Moonlighter is like if Recettear and a Roguelike had a baby. You play as a shopkeeper outside of an ever-changing dungeon. Your task is to sell goods to people. When you do, you earn money so you can get better equipment and craft better items to either sell or use yourself to go in to the dungeon. Clearing the dungeon will yield new items, which you can craft and sell in your shop, et cetera. It’s a big ol’ capitalism loop. The dungeon is different every time you enter, which makes it that much more fun. There’s 5 different entrances to the dungeon and characters to interact with so there’s presumably an end, but with the varying dungeons, bevy of characters to please, and loot to grab, you may not ever want to see it.
It’ll be coming out in 2018 for Xbox One, PS4, PC, Switch, and Mac/Linux.
Tunic has so much style it hurts. Zelda is the easiest comparison — you’re a lone adventurer (in this case a lil fox) in a mysterious world who collects items that open up new paths. If Hat In Time is a cute-as-heck platformer, this is a cute-as-heck action/adventure game. The controls are tight and responsive and the combat feels fluid and satisfying. An extra layer of polish/intrigue to this game is the concept that it’s a game you’re just discovering that was made in a foreign country, so you’ll see parts of the manual in the game and all the text is in a made up language you don’t understand. Even the website has this language peppered about.
This game is one of the ones we were most excited by at PAX South, so be on the lookout for it coming out later this year to PC, Mac, Linux, and consoles in 2018.
Once upon a time, @PeterMolydeux had a joke game description in which you play as a hole in the ground. From that, Ben Esposito created one of the most simple, but compelling games at PAX South, Donut County. The mechanics are simple — you play as a hole in the ground swallowing things up. The more you eat, the bigger your hole gets, which allows you to eat bigger things. Think reverse Katamari. Between levels, you’ll also get a glimpse into the lives of the citizens of Donut County which has been upended by this dumb hole. The art style is simple and effective, the humor isn’t overdone, and the gameplay, though simple, is satisfying.
Donut County is coming to PC, Mac, and iOS in 2018
Aniplex of America announced today that they will begin streaming the brand new anime series, Slow Start, on Crunchyroll beginning January 6, 2018 at 9 am PST. Animated by A-1 Pictures (Sword Art Online, Blue Exorcist) and directed by Hiroyuki Hashimoto (Magical Girl Raising Project, Is the Order a Rabbit?), the series is based on a popular 4-panel manga by Yuiko Tokumi in Manga Time Kirara, a seinen manga magazine from renowned publisher Houbunsha. In addition to being the first ever in Japan to put out a 4-panel manga magazine, Houbunsha is the publisher for another popular 4-panel manga series, BLEND-S, which served the basis for the smash hit anime by the same name in fall of 2017. Masato Anno (Eromanga Sensei, Saekano: How to Raise a Boring Girlfriend) is in charge of character design with music by Yoshiaki Fujisawa (Love Live! School idol project, No Game, No Life Zero).
“When I was first approached by the team at Kirara regarding a new series, I really wanted to create a cute and charming story that didn’t take itself too seriously,” says Series Creator, Yuiko Tokumi. “But when my editor suggested to make the series about ‘reaching for a goal like trying to win a tournament,’ I began incorporating that notion into the story.”
The series addresses an interesting stigma relatively unique to the Japanese culture known as being a ronin. The term, which is often associated in the U.S. as a term for vagabond samurai, refers to a person who has failed to get in to a school or company and must wait a year to try again. While the concept of a “gap year” is not foreign to the U.S., the Japanese education and hiring system, which only accepts new students or new employees during a limited time once a year, results in many young people being forced into an involuntary gap year. The main character is no stranger to this dilemma, as she finds herself a year late starting high school. Unable to bear the shame of being a year behind her classmates, she moves away to start a new life at a new school.
“Slow Start isn’t just a cute and fun story, it’s about the importance of emotional connections,” says Director Hashimoto in an interview about the series.
