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.
Anyone who owns an Xbox console or a Windows PC who loves Japanese role-playing games (JRPGs) should be delighted to know that the popular Persona game franchise will have three of its established games released for Xbox One, Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S and Windows PC with availability through Xbox Game Pass (XGP) soon as confirmed in the recent Xbox-Bethesda games showcase! For clarity, Persona 5 Royal is slated for an October 21, 2022 release.
For starters, watch the official video below…
To understand the Persona games better, posted below is an excerpt from the official article published at Xbox.com written by SEGA Communications Manager Stacy Lee. Some parts in boldface…
Cheers to 25 years of Persona! In this very special anniversary year, we are bringing the worldwide hits Persona 5 Royal, Persona 4 Golden, and Persona 3 Portable to Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, Windows PC, and with Xbox Game Pass. Starting this fall, fans will get to experience this beloved RPG series.
To kick things off, on October 21, don the mask of Joker and join the Phantom Thieves of Hearts when Persona 5 Royal arrives with Xbox Game Pass, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, and Windows PC. We’ll have more to share on the release of Persona 4 Golden and Persona 3 Portable so be sure to stay tuned here to Xbox Wire.
For those who missed out on these games originally, or are excited to play Persona on Xbox and Windows PC, the 25th Anniversary is a great time to join in the celebration. Here’s a quick refresher on each game:
Persona 3 Portable – If I say there’s an hour “hidden” between one day and the next… would you believe me? This unknown time is the “Dark Hour.” Unfamiliar stillness swallows the city, people turn into eerie coffins, and otherworldly monsters called Shadows swarm. One night, the protagonist is attacked by these Shadows. When all hope seems lost, the power of the heart, their Persona, is awakened.
Persona 4 Golden – They say your soulmate will appear if you stare into a television set on a rainy night… This strange rumor slowly spreads through the rural town of Inaba, the protagonist’s new home, just as a chain of mysterious murders begin. As the protagonist and his teammates chase after the truth, they find themselves opening the door to another world.
Persona 5 Royal – Forced to transfer to a high school in Tokyo, the protagonist has a strange dream. “You truly are a prisoner of fate. In the near future, ruin awaits you.” With the goal of “rehabilitation” looming overhead, he must save others from distorted desires by donning the mask of a Phantom Thief.
In my personal experience, the one and only Persona video game I ever played was Revelations: Persona on the original Sony PlayStation way back in 1996. I never finished that game but I spent many hours playing it and that includes the loading times and the not-so-efficient pacing of the gameplay.
Combined with those mentioned Japanese games or JRPGs to be exact, the addition of Persona games is indeed a welcome addition to the Xbox ecosystem which has lots of gamers craving for such games. It’s nice to see that Team Xbox head Phil Spencer has been working hard negotiating with Japanese game companies and makers to release their games into the Xbox ecosystem. In fact, during the Xbox-Bethesda showcase, a special Xbox project with Hideo Kojima’s company was confirmed to be real and there was also the announcement of an Xbox release of Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty developed by Team Ninja.
Let me end this piece by ask you readers: Are you happy that the Persona game franchise is coming to Xbox with the mentioned three games? Do you think that more Japanese RPGs and other kinds of games made by Japanese game developers will continue to be released on Xbox? What other past JRPGs do you want to see released on Xbox and Xbox Game Pass? Do you think that all the JRPGs already announced coming to Xbox and mix in with Western RPGs (examples: Starfield, Fable reboot, The Outer Worlds 2 and Avowed to name a few) will result a wide variety of games for those who love playing role-playing games? Do you see Xbox as the definitive ecosystem for RPGs right now?
For the newcomers reading this, the game is an interactive drama that has a very stylized visual design. To understand As Dusk Falls better, posted below is an excerpt from the official article published at Xbox.com written by Kelly Lombardi. Some parts in boldface…
As Dusk Falls has been eight years in the making for CEO and Creative Director at Interior/Night Caroline Marchal. Her goal was to create a deep interactive experience for all levels of players, something meant to be shared with loved ones. Inspired by prestige TV shows, Interior/Night’s debut game is an uncompromising tale of family, resilience, and sacrifice, coming to Xbox Series X|S, Windows PC, Steam, and with Xbox Game Pass and PC Game Pass on July 19.
