The Quest Log: June 26, 2017

Can you believe we’re in the final week of June? While summer may typically be the most boring season of the year for gaming (outside of E3), this one actually feels better than most with Breath of the Wild’s DLC due out this week and Supergiant’s Pyre right around the corner? In the meantime, there’s a bunch of gaming news to get caught up on. Check out our highlights below:

Nintendo Announces SNES Classic

We all knew this was coming, but it’s hard not to get excited about it anyway. Nintendo of America announced via the above tweet that the SNES Classic–a self-contained, miniature retro-console in the same vein as the NES Classic that was discontinued earlier this year–would be launching this September. This time around, they’re including two controllers, reportedly with cords that are two feet longer than the 3-footers they included with the NES Classic, and 21 classic games. Included among those titles is the previously unreleased StarFox 2, which might actually be the most surprising bit of news to be found here.

For a list of the titles being included on the SNES Classic, hit up the official link below.

http://www.nintendo.com/super-nes-classic

The 2017 Steam Summer Sale Has Begun

Last Thursday the summer sale kicked off on Steam, which means that just about any PC title that could want is discounted. Steam did away with daily and timed deals a while back, but they do still have a meta-game of sorts to be played during the sale in the form of a sticker book. Collect enough stickers by buying games and you can earn a badge for your profile, if you’re into that kind of thing.

http://store.steampowered.com

OpenIV Is Back in Business

After an outpouring of community support for the popular modding tool and a wave of overwhelmingly negative Steam reviews left in response to the publisher’s decision to shut down OpenIV earlier this month, it would appear that modders have been given the company’s blessing to resume, well, modding. As PC Gamer reported last Friday, OpenIV received an official update, which seemingly indicated that talks between the tool’s developers and Rockstar had proved successful. 

Take that with a grain of salt, however, as the official OpenIV website still has not yet been updated even at the time of this update.

http://www.pcgamer.com/gta-modding-tool-openiv-receives-an-update-signaling-development-will-continue/

The Quest Log: June 20, 2017

Hey Gamers, are any of you still playing Pokémon GO? The game’s getting a major update that introduces some new mechanics, but that’s not the only gaming news around. Check out our highlights below!

Dragon Ball FighterZ Could Come to Switch

The 2D fighter set in the Dragon Ball universe was announced last week, but it appeared the game would be skipping Nintendo’s Switch. While some fans speculated that the Switch may have been underpowered to run the game, producer Tomoko Hiroki says that’s not the case. Speaking to French gaming site Game Blog, Hiroki says that “if fans show their interest, they could bring it over,” and that they’re “open to considering it.”

http://nintendoeverything.com/dragon-ball-fighterz-dev-says-no-switch-version-isnt-due-to-a-lack-of-power-open-to-porting-if-fans-show-interest/

Killer Instinct is Coming to Steam

The 2013 (former) Xbox exclusive was confirmed via the game’s official Twitter account to be due for Steam later this year. While Killer Instinct is already playable on PC on the Windows 10 Store, the inclusion on Steam is bound to appeal to PC gamers who have historically avoided Microsoft’s official app space. Despite its age, Killer Instinct has received regular support and updates since it launched in 2013, so it may be one to watch out for to those fighting game fans who may have passed on it before.

 

 

Pokémon GO Gets Raids and Updated Gym Mechanics in its “Biggest Update”

Pokémon GO, the augmented reality mobile game that became an international phenomenon last summer, is getting a major new update soon that introduces a “new motivation system that will significantly change how you interact with Gyms” and Raid Battles, which are “cooperative gameplay experiences” that see players teaming up to take down boss characters. Access to Raids requires players to hold Raid Passes, one of which is provided free daily with other, “premium” passes available for purchase, and reward successful teams with a shot at catching rare or powerful Pokémon. Check out the official release below for the details.

http://pokemongo.nianticlabs.com/en/post/raids

 

The Quest Log: June 16, 2017

Well, E3 2017 is over, and the summer–gaming’s driest season–is in full swing. In our last update, we rounded up all of E3’s major press conferences, but there was a whole lotta news that slipped through the cracks while the gaming world’s eyes were fixed on the expo. Let’s take a look at some of the highlights:

Konami Blacklisting Kojima and Former Employees

Brian Ashcraft with Kotaku reported earlier this week that Konami appeared to be blacklisting some of their former employees, including Hideo Kojima. The famed Metal Gear creator’s new studio, Kojima Productions, is having difficulty joining the Kanto IT Software Health Insurance Association in order to provide health benefits to their employees, and Konami may be to blame. More than that, Konami has “allegedly told large game companies to be careful about hiring former Konami employees and Japanese TV stations to disregard them.” Yikes.

http://kotaku.com/report-the-hideo-kojima-and-konami-saga-seems-endless-1796012603

KOTOR and Mass Effect Writer on Board for Anthem

Drew Karpyshyn, the veteran BioWare writer who’s writing experience stretches all the way back to Neverwinter Nights, has confirmed that he’s working on Anthem, the impressive-looking multiplayer RPG-shooter that BioWare showed off at E3 earlier this week. Karpyshyn’s had a hand in developing some of the most well-loved sci-fi universes in gaming, so his involvement should come as a welcome surprise to fans.

