Shacknews - David Craddock

Like Resident Evil 4 before it, Resident Evil 7 represents a rebirth of Resident Evil. However, RE4 directly referenced prior events such as Raccoon City's T-virus outbreak. That doesn't appear to be the case in Resident Evil 7.

"As far as 7 goes, I think they're scaling back a little bit on throwing in all the classic cameos," Mercer said. "I can say that I don't have any involvement in 7 directly," Matt Mercer, who voiced RE2 and 4 protagonist Leon Kennedy, told GameSpot.

Mercer doesn't feel slighted, though. He noted that after critics' and consumers' tepid response to 2012's Resident Evil 6, it makes sense for the developer to "go ahead and reestablish their roots and maybe start an original story. And if they decide that that does well, maybe they can then marry it in with the previous stories."

Mercer's comments fall in line with story details leaked by the ESRB earlier today. Per ESRB's leak, players control "Ethan, a man searching for his missing wife in a derelict mansion. From a first-person perspective, players explore the environment and use pistols, shotguns, flamethrowers, explosives and chainsaws to kill mutant creatures. Combat is accompanied by realistic gunfire, screams of pain, and exaggerated blood-splatter effects."

Even though Ethan likely won't directly interact with fan-favorite characters like Leon, Chris, Jill, or Claire, it's possible Capcom could slip in references to them, their past exploits, and/or current whereabouts as Easter eggs. As things stand, Ethan and the mansion he explores—which fans were introduced to at E3—seem to take place in an isolated corner of the RE-verse.

RE7 is an even more radical departure from series conventions than RE4. It's very reminiscent of contemporary survival-horror titles like Amnesia: The Dark Descent, as evidenced in the "Lanterns" gameplay trailer released earlier this week.

Shacknews - David Craddock

According to several users on Reddit, No Man's Sky deletes any discoveries other than names of planets and solar systems after two weeks (via Geek.com).

Reddit user Dark_Nexis returned to the system where he began his adventure only to find that the names he'd given locations, flora, and fauna had been reset. "I check a few neighboring stars I discovered and their discovers were wiped. So none of my named animals plants were ever saved. The system name and planet names were saved but everything else was wiped." [Comment edited for grammar and spelling.]

Other players experiencing the same issue chimed in. "Yesterday I browsed my list of discoveries, and went all the way to my starting planet," wrote Ultrasilvanus. "The system and all the planets I've ever been to are clearly marked as being discovered by me, the planets list 100% completion for animal scans but I can't see any animal or plant in the gallery and all of them appear as ???????"

Further investigation revealed that No Man's Sky seems to be erasing discoveries in chronological order, from oldest to newest.

In defense of Hello Games, deleting discoveries could be a bug rather than a design decision. All evidence has been anecdotal so far. However, it's not surprising that affected players are disappointed. Whether a bug or design decision, No Man's Sky is predicated on exploration, discovery, and putting your mark on those discoveries by naming them—planting your flag in soil untouched by others, so to speak.

Without that hook, many players might decide that exploration is meaningless.

Shacknews - David Craddock

Update: 7:44p Pacific

No Man's Sky might not be overwriting discovering after all. In an edit to his original post on game's sub-Reddit, Dark_Nexis explained that he redownloaded No Man's Sky and, after a couple of hours, noticed that the discoveries he'd made on his starting planet had reappeared.

Based on his anecdotal evidence, the issue might stem from game servers taking more or less time to refresh discoveries as players move further and further away from them. "It seems like a server bugs like it takes a while for your old discoveries to re download," he wrote. "Please spread the word and if you are having this problem just wait and see if your discoveries will return. It seems a little bugged where as you get further and further away from your starting point you can't see your old discoveries even when you find your way back. It's like the server lags behind big time and takes a while to find the old information."

Original story follows

According to several users on Reddit, No Man's Sky deletes any discoveries other than names of planets and solar systems after two weeks (via Geek.com).

Reddit user Dark_Nexis returned to the system where he began his adventure only to find that the names he'd given locations, flora, and fauna had been reset. "I check a few neighboring stars I discovered and their discovers were wiped. So none of my named animals plants were ever saved. The system name and planet names were saved but everything else was wiped." [Comment edited for grammar and spelling.]

Other players experiencing the same issue chimed in. "Yesterday I browsed my list of discoveries, and went all the way to my starting planet," wrote Ultrasilvanus. "The system and all the planets I've ever been to are clearly marked as being discovered by me, the planets list 100% completion for animal scans but I can't see any animal or plant in the gallery and all of them appear as ???????"

Further investigation revealed that No Man's Sky seems to be erasing discoveries in chronological order, from oldest to newest.

In defense of Hello Games, deleting discoveries could be a bug rather than a design decision. All evidence has been anecdotal so far. However, it's not surprising that affected players are disappointed. Whether a bug or design decision, No Man's Sky is predicated on exploration, discovery, and putting your mark on those discoveries by naming them—planting your flag in soil untouched by others, so to speak.

