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Yomowari: Night Alone Brings Frightening Creatures to Vita and PC This October

Yomowari: Night Alone is getting a global release just in time for Halloween. The latest title from NIS America is equally cute and terrifying.

When your sister and dog go missing, you'll be forced to face an entire town alone in a quest to find them. As the announcement trailer below tells you, things change drastically at night, and some rather frightening creatures seem to be haunting the area.

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Unique aesthetics and music are featured in this first look at Yomowari: Night Alone, and the premise is certainly intriguing. The game clearly borrows a lot from Japanese culture and folklore, with a good look at a Torii gate and multiple spirits. We aren't given the best idea of how gameplay will work, but it seems that there will be a good amount of exploration and finding clues.

The game comes to Steam on October 25, with a physical release on PS Vita the same day. Additional goodies in the physical version include a heat changing tumbler, art book, and soundtrack.

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Civilization VI Coming October 21, Big Changes To Core Gameplay

Civilization VI comes to PC on October 21. I spoke with lead designer Ed Beach and associate producer Sarah Darney on the project to nail down some big changes coming to the classic strategy franchise for its sixth installment.

“One of the first principles with Civilization VI was to keep most of the subsystems from the finished (with expansions) Civ V around in some form,” Beach says. “Civ VI builds off a lot of the design that Civ V finished with, but the code and the A.I. and everything like that is all implemented from scratch to fit Civ VI.”

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“We want players to adjust and think on their feet in Civ VI. We didn’t want there to be a standard playbook or recipe on how to get through it, from tech tree to policy,” Beach adds. “We always saw discussions about dominant strategies, like, 'Get the Great Library and go into these policy trees and build this way.' We built a game with so many options, but so much of the community is playing it this same way with the same pattern, and we want to shake that up and adjust to the map and leaders they are faced with to come up with other solutions, to rethink their strategic approaches every time they play the game.”

The team laid out the plan for three key core mechanics changes that will drive more dynamic gameplay in Civilization VI. 

The first is “unstacking the cities. With cities getting filled with all kinds of buildings, wonders, and other things over time, the gameplay is changing by moving some of these buildings out onto the map. This concept is called districts, and these are pieces of your city that would traditionally be nested inside your city being pushed out up to three tiles away.

“For instance, let’s take the science district,” Beach says. “This is a prerequisite to building science buildings. What’s going to happen is that the exact tile you choose to place that district will be an important decision, as scientists will work better in different tiles. So tiles with more lifeforms like rain forests or something on a mountain to observe the stars would be more valuable. We have 12 different kinds of districts you can place around your city. They require a certain amount of population, so you are going to have to make choices about what kind of districts to build based on what resources you have available.”

The second is the active research system. This will change up the way players approach the tech tree by offering massive bonuses toward specific research based on other variables in the game, pushing players away from going into a game with a set path of tech that they always progress down for the optimal game build. Players can still research whatever they like, but a new boost system will likely change your progression path from game to game.

“Let’s take masonry. In order to do masonry well you need the type of materials to put together for walls or pyramids or whatever,” Beach says. “So if you’re in the middle of a grassland and there’s no stone around, it’s going to be tough for you to be really good at masonry. So if you can find a resource like that, like a quarry, as soon as it’s up and operational, we unlock a boost toward masonry, which will give you 50 percent of the cost for that technology. Similarly, this will work for say maritime technology for setting up on the coast. If you’re on the coast putting in the time on those areas, you’re now getting bonuses for those technologies. That part of the tech tree will naturally unlock for you as a result of the boost.”

“A lot of it is based on the map and what’s around you,” Darney says. “So it changes each game.”

Third is diplomacy, a constant hot topic in the Civilization series. A big focus here is how the A.I. will react and relate to the player. The leaders in Civilization VI will play differently based on their own personalities and not just based on how the player interacts with them – they have their own specific agendas.

“Every leader is assigned one historical agenda based on something they did while ruling their nation in actual history,” Beach explains. “Let’s take a leader who built a whole bunch of wonders. In our universe, that leader is going to feel like he’s better than anyone else in world history at building wonders, and that should be reflected every time they are in a Civilization game. Wonder obsessed. So that civilization will get a bonus toward building wonders, but they also get an obsessive personality where he will get angry if anyone else is building more wonders than they are. So you might have a strategy where you always go for Stonehenge and Hanging Gardens so you grab those right away. If this guy is next to you and he sees you doing this, he’s going to be up in arms and invading your borders."

Leaders will also have a hidden agenda that will be assigned to them that will change from game to game, so even if you know the opposing leader's core personality, you have to discover additional, dynamic traits if you want your political agendas to progress smoothly.

There will be a new emphasis on shorter sessions for multiplayer that will facilitate getting games in well under the traditional 5-10 hour mark. There also will be new ways to engage with multiplayer that can be completed in one or two hours. Other significant new features and mechanics are coming in Civilization VI, but the team wasn’t ready to discuss them at this time. 

