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New Retail Releases: Axiom Verge, Rime, River City Rival Showdown, More

The smell of stuffing, cranberries, and turkey is in the air… and that means most game publishers have taken the week off. But not to worry! Several interesting will make their retail debut this week.

That includes games like Axiom Verge, the “MetroidVania” from Thomas Happ that previously found fame on digital storefronts for multiple platforms. This week, the game will receive a special retail release, the Multiverse Edition, for the PS4, Switch, and Vita. Other Switch games making the jump from the eShop to the retail shelf this week include Tequila Works’s Rime and Inti Creates’s Azure Striker Gunvolt: Striker Pack.

A full list of new releases can be found right here:

New Releases: Week of November 20, 2017

3DS

PlayStation 4

Switch

Vita

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Valkyria Chronicles 4 will be released for PS4, Xbox One, and Switch in 2018

Sega has announced they’re bringing back the Valkyria Chronicles series with the launch of Valkyria Chronicles 4 for the PS4, Xbox One, and Switch next year. The franchise’s “familiar-yet-refined tactical RPG battle system” will return, alongside a brand new art style inspired by watercolors compositions and a story that takes place during an alternate World War II:

It is the year 1935 EC…
The continent of Europa is engulfed in the flames of the Second Europan War between the Atlantic Federation and the Autocratic Eastern Imperial Alliance. Although the Federation struggles valiantly against the Empire’s forces, the relentless imperial military machine threatens to consume them. With victory slipping away, the Federation executes Operation Northern Cross: a last-ditch attempt to capture the imperial capital and end the war.

Commander Claude Wallace and his loyal childhood friends in Squad E are sent to fight for the desperate operation’s success, but they will have to endure harsh bone-chilling elements, waves of imperial soldiers, and the terrifying Valkyria… and unravel a grave truth that will shake them to the core.

In addition to detailing the story, Sega also unveiled a deeper look at Valkyria Chronicles 4’s feature set and a debut trailer (which has been embedded above):

Features

  • A Coming-of-Age Story in a Time of War – Valkyria Chronicles 4 takes place in the same timeframe as the original Valkyria Chronicles, but focuses on a whole new cast of main characters. Players will take command of the eager, young Commander Claude Wallace, engineer/heavy weapons extraordinaire Riley Miller, hotheaded Darcsen Raz, ice-cold ace sniper Kai Schulen, and more. Together, they will experience the painful realities of war–but will the bonds of Squad E’s friendships survive the frozen battlefield?
  • The Next Generation “BLiTZ” Battle System – The part overhead turn-based strategy, part RPG, and part real-time 3rd person shooter “BLiTZ” battle system returns to the field. New features include an explosive new class called the Grenadier, numerous offensive/defensive battleship support options, chances for a unit to have a “Last Stand” action before death, and more. Plus, fight the imperial threat with more units on larger-scale maps than ever before.
  • CANVAS Aesthetics – The series’ signature hand-drawn visual style is back and overhauled for the newest generation. Inspired by watercolor compositions, the CANVAS Graphics Engine blends visual elements of reality and imagination to create an expressive world filled with colorful emotions. Watch the journey of Squad E unfold like an interactive painting!
  • The Return of a Legendary Composer – The illustrious Hitoshi Sakimoto, original composer of the Valkyria Chronicles series and countless other emotional epics, returns to provide a sweeping orchestral soundtrack for the game.

Finally, fans can peruse the game’s official website, which went online this morning.

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EA turns off all microtransactions in Star Wars: Battlefront II after fan backlash

The run-up to Star Wars: Battlefront II‘s launch has been filled with more fireworks than Luke’s trench run through the Dark Star in the first film. Many fans were disappointed in the beta, and many reviewers took issue with the game’s progression system, which seemed overly-dependent on purchasing in-game currency with real money.

Rather than ignore the outcry, Electronic Arts and DICE responded to these complaints with a statement about the future of the game from DICE’s General Manager, Oskar Gabrielson. According to Gabrielson, the developer and publisher have decided to turn off the online storefront for Battlefront II’s in-game currency. For now, players will only be able to unlock the game’s more advanced features (including the ability to play as Darth Vader) through gameplay.

However, EA and DICE also announced plans to restore Battlefront II’s microtransactions after they rework the game’s progression system:

[A]s we approach the worldwide launch, it’s clear that many of you feel there are still challenges in the design. We’ve heard the concerns about potentially giving players unfair advantages. And we’ve heard that this is overshadowing an otherwise great game. This was never our intention. Sorry we didn’t get this right.

