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News PlayStation 3

Sony’s Paying Out Just $10 Settlements for OtherOS Lawsuit

Sony initially marketed PlayStation 3 as having the ability to run Linux, but four years after launch, they removed this feature. A class-action lawsuit was filed against them in response, and after a lengthy legal process, Sony eventually agreed to a settlement in which affected users could claim as much as $65 for their troubles.

As previously announced, Sony agreed to a $3.75 million settlement, but of that money, a third was set aside for the legal team, between $300,000 and $400,000 for the settlement organizers, and the five plaintiffs were to receive up to $3,500 each. The remaining money was for everyone else who joined the suit.

The checks have started rolling in now, but they’re not for the maximum number of $65. Far from it. Instead, Resetera users are reporting that they’ve received checks for $10.07. It would appear that a substantial number of people signed up, making the payments smaller than expected. Still, free money is free money.

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Grand Theft Auto V Hits 100 Million Sales

As millions around the world enjoy the Old West in Red Dead Redemption 2, developer Rockstar is now celebrating an incredible milestone for one of their other popular games. Over five years after it made its debut, Grand Theft Auto V still frequents the monthly top-sellers list, continuing to push millions of copies every quarter.

All those sales really stack up over time, and the evergreen title has now officially eclipsed the 100 million mark. Rockstar had previously announced in May that sales of the beloved open world game stood at 95 million, which means they’ve shipped out another 5 million copies over the past five months. That’s a pretty damn impressive sales rate this late in the game!

Unsurprisingly, Grand Theft Auto V is the highest-selling game in the franchise. Other top-sellers include San Andreas at 27.5 million, IV at 25 million, Vice City at 20 million, and III at 17.5 million. Grand Theft Auto V has sold more than all four of those games combined. This makes it the third highest-selling video game of all time, trailing just Minecraft and Tetris.

Source: Variety

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PS4 Has Passed PS3 in Lifetime Sales

PlayStation 4 has been a massive success for Sony since its debut during the 2013 holiday season, and its install base has continued to grow steadily thanks to the launch of the new and improved PlayStation 4 Pro model. Earlier this year, Sony reported that total PlayStation 4 shipments worldwide were nearing the impressive milestone of 80 million in April, and they’ve continued piling up since then.

According to their latest quarterly report, Sony shipped another 3.9 million PlayStation 4 units over the past three months. While those numbers are down from last year, they’re still extremely strong, especially this late in the console’s life. This brings the total sales number to a remarkable 86.1 million, officially putting it ahead of PlayStation 3. Sony’s last generation console sold a grand total of 83.8 million.

PlayStation 4 is selling at a historic rate, but it will need to keep doing so for years to come if it hopes to top the all-time PlayStation charts. The original PlayStation remains ahead with 102.49 million units sold, and the astoundingly popular PlayStation 2 is far ahead with over 155 million units sold. Can PlayStation 4 ever catch up and claim the top spot?

Source: Sony

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Read This Before Changing Your Name On PlayStation Network

Everybody wants a username that’s right for them, and some of us made some pretty terrible names when we were younger. For years, Xbox users had the ability to change their usernames at the cost of $10, but PlayStation players lacked that option. And while we will finally have that ability soon, your account may suffer some serious repercussions in the process.

There is currently a closed beta for this feature which will last until November 31st, and it will be fully available in early 2019. Every title released after April 1, 2018, will support name-changing, but older games carry major risks. A leaked disclaimer shown to beta testers reveals that users might lose access to the DLC and save data for unsupported games. Other potential problems include the loss of virtual currency, leaderboard data, or trophy progress—and your new name might not even show sometimes. While the beta testers say that you can revert to your original name at no additional cost, it may not fix all of the problems caused by the name change. Another option allows you to display your old username next to your new one, but once you’ve implemented that change, you can’t reverse it.

It doesn’t hurt to wait and see if anybody has these problems when the feature officially launches, but if you’re in a dire need of a name change, consider the potential of what these bugs may do to your account and if it’s still worth it. You’ll get one free name change, but every additional change will cost $10 USD/CAD.

Do you think you’ll still change your PlayStation Network name when you’re given the chance? Hit the comments to let us know!

