A boisterous busy week for this week’s blog post.

Gamescom ruled the week of news taking its rightful place as a sort of European version of E3, sort of for the first time. It’s the first time that Gamescom has had a proper sort of conference schedule where games were announced and talked about with several companies flouting their upcoming late 2019 into 2020 projects. Anyway, here the news that caught my interest for the week of August 18th to the 24th, 2019.

Game Releases:

Oninaki

An action adventure JRPG in which a Watcher who is on a journey and must protect life even after death. You serve to guide these lost souls and if the bonds of those once living who are too attached to the world of the living you must sever them to free the world of the living. Released on PC, Switch, and PS4 on August 22nd, 2019 by developer Tokyo RPG Factory and published by Square Enix.

RAD

A rouge-like adventure game where you play a human who is traveling through a post apocalyptic wasteland trying to restore humanity. You’ll discover lots of creatures along the way that will help you change and morph as a more powerful being. The further you go the crazier you morph and dig in to the adventure. Released on August 20th, 2019 by Double Fine Productions and published by Bandai Namco Entertainment. The game came out on PS4, Xbox One, Switch, and PC.

Remnant: From the Ashes

An ancient evil from another dimension has invaded earth killing much of humanity. You are one of the survivors and now face the difficult task of shooting your way through the hordes to try and once again establish and rebuild society. This is a co-op shooter for you and two other players that was created by Gunfire Games and published by Perfect World Entertainment. It released on Xbox One, PC, and PS4 on August 20th, 2019.

Game News:

Nintendo had a small little direct aimed at the indie games coming to the Switch for Gamescom. They showed off a lot of games coming in the next year or so plus some that dropped immediately onto the eShop. Some nice looking games.

Of course the big on is Ori and the Blind Forest which has been a Microsoft and PC exclusive to this point but Microsoft is putting some small games they own the IP to onto the Swtich console. There is also the surprise of Risk of Rain 2 coming to the console soon. And just lots of good looking games like Touryst, Spiritfarer, Eastward and Creatures in the Well.

For those that have been holding their breath since the announcement of Mount and Blade II: Bannerlord… well you can keep holding it for a little longer. The developers have announced a release date for the early access version of the game which will supposedly be landing March 2020.

I’ve tried to get into the original Mount and Blade games but it always only lasts for a few minutes before I’m completely lost or bored. Hopefully this new game doesn’t feel as thick with what’s going on although I have a feeling that’s exactly what fans of the series want.

Microsoft has also held a Gamescom event with an Inside Xbox: Live video. They showed off there upcoming games for Xbox and PC plus the stuff that will wind up on Gamepass. Of course the big games in Halo and Gears of War 5 were big ticket items.

Honestly there isn’t much here that was a surprise and it all looks good. I am glad that we did get a better look at Empire of Sin the upcoming tactical turn based strategy from Romero games. When it was announced at E3 2019 basically nothing was shown from it, so it’s nice to see what it is getting into. The rest of it, looks all good but not much stood out to me.

SEGA is taking on the mighty game of Civilization with their own 4X world strategy game that concentrates on the building of cities as you explore lands and create your empire. Called, Humankind, It’s being developed by amplitude Studios who are best known for the Endless franchise of games.

When I first watched the trailer I got terribly confused as to what it was trying to show me. Once that was past though I got a bit interested to see how this was going to turn out. It’s good to have competition to the Civ series which always just seems to move along at its own pace with minor improvements here and there.

It’s back to space for the fine engineers who love to try experimenting with launching things into outer space to see what will happen. Kerbal Space Program 2 is now in full development but this time instead of Squad being the developer the game is being handled by Star Theory Games as Squad sold the rights to the game to Take-Two Interactive who used their subsidiary Private Division to handle publishing.

I’m surprised that a second game is being made, but also considering the success of the first game I’m not totally surprised. Plus with Take-Two they’re going to want to capitalize on their new property since the original isn’t going to make them as much money anymore. My major concern is going to be micro-transactions which Take-Two loves as their NBA2K series proves over and over. The developers have put out a statement saying it won’t be heavy on such things, but game development and publishing is always subject to change especially in today’s environment where you can quickly issue a patch throwing such things or removing them from a game.

