The Quest Log: August 15, 2017

Sonic Mania is here, and it’s good! Also, it’s about time we got a really great classic-style Sonic Game. Speaking of classic games, raise your hand if you’d like you to see Amaterasu (the white, furry one) on current gen consoles! Okay, good. Now take a look at today’s highlights below:

Okami HD rumored for PS4 and Xbox One

Yesterday, Kotaku UK reported on a rumor that the original Okami could be coming to Xbox One and PS4 this December. In addition to the title showing up on two separate European vendors’ lists of upcoming releases, Kotaku UK corroborated the rumor with two unrevealed sources. Okami, which originally released for PS2 in 2006 before being ported to PS3 and Wii, was developed by the late Clover Studio and blew the world away with its watercolor art style and Zelda-like gameplay. It’s a classic that everyone should experience at least once, so it’s great news to hear that a whole new generation of gamers may be able to do just that.

http://www.kotaku.co.uk/2017/08/14/report-okami-hd-heading-for-xmas-release-on-ps4xbox-one

When we announced that we’d be transitioning away from the Battle.net name for our online-gaming service, we suspected that the shift would be challenging. We understood that Battle.net stood for something special—it represents years of shared history and enjoyment, community and friendship, for all of us and our players.

— Blizzard Entertainment

Blizzard’s Battle.net gets another name change

This past March we reported that Blizzard had officially decided to nix the moniker “Battle.net” for its online service and game launcher. While the PC app did at one point see a name change, it would seem the rebranding effort simply couldn’t stick. As of yesterday, the service will once again be known as Battle.net or, more officially, as Blizzard Battle.net. Yay!

https://worldofwarcraft.com/en-us/news/20972461/blizzard-battle-net-update

Hideki Kamiya says Nier: Automata saved Platinum

Hideki Kamiya, founder of PlatinumGames, took to Twitter to laud Yoko Taro for literally saving the studio. While the original tweet is in Japanese, as one would expect, a NeoGaf user posted a translation, part of which reads: “it’s a pitiful story, but to say that Yoko-san saved Platinum would not be an exaggeration. I cannot thank him enough.” PlatinumGames, which rose from the ashes of Clover Studio (don’t you love it when the news seems to form a cohesive narrative all on its own), is virtually unparalleled in the world of action game design with hit titles such as Bayonetta, Vanquish, and Metal Gaer Rising: Revengence under their belt, but they’ve recently encountered financial stress likely exacerbated by the cancellation of upcoming Xbox One Exclusive Scalebound. It’s great to learn that Platinum will be around for a while longer, and I’m particularly happy that one of my favorite games of the year was the title to make that a reality for them.

http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showpost.php?p=246051818&postcount=1

The Quest Log: May 30, 2017

Hey Gamers! Can you believe that we’re only two weeks away from E3? We at the HUD have a podcast recording all about that planned for this afternoon, so you’ll be getting plenty of new content from us this week. In the meantime, check out that the news highlights below.

PlayStation 3 Production Ends in Japan

Now that current gen consoles are on their second (and almost third) iterations, it might not come as a surprise that the last generation is finally being laid to rest. The official Japanese PlayStation site confirmed that production of the PS3 has ended.

You had a good run, buddy, even if you’re legacy might not be remembered as well as your younger and older siblings.

http://gematsu.com/2017/05/playstation-3-production-ended-japan

The Original Crazy Taxi is Free-to-play on Smartphones Right Now

Crazy Taxi is one of those off-the-wall crazy games that are so perfectly emblematic of the Dreamcast as a whole. The unique driving simulator that put players behind the driver’s seat of a cab and rewarded reckless and speedy transportation of the game world’s travelers has been made available for iOS and Android phones, free of charge (so long as you’ll put up with ads). Even more amazing is that it apparently features the game’s original soundtrack, with the Offspring being a particular highlight. The more recent home console ports had to do away with some of the licensed music, which always meant they paled in comparison to the glorious Dreamcast original.

