Shacknews - Steven Wong

King's Quest is the game that kicked off the golden age of graphical adventure games that launched Sierra into annuls of video game history. So, it only seems appropriate that the two should be revived together. The new King's Quest episodic adventures, developed by The Odd Gentleman, seeks to recapture the magic of the classic game using modern methods of storytelling. What that means is a game that more closely resembles the action of a Telltale game, like The Walking Dead, and less like the point-and-click hotspot finding of yesteryear. Despite being a reboot that bears similarities to other adventure games, King's Quest manages to gain an unique identity of its own.

The first of five chapters, titled A Knight to Remember, starts off strong. I'm very impressed with the game's visuals, which are light and cartoony without going overboard. Everything including Graham's flowing cape, his feathered cap, and the dragons lair decorated with clutter, put me in the mood for a lighthearted adventure. Oddly, there are plenty of ways to die (just like in the classic game), including a 50/50 chance decision right at the game's start. But the game simply resets you to the decision point with older Graham (voiced by Christopher Lloyd) saying something witty, like, "That's what would have happened if I made the wrong choice..."

Graham, who is an old man now, recounts tales from his youth to his young granddaughter Gwendolyn. In telling his stories, Graham recounts the decisions he made to help shape the kingdom of Daventry. Like the movie The Princess Bride, the young girl occasionally interjects during the conversation. In fact, there are a lot of Princess Bride references, including a duel of wits with a character voiced by Wallace Shawn. The humor and puzzles are generally family friendly, but still manages to remain challenging.

The main plot of A Knight to remember recounts how Graham first becomes a knight of Daventry, but he must compete with other potential knights to win the position. Furthermore, dragons, bridge trolls, and a list of other obstacles all stand in the way. It's up to the player to solve the puzzles, combine the right inventory items, and use their minds to see their way through to the end.

King's Quest does have some decision points, but not as many as you might find in a Telltale adventure. Some situations have multiple solutions, like how you decide to bring in the eye of an ugly beast. Options include hunting down an ugly creature, faking a creature's eye, or getting an eye through diplomacy. You decisions will impress upon the village's characters in different ways, and the lessons Gwendolyn learns from your story.

However, despite the excellent voice acting and fun story, there are points when the game can grind to a halt. As with the classic adventure games, there are places where I got stuck and couldn't figure out what to do next. The game offers occasional hints, but they're phrased as something you should do, like find an item, and generally don't include a how or where. However, these spots are few, and I managed to solve almost all the puzzles without assistance. The duels against the other knights can almost all be won through trial and error.

The one puzzle that truly got on my nerves is in the final scene, where you have to play a mini-game against the computer. It took me several tries, and the people of Daventry are more than willing to bend the rules to give you as many chances you need to win, but there's no option to skip the dialogue. I just wanted to get straight back into the mini-game without having to listen to the same few lines spoken over and over again. Kings' Quest manages to streamline the game in other areas, like skipping over walks through caves once you've figured out how to get through, so it's strange that there isn't an option to skip over repeat dialogue.

Even though I got a little frustrated while stumbling through some parts, I ended up liking the first episode of King's Quest very much. It's not perfect, but it has some great characters and some genuinely funny moments of self-awareness, like how there are way too many puns (a staple of the classic games). Then there are some wonderfully absurd scenes, like an army of cute squirrels that come out to impede your path. I look forward to the next chapter, to see how Graham grows from an adventurer to a king.

Shacknews - Josh Hawkins

If you’ve reserved your copy of Windows 10, but haven’t gotten the prompt to upgrade yet, you aren’t alone. The good news, however, is that you can skip the line, and manually start the upgrade yourself.

When installing Windows 10 you have to upgrade from Windows 7/8. You cannot completely clean install – wiping everything from your system – until after you have upgraded to Windows 10 from Windows 7/8.

1: Back up your data! Seriously. Don’t be the guy who forgets to back up their data then complains about it later on. It isn’t a hard thing to do.

2: Once you’ve backed up your files and everything head over to this page and download the Microsoft Media Creation Tool. Make sure you download the correct version for your computer. Once it finishes downloading go ahead and launch it.

3: Select the ‘Upgrade This PC’ Option and then click Next.

4: Let the Media Creation Tool run it’s course. It will take care of almost everything automatically, so sit back and enjoy the view, or play something on your Vita or 3DS.

After just a few minutes of downloading your computer will restart and run through the upgrade. Once it finishes you’ll find Windows 10 installed, and if you head over to Settings > Update and Security > Activation, you’ll find it fully activated without needing to enter in any pesky product keys.