Source: GameSpot

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EA Under Criminal Investigation Over Loot Boxes in Belgium

Over the past year, there has been a massive controversy surrounding the existence of randomized loot boxes in video games. Whether or not loot boxes should be classified as gambling has been a hotly disputed topic, and in recent months certain types of loot boxes were made illegal in the Netherlands and Belgium. EA has decided this law doesn’t apply to them.

Following the ruling, Blizzard, Valve, and 2K Games all removed loot boxes from their games to avoid legal woes, and 2K put out a statement asking its fans to petition the government to allow loot boxes. EA decided to take a different route and just ignored the law altogether, keeping the banned loot boxes in FIFA 18. As a result, the Brussels public prosecutor’s office is now investigating EA and could take the matter to the courts.

Because Belgium now classifies randomized loot boxes as gambling, any games containing them must follow gambling restrictions. One of those restrictions would force EA and others to make their loot boxes totally inaccessible to minors, which is why they’ve been disabled altogether by the other companies. EA apparently thinks this is a battle they can win, so they’re standing firm.

Source: Metro (via Eurogamer)

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Shovel Knight: King of Cards Launches Next April

Shovel Knight is one of the most popular indie games around, and developer Yacht Club Games has kept it relevant with regular updates and expansions. The long-awaited King of Cards expansion was originally planned to launch in the first half of 2018, but it was delayed back in April. Since then we’ve only had a generic “Late 2018” window for the game, but now we have a concrete release date. Unfortunately, fans will have to wait a little longer.

Yacht Club has just announced that King of Cards will launch on April 9th, 2019. That’s the same day that Shovel Knight Showdown becomes part of the Treasure Trove pack, so it’s going to be quite the fantastic day for Shovel Knight fans! Additionally, Yacht Club has announced that Treasure Trove is getting a physical release on the same day. The retail version of Treasure Trove will be available on PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch for $39.99, and it includes all expansions.

For one last cherry on top of this retro sundae, the Plague Knight, Specter Knight, and King Knight amiibo 3-pack will also be launching on April 9th, 2019. It’s going to be a bit of a wait, but the payoff sounds fantastic!

Source: IGN

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3 Minutes to Midnight Looks Fantastic in This New Trailer

During this year’s E3 I went hands-on with a point-and-click adventure called 3 Minutes to Midnight, and I came away quite impressed. We later named it our Best Indie Game of E3 2018, and we’ve been looking forward to seeing more of it since. That wish was granted today, as developer Scarecrow Studio released a new trailer that highlights some of the crazy characters, diverse environments, and mysterious happenings in a once-quiet New Mexico town.

3 Minutes to Midnight is set late in the 1940s. World War II is fading in the rearview mirror, but somewhere in New Mexico, a secret plot to extinguish humanity has been set in motion. Our hero, Betty Anderson, wakes up to a deafening sound in the middle of the night and feels her house shake to the core, and she soon finds that the whole town (herself included) is suffering from amnesia. It’s up to her to find out what’s going on!

You can look forward to 3 Minutes to Midnight on Steam in 2019, and the development team is working hard to bring it to PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch as well.

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Yacht Club Games Announces Shovel Knight Showdown

Yacht Club Games just keeps the content coming! Indie sensation Shovel Knight has received numerous updates and expansions since its debut four years ago, but the fun isn’t done yet. This past weekend, the development team teased that an all-new game is headed to Treasure Trove, and today we have the big reveal!

The next big thing headed to the game is Shovel Knight Showdown, a local multiplayer battle expansion that’s due out in 2019. Showdown will contain a number of new multiplayer game modes for up to four players. You’ll have sixteen playable characters to choose from, including Black Knight, Plague Knight, Propeller Knight, Polar Knight, Shield Knight, Specter Knight, and of course, Shovel Knight himself.

New game modes include Showdown itself, Gem Clash, and a new Story Mode. 10 minutes of Gem Clash footage is available already, and you can check it out above. This expansion will cost $9.99 on its own, but it’s free to Treasure Trove owners. Unfortunately, it will not be available on Nintendo 3DS or PlayStation Vita, but all other versions of Shovel Knight will receive it.

Source: IGN

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Shovel Knight: Treasure Trove is Getting an “All New Game”

Yacht Club Games’ Shovel Knight is one of the biggest indie success stories of all time with over 2 million sales across numerous platforms. If you bought the Treasure Trove edition of this retro-styled platformer, you have access to all DLC, including the upcoming King of Cards expansion. We thought this would be the last update for Shovel Knight, but apparently that’s not the case.

