Monthly Archives: November 2020

The app stores are constantly changing, with literally thousands of games pinging onto their virtual shelves each week. It’s a lot to keep track of, which is why we’re here to sort through the pile and find something worth playing. You know the drill: nothing from Apple Arcade, Google Play, Gameclub or Hatch, only games you can grab on iOS or Android without subscriptions.

From the return of the most popular football management franchise of all time through to a surreal exploration of a Norweigan island, we’ve got something for everyone. And remember to subscribe to the Pocket Gamer YouTube channel to avoid missing any our top lists and reviews. … [MORE]

The Final Fantasy franchise is big — not just in terms of popularity, but in the sheer number of games. Since the very first instalment was launched in 1987, they’ve spanned every platform under the rising sun. That’s without mentioning all the media spin-offs, from films to anime series to novels. One of the best things about a franchise of that scale is the opportunity for overlap between the old and the new; worlds colliding, lores expanding, chocobos where there weren’t chocobos, and past characters making unexpected appearances…

Released globally on Android and iOS this year, War of the Visions Final Fantasy Brave Exvius is set on the world of Lapis. As its title prefix suggests, times aren’t too peaceful here. Various kingdoms are locked in a battle for supremacy, fought using the power of Visions — the ‘spirits’ of various warriors — that have been captured in magic crystals. These summonable versions of warriors don’t just originate from Lapis, but also from distant worlds, including Blue Planet, the setting for Final Fantasy IV. … [MORE]

Publisher Miracle Games and developer Lilith Games have announced an impressive looking multiplayer battle royale that’s heading for iOS, Android and PC in 2021. It looks to combine aspects of multiple different genres including MOBA elements, crafting and there will also be vehicles to cruise around the map in.

On top of that, it will have a  roster of playable heroes, each of which will have their own playstyles and abilities. At its core though, it’s a first-person shooter that takes place in a post-apocalyptic world where a cyber-infection has turned the populace into Zomborgs – that’s a cyborg zombie if you were wondering. … [MORE]

Can’t get enough of Ubisoft’s Assassin’s Creed franchise? It has already been over two years since 2018’s Assassin’s Creed Odyssey graced the previous generation of consoles, if you can believe it. Curious to see if their take on living life as a Viking melds well with living as an Assassin? Take a leap into our Assassin’s Creed Valhalla PS5 review to see how well everything comes together on the next generation of consoles.

Assassin’s Creed Valhalla PS5 Review – A Few PS5 Upgrades

First, the answers to some questions you may have about playing Assassin’s Creed Valhalla on the PS5. Yes, the upgrade is free for owners of the PS4 version. From a technical standpoint, the game runs at a targeted 60 frames per second at 4K resolution, and remains pretty consistently around that target (more on that below). There are no options for preferring resolution or performance as you might see on the PS4 Pro – instead, the game just runs as well as it can with a dynamic resolution.

It runs exceedingly smoothly, though, and the PS5 remained essentially silent while we were playing. Things look great, though perhaps not quite a generational leap in terms of graphical fidelity. Ray tracing is not currently supported, though everything runs at a buttery-smooth and nearly-constant 60 frames per second at 4K resolution, with HDR support as standard for this generation. Load times are incredibly short – booting from the title screen to actually playing takes less than ten seconds, usually quite a bit less.

assassins creed valhalla accessibility

For some reason, respawning actually takes longer, though at most you’re looking at around 15 seconds of waiting. Who’s to say how much of this speed is the PS5’s SSD and how much is Ubisoft’s optimization? Does it really matter? By the time you finish reading a few of these sentences, the game will have loaded! Those of you who are used to catching up on social media or messaging friends while your game loads may find those moments to be ever more fleeting as this generation gets started. There’s always lengthy boat rides to enjoy instead, at least.

Assassin’s Creed Valhalla takes place in Norway, England, and some iconic locations from Norse mythology for good measure. The main map of England encompasses an enormous area, filled to the brim with quests, people, and artifacts to discover. Indeed, this is a world you can easily get lost in. Hel, turn down the navigation hints, and you can actually get lost! The game starts within the jagged, snowy peaks of Norway, but quickly transitions to another nearby country with gently rolling hills, and pretty dreary weather. Still, Ubisoft brought their usual attention to detail, so if you want to see a mostly accurate idea of what Medieval England might have looked like, then you’re in luck.

