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Gaming History You Should Know – History of Cyberpunk January 31, 2021

Posted by Maniac in Gaming History You Should Know, Uncategorized.
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It’s Sunday, you know what that means, time for an all-new Gaming History You Should Know, where we highlight some of the best independently produced gaming documentaries from all over the web. Today, we’re going to highlight the genre that was a big part of my first PC gaming memories, and has seen a resurgence this year, Cyberpunk!

The folks over at Indigo Gaming produced this incredible documentary which highlights all of the great Cyberpunk works of art produced over the past four decades! I had assumed I knew the history of Cyberpunk, and then I watched THIS.

Honestly, I could see more episodes of this series being produced in the future. I wish we could see more of those B-movies referenced in Part 2. Growing up with access to HBO in the mid-90s I certainly remember films like Cyber-Tracker and Retroactive. Anybody else plan to seek some of these movies and games out now?

Halo: The Master Chief Collection Season 5 Patch Released January 29, 2021

Posted by Maniac in Game News.
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Microsoft has released a major update for Halo: The Master Chief Collection earlier this week and added a whole bunch of new unlockable goodies including multiplayer armor configurations for Halo 3, and a lot more. Check it out:

Here’s the complete rundown with all the update notes:

Halo: The Master Chief Collection is out now for the PC, Xbox One and Xbox Series X/S

Control: Ultimate Edition Next Gen Release Date January 27, 2021

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Control: Ultimate Edition is coming to the next generation consoles early next month. What are we getting in the form of upgrades? How’s about Ray Tracing at 30FPS on PS5 and Xbox Series X, or a 60fps performance mode on PS5, Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S?

If you already have a copy of the game’s Ultimate Edition (digital or physical) your game will automatically upgrade. Save games, however, are not compatible and will not transfer.

Control: Ultimate Edition is out now for PC, Xbox One and PS4. It is coming digitally to the Xbox Series X/S and PS5 on Feb 2nd, 2021. Retail copies are coming in March.

iOS and iPadOS 14.4 Released January 26, 2021

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A major security update has just been released for all Apple devices earlier today. The new update is version 14.4 and is expected to be offered on various iPhones, iPads, Apple TV and Apple Watch.

Depending on your device, the update could weigh in at around 350MB.

What I Would Like to See Announced for Pokemon 25 Event January 26, 2021

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Happy New Year! During the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade, a bunch of adorable dancing Pikachu announced next year will kick off the Pokémon 25 event, marking the 25th anniversary of the original release of Pokémon in Japan. If the Pokémon 20 event was anything to go by, we could be looking forward to a long year of events and game releases. Here’s the announcement video:

But just what announcements could we expect? It is highly unlikely a new game in the form of a sequel to Sword or Shield will be announced this year, but there’s still the chance that we could see new spin off games or even ports of classic games throughout the year.

Let’s talk about some of our best ideas shall we? We will not include speculation about future game expansion packs, either in the form of patches or paid DLC. We also won’t talk about the TCG, Pokémon Go updates or events here. This will just be our speculation about entirely new games or movies.

What We Will See That Was Announced

New Pokémon Snap (Nintendo Switch)

This was revealed not too long ago and is likely the most anticpated upcoming Pokémon game. Let’s be honest, the original Pokémon Snap is an iconic title that, despite its short length, is probably the third most well-known Nintendo 64 game of all time (behind Super Mario 64 and Ocarina of Time of course). We can expect it coming on April 30th, and you can be sure I’ll be picking it up day one.

New Pokémon Animated Movie (Netflix)

Netflix has been doing a fantastic job at obtaining the rights to a bunch of Pokemon animated content, and that includes new series and our next animated film. It is expected this will tease our next Mythical Pokémon, but I would just be happy to be able to enjoy an evening at home where I could sit and watch it.

