle - 1,500 AC The TSM Bundle contains the Clocktane Octane skin (Legendary), the Bronze Age R-301 skin (Epic), and the TSM '22 universal banner frame. 100 Thieves 100 Thieves '22 banner frame (Epic) - 500 AC 100 Thieves Bundle - 1,500AC The 100 Thieves Bundle includes the Burgundy Knight Pathfinder skin (Legendary), the Rune Breaker Havoc skin (Epic), and the 100 Thieves '22 banner frame Crazy Raccoon Crazy Raccoon '22 banner frame (Epic) - 500 AC Crazy Racoon Bundle - 2,150 AC The Crazy Racoon Bundle contains the Dangerous Game Bloodhound skin (Legendary), the Lethal Injection G7 Scout skin (Epic), and the Crazy Raccoon '22 banner frame. Cloud9 Cloud9 '22 banner frame (Epic) - 500 AC Cloud9 Bundle - 2,150 AC The Cloud9 Bundle contains the Snake Charmer Mirage skin (Epic), the Dangerous Game R-99 skin (Legendary), and the Cloud9 '22 banner frame. NRG NRG '22 banner frame (Epic) - 500 AC NRG Bundle - 2,150 AC The NRG Bundle contains the Gold Standard Rampart skin (Epic), the Dragon Chaser Rampage skin (Legendary), and the NRG '22 banner frame. ALGS team banner framesIt is worth noting that the only official pro team cosmetics are the banner frames themselves--the cosmetic skins are not ALGS-exclusive and have been made available in the past via battle passes, Prime Gaming drops, or previous sales in the game's store. Players who are solely interested in team-themed gear may wish to only purchase banner frames, but anyone interested in cosmetic skins will want to take a peek at the bundles. The 2022 ALGS Championship will take place from July 7-10 in Raleigh, North Carolina. For more information on the teams taking part in the tournament, check out the official ALGS schedule. View the full article
    • The Division Resurgence is a new mobile game based in the universe of The Division coming soon to iOS and Android devices. Like its console and PC counterparts, it will be a co-op third-person-shooter RPG with a separate story that will be canonical to the larger universe. Alongside the new story, the mobile game also features different classes, new gear and weapons, and new characters. Resurgence takes place in New York City and according to the press release will offer "a unique perspective on key story events that have taken place in The Division and The Division 2" with players taking on the role of first-wave agents. The original Division takes place in Manhattan while the sequel takes place in Washington DC. Ubisoft is referring to the game as open-world and says players will be able to roam freely around the urban environment and will feature both story missions and world activities for cooperative agents to complete. Ubisoft says the game can also be played alone. The Division Resurgence Gallery Similar to the console and PC games, players will be able to customize and upgrade their Division agent. You will also be able to unlock specializations with unique signature weapons and gadgets that can be changed any time with the goal of letting players develop good cooperative synergies. Ubisoft does not yet have a release date for The Division Resurgence, but you can opt to participate in upcoming tests (the press release for the game poitedly does not call it a beta) for the game by visiting the official website. GameSpot gave the original game an 8/10 in its The Division review. In its The Division 2 review, GameSpot gave the sequel a 9/10. View the full article
    • Justin Bieber is premiering a new song in Garena Free Fire, as part of the game's fifth anniversary celebrations. On August 27, Garena Players will be able to attend a virtual concert, where they can dance to the song with emotes, play minigames, and even perform on stage with Justin Bieber’s avatar -- though what exactly that means is unclear. In the press release, Justin Bieber himself commented, “This collaboration with Free Fire has allowed us to explore various dimensions in which we can integrate my music with games and I can’t wait for everyone to enjoy what we have worked hard on behind the scenes.” The statement implies that perhaps future collaborations or similar events are to come. This is the first in-game performance in Garena Free Fire. Under the theme “Reunite the World,” the fifth anniversary promises fan favorite themed contests, rewards and giveaways, and more collaborations and events both within and outside the game. More details of what exactly the fifth anniversary event entails will come closer to the date. Justin Bieber’s virtual performance in Free Fire is the latest is a series of collaborations between major music stars and live service games. Most famously Fortnite’s in-games concerts have showcased virtual performances of Ariana Grande, Travis Scott, and BTS. Roblox also collaborated with Lil Nas X and Twenty One Pilots. Free Fire’s collaboration is far from a new phenomenon, but it is a sign of the growing popularity of these kinds of crossovers. View the full article
    • The Matrix Awakens is set to be delisted from the PlayStation and Xbox storefronts later this week, July 9. Epic Games announced the news on the demo's official site, writing, "Not explored The Matrix Awakens: An Unreal Engine 5 Experience yet? There's still time! The UE5 tech demo will only be available in stores until July 9. Download it before that date and you'll still be able to access the demo going forward - or re-download it if you've deleted it from your console." It should be noted that the demo is only available via PS5 and Xbox Series X|S, so once it's gone from both platform's storefronts it's gone for good. Why Epic Games has decided to remove the tech demo from the digital storefronts isn't clear, but as with many issues in the gaming world it could potentially be a licensing reason. The tech demo was revealed and released during The Game Awards 2021, which was designed to show off the power of the engine and the "future of interactive storytelling." Matrix co-creator Lana Wachowski carried out writing on the experience, with Keanu Reeves and Carrie-Anne Moss starring in it. In the demo, you play as a human resistance fighter taking part in a high-speed chase while being pursued by Agents. Following this sequence, you can then explore the environments, being able to switch between first and third-person perspectives and change effects like lighting. GameSpot was able to chat with some of the team at Epic about the project last year, going into detail about some of the ideas behind the demo. View the full article
