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2018-01-23T17:48:31.712Z
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There’s no rest for the wicked, as they say, and it seems that we’ve been especially wicked this January. The game releases are already ramping up in what’s looking like it could be a cracking year for video games. Will it top 2017? I’m not so sure, but there’s plenty to keep us all entertained.

If you’re looking for something to play this weekend, don’t forget that there’s betas for Metal Gear Survive, Monster Hunter: World and Dissidia Final Fantasy NT all running. Can’t go wrong with a bit of free gaming, can you?


In the News This Week
Games in Review

Just a handful of game reviews this week, but expect to see quite a few more drop before the next Something for the Weekend.

Reviewed platform in bold.


Ones to Watch in 2018

We’ve now wrapped...

For our final entry in the Ones to Watch series, we come back to the biggest games console platform out there a moment. One list wasn’t enough to cater to PlayStation 4 exclusives, so here’s another one.

There is a caveat to all of this, in that while most of Ones to Watch has focussed on games we know and expect to be released in 2018, most of the games here are much more likely to be released in 2019. We still expect them to appear at trade shows and be previewed, and they’re definitely worth keeping an eye on, but don’t get your hopes too high about playing them in the next 12 months.


The Last of Us Part II

It’s safe to say that The Last of Us Part II has a lot of expectations on its shoulders. Naughty Dog’s first entry of the series became a fan favourite and one of the biggest reasons to own a PS3 in the last few years of its life. Joel and Ellie are characters that many have become attached  to, and to see them back for another game will be like visiting old friend. Friends who’ve grown older, more bitter and vengeful, that is.

At the last Paris Games Week a new trailer was released for the game, but it steered clear of the main protagonists. Instead the trailer focused on some new characters with and a gruesome torture scene. That trailer did draw some criticism for its at...

This week I’ve been lucky enough to make a start on Monster Hunter: World. I can’t tell you much about it – the embargo is next week – but suffice it to say, like the creatures within, it’s pretty big. Besides that I’m getting towards the end of Mario Odyssey and it’s been amazing, while I enjoyed finishing the first part of Battlefront II’s campaign.

We also did a pilot episode of a TSA pubcast – it seemed like a good idea at the time – and you can listen to our drunken ramblings next week!

Ade is playing Vesta for review, which is “charming fun”, and he’s also been enjoying Horizon Zero Dawn, “other than its godawful jump function. Aloy leaps like a broken legged gazelle. Unless it’s yellow she seems incapable of clambering over it. It’s still very good mind.”

Jake meanwhile has played ChromaGun, which he’s still writing his review for. He also played Dragon Ball FighterZ’s open beta, which was “quite fun”. He’s hopped into a bit of LA Noire for the Switch and says that it’s pretty impressive in how well it works, and he also grabbed NBA Playgrounds for Switch. He thinks he may have gone a bit Switch crazy, as he hasn’t properly touched his PS4 for a while.

There hasn’t been much gaming this week for Steve. A touch of Paper Mario: Sticker Star here, which he’s always on the verge of giving up on, and a bit of Rayman Legends there, which he gets roped into playing when his son gets stuck on the harder parts, while...

There’s no rest for an MMORPG developer, and Square Enix are keen to carry on in 2018 as they ended 2017, with patch 4.2 for Final Fantasy XIV bringing plenty of new content for players to sink their teeth into when it lands on 30th January.

Rise of a New Sun, as the patch is known, features the next step in the Omega raid series, features two new dungeons, a new Trial against Byakko, one of the Four Lords, and plenty more besides. You might spot Kefka amongst all of this, a character from Final Fantasy VI

Here’s the big bullet points from the update, with more nitty-gritty information to be found on the Square Enix site:

  • New Main Scenario Quests – Thanks to the Warrior of Light’s heroic deeds and Raubahn’s long-awaited return, Ala Mhigo continues its steady march towards recovery. All is not well in the East however, with worrying rumours coming out of Doma.
  • New Raid Dungeon – The next arc in the Omega raid series, Omega: Sigmascape arrives to test the Warrior of Light’s limits even further. With familiar faces from FINAL FANTASY V being summoned up previously, today’s trailer shows Sigmascape populated with features very reminiscent of FINAL FANTASY VI
  • New Trial – Meet one of The Four Lords, Byakko, in this challenging new Trial kicking off a fresh series of side quests.
  • New Dungeons – Two new high-level Dungeons: Hells’ Lid and The Fractal Continuum (Hard).
  • New Beast Tribe Quests – The Vira, one...

While some people look for epic stories and adventures that defy expectations, others find their gaming fix with recreations of parts of reality they can only dream of. Simulators are hugely popular, whether it’s farming, driving trains, or in the case of Flight Sim World, flying planes.

