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Halo 5: Guardians Hog Wild Update Released May 31, 2016

Posted by Maniac in Game News.
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A minor update for Halo 5: Guardians has just been released offering some new multiplayer content to the Xbox One exclusive shooter.

As per what is becoming update comes with a whole new bunch of REQ content including new armor types and new skins for vehicles. You can read all the details here

The update doesn’t seem to require any extra content download on the player’s end, so the new content must be server side. Users may log in to find an exclusive Hog Wild REQ pack in their “open packs” screen. I’ve been told by Halo’s official ESL Twitter feed to inform you guys that if you received a Hog Wild REQ pack today, don’t open it until 5PM EST!

Halo 5: Guardians is out now exclusively on Xbox One.

Let’s Play Until Dawn Parts 1-4 May 31, 2016

Posted by Maniac in Let's Play, Site Videos.
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Maniac has been interested in playing the interactive thriller Until Dawn from Supermassive Games since it was first revealed as a PS3 Playstation Move exclusive at Gamescom. A few delays and one hardware change later, the game was released to rave reviews as a PS4 exclusive, and with almost a year passing since picking it up, Maniac has put off playing it for far too long.  Join him as he plays it for the first time. Just remember, if Maniac makes a mistake, it can’t be fixed. There is no checkpoint loading in this game.

This Let’s Play is being published in four parts with picture-in-picture video commentary.  Enjoy.

If this isn’t enough for you, we plan to stream more of the game later tonight on Twitch.tv.

Until Dawn is out now exclusively on the PS4.

Uncharted 4 1.05 Patch Released May 30, 2016

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Another 75MB patch for Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End has been released. Like the ones before it, the patch’s official notes merely list minor bug fixes and improvements.

Make sure to download the patch before logging into some Uncharted 4 multiplayer as you probably won’t be able to bring your game online without it.

Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End is out now exclusively on PS4.

Quantum Break Podcast May 30, 2016

Posted by Maniac in Podcasts, Site Videos.
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Happy Memorial Day everyone!  We’re back into the swing of producing our podcast series, where we discuss specific gaming franchises!  Today, we’ll be talking about the newest franchise to hit shelves on the Xbox One and Windows 10, Quantum Break.

For those of you who haven’t listened to one of our podcasts before, this is an unscripted series where our host discusses his history with a particular gaming franchise, talks about the game’s impact on him, and speculates on its future.

The new podcast is nowhere near as long as our last one, so give it a listen below!

Next time we’ll be discussing our next most requested podcast topic, Commander Keen!

Quantum Break is out now for Xbox One and Windows 10.

The Making of Final Fantasy XV Part 1 May 26, 2016

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I haven’t been a fan of IGN’s content for the past few years but their site used to be a daily staple on my web browsing habits and they are stil considered to be one of the biggest gaming news sites on the web. This week, they released the first part of what looks to be a great documentary about the making of Final Fantasy XV titled The Long Road to Final Fantasy XV.

The first part of this documentary focuses on the people at Square Enix. It’s a great to hear what goes through the minds of those individuals who are tasked with continuing such a beloved series. There might even be some new footage included that you haven’t seen yet!

If you can’t wait to check it out, you can give it a watch below!

Final Fantasy XV is coming September 30th, 2016 to the Xbox One and PS4.

Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End Patch 1.04 Released May 24, 2016

Posted by Maniac in Game News.
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A 77MB patch has just been released for Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End.  The patch specifically addresses multiplayer balance changes and must be downloaded before you can play the game online.

On a side note, the free companion app Uncharted: Fortune Hunter has also been updated on Android and iOS devices. The new update includes all new puzzles and new unlockable content.

Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End is out now exclusively on the PS4. Uncharted: Fortune Hunter is out now for Android and iOS devices.

Science Check: Quantum Break May 22, 2016

Posted by Maniac in Editorials, Science Check.
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We’ve been playing the new Remedy game Quantum Break nearly non-stop over here at GameXcess.net since the game was released back in April. It’s a phenomenal title and if you have an Xbox One or a VERY powerful Windows 10-equipped PC, I cannot recommend it enough.  The game’s plot revolves entirely around the concept of time travel, and developer Remedy put a lot of hard work into researching the most plausible scientific basis when defining their vision of time travel’s underlying rules. Without trying to spoil too much, the player will learn eventually that while time travel is possible within Quantum Break‘s universe, changing the past is not.