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Tri-Ace RPG Exist Archive: The Other Side Of The Sky Coming Stateside This October

Tri-Ace's gorgeous RPG adventure, Exist Archive: The Other Side of the Sky, is coming to the U.S. this October. The side-scroller hit Japan via publisher Spike Chunsoft this past December, but there was no U.S. release date at the time. Aksys Games, the publisher for the Western version, and tri-Ace have announced that it release on PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Vita on October 18.

As the developer of series like Star Ocean and Valkyrie Profile, tri-Ace has the pedigree to craft great role-playing games. With Exist Archive, the developer is putting players in a unique position as far as the story is concerned. The main characters are immediately killed in a huge explosion caused by the destructive god Yamatoga. With life as it was known gone, players control a group of dead characters that inherit the power of Yamatoga and then get mixed up in a conflict between warring gods. 

According to Aksys, the game features a deep story and several side-quests to entertain players. The combat system maps characters' attacks to each individual face-button on the PS4 controller or Vita. Focusing on your party configuration and chaining your attacks together are important keys to victory.

To learn more about Exist Archive: The Other Side of the Sky, head to Kim Wallace's localization wishlist from Tokyo Game Show 2015.

[Source: PlayStation Blog]

 

Our Take
This game caught our eye at Tokyo Game Show last year, prompting Kim to name it one of the games she wanted to see localized in the future. With the date now set, JRPG fans now have another game to look forward to later this year.

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Gears Of War 4 Carves Up The Competition This October

Gears of War 4, which was featured on our April cover, now has a release date. The Xbox One title will be carving up the competition this fall.

In advance of the October 11 release, players will have a chance to help test the multiplayer. A beta kicks off for those that have played Gears of War: Ultimate Edition on April 18. All Xbox Live Gold members can join in on April 25.

Beta keys will be distributed via Xbox Live messaging starting on April 18. In order to be eligible, you need only play Gears of War: Ultimate Edition on Xbox One or PC by April 11.

For more on Gears of War 4, check out our coverage hub from the April 2016 issue.

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PlayStation VR launches October 2016 for $399

Today at a special event held alongside GDC in San Francisco, Sony announced the price and release date for PlayStation VR. …


Gamasutra News

Titanfall, Mass Effect Return Sometime Between October 2016 And March 2017

EA has confirmed that a new Titanfall game is on the way. We’ve known almost since right after Titanfall launched in 2014 that a sequel was in the works. EA now affirms when we might be playing.

On its third quarter earnings call, the company says that its partnership Respawn remains intact. The next Titanfall game will be out in the next year.

What isn’t entirely clear is what that game will look like. EA confirms that a “new Titanfall experience” will be out in fiscal year 2017 (ending March 31, 2017). Later in the call, EA included Mass Effect in its lineup for the second half of the year.

Titanfall will join Battlefield in the next fiscal year, filling out EA’s shooter portfolio. With the inclusion of Star Wars Battlefront paid DLC starting in March, the publisher’s offerings are flush in the genre.

 

Our Take
While there’s a dearth of detail around the next Titanfall game, EA’s next fiscal year is starting to come into focus slowly. The important thing to note is that neither Titanfall or Mass Effect are confirmed for calendar 2016. We might not see them until the quarter that runs from January 1 through March 31, 2016.

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October 2015 NPD: Strong Sales All Around As Halo Leads The Pack

The October NPD numbers are out, and while it doesn’t seem that too much has changed since last year, gamers (and game makers) have plenty of reasons to be happy. Here's the full breakdown.

NPD Group reports that October sales were up slightly since last year. Overall video game market's sales experienced a modest 2 percent jump since last year around this time. Much of this was driven by accessory sales, which grew by 18 percent, or just under $ 30 million. This includes subscription card sales, which were up 38 percent from October 2014, making this the best October for video game subscription cards on record.

Hardware sales were pretty neck-and-neck with the numbers from last year. Console sales grew by 3 percent, while portables sales declined 27 percent. 

Gamers are still buying plenty of games, but the sale of new physical copies of games actually decreased by 3 percent when compared to last year’s numbers. However, it’s worth noting that the NDP doesn’t actually track downloadable numbers, so it’s plausible that total game sales are fairly even – or even exceed – last year’s data. 

Here is the full top ten list:

  1. Halo 5: Guardians (Xbox One)
  2. NBA 2K16 (PS4, Xbox One, 360, PS3)
  3. Assassin's Creed: Syndicate (PS4, Xbox One)
  4. Madden NFL 16 (PS4, Xbox One, 360, PS3)
  5. WWE 2K16 (PS4, Xbox One, 360, PS3)
  6. FIFA 16 (PS4, Xbox One, 360, PS3)
  7. Destiny: The Taken King (PS4, Xbox One, 360, PS3)
  8. Yoshi's Wooly World (WiiU)
  9. Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection (PS4)
  10. Rock Band 4 (Xbox One, PS4)

As always, the platforms are listed in the order of sales, and do not include hardware bundles. 