Yacht Club Games took to Twitter over the weekend to tease something mysterious. According to the developer, an “all new game” is coming to Treasure Trove. What exactly this means is anyone’s guess, but some are speculating that the phrase “throw down the gauntlet” indicates a battle mode of some time. Whatever it is, the big news is coming sometime next week.

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Sony Celebrates Half a Billion Consoles Sold with Limited Edition PS4

The PlayStation brand has just reached an
astounding milestone. Sony announced today that their lineup of video game hardware, which began with the original PlayStation back in 1994, has combined for well over 500 million total sales. This number includes sales of home consoles as well as handhelds like the PSP and Vita.

According to their recent blog post, the official total now stands at 525.3 million units. Sony achieved this lofty number in just under 24 years, which means the company has averaged nearly 22 million hardware units sold per year since the debut of the original PlayStation. The first and second PlayStation consoles make up nearly half of this total, selling 102.49 million units and 155 million units, respectively.

In celebration of this milestone, Sony is releasing a limited edition PlayStation 4 Pro console. This translucent beauty will be available in a special bundle that includes a matching DualShock 4 controller (which can also be purchased separately), but there’s only 50,000 of them, so they won’t last long! Here’s Sony’s breakdown of everything you can expect from this collector’s item.

“As translucent colors are always a fan-favorite, this is a great opportunity to bring this color to the PlayStation 4 Pro system as a ‘thank you’ to our fans. To celebrate this exceptional milestone, we are announcing today a global release of the
500 Million Limited Edition PS4 Pro, featuring a translucent dark blue console shell and matching DualShock 4 wireless controller, PlayStation Camera, Vertical Stand and mono headset. This PS4 Pro also comes with a massive 2TB hard drive for you to store tons of games, apps, videos, screenshots and more. It will be available for $499.99 USD (MSRP) / $639.99 CAD (MSRP), and will be limited to 50,000 units worldwide.

“In addition, each system will have a commemorative copper plate on its front, with its limited edition serial number etched on. And, for the very lucky few who can get them, we have a few ‘extra special’ hardware units with serial numbers that commemorate important events in the history of PlayStation. Keep your eyes peeled for these ‘extra special’ serial numbers like
09995 (U.S. Launch Date of the original PlayStation – September 9th, 1995), 01115 (U.S. launch date of PS4 – November 15, 2013) and 01013 (U.S. launch date of PS VR – October 13, 2016).

“The 500 Million Limited Edition DualShock 4 will also be available as a standalone for $64.99 USD (MSRP) / $74.99 CAD (MSRP). What’s more, a 500 Million Limited Edition Gold Wireless Headset featuring the same dark blue translucent design with copper detailing, will be available separately at $99.99 USD (MSRP) / $119.99 CAD (MSRP).

“The limited edition PS4 Pro will be available on retailer websites starting August 24 – check out the
PS.com page for the list of participating retailer websites in the U.S. and Canada. The limited edition DS4 and Gold Wireless Headset will be available in select retailers across the U.S. and Canada in early September. Please note, these special hardware units will be available in very, very, limited quantities.” — Sony

Sony also released two videos to highlight the console. The first is primarily a sizzle reel of all the great games that helped the PlayStation brand surpass half a billion sales. The second is an unboxing video that gets up close and personal with the hardware itself. You can check them both out by clicking below.

Source: PlayStation Blog

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Gearbox “Hiring” Copy Editor After Typo Found in Coding

Gearbox’s Aliens: Colonial Marines released in 2013 to infamously bad reviews. Despite a very promising demo at E3, the game ultimately released with low-quality graphics and terrible enemy AI. The game was such a let-down that a lawsuit was filed against Gearbox and SEGA for false advertisement. But just a few days ago, it was discovered that a number of the problems with the game’s wonky AI were caused by a single typo in the coding.