I’ve been facinated by time travel stories since I was a small child. In fact, the Back to the Future movies were some of my absolute favorite  films growing up, so I’m proud to finally have the chance of taking on the subject for this site. That’s right boys and girls, today we’re going to be talking about time travel. Buckle in.

Sometimes, you’re forced to make some severe leaps of logic as to just how plausible a video game’s grounded reality can be. Some things we’re willing to take for granted, like enemies will simply just carry health and ammunition supplies with them at all times, and you will be immediately able to make use of them.

But then sometimes there will be moments in gaming which skirt the bounds of reality and you are forced to ask yourself…COULD THAT REALLY HAPPEN? Fortunately for me, I happen to have a bunch of friends on speed dial with science backgrounds and when I ask them questions, they have no problem filling me in on just what reality would do in these situations.

So this is Science Check, where I take a look at the leaps and bounds of scientific logic that games have made over the years and check if it would indeed work, or if you tried doing it in the real world, you’d be totally screwed.

I was fortunate enough to speak about time travel and Quantum Break specifically with a friend of mine recently. My friend, who wished to remain anonymous, has a degree in physics and while he is not an active participant in any current time travel related research, he is familiar with some of the work being done in the field.  I was lucky enough to pick his brain on what he thought about time travel in Quantum Break, and just how plausible it is.

Quantum Break was exceptionally clear about what it would take for a human being to travel through time.  The game’s premise is that you could travel forward or backwards through time by circling a black hole.  Based on that theory, a time machine’s design would include a modular circular pathway wrapped around a central core.  The core is made up of an artificial black hole which would not only be capable of powering the machine, but would alter the flow of time for anyone walking through the circular pathway.  After inputting the destination date, the machine’s computer would automatically calculate the proper distance the circular pathway would need to be positioned around the core and deploy it.  The specific direction the traveler would need to walk around the pathway (clockwise or counter-clockwise) would be dependent on if the traveler was planning to go to the past or the future.

This setup had lots of advantages but also lots of disadvantages. Essentially, the time traveler would enter the time machine in their present and exit directly from the machine sometime in the past or future.  That meant that all time travel from that machine would be tied directly into the individual core used to power it, so the user would only be able to time travel to periods when the core was active and could not travel to a time before it was first built.  The user would be able to exit from a different time machine only if the core from the machine they used to travel was moved to power a different time machine at a later time.  To protect against the Grandfather Paradox, time travelers were made incapable of altering the history of known events in the game’s world.  For example, it was noted several times in the game that any attempt by a time traveler to prevent a predestined event only served to cause the event they wanted to prevent to happen in the first place.  If a user was to set the machine for a minute in the past, they could essentially see an older version of themselves exiting the machine as they were getting ready to enter it. Their younger self would still need to enter the machine to close the time loop as their older self went about their business, or they would face breaking time.  It’s as if time is fixed, and regardless of who is in what time, only what has happened in the past will happen in the future.

So how does this concept stack up to reality?  While there are physicists working on methods of traveling through time, none of the work I’ve seen has included sending a human being forwards or backwards through time. I’m afraid to say that my friend was of an opinion that time travel in this form was simply impossible.  While there has been work on time travel in the real world, the method that seems furthest along only involves sending simple messages into the past.  While that may be useful, it is still unknown if even this method will be successful.

My friend argued, simply, that if time travel is EVER invented, humanity would be well aware of it by now.  That old joke, “When do we want [a time machine]?  That’s irrelevant!” rings true.  If a time machine is ever made real, regardless of the form it takes, he believed it would eventually become mass-produced for civilian consumption. Night vision, remote-controlled drones and GPS are all examples of private technology intended for military applications eventually finding massive popularity when they were eventually released in a civilian market who would probably buy them like crazy.   Anyone who has seen the movie “Time Chasers” knows where this point will eventually lead. If time travel is possible in the future, having time machines eventually sold in the same volumes as private automobiles are today is a real possibility.  Statistically, this runs the risk of misuse, intentionally or unintentionally.  My friend used the analogy of having an immature child borrowing their parents car and taking it out for an illegal joyride. Now imagine what would happen if instead of a car, the parents owned a time machine.

