Gaming News Issue 16

Hello everyone and welcome to the latest Gaming News article! We have a couple up and coming games to talk about as well as some game company backlash. Old School Runescape is being released on Steam this month with all the works that most Steam games get. Activision is under fire for alleged letters stating that they would not adopt a policy that pushes for diverse hiring practices. Tomb Raider is now being added to the roster of game franchises getting a Netflix series adaptation. Mass Effect Legendary Edition now has a release date and we have all the info of what comes in the box. Cris Tales, the time traveling JRPG inspired by Chrono Trigger now has a release window and is available for preorder. And we take a look at an interesting new design for a gaming keypad. Let’s look at what we have in store!

Old-School Runescape

Runescape has been a widely popular MMORPG for decades, but many mostly loved the nostalgic classic edition of Runescape that became popular in the early 2000’s over the redone version created in 2013 and fortunately the creators respected that and have had both versions available for play for a long time now. The old version of Runescape could even be played on mobile platforms! Although this old version of Runescape was originally meant as a niche time-capsule game, it greatly exceeded expectations in popularity even breaking its own past record of number of active players. This year is now the 20th anniversary of Runescape, and of course as any MMO would do they’re hosting a great amount of in game events, but coming in the 24th of this month Old School Runescape will be officially launching on Steam, along with achievements, trading cards, etc. Time to get back into grinding fishing and cooking to get those numbers up!

Activision Refused Diverse Hiring Practice

Activision Blizzard recently spoke out against the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Oganizations (AFL-CIO) when asked to adopt the “Rooney Rule” hiring policy that states that a company would offer an interview to at least one non-white/male candidate during its hiring process. Activision claims that this policy is “unworkable” and “micromanaging” their hiring strategies.

Simultaneously, Activision also pushed claims that they already have aggressively diverse hiring policies, but it brings to question on where the issue comes up with just offering an interview to a single diverse candidate without even being required to hire said candidate. But Activision has stated they don’t see a way to feasibly adopt this policy among all of their locations.

At this time, Activision lawyers are in contact with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to have the proposal removed, but there is no further word yet on what the ruling will be.

This story was gained by Vice reporters Lauren Kaori Gurley and Patrick Klepek, click the image to see their report!

Tomb Raider Anime Series

Netflix is doing it again! Over the past few months Netflix has announced a wide variety of video game franchises that are gaining a series on the platform either in live action or animated form from Assassin’s Creed, to Resident Evil, to Splinter Cell, and now Tomb Raider is being added onto the list with a new anime series announcement. There’s no expected date yet for the series, but it will take place after the events of the reboot trilogy (Which I’ve begun playing through the first game of over on Game Diary.)

After Netflix’s past successes with other game franchises such as Castlevania and The Witcher, I’m expecting great things from all of the IPs that Netflix is accumulating to boost its roster.

Mass Effect Legendary Updates

A ton of updates for Mass Effect: Legendary Edition have been announced including a projected release date! First let’s get the bad out of the way by saying there will be no multiplayer mode in this version of the game. Bioware have stated that while it was possible to implement, it would’ve presented many obstacles such as crossplay and an uncertainty on how they could give players who have put a lot of time into the multiplayer on other versions some of their progress back. So while it’s disappointing, it is understandable on why multiplayer may be left out. Because of this, the Galactic Readiness metric of Mass Effect 3 now has its points redistributed throughout the games in a way that the first two games impact the metric, but you can still get the highest milestone from playing the third game alone.

Now, onto some good stuff. For starters, there will be several changes implemented to modernize the first game. While many people loved the first Mass Effect when it came out, the sequels have unfortunately shown what the first game could’ve been and it has never been viewed the same since. Updates include improved enemy and squad AI, a dedicated melee button, a more similar control scheme to match the other two games, improved autosave, weapon/power balancing, and improved Mako controls and physics. The visuals of course will be greatly updated with better lighting, effects, FPS, and resolution.