Having been in Early Access on PC since last May, Dovetail Games are taking it to a full release on 1st February, which will mark the start of Phase 2 of its development. This means fewer, but also more substantial updates, starting with dynamic weather on 1st February, and then carrying on to add world improvement, live weather, IFR and ATC upgrades (whatever those are!) and even more aircraft to fly.

Source: press release

The Switch RPG Xenoblade Chronicles 2 has been given a small patch to fix a couple of issues and allow you to skip voiced menu sections by pressing a button. It has also unlocked two quests so you can complete them at any time.

Version 1.2.0
– Fixed an issue in which parts set to a specific Skill RAM failed to provide their intended effects.
– Adjusted the Gormott regular quest “The Riddle on the Wall” to make it completable regardless of player progression in the main story.
– Adjusted Finch’s Blade Quest “Birds of a Feather” to make it completable regardless of player progression in the main story.
– Fixed an issue in Agate’s Blade Quest “Precious Yearnings” preventing quest progression.
– Added functionality to allow players to receive the first round of quests and the second round of items associated with the Expansion Pass.
– Voiced segments in menus can now be skipped with the A or B button.

Source: NintendoLife

As I wrote earlier this week, Metal Gear Survive deserves to be given a chance, and the currently running open beta is the perfect opportunity for the game to show what it brings to the table, even if it’s not a traditional Metal Gear game. It’s an odd spin-off, but it can be fun once you get into the swing of things.

Problem is that the beta doesn’t really do much of anything to help introduce people to the game. It simply drops you right into the co-op mode without having had the single player story mode to introduce you to the survivalist concepts and let you prepare your character. Not only that, but it’s pretty light on the tutorials, letting you fend for yourselves.

It’s alright though, because we’ve got your back with this missing tutorial, if you will.


Ready up in the staging area

You want to jump straight into a mission, right? Get some zombie killing done, yeah? Think again, kiddo. If you hop into Metal Gear Survive for the first time without preparing yourself, you’ll just be running around with no gear and no idea what you’re doing.

The grey expanse of the staging area has a number of stations that you’ll likely want to use between matches. First things first, make sure you’ve actually got the best equipment you can have by visiting the Repository. Here you can change equipment, manage possessions, edit your loadout, and more.

It’s a deceptive menu system because each equipment slot is then filtered into...

The debut trailer for Hyrule Warriors: Definitive Edition on Switch has been posted by Nintendo Japan. As you might expect it is in Japanese but we can still look at the pretty pictures.

The trailer includes a cute girl waving a flower to summon a whale from the sky, I bet Charlie Dimmock can’t do that with a bunch of tulips.

Source: YouTube

Monster Hunter is a series I’ve heard about for years and years, but never really played. Its fans love to espouse its virtues, the challenge of battling its huge monsters, the joys of teaming up with friends and the hook of working to upgrade your character and their gear. Despite its cult following though, it’s never really managed to break out of its niche in the West.

There’s a number of reasons for that, of course. While the early games were out for PlayStation 2, its co-op focus meant that Capcom found the most success with the game on PSP and its adhoc play when online multiplayer on console was still in its infancy. Then came the partnership with Nintendo and the portable 3DS in particular, with any forays back to PlayStation or Xbox limited to the Japanese market where the game was at its most popular.

Monster Hunter: World is Capcom’s major attempt to redress that balance. Compared to a decade ago, online multiplayer is everywhere, we have huge online action RPGs that draw people in to play them day in, day out, and the popularity of the Dark Souls series and its ilk has shown that Western audiences are now much more receptive to the notion of ultra difficult games. Coming to PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC, it’s also now got the graphical grunt of modern consoles and computers, as well as the greater flexibility of their control schemes.

Having spent time...

It’s Friday (Friday, gotta get down on Friday) so that can only mean one thing, News Snatch! Huzzah! More bits and bobs from down the back of the internet that got passed over this week, starting with the single-player campaign intro video for the ridiculously named Warhammer 40,000: Inquisitor – Martyr.


Stats shared by online purveyors of smut and filth, YouPorn, show that the inaugural Overwatch League is stopping people from watching some hows-yer-father on their screens. During the first match of the League viewers on YouPorn dropped by 9% with around same loss of viewers occurring up until the third game. The site also saw lower traffic during the whole week of the event.

To their credit YouPorn are not being sore losers. “We are excited to find out who will win and be the first Overwatch League champions, receiving a trophy and a cool $1 million USD bonus,” they said. “Of course, we are also curious to see how you celebrate and will be keeping an eye on visits to the site before, during and after.”

Eww.

