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GAMES WE’RE EXCITED ABOUT: NOVEMBER 2016

It’s here, it’s here! November is here!
That’s right kiddies, the big month for game releases is upon us, and there are some blockbusters coming this month. There’s also some smaller games we’re pumped about too, so without further ado, here’s our list of games we’re excited about this month:

 

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Owlboy (PC) – November 1st
After being in development for nine-plus, the gorgeous retro metroidvania game by D-Pad Studio is finally arriving this month.The story involved  a young boy names Otus who must save his village from pirates. The game’s mechanics are inspired by Super Mario 3 and Kid Icarus.

 

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Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare (Xbox One, PS4, PC) – November 4
SPAAAAAAAAAAAACCCCCCEEE! That is where infinite warfare happens–at least for this year’s installment of the CoD franchise. Ship combat and a new zombie mode will accompany all the usual bells and whistles. No matter how tired you think the franchise might be, CoD’s multiplayer is always top-notch, and this year shouldn’t be any different.

 

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Dishonored 2 (Xbox One, PS4, PC) – November 11
I’ll be honest, I missed out on Dishonored the first time around, but I’ve since picked it up and have been enjoying it. I’ve made a promise to myself that I’ll finish the first one before diving into the sequel, so I will probably wait ta bit before picking up Dishonored 2. But I’m still excited for it.

 

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Killing Floor 2 (PS4, PC) – November 18
I’ve watched the Killing Floor series from afar over he past few years as it continued to gain popularity on the PC. The horde-based cooperative shooter began as a mod and ended up as a full-fledged retail release in 2009. Killing Floor 2 Now it’s coming to consoles, and I can’t wait to get my hand my hands on it.

 

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Final Fantasy XV (Xbox One, PS4) – November 29
Early word on the latest installment of this legendary franchise has been good. I’ll be the first to admit I haven’t spent much time with the last couple Final Fantasy games. But I started with the series on NES and have so many memories of playing Final Fantasy VII on my original PlayStation that I will always have a soft spot for FF. Will this be the one that brings me back? We’ll see.

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

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Overwatch has Become My Shooter of Choice

After playing a couple promising levels of Battlefield 1’s single-player campaign, I decided to jump over to multiplayer. While I hadn’t played a lot of Battlefield 4’s competitive modes, I’ve always been a fan of Battlefield and I spent quite a bit of time with Battlefield: Hardline’s multiplayer. I’ve never been great at it (I’m just not that good of a shooter player), but I always enjoyed the class-based system of Battlefield and the fact that I could be rewarded for playing support characters. I came to prefer it over Call of Duty and halo, primarily for that reason.
But then Overwatch came along. And much like Dark Souls did with RPGs for awhile, Overwatch has kind of ruined other shooters for me right now.

It took me about three matches of Battlefield 1 multiplayer to get sick of the meat grinder that involved me spawning and being sniped or destroyed by an explosion within thirty seconds, only to rise and repeat for the duration. And even though I was in a squad, the tendency of a lot of players to lone wolf in the giant maps of battlefield means my support activities (healing, providing ammo) can rarely be maximized.

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And so, it was back to Overwatch, where I am consistently rewarded for doing my job, and I can tangibly see the results of my contributions to the team. Whether I’m throwing up ice walls with Mei, keeping my teammates upright with Lucio, or making choke points impassable with Symmetra (who I am still learning), I get a lot of satisfaction in every match. Even in a loss it’s easy to understand what went wrong and how I might have done something differently.

Not that other shooters don’t reinforce team play. But with Overwatch, it’s woven into the DNA of the game so much that if you’re not interested in team play, the game really isn’t for you. Sure, there are some classes that are more lone wolf than others, but succeeding in Overwatch means that each person has to fulfill their role. And I love that.

Notice I haven’t even talked about the aesthetics of Overwatch, or the leveling and loot system. That because for me, all of those things are secondary to the core gameplay loop–work as a team, fulfill your role, be successful. I actually think the loot system is kind of broken, as the higher you level, the more frustrating it is to unlock items that you could care less about (sprays, skins for characters you never use, voice lines, etc.). It’s my one real grip about the game. But the moment to moment gameplay is so well crafted, I really don’t even care that much.

When From’s Souls series arrived, it took a while before I could enjoy other RPGs again without constantly comparing them to Demon’s Souls and Dark Souls. I find myself in a similar place now with Overwatch. Battlefield 1 is not enough to pull me away, and I don’t think Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare will be, either. And with Overwatch’s new character Sombra being announced this week, the game just keeps giving players reasons to be excited about it. I don’t see me putting Overwatch down anytime soon.

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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.