Thanks to her new friends and new acquaintances, the series explores many different forms of “slow starts.” The title, Slow Start, refers to not only the main character’s delayed start to high school but a larger theme of taking one’s time to grow up. As Hana gradually opens her heart to the people around her, her life begins to unfold with exciting and cheerful moments. From playing around like children to feeling anxious like an adult… This is an adorable and heart-warming tale about growing up … slowly.
Blade of the Immortal is live action anime done right.
Director Takashi Miike takes the source material that ran from 1993 to 2012 and puts his classic samurai flavor on it. Miike is no stranger to samurai films, and his past works such as 13 Assassins and Hari-Kiri: Death of a Samurai shows his aptitude.
Blade of the Immortal strips away the traditional feel and authenticity of those movies for a more fantastical and anime inspired take. What is not stripped away is the fun of seeing the immortal samurai named Manji, played by Takuya Kimura, slay larger than life evil men in some well-choreographed and shot fight sequences.
The story centralizes on a samurai named Manji who was unable to protect his sister many years ago from a corrupt lord. Dying in the act of trying to save her, a mystical nun comes to Manji and bestows sacred worms into his body, which heal all of his wounds no matter how grave. Years pass and a young girl tracks Manji down after her family is killed. She is looking for redemption and the immortal warrior seems to be the right person to hire to take down these evil men. What ensues is an over the top, but very fun series of fights.
The movie is at its most best when Manji is cycling through his crazy assortment of weapons, but that also leads into more of the absurdity of the overall plot. The movie seems so grounded in some moments only to be followed by dialing it up to 11 at the next that I had to keep reminding myself that this was based off of an anime. Being loud, outrageous, and over-exaggerated just comes with the territory. Blade of the Immortal is a hard recommend, however it does rely a bit on the viewer’s willingness to give into the anime-like nature of the movie. If the seriousness of Akira Kurosawa’s filmmaking is more of your style in samurai flicks, then you might be disappointed.
Blade of the Immortal is considered to be “still in theaters,” but it might not be available in your area.
Prepare to plunder or walk the plank in this brand-new, hilarious Adventure Time story, Adventure Time: Pirates of the Enchiridion!
Gamers play as Finn, Jake, Marceline, and BMO to explore fan-favourite kingdoms, and meet the well-loved characters from Cartoon Network’s popular TV animation series.
The game starts with a flooded Land of Ooo, in which familiar kingdoms are cut off from each other by rising waters. In their newly constructed boat (hold that thought*) Finn and Jake set sail to investigate what the junk went down.
During their adventures Finn and Jake will recruit friends to join their crew, jump into swashbuckling fights, interrogate characters for clues, and traverse the new and dangerous sea to locations across Ooo.
Adventure Time: Pirates of the Enchiridion is slated for release on PlayStation®4, Xbox One™, Nintendo Switch™ and PC, launching in the spring of 2018.
PAX South 2018 is drawing nearer, and Sub Cultured will once again be there keeping you up to date with the latest news from one of the south’s biggest gaming cons!
In 2004, the folks at Penny Arcade decided they wanted a show exclusively for gaming. Sure, comics, anime, and other nerd hobbies were cool, and those activities all had their own shows, so what about games? From that idea spawned a small 4,500 person event in Bellevue, Washington, focused on the culture and community that is gaming.
PAX South 2018 boasts to be even bigger than their inaugural year, which saw games like Gigantic and Brawlhalla dominate the show floor. In lieue of a string of celebrity guests, PAX conventions center around us, the gamers, with an exhibition hall full of publishers, developers, and creators of video games and table tops to be found at every turn of your head!
Beyond the huge expo hall full of games, tabletop and console gaming rooms, there’s also a number of tournaments from console to PC, handhelds, and tabletop games. And of course there’s the PAX staples of the Omegathon, Penny Arcade Q&A, and Penny Arcade Make-A-Strip.