The typo, it turned out, was very simple. Enemy Xenomorphs are attached to “tethers” in the game, which means they should form strategies based around the level design and patrol like enemies do in other survival horror games. To make this happen, the coding should have looked like this:

ClassRemapping=PecanGame.PecanSeqAct_AttachXenoToTether -> PecanGame.PecanSeqAct_AttachPawnToTether

But sadly there was a slight misspelling, and it came out looking like this:

ClassRemapping=PecanGame.PecanSeqAct_AttachXenoToTether -> PecanGame.PecanSeqAct_AttachPawnToTeather

Because of the extra ‘a’ in “teather,” the Xenomorphs blindly meander through areas, charge toward the player straight-on, and generally act as some of the least threatening enemies in survival horror. A mod was created a few years post-release to fix this bug, but the exact details of the “teather” mishap didn’t come to light until a recent Steam sale. Removing the rogue ‘a’ has drastically improved the enemy AI and significantly improves the overall quality of the game.

Thanks to the revelation, Gearbox has decided to open a new position at their company, one that is totally real and certainly not at all a joke. Gearbox is looking for go-getters who enjoy finding simple typos for the new Programming Copy Editor position. On Twitter, Gearbox said that people should apply if they are “[f]eeling teathered to [their] current job.” Applicants don’t even have to submit a resume! All they need to do is correctly answer a single, very hard question: is it “tether” or “teather?”

Source: VG247

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Nathan Drake Is Lucky – He’s Never Even Taken Any Bullet Damage

If you’ve played your fair share of shooters and action games, you’ve probably thought about how ridiculous gun mechanics are. In games like Borderlands and Destiny, you can shoot an enemy thousands of times before they feel the damage. In Call of Duty, the swing of a knife does more damage than a couple of shots to the chest. While it may seem like there are only a handful of games that follow a realistic understanding of how firearms work (the recent Wolfenstein games being a key example), the Uncharted series has taken a different path this whole time, and we were all clueless to its cleverness.

I know what you’re about to say as you’re reading this: after mowing down an average of 700 enemies per game, there’s no way Nathan Drake hasn’t taken at least one bullet. I’ve played the entire series, and I’ve gotten killed an embarrassing amount of times. I recognize that when the game goes monochrome and the UI flashes red, I’m in trouble and I’m taking damage.

As it turns out, however, this isn’t simply a regenerative health system, though it behaves in a similar manner. According to
a tweet from Naughty Dog animator Jonathan Cooper, the Uncharted series instead features a luck meter. When you get “hit” in the game, it’s really just a near miss, which triggers your luck meter to drop. After you get enough of these near misses, your luck begins to run out, which means you’re wide open for an enemy to make a clear shot. The monochrome filter and red flashes from the UI react accordingly, making it easy to mistake for your typical health system.

Amy Hennig, the franchise’s former director,
confirmed this and added that Nathan Drake’s tale is an homage to the adventures of Indiana Jones and is in the vein of action films like it. A simple health meter would get in the way of the action packed, adventurous nature of the films they pay tribute to, where the hero always faces unbelievable odds and survives triumphantly. This may make the enemies look like terrible marksmen. Much like Stormtroopers from Star Wars lore, however, they are incredibly skilled, but the luck of the hero reigns supreme.

If you’re looking to fight with a little less luck on your side, the difficulty options actually make a difference. The “Crushing” difficulty in the original trilogy and the “Brutal” difficulty in Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection and Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End can make for one hell of a difficult play through, as your luck doesn’t matter as much, making the enemies a lot better at their jobs.

Meme about it all you want, but
Uncharted is ultimately a video game, not a movie. Naughty Dog wanted to make a clear translation between action film and action game, and this “luck meter” system was necessary to bring a beloved film trope to the PlayStation.

How do you feel about this unique gameplay system? Is it just regenerative health with a fancy name, or does it make the difference in immersion? Hit the comments to let us know how you feel!

Source: Twitter

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Todd Howard Says to Stop Buying Skyrim if You Want Bethesda to Stop Releasing It

Have you ever thought that there are just too many darn ports of Skyrim? I know I have, and I bet Bethesda has too. Heck, they made a whole trailer making fun of how many times they’ve released the game. But they immediately went on to make that joke trailer a reality. So are we finally done seeing Skyrim ports every year? Is Bethesda finally going to stop cashing in on their most popular title? It’s hard to say for sure. But if you want the company to stop, you may not want to buy any more copies.

