Pac-Man World Re-PAC, a full remake of the 1999 hit video game Pac-Man World, is coming to Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S, Xbox One and Windows PC via Steam on August 26, 2022. To begin with, watch the video below…
“PAC-MAN WORLD represented a big step in the PAC-MAN franchise, taking the beloved character and fun gameplay to another level evolving this into a 3D platforming game. With PAC-MAN WORLD Re-PAC we are reintroducing an enhanced version for a new generation of fans,” said Herve Hoerdt, Senior Vice President Marketing, Digital and Content at Bandai Namco Europe S.A.S. “We are excited to see people chomp their way through the colourful Ghost Island to rescue PAC-MAN’s family and friends.”
PAC-MAN WORLD Re-PACtakes advantage of current gaming hardware to deliver a HD enhanced full screen version of the original game as well as improvements for more intuitive game play. The game has multiple modes with Quest Mode, a Maze Mode that brings classic PAC-MAN game play to 3D mazes, and a complete version of the original game in Original Mode that players can unlock by completing the main game.
In the main Quest Mode experience, players use a variety of attacks and abilities, including powerups, as they run, jump, solve puzzles, and of-course chomp their way through six exciting worlds of Ghost Island.
PAC-MAN WORLD Re-PAC brings back a wonderfully original world of adventure for PAC-MAN, where our hero is now chasing the Ghosts to rescue PAC-MOM, PAC-BOY, PAC-SIS, Professor PAC, PAC-BUDDY, and Pooka from their clutches only to discover a new nemesis in the dreaded TOC-MAN.
Like any long-time gamer, I played Pac-Man games on different platforms through the decades. In recent times, I’ve been enjoying Pac-Man Museum+ on my Xbox Series X with the benefit of my Xbox Game Pass (XGP) subscription. If you are already an XGP subscriber, I urge you to download and play Pac-Man Museum+.
As for the 1999 critical and commercial hit game Pac-Man World, I missed out on that completely. Because that game became a million-selling success, it spawned two sequels (both of which were released on the original Xbox console). That being said, I am delighted that Bandai Namco went ahead to remake and enhance Pac-Man World with today’s high-definition technologies.
Watch out for the release of Pac-Man World Re-PAC on Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S, Windows PC this August.
Starfield, the ambitious sci-fi role-playing game (RPG) from Bethesda Game Studios led by Todd Howard, is easily one of my most anticipated games for my Xbox Series X since I myself played RPGs of Elder Scrolls and Fallout produced by the said creators. That game, which is set for exclusive release on Xbox Series X, Xbox Series X, Windows PC plus Xbox Game Pass (XGP) sometime in 2023, was one of the highlights of the recent Xbox-Bethesda games showcase which had a real-time gameplay showing which you watch right below…
To put things into perspective, posted below is an excerpt about the related Starfield gameplay reveal as published in an official article at Xbox.com. Some parts in boldface…
The year is 2330. Humanity has ventured beyond our solar system, settling new planets, and living as a spacefaring people. From humble beginnings as a space miner, you will join Constellation — the last group of space explorers seeking rare artifacts throughout the galaxy — and navigate the vast expanse of the Settled Systems in Bethesda Game Studios’ biggest and most ambitious game.
In this next generation role-playing game set amongst the stars, you will create any character you want and explore with unparalleled freedom as you embark on an epic journey to answer humanity’s greatest question: What is out there?
Bethesda Game Studios “can’t wait for all of you to experience the game,” Howard says. “It’s been an incredible journey for us making it, but we know that’s only the beginning, for it’s when all of you play it that the journey begins.”
Like anyone else, I was very disappointed by the news that Starfield would not be released this year. I have been craving for more new, great single-player gaming experiences from Todd Howard’s team and I am done replaying Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim and Fallout 4. The November 11, 2022 release date was promised several times before the delay happened. As of this writing, there is still no firm date about the new 2023 release for Starfield.
Fortunately, the gameplay reveal of Starfield this past June 12 was very entertaining to see. I really liked the sci-fi look and feel of it while the in-game shooting reminds me somewhat of Fallout 4 which itself was pretty functional and fun with shooting. The gameplay shown did not run at 60 frames-per-second (60FPS) which is insufficient in my view because I personally prefer a 60FPS frame rate even with open-world environments implemented. Like Skyrim, Starfield allows players to view the game in 3rd person or 1st person when controlling the in-game protagonist.