This cinematic story is brought to life by the performance of actors that are digitally rendered into a beautiful art style, creating a unique experience that plays like a motion graphic novel.
In As Dusk Falls you’ll have agency over the lives of relatable, far from perfect human beings, inviting you to empathize with their real-life struggles and aspirations. Starting in 1998 with a robbery-gone-wrong in small town Arizona, the choices you make have a powerful impact on the characters’ lives in this decades-spanning story told across two intense books:
Sacrifice vs Survival: Can you break free from your family’s toxic influence? What will you sacrifice for the ones you love? Can you overcome your past? Your decisions will shape the characters’ fates.
Interwoven Destinies: Follow two families in their struggle to survive, protect, and endure through challenges rooted in the previous generations’ mistakes.
Experience Together: Reveal insights about yourself and those you play with as you discover the underlying values of your decisions in cooperative gameplay with up to 8 players at a time, locally or online (or a mix). The As Dusk Falls companion app makes making choices in game easy, just use your phone or tablet to vote with or against your friends.
Replay the story again and again to uncover vastly different outcomes for the characters and explore hidden nuances behind every decision. Will your characters survive unscathed? What kind of people will they ultimately become?
The above article ended stating that As Dusk Falls will also be made available on mobile phones, tablets and lower-spec PCs via Xbox Cloud Gaming.
Considering the obvious lack of high-profile Xbox-exclusive games for the 2nd half of 2022, As Dusk Falls is definitely on my list of games to play on my Xbox Series X with the benefit of my Xbox Game Pass subscription. As such, its July 19, 2022 release date is good news as it has been two years since the game was first announced. This is an Xbox-exclusive of a very different kind!
In terms of game design, As Dusk Falls is highly unusual and also intriguing to look at. I really am interested to play it and witness how the actors will perform and bring their characters to life on-screen. The mentioned decision/choice making as a gameplay function alone interests me as I used to read Choose Your Own Adventure (CYOA) pocket books long ago. How high the quality and fun factor As Dusk Falls is a question mark right now but the wait for it will end very soon.
If you are the type of gamer who loves narrative adventures, decision-making interactivity or if you simply want a really new form of video game that stands out among the rest, watch out for As Dusk Falls on the Xbox ecosystem.
In my pre-event article of the Xbox & Bethesda Games Showcase, I mentioned RPG specialist Obsidian Entertainment (an Xbox game studio) and their two upcoming games that I hoped would be showcases somehow in the June 12, 2022 event – the fantasy role-playing game (RPG) Avowed and The Outer Worlds 2.
While those two mentioned games did not appear in the showcase, Obsidian announced two new games that will be hitting the Xbox ecosystem this year – the full version of Grounded (already a hit in its pre-release form) and the brand-new game Pentiment(a narrative adventure).
In this post, we will take a close look at Pentiment which I must admit I was surprised as I did not anticipate to see another project from Obsidian whose works in The Outer Worlds and Fallout: New Vegas I enjoyed. To begin with, watch this official announcement video of Pentiment.
Today, we have the pleasure of introducing the world to Pentiment, a 16th-century narrative adventure game directed by Studio Design Director Josh Sawyer. As you will see, this game is brought to life by a talented team who were inspired by illuminated manuscripts, woodcut prints, and history itself.
In Pentiment, you play Andreas Maler, a journeyman artist working in the bygone scriptorium of Kiersau Abbey during a time of great social unrest. While finishing his masterpiece, Andreas inadvertently becomes entangled in a series of murders that take place over 25 years. Peasants, thieves, craftsmen, monks, nuns, nobles, and even saints must be investigated and interrogated to expose the truth.