According to the lovely Todd Howard, Skyrim was released on so many different systems because of its sales and popularity. This is fairly obvious, which is why some people are so annoyed that it keeps happening. Many gamers accuse Bethesda of taking the easy way out by cashing in on their most profitable property. As it turns out, that’s exactly what the company is doing. If you want the publisher to stop releasing Skyrim, Todd Howard says you should stop buying it:

“Even now, the amount of people who play Skyrim seven years later — millions of people every month are playing that game. That’s why we keep releasing it. If you want us to stop releasing it, stop buying it.” — Todd Howard

The man certainly doesn’t beat around the bush, and I think we can all appreciate that level of transparency. Honestly, this is why most games are ported to modern systems. They were popular when they released, so companies release them again to make some quick money. This is often thought of as a cheap sales strategy, but it can actually be a really good thing.

Most people don’t consider where their money is going when they buy ports of older games. They don’t cost that much to create and release compared to a new game, so developers usually make a decent profit from them. This money then goes back to the team so they can work on their next project. In Bethesda’s case, the sales gained from the many releases of Skyrim are probably funding The Elder Scrolls VI, which is what everybody has been clamoring for in the first place.

Ports also help new fans gain an appreciation for the franchise, which will inevitably increase sales for the next title in the series. This will also help fans make new friends and have conversations about a game they were unable to play before. The expansion of the gaming community is never a bad thing.

So in the future, if you have an urge to complain about a game being ported, think about why it’s being released again. Usually there is a massive audience for these types of releases. Otherwise, most developers wouldn’t waste their time and energy on them.

Todd Howard talked about many other things with Geoff Keighley at Gamelab 2018. They discuss a wide range of topics, such as E3, Howard’s legacy, The Elder Scrolls: Blades, the release of retro games on modern systems, and much more. You can read the full interview over on VentureBeat.

What do you guys think of the countless ports in today’s gaming culture? Do you think they have more of a positive impact on the community? Leave your thoughts in the comments below!

Source: VentureBeat

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Sony Blocks Schoolgirl RPG from Release in the West

Back in March we reported that the UK made the decision to
ban the release of a game for the first time in a decade. The game in question, Omega Labyrinth Z, had already been banned in Australia, Germany, New Zealand, and Ireland for its depiction of high school-aged girls in sexually explicit scenarios. As it turns out, it’s unlikely that the West will get the game at all now.

Since the ruling by the UK’s Video Standards Council, Sony has stepped in with an even stronger ban. After thinking things over, Sony has decided not to allow the game to be published on PlayStation 4 or PlayStation Vita anywhere in North America or Europe. Here’s an excerpt from the UK’s Video Standards Council explaining exactly why the game has become so controversial.

“There are numerous mini-games which feature sexually explicit and ultimately problematic content. Examples include:

“The player touches certain points on a female character’s body to arouse them. A successful action will activate a “shame break” where parts of their clothing come off revealing more of their bodies. The female characters respond with varying degrees of sexual innuendo and arousal.

“The player places honey on the girls’ bodies. A fantastical dog-like creature then proceeds to lick the honey off their bodies which causes them to become aroused. Like the previous mini-game, when they reach a certain level of arousal parts of their clothing fall off or vanish. As the dog licks at the honey, the girls respond with sexualised language. In both this mini-game and the previous one, if their breasts or thighs are touched a jiggle animation will be shown. Selecting the correct area on their body during a “shame break” will also result in the ‘E-spot’ being activated and the character will respond with heightened pleasure.

“A crystal can be placed between a character’s breasts. The player must then fondle and rub the breasts together in order to identify what is in the crystal. The crystal itself has a clearly phallic quality to it. The player controls the breasts with the analogue sticks or touchpad. There is also a variation of this mini-game where the player can make a fairy-like character rub herself up and down on the crystal with accompanying moans of pleasure.

“The hot-spring mini-game allows the player to fondle the girls’ breasts. There is no other interaction in these scenes. Before starting the scene, the player can select which female they wish to interact with and choose their breast size. For taking part in this optional mini-game the characters are cured of all ailments and receive stat boosts.”

Publisher PQube issued a statement clarifying that they attempted to work with “with all the relevant age rating bodies in their respective territories,” but that the wishes of the platform holder (Sony) must be followed.

Source: PQube

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Here Are Some Things You Should Know Before Getting Into Kingdom Hearts

2018 is going to be an exciting year for fans of the Kingdom Hearts franchise because we’re finally approaching the release of the grand finale to the current story arc, Kingdom Hearts III. For those both inside and outside the series’ community, there is an undeniable sense of hype surrounding this game. That much excitement is bound to draw in some newcomers, and that’s awesome! Now is arguably the best time to introduce yourself to the series. However, there are some things you need to know before diving in.