 

Our Take
It's great to see that game sales are holding strong. It’s not too surprising to see Halo 5: Guardians and the usual sports titles on here, but I’m happy to see that Rock Band 4 is also doing well. And it’s nice to see that not too many people were turned away from Assassin's Creed: Syndicate after the debacle that was Unity.

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PSA: Today Is Your Last Chance For October PlayStation Plus Games

This is your friendly reminder that today is the final day to nab your October PlayStation Plus games. A new slate of titles rotates in tomorrow, so make some time to lock in your licenses now.

If you need a refresher, October’s titles include:

PlayStation 4

  • Broken Age
  • Super Meat Boy
  • Unmechanical Extended

PlayStation 3

  • Chariot
  • Kickbeat
  • Kung Fu Rabbit
  • Unmechanical Extended

Vita

  • Broken Age
  • Kickbeat
  • Kung Fu Rabbit
  • Super Meat Boy

November takes us to the stars with Mass Effect 2 and gives us colorful wizard robes in Magicka 2. You can check out the full slate of next month’s titles here.

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PSA: Today Is Your Last Day For October Games With Gold

In addition to Halloween, today is the final day of October. Xbox Live members know what that means.

Be sure to grab your September games before they’re gone. Rotating off the service after today are Valiant Hearts: The Great War on Xbox One and The Walking Dead: Season One on Xbox 360.

Be sure to carve out some time to lock these in. Ha! I made a pumpkin joke.

For next month’s titles, check out our previous coverage.

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Blog Herding – The Best Blogs Of The Community (October 29, 2015)

This week was a good one. People shared Super Mario Maker
levels, while others joined in on the community writing challenge. Time to get reading!

Community Blogs For October 22 – October 28:

The
Current State Of My 2015 Backlog

Avid blogger Rebekah Lang has a problem many of us share: a crippling backlog.
As readers can see, she hasn't even touched many of the games released this
year. I still haven't touched some PlayStation games I own.

The
Legend Of Zelda History. Is It Showing A Pattern?

Investigative blogger GerardoExber explores whether or not The Legend of Zelda
series is exhibiting a pattern. It's almost as deep as the Zelda timeline,
which makes my head hurt every time I read it.

Tri-Force
Heroes: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

I have been enjoying Tri-Force Heroes, as has MightyMagikarp – oh wait, he
returned it. While I may have enjoyed my hour or so I've played with a friend,
our mighty Pokémon has found too much to hinder his joy. Has anyone else played
it? What are your thoughts?

The
Best Horror Experiences Of The Year

With Halloween almost upon us, Jonathon Garrard's post about the best horror in
games this year is a timely one. I plan on checking some of these out with my
fiancé…but only so I don't get scared. She's imperious when it comes to facing
down horror. And our grumpy cat.

2015
Games You Don't Care About

@ChrisContinues has a fun video feature up about games he doesn't care about
this holiday season. Have some of these games fallen off your radar? I'm just
jazzed about Fallout at this point.

Community Reviews:

Review:
Super Mario Maker

GreenePanda21 has difficulty reviewing Mario's latest game. It's unlike
anything before it, but also could be more. Read the full review to see what
the final verdict is.

Writing Challenge Responses:

Community
Writing Challenge: A Special Set Of Skills…

firedude3663 graciously took on our writing challenge. He chooses a power-up,
skill, and finishing move – and all three together create a winning combo.

Community
Writing Challenge: The Stats I'd like To Have From Video Games.

GerardoExber was a busy blogger last week, but I'm glad he joined in on the
responses for the community challenge. I too would like the ability to take a
bullet to the face and then fix it by pulling on my thumb. He has some other
really interesting powers and skills he'd like to have, and the post is a fun
read, so get to it.

Community Writing Challenge:

What do you think your favorite video game characters would
do if they suddenly found themselves in our world? Would it be chaos? Would
Mario and Luigi set up a plumbing business?

Community Playdate:

We only received two Super Mario Maker levels last week, so
I'm going to ask for more this week!

Please share your Super Mario Maker levels in the comments.
One level for each community member. I'll play each and every one of them,
hopefully to completion, and write about them in the community writing
challenge responses section. For starters check out pestulio007's Assault on
Bowser's Airship! (via this code: FF1E-0000-00B7-CB3E), and SnakePlissken722's
The Black Pearl level (40B6-0000-0044-72E3). If you'd like to, please feel free
to write about your fellow community members' levels and I'll feature them in the blog
next week.

I hope you enjoy the blogs! Please contact me
via my Game
Informer page
 or on Twitter
at @LouisGarcia12 with any blog news or playdate suggestions.

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