If you're having problems getting the Windows Store to work, check out our guide to reset the store's cache, and revalidate your licenses.

Quick Note: We’ve only tested this on a computer with a copy already reserved through the Get Windows application. If for some reason you haven’t reserved a copy, then we don’t suggest trying this method out. Also, as stated above, you must upgrade to Windows 10 before you can do a clean install, otherwise your product will not be able to be activated.

Shacknews - Daniel Perez

It’s been nearly two months since Greg has had something to rant about in his Stuff that Sucks segment, which may be a new record considering how much he loves to rant. But this past weekend, Pixels came out, causing him to relapse.

This week’s Stuff that Sucks focuses primarily on Pixels. We knew it would suck, but just how much? Find out in Greg’s video.

Shacknews - Josh Hawkins

If you’re one of the lucky ones who has either already upgraded to Windows 10, or spurred your own upgrade forward manually, chances are you might have run into a bug that’s been stuck in the Windows Store since its launch with Windows 8. This bug basically nullifies your license with the Windows Store, which means you’ll need to reset it, and clear the cache before you can download and install any of your applications.

We first spotted the bug in Windows 10 when trying to download the Windows 10 Beta Edition of Minecraft, which released alongside Windows 10 today. As you can see in the image below, a specific error code was given regarding our issue.

Even if you aren’t seeing this error message, don’t be afraid to follow this guide and try it out. Many users are reporting on Reddit and other sites that these instructions have worked for them as well.

1: First things first, open up the search menu on your computer by pressing the Windows Key + R.

2: Now you’ll want to type wsreset.exe in the box and press enter. This will reset the store cache.

3: Then open the store page, which should take you to a page to verify that the cache has been reset.

4: Now try to download the app again, it should revalidate your licenses, and allow you to download it.

If for some reason this doesn’t resolve your issue, the only option you have is to wait until things die down a little more. As of right now the Microsoft servers are being hit pretty hard with all the Windows 10 downloads and activations.

Shacknews - Ozzie Mejia

It's a little less than two months before worlds collide, so the team at Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment has issued a new trailer for their brick-building mash-up, LEGO Dimensions. This one dives into the game's story and further explains why dozens of franchises are coming together.

The story trailer re-introduces the main players: LEGO Batman, LEGO Gandalf, and The LEGO Movie's Wyldstyle. It also establishes the game's primary villain, an evil mastermind called Lord Business Lord Vortech, who seeks to become the ruler of the LEGO Multiverse. As vortexes appear throughout all of LEGO-dom, sucking in characters like LEGO Robin and LEGO Frodo, it's up to our heroes to travel the annals of DC Comics, The Wizard of Oz, Back to the Future, Scooby-Doo, Portal, and dozens of other worlds to track down Lord Vortech and put an end to his game.

For those unfamiliar with LEGO Dimensions' premise, it plays mostly like a standard LEGO game, however, it also utilizes collectible physical figures and pieces. Unlike similar games, the LEGO Gateway Toy Pad actually functions as its own unique set piece that affects what is on-screen. Parts of the Toy Pad will change color, requiring strategic figure and object placement in order to help solve puzzles. While the game is playable with solely Batman, Gandalf, and Wyldstyle, expansion packs will add new LEGO to play with, as well, with each introducing their own unique abilities.

Get a look at what to expect with the LEGO Dimensions story trailer, which can be seen below. LEGO Dimensions is set to release on Xbox One, PlayStation, 4, Wii U, Xbox 360, and PlayStation 3 on September 27.

Shacknews - Shack Staff

Look! Up in the sky! It's a bird! It's a plane! No! It's an arcade cabinet! (How is it floating in the air like that?)

For this week's edition of Shack's Arcade Corner, Greg Burke checks out one of the few Superman games that was actually worthwhile. Superman: The Video Game was released in 1988 from Taito and had players beat up bad guys as The Man of Steel. There wasn't much more to it than that, but for those looking to punch out some evil-doers, what more do they need? Watch Greg's full breakdown below.

Be sure to check out any previous episodes of Shack's Arcade Corner you may have missed. And for more, be sure to subscribe to Shacknews on YouTube.

Shacknews - Daniel Perez

Update: Bungie has said PlayStation 4 owners should now be able to connect to Destiny. See you next week!

Original Story:

Bungie has sent out an alert saying PlayStation 4 users are currently experiencing issues connecting to Destiny's servers.

Bungie's Destiny servers have been regularly having issues with various platforms as "some" players were unable to connect across all platforms recently, while PlayStation owners had issues connecting just a few weeks ago. The studio brought Destiny servers down several times in the past for maintenance, with one instance taking a total of six hours to complete.

