Categories
eSports Gaming

Rocket League Championship Series NA Power Rankings for May 2021

You already know what time it is. After examining which Rocket League teams were on the bubble in April, we decided to revisit our list. Here’s our list of the 16 best teams in the game right now.

16. Susquehanna Soniqs

The Soniqs did the impossible this past weekend and had one of the biggest upsets in the Regional, taking down number 1 seed NRG 4-1 in their Quarter-Finals match.

The Soniqs looked super convincing until they got swept by KCP in the Semi-Finals. Was it a fluke on NRGs part? Or are the Soniqs onto something? Only time will tell.

15. Pittsburgh Knights

PK can be a solid squad, but after these past couple of performances, they’ve looked shaky. I think it’s the issue of their playstyle and the lack of diversity. If PK can get over this road bump, they aren’t far from Worlds qualification with only 700 points behind the top 6 spots.

14. XSET

Consisting of AlphaKep, Jpow, and Hockser. XSET consistently places well in tournaments, and has been applying a little more coordination within their team, XSET is a Top 10 team in North America. After placing 9-12th in the recent Spring Regional, I’m convinced that XSET is on a trend upwards.

13. Ghost Gaming

Ghost Gaming is built solid, with LionBlaze (one of the best singles players in the world). There’s no reason Ghost Gaming shouldn’t be able to compete at the top level.

12. EUNITED

eUnited, after dropping WondaMike back in February, they have recently acquired RLCS PRO ‘Dappur’ This team is looking solid after their first performance in the RLCS: Spring Split, placing 13-16th, which is higher than some top 10s like Alpine, and Pittsburgh Knights.

11. Charlotte Phoenix

Charlotte Phoenix being on the scene since late 2019, after recently shaking up their entire roster, could be on the move upward. they’ve needed to secure a spot at worlds as they now 11th on this month’s Power Ranking as they were 13th last month.

10. FaZe Clan

I really believed after being acquired by FaZe that we would’ve seen a more upbeat pace from them as they were 5th on last month’s Ranking. With that being said I think all they need to do is make some micro-adjustments before they start dominating again.

9. Alpine

Alpine is one of the most consistent teams in the RLCS, placing high in rankings in every event, and have one of the most coordinated rosters in the league. However, during this past Regional, Alpine got knocked out early in Group Stages. It will be interesting to see how Alpine comes back in the upcoming TheGrid: Overtime event.

8. Oxygen

After acquiring the up-and-coming roster “Jamal Jabary” consisting of Toastie, LJ, and Kraziks, Oxygen has entered the North American RLCS, previously performing in the EU. Currently holding 680 points in the RLCS places them within the Top 16.

In order for Oxygen to qualify for Worlds they’ll have to keep this current streak going we’ve seen with the team and whether they can really dominate over the Spring Split.

7. Version1

My favorite team as of right now goes from being 12 on our Power Ranking last month to now being number 7, which shows you that if they keep making adjustments, we might see them become a Top 4 contender.

6. Shopify Rebellion

You may not recognize this team. The Shopify Rebels consists of the old KCP roster. As of last week, the Pioneers sold their RLCS roster to the Starcraft team ‘Shopify Rebellion’ With billions of dollars behind The Rebels, it’s interesting to see Rocket League as their first title to dump money into, and almost solidifies my thought that Rocket League is a Tier 1 eSport.

5. Rogue

Ever since dropping RLCS PRO and community loved, ‘Kranovi’ Rogue has been doing nothing but greatness; however, it is super surprising to see Rogue this low on this list because I see them as a super dominant team.

4. G2 Esports

With the announcement of RLCS PRO ‘Rizzo’ retiring. G2 acquired 15-year-old Andres “dreaz” and since then has been a HUGE asset in G2’s success. Taking down the ranks of NRG in the most recent Regional 3.

3. Spacestation Gaming

SSG is one of the most dominant offensive teams in the game. With a majority of their series being high scoring, it’s hard for any defense to keep up with it. It takes a roster with speed and solid coordination. This is why SSG is one of the best teams in the league.

2. NRG

With the overbearing success and dominance of NRG’s playstyle, they have lost to teams such as The Soniqs/ G2/ and SSG. Is this a hint that other teams are getting better? Or is NRG’s playstyle becoming outdated and easy to read?

1. ENVY

After winning 4 Regional Titles this season, this roster has been dominant since their formation of Atomic, Mist, and Turbopolsa. No doubt this team is #1 NA. Maybe even the world.

Categories
Consoles Gaming

‘Apex Legends’ Season 9: New Legend, Map Updates, and So Much More

Look at the tweet posted above – it’s a clear indication of just how fervent the Apex Legends player base is due to the release of an entirely new season of content. The latest batch of updates that have been thrown into Respawn Entertainment’s mega-popular battle royale shooter are beyond major – Season 9 (which is also referred to as “Legacy”) has expanded the game even more via a new mode, a new legend, a new weapon, and so much more. To say that the current Apex Legends hype is real would be a severe understatement.

Players have become so used to going to war alongside their two crewmates against 19 other competing three-person squads. With the addition of the new mode called “Arenas,” players who want to get into explosive skirmishes on a much smaller scale have something made especially for them. Arenas pits two teams of three against each other across multiple rounds. This mode is essentially about emerging alongside your teammates as the last team standing – the road to victory entails using the materials acquired during previous rounds to upgrade your weapons so you’re better equipped to body the competition during the next one. Winning three rounds and being ahead of the enemy team by two points is the name of the game, so be prepared to go extra hard or go home now that Arenas has gone live.

Along with a new mode comes a new Legend with ties to an integral Titanfall 2 character. Say hello to Kairi Imahara aka “Valkyrie.” She just so happens to be the daughter of a villain you came across in Titanfall 2 known as Viper, which connects Valkyrie to the game’s expanded universe. The “Winged Avenger” is quite the force to be reckoned with thanks to her ability set – she can send out a swarm on mini-rockets to disrupt her foes, use a jetpack to go airborne, and utilize an ultimate ability that allows her to launch into the air for a skydive that can even bring her allies along for the ride. You can look forward to beasting with Valkyrie and mastering the game’s new Bocek Bow in tandem thanks to Apex Legends’ Season 9 update.