Since a time machine could theoretically exist at any point in time once it’s built, if they’re possible to build it would be highly likely time travelers from all over history could be walking among us.  It’s then inevitable the world would be aware of them and there would be records of odd people appearing in time periods they don’t belong. I argued the possibility people capable of time travel would be intelligent enough to keep quiet and reports of time travel related events to the media could be dismissed as hoaxes and left unreported, but that did not take accidents into account.  Statistically, it is possible if time machines are mass produced, eventually one is going to be used by some idiot who won’t respect these rules.  Even if some genius is able to successfully build and test a machine in secret and use it properly for personal use until he either dies or retires the machine (a la Doc Brown), my friend has said that when it comes to innovation, especially for electronic devices, if just one person is able to figure out how to make something statistics say that someone else would be able to eventually replicate his work on their own.  If Will didn’t build his time machine himself, perhaps Sophia would have eventually been able to build one on her own.

I’m sorry to conclude that because no credible events of time travelers have been reported to this date, it is likely a time machine is simply not something humanity is capable of creating.  However I need to give great regard to Quantum Break writer Sam Lake for making such a believable story. If I hadn’t talked to some of my own experts, I might have tried to build one myself.

Quantum Break is out now for Xbox One and Windows 10 PCs. 

Halo 5: Guardians Forge Mode Coming Free to Windows 10 May 21, 2016

Posted by Maniac in Game News.
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Big news coming out of Microsoft this week as Halo developers 343 Industries have officially announced that they will be releasing Forge Mode from Halo 5: Guardians free to all Windows 10 owners.

This is a huge announcement.  Forge was first included in Halo 3, and since then it has become an enormous part of what makes Halo multiplayer so successful. It allows private users the ability to create and tweak their own multiplayer maps, and share them with their friends and other users online.  However, up until this point, level creators using Forge have been stuck creating content using a only  a game controller and many content creators would prefer using a keyboard and mouse.  Now they’re not going to have to worry about that because the Forge editor is coming to Windows 10 completely free of charge.

While this announcement was made a day or two ago, we held off on reporting it until we knew more information, and now we have it. The Windows 10 app will likely be released exclusively through the Windows 10 store when it is available.  The app is written specifically to take advantage of the new DirectX 12 api, and takes full advantage of a keyboard and mouse interface. Modders used to creating content for PC titles should feel right at home.

There will be some limitations to the free Windows 10 editor. Users will be able to test their created content on Windows 10 can be tested on Windows 10 and the Xbox One, but the Windows 10 editor will not have access to the Halo 5: Guardians multiplayer matchmaking service.  Windows 10 users will only be able to play and test Forge maps with users on their friends list.

While Microsoft has no plans to release the full version of Halo 5: Guardians on the PC, Halo 5: Guardians is out now exclusively on Xbox One.

Pokemon Podcast May 18, 2016

Posted by Maniac in Podcasts, Site Videos, Uncategorized.
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This year celebrates the twentieth anniversary of the release of the original Pokémon titles in Japan. We’ve covered as many of the special events as we could, but there’s a lot more about this franchise that we haven’t been able to say.

As you know, our Podcasts are an unscripted series where we can talk about any video game franchise. We have gotten many requests to do a podcast about the Pokémon games, but we held off doing them because we hadn’t played the vast majority of the games until recently.

So I’m honored to present you with our exclusive contribution to the Pokémon20 celebration, the Pokémon Podcast!  In it, we talk about our history with the franchise, what we thought of the game series and wrap up with what we think the future holds in store for fans!

You might want to schedule some time off before you listen, at two and a half hours in length this will be our longest podcast ever.

The First Two Hours of Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End May 17, 2016

Posted by Maniac in Let's Play, Site Videos.
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Yesterday, Maniac attempted to play the first hour of the new PS4-exclusive title Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End, and he ended up reviewing the first two hours of this great title.

Uncharted has become a staple franchise on Sony’s PlayStation platforms, and this game appears to be the franchise’s swan song. If you’re interested in checking out this game, give this video a watch. It is presented with live picture-in-picture commentary.

Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End is out now exclusively on PS4.