With the upcoming release of The Taken King expansion, we're sure we're not the only ones concerned with Bungie's ability to keep Destiny's servers up for the incoming wave of new and old Guardians. It feels like there's an issue with Destiny's servers on a weekly basis, and that isn't a good sign for any online-only multiplayer game.

Developing...

Shacknews - Daniel Perez

Techland has revealed the next piece of downloadable content for Dying Light, called The Following.

Dying Light: The Following is being called a “feature-heavy, story-based” expansion pack that will be available to download for free to all Season Pass holders, although it’ll also be available to purchase separately. The new map featured in The Following is the same size as all of the previous maps from Dying Light combined, which should give players a lot of room to drive around in their all-terrain dirt buggies.

Dying Light: The Following is expected to be shown at Gamescom. We should have some more information on what we can expect then.

Shacknews - Josh Hawkins

The moment I loaded into the first level of Kyn I knew I was looking at one of the prettiest indie-RPGs ever. Throw in the fact that Kyn was almost completely made with just two people (they contracted out some) and that makes the game’s beauty even more amazing. This feeling of happiness and awe didn’t last long, however, as I was quickly thrust into the bowels of one of the worst combat systems I’ve ever experienced in an RPG.

For those who haven’t been following this indie-RPG’s birth, Kyn is a tactical action-RPG set within a Norse fantasy world. Players take on the roles of Bram and Alrik, two young Norsemen from the town of Vinborg who have just finished their trials to become Magni. On their way home they find out that the world is falling apart, and what were once peaceful creatures have suddenly changed color and become violent. What follows is an almost directionless stint of story missions that send players all over the world helping people survive this plague of “the reds” which the Norsemen have so aptly named their newly converted enemies. All in all it’s a twisting, almost plotless story, that isn’t going to win any awards.

Being one of the things that players will spend a lot of time doing, combat is extremely important to a game like Kyn. However, instead of holding true to this notion the combat in Kyn doesn’t flow smoothly, the ‘tactical’ bits are overruled by the waves of enemies pouring down on you, making it vitally important to make use of the game’s “slow mode” just simply to make sure your characters are attacking the right people. No matter how hard I tried though, more often than not I ended up filling like I was stuck in a bullet hell shooter, just waiting for the next wave of enemies to come barreling my way.

One of the most frustrating moments of the game is a level where my party is tasked with freeing a bunch of prisoners from a fortress. Split up, three of my party must make it to the eastern gate, where my fourth party member will sneak in and unlock it. But there’s no sneaking mechanic, and after more than an hour spent trying to sneak past groups of enemies unsuccessfully I finally ended up running through to the gate’s lever and opening it there.

Combat isn’t the only unappealing thing in Kyn. As you venture through the world taking on the endless waves of enemies, and trying to follow a story that makes no sense, and has little substance, you’re bound to find yourself getting stuck behind objects. With a locked camera view, the game cuts off much of what you can see of the game world. This means more often than not you’re going to end up having to skirt around objects that are in the foreground, blocking your path. This also creates issues with seeing buttons for puzzles and chests, which can be frustrating.

Don’t misunderstand me though. Not everything about Kyn is bad. While the story may lack content, it isn’t downright terrible. The game looks beautiful, it has some of the best level design we’ve seen this year, and the enemies and characters are all visually stunning and unique. Sadly that isn’t enough to save the game from a bland story, and character personalities that are almost nonexistent.

Kyn is a nice distraction from other games, but don’t expect it to endlessly enthrall you like other RPGs would. However, the scope of the game is well beyond what you’d expect from the two-man team who coded, created, and designed it. The mission system allows you to easily hop on for an hour here and there, which helps to make the game worth experiencing at least once if you’re a diehard RPG fan. Just don’t go into it expecting the story to change your life.


This review is based on a download code provided by the publisher. Kyn is available via Steam today, for $19.99.

Shacknews - Steve Watts

Video games have historically been built around specific rule sets and goals, and as game designers aim to tell stories they're becoming all the more stringent. But what happens when we break the rules, or use the systems of a game to make all-new goals and experiences? This week, inspired by Games Done Quick, the Chattycast is tackling emergent gameplay in its many forms: speed runs, sequence breaking, and more. What fascinates us about the practice? Is it more like an art form or a sport? Do we owe it to creators to gain their blessing before using their games in ways they never intended? What are some of the wildest emergent moments you've seen or even personally done? 

Plus we'll talk about more Newsybits, have another rousing round of Beat the Doc, and more!

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