A new addition to PAX South’s programming, True Dungeon will be at PAX South 2018! True Dungeon is a live-action D&D event complete with immersive sets, costumed NPCs and life-size monsters. You can get separate tickets for a 2 hour full adventure ahead of time or line up on site for a free 30 minute demo.
The panels this year also have a lot of really interesting topics. Notable events include Streaming 101: Launching Your Broadcast on Friday at 12:30pm, Sound Design Live on Friday at 3:30pm, or Leveling Up: Monetizing Your Video Game-Inspired Music on Saturday at 4:30pm.
Looking for more than panels and freeplay? There is plenty of after hours programming going on! On Friday night, check out nerdcore night at the Lila Cockrell Theatre! Bring your best pair of dark sunglasses and Cool Person Head Nod (patent pending) because MC Frontalot, Mega Ran, and Sammus are gonna light up the night. And on Saturday, a string quartet, a mariachi band and a speedrunning rock band share the stage for the second night of concerts. Not at the same time, of course. We’re pretty sure that would be a mess. Videri String Quartet, Super MES, and Bit Brigade join forces for one night only at 8:30pm in the Lila Cockrell Theatre!
PAX South will be held January 12th – 14th, 2018 and takes place at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center, which is conveniently located in the heart of San Antonio, Texas. in San Antonio, Texas. Tickets are still available online, so come soak up some of the panels and programming, and be sure to say hi! Follow us on Twitter @SubCultured for updates from the show floor or keep an eye on our convention coverage!
Black Friday sales have become a thing in the UK, in spite of the fact that we don’t celebrate Thanksgiving.
A lot of retail outlets go a step further, and start their sales a week (or more) prior to the big day itself. That was when several shops started advertising they would be selling the PlayStation VR bundle with VR Worlds for £249.99 (around $334.00 at time of writing), with many including an option of either Skyrim VR or Gran Turismo Sport.
It’s now a month later, and I find myself looking back at the investment and wondering if I am happy with my purchase, so I thought it might be helpful to share my experiences.
The PlayStation VR bundle itself did not come with the PS Move controllers, but I still had a set from the days when motion control was the direction that the console manufacturers wanted to take their market. Though they have had the sole purpose of gathering dust for a few years.
I couldn’t really afford to buy it, but if I chose the Skyrim bundle, I would be getting a £49.99 game included in the purchase, so I justified the purchase by the fact that I would be saving around £150, as well as already owning a couple of VR titles thanks to the PlayStation Plus offerings of RIGS and Until Dawn : Rush Of Blood.
It’s now a month later, and I find myself looking back at the investment and wondering if I am happy with my purchase, so I thought it might be helpful to share my experiences.
What I have been the most surprised with is the interest from my friends and colleagues.
On the day I rushed to the store during my lunch break to grab the unit before they inevitably sold out, I had several people asking to have a look, and perhaps understandably, some not even understanding that you’d need to plug the system into the PS4. However, once I had explained all this, my manager told me I should leave the office early to go home, wire it all up, then tell him how great it was so that he could try and persuade his family it would be a great present for Christmas!
It didn’t take long for a few colleagues to invite themselves over an evening to try it out. At this point, I had only really tested the waters by playing through the Rogue One X-wing mission in Star Wars Battlefront (a free DLC content pack), which I guarantee will astound any Star Wars fan, although you can quickly establish if they have played any kind of flight game before by how fast they get confused by the controls.
One of my colleagues was a little older than me, and although she had a Wii, clearly hadn’t used a PlayStation controller before, as she was constantly confused by the buttons, but aside from that, was clearly blown away. When the next player put the kit on, I could hear comments such as “It’s a shame you can’t get this for the Wii”, as well as quietly discussing how much money would be required to invest whilst also having to order the PS4. Although I was not in the office the next day, I heard that she was so impressed she was telling everyone.
I’ve travelled to see friends over the holiday season, and having purchased a carry case to store the headset when it is not in use, I’ve taken it with me to let others try it out, and even the friends who were initially resistant at thought of stepping in to virtual reality have changed their mind and asked for go with the feigned reluctance of, “Oh, I suppose I’ll give it a try since you’ve set it all up…”.