    • Lo and behold, we're back at it again with another day of Wordle. Today is July 6 and our word today is an interesting one. It nearly got me, forcing me to exhaust just about every possible letter and guess I had in my arsenal to get there. But at last, I finally got there and now I come down the hill with good tidings for you all: You too can get today's word, even if it may prove a smidge deceptive. Have you tried today's Wordle? The answer in question today is a strange word, if only because we all know it but it's kind of a wonder how often any of us actually use it. What I will say (ahead of the hints obviously) is that the word is cute. Or at least, it's a word often used in relation to cute things. It's a word that has often been the root of nicknames that soften the image of certain characters. With that in mind, it's nearly time for you all to start firing off guesses. Before you do though, why not consult our handy guide of the best starting words to use in Wordle? It's absolutely filled to the brim with words that are bound to give you a leg up if you're trying to get the answer in as few guesses as possible. Today's Wordle Answer - July 6, 2022 The answer you're looking for is waiting at the very bottom of this article, so in the meantime, here are some hints I've prepared for you all that should tease out what today's word is. You know, in case you decide you want to take on today's puzzle on your own. Hint 1: If a news piece is considered unimportant or cutesy, it may be called today's Wordle. Hint 2: Similarly, extra details in a game (like a lot of realistic textures in the environment) could be called today's answer. Sometimes this is referred to as padding, but a softer way to say it would be our word of the day. Have you gotten today's Wordle yet? No worries, I've always got your back. Today's Wordle is…fluff. You can perhaps understand now why I thought today's word was tricky, since it repeats a letter not once, but twice. I think fluff might actually be the first time I've seen a letter appear three times in the same word, which is a much confirmation as I need that the words are indeed getting a teensy bit harder over time. But yeah, fluff! People like to complain about fluff pieces but I view them as a very essential part of many news operations and they're a great palette cleanser when everything else can feel so dire. And fluff in games is always lovely to see, especially since it's usually some extra flourishes or animations in a given game world that didn't need to be there, but makes them come to life. In conclusion, today is hereby known as Fluff Appreciation Day, please celebrate accordingly. That's all for today, but be sure to check back tomorrow for more hints on how to keep your Wordle streak alive. View the full article
    • Total spending on video games in the US is expected to see a year-over-year decline, the NPD Group said in findings published on Wednesday, a report that also predicted that Elden Ring will be 2022's best-selling game. This follows a previous report that said global spending on video games would see a decline this year as well, based in part on a difficult comparison to 2021, a year in which the pandemic kept people at home, playing more games, and spending more money on them. The new report from the NPD Group also contains predictions for what are expected to the best-selling games and consoles of 2022, with Elden Ring projected to be the year's best-selling game and the Switch finishing the year as the best-selling console. Starting with spending, this is expected to reach $55.5 billion in 2022 in the US, down 8.7% from 2021. This number covers spending on hardware, games, and accessories. "Some of the drivers of the decline include the return of experiential spending, higher prices in everyday spending categories such as food and fuel, the uncertain supply of video game console hardware and certain accessories such as gamepads, and a lighter release slate of games, among others," NPD said. The growth in total number of gamers and "engagement" from 2020 and 2021--at the height of the pandemic--has now leveled off, the company said. NPD singled out 10 games that it expects to make up the best-sellers for 2022, and they include (in alphabetical order): Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, Elden Ring, God of War Ragnarok, Gotham Knights, Horizon: Forbidden West, Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga, Madden NFL 23, NBA 2K23, Pokemon Legends: Arceus, and Pokemon Scarlet/Violet. It will be Elden Ring that finishes 2022 as the year's best-selling game, NPD said, marking just the third time since 2009 that Call of Duty game did not finish as No. 1. The other two exceptions were 2013 (GTA V) and 2018 (Red Dead Redemption II). While Elden Ring is expected to be 2022's best-selling individual game in the US, the Call of Duty series will be the best-selling franchise in 2022 for its 14th straight year, NPD reported. Elden Ring is already the best-selling game in the US of the past 12 months, outpacing even Call of Duty: Vanguard. By Bandai Namco's latest count, Elden Ring had shipped more than 13 million units worldwide. Elden Ring launched in February and Modern Warfare 2 arrives at the end of October, so Elden Ring will have had lots more time on the market to rack up sales compared to Activision's shooter series. Still, it would be a big achievement for Elden Ring all the same. For hardware, the market is not yet back to normal, the NPD said, due in part to supply constraints. The PS5 and Xbox Series X consoles are "particularly" affected here. The Switch is expected to be the best-selling console of 2022 based on units sold. However, the NPD said it's too close to call which platform will come out on top for the year based on dollar sales between Switch, PS5, and Xbox Series X|S. Additionally, NPD claimed the Xbox Series X|S will be the only console platform to experience dollar sales growth in 2022 compared to 2021. The research firm also said it believes console shortages will continue in 2023, particularly for PS5 and Xbox Series X. For games, spending on console, PC, and mobile titles is expected to decline, with only subscription revenue projected to see growth this year. In terms of accessories, this category should decline, too, the NPD said, though spending is projected to trend higher than pre-pandemic levels. That said, spending headsets and headphones won't be able to match the big growth during the height of the pandemic when people were buying up accessories to help with the shift to work-from-home. "We are living in interesting times. And while, generally, the video game market can be at least partially insulated from factors impacting the wider economy, the return of experiential spending and higher pricing in everyday spending categories appear to be impacting the space," NPD said. "The continued challenges in manufacturing, particularly in bringing new consoles and accessories such as gamepads to market is also playing a role, as is the lighter release slate of premium gaming content." The firm added: "There are many known unknowns when trying to predict what’s next, and a list of unknown unknowns that may be more extensive. In the short-term, this means likely declines, uncertainty, and turbulence. While in the long-term, the growth prospects of the video game space remain as strong as they’ve ever been." View the full article
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