Regardless of the hype,
Kingdom Hearts never has been and never will be a perfect franchise. It has a ton of flaws you should know about before getting into it. This is coming from somebody who has been a loyal fan since the original game’s release 16 years ago. So if you’re thinking about catching up on the Kingdom Hearts series, take all of these things into consideration first.

The Story

You’ve probably heard of this by now. The storyline of the Kingdom Hearts series is a convoluted mess. However, there is a misconception as to why the plot is like this. Many assume the story itself is confusing, but that’s not really the case if you play the games in order of release.

Kingdom Hearts is filled to the brim with plot twists, retcons, visual storytelling, and many other elements that are important to pay attention too. If you play the games in the proper order, things will make sense and the particular plot points will have their intended effect on you.

For instance, you wouldn’t want to tell somebody what happens in the seventh season of a television show without the first six seasons for context. You would sound insane.
Kingdom Hearts works in a similar way.

With that being said, how are people so confused when it comes to the story? Kingdom Hearts used to span multiple consoles before the dawn of the HD collections. As it was before 2013, you had to own a PlayStation 2, Game Boy Advance (unless you picked up the PS2 remake of Chain of Memories), Nintendo DS, PlayStation Portable, and a Nintendo 3DS (which could play the DS games, but it wouldn’t matter if you were picking them up on release day).

This caused a lot of confusion. At this point, there were seven games in the
Kingdom Hearts series. Kingdom Hearts and its sequel landed on the PlayStation 2, while numerous interquels, prequels, and even two sequels made their way to various handheld systems. With this confusing release pattern, many fans were playing the games out of order. Thankfully, this is easily avoided with the recent HD collections.

The HD Collections

This is by far the best way to experience Kingdom Hearts. These versions of the games have additional content, higher quality graphics, and even improved framerates on the PS4 versions.

With
Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5+2.5 Remix and Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue, Square Enix has put the entire series on one platform. To get the best experience, you should play the entirety of 1.5+2.5 first in the following order:

  • Kingdom Hearts
  • Kingdom Hearts Re: Chain of Memories
  • Kingdom Hearts II
  • Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days
  • Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep
  • Kingdom Hearts Re: Coded

If you don’t like the gameplay of Chain of Memories, feel free to watch the cutscenes online. A lot of people learn the story this way. However, it is a really fun deck building game, so I recommend playing it. After you finish that collection, move on to 2.8 and play the games in this order:

  • Kingdom Hearts HD: Dream Drop Distance
  • Kingdom Hearts χ: Back Cover
  • Kingdom Hearts 0.2 Birth by Sleep: A Fragmentary Passage

Wow, that’s a lot of games! Thankfully,
358/2 Days, Re: Coded, and Back Cover are all simply cutscenes stitched together like a movie. A Fragmentary Passage is also relatively short, since it was originally supposed to be the prologue for Kingdom Hearts III.

So
Dream Drop Distance is a remaster of a 3DS game. A Fragmentary Passage is sort of like the Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zero of Kingdom Hearts III. But what is this mysterious χ: Back Cover? It’s a lot different from the other games and it doesn’t even feature any of the familiar characters we know and love.

If you’ve stayed with me so far, awesome! I’m so sorry if I lose you after this next part, because things get very complicated when talking about this game.

Kingdom Hearts χ

After the release of Dream Drop Distance, Square Enix released a web browser game called Kingdom Hearts χ. The game is a prequel that predates any of the current games by hundreds of years. Many people shrugged off the cutesy style of the game, thinking that Square finally released a spinoff game that wasn’t important to the story.

But Tetsuya Nomura can’t be satisfied unless he makes you play a different
Kingdom Hearts game on every platform known to man. Kingdom Hearts χ, unfortunately, is presumably important to the story. Thankfully, the game finished a long time ago and all the cutscenes are available online.

Things are never this easy for
Kingdom Hearts though. In 2015, a mobile port of the game called Kingdom Hearts Unchained χ was released. This was originally thought to be a port of the mobile browser game. But like I said, it can never be that simple. The story of Unchained χ deviates from the original about halfway through the game. New elements start to pop up, and it starts to become clear why the games have two separate names.