What (I Think) We Will See Announced

Pokémon Detective Pikachu 2 (Nintendo Switch)

I loved PC mystery adventure games back in my early PC gaming days, and playing the original Detective Pikachu on the 3DS made me feel more like when I was a kid more than playing other new Pokémon games did. Obviously, the game’s ongoing mystery (Detective Pikachu’s origins) was never solved and there’s plenty of opportunity to resolve that in its Nintendo Switch sequel. The Switch is perfect for a new game. Personally, I’m hoping for a tap to move interface on the Switch’s tablet screen similar to what was done with Sam & Max: Remastered. Here’s to hoping we get that sequel announced later this year.

Pokémon Sleep (SmartPhones/Tablets)

Probably the most surprising announcement from 2019’s Pokémon Press Event, Pokemon Sleep is expected to be a smartphone application that helps us get a restful good night when used in conjunction with your smart device and a new accessory. Boy, after this past year we could all use sleep and a lot of it.

It is possible the game’s been delayed due to manufacturing issues with the new Bluetooth accessory, the Pokemon Go Plus+. I know a lot of people have upgraded to the Pokéball Plus (which had Pokémon Go Plus features integrated into a Switch controller), and may not like downgrading to a Go Plus+ that lacks the ability to connect to their Switch games. Still, I could believe the PokéBall Plus, with its gyroscopes and vibration features, could do what Sleep needs to function.

What I Wish We Will See That Wasn’t Announced

Pokémon Yellow, Pokémon Crystal and Pokémon Emerald Port for Nintendo Switch

This is really a no-brainer. We know the Switch has the capability to play classic games on the NES and SNES, there’s no reason to believe it couldn’t play Game Boy, Game Boy Color, or Game Boy Advance games. They made an absolute fortune for Nintendo on the 3DS’s eShop, now that the 3DS has been discontinued there’s no reason to hold back re-releasing the games for the Nintendo Switch.

The first two Pokémon generations include some of the most beloved games of all time and deserve to be playable in the current generation. The third generation games have never seen an official digital rerelease (just a remake for the 3DS) and because of that I have never been able to play them. Heck, they could offer support for wireless 2-player communication or even Pokémon Home functionality I’m sure even original game owners will be more than happy to rebuy all the games again.

Porting the third generation games would also be essential for some of the other things I would like to see further down the list.

Pokémon XD: Gale of Darkness and Pokémon Colleseum Port for Nintendo Switch

These two GameCube games are currently on the top of my personal list for most requested ports, a list that was previously topped by games like Shenmue and Wind Waker. Gamers at the time incorrectly assumed that these titles were merely updated versions of the classic Pokémon Stadium games, and focused on battling and minigames. That is not true, these were the first two 3D single-player Pokémon games ever made!

While both games have since been outdone graphically by games like Let’s Go Pikachu/Let’s Go Eevee, I would love the opportunity to finally play these classics myself. Since they use the same engine and reuse a lot of the same graphical assets, it should be possible to see them bundled together in the same game cart.

Pokémon Platinum Remake For Nintendo Switch

Since the days of the third generation, the Pokémon release cycle has alternated between new title and remake. We just saw the release of a new title with Sword and Shield, and if the cycle isn’t being broken that could mean a remake is coming up next. If the internet is to be believed, GEN4, a generation that has never seen a rerelease, currently holds the shelf as the most demanded remakes for the Nintendo Switch.

Anything Else?

Personally, I’d be happy to see features like the downloadable title My Pokemon Ranch or Wii’s Coliseum-type game Battle Revolution return in some form. Obviously that would mean remaking or porting some of the games listed above, so I won’t be totally convinced this is possible just yet.

Microsoft Reversing Policy on Xbox Live Price Hike January 23, 2021

Posted by Maniac in Game News.
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Less than twelve hours after we published this article, Microsoft has confirmed they are reversing their decision to double the price of Xbox Live service.

Rest easy, gamers. Prices should remain at what they are for the time being.

Cyberpunk 2077 1.1 Patch Notes January 22, 2021

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An important update was just released for Cyberpunk 2077 on every platform (including Stadia). The game’s developers promise it will be an essential building block for all major fixes and improvements going forward with the game.