So far, we’ve taken a look at this update’s delivery of a new mode, legend, and weapon. But thankfully, that’s not all. The map of Olympus sees a few changes of its own that include new drop locations, changed lines of sight for gameplay, and an unknown parasitic plant that will surely make its presence felt. As for Ranked mode, World’s Edge will be included as the first included map while Olympus will step in to take its place afterward. And just like every season before it, Season 9 offers a batch of worthwhile rewards via a new Battle Pass. There’s a ton of unlockables to nab, such as Music Packs, Skydive Emotes, and skins like the Crafty Kitsune Rampart and Legendary Demon’s Whisper Wraith. The biggest reward of all comes to players that hit level 100 of the new Battle Pass, which is the Legendary Reactive Bound in Bone Devotion skins. Season 9 of Apex Legends has pretty much changed the landscape of the game as a whole and looks to be maintaining the strong sense of player relevancy it’s held onto since 2019.

Categories
Gaming New Releases

The Video Game Movies and TV Shows You’ll Want to Keep an Eye On

Video game adaptations have been a major facet of the Hollywood pipeline since Super Mario Bros. jumped onto the big screen in 1993. 

And to be completely honest with you all, a lot of the TV shows/films based on your favorite gaming franchise have been…well, crappy. But in recent years, there have been a few noteworthy shows and films based on video games that have ranged from decent to shockingly good. Sonic the Hedgehog, Detective Pikachu, The Angry Birds Movie 2 (yes, we’re serious about that one), and the Netflix Castlevania animated series are clear examples of TV/production studios doing right by their properties’ source material. We’re smack dab in the middle of 2021 and there’s a ton of video game-themed shows and movies on the horizon.

We’ve already gotten past the Warner Brothers reboot of Mortal Kombat (YEESH!) and are now looking forward to the next batch of live-action/animated adaptations of some big-name video game IPs.

‘Castlevania’ (Season 4) – May 13, 2021

Konami’s dark and gothic world that’s ruled by vampires, werewolves, and a host of other night terrors has looked amazing via its Netflix animated series. For three seasons, Castlevania has told an engrossing tale about a band of demon hunters going on a crusade to beat back the vampire menace that terrorizes the world at large. The last season of this beautifully animated Netflix series is right around the corner. And by the looks of the trailer footage released for it, it looks like we’ll be returning to some familiar locales, come to grips with the final machinations of the big baddies, and witness the resurrection of Dracula himself. Castlevania is definitely looking to go out with a bang and we can’t wait to be there when it does.

‘Werewolves Within’ – June 25, 2021

This might be the first instance of a video game movie being based entirely on a VR game. That game is Werewolves Within, which is a multiplayer mystery caper where everyone must figure out which one of the townsfolk close to them is a werewolf in disguise. The film adaptation of that clever concept is coming soon and it actually looks like a fun horror romp worth paying attention to. The film’s plot follows a forest ranger as he looks to keep a small town full of stressed residents physically & mentally intact and discover the monster that’s terrorizing the people he’s entrusted with protecting. How crazy would it be if it turns out the forest ranger is actually the werewolf? That’s a hell of a plot twist!

‘Resident Evil: Infinite Darkness’ – July 2021

We gotta keep it all the way real with you guys – the CGI-animated Resident Evil films simply aren’t that good. There’s a new one coming to Netflix that features the beloved zombie-busting duo of Leon S. Kennedy and Claire Redfield though, so we’re slightly excited to see how this latest animated installment plays out. Resident Evil: Infinite Darkness takes place in 2006 and sees both characters coming to grips with a new zombie outbreak. And to make matters even worse, it’s happening in the nation’s capital. The White House is going to have a severe bioweapon infestation – thankfully, Leon and Claire have all the know-how and gunpowder needed to properly confront it.

‘Resident Evil: Welcome To Raccoon City’ – November 24, 2021
Capcom

We gotta keep it a stack with you guys all over again – the entirety of the live-action Resident Evil movies have largely been doo-doo butter. Sure they made a ton of money at the box office. But from a critical standpoint, director Paul W. S. Anderson and leading star Milla Jovovich’s work has produced nothing but garbage on the big screen. Now that that unfortunate duo has finally stepped away from the Resident Evil IP, hopes are high that the rebooted film franchise ends up being a million times better than its predecessor. This film is going to take place in the infamous small town known as Raccoon City and follow a collective of familiar characters from the game as they deal with the pharmaceutical company known as Umbrella Corp. This movie is going to feature Jill Valentine, Claire, Leon, Chris Redfield, Albert Wesker, Ada Wong, and William Birkin. With all those characters in place, it just has to be good…right?

‘Arcane’ (‘League of Legends’) – Fall 2021

The massive online battle arena phenomenon known as League of Legends is finally getting a small-screen adaptation on Netflix. We’re surprised it’s taken this long but better late than never right? Arcane will largely take place within the locales of Piltover and Zuan. We’ll get plenty of deep insight into two noteworthy League of Legends champions during this introspective CGI-powered journey, who happen to be Jinx and her sister Vi. Here’s hoping we’re treated to some fast and furious battles that evoke the onscreen action that intense League of Legends matches regularly deliver.

‘Uncharted’ – February 18, 2022
Sony

The often-delayed Uncharted film adaptation finally has a solid release date! Fingers crossed that it actually stays in the release date slot that’s officially been penciled in by the film distributor behind it. Speaking of said studio, Sony Pictures Releasing is betting big on this 2022 movie release. Tom Holland, who plays the part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s Spider-Man, is playing the part of a young Nathan Drake. Mark Whalberg (yes, Marky Mark himself!) is stepping into the role of Victor “Sully” Sullivan. And we’ve got Sophia Taylor Ali playing Chloe Frazer and even the inclusion of Antonio Banderas! The cast is huge for this Uncharted film, to say the least. We just hope this film ends up a whole lot better than the last Indiana Jones movie and also sticks close to what the Uncharted games do so well. Tom is usually on-point with the funny quips and all, so he’s practically much perfect for his starring role as the famed treasure hunter.

