Developer Klei Entertainment has always had a knack for style, with games like Don’t Starve and Invisible, Inc. At last year’s E3, Klei showed off its newest project, Griftlands, that once again has a unique look and premise.

Griftlands is a sci-fi RPG that its developers describe as a “pirate/mercenary sandbox,” where you attempt to make a fortune for yourself. You control a group of mercenaries who have several different quest lines, and Klei explains that the world will mold and dynamically change depending on your actions. As for battles, these are played out in a turn-based fashion with a focus on subduing your enemies rather than outright killing them.

Much of Griftlands revolves around its economy, and on its Steam page, it says that “everything is negotiable,” including money, loyalty, and morality. Below, you can watch its reveal trailer, which premiered at last year’s E3 at the PC Gaming Show.

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Griftlands releases for PC at some point this year. No fixed release date has been revealed just yet.

Capcom has announced that Street Fighter V outfits (Ryu and Sakura) are coming to Monster Hunter: World. This announcement comes soon after Capcom revealed plans for a crossover between franchises Monster Hunter and Street Fighter, such as bringing Rathalos, Zinogre, and Kirin Monster Hunter armor for Ken, R. Mika, and Ibuki in Street Fighter V: Arcade Edition.

As detailed on the Capcom Unity blog, these Street Fighter V-themed armor sets in Monster Hunter: World can’t be mixed with other armor pieces. Both sets of armor can be equipped by both male and female hunters, and you can even change your character’s voice to match Ryu’s or Sakura’s.

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For players with a Street Fighter V save file on their PS4, they will be able to obtain Ryu’s set early. A special quest will appear for them, called “Down the Dark, Muddy Path” in Monster Hunter: World, which will guide them towards obtaining the set. As for everyone else, these armor sets can be obtainable through two new event quests which will be in rotation soon on both PS4 and Xbox One.

Several premium gestures and chat stamp sets are also on their way. You can find the details and pricing of each below.

  • Guild Card: Bonus Stage (Free)
  • Achievements: Rival, Destined, Living Legend and Bandana Girl (Free)
  • Pose: Shoryuken & Hadoken (Free)
  • Gesture: Street Fighter V Hadoken ($3.99)
  • Gesture: Street Fighter V Shoryuken ($3.99)
  • Stamp Set: Street Fighter V Set – ($1.99)

Ryu’s costume will be available in “a few weeks” for PS4 players with a Street Fighter V save file. No other release timeframes have been announced just yet.

The Xenogears soundtrack, beloved by many as one of the best in RPG genre, is getting a remaster.

The re-recording of the soundtrack comes by way of original composer Yasunori Mitsuda and Anúna (an Irish choir group), as posted by Mitsuda on his Facebook page and confirmed by Square Enix. The soundtrack, which in Japan is called “The First and the Last” will be available in April, in 96khz/24 bits via Blu-ray music disc (yes, those exists), and include a few new tracks.

Although its soundtrack is good enough to warrant a remaster, it’s no slouch as an RPG, making it into our list of the Top 100 RPGs of all time.

As we get our older, our habits tend to calcify. We know what we like and don’t like, and it can be difficult to throw ourselves at new experiences in good faith. This happens with games, as well. but those habits don’t have to stay the same forever. To that end, we want to know: When was the last time you branched out with your gaming tastes?

My most recent example is Doki Doki Literature Club. I’m not usually a big visual novel guy unless the name “Ace Attorney” is somewhere in it, so even as I heard all the great things about it last year, I stayed away. As Game Informer‘s game-of-the-year discussion began springing up and I heard no one mention it, I decided I’d give it a shot just to see if we weren’t missing something. Lo and behold, it’s one of my favorite games of last year. I don’t think I’ll venture into the world of visual novels, though, since I think a lot of what I like about DDLC is how it subverts the tropes of its genre, so I think one that played it straight wouldn’t do it for me. Still, I’m happy I took the risk.

So when did you branch out? Will Monster Hunter: World be your first foray into the series? Are you Dragon Ball fan who’s going to give fighting games a chance with FighterZ? Let us know!

With some of the changes coming to PlayStation VR in North America soon (and already made in Japan), it stands to reason some of the other devices that interface with the device would also change. A recent patent filed by Sony shows the Move controller could be next.

Last year, Sony’s Japan branch filed a patent for a new Move controller with finger-tracking technology similar to Valve’s recently-demonstrated Knuckles controller. A second patent, filed earlier this month, is for a controller which looks very similar to the Move’s main controller, except with an analog stick and slightly more prominent face buttons, as well as a more ergonomic trigger on the underside (making it look similar the original Move’s navigation controller). You can find images of this controller below.

It should be said that patents are not indicative of final products, and it’s possible this controller never sees the light of day. However, considering that Sony expects the library of its VR platform to double this year, it is certainly possible.

[Source: Hoei Patent Office, 2 via VRFocus]

 

Our Take
The original Move controller worked find for a lot of early PSVR experience, but this new design seems to hint at more substantive offerings coming our way. Hopefully this controller will make it easier to have experiences that are both immersive and don’t feel limited by the interactivity (which feels like the case in lots of motion-based games) or not interesting enough to warrant the technology (which is the case with many PSVR games that simply us a controller).

Although us here in the gaming world could have seen this coming, the backlash against aggressive microtransactions has extended into the financial sector, where predictions and forecasts can consequences.

Analyst Doug Creutz from financial service and investment banking firm Cowen made statements yesterday regarding the performance of Activision Blizzard and EA’s stocks. “Game development times are getting longer, and R&D costs are growing faster than they had previously,” he said to clients, according to CNBC. “This isn’t a monopoly business … Angering your customer with bad [microtransactions] does matter.”

