Mass Effect: Andromeda

Mass Effect: Andromeda Launches Today

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The first new Mass Effect game in five years is out today in North America. Developed by BioWare and published by Electronic Arts, Mass Effect: Andromeda  is available for PC (Origin), Xbox One, and PlayStation 4. A companion app is also available for iOS and Android.

“We’re very happy to welcome the fans back to the Mass Effect universe,” said Aaryn Flynn, VP and GM of BioWare. “The team’s vision for this epic new chapter was to take what our fans love about Mass Effect – great characters and combat – and add more emphasis on exploration while telling a different type of story. We’re following a group of characters who are just starting their heroic journey, and we can’t wait for our fans to discover more about them and this new galaxy.”

Mass Effect: Andromeda distances itself literally from the original trilogy through both time and space. A 600-year long journey thrusts your colony-seeking crew into an all-new galaxy far from our Milky Way. You play as one of the Ryder siblings, a brother or sister. Your Ryder is a Pathfinder, a leader and vanguard of the dangerous exploration missions you’ll undertake.

In addition to a single player campaign, Mass Effect: Andromeda will feature cooperative multiplayer, which play similarly to the multiplayer found in Mass Effect 3 and Dragon Age: Inquisition. Mass Effect: Andromeda also utilizes the Frostbite 3 engine, which is featured in all of EA’s games of the last few years such as Dragon Age: Inquisition and Battlefield 1.

Launch day reviews have been lukewarm, ranging from praise to harsh criticism. The title currently hovers around a mixed Metascore of 75 (stay tuned for our review).

Mass Effect: Andromeda is available in Standard Edition ($59.99), Deluxe Edition ($69.99), and Super Deluxe ($99.99). The Deluxe Edition grants access to additional digital goodies, such as armor, booster packs for multiplayer, and a pet space monkey. The Super Deluxe Edition is digital only and comes with everything in the Deluxe Edition, plus “a [multiplayer] Premium Pack coming your way every week, for 20 weeks.”

cosmic star heroine

Cosmic Star Heroine is Launching April 11

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One of my personally most anticipated games of the year has an official release date. Cosmic Star Heroine is launching digitally on April 11 for PC and PlayStation 4, with a price of $14.99. It’s also coming to PlayStation Vita, though not at launch.

“We’re super excited to finally be releasing Cosmic Star Heroine and hope everyone enjoys the finished game,” states the latest Kickstarter update. “This is by far the biggest, most sophisticated game we’ve ever released so we hope it meets the high expectations many of you have for it.”

Two-person indie developer Zeboyd Games specializes in retro RPGs. Games like Cthulhu Saves the World and the third and fourth Penny Arcade games pull together many of the best elements of 90s JRPGs while infusing humorous writing and solid battle systems.

It’s with this track record that Zeboyd Games launched a Kickstarter campaign for Cosmic Star Heroine in 2013. The campaign was successful, generating over $130,000 from over 6,000 backers – including me.

Cosmic Star Heroine was developed as a nostalgic call-back to classic 90s 16-bit JRPGs like Chrono Trigger. Chrono Trigger is one of the most beloved games of all time and Cosmic Star Heroine inspired much of its style and battle system from that classic 1995 RPG.

cosmic star heroine

The story stars Alyssa L’Salle, an intergalactic secret agent who uncovers a startling conspiracy. Alyssa can recruit ten different companions with their own personalities and power sets.

Cosmic Star Heroine has been in beta since last Fall, using high-tier Kickstarter backers to help iron out bugs. You can order the official soundtrack from HyperDuck Soundworks on Bandcamp. A physical release of CSH is also planned, but will arrive later.