Viewing figures for the League have been huge, the opening day drew an impressive average audience per minute of 408,000, and more than 10 million viewers tuned in over the four-day period via Twitch, MLG, and Chinese streaming partners ZhanQi TV, NetEase CC, and Panda TV.



Not one, but two pretty screens from Shenmue III.

While PlayStation VR seems to have a near total hegemony in terms of exclusive games, Oculus Rift and HTC Vive both still receive a lot of love from developers and plenty of VR experiences that cross the the platform borders.

There’s some familiar developers in this list, with the likes of Owlchemy Labs, Survios and the collective studios at Ubisoft returning to show their mastery of the technology and what it can offer. Ubi in particular are a AAA publisher who’ve decided to make VR their own, and it’s one of their more unusual projects that we’ll start with.


Transference

Platforms: PSVR, HTC Vive, Oculus Rift – Release date: Spring 2018

I’ve legitimately no idea what Ubisoft are cooking up with Transference, but it really looks like Elijah Wood is having fun, so I’m happy for them.

OK, so I do have a slight clue, as this psychological thriller introduces you to a troubled family and asks you to solve delve into their minds and dreams, piecing together the truth of a mystery that their stories hide. It sounds fascinating and just a little bit creepy…


Ark Park

Platforms: PSVR, HTC Vive – Release date: Spring 2018

Filled as it was with dinosaurs, it’s no wonder that Ark: Survival Evolved captured the imaginations of so many people. Naturally, now that we have the technology, Snail Games are mixing Ark with virtual reality and Jurassic Park. The result is Ark Park.

By the looks of things, they’ve...

Eric Hirshberg, the CEO of Activision, is to leave the company this March having spent eight years in the role. During his tenure Activision has changed considerably, moving away from licensed games and new IPs to concentrate on a couple of core products, most notably Destiny and Call of Duty.

“Serving as Activision’s CEO has been an honor and a thrill,” said Hirshberg in a statement. “This is an amazing company. One which routinely delivers epic experiences for our fans on a scale that no one else can. I have nothing but admiration for the incredible team I have had the privilege to lead. And I have nothing but appreciation for Bobby for giving me this transformational opportunity, and also for having the vision and conviction to champion a creative person for a leadership role on this scale.”

Another thing Hirshberg really doesn’t get enough credit for is stopping Bob Kotick, who is CEO of Activision Blizzard, from talking to press. Before Hirshberg we couldn’t get through a week without Bob dropping a clanger such as “Our Spider-Man games have sucked for the last five years. They are bad games,” and telling gamers he “would raise the price” of Call of Duty as much as possible.

Source: Venturebeat

It’s time for another sale on the PlayStation Store and it’s the return of the Games Under £16/€20 promotion. These seem to be very popular, I think the price point is just right for games you’ve been thinking of buying but never got round to picking up.

So what’s on offer this week? Well my picks would be the TSA award winning Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice, the excellent Okami HD, and for a bit of Friday smut, Gal*Gun: Double Peace. Here’s the full list.

The Nintendo Switch continues to provide green pastures for indie developers to bring their games to, and it’s giving us a great reason to revisit a number of gems from the last few years. The genre mash-up of Furi is just one such gem, but as I took a break from playing on Switch and delved into TSA’s archives to check what we’ve written of the game before, I was surprised to discover that we don’t actually have an original review. It’s time to right that wrong (with a little help from Miguel, because I personally haven’t actually beaten the game yet).

To describe it as simply as possible, Furi is a boss rush game. There’s no platforming sections, no fighting through dumb drone-like enemies, just the intensity of a string of challenging boss fights. However, within each fight, The Game Bakers have packed tons of variety, blending different genres together in brilliant fashion with fights that evolve across several stages of complexity and speed.

Each fight takes place in a large circular arena, starting off with the camera pulled all the way out. You can fire from a distance with the right analogue stick or charge up a more powerful shot at the cost of mobility, but you need to be wary of what the enemy is doing. They can fire balls of energy at you, emit waves, both big and small, all of which lends it a bullet hell style, but also...

As previously mentioned there’s a map update to Fortnite tomorrow, 18th January. There will also be a patch with a hefty number of tweaks and bug fixes, most notably improved loading times on PS4 and Xbox One, and friendly fire has been disabled. Cast you eyes over this lot.

