fortnite

Sony Reverses Policy, Opens Cross-Platform Play for Fortnite

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Good news for Fortnite players on PlayStation 4! In a sweeping policy change for Sony Interactive Entertainment, they announced a Cross-Play Beta for Fortnite launching today on PlayStation 4. For the first time, Fortnite players will be able to play with players on mobile, Switch, Xbox One, and PC. It also means you can login with one account across PlayStation 4 and other platforms.

Note that since this feature is currently in beta, expect lots of technical hiccups and issues.

“For 24 years, we have strived to deliver the best gaming experience to our fans by providing a uniquely PlayStation perspective,” writes John Kodera, President and CEO of Sony Interactive Entertainment. “Today, the communities around some games have evolved to the point where cross-platform experiences add significant value to players. In recognition of this, we have completed a thorough analysis of the business mechanics required to ensure that the PlayStation experience for our users remains intact today, and in the future, as we look to open up the platform.”

Previously Sony has been notoriously tight-nit when it comes to cross-platform play. Fortnite’s incredible popularity has finally caused a paradigm shift in company policy (much like Minecraft and Early Access games on consoles). This change can and most likely will also apply to future online games. Kodera goes on to say: “We we are now in the planning process across the organization to support this change, […] and what this means for other titles going forward.”

No specific dates or time frames have been announced for the cross-platform beta. Fortnite Battle Royale is currently available on every modern gaming console, and the lines between them are rapidly shrinking.

the walking dead

The Walking Dead Final Season Canceled, Telltale Closing

Posted by | Mobile, News, PC, PlayStation 4, Switch, Xbox One | No Comments

Shockingly sad news over the weekend. Telltale Games, who defined the narrative adventure game genre through games like The Walking Dead, Tales from the Borderlands, and Batman: The Enemy Within, has announced a massive layoff citing financial issues. The company laid off 250 employees over the weekend, leaving a tiny crew of 25 to “fulfill the company’s obligations to its board and partners,” as per the announcement.

“It’s been an incredibly difficult year for Telltale as we worked to set the company on a new course,” writes Pete Halwey, CEO of Telltale. “Unfortunately, we ran out of time trying to get there. We released some of our best content this year and received a tremendous amount of positive feedback, but ultimately, that did not translate to sales. With a heavy heart we watch our friends leave today to spread our brand of storytelling across the games industry.”

No official cancellations have been made from the company, but reports made from outlets and employees are that all remaining work has shifted toward the Minecraft Story Mode project for Netflix. This leaves future projects like Wolf Among Us Season 2 and Stranger Things effectively canceled. Most distressingly, it leaves The Walking Dead: The Final Season uncompleted, as the second of four episodes is set to launch this week.

Melissa Hutchison, voice actor for The Walking Dead series’ Clementine, issued a statement via twitter. She confirms that she does not know of any plans to continue The Final Season after Episode 2’s release.

Everything is still unconfirmed at this point, with Telltale stating they will “issue further comments regarding its product portfolio in the coming weeks.” With the entire The Walking Dead team gone, however, it’s not looking good for anyone who wanted to see Clementine’s story finally come to an end.

It’s also a bad situation for anyone who purchased the complete season pass, with the assumption that they would be receiving four full episodes of content in the months to come. Reports are surfacing that Microsoft is issuing refunds to anyone who purchased on Xbox One.

Telltale Games was found in 2004, and met some success making quirky adventure games like Sam & Max. They exploded with success after The Walking Dead released in 2012, leading to critical success, huge sales, and the proof that an episodic release schedule can be successful.

In the following six years Telltale has ridden the coattails of that success, doubling down on more licensed, episodic adventure games, such as Game of Thrones and Guardians of the Galaxy. None save Minecraft: Story Mode were financially successful, however. The Walking Dead: The Final Season was the fourth in the series, and meant to finally bring closure to their initial breakout success back in 2012.

Late last year Telltale Games laid off about a quarter of its staff. Earlier this year the Verge published a detailed exposé citing a toxic culture of mismanagement within the company. Leaving the highly touted final season of The Walking Dead unfinished comes as a big shock, as well as the hundreds of employees suddenly without work. For those affected, the hashtag TelltaleJobs is being used by recruiters at other studios.

Episode two of The Walking Dead: The Final Season is still due out tomorrow on PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Switch. It’s rated M for Mature.

fortnite switch

Get Extra Fortnite Goodies in New Nintendo Switch Bundle

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Nintendo has announced a new Fortnite-themed Nintendo Switch bundle. Fortnite Battle Royale is free-to-play, so the bundle includes in-game currency and some unique cosmetic items and equipment. The Fortnite Switch Bundle retails for the standard Switch price of $299. It will be available on October 3.

The bundle includes 1,000 V-Bucks (about $10 of in-game currency) and the Double Helix Set. The Double Helix Set consists of a unique character outfit, back bling, glider, and pickaxe, as shown on the box. The V-Bucks are enough to purchase one season’s Battle Pass, which cost 950 V-Bucks.

If you’re playing Fortnite regularly, you want the Battle Pass to be able to unlock new items and rewards as you play. Fortnite Battle Royale is currently in the middle of season five.

Fortnite is currently enjoying the status of being one of the most popular and well-known games on the planet. The Battle Royale mode is free-to-play, and pits 100 players in a free-for-all match for the last person standing.

Players drop onto an island and must scavenge for supplies and weapons while staying alive against an ever-shrinking zone of play. Its art style, intuitive gameplay, and the fact that it’s free has proven particularly popular with kids, teens, and young people. It also makes for an entertaining spectator sport. It’s rated T for Teen. Read our Parental Guide to Fortnite for more information.