There are also key game features that were shown such as the customization of your character’s own traits and skills, crafting systems (by running in-game research using resources you find), and creating mods for your weapons. What struck me is the new outpost creation feature which I find intriguing and attractive. Have you ever dreamed of creating your very own outpost on the surface of an unknown planet you visited and hire people you find qualified to help you operate it? The Starfield feature looks really promising.
Apart from the exploration and action, they also revealed the in-game construction and customization of space ships complete with varying differences in terms of performance and efficiency which players will realize and feel. Not only that, there was also the showcase of space battles in the game which looks really nice and promising. In recent times, I’ve been playing Chorus on my Xbox Series X (thanks to the benefit of my Xbox Game Pass subscription) which is strongly a space shooter in design with exploration and flying as strong gameplay features.
Personally, I don’t expect space flight and shooting in Starfield to be the same as those of in Chorus but I do expect the experience to be fun and that the controls should be fully functional and work precisely. Starfield is, after all, a sci-fi RPG with shooting and exploration as strong features. We will find out soon how efficient and engaging space flight and shooting in the game will really be.
While it is understandable that plot details are very light, I find questionable Todd Howard’s claim that Starfield has over a thousand planet that are open for players to explore. That is pretty wild! I am not a game developer nor am I an expert one making digital worlds but can Todd Howard and his team really deliver on that promise with Starfield? Did his team really in far exceeding what BioWare achieved in their Mass Effect video games that had several worlds composed of those truly explorable (on-foot with the protagonist and teammates engaging on missions or searches) and those which are not explorable (limited to orbital scanning)? Can the developers ensure that each planet has its own distinct environments, alien life forms and other creative designs? Whatever Howard and his team did with regards to in-game world exploration, I can only hope that Starfield will turn out great.
Overall, I am personally looking forward to playing Starfield on my Xbox Series X sometime in 2023. After seeing what was revealed at the recent Xbox-Bethesda games showcase, I can say my disappointment over the delay has waned a lot. Here is hoping that Bethesda will be able to fully polish the game in-and-out, and somehow they can increase the frame rate to 60FPS. Take note that Starfield is just one of many Xbox-exclusive games coming as a result of the seismic Xbox-Bethesda acquisition and integration and the good news is that current Bethesda-published games have been added into Xbox Game Pass and future games will follow! Starfield will eventually solidify Xbox as the best ecosystem for gamers who love role-playing games!
Watch out for more details about the Xbox-exclusive Starfield coming to Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S, Windows PC plus XGP in 2023.
As a happy gamer who owns an Xbox Series X console, I should state that I am having fun with turn-based tactical games like Gears Tactics, Empire of Sin and Phoenix Point. Those three games – which as of this writing are still available for Xbox Game Pass (XGP) subscribers to enjoy – have their own concepts and their own approach on gameplay that involves strategy.
To put things in perspective, posted below are excerpts from the official announcement by Square Enix. Some parts in boldface…
This fresh new franchise is developed by SQUARE ENIX in conjunction with Lancarse Ltd, a team of veteran strategy developers, features unique character designs by Taiki (Lord of Vermilion III, IV), concept art by Isamu Kamikokuryo (FINAL FANTASY XII, FINAL FANTASY XIII) and has beautifully orchestrated music by world-renowned composers Ramin Djawadi and Brandon Campbell, known best for their work on Game of Thrones.
The Announcement Trailer unveiled today provides a first look at the story and new, deeply strategic real-time battle system called ‘Real-Time Tactical Battle’ (RTTB). Told through stunning ‘diorama’-style combat scenes, players will assess front line conditions in real-time, issue decisive orders and use a variety of skills, classes, and equipment to gain the upper hand over their foes.
The DioField Chronicle is set in a beautiful and unique world blending fantasy, medieval and modern-day influences. Under the steady hand of the Shaytham dynasty, the Kingdom of Alletain on DioField Island has known peace for 200 years, but suddenly find themselves cast into an age of uncertainty due to the rise of warlike powers and modern magic.
The Kingdom of Alletain is rich in the mineral Jade, prized for its use as a base ingredient in magic and sorcery, and the attention of both the Empire and the Alliance inevitably turns towards the island. Players will take control of a band of elite mercenaries calling themselves “Blue Fox”, but will the name “Blue Fox” come to signify hope or darkest tragedy?