It will be up to players to decide Andreas’ choices, from his educational background and lifestyle to how he investigates the murders. One day he may be digging up a dead monk in the abbey cemetery, the next might be spent eavesdropping on peasant gossip at the ladies’ spinning bee. Every decision and accusation he makes carries consequences that will impact the tightly-knit Alpine community for generations to come.
We are very excited to share this unique interpretation of life in 16th-century Germany, and we can’t wait to release more information with you about Pentiment leading up to its launch this November.
The above article ended stating that Pentiment, which is an Xbox-exclusive game, will be released specifically for Xbox One, Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S, Windows PC and also through Xbox Game Pass (XGP), Steam and PC Game Pass sometime on November 2022 with a declared price of $19.99. Team Xbox and Obsidian have yet to announce a final release date as of this writing.
Having seen the video during the recent Xbox-Bethesda Games Showcase, Pentiment looks really inspired and the artistic style looks nice. I find the player decision mechanism very appealing as it reminds me of my experience reading Choose Your Own Adventure pocket books in which readers must make decisions to move the narrative forward and also impact somewhat key aspects of the protagonist.
Pentiment clearly looks back at a certain part of history and has religious and cultural visual elements included. I don’t know what Josh Sawyer and his team think about religion nor European culture, but if you have read my past faith articles, you should be aware that religion and faith are not one and certainly not the same. I should also state that culture itself is a hindrance for any person who desires to establish faith in the Lord and have a personal relationship with Him.
Going back to the game, the November 2022 release of Pentiment and the September 2022 release of the full version of Grounded somewhat soften the lack of high-profile Xbox-exclusive games in the final four months of 2022. I was hoping to play Starfield and Forza Motorsport (2023) on my Xbox Series X console via Xbox Game Pass before the year ends but those games will be released sometime next year. That being said, Obsidian Entertainment has Xbox-exclusives set for release a few months from now.
If you are an avid Xbox gamer who seeks new exclusive games this year or if you are the type of gamer who wants to play something new and fun, pay close attention to Pentiment and the other Obsidian game.
In my pre-event article, I anticipated the official revealing of the next edition of the acclaimed Forza Motorsport game franchise handled by Turn 10. Indeed, the new game was showcased at the event with Turn 10 executives who led the presentation (with a demo) and a separate trailer of it was released along with a Spring 2023 release period for the Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S, and Windows PC plus Xbox Game Pass (XGP) As the new game is a reboot and it shares the same name as the very first game released way back in 2005 on the original Xbox, I personally refer to it as Forza Motorsport (2023) to avoid confusion.
To learn more about Forza Motorsport (2023) and its features, watch the two videos from the showcase below…
Team Xbox and Turn 10 went the extra mile by publishing key details and features as to why Forza Motorsport (2023) is the most technically advanced racing game ever made. To put things in perspective, posted below is an excerpt from the Xbox.com article. Some parts in boldface…
Forza Motorsport has been built from the ground up to showcase the Xbox Series X|S consoles. The accuracy of our overhauled physics, the beauty of our cars and tracks, our new dynamic time of day, advanced car damage, and real time ray tracing on track lead to a generational leap in immersion. The all-new Forza Motorsport is the most technically advanced racing game ever made.
Fundamental to Forza Motorsport is our fully dynamic time of day system, which brings tracks to life in stunning detail and like weather, it will be available on every track. Changes in time of day alter ambient temperatures, which, in turn, impacts the track surface temperatures. These track temperature changes will affect the grip of your car, as does rubbering in and weather. These new simulation details add further depth, drama, and dynamics to the racing experience.
We’ve completely overhauled the core driving experience to take advantage of the power of the Xbox Series consoles. This includes a 48 times improvement in the fidelity of our physics simulation. Based on your feedback, we’ve introduced new features like tire and fuel management, multiple tire compounds, and new in-depth car building to create the ultimate racing playset. This is all brought to life at the trackside pits, where advanced materials and shaders paired with ray tracing bring out incredible detail in the gold heat wrap, anodized aluminum, and carbon fiber. Ray tracing especially shines on engine bays with their complex self-reflection.