Creutz held the values of Activision Blizzard and EA’s shares at $66 and $104, which are seven and nine percent lower than the market’s close, respectively. According to Creutz, gaming industry “plans to further expand live services revenue appear to have run into some roadblocks with gamers sounding off against some recent titles.” He cites the uproar around the microtransactions in both Star Wars: Battlefront II and Destiny 2 (though in the case of the latter, Creutz also acknowledge other issues hindering the game’s view in the eyes of fans). “[Star Wars Battlefront II] has pretty clearly significantly underperformed expectations and remains without a live services revenue stream, while Destiny 2 has at the least suffered some unwanted engagement attrition,” Creutz said. “We suspect that 2018 will see a pullback on industry attempts to aggressively drive [microtransaction] growth as a result.”

Microtransactions weren’t the only reason Creutz cited for the lowered valuation, however. He also pointed out that a combination of high expectations from investors and player dissatisfaction could be cause for more underperformance. “It’s not just that gamers are angry and complaining; there have clearly been performance consequences for the games involved. And in an industry where every company is dependent upon a relatively small number of franchises, this matters.”

Apart from the financial effects of overreaching MTX, there may soon be more legal ramifications for including loot boxes in games, as Washington state Senator Kevin Ranker recently introduced a bill to investigate whether they constitute gambling. For its part, EA has stated it isn’t giving up putting microstransactions in Battlefront II.

[Source: CNBC]

 

Our Take
Whenever a controversy regarding publsihers’ actions and customers’ outrage at them arises, there’s an undercurrent of defeatism about whether anything will really change. But as the backlash against microtransactions continues to grow outside of acute outrage and into chronic distrust, it’s looking ever more likely that anger will start to affect publishers’ actions in a measurable way. Hopefully, this will manifest in us looking back at this time years from now and thinking “remember when tons of console games had microtransactions?”

This week brings us a lot of new and exciting games, but we’ve also got some fun majors to watch.  Evo Japan is an exciting first-time event (even if you’ll have to wreck your sleep schedule to watch it), and lots of other majors are happening around the world. Let’s dig in!

Evo Japan takes the world’s biggest fighting game tournament to the East, witch major events for Street Fighter V, Guilty Gear Xrd Rev 2, Tekken 7, and more. (Streams and Schedule)

The Counter-Strike: Global Offensive Eleague Major in Boston wraps up this week and sports a cool $1,000,000 prize pool, so if you’re looking to watch other people a lot of money and play games, this is your best bet. (Stream / Schedule)

The Gears of War 4 Pro Circuit is in Mexico City once again, bringing the world’s best players and a $150,000 prize pool to el distrito federal. (Stream)

The Overwatch League continues this week, with the Dallas Fuel facing off against the Boston Uprising and more. (Stream / Schedule)

The League of Legends Championship series continues, bringing with it another week of intense matches in the group stages (StreamSchedule)

You can also catch this weekend’s DreamHack event In Leipzig, which will include the following games (Streams attached):

That’s it for this weekend! Let us know if we missed an event, or if there’s a scene you’d like us to cover, in the comments below.

With PSN being down yesterday, it at first seemed as though Fortnite was one of the games affected. In Fortnite’s case, however, it seems as though it’s a larger issue, the game’s servers are still down, will be a for a little while.

Yesterday, players were unable to log into the game across all platforms, which Epic acknowledged on its official Twitter.

A few hours later, the issue seemed to be resolved after Epic released a patch addressing the issue, which was introduced with the latest 2.3.0. update.

A couple of hours after the update released, players were still unable to join parties across all platforms. Epic has now decided to take the game offline. “Fortnite has had another big bump in player count this week and we were not prepared for it,” Epic said in a statement on Reddit. “We will likely be taking Fortnite offline for a while so we can work through this. We’ll let you know when that will happen. We will update you soon on the next steps.” Shortly after, the company released an updated statement announcing Fortnite’s party service was offline, and that online, single-player modes were the only ones available.

We will update this story once the servers are back up (hopefully) later today.

 

Our Take
For whatever reason, I’m continually surprised by the increasing popularity of Fortnite. Of course, Epic could have just pivoted its server issues as one of those “good problems.”

You can’t write about pirates without using a bunch of lame pirate talk. Rare’s game Sea of Thieves features pirates, therefore, yo ho ho and whatnot. Join us for a new episode of New Gameplay Today, where we take a four-man crew of scallywags and walk the plank and what have you. Booty!

This is a rogues gallery of the GI crew. Kyle Hilliard, Ben Reeves, and Jeff Marchiafava join me and Leo as we set sail. Or try to. Look, we’re not great at manipulating the sails, or, as Kyle calls them, “the curtains.” Watch as we find a treasure and (apparently) lose it. Was it a bug? Was it skullduggery? One thing’s for sure: It was probably Kyle’s fault.

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Sea of Thieves is coming to Xbox One and PC on March 20. 

Last year when I went on a trip to Japan to do this thing, I visited a video game store in Akihabara and bought a copy of Dragon Ball Z: Super Saiya Densetsu for the Super Famicom. This week, we finally play it.

Super Saiya Densetsu never released in North America, but it’s a full-length turn-based RPG based on Dragon Ball Z. Its story covers up to the Frieza saga, but features some strange twists and turns. I join Andrew Reiner this week to check out the game, along with Javy Gwaltney, who brute-forced his way through the game as a child despite not knowing how to speak or read Japanese. For the remainder of the episode we look at two more Dragon Ball games, for a small Dragon Ball spectacular.

And for those viewers not interested in Dragon Ball, with Dragon Ball FighterZ releasing today, we promise we will slow down on all the Dragon Ball coverage… maybe.

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