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Games We’re Excited About: JUNE 2017

June isn’t as packed with big releases as some of the last few months have been, but it definitely still packs a punch (get it?), as we’re getting two hotly anticipated fighting games this month. June also sees a major expansion for an MMO and a remaster of a beloved PlayStation classic.

 

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Tekken 7 (PS4, PC, Xbox One)–June 6
Our favorite fighting game series is back on console this month, as Heihachi and crew bring the pain. If you want to know why we’re so excited about this one, check out the Tekken 7 tournament finals from this past weekend’s Combo Breaker 17.

Our only complaint is that Armor King won’t be in this one, as he’s always been Brian’s favorite chracter. Guess he’ll have to start practicing with Kuma.

 

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The Elder Scrolls Online Morrowind (Mac, PS4, PC, Xbox One)–June 6
Morrowind comes to ESO this month in a huge expansion for the MMO. Thirty hours of gameplay and a new character class are just some of what Morrorwind has to offer. If you loved Elder Scrolls 3, now’s the time to jump into ESO.

 

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ARMS (Nintendo Switch)–June 16
ARMS feels like the next Splatoon–a game many dismissed when it was first announced but went on to become a huge fan favorite. ARMS is a fighter where characters use extendable arms with unique abilities to battle up close or across entire arenas. Characters can swap out different combinations of arms, so there is a ton of options for customization. Nintendo seems determined to push for this one to have a competitive scene as well, so it should be an interesting summer for ARMS.

 

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Crash Bandicoot: N. Sane Trilogy (PS4)–June 30
There was a time when Crash was mentioned in the same breath as Mario and Sonic. Granted, that time was brief, but it existed nonetheless, and the early Crash games were a blast. The trilogy features the first three Crash games, and will feature updated sounds and individuals, controls and a new save system.

Those are the games we’re excited about for June 2017. What’s on your list of games to pick up for this month?

JACK’S BACK! – Brian Plays Resident Evil 7 – EP 18

Ethan’s reunion with Mia is broken up by Jack Baker, who has taken on a whole new form. After battling Jack, Ethan must choose who to save with the last dose of serum.

If you like this video, don’t forget to subscribe to our YouTube page for more!

About RE7:

Resident Evil 7: Biohazard is a survival horror video game developed and published by Capcom. The game was released worldwide for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One in January 2017, with the PlayStation 4 version having support for the PlayStation VR headset. It is the eleventh entry in the Resident Evil series, and the first main series installment to be played from a first-person perspective.

The story follows Ethan Winters in the search for his wife Mia, which leads him to a derelict plantation, home to the Baker family. Ethan makes use of various weapons and tools in the fight against the Baker family and creatures known as the “Molded”.

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The Combo Breaker 17 TEKKEN 7 Finals Were Amazing

With the exception of a short love affair with Super Street Fighter 2 on the SNES, the only fighting game series I have really gotten into over the years has been Tekken. Tekken 2 on the original PlayStation is without a doubt my favorite fighting game of all time, and the one I’ve spent the most time with. I’ve dabbled with the other games in the series, but have never gotten lost in one like I did with Tekken 2.

But man, after watching the Tekken 7 tournament at Combo Breaker 17 Saturday night, not only did I pre-order Tekken 7 for PS4, I ended up buying a fight stick as well. That tournament provided an amazing market showcase for the game, and the level of competition was great. The top eight overall were just outstanding matches, and the finals between Saint and JDCR were amazing.

Needless to say, I’ll be doing some Tekken 7 videos for our YouTube page, as I try and get these old tired reflexes back into fighting shape. You can watch the finals from yesterday’s Tekken 7 tournament in the player above.

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Xbox One Backward Compatibility Super Sale Is On Through 5/22

If wanted to either catch up on some Xbox 360 classics or just grab some of your old favorites for your digital collection, now is the time. Microsoft is having a backward compatibility sale through May 22nd, and a ton of titles are discounted up to 75%.

