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Gaming History You Should Know [dot]HACK// Retrospective December 9, 2018

Posted by Maniac in Gaming History You Should Know, Uncategorized.
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Last year I became obsessed with the .HACK franchise. Created in an incredible partnership between Bandai and Cyberconnect 2, .HACK was one of the first franchises I had ever seen that was designed from the start to be transmedia. At the same time the .HACK games were being released on the PlayStation 2, there was also an animated TV series that tied into different events happening at the same time of the game. The entire franchise revolves around the lives of the players of a VR MMORPG named (literally) The World.

I remembered fondly watching the initial crucial reviews for the first games in this franchise back when G4TV was in its heyday, but as a PC-only gamer at the time who didn’t own a PS2, I could never afford to purchase the original games for myself. By the time I could, their prices had exploded in the second hand market, once again bringing them out of reach.

Last year, NamcoBandai did a great thing and re-released the second (and arguably most beloved) series in the .HACK franchise, .HACK//G.U., on the PS4 and PC. The original animated series like .HACK//Sign have been re-released as DVD boxed sets. I bought up as much of it as I could. However, the original four PS2 games from the franchise were not re-released, and I was disheartened to know I would be going into a game franchise with a big gap of information.

Enter YouTuber Model, who began work on an in-depth series of .HACK// retrospectives at around the same time I was getting to learn more about the franchise’s history. His videos were incredibly paced and exceptionally well edited, with great production values all around. They have been perfect at filling in the essential gaps left out by BandiNamco’s refusal to re-release many of these classic games. Today, Model released his fourth video retrospective on .HACK// Vol 4, completing his retrospective of the original PS2 .HACK// quadrilogy. You can watch each of them below, with each video covering one of the four games in their entirety. Be aware, there will be spoilers, but my guess is if you’re watching this it’s because you want this information.

I have to admit I am grateful for one thing, the fact that much of the .HACK// franchise has been re-released over the past few years. I’ve even seen soundtrack albums available for purchase at import stores. However, there are still several original games (and one film) that never was released outside of Japan, and these four older games from the first series fetch astronomical prices on the secondhand market. I would prefer to see NamcoBandai (or BandaiNamco) re-release these four fondly remembered games (as well as everything that was previously Japan-Only) on modern systems. They still own the franchise and Cyberconnect2 clearly still has a soft spot for the franchise they created, so there is literally no reason not to.

At some point I would like to take a closer look at the franchise but this is more than enough for now! Special thanks to Model for letting us feature his videos here on the site. You can also read his Twitter here. Great work buddy! Model promises to continue his retrospective series with a look at the .HACK//G.U. games, but he expects those to take a while.

.HACK// Episodes 1-4 are out now exclusively on the PlayStation 2.

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Kingdom Hearts III Opening Cinematic December 9, 2018

Posted by Maniac in Game News.
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The Kingdom Hearts series has a tradition of opening up with a beautifully prerendered CGI movie accompanied by the music of Utada, and Kingdom Hearts III is no different. We may be over a month away from the release of the game, but Square Enix has just released what they promise is the opening cinematic of the game. Take a look, but just be aware this video will probably hit long time fans right in the feels.

Kingdom Hearts III is coming to PS4 and Xbox One on January 29th, 2019.

Devil May Cry 5 Xbox Exclusive Demo Out December 8, 2018

Posted by Maniac in Game News.
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Microsoft has partnered up with Capcom to release an exclusive Devil May Cry 5 demo exclusively for Xbox One owners. Xbox One X owners will be happy to know the game will support the major features of the X console including 4K and HDR10 support.

You might want to free up some space on your console or consider investing in an external drive because this demo weighs in at just under 8GB.

Devil May Cry 5 is coming to Xbox One and PS4 in 2019.

Avengers 4 Trailer December 7, 2018

Posted by Maniac in Game News.
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I know this isn’t really a film site, but I just wanted to leave this right here.

Avengers: Endgame is coming to theaters April 2019.

The Game Awards 2018 December 7, 2018

Posted by Maniac in Game News.
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The Game Awards 2018 was an enormous celebration of the year’s game releases as well as exclusive previews of new games. If you’re like me and had to miss the event due to work, it has been archived on YouTube. The feed says it’s in 4K but I’ve been having issues getting it into that resolution.

Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3 Announced December 7, 2018

Posted by Maniac in Game News.
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The big Marvel announcement from The Game Awards 2018 is an unexpected surprise. A new game in the Ultimate Alliance series is coming, and this time they’re bringing not just the Avengers, the X-Men and Spider-Man…they’re bringing the Guardians of the Galaxy.

I have to admit I’m puzzled why this game would be released as a Switch exclusive, I don’t remember any of the previous games in the Ultimate Alliance series coming to a single Nintendo console.

Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3 is coming exclusively to the Nintendo Switch.

iOS 12.1.1 Released December 5, 2018

Posted by Maniac in Game News.
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Apple has just released a minor software update for devices running iOS 12. This includes multiple recent models of the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad. The new update contains specific bug fixes and improvements to several features introduced in iOS 12 and iOS 12.1.

You can download the update right now through your iDevice’s software update feature or through iTunes. The update can weigh in at around 350MB if you had the recent previous version of the operating system installed. Apple TV and Mac owners may want to check for updates on those devices as well.

Things to Watch While Waiting for the Third Spider-Man DLC December 3, 2018

Posted by Maniac in Editorials, Things to Watch While Waiting for Spider-Man on PS4.
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I have recently completed the second of the three DLC chapters for Spider-Man on PS4. Like the first DLC chapter, it ended on a cliffhanger. While there hasn’t been an impossibly long wait for each of the new storyline missions (Insomniac promised to release a new one every month), we have begun the month of December and haven’t even gotten a trailer for the final DLC, Silver Lining! Spider-Man has been out on for several months and I would argue it is the finest game to be released this year. The wait for this DLC has been excruciating!