Without that hook, many players might decide that exploration is meaningless.

Shacknews - David Craddock

Ghost Recon Phantoms and The Mighty Quest for Epic Loot have two things in common: they're both free-to-play games; and their publisher, Ubisoft, is shutting them down this year.

Ubisoft gave a candid statement on GRP's inception, development, and, as of December 1, its end. The publisher expanded on its reasoning for shutting down the game in an FAQ. "Unfortunately, GRP was not as successful as we had hoped for, so we had to make the decision to close the game. This decision wasn’t easy for us and we tried to find other ways. But in the end we decided to close the game and focus on other projects."

Ubisoft Singapore's decision to "focus on other projects" could mean that the company did not incur any layoffs as a result of GRP's cancellation, at least as of today.

Ghost Recon Phantoms players should be aware that credits purchased for the game will be lost if they're not spent by December 1, nor can they be converted to credits for other Ubisoft titles.

The Mighty Quest for Loot will end sooner, on October 25. In a move some might consider tactless, Ubisoft used the exact same wording to explain why Mighty Quest will go dark. "Unfortunately, Mighty Quest for Epic Loot was not as successful as we had hoped for, so we had to make the decision to close the game," the developer wrote in an FAQ. "This decision wasn't easy for us and we tried to find other ways. But in the end we decided to close the game and focus on other projects."

Shacknews - David Craddock

Speaking to [a]list Daily, Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime said that NX didn't make an appearance at E3 because Nintendo's launch strategy for the console clashed with the trade show's timing. The company's higher-ups thought it a better idea to revealing The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, which dominated Nintendo's booth this year.

With Zelda out in the wild, Nintendo is shifting its focus to avoiding some of the mistakes it made launching 2012's Wii U. "One of the things that we have to do better when we launch the NX--we have to do a better job communicating the positioning for the product. We have to do a better job helping people to understand its uniqueness and what that means for the game playing experience."

Deemed a commercial failure, the Wii U still boasts a catalog of excellent first-party games. The problem, as Fils-Aime admitted, was that those games came too far and few between. "We have to do a better job from a software planning standpoint to have that continuous beat of great new games that are motivating more and more people to pick up the hardware and more and more people to pick up the software."

Nintendo's already putting that particular lesson into effect. The company pushed the NX to March 2017 to buy itself more time to put together a solid lineup of launch titles. Zelda: Breath of the Wild launch alongside the system as well as the Wii U version.

Additionally, Nintendo plans to release Mario and Pokémon games during the NX console's first six months.

"Those are the critical lessons," Fils-Aime said in regards to the importance of messaging and bolstering a games library with desirable titles. "And as I verbalize them, they’re really traditional lessons within the industry. You have to make sure people understand the concept, you have to make sure you’ve got a great library of games, and when you do that, you tend to do well."

Despite all-but-confirmed reports that NX will be a console-handheld hybrid with detachable accessories, Nintendo has yet to officially reveal the console—due in part to an innovative gimmick that defines its hardware. "In terms of NX, there's an idea that we're working on," Miyamoto said in a recent interview. "That's why we can't share anything at this point, and I don't want to comment on the other companies. If it was just a matter of following advancements in technology, things would be coming out a lot quicker."

Shacknews - David Craddock

A 29-year-old Vietnamese woman crossing a street on her bicycle was struck and killed by a taxi, reports TBS News (via Kotaku). The taxi driver was playing Pokemon Go at the time.

"Just before, I had been playing Pokemon Go, and I was going to charge my phone, and when I looked away, that’s when it happened," the 26-year-old driver said following his arrest.

In a recent update, Niantic added a warning message advising users not to play while driving. The warning is not easily skipped: users must press a button to confirm they saw the message before proceeding to the game.

Oblivious drivers too absorbed in playing Pokemon Go have been responsible for other incidents. In late July, a driver in Baltimore got too caught up in the game and slammed his Toyota Rav 4 into a police cruiser. "That’s what I get for playing this dumb a** game," the driver said in a video recorded by a Baltimore PD officer wearing a body camera.

Other incidents ended tragically. Just this past Wednesday, two elderly women in Tokushima, Japan, were hit while crossing a street; the driver, 39-year-old Keiji Goh, confessed to playing Pokemon Go while driving. Sixty-year-old Kayoko Igawa suffered serious injuries, but her companion, 72-year-old Sachiko Nakanishi, died after being transported to a local hospital (via Kotaku).

"I was playing Pokemon Go while driving, so I didn’t really see what was in front of me," said Goh.

Image courtesy of Kotaku.

Shacknews - David Craddock

Ashley Johnson played Ellie in The Last of Us, and would love to reprise her role in a sequel, provided one happens.