Here are the official notes straight from the developer:

Stability

Various stability improvements including:

  • Memory usage improvements in various systems within the game: characters, interactions, navigation, in-game videos (news, tv, etc.), foliage, laser effects, minimap, devices, AI, street traffic, environmental damage system, GPU-related, and more.
  • Various crash fixes (related to, among others, loading saves, game opening/closing and Point of No Return).

Quests/Open World

  • Fixed an issue where calls from Delamain would end immediately and seem like they cannot be picked up in Epistrophy.
  • Fixed an issue where players would not receive calls from Delamain when approaching relevant vehicles in Epistrophy.
  • Fixed an issue where the objective could get stuck on “Answer the call from Mr. Hands” in M’ap Tann Pèlen.
  • Fixed an issue where Judy could teleport underground in Pyramid Song.
  • Fixed an issue where it would be impossible to talk to Zen Master in Poem of The Atoms.
  • Fixed an issue where Takemura wouldn’t call in Down on the Street.
  • Fixed an issue where Jackie could disappear in The Pickup.
  • Fixed an issue where it could be impossible to get out of the car in The Beast in Me: The Big Race.
  • Fixed an issue where players could stop receiving calls and messages after moving too far away from A Day In The Life area.
  • Fixed an issue where opening the package wouldn’t update Space Oddity.
  • Retro-fixed the saves affected by a rare issue where speaking to Judy in Automatic Love would be impossible due to an invisible wall. The underlying issue is under investigation.
  • Fixed an issue that prevented players from collecting the reward in Gig: Freedom of the Press. The quest will auto-complete for those who could not collect the reward previously, and the reward will be provided automatically.
  • Fixed an issue where Delamain would remain silent throughout Epistrophy if the player initially refused to help him.

UI

  • Fixed an issue where prompt for exiting braindance could be missing.
  • Removed an invalid item from loot.

Visual

  • Fixed an issue where a grenade’s trajectory could be displayed in photo mode.
  • Fixed particles’ hue appearing pink when viewed close up.
  • Fixed cars spawning incorrectly in Reported Crime: Welcome to Night City.

Achievements

  • Fixed an issue where completing one of theassaults in progress in Santo Domingo would sometimes not contribute towards progression for The Jungleachievement, preventing its completion.

Miscellaneous 

  • Addressed the issue responsible for saves getting oversized (related to the modifier indicating if the item is crafted), and trimmed the excess size from already existing saves (note: this won’t fix PC save files corrupted before 1.06 update). 
  • Fixed an issue where input could stop registering upon opening the weapon wheel and performing an action.
  • Fixed an issue where the “Continue” button in the Main Menu could load an end game save.

PlayStation-specific

  • Performance optimization of crowds on PlayStation 4 Pro and PlayStation 5.
  • Various crash fixes on PlayStation 4.

Xbox-specific

  • Improved memory usage for character creation, mirrors, scanning, camera remote control, menus (inventory, map) on Xbox One, Xbox One X and Xbox One S.

PC-specific

  • It will now be possible to obtain achievements while in Steam offline mode. Note: Offline mode needs to be enabled before starting the game. This change does not work retroactively.
  • Addressed the game startup crashes related to loading cache on NVIDIA graphics cards.

Stadia-specific

  • Concert audio should no longer be inaudible in Never Fade Away.
  • Fixed corrupted textures on several melee weapons.
  • Tweaked default deadzone settings to be more responsive. Note: the change will not affect settings unless they’re set to default.

Cyberpunk 2077 is out now for PC, Xbox One, PS4 and Stadia.

Xbox Live Price Doubling Just Because (Update) January 22, 2021

Posted by Maniac in Editorials.
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Settle down boys and girls, Maniac is going to be getting controversial. Xbox Live first launched in 2002 as a console internet gaming service. For $50US a year, you could play supported games like Unreal Championship online and even use cross platform voice chat, something that the PC didn’t even support at the time. Support for the service exploded in 2004 when one of the best online multiplayer games of all time was released, Halo 2. Despite the fact original Xbox support was discontinued a decade ago and a ten dollar price increase was added some time during the Xbox 360 generation, the service has been moving steady ever since, through three console generations and has likely been a huge moneymaker for Microsoft over the past two decades.