For the newcomers reading this, The DioField Chronicle is the fourth new game from Square Enix that will be released on Xbox consoles this year. The others are Star Ocean: The Divine Force (release date still pending), Stranger of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origin (March 18, 2022), and Chrono Cross: The Radical Dreamers Collection (April 7, 2022). While it is notable that Square Enix won’t be releasing their big-budget RPG Final Fantasy XVI on Xbox consoles anytime soon, their other games mentioned above will still add a good amount of Japanese-style gaming on the Xbox platform for gamers to enjoy. Take note that hot Xbox-exclusive RPGs are coming and Bethesda’s Starfield will rock the gaming world this November. To the Xbox fans reading this, be assured that 2022 will be an even bigger, more exciting and more enjoyable year. Team Xbox has strong momentum that PlayStation and Nintendo cannot even match.
Going back to The DioField Chronicle, it sure looks interesting and intriguing at the same time. The visual style of using 2D art while showing polygonal action in key sequences is notably eye-catching. For more information about the game, visit https://www.diofieldchronicle.com/
In closing this piece, posted below are Xbox-related videos for your viewing pleasure.
Way back in 2000, I got to play Chrono Cross on the PlayStation which was a hot release from Squaresoft. Due to a lack of time as well as the breaking down of the console (bought in late 1996), I never got to finish the Japanese role-playing game (JRPG).
Just days ago, I got very surprised as Square Enix announced that it will be re-releasing Chrono Cross in remastered form in Chrono Cross: The Radical Dreamers Edition which is set for an April 7, 2022 release on Xbox One (compatible with Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S) and Windows PC (via Steam). The good news is that you can order it already online now for only $19.99. Anyway, watch the official video below…
To put things in perspective, posted below are excerpts from the official announcement by Square Enix. Some parts in boldface…
CHRONO CROSS, which was never before released in Europe, returns as a remaster in CHRONO CROSS: THE RADICAL DREAMERS EDITION. Follow the story of Serge, who stumbles into another world and learns of the connection between his existence and the future of his planet. A classic time-bending tale of adventure and friendship, featuring one of the largest and most diverse casts of playable characters of any RPG. With over 40 potential party members, each character brings their own element affinity and unique skills. Additionally, “RADICAL DREAMERS – Le Trésor Interdit -“, a text-based adventure video game released for Satellaview in 1996, which forms the bedrock of the story, is also included in this edition.
Players can look forward to some exciting new features, such as:
3D models converted to HD*
Brand new artwork and character redesign by Nobuteru Yuuki*
Refined background music by Yasunori Mitsuda
Switch enemy encounters on or off
Background filter feature*
Battle enhancement features
French, Italian, German and Spanish localization now added
Switch between imitation pixel font and HD font*
The inclusion of Radical Dreamers, never before released in the West.
Players can choose between playing with original or updated graphics*
As I am writing this, I still am very surprised by the announcement as I never anticipated Chrono Cross would be made for Xbox, even though I wanted Square Enix to release many of its RPGs – both classic or modern ones – on Xbox. It is, however, nice to see Square Enix including Xbox in the worldwide release of Chrono Cross: The Radical Dreamers Edition which is one of many Japanese RPGs (Japanese role-playing games) that has always been identified with PlayStation. Its strong legacy with PlayStation even made certain gamers – including the people who hate Xbox – believe that it would never ever be released on any Xbox console. Well, Square Enix proved them wrong and it is clear that the company needs to sell to the many gamers who own an Xbox One or Xbox Series X or Xbox Series S console. The Windows PC release through Steam makes business sense.
For the newcomers reading this, Chrono Cross is set in the same world as the classic JRPG Chrono Trigger. It should not be perceived as a sequel. On its own, Chrono Cross was very playable and engaging, and it is notable for allowing players to recruit lots of characters and take them on quests as they play along. As for the common elements between Chrono Cross and Chrono Trigger, learn from producer and designer Hiromichi Tanaka’s statement below.