In Forza Motorsport, car damage is reproduced down to the individual scratches on the bodywork. There are all-new simulation details in the directionality of damage, how the paint peels away at exposed and raised edges, in the wheel abrasions, and in the dirt build-up. Car damage is a racing reality and has been authentically captured in the new Forza Motorsport.
There is no doubt about it. Team Xbox and Turn 10 are not only making the grand return of the Forza Motorsport game franchise (note: last game was released in 2017) with Forza Motorsport (2023), they are aiming high on delivering the most ambitious and most engaging racing experience. Very clearly, Turn 10 had been working hard to improve the simulation racing experience for those who will play their next game on Xbox Series consoles or on PC, and they are doing it with both long-time Forza Motorsport fans and casual gamers in mind. With the heavy revamping and reforming done on game design, Turn 10 really went all-out and went way beyond just raising the polygons and raising the resolution to earn the next-generation label.
The implementation ray tracing (defined asa rendering method that simulates light reflections, refractions and shadows. It follows a light path from a specific source and computes each pixel in the image to simulate the effect of the light.) looks great but I still wonder if Turn 10 will still be able to make Forza Motorsport (2023) gameplay run in full native 4K resolution (3840×2160) while maintaining a consistent 60 frames-per-second rate with ray tracing turn on at the same time on Xbox Series X (note: I own the console). Ray tracing is indeed a very taxing visual effect and it has been limited only to Forzavista mode in the acclaimed Forza Horizon 5. If Turn 10 can ensure gameplay with ray tracing, 4K resolution and 60FPS altogether in Forza Motorsport (2023) without any technical compromises, I would really love that!
More on the game, I am looking forward to its revamped cay physics, the improved car damage, the dynamic time of day system, improved dynamic weather, and Turn 10’s next-generation approach on the crafting of the race tracks and experience how all of those will impact the gameplay experience on my end. That being said, Forza Motorsport (2023)is the one simulation racing game to watch out for next year exclusively on the Xbox ecosystem.
We all know that great video games will be released for fun-loving gamers on the Xbox platforms. That’s the truth that Xbox-hating people out there keep on denying. The June 2021 Xbox-Bethesda games showcase was a major event that showed what kind of games and experienced will be released in the years to come. For me, one of the biggest and most unexpected reveals in the showcase were Eiyuden Chronicle: Hundred Heroes and Eiyuden Chronicle: Rising from developer Rabbit & Bear (led by Suikoden creator Yoshitaka Murayama).
In my view, those two Japanese role-playing games (JRPGs) are significant not only because they add variety to the upcoming games Xbox gamers can look forward to but also because both will be made available to the many millions of Xbox Game Pass (XGP) subscribers!
More recently, a developer exclusive preview of Eiyuden Chronicle: Rising (note: the spin-off game to Eiyuden Chronicle: Hundred Heroes) which you can watch below…
The game’s story takes place on the continent of Allraan in a small mining town called New Neveah. The battle against the evil Galdean Empire awaits. Traverse the town, encounter a vibrant cast of colorful characters, collect resources, and prepare for epic battles.
As you watch this first look at Eiyuden Chronicle: Rising, make sure you pay attention to these five key elements in the footage!
Utilize potions and other stat boosting modifiers to increase your chance of survival. You might notice that we’re at a very high character level compared to the enemies we face off against in this exclusive look. When you play Eiyuden Chronicle: Rising, confrontations could be far more challenging than they appear. Potions will give you an edge when traversing dungeons, but they heal your entire party. Try to even out the damage your party receives so you heal everyone efficiently as opposed to only partially healing members of your squad. It is possible to overuse members of your team!
Fast travel will help you traverse massive dungeons and hasten quest completion. You will save hours by using the maps and signposts to fast-travel versus running everywhere.
Some enemies have an additional bar next to their health that represents a shield. Focus on removing this bonus defense to quickly defeat strong enemies.