PATCH NOTES – BATTLE ROYALE WEAPONS
  • Removed the Scoped AR from Supply Drops.
  • Updated the scope for the Scoped AR.
    • Replaced the old arrow reticle with a more modern design. It should be easier to tell where you are aiming and where your crosshair actually is.
  • The Snowball Launcher has been replaced by the normal Grenade Launcher.
  • Slightly increased the size of the grenade (loot).
Bug Fixes
  • Fixed frag and smoke grenades exploding on impact when hitting shallow water.
  • Fixed an issue where the grenade toss animation ended prematurely when tossing the last grenade in a stack.
  • The Boogie Bomb effect will now kick players out of weapon targeting.
  • Players can no longer place traps while affected by the Boogie Bomb.
  • Explosion effects now play properly on water surfaces.
GAMEPLAY
  • Friendly Fire is now disabled. This is exploratory and subject to change. We will be closely evaluating this and want your feedback!
  • Players will now immediately aim their weapon upon landing on the ground if they press and hold the aim button while in the air.
  • Pickups no longer take priority over reviving...

While we couldn’t possibly hope to feature all the independent games in the works within Ones to Watch, there’s some great looking games in both this game and our first collection of indies.

Without much further ado, here’s a game all about balls.


Yoku’s Island Express

Platforms: PS4, XBO, Switch, PC – Release date: 2018

I’ve never really been good at pinball, and it’s probably for that reason that I’ve rarely seen the appeal of pinball video games or the draw of the cabinets in real life. While Yoku’s Island Express might have pinball in its soul, this adorable adventure is really an open world metroidvania.

While Yoku is a tiny dung beetle, pushing a shiny pinball around, using pinball-esque bumpers and flippers to propel it through paths carved into the world in a manner that reminds me of LocoRoco. Yoku has to journey through this world trying to wake an ancient island god from his nightmares that are causing all kinds of havoc on Mikumana Island. Then, finally, he might be able to get back to his real job as the island’s new postman!


Super Meat Boy Forever

Platforms: PS4, XBO, Switch, PC, Mac, Linux, iOS, And – Release date: 2018

Super Meat Boy Forever is decidedly less adorable, featuring lots of whirling buzz saws and a protagonist that bleeds on everything he touches. Lovely.

Forever is the long awaited sequel to the 2010 platforming hit, but Team Meat are...

Epic Games has announced that the forthcoming update to the Battle Royale map will be available this Thursday. It’s not a new map, but enhances the current map with new areas and tweaks existing locations.

New areas include the Tilted Towers cityscape, the Junk Junction junkyard and Shifty Shafts, which is mine. They’re not exactly trying to hard with the names are they?

It has also been revealed that the game now has 45 million players, with 2 million concurrent players shooting each other in the face last weekend.

Source: Press release

Following the death of LEGO Dimensions we’re back in to the familiar territory of a never ending stream of stand alone LEGO games, and according to comicbook.com the next to land on the shelf will be LEGO Incredibles 2. LEGO sets based on the movie were leaked last year along with rumours of game and ‘sources linked to WB’ have confirmed this is the case.

The source also has news on a second game, following the lycra clad heroes with no capes will be LEGO DC Supervillains, some of whom really like a good cape. As the name suggests this feature the bad guys with Harley Quinn, The Joker and Lex Luthor taking centre stage, and Batman and chums playing smaller roles.

Source: comicbook.com

As promised by Bandai Namco a second beta for Dragon Ball FighterZ will take place as there were a few technical issues with the first test. However, you won’t have long to play as the beta will begin at 5am GMT tomorrow, January 18th, and run to the same time the following day.

You can read what our team though to of the first beta by clicking here, although you do need to know your Balls because I’ve read it and I have no clue what they are talking about. Throwing beans and Android 16’s nuclear level 3? Whut?

Source: A Dancing Piglet Called Sue Who I Met Down The Pub (or possibly Twitter and I just got bored of sourcing Twitter)

Ubisoft have released the latest patch for Assassin’s Creed Origins and it’s a big one with new features and rather long list of bug that have been squished. It also brings support for the upcoming The Hidden Ones DLC and fixes the size of Isfet’s weapon. Fnar fnar. Patch Highlights
  1. Added support for the upcoming “The Hidden Ones” expansion
  2. Added “Incoming Threat” quest to the game
  3. Updated item loot pool of the Heka Chest (more details in the “New Features” section)
New Features
  1. Added a new quest to the world: “Incoming Threat”
  2. Added the Atlas view on the World Map displaying the Sinai and the Valley of Kings regions
  3. Added support for the “The Hidden Ones” expansion
  4. Added the possibility to sell-back outfits to the Weaver shops
  5. Added all the latest Store items from the Nightmare, First Civilization, Gladiator, Wacky, and Almighty packs to the Heka Chest
  6. Added the option to toggle the visibility of inventory items on the Gear menu
Quest
  1. Improved various cinematic transitions
  2. Increased the resistance of Khaliset to the Overpower Ultra ability
  3. Corrected the visual size of Isfet’s weapon in the quest “Lady of Slaughter” to match its collision box
  4. Prevented Tahirah from following the playable character after a certain distance in the quest “Reunion”
  5. Fixed...