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Co-Op Critics Podcast: Nintendo Switch Reveal

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In a special episode of the Co-Op Critics podcast, Brian and Nick give their initial reactions to the reveal of Nintendo’s next console, the Nintendo Switch. They discuss what they think of the hardware, what they hope to see from the console, and what price point they think it will launch at.

Here’s the reveal trailer for the Nintendo Switch:

And you can listen to the podcast right here:

Listen to “Co-Op Critics 027–Nintendo Switch Reveal” on Spreaker.

You can also listen to back episodes on our podcast page. And don’t forget to check out the YouTube page for tons of videos and games discussion!

OcTerrorFest: Brian Plays Dead Space (EP. 5)

It’s October, and that means it’s time for horror! We’re holding our own OcTerrorFest, and as part of that, Brian is playing through the original Dead Space. In this episode, Isaac and his crew are already stranded on the USG Ishimura, and Isaac is trying to get the fuel tanks back online so they can get the ship moving again. But the necromorphs have other ideas.

If you enjoy this series, please leave a LIKE or comment on the video. Don’t forget to subscribe!

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Co-Op Critics Podcast–No Man’s Sky

In the latest episode of the Co-Op Critics podcast, we discuss our game of the month, No Man’s Sky, look at some of October’s releases, and talk about what we’ve been playing over the summer.

You can listen to the episode right here in the player above, or check us out on iTunes and Spreaker. You can also listen to back episodes on our podcast page. And don’t forget to check out the YouTube page for videos and discussion on all of the games we’re playing!

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Games We’re Excited About: October 2016

Last generation, October was a month packed with AAA releases every single week–arguably the biggest month of the gaming year in terms of releases. But over the past few years, that has changed dramatically. There’s still plenty to be excited about this month though, with a variety of new games and re-releases that we can’t wait to dive into. here’s our list:

 

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Atari Flashback Classics Vol. 1 &2 (PS4, Xbox One)–October 4th

I grew up on Atari (yes, I am old)–it was my first console, and along with arcades laid the foundation for my lifelong love of video games. Being able to play Adventure, Asteroids, Maze Craze, Dodge ‘Em, Combat and the rest of this 100-game collection on Xbox one and PS4 is going to be awesome. Each volume costs $20, but that’s a small price to pay for my childhood.

 

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Dragon Quest Builders (PS4, Vita)–October 11th

Minecraft meets Dragon Quest? Yes, please. This game has the potential to be absolutely huge, especially if there are enough RPG hooks in it, which is the one area Minecraft is a bit lacking in.

 

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Gears of War 4 (Xbox One)–October 11th

Set 25 years after Gears 3, the next entry in the series focuses on J.D. Fenis, the son of Marcus and Anya.

 

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PlayStation VR–October 13th

I’m not hugely excited about VR, but when I do dive into it, I’ll be getting the PSVR. I’m already in the PlayStation ecosystem, and I’m really dying to play that until Dawn VR game.

 

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Battlefield 1 (Xbox one, PS4, PC)–October 21st

After playing a bit of the beta for this one, we could not be more excited. Horses vs. tanks, gigantic maps, stunning visuals and the buttery-smooth gameplay of Battlefield? Bring it on!

 

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Civilization VI (PC)–October 21st

The last Civ game I really got into was Civilization: Revolution, but I think I’m ready to step up to the big leagues with Civ VI.

 

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The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Special Edition (Xbox one, PS4, PC)–October 28th

Confession time–I didn’t play Skyrim last generation. I know, right? I put over 300 hours into Oblivion on both PS3 and Xbox 360, but could not find the time to really get into Skyrim. So, I am beyond excited to have a new version for this gen. I will be all over this game.

 

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Titanfall 2 (Xbox One, PS4, PC)–October 28th

I dabbled in Titanfall, but the lack of a single-player campaign meant that it never hooked me. Respawn has corrected that misstep with Titanfall 2, and as a result, I’m actually excited for it. The multiplayer was great the first time around, so I’ve no doubt that will continue to be the case.

That’s our list of October releases we’re looking forward to. What’s on your list? Let us know in the comments.

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PS4 Pro Reveal–Good for Gamers, Bad for Sony

playstation-4-pro-vertical-product-shot-01-us-07sep16The big PlayStation Meeting event yesterday was pretty much a disaster for Sony, and one that didn’t need to happen. If you missed the press event (and you did not miss much), you can read the details over on the PlayStation blog.

My takeaway from the PS4 Pro reveal was that if you don’t own a 4K TV, there is literally no reason for you to even care about the new version of the console. That, and the fact that Sony is leaving it up to developers to take advantage of the PS4 Pro’s additional capabilities to me means that there will be a whole lof of devs that don’t even bother (see Kinect, Move, the WiiU tablet, etc.).