Each character can help in unique ways throughout levels and even in combat. For example, Garoo can destroy shields quickly, Isha can effectively bring down the defenses of magic focused enemies, CJ is better equipped to traverse challenging terrain, and Isha can teleport to inaccessible areas. Understand the strengths and weaknesses of your team.
While a final release date has yet to be made, 505 Games declared that the launch of Eiyuden Chronicle: Rising will take place later this year. Perhaps the publisher might announce the final launch dates of both Eiyuden Chronicle: Rising and the Suikoden-inspired Eiyuden Chronicle: Hundred Heroes (tentatively set for 2023) at the next Xbox-Bethesda games showcase in a few months from now.
In closing this piece, posted below are Xbox-related videos for your viewing pleasure.
For those who missed out on the latest on Xbox gaming, last week saw the surprise launch of the independently made action-adventure game Tunic on Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S, Xbox One, Windows PC and on MacOS. For those who are subscribing on Xbox Game Pass (XGP), Tunic is available for you to simply download and play.
To get yourself oriented with Tunic (developed by Andrew Shouldice and published by Finji), watch this official launch trailer below…
In relation to the surprise launch buzz it generated, Tunic gathered several rave reviews from several gaming media outlets. Below are some of notable quotes from the published reviews.
Game Informer: Tunic is a stunning achievement that manages to embody the best of nostalgia while being completely refreshing. It’s absolutely a must-play gem.
Windows Central: Tunic is an absolutely delightful game to slink away to for a few hours to explore, discover, and conquer. Solving puzzles and uncovering the myriad of hidden secrets can make for a calming adventure, but there’s always the potential for an exhilarating moment of victory after a particularly difficult boss.
Destructoid: What’s amazing about Tunic is that I can’t count any misstep. I fell into the world a few times, big deal. The penalty for death is paltry and they’re bugs that can be squashed. Once, a sound queue got stuck playing continuously, and I found myself pondering its significance in futility. I only noticed it wasn’t supposed to be happening when it continued through to the main menu. Sometimes things get in the way of the camera. There was nothing major enough to drag down the experience.
GameSpot: Most Souls-likes tend to adopt a grimdark fantasy aesthetic, but Tunic harkens back to the 8- and 16-bit eras by presenting a vibrant and colorful world that also offers a fiendishly difficult challenge. It’s not simply evocative of games from the late ’80s and early ’90s because it creates facsimiles of their graphics or gameplay, but because it manages to capture a tangible feeling of exploration and difficulty, where an instruction manual is your tool to deciphering everything. It’s the kind of game you would’ve purchased because the box art looked cool, eagerly flipping through the pages of its manual on the car ride home, not quite understanding it all but getting excited at the possibilities all the same. In Tunic’s case, this grand adventure lives up to the expectations.
For the newcomers reading this who are still trying to figure out what exactly Tunic is and what they need to know before trying the game, posted below is an excerpt from the launch day announcement published on Xbox.com written by Finji Senior Community Manager Harris Foster. Some parts in boldface…
A few years back, Tunic was revealed to the world on stage during the Xbox E3 2018 Briefing. This was a huge moment for both of us as a publishing team and for Andrew Shouldice who at the time was handling the duties of game designer, programmer, level designer, character artist, animator, and tester on Tunic.
In the nearly four years that followed, Tunic grew in an astonishing fashion. The development team and the game itself have multiplied in size and thousands of new fans have shared their excitement with us. Starting today we invite you to discover Tunic and all the secrets it has to offer on Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, and with Xbox Game Pass.
At first glance, Tunic may seem like a cute action-adventure game. You play as a small fox in a big world, fighting monsters and exploring an ancient land. But don’t let its charming exterior fool you, Tunic’s combat will test your reflexes and its mysteries will challenge your perception.
On your adventure you’ll explore a dense and mysterious overworld, from shadowy forests inhabited by dangerous creatures to intricate temples filled with hostile sorcerers. The sword is your primary weapon, but your greatest tool is knowing the right time to dodge, block, and swing. Your enemies will not hold back, so be sure to search your environment for bombs, stat boosts, and refillable health potions. Make a wrong move and your death will send you back to the last checkpoint without giving back any items you used. Be careful out there!