‘Sonic The Hedgehog 2’ – April 8, 2022
Paramount Pictures

So the first Sonic the Hedgehog live-action adaptation was surprisingly decent. Thank God everyone rebelled against the original look of the speedy hedgehog and got a much better representation of him on the big screen in the process. This major change did a great job of rebuilding the movie’s goodwill amongst diehard fans and making a lot more moviegoers give it a chance. Thanks to the film’s box office success, we’re (unsurprisingly) getting a sequel. And this time, Sonic’s not coming alone. Miles “Tails” Prower and Knuckles the Echidna will pull up alongside Sonic as he deals with Dr. Ivo “Eggman” Robotnik (who’s wonderfully played by Jim Carrey) once again.

Video Game Adaptations With Unconfirmed Release Dates
2K Games

There’s a ton of video game movies (and one noteworthy HBO series) in the works that has us equally excited and horrified at what they’ll end up looking like by the time they’re finished filming. Check out the list below to stay in the know about what’s on the horizon:

Borderlands

CrossFire

Detective Pikachu sequel

Five Nights at Freddy’s

Gears of War

Ghost of Tsushima

Just Cause

Just Dance

Mega Man

Metal Gear Solid

Minecraft

Rabbids

Space Invaders

Tomb Raider 2 (sequel to rebooted film franchise)

Saints Row

Yakuza

The Last of Us (HBO series)

Categories
Gaming New Releases

14 Games Like ‘Sea of Thieves’

Sea of Thieves entered early access at a time when online PVP was experiencing a bit of a renaissance thanks to games like Fortnite. But instead of dropping players on a map, Sea of Thieves put players on the high seas, giving them command of entire vessels. Throughout its beta Sea of Thieves garnered a huge player base thanks to many at the time believing it was one of the few games that gave players the chance to helm their own vessels. Of course, there are a number of games that give you a similar experience. The following are the 14 games most like Sea of Thieves.

14. ‘The Secret of Monkey Island’

One of the big draws behind Sea of Thieves is its comedic undertone. If that is one of the reasons behind your love of Sea of Thieves, then Monkey Island is right up your alley. The game, released in 2009 by Lucas Arts, tells a swashbuckling story as players explore the titular Monkey Island. 

Buy Here, $9.99
https://store.steampowered.com/app/32360/The_Secret_of_Monkey_Island_Special_Edition/
13. ‘Elite Dangerous’

This one might be a bit controversial. Elite Dangerous doesn’t take place on the water, but it doesn’t necessarily have to capture the essence of Sea of Thieves. Is it about piracy? It can be if you like. In fact, piracy is a major component of the game. So is PVP combat, managing your personal vessel, and a host of other factors shared with Sea of Thieves. In fact, the similarities between the two games underscore the similarities between piracy of the past and piracy of the distant future.

Buy Here, $29.99
https://store.steampowered.com/app/359320/Elite_Dangerous/
12. ‘Beyond Blue’

Beyond Blue is another game that pays homage to the Ocean. But unlike Subnautica that has players exploring the depths of an alien world, Beyond Blue has players explore the deeps of our own planet. Released by Eline Media last year, Beyond Blue didn’t cultivate a large player base despite being critically acclaimed. Exploration is the name of the game. The playing area is enormous and teeming with life, including sharks, though less aggressive than the variety seen in Sea of Thieves.

Buy Here, $19.99
https://store.steampowered.com/app/883360/Beyond_Blue/
11. Windbound

Windbound is a game that pushes storytelling in video games. Released in 2020 by 5 Lives Studios, Windbound is a game that, through its narrative, manages to mythologize the Ocean. Players take control of a marooned seasteading in an adventure that seamlessly combines the best of Sea of Thieves and Breath of the Wild. Windbound is as thrilling on the land as it is in the Ocean and is definitely worth checking out if you feel Sea of Thieves is lacking in story.

Buy Here, $29.99
https://store.steampowered.com/app/1162130/Windbound/
10. ‘Subnautica’

Few games can speak to the wonder, mystery, and danger of the ocean in a way Subnautica can. Released in 2018 by the aptly named Unknown Worlds Entertainment, Subnautica hit markets at the tail end of the survival game craze, sparked by Minecraft. Subnautica, however, is far from a Minecraft clone. Subnautica fleshes out an alien world and does so in a believable manner.

Buy Here, $29.99
https://store.steampowered.com/app/264710/Subnautica/
9. ‘Sid Meier’s Pirates Gold Plus’

A classic game from the mind of Sid Meier. This game was released in 1987 and was one of the first to feature realistic pirate action. Of course, this being a Sid Meier game, strategy is a major gameplay component. Unlike other pirate games, in which victory goes to whoever can load up cannon’s and accurately shoot them, in Pirates! it’s all about outmaneuvering your opponents to get the upper hand. While the game hasn’t exactly aged well, it’s still worth a look.

Buy Here, $6.99
https://store.steampowered.com/app/327380/Sid_Meiers_Pirates_Gold_Plus_Classic/
8. ‘Skull and Bones’

To say this game has generated its share of hype would be an understatement. Scheduled to be released sometime in 2021, the developers at Ubisoft could have a significant hit on their hands if they play their cards right. 

Trailers for this hotly anticipated title show epic ship-to-ship combats hull, you can see every minute detail. Based on what has been showcased, battles could rival the scale of those scenes in Pirates of the Caribbean.

7. ‘Assassin’s Creed Black Flag’

When players learned that Assassin’s Creed would be a series that theoretically could take place anywhere, I knew I would eventually be playing a Japanese-focused game and one that took place on the high seas. While the developers at Ubisoft have stubbornly denied players of the former, the latter came to pass in 2013. 

While other Assassin’s Creed games have featured boat battles, they haven’t featured the kind of boat battles that take place during the height of piracy. Everything from loading and firing the cannons to boarding and commandeering ships is a feature in this game.

Buy Here, $19.99
https://store.steampowered.com/app/242050/Assassins_Creed_IV_Black_Flag/
6. ‘Raft’

An unexpected hit, Raft is a game that takes several chapters out of Sea of Thieves‘ book. Aside from taking place on the open water, the 2018 game released by Redbeet Interactive, is as comedy-oriented as Sea of Thieves. Instead of pirates, however, you play like normal people stranded on a small piece of debris in the middle of nowhere. It’s up to the player to literally fish for resources to slowly but surely build up their raft into a seasteading fortress. The sense of accomplishment one gets from building up to a viable community is gratifying which is probably why so many payers have become addicted to this cult hit. 