Sony did a lousy job of messaging the PS4 Pro, and actually gave Microsoft the opportunity to cut the legs out from under them immediately following the PlayStation event:


So, if you’re interested in 4K gaming, you can grab the Xbox One S for $100 cheaper than the PS4 Pro will be when it launches November 10th. If you’re interested in 4K gaming and are planning on getting the PSVR, then your best option is the Pro.

I feel like this is a completely unnecessary error on Sony’s part. There is absolutely no reason for them to be launching the PS4 Pro right now. They are winning the console war. They have their VR headset coming out in October, and it will be compatible with existing PS4s. The only good reason to reveal the Pro would have been if it had the PSVR capability built in and you didn’t need the external box that comes with PSVR. But that’s not the case. Sony is saying PSVR will be “better” with PS Pro, but with the exception of improved visuals, what exactly does that mean? Any way you cut it, the PS4 Pro seems unnecessary, especially from the company that is already winning the console war. The slim reveal would have been just fine. The PS4 is already great. I love mine and do most of my gaming on it.

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So why is this actually good for gamers, then? Because the PS4 Pro is not going to fracture the PlayStation user base like it could have, any more than the Xbox One S did to that user base. Both of these consoles are mainly graphical improvements over the originals, similar to one PC gamer having a slightly better graphics card than another. At the end of the day, unless you are a 4K TV owner and care about such things, there is not much reason to care. And, if you’ve been waiting on getting a PS4, you now have more options. If I was just jumping in, I would be keeping my eye out for a price drop or some sweet bundles on the original models, as stores get rid of their existing stock to make way for the slim.

Now the Scorpio? That’s a whole different story, and that’s much closer to an Xbox 1.5 from what we’ve seen so far. That will have the potential to split Microsoft’s user base, and they should be watching everything that happens in wake of this PS4 fiasco. The difference for Microsoft is that they are behind, so they need to shake things up.

Sony did not. We’ll see if this comes back to bite them.

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The More Info That leaks About The Nintendo NX, The More Excited I Get For It

Over at Let’s Play Video Games today, Laura Dale provided some updates to information that has been leaking on the upcoming Nintendo NX (you can read that article here).

So, we’ve been hearing for a while now that it would be a tablet-like unit with detachable controllers, but eh first diagrams that leaked had me questioning how that was going to work for local multiplayer. In those early concept images, both of the detachable controls had an analog stick, but one had buttons while the other had a D-pad.

In the most recent info though, it’s not being reported that the D-pad will be split (like the PS4 D-pad), meaning there is a distinct button for each direction. This makes a lot of sense, as it means that the four direction buttons can double as face buttons, making both detachable controllers able to function in the same way.

This seems like a super small detail, but I’m really excited about it.

So, it looks like the NX will be region-free, will use cartridges and will be able to hook up to your TV for big screen gaming. As a mobile device it can be used for either single-layer gaming or local multiplayer.

Most importantly, this looks to finally be the fusion of Nintendo’s handheld and TV consoles that I have been wanting for years. I can’t wait until we hear some definitive news from Nintendo in September!!

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Madden 17–First Impressions

CiSa-2LWsAA09q7I honestly cannot remember the last time I bought a Madden game. My peak Madden-playing time was during the SEGA Genesis era, and during that time I bought and played Madden every single year. But when I got a PlayStation, I moved over to NFL Gameday, and later the 2K series, before dropping out of most sports games altogether. Couch co-op is just not something I really have with my friends anymore (we are spread out across the country), and many of my gaming friends now are not into sports games at all.

And yet, I bought Madden 17.

I’m still not sure why, but I think it was a mix of two things–the fact that my fantasy football draft was this past weekend, and the fact that I actually had the money to buy the game (which is a rare occurrence these days). I’d also heard some good things about this year’s iteration, so I decided to grab it.

And you know what? Madden 17 makes a pretty great first impression.

You literally start the game late in the fourth quarter of a playoff game between Redskins and the Rams. You’re thrown right into the action, and while it’s a bit scripted, the success or failure of your comeback attempt is completely up to you. I stalled out on the one yardline as time expired, and I lost. But it was a great way to get introduced to this year’s Madden.

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After that, the game asks you what level you want to start playing at. The Rookie level is for those completely new to Madden, and the Pro level is for those who’ve played sports games, but aren’t Madden experts. All-Pro and All-Madden are for the folks who are very well-versed in Madden games.

I chose Pro, and dove into the very robust tutorial system, which is actually pretty fun. In addition to doing the usual offensive and defensive drills, you can test your skill in the Gauntlet, a survival-style mode where you have to complete challenges to keep going. If you fail a certain amount of times, you’re done. The game keeps track of what your personal best is, so it makes you want to keep coming back to best your score. This is a really smart way of incentivising practice, and I already spent more time in it than any previous tutorial mode in a sports game.

So, my first impression of Madden 17 is that it’s very welcoming to both new and old players, and offers a fun way to learn both the basics and more advanced systems of the game. I’ll be writing more about my experience with the game when I jump into season mode soon.