When creating a series, one method is to carry over a basic system, improving upon it as the series progresses, but our stance has been to create a completely new and different world from the ground up, and to restructure the former style. Therefore, Chrono Cross is not a sequel to Chrono Trigger. Had it been, it would have been called Chrono Trigger 2. Our main objective for Chrono Cross was to share a little bit of the Chrono Trigger worldview, while creating a completely different game as a means of providing new entertainment to the player. This is mainly due to the transition in platform generation from the SNES to the PS. The method I mentioned above, about improving upon a basic system, has inefficiencies, in that it’s impossible to maximize the console’s performance as the console continues to make improvements in leaps and bounds. Although essentially an RPG, at its core, it is a computer game, and I believe that games should be expressed with a close connection to the console’s performance. Therefore, in regards to game development, our goal has always been to “express the game utilizing the maximum performance of the console at that time.” I strongly believe that anything created in this way will continue to be innovative. – Hiromichi Tanaka (source – GamePro)
To be clear, this year marks the 25th anniversary of the Klonoa franchise and releasing the first two Klonoa games in a single package in remastered forms is not only commemorative but also ideal for gamers who want the best value for their money as well as a nice combination of nostalgia and fun platforming. Watch the official announcement video below…
To put things in perspective, posted below is the excerpt from the official announcement by Bandai Namco. Some parts in boldface…
Celebrating the 25th birthday of the franchise, Klonoa Phantasy Reverie Series will feature Klonoa: Door to Phantomile and Klonoa 2: Lunatea’s Veil. The titles’ graphics received an elegant revamp running at 60fps and up to 4K resolution, while Klonoa’s beloved world and classic gameplay have been faithfully preserved for new players and fans of the original to enjoy.
Released initially in 1997 by Namco, Klonoa is a side-scrolling platform game featuring a colourful character roster and vibrant game world. It’s up to the player to embark on a journey to save Phantomile, stepping in Klonoa’s shoes. The remaster will add an adjustable difficulty level and a 2 player co-op option, allowing franchise newcomers to delve right into the action, and long-time fans to get reacquainted with ease.
Below are the story descriptions of the two Klonoa games.
Klonoa: Door to Phantomile – One night in his home village of Breezegale, where the wind is plentiful, Klonoa saw a peculiar dream. Most dreams he forgets, but this one—this nightmare, in which the world was devoured by darkness—he didn’t… When he awoke, an airship had crashed into the nearby hill— mirroring the exact scene he’d witnessed while dreaming. Our hero departed to investigate, along with Huepow, ring spirit and childhood friend. At the hill, they chanced upon Lephise, a songstress with the power to restore light and life to the world—as well as the Dark King Ghadius, in whose evil clutches the songstress lay trapped. Hoping to thwart Ghadius’s sinister plans, Klonoa and Huepow then embarked on a grand journey spanning all of Phantomile.
Klonoa 2: Lunatea’s Veil – Lunatea a world in which the power of four bells maintains order. It came to pass that a dark fifth bell materialized, threatening the balance that had been hitherto maintained. Amidst the brewing chaos, Klonoa too, materialized in Lunatea, falling into a tempestuous sea. He came onshore, where he was greeted by Lolo, a Lunatean priestess-in-training, and Popka, her trusty companion. Though the pair had never met Klonoa before, they identified him as the “Dream Traveler,” and sought his aid in restoring Lunatea from its chaos-riddled state. And so, the trio set off to save the mysterious realm from the darkness looming overhead…
Honestly, I am very surprised by Bandai Namco’s announcement as the Klonoa games have always been associated with the PlayStation brand. While it is understood that Bandai Namco needs to maximize its re-investment in their old properties (in this case, Klonoa which is turning 25 this year) and sell as many copies to as many console and PC gamers around the world, to see Klonoa games coming to Xbox platform is quite stunning.
In my experience, I played the original Klonoa on a PlayStation console way back in 1998 but I never got to finish it. As for the 2nd Klonoa game (originally released on PlayStation 2), I completely missed out on it. Respectively Klonoa: Door to Phantomile and Klonoa 2: Lunatea’s Veil earned mostly positive reviews from game critics. As such, Klonoa Phantasy Reverie Series set for a release on Xbox consoles is a very pleasant surprise and I am looking forward to it!
In closing this piece, posted below are Xbox-related videos plus for your viewing pleasure. Time to catch up with the latest about Xbox and Activision Blizzard as well.
To begin with, watch this official trailer of Two Point Campus.
Developed by Two Point Studios, Two Point Campus has a school setting and players will be challenge to establish and manage a university campus complete with setting up its many parts (like classrooms and laboratories to name a few), hiring a staff of good quality educators, and managing how the students will behave in and around campus. As it is a piece of fantasy, the game has a cartoony vibe on its art and expressions.
To put things in perspective, posted below is the excerpt from the official announcement on Xbox.com written by Two Point Studios Creative Director Gary Carr.