Hitman Developers Regain Independence, Retain Hitman IP

Despite the critical and commercial success of the latest Hitman title, Square Enix announced earlier this year that they were seeking to sell IO Interactive, the development studio behind the Hitman series. Today, IO Interactive announced that they had secured their independence once more while maintaining control of the Hitman IP.

http://www.ioi.dk/the-future-of-ioi/

The Elder Scrolls 6 Isn’t in Development Yet, Bethesda Says

After a disappointing showing at this year’s E3, Bethesda have confirmed that the sequel to Skyrim is still a ways away. While the report is consistent with what Todd Howard has explained historically, open-world RPG fans were all but convinced they’d see a game announcement from Bethesda Softworks earlier this week. For the time being, we know only that Todd Howard has confirmed they’ve got two unannounced projects in the work ahead of TES6.

https://www.pcgamesn.com/the-elder-scrolls-vi/elder-scrolls-6-release-date-story-setting-rumours

Rockstar Shut Down OpenIV, Kill GTA V Modding Scene

The PC port of Grand Theft Auto V has enjoyed long-lived success thanks in part to the game’s extensive modding community. On Wednesday, however, the lead developer of OpenIV, the game’s most popular single-player modding tool, announced that their team had decided to kill the project in response to an official Cease-and-Desist letter they had received from Take-Two, Rockstar’s parent company. While OpenIV is still functional for users who already had it installed, the official download link now directs users to the official statement linked below.

http://gtaforums.com/topic/889348-openiv/

The Quest Log: E3 2017 Conference Roundup

Nintendo’s conference wrapped up this morning, which means that nearly all of this year’s biggest surprises have already been unveiled. Let’s look back on the major reveals of the past few days.

EA

EA unofficially kicked off E3 with their press conference, which they bumped up from their regular time slot to this past Saturday. It’s probably for the best that they had a whole day to themselves because there really wasn’t much to see. Lots of sports game talk; a teaser for BioWare’s new IP, Anthem, which didn’t get a proper trailer until Microsoft’s show the following day; and a bunch of Battlefront II footage made for a largely unsurprising show. There was one notable exception, however, in A Way Out, an upcoming co-op prison break game set in the 70s and developed by the crew behind Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons.

Microsoft

Microsoft wasted zero time showing off Project Scorpio, now called the Xbox One X, and then immediately moved onto showcasing game after game after game after game after game. We heard the word 4k uttered more than a few dozen times, but we also got a handful of genuine surprises. Phil Spencer revealed that the Xbox One’s backwards compatibility was being expanded to include original Xbox titles, and the PC smash-hit PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds is due for its console premier later this year. Other highlights included Ori and the Will of the Wisps, The Last Night, and an all-new Crackdown 3 starring Terry Crews.

Bethesda

It’s a tough call on who had the less interesting show between EA and Bethesda, but at least the latter was relatively short and sweet. After showing off Doom and Fallout VR and the Switch port of Skyrim, we got our first look at the upcoming standalone DLC for Dishonored 2, TES Legends’ first expansion pack, and a gut-punch called the “Creation Club” for Fallout 4 and Skyrim SE. The Evil Within 2 is looking creepy. But the star of the show was definitely Wolfenstein 2 with a trailer that was totally bonkers.

Sorry Elder Scrolls fans, sounds like TES 6 won’t be here anytime soon.

PC Gaming Show

PC Gamer held their third annual PC Gaming Show, too, which doesn’t really seem to be having the kind of splash they might have hoped at the beginning. The show kicked off with a plug from Intel about their upcoming i9 CPU series before showing off a number of upcoming PC titles. The big surprise here was an announcement of Age of Empires: The Definitive Edition, an HD remake of the original RTS game in the same vein as the one we got for AoE 2.

I couldn’t find an official recording of the conference, but you can find most of it here: https://www.twitch.tv/pcgamer

Ubisoft

Ubisoft had an exceptional showing this year with a number of interesting surprises. First off, who know that Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle might actually look fun? I, for one, was blindsided to learn that it was an XCOM-style combat strategy game. They also showed off a brand new IP: Skull and Bones, a pirate-themed naval combat game based on the popular system from Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag. We also got to see more of Far Cry 5 and Assassins Creed: Origins. That wasn’t all, though, Ubisoft went out with a bang by showing us a new trailer for Beyond Good and Evil 2, which I think all of us had assumed was vaporware by now.

Sony

Sony spent even less time on stage talking about their games and showed a nearly non-stop sequence of game trailers. It literally felt almost like a really long sizzle reel, but there was plenty of meaty content to be found in it.