Check Out The Xbox One Backward Compatibility Super Sale Here

If the list is a bit overwhelming, then allow us to recommend some titles for you:

Dead Space 1&2
Red Dead Redemption
Bioshock 1&2
Burnout Paradise
Castlevania: Symphony of the Night
Deux Ex: Human Revolution
Dragon Age: Origins
Fable II
Fallout 3
Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon
Geometry Wars
Left 4 Dead 2
Limbo
Mass Effect 1-3
Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion
Portal 1&2
Saints Row IV
Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Vegas
The Orange Box (Half-Life 2 + Eps 1&2)
Witcher 2

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Please Don’t Go, Mass Effect

Sigh.

As you’ve probably seen across various gaming news sites by now, it seems that the Mass Effect franchise is going to be hiatus for a bit (you can read the USGamer story here and the Kotaku story here).

In some ways, this is not terribly surprising. Andromeda’s Metacritic scores current sit at 70 (PS4), 73 (PC) and 77 (Xbox One). Surely that’s not what EA was anticipating when they forced the game to be shipped before it was ready (EA’s fiscal year ended March 31). And it’s really inarguable that the game wasn’t ready. It’s received multiple post-release patches to address a variety of issues, from facial animations to bugs to stability issues and more.

But I can’t help feeling like the decision to put the franchise on hold was driven by the absolute savaging the game has received on social media. Spending any time in the Twitterverse in the first few weeks after release, you would have thought that Mass effect Andromeda was not only the worst game of all time, but that it had destroyed the ability of the people who played it to ever enjoy a video game again.

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The reaction was ridiculous, and it became more so, as the piling-on continued until there was essentially nothing Bioware could do to escape the narrative that Andromeda was an awful game that was a total failure.

It’s really sad, because the Mass Effect universe is one I have invested hundreds of hours in, through the games, comics, novels and more. I spent a good deal of time covering and discussing the original trilogy on Co-Op Critics, my own blog and for Comic Book Resources as well. And I was so excited for a whole new series of games set in the ME universe. My first dozen-plus hours with ME: Andromeda have been great overall. Sure, I see the lack of polish, but as the first game in a new series, I feel like the criticism of it has been completely overblown. I can only imagine if the Twitterverse had been at full force when the original Mass Effect came out. The issues with AI, the glitches, the Mako–I mean can you imagine? But at the time, reason prevailed, and despite its flaws, Mass Effect was given credit where credit was due. I don’t feel like that’s been the case with Andromeda at all.

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Instead, the vitriol directed at the developers and the tidal wave of negativity on social media has helped put the series on ice. I’m just hoping that once the fervor dies down, EA and Bioware will regroup and come up with a plan for moving the series forward. Because there is so much potential for storytelling in the Mass Effect universe, and it would be a shame if this is the end of it.

In case you want to take a trip in the wayback machine, here’s some of my previous stuff on the Mass Effect series:

2008 Interview with Mass Effect Lead Writer Drew Karpyshyn

Interview with Mass Effect 2 Lead Writer Mac Walters and artist Omar Francia about Mass Effect: Redemption comic*

Interview with comic writer John Jackson Miller and artist Omar Francia about Mass Effect Redemption comic*

Blog: My Mass Effect Experience–Part 1

Blog: My Mass Effect Experience–Part 2

Co-Op Critics Podcast: Mass Effect 1-2

Co-Op Critics Podcast: Mass Effect 3

*Due to the way CBR now archives old posts, a lot of the images are no longer embedded, but the content of the interviews is still there.

GOTTA GET WARM! – Brian Plays Near Death – EP 1

After crashing at an abandoned Antarctic research facility, Brian must find a way to survive the deadly cold before he can figure out how to get rescued.

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About Near Death:

After your plane crash-lands in Antarctica, you find yourself stranded and alone at an abandoned research facility in the midst of a deadly blizzard. Plunged into utter darkness, temperatures 100 degrees below zero, and conditions far too harsh to allow for rescue, you must explore Sutro Station and and use the tools at your disposal in hopes of escaping and finding your way home.