In Two Point Hospital there is very little time to really get to know your little people, because patients come in for their treatment, you cure them (or they die…oops) and then they leave your hospital. In Two Point Campus this process is very different. Your students will be with you for much longer during their campus experience, giving you the chance to help them on their academic journey to success, or in some cases failure. You’ll have to figure out what’s going on. Are they happy? Are they enjoying their courses? Are they making enough friends? You’ll need to take the time to get to know them, nurture them and pull them through this process. Each student has their own unique character traits, so you’ll have to cater to all their needs to develop them into well-rounded individuals who will do the legacy of your university proud.
We just really want you to care more about your little people, so in Two Point Campus we’re giving you the tools to create an incredible university experience for your students. Keep them entertained with extracurricular activities, such as socials, gigs, clubs and even ‘CheeseBall’ – the highly entertaining sports activity in Two Point Campus. However, too much of the fun stuff will result in students falling asleep during class, which impacts their grades and eventually your overall Campus prestige. It’s the perfect balancing act, to on one hand give your students the adventure of a lifetime, and on the other hand, run a successful Campus environment.
Anyone that’s familiar with Two Point Hospital will know that we like to give our games a humorous twist. That’s no different in Two Point Campus. Rather than the typical academic fare, students in Two Point County will experience some very unusual courses. They can learn how to cook giant pizzas in the Gastronomy course or attend Robotics and get into the techy stuff where they build huge robots. We really enjoyed brainstorming about all the different courses in Two Point Campus. It usually starts by thinking of theme or a pun, and from there we think of how we can build it into a course. We love thinking of big and absurd machines or items that the students interact with during their courses, so players are wondering “what on earth going on there??”
Like Two Point Hospital, Two Point Campus is a charming, accessible, and deep management sim, but for the first time, you will be able to build your Campus from the ground up, from the buildings to the grounds they sit in. You can design stylish dormitories for your students, lay down ornamental pathways or pimp up your Campus with super cool items, such as Cheesy Gubbins vending machines. One of the things we enjoyed most at Two Point Studios when Two Point Hospital launched, was watching people play our game and get super creative with the design of their rooms and hospitals. In Two Point Campus we take this a step further, where players can go all out and design absolute masterpieces, or total trash if they wish… However, there will still be plenty of options for people who don’t like that total freedom when it comes to building. We’re keen to cater to all the different playstyles.
The above description really sounds interesting. I wonder if the game will allow players to fire socialists/Communists/Marxists among the university’s educators to prevent the radicalization of students which has been going on for a long time in North America in real life. If I were to establish the campus of my dreams, there definitely will be no Leftism and no elements of the Satanic Left. The focus will be strictly on education, no political ideologies. No socialism, no Marxism and no Communism at all!
As mentioned earlier, if you are convinced to buy yourself a copy of Two Point Campus for your Xbox console or Windows PC ahead of time, you can do it online and you will get some bonus items in return. However, if you are already subscribing via Xbox Game Pass or PC Game Pass, you only need to wait for the May 17, 2022 launch to download it and play it without extra charge. I myself am an XGP subscriber and I will be playing Two Point Campus on my Xbox Series X this May, and only then I’ll find out how good the game will turn out.
In closing this piece, posted below are Xbox-related videos plus a Two Point Campus video for your viewing pleasure.
It has been a few days since the industry shaking announcement was made – Microsoft will acquire gaming giant Activision Blizzard for almost $69 billion and that means major additions (games, intellectual properties, game development talents, technologies and more) coming to Team Xbox for gamers to enjoy within the Xbox ecosystem.
This is easily the most unbelievable and most intriguing video game business development since the Xbox-Bethesda deal (deal completed in 2021). Unbelievable because nobody (other than the Microsoft and Activision Blizzard executives) saw this deal would happen at all even though Team Xbox made clear it would push on with acquisitions. Intriguing because Activision Blizzard itself has been controversial in very negative ways (for references, click here, here and here) which brings major challenges for Team Xbox to solve once the acquisition has been completed.
To begin with, let’s take a look at the reactions and analysis of Xbox YouTubers and gaming media in the videos below…
And now, for even greater perspective, posted below is an excerpt from the official Xbox-Activision-Blizzard announcement on Xbox.com written by none other than Phil Spencer himself and he now has a new work title…CEO of Microsoft Gaming. Now pay close attention to the details below. Some parts in boldface…
As a team, we are on a mission to extend the joy and community of gaming to everyone on the planet. We all know that gaming is the most vibrant and dynamic form of entertainment worldwide and we’ve experienced the power of social connection and friendship that gaming makes possible.