We hear you loud and clear, so we’re turning off all in-game purchases. We will now spend more time listening, adjusting, balancing and tuning. This means that the option to purchase crystals in the game is now offline, and all progression will be earned through gameplay. The ability to purchase crystals in-game will become available at a later date, only after we’ve made changes to the game. We’ll share more details as we work through this.

Star Wars: Battlefront II is now available for the PC, PS4, and Xbox One. Gabrielson’s full statement can be found on Electronic Arts’s official website.

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Star Wars: Battlefront II, The Sims 4, Karnov’s Revenge, more added to Xbox Store

It’s Friday… so it’s time once again for an Xbox Games Store update.

Electronic Arts has a two-fer for Xbox One owners today, launching both Star Wars: Battlefront II and The Sims 4. Also available to download today is Karnov’s Revenge, a fighting game that was originally released during the NeoGeo era by Data East.

You can learn more about the rest of today’s additions to the Xbox Games Store after the break. (more…)

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Middle-Earth: Shadow of War, Assassin’s Creed Origins, and Super Mario Odyssey are October 2017’s best-selling games

A northeastern cold snap proves that Fall is all… as does the massive number of new releases that cracked The NPD Group’s list of best-selling games from October 2017. WB Games’s Middle-Earth: Shadow of War lead the way at #1, but it was closely followed by Assassin’s Creed Origins at #2, Super Mario Odyssey at #3, and South Park: The Fractured But Whole at #4.

Nintendo actually had a huge month, placing four titles in the Top 20 (The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (#15), Mario Kart 8 (#16), and Fire Emblem Warriors (#17) were the others), as well as owning the top two hardware platforms. However, GamesIndustry.biz is reporting that overall industry sales still dropped 11% versus October 2016 to $825 million:

With interest in the Switch and the Super NES Classic still sky-high, Nintendo hardware managed to account for two-thirds of the hardware sales generated. That being said, NPD noted that Sony’s PlayStation 4 is still the best-selling hardware platform year-to-date. Furthermore, in the accessories category, the black DualShock 4 wireless controller was both the best-selling accessory of October, and the best-selling accessory year-to-date.

The complete Top 20 from October 2017 can be found after the break. (more…)

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Skyrim, Pokemon UltraSun/UltraMoon, Rive, more coming to Nintendo eShop this week

Nintendo Switch owners will be able to hit the road with The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim beginning this week. Even though Bethesda’s massive RPG adventure is more than five years old, the fact that it’s now available to download from the Nintendo eShop is still exciting news.

Another diverse batch of games for the Switch will also available to download this week, including a food-based monster battler (Battle Chef Brigade… out November 20), a racing simulation (Gear Club Unlimited… out November 21), and a side-scrolling shooter from Two Tribes (Rive: Ultimate Edition… out now).

3DS owners will also have something new to play this week with the launch of Pokemon UltraSun Pokemon UltraMoon on November 17. Based on last year’s Pokemon Sun and Pokemon Moon, they’ll be the last mainline Pokemon games to appear on the 3DS. Finally this week, the River City Ransom franchise returns on November 21 with the release of River City: Rival Showdown.

You can learn more about all of this week’s additions to the Nintendo eShop (including a Wii U games) after the break. (more…)

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NetherRealm adds special Gear from Justice League film to Injustice 2

After laying the seeds of their cinematic universe with last year’s Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice, Suicide Squad, and this Summer’s Wonder Woman, Warmer Bros. is finally ready to open their Justice League film this week. Naturally, NetherRealm Studios has created new gear for Injustice 2 to tie-in with the theatrical event.

Players on all platforms will be able to tackle new challenges in the Multiverse for a chance to unlock Justice League-inspired looks for Batman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Cyborg, and The Flash.

A new trailer showcasing some of this Gear (alongside a few clips from Justice League) has been embedded above.

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Batman: The Enemy Within’s third episode will be released on November 21

Telltale Games has announced that Batman: The Enemy Within‘s third episode will be released on November 21. Episode 3: Fractured Mask raises the stakes yet again for the Dark Knight, who has to infiltrate a shadowy criminal organization:

After an unexpected reunion, Bruce finds his attention (and his loyalties) stretched in yet another direction. Now, in addition to brokering a power struggle between Commissioner Gordon and Amanda Waller, Bruce must balance romantic entanglements with his mission to infiltrate the Pact. As he plunges deeper into the criminal underworld, the villains’ plan starts to come into focus, but will his deceptions take a dire toll?

Like previous episodes in the series, Batman: The Enemy Within – Episode 3: Fractured Mask will be available to download on the PC, PS4, Xbox One, and mobile devices.

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