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/

Most Anticipated Games of Q2 2017

It is time yet again for another look into what the next 3 months of videogames hold for us, following up on what most certainly was a historic Q1. After sinking hundreds of hours into games like Zelda BOTW, Horizon Zero Dawn, & Resident Evil 7, it’s time to look forward and review what we have in store from April 1st through the end of June. Without further ado, here are my most anticipated games of Q2 2017:

1- Person 5

Release Date: April 4, 2017

After the huge success of Persona 4 and the PS Vita iteration Persona 4 Golden, the cult classic franchise is finally upon us and looking to start off Q2 in a big way. The JRPG is promising all of the familiar tropes that we have come to expect– you’re the new kid in the area just trying to make some friends and discovers he has the special ability to use Personas– and from there it takes off. I had the opportunity to play this last December for about a half hour, and it delivers on all the look and feels that we have come to love, with the addictive gameplay loop that will keep you going for hours (hundreds is more accurate here). Whether you are an old fan of the series, or a first timer looking to get on the hype train, Persona 5 promises to be a thrilling experience you won’t want to miss. 

2- Outlast 2

Release Date: April 25, 2017

Who’s ready to scream? Outlast 2 is finally here, following the huge success of the original’s debut back in 2014. The first-person survival horror game is set in a small village in the Sonoran desert, where you are separated from your wife in a helicopter crash. You are tasked to find your wife and to survive as long as you can, all the while catching as much of this craziness on your trusty camcorder (let’s hope he brought a LOT of batteries with him this time). Outlast 2 is already looking to be one of the scariest games of the year, and if it plays any similar to the original, it will give you plenty to lose sleep over. 

3- Prey

Release Date: May 5, 2017

Let me start this by saying, I was incredibly disappointed the day that they canceled Prey 2, the originally intended sequel to the 2006 cult classic. However, early previews have described their time with the game as Bethesda’s take on the Dead Space franchise, and now I cannot wait. You control Morgan Yu, trying to make his way off of a space station and escape a violent alien race known as The Typhoon, sound familiar? Blessing it as the spiritual successor to System Shock, players will be given the ability to craft weapons and even mimic everyday items found around the space station to help make your way off. The truth is, the original Prey was a blast because it was a game that didn’t take itself too seriously, and gave the player the ability to feel like a badass; so far the newest entry of the same name looks to be much of the same, only better.

4- Crash Bandicoot N sane Trilogy

Release Date: June 30, 2017

Whether you grew up playing the games or have never controlled the bandicoot for yourself, one thing is for sure: Sony is finally giving the fans what they wanted. The N sane Trilogy is composed of the first 3 entries in the series, Crash Bandicoot, Cortex Strikes Back, & Warped. Remastered with updated graphics, PlayStation owners will get to re-experience the platformer since the last title had been released nearly 20 years ago. Crash will always hold a soft spot for me, since I can attribute these games in helping me learn the mechanics of basic games all those years ago. 

5- Tekken 7

Release Date: June 2, 2017

I will be the first to admit that I am not exactly “great” at fighting games, so I was a little questionable to put this game on the list. However, since it has been nearly 8 years since the previous entry, I thought it only right to highlight the upcoming title. With a focus on 1v1 combat, there are 2 new features being added to the game that will help shape a change in the flow of the game: Rage Art & Power Crush. The first of the two, Rage Art, will offer a new technique for each character that can damage up to 30% of a player’s health once their health bar is critical. The latter, Power Crush, will allow the player to continue dealing damage to their opponent even while they are being hit themselves. Needless to say, I cannot wait to get my hands on the game that pros were showing off at last year’s EVO tournament.