Buy Here, $19.99
https://store.steampowered.com/app/648800/Raft/
5. ‘New World’

Due out for an Aug. 31 release by Amazon Games, New World combines piracy with a heavy dollop of Tolkien-esque fantasy. Visually, New World is shaping up to be one of the most stunning on this list. Trailers for the game places the character in a distant land teeming with magical creatures. How the final product will turn out is anyone’s guess but if what we’ve already seen is any indication, this title is worth checking out.

Buy Here, $39.99
https://store.steampowered.com/app/1063730/New_World/
4. ‘Naval Action’

If Sea of Thieves’ whimsy isn’t to your taste then give Naval Action a try. Released in 2019 by Game-Labs, Naval Action is part of a family of games that tries to blend realism, video games, and warfare. With Naval Action, one can recreate historic naval battles, like the one-off Beaufort North Carolina, or the battle that leads to Black Beard’s ultimate downfall. While the gameplay isn’t as fluid as Sea of Thieves, it is comprehensive. While other naval warfare games skip corners for the sake of gameplay, Naval Action players have to consider many of the same factors that were present at the height of piracy. This is the game for players looking for a real challenge.

3. ‘Legend of Zelda Windwaker’

Perhaps the most popular title on this list, Legend of Zelda Windwaker was, at the time of its 2002 release, was one of the largest Legend of Zelda titles. That’s because the game’s core concept was sailing on the open season with your sentient boat. 

The game not only made use of similar cell-shading visuals seen in Sea of Thieves, but it was also perhaps the first to popularize the visual style. While the game was underappreciated when it was released, in the years that have passed, it has gone on to be considered one of the best Legend of Zelda titles that isn’t Breath of the Wild.

Buy Here, $49.87
https://www.amazon.com/Legend-Zelda-Waker-nintendo-wii-u/dp/B002I0GF72/ref=asc_df_B002I0GF72/?tag=hyprod-20&linkCode=df0&hvadid=312319417581&hvpos=&hvnetw=g&hvrand=18237215107359166088&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=&hvdev=c&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=9009649&hvtargid=pla-590986593978&psc=1&tag=&ref=&adgrpid=62862256075&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvadid=312319417581&hvpos=&hvnetw=g&hvrand=18237215107359166088&hvqmt=&hvdev=c&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=9009649&hvtargid=pla-590986593978
2. ‘Blackwake’

Although released last year in 2020, developers at Mastfire Studios kept this game in Alpha and Beta for a number of years. It’s for this reason why Blackwake, though officials released after Sea of Thieves, can be considered its predecessor. 

In fact, Blackwake was a sort of proof of concept for many pirate-themed games that has players duke it out on the open seas. While the graphics may not be impressive, the mechanics are, in many ways, tighter than Sea of Thieves, successfully sniping an enemy pirate with a cannon feels more like a matter of skill than random chance. It’s the precision of the gameplay that has players coming back.

Buy Here, $9.99
https://store.steampowered.com/app/420290/Blackwake/
1. ‘Atlas’

Atlas is best described as Sea of Thieves’ slightly more serious twin brother. Released in 2018 by Grapeshot Games, it isn’t quite clear why Sea of Thieves rose to popularity while this title fell to relative obscurity. Just about everything you can do in Sea of Thieves, you can do in this game with the added benefit of more attention to detail. The only significant difference between Atlas and Sea of Thieves is the former’s lack of a distinct art style, instead opting for more realistic graphics. For those looking for a pirate simulator that takes things a bit more seriously, Atlas is the game you have been looking for.

Buy Here, $29.99
https://store.steampowered.com/app/834910/ATLAS/
Categories
Consoles Gaming

The Biggest Games Releasing in May 2021

This year sure is moving fast, isn’t it? We could’ve sworn it was February about a week ago (shout to Bobby Shmurda!). The summer is rapidly approaching and all, but there’s a bunch of big games to play before Hot Girl/Boy Summer officially kicks in. For the month of May, gamers can look forward to exploring a village full of morbid creatures, competing with rugged outlaws in a bid to steal some treasure, and revisiting a sci-fi RPG that sports several welcome upgrades for the last- & current-gen consoles.

Resident Evil Village – May 7 (PS5, Xbox Series X|S, PS4, Xbox One, PC – Steam, Google Stadia)

Ethan Winters went through hell and back during his horrifying trek through a creepy plantation in Resident Evil 7: Biohazard. After saving his wife and escaping all the horrors that existed there, Ethan enjoyed a newfound life with her and their first baby. However, their peaceful existence gets disrupted when former friend Chris Redfield invades their home. After that traumatic event, Ethan is forced to venture through a village filled with Lycans, bloodthirsty sisters that can turn into flies, and a massive vampire lady that’s all too ready to sap your life force dry. Resident Evil Village takes the series back to a first-person viewpoint so you can experience a wealth of new beasts in terrifying locales up close.

Hood: Outlaws & Legends – May 10 (PS5, Xbox Series X|S, PS4, Xbox One, PC – Steam)

One of the few new IPs that’s set to hit consoles this year comes from publisher Focus Home Interactive and developer Sumo Newcastle. Hood: Outlaws & Legends is a multiplayer-focused endeavor that pits two teams against each other in a bid to steal some lofty treasure first. Players will get to choose from a roster of uniquely talented legends that have the skills needed to push their team to victory. Careful character coordination is needed amongst you and your teammates during intense matches that devolve into plenty of bloodletting and narrow escapes. Hood: Outlaws & Legends looks to be the next multiplayer addiction you’ll definitely want to tap into.