Not a survival game, but instead a game about surviving, Near Death pits you against an incredibly cruel opponent: Antarctica. Never more than a few minutes from freezing to death in the darkness of polar night, you must reclaim the station from the elements and fight for your life in a terrifying environment that’s more like another planet than the world you know.

 

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Games We’re Excited About: May 2017

Like April before it, this month has a good mix of both new games and re-releases of beloved favorites. Sim games, builders, fighters and first-person action games make up this month’s list, ensuring a little something for everyone.

 

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Prey (PS4, Xbox One, PC) – May 5
Eleven years after Prey landed on the PC and Xbox 360, we are finally getting the sequel-turned re-imagining of the franchise. We’re actually fine with the wait, because Prey looks like it may finally be the spiritual successor to the Dead Space franchise we’ve been waiting for. The game takes place on a space station that served as a prison for aliens that had attached the Earth.

 

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Birthdays: The Beginning (PS4, PC) – May 9

From Yasuhiro Wada, the creator of harvest Moon, comes this sandbox game about building a world filled with life. The game allows players to switch between managing the topographical and atmospheric conditions to more of a zoomed-in style of managing the moment to moment evolution of their world.

 

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Minecraft: Switch Edition (Switch) – May 11

Do we really need another version of Minecraft on yet another device? Um, absolutely. Because we’re talking about the Switch, and not only does the Switch edition get the Nintendo skin pack the WiiU version had, but it’s going to be 13 times bigger than the WiiU version. It will also run at 60fps, and you can transfer worlds from your WiiU to the Switch version.

 

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Injustice 2 (PS4, Xbox One) – May 16

2013’s Injustice was an impressive entry into the fighting genre. The game pitted darker versions of DC’s most beloved characters against one another against the backdrop of a world where Superman went bad. Not only was the game successful, but it spawned multiple comic series set in that world. The second game picks up where the first left off and will not only feature a campaign and the usual game modes, but will introduce a “multiverse” mode where battle take place across alternate worlds.

 

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Ultra Street Fighter II: The Final Challengers (Switch) – May 26

This updated version of Super Street Fighter II Turbo will feature both classic and updated graphics, as well as a remixed soundtrack. All original seventeen fighters are on the Switch version, as well as two additional characters–Violent Ken and Evil Ryu. The Final Challengers will support all Switch control styles, and will feature both local and online multiplayer. There’s also a first-person wave-based mode called  “Way of the Hado.”

Those are the games we’re excited about for May 2017. What’s on your list of games to pick up for this month?

Co-Op Critics Party Chat: Mass Effect: Andromeda

In the latest edition of our weekly series, Brian and Nick give their impressions of the first few hours they’ve spent with Mass Effect: Andromeda.

Mass Effect: Andromeda is an action role-playing video game developed by BioWare and published by Electronic Arts for PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Microsoft Windows. The game begins within the Milky Way Galaxy during the 22nd century, where humanity is planning to populate new home worlds in the Andromeda Galaxy as part of a strategy called the Andromeda Initiative. The player assumes the role of either Scott or Sara Ryder, an inexperienced military recruit who joins the Initiative and wakes up in Andromeda following a 600-year journey.

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Come See Us at CT Gamer Con 4/1-4/2!

If you heard our recent interview with promoter Mitch Hallock on Co-Op Conversations, you know we are very excited for the first annual CT Gamer Con, happening at Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, CT Saturday 4/1 and Sunday 4/2.

There will be tournaments with cash prizes for Street Fighter V, Smash (4 and Melee), Marvel Vs. Capcom 3 and more. Arcade and classic pinball games will be playable, as well as plenty of other console and tabletop games. Pro gamers Sabin, Lucky D, Mafia, Yipes, Prince Abu, HungryBox, and KirbyKaze will be playing in tournaments and meeting with fans. Nintendo will even be there giving away a Switch on Sunday!

And we’ll be there, too! Brian will have a table at the show, and he’ll be hanging out, doing interviews, talking games and having fun. So if you’re in the New England area this weekend, head down to CT Gamer Con and say hi!