As we pursue that mission, it is incredibly exciting to announce that Microsoft has agreed to acquire Activision Blizzard.
Over many decades, the studios and teams that make up Activision Blizzard have earned vast wellsprings of joy and respect from billions of people all over the world. We are incredibly excited to have the chance to work with the amazing, talented, dedicated people across Activision Publishing, Blizzard Entertainment, Beenox, Demonware, Digital Legends, High Moon Studios, Infinity Ward, King, Major League Gaming, Radical Entertainment, Raven Software, Sledgehammer Games, Toys for Bob, Treyarch and every team across Activision Blizzard.
Until this transaction closes, Activision Blizzard and Microsoft Gaming will continue to operate independently. Once the deal is complete, the Activision Blizzard business will report to me as CEO, Microsoft Gaming.
Upon close, we will offer as many Activision Blizzard games as we can within Xbox Game Pass and PC Game Pass, both new titles and games from Activision Blizzard’s incredible catalog. We also announced today that Game Pass now has more than 25 million subscribers. As always, we look forward to continuing to add more value and more great games to Game Pass.
The fantastic franchises across Activision Blizzard will also accelerate our plans for Cloud Gaming, allowing more people in more places around the world to participate in the Xbox community using phones, tablets, laptops and other devices you already own. Activision Blizzard games are enjoyed on a variety of platforms and we plan to continue to support those communities moving forward.
As a company, Microsoft is committed to our journey for inclusion in every aspect of gaming, among both employees and players. We deeply value individual studio cultures. We also believe that creative success and autonomy go hand-in-hand with treating every person with dignity and respect. We hold all teams, and all leaders, to this commitment. We’re looking forward to extending our culture of proactive inclusion to the great teams across Activision Blizzard.
Around the world, there is no more exciting venue for fun and connection than video games.
Wow! That was once massive and strategically worded announcement there by Microsoft Gaming CEO Phil Spencer! Not only does this great development prove that Microsoft continues to go all-in on gaming through Team Xbox, it also shows partially what the long-term video gaming business will be for them, Activision Blizzard’s teams and the consumers who collectively own game consoles, desktops, laptops, smartphones and other devices with access to the Xbox network and ecosystem. The acquisition, once approved, will help Team Xbox gain a strong presence in the lucrative mobile gaming industry.
Very clearly, the business of video games is no longer limited to game consoles, software and online gaming networks which is something that Japan-based Sony and Nintendo should realize. The console-only approach of business is itself a hindrance on reaching out to billions of people who play games, as well as an obstacle to achieve massive business growth not for the short term but for the long term.
The most recent games of Activision Blizzard franchises like Call of Duty, Starcraft, Warcraft, Crash Bandicoot and Spyro have been released on game consoles and Windows PC. There is also the mobile gaming titan Call of Duty: Mobile under Activision. These facts proves that the acquisition by Microsoft makes business and technical sense.
When it comes to Xbox gaming, I believe that in due time, future installments of established Activision Blizzard game franchises as well as brand new intellectual properties will become Xbox-exclusive after the completion of the acquisition and as long as Activision Blizzard has no signed agreements with PlayStation or Nintendo related to console exclusivity of games. What is the basis for this? Take a look back at what Phil Spencer said before…
“We have games that exist on other platforms, and we’re going to support those games on the platforms they’re on. There are communities of players. We love those communities and will continue to invest in them. And even in the future, there might be things that have either contractual things, or legacy on different platforms, that we’ll go do. But if you’re an Xbox customer, the thing I want you to know is this is about delivering great exclusive games for you that ship on platforms where Game Pass exists, and that’s our goal, that’s why we are doing this,”
Going back to Spencer’s Xbox-Activision-Blizzard announcement, he specifically confirmed that Xbox Game Pass (XGP) subscribers has reached 25 million already, and things will only get exciting as more Activision Blizzard games will be added into the service! Expect lots of Call of Duty games, Crash Bandicoot games, Tony Hawk games and more! Xbox Game Pass will become even more varied with its game selection from the Xbox game studios and that means the subscription service will become even more attractive, even essential, to gamers who want great value for their money.
Apart from Activision Blizzard’s games and intellectual properties, Microsoft will also inherit the many employees working under AB’s game studios as well as their proprietary technologies (game engines, rendering software and the like) and have them integrated into Xbox Game Studios.