Mass Effect Legendary Edition – May 14 (PS4, Xbox One, PC – Steam)

Bioware’s magnum opus is undoubtedly the Mass Effect series. Fans of the sci-fi, action RPG franchise walk around sporting N7 tattoos and hitting up conventions in their finest Commander Shepard cosplay. The first three games in the series are considered legendary, so it’s no surprise that each title is finally getting the remastered treatment. Mass Effect Legendary Edition spruces up the visuals in a major way and makes a multitude of quality of life adjustments that makes the gameplay infinitely better than the original games. You’ll be happy to know that driving the M35 Mako will be less of a chore now that it controls even better. Package that with improved combat mechanics & loading times and you have a remastered collection that’s certainly a must-have.

Biomutant – May 25 (PS4, Xbox One, PC – Steam)

An official release date for this unorthodox action RPG has alluded curious gamers for a long time – Biomutant was first revealed in 2017, so it’s definitely been in the works for a good while now. But after years of development work and a few developer updates here & there, Biomutant is finally getting ready to drop into gamers’ laps. For those not in the know, this brand new IP gives players command over a mammalian warrior that must navigate a world packed with rival mutated animals. There’s a ton of factors that go into determining your custom character’s stats, so you’ll need to develop them carefully so you can survive Biomutant’s dangerous enemy encounters. Your karma also plays a huge part in how everyone responds to you in Biomutant’s vast world, so tread lightly or enact mayhem if you so choose.

Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne HD Remaster – May 25 (PS4, Nintendo Switch, PC – Steam)

One of the most grueling JRPGs on the PS2 is this demon-filled classic. Now that game is finally making its way over to three more consoles in remastered form. The visuals have gotten spruced up, the option to listen to either Japanese or English voices has been implemented, and an easier difficulty mode & the ability to save whenever you please helps ease the pain that comes with trying to complete this gem. For those that are fine with confronting the original high challenge factor that comes with this JRPG, you’re free to tackle it if you so choose. First-time players and veterans alike should prepare themselves for a whole lot of clashes with demons and conversations that may result in bringing them over to your side.

Console Ports

RWBY: Grimm Eclipse – Definitive Edition – May 13 (Nintendo Switch)

Subnautica – May 14 (Nintendo Switch)

Days Gone – May 18 (PC – Steam)

Rust – May 21 (PS4, Xbox One)

MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries – May 27 (Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One)

World’s End Club – May 28 (Nintendo Switch)

Categories
Consoles Gaming

The 10 Best Video Game Console Startup Sequences

Gamers know this familiar scenario well – your parents decided to reward you for getting good grades by copping you the video game console you’ve been itching to get since forever. You rip open the gift wrapping, lose your mind, and exclaim your love for Mommy & Daddy while you unbox your newest piece of living room/bedroom hardware. 

The magic truly unfolds when you power on that new system for the very first system. Fireworks go off in your brain and your heart beats a mile a minute once your audio and visual senses are treated to the opening intro graphic from your new console. Video game startup sequences evoke feelings of heavy nostalgia and always bring forward a flood of memories for those that spent much of their lives playing their favorite consoles.

We revisited our childhood and came away with 10 of the best video game console startup sequences. It’s time to get all warm and fuzzy inside as you get to see and hear these cool cinematics all over again.

10. Nintendo Entertainment System

We’re guessing a whole lot of you didn’t even know this sequence existed. And that’s because the young and impatient children we all used to be had no time to sit through these types of things since we were ready to play some games ASAP. But the more curious lot who turned on their NES without putting a cartridge in got to see this cool little animation play out. The chiptune music prepared you for a world full of 8-bit wonder and the sight of Mario & Luigi running on screen is definitely a nice touch.

9. Game Boy Advance

This sequence was filled with pure joy and it only lasted a good four seconds. The logo quickly flashes onto the console’s small screen while splashed in a nice variety of bright colors. While the familiar letters are getting adorned in a nice shade of blue, a catchy jingle plays out in the background all the while. Nintendo sure has a way of putting memorable console startup sequences together, don’t they?

8. PlayStation 2

This brief cinematic is still impressive to this very day. It always felt as if you were floating in space and looking down on the vastness of space below you. Once you really got going with the PS2 and started racking up a whole bunch of saves across your Memory Card, blocks that represent those games would appear during this sequence. What’s truly mind-blowing about that whole intro is the fact that the longer you played a particular game, the taller the memory tower for that game would be. True anxiety would kick in while you waited for this sequence to end – if it took a bit too long, you knew your PS2 was likely going extinct.

7. Sega Dreamcast

This intro could totally be used to reach a plane of existence that encompasses maximum peace and calmness. That’s because the audio that accompanies it is so soothing to the ears and soul. It always sounds like raindrops are softly landing on the pavement as the clouds begin to open up. In reality, the console was booting up as you were getting ready to catch a whole bunch of dubs during another intense set of Marvel vs. Capcom 2.

6. Sega Saturn

The Sega console that came before the Dreamcast is the Saturn. And the sequence that played out for that one was a whole lot more powerful and impactful when compared to the one its successor is known for. Watching a flood of shards come together to form the Sega Saturn logo was and forever will be quite the mind trip. You just knew you were in for something special when this sequence came to a close.

5. Xbox

The technicians that put the Xbox together made sure to make Microsoft’s first video game console come off like the most impressive machine anyone had ever seen. Alongside the original Xbox’s massive size was this equally major initiation sequence. We’re sure a bunch of you guys let this intro rock in the dark so your whole room could get that neon green shine for just a few seconds. This intro still hits hard and marked another step forward for gaming when the original Xbox launched.

4. Xbox 360 (Original Startup)

When that big white globe popped up on your TV screen, you and your band of Halo 3 multiplayer hobbyists had a lot to look forward to. That circular logo circled around for a bit until it got adorned by the signature “X” that still defines the Xbox brand to this very day. The brighter shade of green was a nice touch and that recognizable whooshing sound cue that brings this sequence to an end is quite fitting.

3. Nintendo Gamecube

Rhythms that are delivered via a xylophone immediately catch the average person’s attention. Nintendo must have gotten the memo about that fact because they decided to create a catchy jingle with that beloved instrument for their cute purple box back in the day. While that intro played out, you got to witness a parade of smaller purple boxes come together to form the Nintendo Gamecube’s unmistakable logo. The extra secret sounds you could activate during this sequence are just as good as the original, too.