If you’re looking for a more relaxing off the beaten path type of game than Hitchhiker might be what you want to look at. In this game you hitchhike across long never ending highways and get picked up by strangers helping you cross the swaths of road. Your objective is to figure out your own mysterious past by talking to the people that pick you and give you rides.

This just caught my interest because it is so different from the usual games you see and here so much about. I know people don’t much like walking simulators as they’re called, but this could but a fun differentiation from that sort of genre game.

Tire burning burnouts and cop chases are plentiful in the new Need for Speed: Heat. Cop chases especially seem to have taken on a whole new meaning in this street racing game because if they catch well that’s going to cost you pretty big according to the trailer.

Honestly, the more I see of NFS games the more I just want a game where I spend the majority of the time in game running from cops. This new game does seem to have that element but the races are of course the more important part. The big concern remains the handling of the cars which have for the last few games by some people been considered to be too on rails and not enough freedom. If you’re going to have a crazy racing game you need to have big things happen and losing control of a car because of oversteer or obstacles or just trying to get out of the way of other cars. If it can’t do that, well its going to wind up like all the rest of the recent NFS games in that they’re okay but sort of mostly forgotten about.

Google’s Stadia got a press conference showing off its upcoming offerings. The big news from them was that Cyberpunk 2077 would be coming out for it and the Orcs Must Die 3 will be exclusive to the Stadia. There was plenty of games being ported over to help grow the library of games.

While I don’t feel sold on the Stadia, it is good to see them get some games even ports of games as they’re desperately going to need them to support the streaming console. This little conference video didn’t wow me to thinking like this was ahead of its time, but only time will tell if that’s the case. Also since this is a Google product it will either pick up a lot of steam and become a flagship or quickly be lost and forgotten like so many other projects.

Toyota UK in its weird infinitely terrible wisdom has decided that because the new Need for Speed game has street racing that the cars to be represented in the game. At least that was according to their Tweet which has been deleted. They changed their position to that they don’t have official plans for their vehicles on other racing games. You can check out the story over on Motor Authority.

So, since Gran Turismo has Toyota vehicles and no other racing game has them, it is safe to say that Sony and Toyota probably have an exclusivity deal. This would have been a much better statement to make then what came out originally and even since then.

Gamestop has laid off 100 high ranking employees many of them were working on the Game Informer magazine which was owned by the company. It isn’t all of the staff working on the mag but it does appear that its days are terribly numbered. This news comes from Kotaku.com.

I’m surprised that the Game Informer magazine was even still around as the internet has taken the job of reporting on games pretty much exclusively away from the old print model. Gamestop seems to be holding on by the bare edge of its teeth as it tries with all its might to stay alive as a big corporation.

In sad news Takashi Iwade who was an artist and designer best known for his work on Panzer Dragoon has passed away. Gamasutra broke the news story if you wish to know more.

My thoughts are with his family and friends. His art and style will be greatly missed by the gaming industry.

Entertainment News:

YouTube streaming is changing its premium subscription TV series, it will now be an ad supported and free to anyone who wishes to watch. They’re also abandoning making scripted shows in favor of more non-scripted reality type series. If you want to know more head on over to Slashfilm.com for their coverage on the story.

I’m not sure I understand the full move away from scripted shows because reality shows is pretty much the entirety of YouTube now. How are they going to differentiate there content from the rest of the same-ish content that is being made by content creators? I guess it is good for those content creators that want steady money instead of trying to rely on YouTube ads, but they’re still relying on YouTube and who knows how well that madness will work out.

Sony and Disney are in quite the fight over the future of Spiderman as the two try and rework their agreement deal that allows the character to continue to appear in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Sony and Disney are locked into negotiating a deal where both sides want to make sure that they maximize their profits from any future films. This all started via a report on Deadline.com claiming the two sides were ending the relationship.

This is a massive mess. I’m sure though that Disney is more then pleased by the Internet’s initial reaction that this was completely, utterly, and impossibly all Sony’s fault. They’ll probably come to deal over the character but jeez do fanboys and fangirls get vocal at even the slightest sniff that something might be amiss between two companies working out a deal.

A confounding complicated week completed. Thus will end another blog post, so, thank you for stopping by and taking a look around. If you have any comments, questions, and or suggestions I’d love to here from you via email at Lostvideogamesblog@gmail.com, or through Twitter @Snipehockey, or just leave a comment below. Thanks and good bye until the next week has run me over.

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