About a year ago, the main plot of the game severely strayed from the original. Along with some additional story and game mechanics, Square renamed the game to Kingdom Hearts Union χ (Cross).

Originally, it was believed
Kingdom Hearts χ: Back Cover would streamline the events of the mobile and browser games so fans wouldn’t have to play them. But Back Cover contains information you won’t find in the mobile game. Unfortunately, the same thing can be said the other way around. The three titles coexist, and you have to understand them all to fully grasp the story.

The worst part about
Kingdom Hearts χ is the fact that Union χ is still going. The story isn’t even finished and is unlikely to be finished by the time III comes out later this year. On top of that, the Japanese version of the game is way ahead compared to the English version.

Now this might not be a big deal. Nobody has a clear answer as to how impactful
χ will be in the future of the series. But if the past has any answers to give, the games will probably be important.

If you’re still with me after all of that, there’s one more thing you have to know about
Kingdom Hearts before you start your journey. It’s a far less serious topic, but one that I’m sure will affect your enjoyment of the series.

Kingdom Hearts is Incredibly Goofy, Stupid, and Sometimes Cringey

When I played Kingdom Hearts for the first time, I didn’t question a lot of things about the game. The premise of Disney and Final Fantasy characters existing in the same universe wasn’t that crazy for a young child to grasp. Now, the idea seems quite ridiculous.

Every time I replay a game in the series, it’s hard to swallow some of the dialogue. The writing in general is incredibly cheesy. There are moments where I actually let out heavy sighs because a line of dialogue didn’t land appropriately at all. Lines like
“that was undeniable proof that we totally owned you lamers” are sometimes incredibly difficult to get past. So if you’re wanting to like Kingdom Hearts, you’re going to have to get over some bad writing.

While the story is gripping by nature, the sudden whiplash you’ll experience can be a bit much. One moment you’ll be jumping on a trampoline with Winnie the Pooh and Tigger. Next thing you know, there’s a serious sword fight going on between two dudes with spiky anime hair. Simply put, the tone is inconsistent throughout. Seeing
Final Fantasy characters do goofy Disney things is strange. Seeing Disney characters go through super serious JRPG story arcs is even weirder. If you want to play
Kingdom Hearts, just be fully prepared to go through some of the dumbest moments you’ll ever experience in a video game.

So if you’ve made it all the way to this point and you’re still interested in trying
Kingdom Hearts, that’s great! The series has a lot more great things going for it. The story is incredibly engaging, the combat is fluid and improves with each entry, the presentation is absolutely gorgeous, and the worlds all have unique features from their respective Disney films.

Kingdom Hearts has a lot to love, but you have to accept its quirks. If you can’t accept a game for both its perfections and its flaws, it’s really hard to enjoy it. Right now is the best time to become a fan of this franchise. So if you made it this far, do yourself a favor. Pick up a copy of Kingdom Hearts 1.5+2.5 and 2.8. Once you play through those, you can join the rest of us and patiently wait for Kingdom Hearts III.

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Grand Theft Auto V Has Sold 95 Million Copies

Calling Grand Theft Auto V a success would be one of the biggest understatements possible in the video game industry. Rockstar’s latest iteration on the popular open world franchise has been on the market for nearly five years, and it’s still consistently among the top sellers each month in many countries, and especially in the United States.

As it continues to sell by the millions years after launch, Grand Theft Auto V is coming up on a major milestone at lightning speed. According to publisher Take-Two Interactive’s latest earnings report, Grand Theft Auto V has now sold an incredible 95 million copies worldwide. Comparing that figure to the number cited in the previous earnings call shows that it’s sold another 5 million copies just in the last three months alone.

If Grand Theft Auto V can continue this blistering pace, it’ll eclipse the 100 million mark this Summer. It’s currently listed as the third highest-selling video game of all time, trailing only Minecraft and Tetris.

Source: PC Gamer

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Even If It’s Not the Best, What Game is Most Important in Your Life?

Everybody has one special game in their life that they consider the pinnacle of perfection. It’s the one thing you can always go back to that stands out above the rest. You never grow tired of it, and it always puts a smile on your face. You’re often willing to look past all of its flaws because it had such a powerful impact on you as a person.