2. Sega Genesis

“SAYGAHHHH!” The wonderful chorus that emanated from Sega’s 16-bit juggernaut will forever be embedded into 90’s babies’ memories. The best factoid about the Sega Genesis’ intro sequence is that there are so many of them to enjoy. Besides the unforgettable intro that Sonic the Hedgehog ran across, there’s a near-limitless array of alternate intros that perfectly embodies the Sega Genesis’ massive game variety.

1. PlayStation

This is the undisputed GOAT of video game console startup sequences. There can be no other cinematic that takes the top spot. Sony came into the video game console war with the most powerful weapon of all with the very first PlayStation. This thing rang off in living rooms across the world as a bass-heavy jingle kicked in and had everyone in your neighborhood wondering what you were up to. The slick transition to the black screen that featured the PlayStation logo is and forever will be hard to beat as far as console intros go. Side note – we’d definitely sweat extra hard when that aforementioned screen lingered a little too long.

Categories
Consoles Gaming

10 Sega Games That are Worthy of a Remake

Do you know what pains the hearts of gamers everywhere? Having to sit back and watch while their favorite publishers ignore their lineup of classic franchises that still have plenty of life left in them.

While there are a few gaming institutions that have made the wise decision to bring retro IP’s back to life (THANKS FOR THE NEW GHOSTS ‘N GOBLINS GAME, CAPCOM!), there are still a good number of companies that still choose to ignore the greatness sitting within its massive franchise vault. In the case of Sega, the Japanese gaming giant is making an effort to revive some of the games that put them on the map. Through partnerships with other talented publishers and development studios, IPs like Streets of Rage, Panzer Dragoon, The House of the Dead, and even Alex Kidd are making a welcome comeback in sequels and remakes. Even Sega’s signature fighting game juggernaut Virtua Fighter is making a grand return, which fighting game aficionados are most definitely checking for.

That whole trend got us to thinking – what other classic Sega IPs are well deserving of a remake? We peered into Sega’s massive vault and built up a list of games that could be revived with a new coat of paint, quality of life changes, and the same likable gameplay mechanics that made them so great in the first place.

1. ‘Sonic Adventure’

2. ‘Sonic Adventure 2’

Go ahead Google the term “Sonic Adventure remake” and prepare to be disheartened about what pops up first. You’ll spot a massive Reddit thread that alludes to Sega reportedly canceling remakes for Sonic’s classic Dreamcast outings, which were rumored to be in development and prepped for a 2015 release. But apparently, the immense failure of Sonic Boom led to the cancellation of both games. Sega shouldn’t just abandon ship on these highly requested remakes, however – it should hand out this lofty joint project to a development team that’s capable of freshening up the visuals, music, and incredibly lively platforming the original games are known for. With the power of current-gen consoles, remakes of both Sonic Adventure titles would truly realize their full potential and reflect the amazing quality tied to the platforming remakes that brought Crash Bandicoot and Spyro the Dragon back into the public eye.

3. ‘Skies of Arcadia’

A JRPG that’s all about sailing the unfriendly skies as a pirate crew sounds amazing, right? Well, that’s pretty much what Skies of Arcadia is all about. The trio of Vyse, Aika, and Fina are still remembered fondly thanks to their critically acclaimed, sky-faring adventure on the Dreamcast and Nintendo GameCube. It sucks that this game never got a sequel (reports say that Skies of Arcadia wasn’t a big hit commercially). With the recent trend of JRPG’s getting a new lease on life via remasters/remakes, we reckon it’s time that Skies of Arcadia got the very same treatment. The game’s jovial feel, classic turn-based combat system, and pirate ship battles were celebrated back then and they could be even better with a whole new coat of graphical paint splashed onto it. The RPG genre is still a force in this day and age, so a Skies of Arcadia remake would easily be accepted.

4. ‘Jet Set Radio’

5. ‘Jet Set Radio Future’

Did you know a brand new Jet Set Radio game was in the works at one point? A development studio by the name of Dinosaur Games created a visual proof of concept for another entry entitled “Jet Set Radio Evolution.” And to the surprise of no one, it looked incredible. But sadly, it never transitioned from its conceptual phase to full development. After seeing the Jet Set Radio spiritual successor called Bomb Rush Cyberfunk in action, we got the thinking – isn’t it about time Sega handed off the reins to remakes for its Jet Set Radio games to a worthy and willing development studio? If Dinosaur Games is willing to hop back into the cel-shaded world of Sega’s rollerblading gems, then we reckon they’d pump out some fine remakes for both games in the series. We miss Beat and the rest of the graffiti-spraying gang, so it’s about time they made a return for modern gamers and the old heads that still remember them.

6. ‘Comix Zone’

The concept of Comix Zone was cool back then and it’s still pretty unique to this very day. Players traversed through all types of varied environments as they hopped between actual comic book panels. The visuals look like they were ripped right out of a 90’s graphic novel and getting to beat up waves of baddies as the artist that drew them in the first place was a creative approach to playing as the protagonist (Sketch Turner is such a cool name, by the way). After seeing how great Streets of Rage 4 ended up being, we’d love to see Comix Zone get the very same updated treatment. Add a few new moves to Sketch’s arsenal to improve the combat, change up the puzzles a bit, and speed up the movement transitions between panels and we’d be all the way down for a Comix Zone remake.

7. ‘Vectorman’

8. ‘Vectorman 2’

Sega’s forgotten orbot was actually slated for a grand return back on the PS2 at one point in time. But for some strange reason, it got shelved. It’s been such a long time since we’ve last seen Vectorman running around and blasting enemies with his spark-based abilities. Sega should bring their green, eco-friendly robot back by handing out the development duties for Vectorman and Vectorman 2 remakes to a quality development studio. Even though WayForward is known for crafting 2D animated games that adopt retro mechanics, we’d still love to see them take a stab at improving upon the solid foundation established by the first two Vectorman games. Just imagine how much better both games would look with a vastly improved 3D art style.