Right now, there is still a long road ahead for the Xbox-Activision-Blizzard deal to endure first heading towards competition. Don’t forget that the deal is still subject for review by the regulators. The people who hate Xbox and even Activision Blizzard out there can always rant a lot, complain a lot and spew lots of nonsense but nothing changes the fact that the Xbox-Activision-Blizzard deal does not really constitute a monopoly in the video game industry. The said industry is much bigger than most people know and there are several other game publishers out there whose combined market values heavily outweigh Microsoft, Activision Blizzard and even Bethesda combined. As for the internal side of things, I believe that Microsoft has what it takes to end the negativity within Activision Blizzard, solve the related problems and straighten things out. It will take a few years but I believe improvements will happen. By then, more entertainment content will flood the Xbox ecosystem as well as Xbox Game Pass!
Truly now is a great time to be part of the Xbox ecosystem as more great games will be coming in! Personally, I am looking forward to play Activision Blizzard’s games on my Xbox Series X through Xbox Game Pass!
There is no denying that 2021 saw Team Xbox got its groove back as the current Xbox ecosystem (composed of Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S, Xbox One and Windows PC) got filled with not only excellent games but also with the continued rise of Xbox Game Pass (XGP) as the best subscription service in gaming! The most recent additions of backward compatible games also added depth into the Xbox network for users – especially long-time Xbox gamers – to enjoy.
2021 Xbox-exclusive games like Halo Infinite, Forza Horizon 5, and Flight Simulator were acclaimed games and they really showed what the Xbox Series consoles could do when it comes to giving gamers a true, fun-filled next-generation experience.
On the production side of Xbox gaming, the $7.5 billion acquisition and integration of Bethesda (through ZeniMax) into Xbox already showed nice results and there will be even better results in the form of brand new games in 2022.
For some insight on 2022 Xbox gaming, watch the following videos below…
Expect 2022 to be a much bigger and more exciting year of gaming on Xbox in terms of exclusive games, multiplatform games and XGP! Techland’s Dying Light 2 Stay Human will be released on February 4 which should please gamers who have long been waiting for it. Coming out on February 10 is CrossfireX which will have a story oriented single-player campaign as well as robust multi-player system. The high-profile FromSoftware RPG Elden Ring will be unleashed on February 25.
Tunic, a timed Xbox-exclusive game, will be released on March 16 and to this day it continues to get compared with The Legend of Zelda due to its design and art style. Die-hard players of Grand Theft Auto V who wish to replay the game and its multi-player features with the benefits of playing it on Xbox Series S or Xbox Series X will get something from Rockstar Games as the next-gen update for the game will be released sometime this March. For those who love crime-oriented open-world games that are not connected with the GTA franchise, there is the Saints Row reboot which has been delayed to August 2022.
Warhammer 40,000: Darktide, which promises to give gamers a lot of action and cooperative play to enjoy, shall be released on Xbox Series consoles, Windows PC and Xbox Game Pass sometime this year. Similarly, Square Enix’s sci-fi Japanese role-playing game (JRPG) Star Ocean The Divine Force will be released sometime this year. If the game will be released in the 3rd quarter or 4th quarter this year, then it is likely Square Enix will announce the release date at this year’s E3 convention. Still on JRPGs, Eiyuden Chronicle: Rising from developer Rabbit & Bear Studios and publisher 505 Games should be come out sometime this year on Xbox consoles, Windows PC and Xbox Game Pass. A final release date might be announced soon. Another notable video game that should be released sometime this year is Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League which has the potential to be a big hit as it was made by the same developer behind the three most acclaimed Batman Arkham games.
When it comes to the more high-profile exclusive Xbox games set for release this year, Xbox fans as well as S.T.A.L.K.E.R. franchise fans should know that S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2: Heart of Chernobyl will be released on December 8, 2022 on Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S and Windows PC. The game, which will also be released through Xbox Game Pass, promises to deliver a massive open-world for gamers to get lost in and experience lots of action mixed with horror elements. Redfall, another Xbox-exclusive made by Arkane Austin under Bethesda, should be released sometime in the 2nd quarter this year on Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S, Windows PC and Xbox Game Pass. Expect a pre-release showcase before or during the 2022 of E3.
What is widely considered to be the most anticipated Xbox-exclusive game of 2022 is Bethesda’s next big RPG Starfield which will be released on November 11 for Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S, Windows PC and Xbox Game Pass. This game’s production is being led by Todd Howard and he and his team at Bethesda Softworks are really challenging themselves to immerse gamers into a brand new, science fiction universe that will emphasize space travel, colonized planets, discovering the unexplored and getting involved in the uneasy peace between the major factions. It is inevitable that a major showing of Starfield should happen at E3 2022 or in an upcoming digital event of Team Xbox.