Tunic’s white-knuckle combat system pulls from modern action RPGs while its setting and tone comes from games of the classic cartridge era. But the challenge and inspiration doesn’t end there. Remember the good ol’ days when every game included a full-color instruction manual? A flimsy booklet packed with helpful combat tips, enemy descriptions, and secret hints? Tunic takes the lost art of the instruction manual and injects it directly into the game.
Scattered throughout the in-game world of Tunic are instruction manual pages for you to collect. Each one you find adds to your booklet, creating a compendium of this foreign realm. Study the pages carefully to get a lay of the land and have the upper hand on your combatants. Filled with gorgeous hand-drawn illustrations, the manual appears to be written in some unknown language. Come to think of it, everything in this world is written in these glyphs. What does it mean? Will we be able to translate it? What else might Tunic be hiding?
Mysteries and secrets sit at the heart of the Tunic experience. Every seasoned gamer knows that when a game has a waterfall, they should check behind it for hidden loot. Tunic presents a world overflowing with opportunities to sniff out secrets. When playing Tunic, we encourage you to collaborate with your friends.
In my own experience, I find Tunic to be highly playable, challenging and pretty enticing to play. It has that wholesome approach to its art style and visuals which resulted a unique fantasy look. The gameplay is where Tunic really stands out. The controls are pretty responsive and unique, and the game itself encourages both exploration and discovery to be done. This game also comes with a unique way on learning the functions on gameplay and controls complete with that nostalgic touch of visualizing instructions very similar to what video game manuals of long ago pulled off.
As of now, I’m still making my way through the game. I don’t know yet how long it will take to complete this acclaimed game but I can assure you readers that I am enjoying it a lot. Playing, discovering and learning with Tunic is fun! If you are an Xbox console owner with an active subscription to Xbox Game Pass, I encourage you to download and play Tunic!
In closing this piece, posted below are Xbox-related videos for your viewing pleasure.
Before I begin, I want to make clear to all of you reading this that I never got to play Cyberpunk 2077 on any platform when it was first launched in late-2020. Like anyone else, I waited years for that game and I was excited too but Cyberpunk 2077 was released just a few weeks after Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5 launched. At that very time in December 2020, I was focused on raising funds for Xbox Series X than buying new games for my console at the time – the Xbox One (which stopped functioning in mid-2021 after 6 years of use). I can also say that the exposure of Cyberpunk 2077’s very flawed state on consoles plus the criticism that followed convinced me to stay away from CD Projekt Red’s promised epic video game.
Very recently, CD Projekt Red not only polished Cyberpunk 2077 with Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5 in mind, they also released a free 5-hour trial version (with patch 1.5) which I decided to download and play to really experience the game for the first time ever. This post I’m writing is clearly not a game review but my own observation about what Cyberpunk 2077 offered and what I experienced in the five hours I played.
After downloading it, I got to play the free trial version on my Xbox Series X with the performance mode chosen as I wanted to play the game with the best frame-rate possible. I customized V in female form and chose Streetkid as her lifepath as I was eager to discover Night City.
While I knew five hours was rather limiting to make tremendous story progress or discover much of the city, I still went on with the main storyline of V, discovered the key characters, and went through the tutorials to learn the basics of combat (both guns and melee weapons), stealth, hacking and, late in my limited playtime, the braindance (note: you get to experience life through another person’s own views and experiences in first-person view and externally).
On combat, I find the shooting rather lacking in precision in terms of aiming and controller response when compared to what I’ve played in first-person role-playing games (RPGs) The Outer Worlds and Fallout 4. In fairness, the impact of shots fired against enemies in Cyberpunk 2077 is rather strong, especially when you use powerful weapons like the shotgun. The melee combat meanwhile can be challenging to pull off precisely. Even with the immersive first-person view, I had a bit of trouble estimating if my character’s fists or weapon would be able to reach the opposition figure. I also had similar results with regards to blocking the opposition’s melee attacks on my character. Ultimately, I managed to overcome the opposition to complete the tutorial. Stealth gameplay is challenging as well not only because it was difficult to estimate the farthest reach of the view of the opposing character or security cameras/drones, but also because I found moving around lacking precision.
