Available On: PC, PlayStation 4
Many video game genres overlap and blend well together. Shooting and third-person action. Narrative-rich adventure with first-person exploration. RPG elements in just about everything. Yet in the paraphrased words of Dr. Ian Malcolm, just because you can combine genres doesn’t mean you should.
The Swords of Ditto is a cautionary tale. The concept seems solid: combine the basic structure of classic top-down, 2D Zelda within the framework of a challenging roguelike, creating a frustrating experience that relies too much on repetition.
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Even non-Dungeons & Dragons fans recognize Critical Role, the incredibly popular live-streaming D&D show of professional voice actors. Obsidian Entertainment has announced a partnership with the entire cast of Critical Role for upcoming RPG Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire. Players will be able to select any of their Vox Machina characters as voices for their own player characters and custom party members.
“I was such a fan of the original Pillars game, and thoroughly enjoying being a part of the vibrant world the team created,” says voice actor Matthew Mercer. “With the wonderful folks of Obsidian now bringing the entire cast of Critical Role to bring even more of the world of Eora to life, it’s sparked this incredible opportunity to bring our Critical Role characters of Vox Machina into their world via custom art and voice sets. A truly surreal milestone for this D&D nerd.”
Matthew Mercer, the Dungeon Master for Critical Role, did the voice work for multiple characters in the first Pillars of Eternity. Both Edér and Aloth will return as party members in the sequel.
— Obsidian (@Obsidian) April 7, 2018
“Working closely with the cast of Critical Role to bring Deadfire’s companions and story to life has been an amazing experience,” states Justin E. Bell, audio director, Obsidian. “Their incredible acting talent, ensemble chemistry, and tabletop roleplaying expertise coupled with Obsidian’s expertise in making deep, immersive, CRPG’s is the perfect combination. Together we’ve made something really special that we’re very proud of, and we can’t wait to share it with fans of RPGs when Deadfire releases.”
As an added bonus, special player portraits of the Vox Machina characters will be available as free DLC when Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire launches on May 8. It’s rated M for Mature.
Having one of the most beloved games of all time on Steam should have been cause for celebration. Yet Chrono Trigger’s arrival last February was met with scorn when fans found it was mostly a port of the mobile version, with made-for-touchscreen menus and updated graphics.
To Square Enix’s credit they have listened to fan feedback with the first patch, available now. The patch adds an option to switch between an Original Graphics mode which, according to the announcement, “is more in-line with the original style of Chrono Trigger.”
The patch also updates the fonts and dialogue windows and reworks the opening animations, all to make the game feel more like the original 1995 SNES version. Or at the very least, the lauded 2008 Nintendo DS port.
Future updates will add additional changes and updates to the UI and menus, including optimizing for gamepad, keyboard, and mouse controls.
Square Enix is also extending the duration that fans can purchase the Limited Edition of Chrono Trigger. The Limited Edition includes some PC wallpapers, a five-song medley track, and composer Yasunori Mitsuda’s digital liner notes. The Limited Edition is now available until April 30.
Chrono Trigger originally launched in 1995 from a dream team of Japanese RPG game designers, and has remained one of the most cherished and influential RPGs in gaming. It’s currently available on mobile and PC, and was conspicuously absent from the Super Nintendo Classic Edition last fall. It’s rated T for Teen.