More character customization options have been introduced including darker skin tones and hair styles sporting Type 4 hair (the technical term for what is commonly called “black hair” as most PoC are born with this type of hair.) The official Femshep model has also been added as an option for both ME1 and 2 now, so if you want to play as the traditional Femshep you can choose that as well. Lastly, nearly all DLC will be included in the games with the exception of Pinnacle Station for ME1 as the data for the DLC had become corrupted and lost unfortunately.

Mass Effect Legendary Edition will be releasing in May 14th for PC, Xbox One, and PS4. The game will also be released on next gen consoles, and Bioware has hinted at the idea of a possible future Switch port!

Cris Tales Release Window

This is a game that has been on my radar for some time now, and after a long wait of no release date being announced, we finally have an idea of when Cris Tales will be coming out.

For those that haven’t looked into it yet, Cris Tales is a new take on the turn based JRPG. It plays a lot like the classic Paper Mario games, mixing the exploration of a beautiful overworld with different abilities, with active combat in which you must utilize timed hits and specific strategies for some fights. In the game, you’ll play as a girl named Cristabelle who has unlocked the ability to look through time both into the past and the future, as well as drive other characters into those time periods. Cristabelle must seek out what the meaning behind her powers are, as well as fight against a demonic organization with hidden agendas.

A demo is available on Steam and individual consoles digital stores and I highly encourage you check it out to see what this game has in store. There is quite a lot of content included in the demo to give you a good grasp of the many mechanics you’ll be introduced into, including how you might use your time travel abilities to impact key fights.

Cris Tales will be available on Steam, Nintendo Switch, PS4, Xbox One, and next gen consoles in July, and is available for preorder through the Mobius website for $39.99 USD.

Azeron Gaming Keypad

Azeron has developed a robotic hand-shaped keypad made with MMO players in mind. The Azeron Gaming Keypad looks like a mouse with a hand sticking out of it, but the idea of it is instead to replace the keyboard in games. Many gamers can agree that they’ve had moments where their hand moves out of alignment or that they’ve had slip ups and press incorrect keys a lot, but this keypad is meant to not only prevent that, but also increase speed and precision between button presses.

The concept of it is to place your hand over the smooth rest and place your fingers into the individual chambers. You can then press several different keys by not only pressing your fingers downward, but also moving them forward, backward, side to side, or pressing buttons above with the slightest of motions. It even features a joystick on the side for your thumb as well as a couple of other buttons that can be fully mapped to your customization requirements. The individual fingers of the device can also be adjusted in length and distance between them to fit any hand. The keypad is available for just under $200, so it is a hefty investment for any gamer, I’d recommend looking into if you can try one before purchasing. What do you think of this creation? Is this something you could see yourself using?

Healing Potion: Stand Up To Cancer

Stand up to Cancer is a nonprofit organization that raises money through livestreams, donations, and a merchandise shop where 100% of the proceeds go directly towards cancer treatment research and grants. Not only do they funnel donated money towards research though, they also take a big part in furthering that research by staying informed in the studies of different treatment plans and clinical trials. You can even use their site as a resource to look through all of the studies yourself, and grants are offered to individuals who show promising work towards innovative treatments and prevention plans. As a cancer survivor myself, I can’t help but always feel that drive to help others through their own fight and will always show my support towards the scientists striving to make a positive difference in the world. I highly encourage everyone to check out the site by clicking the link below!

Mobile Game of the Week: Evoland

This week’s mobile game is Playdigious’s Evoland, a game similar to the old flash game “Upgrade the Game” where throughout the game you’ll be finding chests that unlock and upgrade the game you’re playing more and more. In the beginning you’ll be unlocking basic mechanics such as movement, attack, health, etc. Later in the game you’ll start to find chests that upgrade the games sound, music, and graphics. Before long you’ll be unlocking things like a world map, villages, NPCs, equipment, turn based battles, party members, save points, quests, and so much more. Evoland is a short game, but that works in its favor being in an app store that’s fully loaded with games that seemingly have no end. I can satisfyingly say that this is a game you can not only beat, but 100% within a normal amount of time. You can check it out on Google Play or the Apple Store.

That’s everything for this week, I hope you guys are as excited as I am about the newest game announcements and game tv series announcements! Come back next week to keep up to date on everything going on in gaming news!

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