However, Xbox Live is not without its controversy. Over the past year, the service has been plagued by constant downtime and frequent outages, even during the day of the launch of the Xbox Series X and S consoles back in November. Downtimes for paid services aren’t unusual, you may occasionally get a power or phone service outage at your home, but in those cases you would not be required to pay for any outages, or you would be eligible for a refund by your provider. That isn’t the case for Xbox Live. You will pay whether you can play it or not.

Xbox Live is the ONLY way to play Xbox games online, and as I mentioned before, there’s no guarantee of that. Online support for ALL original Xbox games discontinued some time ago, despite an enormous online protest lead by Halo 2 players that has (to this day) led to no noticeable technological improvements with the service whatsoever. Last month, Microsoft announced they will be discontinuing online multiplayer for all of the Xbox 360’s Halo games next year. Quite a shame since those games are still some of the finest multiplayer games ever made.

Not too long ago, retailers were informing gaming websites that Microsoft was phasing out year-long Xbox Live Gold prepaid cards. Since then, rumors have circulated the reason Microsoft is discontinuing those prepaid cards is to hike the price of Live, and now we know those rumors to be true. Microsoft is increasing the price of Xbox Live (without Game Pass) to $120US a year. That is essentially double its current price. Microsoft has said they will continue charging $60US a year for subscribers who have their accounts set to auto-renew before this announcement, but who knows for how long they will continue to honor that price.

Now, Microsoft has offered a Games for Gold service, where they offer Xbox Live subscribers the chance to download a few full games each month. Some would argue since new games are expensive this justifies the price hike. However, this “benefit” is dubious at best, since you haven’t actually been getting these games at no additional charge since Microsoft started offering Xbox One titles. Microsoft’s fine print states access to them is revoked when your subscription lapses, essentially putting them on the same level as Game Pass (which is an entirely separate service we aren’t discussing here).

Meanwhile, Microsoft’s competitors offer their own multiplayer subscriptions at superior value. Online play on the PC is entirely free, except in the case for certain MMOs. PlayStation Plus costs around $50US a year and offers just as consistent if not better online play for PS4 and PS5 games that aren’t free to play. Nintendo Network Online costs $20US a year on the Nintendo Switch and offers online play and access to a suite of classic NES and SNES titles every month you’re a subscriber. While I have heard complaints about latency on the Nintendo Switch, I have personally never experienced any.

I would be fine with any price increases if Microsoft had proven the price was necessary to either providing a stable consistent service or produce some great new benefit or feature to their customers that necessitated the increase. Over the past year Microsoft has shown themselves incapable of providing a stable, consistent service and they have not provided a single new premium feature for Xbox Live users since the Xbox 360 launched in 2005. In short, Microsoft has not proven they are worthy of the increased price they are asking for. I will not be renewing my subscription any time soon.

UPDATE: One day after writing this, online sources are reporting Microsoft is reversing course. Maybe they read this article and discovered how wrong they were.

Resident Evil Village Showcase 2021 Event January 21, 2021

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Capcom is hard at work at the 8th mainline Resident Evil game, Resident Evil: VILLage and today we got a major preview of it streamed online. You can check it out below, but be aware the video starts at the thirty minute mark.

Honestly, the biggest reveals from this event are Capcom’s intentions to release it for the current generation platforms as well as the next generation. The game’s collector’s edition also looks pretty sweet.

Resident Evil: Village is coming to the PC, PS5, Xbox Series X/S, PS4 and Xbox One.

Tom Holland Reveals Disneyland’s Spider-Man Ride January 19, 2021

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I know this website is not focused on theme parks but if you bear with me for a second you’ll see how it is relevant. Earlier today, Disneyland released this official behind the scenes video of their next major ride for the California Adventure park in Anaheim, California. Check it out!

That’s right, a fully interactive web swinging adventure built inside a real-world Avengers training campus. Sign me up!

Disneyland is currently closed due to the current world events. It is unknown when it will reopen or when this ride will be available but Disney has mentioned they’re aiming for opening this year.