I feel I should make it clear that I have not been showing off the VR as a demonstration to my friends as a kind of humble brag. It was purely because the price point means that the average potential buyer will not consider it, as it is too much of a risk if they don’t get on with it. I had had the luxury of trying it myself at a friend’s house before I bought my own.
But getting all my friends to try it is not the only use it has received. Far from it! I have had quite a lot of fun streaming games on twitch.tv. When using the PS4’s native broadcast mode, chat comments are displayed as pop-ups on the view screen inside the headset, rather than reducing your field of vision by having the chat bar along the side of the screen. Whilst this is very handy, it doesn’t display the message for long, and if you don’t have the chance to read it, you can’t exactly scroll through the chat to find it again. I guess it is also open to abuse if you had a lot of users in the chatroom spamming messages. You’d probably want to disable your comments at that point.
So far, there have been two elements of occasional frustration. The first is the tracking of the headset and the move controllers. There are plenty of videos on youtube that will help you reduce this by setting up the camera correctly and calibrating the headset for you. It does a pretty good job right out of the box, but some people have wider faces than others, and this can lead to the vision being a little off because the image is not directly in front of your eyes due to an average position being adopted. You can also suffer from your move controllers going out of the cone of vision of the camera, resulting in frozen hands in the game.
The second obstruction to blissful gaming is that some players will be more susceptible to nausea from movement in certain games. By far the worst offender for this is the game RIGS, which as the name suggests places you in charge of a mechanical rig, which turns its torso as you turn your head. Because the game is designed to be fast-paced, there are multiple “comfort settings” which need to be toggled until you find what works for you. I found it took a couple of days of playing in short bursts before I could tolerate more than 1 match before quitting.
When you have everything set up correctly though, you can find yourself totally immersed. You take for granted that other characters are a little cartoony, but even that feeling disappears as you forget you are sat in your living room (or whichever room you set it up in), because these characters are talking to you with the sort of volume you’d expect from someone being a foot to the right or 6 foot in front of you. I played Star Trek Bridge Crew for the first time yesterday, and found that I played for a straight sitting of 6 hours, as there is no in-game clock to tell you of the time in the real world.
Bizarrely, I still haven’t tried Skyrim, but I’ve watched it being streamed. The only reason I haven’t installed it myself yet is because I know that I will lose far more than 6 hours!
I should also point out, as some people may not be aware, that the PSVR will shortly be sold as a newer model. The PSVR model 2 will be largely similar, but will have some sockets in the headset casing to store the earbuds that come bundled with the system, as well as an upgraded processor box that will allow HDR passthrough. Currently, if you have a HDR-enabled tv you need to disconnect the box to enjoy the extra benefits over a standard tv. For me, that isn’t an issue as I currently don’t have a 4K / HDR television, but if you have upgraded it is definitely something to consider.
With the Playstation Experience showcase highlighting 80+ games in development for the hardware, I am confident that this is not going to be yet another case of Sony releasing a product and letting it slowly die by not supporting it. Games like Skyrim VR and Doom VFR being available, and hopefully Fallout 4 VR being migrated to the PS4 in 2018, there is a lot to feel confident about.
Ultimately, this reflective piece was intended to confirm if I think I wasted my money on the PlayStation VR, or if I feel that it will certain reward my investment.
As of right now, I am definitely happy to have bought it. The variety of games available means that there are experiences available for everyone, ranging from peaceful experiences such as Eagle Flight and Ocean Descent, to role-playing games, such as Star Trek and Skyrim, to scary games like Resident Evil 7 and Rush of Blood : Until Dawn, and not forgetting puzzle games like Tumble and Keep Talking And Nobody Explodes.
– Justin Smith has been a podcaster for over 6 years, and has been visiting the cinema regularly for 4 of them. When he’s not playing games with Star Wars themed miniatures, he spends time with video games.