Assassin’s Creed Valhalla PS5 Review – Big Map, Lengthy Campaign

So, what is this merry ol’ map of England (and other locations) filled with? Quite a lot, as luck would have it. There’s mysteries, which usually involve some crazy person that you have to follow and help out in some way, treasure to increase your settlements’ wealth, and of course bandit camps, monasteries, and other areas to pillage like a proper Viking. Assassin’s Creed Valhalla has a map that is simultaneously wide and condensed, as many areas have secrets buried under a house or hidden deep within a viper-infested dungeon. You’ll never forget the viper egg mission. I know I won’t.

Assassin's Creed Valhalla Hands-On Preview

There are also some entertainment options available in most civilized areas, including a dice game called Orlog and a game of wits called flyting (think Medieval rap battle, with poetry), to name a few. Combining these side activities with the main campaign results in an estimated play time of 60-80 hours for average players who don’t stress on speed-running the campaign. With such a meaty play time, Ubisoft is still catering to those of us who love a good single player campaign. The story does take a while to get going, but when the scenery is so detailed and fun to explore, you can take your time and play at your own pace.

The story stars Eivor, a Viking whose burial site has been discovered by modern-day Assassins while the real world is nearing catastrophe with an increasing magnetic field being emitted by the Earth. The modern-day storyline takes a backseat for most of the experience, which is probably for the best since most people play Assassin’s Creed to get lost in a fictional realization of historical time periods. You can choose Eivor’s gender after playing through the opening sequence, or you can also have the Animus decide, which swaps gender at certain key moments in the story. Beyond that, the game is exactly the same no matter which gender you choose, and in fact Eivor’s gender can be freely changed at any moment simply by accessing the pause screen.

Combat in Valhalla sees a more skills-based approach, with a complex constellation of abilities that can be unlocked with skill points earned as Eivor levels up. Some areas of the constellation are geared towards offensive capabilities, others favor stealth, and others still offer defensive options. It’s easy to reset skill points and try out a different loadout, as well. This might feature one of the most robust combat customizations of any Assassin’s Creed game, and more choice is rarely a bad thing to have.

Assassin’s Creed Valhalla PS5 Review – Stab First, Ask Questions Later

As for the actual fighting, it’s standard-issue action with a few layers added for variety. Certain skills unlock special abilities which can be mapped to the directional pad or face buttons, which are activated by holding L2 and R2 for ranged or melee abilities, respectively. Adrenaline bars are also used for these special maneuvers, which build up over time automatically and through player actions. A stamina bar also drains with each attack, though naturally some equipment can buff this out with successful hits or upon other conditions that are dictated by the equipment.

Enemies can approach from any direction, and the player must pay attention to incoming attacks, which are represented by runic emblems flashing near the danger, if the difficulty setting is low enough (the player has to pay attention to other more subtle indicators on higher levels). Combat is more in-your-face than I remember Assassin’s Creed being, but this ties in with Eivor being a Viking first and a stealthy warrior of justice second.

Some passive multiplayer options are also included at a certain point, where Eivor can command Jomsviking NPCs, who are Viking mercenaries. They can go and assist other players during raids, and earn rewards for the player while assisting. Beyond this, though, the game largely stays out of the player’s way and allows the single player campaign to shine through, for dozens of hours.

Is Assassin’s Creed Valhalla the best entry in the series yet? Some would be tempted to say so. While the map size might overwhelm some players, it remains an easy game to mainline with the right navigation mode turned on. In fact, the quick load times help to make this an even easier task than in previous generations. This is an iteration of Assassin’s Creed that has a bit of everything from the previous games, as refined as we have seen to date.

Assassin’s Creed Valhalla review code provided by the publisher. Version 1.002 reviewed on a PS5. For more information on scoring, please read our Review Policy.

The post Assassin’s Creed Valhalla Review – Time To Go A-Viking (PS5) appeared first on PlayStation LifeStyle.

Since 1995, Sony has annually hosted the PlayStation Awards as a way to recognize successful titles that meet sales milestones throughout Japan and Asia during the year. For this year’s celebration, the event has a new name–PlayStation Partner Awards. The ceremony will stream next week on December 3rd at 7:00pm JST/5:00am EST. Those interested in watching the PlayStation Partner Awards live can do so by tuning into PlayStation Japan’s YouTube channel. English subtitles will allow a wider audience to take part, as well.