9. ‘Gunstar Heroes’

Shout out to Treasure – the Japanese development studio will forever receive praise for producing some of the most action-packed games we’ve ever seen and had the pleasure of playing. One of the Sega Genesis titles that put them on the map is Gunstar Heroes, which is a run & gun shooter that delivered one of the best co-op experiences during the 16-bit era. There’s still so much fun to be had just running around and blasting everything in sight as Gunstar Red and Gunstar Blue. We even adored the sequel Gunstar Super Heroes, but we’d be all the way down for a proper remake of the original. We gotta mention WayForward here again as they strike us as the right team for the job – their work on Contra 4, Aliens: Infestation, and The Mummy Demastered is proof that the development studio can handle a full-fledged Gunstar Heroes remake.

10. ‘Beyond Oasis’

Every time we look up, an often forgotten and sometimes underrated game gets a remaster/remake out of nowhere. We never thought we’d see new and improved versions of Shadow Man, Destroy All Humans!, and the Turok games, but here we are. As far as little-known games that would make for a great remake goes, we’d be all the way down to see Beyond Oasis make a random comeback. If you never played it, you’re clearly missing out – it’s a classic top-down, action RPG that sports gorgeously animated visuals and a storyline that’s inspired by the tales contained within Arabian Nights. These days, a lot of development studios have been creating beautifully visualized 2D games that hearken back to the good old days of gaming. We’d be overjoyed if the team behind Hyper Light Drifter (Heart Machine) handled the remake duties for Beyond Oasis.

Categories
Gaming Streaming

STREAM.TV’s Thomas Rafelsberger on Game Streaming, Stream Assets, and More

There’s a lot that goes into building an impressive game streaming presentation. From a visual standpoint, your favorite streamer relies on a wealth of tools that power the notifications and other visual flourishes that viewers associate with their brand. After learning about all the different physical and digital goods that makes a game stream visually pleasing to appreciative fans, you’ll never take anyone’s streaming regiment for granted ever again. Thanks to companies like STREAM.TV, game streamers (where massively popular or relatively unknown) can acquire the assets needed to make their streaming showcases shine.

ONE37pm chatted with STREAM.TV’s Co-Founder and CEO Thomas Rafelsberger to get a better understanding of what his company specializes in, the streamers they’ve produced for, and more.

ONE37pm: Give us an overview of what STREAM.TV is all about and what kind of services it provides.

Thomas Rafelsberger: STREAM.TV and its products (own3d.tv, own3d.pro, streamheroes.gg, and more coming soon), is a supplier of digital and physical products for the game streaming community. We started with a one-stop-shop for stream designs three years ago and are now the #1 provider for digital assets for streamers, integrated in streamlabs, streamelements, tipeesstream, donationalerts, obs studio (all major streaming tools), and grew to a profitable team of 40-45 and will grow that to about 90 this year.

ONE37pm: How did the concept behind OWN3D come about? And what moves were made to turn it into a reality?

Rafelsberger: I have a background in Online Marketing and have always be a gamer. I followed the live/game streaming industry since the beginning and started own3d.tv when I met my founder colleagues Lukas and Andy in 2017/2018. The three of us just started to work on the project, 100% remote, we found two angels, got a small pre seed invest and were profitable a year after. Since then we are growing all projects out of our own pockets but will probably go for a series A in Autumn.

ONE37pm: Who are some notable streamers that have reached out to OWN3D in hopes of adding a bit more flair to their presentation?

Rafelsberger: We worked with more than 100 of the biggest creators out there (TheRealKnossi #1 German speaking Twitch streamer last year, Auronplay #1 in the spanish streaming community last year). But custom work has never been our focus – we served over 1,000,000 small to mid-sized streamers with our products already.

ONE37pm: In what ways do you educate new streamers on what it takes to succeed in their newfound hobby/profession?

Rafelsberger: Right now we do cooperate with most of the “educational streaming youtubers” out there and offer some tutorials/videos on our own. Later this year we will launch our streaming academy, which will be a free solution for everyone who wants to get into streaming.

ONE37pm: What are some of the more interesting trends you’ve come across within the video game live streaming space?

Rafelsberger: I think it is game and live-streaming itself. It is already huge, but I still see a lot of growth the next years in game streaming and even more growth in IRL/Just Chatting/Hobbies/Travel/Beauty streaming and Social Commerce.

ONE37pm: What goals and aspirations do you hope to see OWN3D attain in the near future?

Rafelsberger: STREAM.TV started in the category of live streaming in just a small niche (stream designs). Our vision is to make STREAM.TV the category leader in all its verticals within the next three years.

Categories
Gaming New Releases

12 Games Like ‘No Man’s Sky’ For You to Play Right Now

Today, No Man’s Sky is considered one of the major space simulation games, but the road it took to get to its current position was a bit bumpy, to say the least. First released in 2016 to unbelievable levels of hype, interest in the game plateaued among accusations of the game being a mile wide but an inch deep. 

It took several months, but the developers at Hello Games made numerous quality of life improvements that transformed No Man’s Sky into a solid contender in an increasingly crowded market. The following are other games that could go toe-to-toe with No Man’s Sky.

12. ‘Satisfactory’

There are several elements to No Man’s Sky gameplay. You have space combat and base building, but there is resource extraction before you can do all that. Think Minecraft in space, which is also a fairly apt description for 2019’s Satisfactory. Developed by Coffee Stain Studios, Satisfactory’s primary goal is to keep players from building the best base/factory they can. It’s not quite a city builder and not quite a space-focused game, but it is a consistent fan favorite worth a look.

Buy Here, $29.99
https://store.steampowered.com/app/526870/Satisfactory/
11. ‘Everspace 2’

Everspace 2 is the 2021 follow-up to the initial Everspace. Developed by Rockfish games, there was debate about whether or not Everspace should replace No Man’s Sky as one of the big three space titles, along with Star Citizen and another title on this list. No Man’s Sky eventually ironed out its wrinkles, and Everspace developers went on to create a sequel that expands on the first game. Players take control of a spacecraft and explore an expansive universe teeming with danger. 

Buy Here, $35.99
https://store.steampowered.com/app/1128920/EVERSPACE_2/
10. ‘Avorion’

At first glance, Boxelware’s 2020 hit Avorion looks like a run-of-the-mill space game. Everything from the design to the gameplay is streamlined in a way that makes Avorion different from other games on this list. In Avorion, players mine asteroids of natural resources to build space stations while fending off enemies. While the premise may sound simple, Avorion executes it in a way that doesn’t get old over time. While the game’s aesthetic can be a bit blocky at times, this is another title that’s worth a look.