"I feel like if they were to pursue it again, if they were to have another story for Ellie or Joel or that whole world, I would totally jump on board," Johnson told GameSpot in an interview centered on Critical Role, an online D&D show featuring video game actors and the occasional celebrity guest.

As much as I loved The Last of Us, I feel torn over the idea of Naughty Dog even considering developing a sequel. On the one hand, they'd get my money, assuming Neil Druckmann directs. On the other hand, Joel and Ellie's story felt complete. Should a sequel materialize, I'd prefer Naughty Dog close their chapter and follow other characters.

Johnson seems to feel more or less the same way. "But you know there's also a part of me that thinks, 'Man, the story could stand alone,' and sometimes we should just leave it alone. If they were to make another one, though, I would love to be a part of it."

Rumors in regards to a Last of Us sequel have swirled off and on for years. Sony registered domains for The Last of Us 2 and 3 back in 2013. That doesn't really prove anything; publishers often pounce on domains to hedge their bets on the off chance they decide to spin off sequels, and to prevent others from squatting.

Another rumor carries more weight. Back in 2015, actor Nolan North, who voiced a character in the original The Last of Us, let slip that Naughty Dog was working on a sequel. His quote contains spoilers that may or may not pan out in the event a sequel comes to fruition, but the spoiler-free segment begins: "For now, last one I know they’re doing a Last of Us 2..."

In the meantime, there's always the Last of Us movie adaptation to look forward to—assuming it ever gets out of development hell in Hollywood.

Shacknews - Daniel Perez

Apple is reportedly making two big changes on its iPhone that will remove its Home button as well as allow its Japanese users to pay for mass-transit rides with a simple swipe of their device.

According to a recent report from Bloomberg, next year’s iPhone is expected to focus more heavily on its display, and as a result, its Home button is being removed.

The publication previously reported this year’s iPhone 7 would not only feature a updated Home button, but would completely do away with its headphone port altogether. With that said, it’s strange to see Apple offer a new Home button to only remove it entirely in an upcoming device. Although on the other hand, these reports don’t necessarily talk about an iPhone within the same family, meaning the next phablet or hand-sized iPhones could be doing away with their Home button.

In addition to making changes to the iPhone’s Home button, Apple is also expected to include technology called FeliCa in its Japanese phones. The technology will allow next year’s iPhone to support the region’s tap-to-pay standard. While NFC technology powers Apple Pay, supporting FeliCa would allow Apple to become more widely accepted in Japan considering there are 1.9 million terminals in the country alone.

Shacknews - Steve Watts

Madden NFL 17 launches this week, serving as the unofficial christening of the fall video game season. As always, EA Sports promises this is the most realistic the series has ever been, as it continues to refine itself towards perfect verisimilitude. But should it?

This week, the Chattycast talks about realism in games. It's often treated as the ultimate goal of series like sports, racers, and even some shooters, but at what point does realism stop being fun? How should game developers strike a balance between striving for realism and making exceptions that are simply more fun? Does the goal of realism sacrifice a level of input necessary to make game development itself a creative endeavor?

Be sure to visit AudibleTrial.com/Chattycast for your 30-day trial with a free audiobook download of your choice.

RSS | iTunes | Download this episode

Shacknews - John Keefer

Overwatch's Play of the Game system has been pretty popular, patting players on the back for exceptional kills and crazy strategies. Blizzard has taken notice, and will be implementing a similar system in Heroes of the Storm.

MVP and Commendations will be making its way into the game as part og HotS's next major patch. The way it will work is that after each non-custom match, the game will list a player as the MVP based on in-game performance, whether they were part of the winning team or not. In addition, there will be four other awards passed out to players for exceptional team play:

  • Headhunter: Most Mercenary camps captured.
  • Bulwark: Most damage taken by a Warrior Hero.
  • Cannonneer: Most Core damage done on Towers of Doom.
  • Moneybags:  Most coins turned in on Blackheart’s Bay.
  • Stunner: Longest combined Stun time against enemy Heroes.
  • Dominator: Biggest killing spree
  • Painbringer: Biggest percentage of team's hero damage
  • Siege Master: Biggest percentage of team's structure damage
  • Experienced: Biggest percentage contribution to team's XP

There may be more when the patch finally hits, but the idea is obviosuly to reward teamwork rather than stand out on your own.

Also, opposing players will be able to jump in and offer commendations to your team. By clicking on an arrow under each player, a vote is cast for the commendation. Voting should take no more than 15 seconds.

So what does all this get you? According to Blizzard, "Players who receive enough commendations at the end of the match will be elevated to Epic or Legendary status and may even receive a little extra fanfare," although they don't offer what that fanfare might be. I guess we'll just have to read the patch notes closely whenever the next major update hits.

No word on whether Overwatch's "poor winners" system will also be implemented.

...

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