While a revised name and a few new awards switch things up a bit, Jon Kabira and Hatsune Matsushima are once again hosting the event. In a PS Blog post, PlayStation’s Takao Uehara shared what viewers can expect in terms of award categories. They are as follows:

Grand Award

Awarded to the top three titles developed in the Japan/Asian regions with highest worldwide sales between October 2019 and September 2020.

Partner Award

Awarded to titles developed in the Japan/Asia region with top-ranked worldwide sales between October 2019 and September 2020, with particularly noteworthy activity results.

Special Award

Awarded to the following two titles:

  1. Titles developed by creators from outside the Japan/Asia region that have amassed the highest sales in the Japan/Asia region from October 2019 to September 2020.
  2. Titles developed in the Japan/Asia region in conjunction with SIE Worldwide Studios that have amassed the highest worldwide sales from October 2019 to September 2020.

All of the above considers both physical and digital sales, the latter of which are calculated based on data gathered via the PlayStation Store. Fine print at the bottom of Uehara’s blog post further notes that “additional content and digital currency sales” are also taken into account. With regards to the Partner Award’s consideration of “activity results,” it’s worth mentioning that components such as player numbers factor into how SIE settles on nominees.

This year’s PlayStation Partner Awards will stream live on YouTube on December 3rd at 7:00pm JST/5:00am EST.

[Source: Sony Interactive Entertainment via PlayStation Blog]

The post Sony Schedules PlayStation Partner Awards 2020 Japan Asia for December 3rd appeared first on PlayStation LifeStyle.

PlayStation 5 has plenty of neat bells and whistles, some of which add to the Trophy hunting experience. For example, instead of just capturing a screenshot, the system also records a 14-second video when players earn Trophies. It’s a cool idea, another way for users to celebrate noteworthy victories. And now we know that very same video does not exclusively capture the on-screen action. The PS5 additionally records whatever a player may be saying at the time a Trophy pops.

Redditor u/helloiamjack shared this tidbit earlier this week in a quick video. The video in question is of the Reddit user earning a Demon’s Souls Trophy for killing the Tower Knight boss. The player’s howl of excitement hilariously overlaps the chime of the Trophy’s unlocking. Check it out in the clip linked below:

First time Souls player. I didn’t realise that the PS5 records your microphone’s audio whenever you get a trophy. Whoops. from r/PS5

Thankfully, this particular instant is a funny one, but there are probably a few embarrassing voice captures unwittingly floating around on PS5s, too. Players can disable the DualSense’s baked-in microphone in PS5’s ‘Settings’ or by pushing the ‘Mute’ button on the controller itself. (The small orange light on DualSense indicates the mic is actually off.)

Disabling Trophy video captures serves as another way of avoiding any potential problems in the future. Of course, it saves storage space as well. Turning off the captures is as simple as going into PS5’s ‘Settings’ menu, clicking on ‘Captures and Broadcasts,’ then switching off ‘Save Trophy Videos’ in the designated Trophies tab.

Despite issues regarding scalpers and general supply constraints, PS5 is already a boon for Sony. The company recently announced that PS5’s release counts as its “biggest console launch ever.” Since PS4 was touted as having the most successful console launch in history, it stands to reason PS5 now takes that crown. Upon celebrating the new hardware’s success, Sony promised more stock would land at retailers before this year’s end.

[Source: Reddit via VG247]

The post PlayStation 5 Also Records Your Voice When Capturing Trophy Videos appeared first on PlayStation LifeStyle.

A new 1.0.2 update is live for the Switch version of Going Under. New features, balance changes, and bug fixes are included. Below are the full patch notes: Features: Added an option to turn off the jitter effect in the menus (This was meant to be in to begin with whoops) You can now control the menus with your controller’s…

The post Going Under update out now (version 1.0.2), patch notes appeared first on Nintendo Everything.

Earlier this year, QubicGames announced that it would be bringing the original Door Kickers to Switch. The publisher has now set a final release date of December 26. Here’s an overview of the game, along with a trailer: Door Kickers is an innovative real-time strategy game that puts you in charge of a SWAT team and lets you command them…

The post Door Kickers heading to Switch in December appeared first on Nintendo Everything.