For me, that one game is Kingdom Hearts II. It’s been about twelve years since the game released in the US, and I still play through it at least once every year. I’m not entirely sure what keeps bringing me back to this title in particular. It has lovable characters, a great story, super satisfying combat, and some of the most exciting challenges a game has ever offered. But this is true with a lot of games I play. There’s not a whole lot separating other Kingdom Hearts titles from that same description, and yet Kingdom Hearts II still resonates with me above any other game I’ve played. Even I know that there are plenty of games better than Kingdom Hearts II in a lot of ways, but for some reason they don’t quite captivate me in the same way.

So which game is it for you? Which title do you always find yourself coming back to, despite its flaws? Even though you’re aware it’s not the best game in the world, what game are you willing to throw out their as the most important in your life?

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What Is Your Favorite Music to Jam Out to When Playing Video Games?

I know what some of you are thinking. “Why would you ever listen to music when you can enjoy the lovely soundtracks video games have to offer?” That’s a fair point, and I used to agree with that. But there’s a certain point when I can’t stand the constant “wahoo!” of Mario Kart or the boring ambient sounds of League of Legends. I need something fresh. I need something that gets me pumped.

That’s why I have several different playlists dedicated to playing video games. If I’m feeling pretty confident about mowing down Stormtroopers in Battlefront, I’ll put on some mid 2000s emo rock. I know that sounds incredibly cheesy, but try to play any shooter with some classic Thirty Seconds to Mars to back you up. That creates some real hype.

If Mario Kart is feeling too slow for you, crank up the tension with a drum and bass playlist. This adds a whole new layer of excitement to the racing experience, and I guarantee you will get way too into it. My personal favorites include Fox Stevenson’s Better Now and Feint’s We Won’t Be Alone.

What about all of you? What are your main jams when playing video games? Or do you just enjoy the sounds of the game? Let us know your preferences in the comments below!

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PS4 Will Soon Pass PS3 in Lifetime Sales

PlayStation 4 got off to an incredible start, outpacing even the legendary PlayStation 2 in its first year. Sony’s console peaked in the 2016 fiscal year with over 20 million units shipped, and their latest financial report shows that PlayStation 4 had another strong year in 2017. In fact, just four and a half years into its lifespan, PlayStation 4 has nearly overtaken PlayStation 3 in lifetime sales.

Sony shipped another 19 million PlayStation 4 units (including both the standard and Pro models) to retailers last year, bringing its lifetime total to 79 million units shipped worldwide. By comparison, PlayStation 3 shipped a total of 83.8 million units in its life, which means Sony’s latest console isn’t far behind at all.

According to Sony’s projections, PlayStation 4 sales should see a moderate decline next year. They still expect the console to sell 16 million units next year, which is no small amount, but that’s down three million from 2017, which was down from 2016. If Sony’s projections are correct, global PlayStation 4 sales will be sitting at around 95 million by this time next year.

Of course, PlayStation 4 still has a long way to go to become Sony’s top-selling console of all time. On the way to PlayStation 3’s milestone, it’ll have to pass PlayStation Portable at 82 million. The real competition is the original PlayStation at 102.49 million and PlayStation 2 at 155 million.

Source: Sony

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Shovel Knight’s King of Cards Expansion is Delayed

Indie team Yacht Club Games has a huge hit on their hands with Shovel Knight, totaling over 2 million copies sold. They’ve kept fans hooked on the retro platformer with two expansion packs since launch, and a third is on the way. Unfortunately, fans are going to have to wait a little longer than they expected to get their hands on the King of Cards expansion.

The final, content-packed
Shovel Knight expansion was originally planned to launch early this year, but the team is aiming to make it “bigger and more surprising than the last.” As such, they’ve decided to take more time to work on the new content so they can maintain the level of quality that’s expected of them.

“That demo footage looks so good, right!? It’s like everything is done! That’s not quite the case quite yet but we are getting closer every day, inch by inch, commit by commit, and pixel by pixel! As we mentioned in our
Two Million Sales Article we’re always looking to out-do ourselves and make every game bigger and more surprising than the last! We want King of Cards to be no different. After assessing where we are, and where we want to be, we now expect King of Cards to be ready for a grand debut in the latter half of 2018.It’s a ways away, but Pridemoor Keep wasn’t built in a day!” — Yacht Club Games

The new launch window puts its release at any time from July 1st through December 31st. Yacht Club also promised that they’d deliver more details on the upcoming Battle Mode soon.

Source: Yacht Club Games

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