Rumors have been abound this week that highly-anticipated trailers for a lot of Marvel-related media are coming later this week. We know for a fact that an all-new trailer for Captain Marvel will be getting released tonight during tonight’s Monday Night Football’s halftime show (for some reason) and rumors are abound that trailers are coming soon for the next Avengers film and even the Avengers Project game! Now would be the best time to release a trailer for Silver Lining!

So how can we help to pass the time while we wait for news to come about the third and final story DLC for the best game of the year? Why not watch some of the best in-depth analysis and retrospectives on the game from across the web?

I just want to set some ground rules for this list of videos. First off, these videos will probably contain spoilers for the main story of Spider-Man on the PS4, so I don’t recommend watching any of them if you haven’t completed the game’s main story. Secondly, all content featured here has to be independent or fan produced, we will not be publishing content from any major media companies. Finally, I will not embed videos that include spoilers for either of the two released DLC chapters. I figured many of my readers have played the main game but have not started playing The City that Never Sleeps, and because of that we will avoid featuring anything that could spoil those DLC missions. That all out of the way, let’s get started!

First up, I’d like to highlight the work of YouTuber GodzillaMendoza. While he classifies himself a Deadpool fan (with the tattoo to prove it), he has actually made some incredible videos about Spider-Man. He tried to prove or disprove if the Peter Parker we see in the comics would actually have been able to construct his own costume. Watch this video to see the answer. However, I would be neglectful if I didn’t mention he produced an extremely in-depth retrospective series on all of the modern Spider-Man games, and highlighted all their successes and flaws. Once Spider-Man for the PS4 was announced, his fans demanded he give his thoughts on it, and I’m happy to say he came through.

Next I’d like to highlight the work of YouTube Channel Whitelight, which produced a fantastic retrospective series on the F.E.A.R. game franchise. Most recently, he did a full retrospective of the cult classic Spider-Man: Web of Shadows, which (after watching his video) made me regret missing out on it back in the day. Oh and he also has done a nearly feature-length review of the entire Spider-Man game. Unlike a reviewer at IGN who will use easy platitudes to describe the game they’re giving an arbitrary score to, Whitelight tends to look at it more from an analytical perspective and brings up specific cases in gameplay, features and story that I thought was worth listening to. Give it a watch, but beware for spoilers.

Not enough? If you check out Whitelight’s main channel you’ll find his in-depth critique of the two DLC missions that have been released so far. Due to spoiler concerns we won’t post direct links here.

Is that enough footage? What time is it? Is the Captain Marvel trailer airing yet? No? Ok let’s continue.

Next up, I’d like to feature the work of Hi-Top Films. They’re another critical channel on YouTube that likes to talk about movies and video games based on comic book properties. I’ve not always agreed with their analysis on a few occasions (like their review of Spider-Man: Homecoming) but I could always appreciate where they were coming from with their arguments and appreciated their perspective. That having been said, their review of Spider-Man on PS4 has to be seen. These guys are film critics, so they looked at the game from a film perspective and declared the Spider-Man game to be…the best Spider-Man film of all time.

Next up let’s have some content from YouTuber Captain Midnight! The Captain’s videos serve more as opinion pieces than in-depth analysis (kinda like the videos we produce here) but the man clearly has his deep knowledge of history to back his thoughts up. I loved his review of the Sam Rami Spider-Man films and agreed with his defense about the more recent Venom film. His use of tight editing is great and while his videos are shorter than some of the other’s featured here, his analysis packs a huge punch in the briefer time. Here’s his thoughts on the PS4 game just after it was released.

Not enough for you? Here’s his feelings about the future of the Spider-Man PS4 universe.

Next up we want to highlight Cleanprincegaming, an independent reviewer with some strong opinions on the future of gaming. He’s somebody I want to highlight because unlike previous videos who analyzed the game based on a film, historical or comic book perspective, this guy is a gamer and he looks at it like it’s a game. Why highlight him? Because his critical eye found some things that most mainstream reviewers ignored! You have to give this review a watch!

That still not enough for you? Well, it’ll have to do for now! Stay tuned for more news as we hear more about the upcoming Spider-Man DLC!

Spider-Man is out now exclusively for the PlayStation 4.

Pokemon – Let’s Go Hands On Trailer November 30, 2018

Posted by Maniac in Game News.
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Nintendo and The Pokémon Company have released a new trailer to celebrate the release of Pokémon Let’s Go Pikachu and Pokémon Let’s Go Eevee. It shows some of the game’s new mechanics and introduces new players to the motion control features of the Poké Ball Plus controller. It I think I ended up seeing this trailer or one just like it air before the theatrical release of Pokémon: The Power of Us.

Pokémon Let’s Go Pikachu and Pokémon Let’s Go Eevee are out now exclusively for the Nintendo Switch.

The Dark Pictures – Man of Median Dev Diary 1 November 30, 2018

Posted by Maniac in Game News.
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I was a huge fan of Supermassive’s work on Until Dawn for the PlayStation 4 and its looking like their next major franchise series is shaping up to be just as good if not better. The first new title of their game anthology series, Man of Median, revolves around salvagers finding the wreck of a ghost ship. This new developer diary offers a behind the scenes look at what went into creating that ship.

The Dark Pictures – Man of Median is coming in 2019 to Xbox One, PS4 and PC.