If you’ve never played it before, there’s almost nothing stopping you from doing so now.

https://www.engadget.com/2017/05/27/crazy-taxi-free-to-play-on-mobile/

Nier: Automata Sells 1.5 Million Physical and Digital Copies

Nier: Automata is one of our favorite games of the year so far, and it seems to be continuing to exceed Square Enix’s expectations. On their official Japanese Twitter account, Square Enix announced that the action RPG developed by Platinum Games has sold over 1.5 million digital and physical copies.

While it may be a sequel to another very unique game, Nier: Automata feels novel and fresh and generally unafraid to take risks, and I’m glad to see it’s finding some mainstream success, which I hope bodes well for the future of JRPGs and video games in general.

Tangentially, Kotaku’s Heather Alexandra conducted an interesting and endearing interview with the series creator, Yoko Taro, and it’s totally worth the quick read here:

http://kotaku.com/life-is-unfair-a-q-a-with-nier-automatas-director-1795653562

The Quest log: April 8, 2017

Welcome back to the Quest Log, where we regularly feature the top highlights in gaming news.

Microsoft Shows Off Impressive Scorpio Specs

Earlier this week, Digital Foundry released an exclusive look at the guts of Microsoft’s Project Scorpio, the Xbox update slated for release this fall. The new console will feature both a custom 8-core CPU, clocked at 2.3 Ghz per core, and a custom 40-core GPU clocked at 1172 Mhz. From a hardware perspective, it definitely looks like Microsoft will have the most powerful console on the market this year, but the finer details of software and developer support remain to be seen.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RE2hNrq1Zxs

Nier: Automata Ships Over 1 Million Units

Square Enix announced in an official press release earlier this week that Nier: Automata, the postmodern action JRPG developed by Platinum Games, had shipped over one million physical and digital units. The success of the game is largely unprecedented given its predecessors’ largely niche status. The game’s director, Yoko Taro, made a heartfelt tweet thanking all of the players who’ve made the game a success.

http://press.na.square-enix.com/releases/945/nier-automata-shipments-and-digital-sales-exceed-one-million

Atlus Threatens Persona 5 Streamers

Atlus, the developers behind Persona 5, the best JRPG since Final Fantasy IX, have issued a formal threat to social media streamers who, stating:

“If you decide to stream past 7/7 (I HIGHLY RECOMMEND NOT DOING THIS, YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED), you do so at the risk of being issued a content ID claim or worse, a channel strike/account suspension.”

The idea here seems to be that as a story-driven game with relatively linear progression, Atlys is concerned that streamers will diminish the value of actually buying the game (why play when you can watch?), which is of course ludicrous.

http://kotaku.com/atlus-threatens-to-go-after-people-who-stream-too-far-i-1794004068

Mass Effect Patch Improves Character Faces

Mass Effect: Andromeda got its first major update since BioWare laid out their plans for post-launch support, and it’s having a surprisingly positive impact on the appearance of characters throughout the game. One character, Director Foster Addison, who was the subject of plenty of criticism prior to the patch looks markedly better than before.

Gaming Payment Processor Xsolla Begins Collecting “Tips” from Buyers

Xsolla, a popular payment processor used by gaming services such as Twitch and Steam, has reportedly begun including tips of up to 18% by default as part of their regular transactions. The tip goes directly to the payment processor as opposed to, say, the game developer, publisher, or retailer, and is akin to tipping someone for taking your money and handing it over to someone else, which is itself already in addition to Xsolla’s regular service fees. It would appear that the setting can be altered at the request of the Xsolla subscriber (i.e., Twitch), but if you’re planning on sending some money via Twitch to one of your favorite streamers via Xsolla, it behooves you to check the final total at checkout.

https://www.reddit.com/r/Games/comments/63zewd/popular_gaming_payment_processor_xsolla_has/