The hacking system of the game is well-designed and easily outclasses that of Ubisoft’s hacking-oriented open-world games Watch Dogs and Watch Dogs 2. Hacking in Cyberpunk 2077 is not only more user-friendly but also comes with options that make sense within the game’s concept and the many different digital set-ups in each different location I have been to. Since I was limited by the 5 hours allowed in the trial version, I got to use the hacking system as far as I could and I saw how more options become available once I got to level up V’s character level, attributes and tech capabilities. I was enjoying the in-game hacking by the time my trial ended.
Braindance is like a video record of events experienced by other people in which players will get to review, move forward or backward, and be able to spot/scan new details in order to progress. While it is very immersive to see and experience happenings through the eyes and memory of another character, the video editing aspect of braindance is where the detective work really happens which I enjoyed. This part of the gameplay really pushed me to be observant with the moments and details to progress.
When it comes to exploration in Cyberpunk 2077, I can clearly say that moving down the many sidewalks, streets and varied spots of Night City is really intense and immersive to play. For one thing, the first-person view itself is immersive visually and the immersion got enhanced a lot more with the very clever sound editing (all those cars moving around, the people and their steps, the sound of products coming out from vending machines, the sound of the street barbeque being cooked, the voices of people talking and more) as well as the high number of civilians around me doing their own things. As I never got to play this game in its debut version of late-2020, I could not tell if the in-city exploration was this dense and lively. What I can say is that exploring Night City on foot, going through the alleys, entering establishment that are open and observing the people around is a very engaging gaming experience for me.
Going back to combat, the use of an inhaler to keep V’s hit points (note: life) up easily reminds me of The Outer Worlds. In addition, the food and drinks you purchased at vending machines are also helpful to keep not only your life up but also your stamina. As V is cybernetic, hacking is easily a major part of the gameplay and as you upgrade the character’s cyberwear, V will eventually gain more high-tech capabilities like scanning people and machines for information and more.
Conclusion – For the sake of the people who have not yet played Cyberpunk 2077, I decided not to reveal much about the story of V in my limited playtime. I can say, however, that players are allowed freedom to choose places to visit and activities to do. There is also the freedom for players to take time away from doing main story mission in favor of side-activities or moving around freely to do what you think you could do. My playtime ended as I was in the middle of a main story mission that involved the supporting character Jackie, a high-tech small robot (pet-like in design) and infiltrating rooms and devices while V stays inside the room of a very high-end hotel.
As of this writing, Cyberpunk 2077 is selling at 50% off on the Xbox online store. Now you must be wondering…should you buy the game now that it has been polished and updated with the current generation of game consoles?
In my honest opinion, I prefer to wait first for CD Projekt Red to improve the game even more. I can say that I had an overall positive experience playing the Streetkid path of V during my 5-hour trial play and I had an astounding experience exploring Night City on foot and discovering many new places which show how talented CD Projekt Red’s designers and artists really are. As mentioned earlier, the shooting aspect is still lacking which is unfortunate because it is clear that shooting is the core method of combat. If you don’t like shooting, melee combat is available but that one also needs more refinement to be truly responsive and engaging.
As much as I enjoyed my five hours with Cyberpunk 2077’s free trial, I am not yet convinced to buy the game’s full version for my Xbox Series X now. Not even the 50% discount is enough to convince me to buy it. The game is fun and has its unique ways of entertaining me, but there is still more work needed be done to really make it the great game it was promised to be. To say the least, CD Projekt Red is moving on the right direction on improving the game.
Of course, you my readers who have the means to buy and play Cyberpunk 2077 can decide for yourselves. It’s a risk to take if you really want to spend your hard-earned money on the game now. I’d rather wait for further improvements to be made first before buying it.
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)