The above mix of games are just some of the many new games coming to Xbox this year. In fact, there is a possibility that Team Xbox could release some more Xbox-exclusive games this year such as the yet-to-be-showcased Forza Motorsport (note: the latest entry of the FM franchise Forza Motorsport 7 was released way back in 2017) for example. They could also announce new and even timed exclusive games coming through Xbox Game Pass within the year. As for other upcoming undated Xbox-exclusives like Senua’s Saga: Hellblade II and Contraband, I wish those games will be released this year.
Whatever lies ahead, expect 2022 to be more exciting than 2021 when it comes to Xbox games and experiences. There is nothing that Xbox haters and jealous fanboys could do to derail the Xbox machine and its strong momentum.
In closing this piece, posted below are Xbox-related videos for your viewing pleasure.
When Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League was first unveiled with a cinematic trailer during the DC FanDome of 2020, I was just interested with its concept but wanted more in terms of gameplay. After more than one year of waiting, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment revealed at last the first gameplay footage of the Rocksteady Studios-developed game and I find it looking fun and promising. For your viewing pleasure, watch the official gameplay trailer below…
As seen in the above trailer, the developer behind the acclaimed Batman Arkham games really worked hard to not only make a wide variety of action and movements (in relation to the different members of the Suicide Squad), but also have them animate very smoothly and artistically resulting a cinematic look while still maintaining the DC Comics aesthetic.
The gameplay trailer showed 3rd person view shooting sequences with not only Deadshot but also with King Shark. As for Harley Quinn, there were sequences of her swinging above ground and doing close combat. The in-game Metropolis (the fictional city often identified with Superman) was clearly designed to provide gamers a large, open world-inspired environment which opens up opportunities for action, exploration and storytelling. Metropolis in this game looks detailed and there are visual references to Superman and Wonder Woman shown.
Having seen the gameplay footage, I can say my interest in playing Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League on my Xbox Series X in the near future has gotten stronger. I should state that it is a spectacle to see Rocksteady’s developers push their creativity hard, possibly more so than what they achieved in the Batman Arkham games. By the way, Rocksteady is being assisted by Unbroken Studios on the game.
As of this writing, Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League does not have a final release date but it will be released for Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S and Windows PC sometime in 2022.
In closing this piece, posted below are Xbox-related videos for your viewing pleasure.
To put things in perspective, posted below is an excerpt from the Saints Row website post by Jim Boone. Some parts in boldface…
Saints Row will no longer release on the originally announced date of 25th February 2022, instead it will launch worldwide on 23rd August 2022.
Our priority is to create the best Saints Row game yet and, if we released on the original date, it wouldn’t be up to the standards we’ve set ourselves, and that you’re expecting and deserve. The team just need more time to do our vision justice; we’re doing some fine tuning and there won’t be much change in the game outside of overall quality and polish.
In all honesty, we underestimated the impact COVID would have on our schedule, although everyone adapted very quickly to the working from home arrangement and continued to be incredibly productive.
However, due to the size and scope of our new Saints Row, it’s become apparent that to create the best game possible, we need to give our team longer to perfect their craft.
As you can see in the above excerpt, Volition needs more time and opportunities to polish Saints Row (2022) and make it the best and most enjoyable game possible. Volition’s situation of having employees work at home due to this COVID-19 crisis is not surprising at all. I can only guess that their previous announcement of a February 2022 release was decided rather too aggressively. How long exactly have Volition’s workers been working from their homes remains unclear.
Boone also mentioned on his post that Saints Row (2022) will be their “biggest and best Saints Row game ever,” while confirming that “there will not be any changes to the story or the characters.” With those details declared, it’s obviously clear that revising the story or the characters will consume a lot of time given the creative processes involved. Still, I would prefer that they revise the character designs of the new age Saints Row who currently look more like misfits molded with Commie-oriented diversity concepts. Were Volition’s artists influenced by images of the Cancer Culture and Black Lives Matter mobs?
For those who missed out on updates about Saints Row (2022), the game was recently featured by Game Informer with videos showcasing how it plays, what the concepts are, how the writers reacted to its quality, etc. Check out the Game Informer videos below…
Saints Row (2022) will be released on Xbox One, Xbox Series S and Xbox Series X on August 23, 2022. If you have decided already to order the game in advance, click right here.