Fortnite is primarily supported through seasonal Battle Passes. Players can purchase these to unlock a series of progressive rewards while playing. Each Battle Pass costs about $10, and seasons generally last a few months.

Fortnite launched on Switch earlier this summer. The Fortnite Switch Bundle will arrive on October 3.

playstation classic

The 15 Games We Want on the PlayStation Classic

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When Sony announced the PlayStation Classic, they teased only five of the 20 included games: Final Fantasy 7, Jumping Flash, Ridge Racer Type 4, Tekken 3, and Wild Arms. The original PlayStation has plenty of great classics to get excited about, so we’re listing the 15 other games we’d like to see on the mini emulator. Some of these games face an uphill battle given licensing and company restrictions, so consider this our dream list representing multiple genres and gameplay styles.

The PlayStation Classic is launching December 3.

Final Fantasy 8

playstation classic

The Final Fantasy series was on a roll throughout the 90s. Final Fantasy 7 gets a lot of love and attention as one of the first big 3D JRPGs, but 8 is beloved by many as a worthy followup. It portrayed characters in a more realistic art style and featured a complex battle system that involved ‘drawing’ magic instead of using MP. Even with Final Fantasy 7 already announced for the PlayStation Classic, few PS1 fans could complain about including FF8 as well.

 

Final Fantasy Tactics

playstation classic

While the main series put out some of the greatest RPGs of all time, Final Fantasy also enjoyed an excellent strategy spinoff in Final Fantasy Tactics. The 3D chessboard-like battlefields provided fun tactical opportunities. Each character could switch between 20 different classes, creating endless combinations and replay value. It also introduced the world to Ivalice, a popular Final Fantasy universe that would later be utilized in the later Final Fantasy MMOs.

 

Metal Gear Solid

playstation classic

A relative late-comer to the PlayStation One, the action series Metal Gear Solid became renowned for its excellent stealth mechanics, practically inventing an entirely new subgenre of stealth games. The series went on to spawn bigger and better sequels through multiple generations of PlayStation consoles, making series director Hideo Kojima a household name for many gamers.

 

Castlevania: Symphony of the Night

playstation classic

Speaking of inventing genres, Symphony of the Night reinvented the platforming of classic Castlevania games into something else entirely. It, along with Super Metroid (featured on the SNES Classic), are considered the progenitors of the ‘metroidvania’ genre, creating an open 2D world full of secrets, hidden paths, extra bosses, and numerous abilities, weapons, and spells to unlock.

 

Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2

playstation classic

Skater culture was all the rage in the 90s. Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater was the perfect confluence of tight controls and great game design that took full advantage of popular culture. Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater was the Madden Football of its day, and the sequel is often considered one of the best sports games of all time.

 

Resident Evil 2

playstation classic

The original PlayStation era witnessed the birth of the now classic horror series Resident Evil. The original was memorable but rough around the edges. The sequel opened up the action from beyond the mansion into the surrounding city in the grips of a zombie apocalypse. It remains a masterclass in creating uneasy tension through graphics, sound, and pacing.

 

Gran Turismo

playstation classic

The emergence of 3D was rough for many genres, yet racing games made an excellent transition thanks in large part to Gran Turismo. The racing simulator quickly became one of best-selling games on the console, featuring a staggering 140 licensed cars and cementing the genre’s popularity for years.

 

PaRappa the Rapper

playstation classic

Without the dance pad there’s not a good way to include Dance Dance Revolution but that doesn’t mean the PlayStation Classic should turn a blind eye to the then-emerging rhythm game genre. PaRappa fills that requirement nicely, as the titular anthropomorphic dog matches symbols flying across the screen to right beats.

 

Tomb Raider

playstation classic

With the success of the recently rebooted trilogy, it would be more than appropriate to revisit the game that started it all. Tomb Raider was one of the best 3D action-adventure games of its time, spawning a host of sequels and immortalizing beloved heroine Lara Croft for decades to come.

 

Chrono Cross

playstation classic

Chrono Cross was the highly anticipated sequel to one of the best RPGs on the SNES (and best RPGs period). The time-traveling adventure explored alternate dimensions with a ridiculously huge cast of characters and a highly customizable spell system. It also features one of the best soundtracks ever produced.

 

Crash Bandicoot

playstation classic

Some may only know Crash Bandicoot from Skylanders, or maybe from that certain sequence in Uncharted 4. But back in the day, Crash was considered the Mario of the Sony PlayStation. He never quite achieved the popularity of the mustachioed plumber, but he still starred in some solid 3D platformers, spawning several sequels and spinoffs.

 

Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver

playstation classic

Hack and slash action games were still in their infancy in the early days of 3D gaming. Legacy of Kain helped pave the way by putting you in the shoes of a powerful vampire. Raziel could employ a large variety of weapons, glide with his wings, and use the environment to defeat his enemies.

 

Medal of Honor

playstation classic

One of the biggest and most popular shooter franchises today, Call of Duty, can be traced all the way back to the PS1 with the original Medal of Honor. Originally developed as a video game version of the seminal World War 2 Steven Spielburg film Saving Private Ryan, the series really took off thanks to its split-screen multiplayer mode.

 

Metal Slug X

playstation classic

Our dream list is woefully short on cooperative games. Thankfully the perfect series exists for couch co-op. The Metal Slug games were 2D, arcade-like shoot ’em ups that reveled in over-the-top 80s and 90s era action movies. Players could find different weapons as power-ups and even command vehicles against gigantic bosses.

 

Oddworld: Abe’s Oddysse

playstation classic

True to its name, Oddworld was a 2D platformer in a bizarre alien world. At a time when many games were experiencing the technical woes of early 3D design, Oddworld gave us refreshingly beautiful 2D art and animations, with a great balance of action and puzzles.