We got to see some Uncharted: The Lost Legacy and God of War, and there was a surprising trailer for Shadow of the Colossus a remake of (sequel to?) the PS2 classic. Naturally Call of Duty was in full force, and we also got a new story trailer for Destiny 2. We saw the first of Horizon: Zero Dawn’s upcoming DLC, and the show wrapped up with some gameplay footage of Spider-Man, which looks like web-slinging fun.

Nintendo

Nintendo came outta nowhere and hit hard. Metroid Prime 4 is officially in development, as is a “core” RPG Pokémon game. Mario Odyssey looks delightful with its body-snatching hat shenanigans. And the new Yoshi game looks delightfully charming. Oh, and Rocket League’s coming to the Switch with cross-network support, which is something we simply wouldn’t have heard of only a few years ago.

The Quest Log: June 7, 2017

EA’s and Microsoft’s press conferences are happening this weekend, which means that E3 is nearly upon us! In the meantime, there’s already plenty going on in the industry with yet another Valve writer on his way out the door, a trio of Pokémon games revealed via Nintendo Direct, and more. Check out our highlights below:

Jay Pinkerton Departs Valve

Yet another industry veteran has left Valve, it would seem. Via his officialTwitter account, Chet Faliszek, one of the Valve writer who worked on the Half-Life series as well as the original Portal, seemingly confirmed that Jay Pinkerton, who wrote Portal 2, had departed the studio. Valve, who are better known for Steam than they are for game development these days, lost two other writers earlier this year, leaving us to wonder just how much writing talent could possibly be remaining at the studio.

Nintendo Announce Three New Pokémon Titles for 3DS and Switch

Nintendo announced three new Pokémon titles earlier this week during a Nintendo Direct broadcast. The more traditional Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon are coming to the 3DS this November while an enhanced port of the Wii-U’s Pokémon Tournament will appear on Switch this September as Pokémon Tournament DX.

I’d hoped we’d see a proper franchise entry also make find a port to Switch, but at least for now that doesn’t appear to be the case. 

http://www.pokemon.com/us/

Battleborn’s Competitive Multiplayer Goes Free-to-play

Battleborn actually came up during our conversation on the last Heads Up Display episode, which seems like a pretty wild coincidence. The shooter-MOBA hybrid from Gearbox failed to make a huge splash when it launched last year ahead of Overwatch. Gearbox’s marketing had largely attempted to create a rivalry with Blizzard’s team-based shooter in spite of the fact that the two games played remarkably differently from one another.

With online populations dwindling, many assumed that Battleborn would go free-to-play before long, and today is finally that day. Well, sort-of. The game’s competitive multiplayer is now free to play without limit, but the generally well-received cooperative game modes are still locked behind the game’s retail price tag.

https://battleborn.com/en/news/view/en-battleborn-free-trial-faq/

The Quest Log: June 2, 2017

The weekend is here again, Gamers! Oh, and we’re officially in June. The first show of pre-E3 kicks off a week from tomorrow, which means that it’s the calm before the storm. Even still, Nintendo made certain we’d have something to report to you today on the Quest Log. Check it out:

At Last, Nintendo Details Online Service

Nintendo’s finally explained what gamers can expect from their upcoming online service for the Switch when it launches next year. The cost is a surprising $20/year (or $4/month) and will grant players access to online multiplayer. Social interactions, such as chat and syncing up with friends, will be handled via a “smart device app” that will connect to your Switch. While it’s still not official how that will work, exactly, it doesn’t exactly look elegant.

What appears to be the most exciting aspect of the service, however, and potentially a game-changer for Nintendo is that it looks like subscribers will now be granted access to a Netflix-style library of classic titles. Quoting the site: “Subscribers will get to download a compilation of classic titles with added online play, such as Super Mario Bros. 3, Baloon Fight, and Dr. Mario.” When Kotaku reached out to Nintendo for clarification, they went on to explain that NES titles would come first but that SNES titles would up for future consideration.

Nintendo Switch Online will officially launch sometime in 2018. In the meantime, Switch owners will be able to continue playing online for free.

http://www.nintendo.com/switch/online-service/

Fallout 3, New Vegas, and Oblivion Go DRM-free on GOG

Three of Bethesda’s classic, sprawling open-world RPGs have been added to the catalog at GOG.com, where they join the older The Elder Scrolls and Fallout titles. New product releases on digital retailers don’t typically count as game news for the Quest Log, but there’s an interesting twist on this one. As with all GOG’s games, these three new additions are DRM-free, which means that the Steam and Windows LIVE digital rights management checks have been patched out, presumably by GOG themselves.

Microsoft’s late DRM and PC gaming service was shut down a number of years ago, creating complications for games who relied on the service to check for authenticity. An official patch for Fallout 3 relegated the problem to a minor inconvenience, but it’s nice to see that after all these years, gamers can now pick up a copy of the game that just, simply works (as well as Bethesda games ever work).

https://www.gog.com/