Buy Here, $24.99
https://store.steampowered.com/app/445220/Avorion/
9. ‘Pulsar Lost Colony’

Whereas other games don’t quite capture the difficulties of operating a starship, Pulsar Lost Colony shows just why starships require crews of multiple people. Released in 2015 by Leafy Games, Pulsar tasks players with keeping a starship running. Of course, doing so is easier said than done, as players must navigate all the daily tasks, large and small. Pulsar provides a realistic twist on the space game genre, which lends it a spot on this list.

Buy Here, $24.99
https://store.steampowered.com/app/252870/PULSAR_Lost_Colony/
8. ‘Kerbal Space Program’

A longtime favorite among space game enthusiasts. Released in 2015 by Squad, Kerbal Space Program is unique in the sense that it gives players the chance to play around in a sort of sandbox by making their own ships and space stations. The game has its own internal physics engine that players must work around if they want their science projects to be successful or go up in flames. This mechanic, combined with the game’s whimsical tone, made it a hit among players.

Buy Here, $39.99
https://store.steampowered.com/app/220200/Kerbal_Space_Program/
7. ‘Eve Online’

The OG space simulator. Released all the way back in 2003 by CCP, Eve Online has been the source of military and economic battles so intense, real-world news organizations will, on occasion, write about them. Players are free to do as they wish as they explore the game’s expansive universe, make allies, fight in battles and even manage entire fleets. The learning curve can get overwhelming at times, but mastering the game is its own reward.

Download for Free
https://store.steampowered.com/app/8500/EVE_Online/
6. ‘X4: Foundations’

One of the more obscure titles on this list, X4 Foundations was released in 2018 by Egosoft. It was designed to take the most exciting aspects of other space games and combine them into a single package. X4 Foundations features some of the best combat and unique stations on this list. It also features believable-looking alien lifeforms. It’s easy to tell the thought that went into this game. While the graphics could have been better for a game released in 2018, the overall package is worth checking out. 

Buy Here, $49.99
https://store.steampowered.com/app/392160/X4_Foundations/
5. ‘Space Engineers’

Space Engineers is another sandbox game that takes itself a bit more seriously than Kerbal Space Program. The game gives players the chance to build whatever they want and test it under the game’s physics. There aren’t many limits on what players can build, a feature that accounts for some of the incredible space stations seen in the game. 

4. ‘Astroneer’

Like No Man’s Sky, Astroneer is a game that challenges players to escape planets by extracting resources. But it’s so much more than that. Players start out with very little making survival for more than a few minutes impossible. They can, however, build up their resources to create planetary outposts that allow them to live on the planet indefinitely. Once they’ve established on a particular planet, they can blast off and do the same thing again on another world. 

Buy Here, $29.99
https://store.steampowered.com/app/361420/ASTRONEER/
3. ‘Stellaris’

Stellaris has garnered quite the cult following since its release in 2016. The game resonated with people who wanted a strategy game that wasn’t quite as in-depth as EVE Online. Stellaris has been so successful that the developers at Paradox Development Studio have steadily churned out DLC content, expanding on the game’s already comprehensive lore. For those wanting a more brainy challenge, Stellaris might be the game for you.

Buy Here, $9.99
https://cdn.cloudflare.steamstatic.com/steam/apps/281990/header.jpg?t=1618558436
2. ‘Empyrion’

Eleon Games Studios tried and mostly succeeded with their attempt to build a No Man’s Sky clone in last year’s Empyrion. Like No Man’s Sky, players start on a desolate world where they must mine for resources to build bases. When players are ready, they can hop into their ships to explore a sandbox the size of the cosmos itself.

Buy Here, $19.99
https://store.steampowered.com/app/383120/Empyrion__Galactic_Survival/
1. ‘Elite Dangerous’

As one of the big three space games, Elite Dangerous was on the vanguard of the space Sim boom and, in a lot of ways, was the blueprint for games like No Man’s Sky. Elite Dangerous came about thanks to the work of the folks at Frontier Development. Elite Dangerous, while not as massive as No Man’s Sky, is still large enough to keep the most intrepid explorer busy. Giving players the chance to play as bounty hunters, mercenaries, miners, and explorers give the game a sense of depth others don’t have. 

Buy Here, $29.99
https://store.steampowered.com/app/359320/Elite_Dangerous/
Categories
Consoles Gaming

Why Valorant Needs a Banning System

Games like Rainbow Six: Siege have a banning system, which happens to be crucial to the game’s meta. A banning system is basically a tool developed by the game’s devs that restricts what characters players can use. This is super crucial when playing ranked, especially in a team-based game like Valorant. I love Valorant but I strongly believe that if it doesn’t put in a banning system soon, things will take a turn for the worse. Like how can you have a game that’s so strict about players aborting a match or going AFK, but not have a banning system? When you have a game that’s so focused on teamwork and strategy like how Valorant is and not have a banning system, the game can become super stale and the true competition is eventually watered down.

You might be asking yourself why this is so important? Well, that’s because when you have an OP Agent like Breach who can just pick up the Judge shotgun and pull off easy kills with it, Valorant becomes less about proper strategies and more about relying on the cheesiness of a particular character. Adding in a banning system can ensure that the game’s skill ceiling remains high and allows for the gameplay to still be entertaining as matches become less predictable.

Knowing Riot Games, the studio will most likely go through with a banning system since it’s very responsive to its community and realizes how useful that tool could be for their esports presentation. Imagine if the current pandemic came to an end and an American Valorant team was forced to go up against an international one and that team decided they wanted to ban meta agents like Jett, Killjoy, Raze, or Sova. In that case, I would totally put my money on the international team getting the win. Counter-Strike: Global Offensive players make up a majority of Valorant’s pro player base and I believe two to three years from now, we might not see them competing in Valorant’s esports league anymore. That’s due to the fact that we’re in an era of young kids that will become masterful at Valorant and easily overtake the pro players that are currently dominating.

Valorant pros are leaning on the fact that there is a set meta, so introducing a banning system will hopefully shake things up!