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Quick News: Kong, Wars, Beast, Loki

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Donkey Kong EPD Tokyo, the Nintendo development team behind “Super Mario Odyssey” are rumored to be at work on a new Donkey Kong 2D adventure timed for the franchise’s 40th-anniversary. Retro Studios, who did the last ‘Kong’ game with “Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze” in 2014,” are busy at work on “Metroid Prime 4” and…

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Donkey Kong


EPD Tokyo, the Nintendo development team behind “Super Mario Odyssey” are rumored to be at work on a new Donkey Kong 2D adventure timed for the franchise’s 40th-anniversary.

Retro Studios, who did the last ‘Kong’ game with “Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze” in 2014,” are busy at work on “Metroid Prime 4” and isn’t involved. [Source: Nintendo Life]

Star Wars Celebration


The Star Wars Celebration convention in Anaheim has moved up its dates from August 2022 to May 26-29th 2022 ccording to the Star Wars site. The official Lucasfilm fan event will automatically transfer ticketholders existing tickets to the new event dates. Refunds will be available at StarWarsCelebration.com until June 11th this year. [Source: StarWars.com]

The Beast Must Die


AMC+ Original six-part revenge thriller “The Beast Must Die,” starring Jared Harris and Cush Jumbo, will premiere on Monday, July 5 on AMC+ and on Monday, July 12th on AMC. The remaining episodes will release weekly.

Jumbo plays a woman who ingratiates herself with the family of the man she believes responsible for the fatal hit and run of her young son. She’s tracked by a detective (Billy Howle), who has reason to believe his department covered up the man’s involvement in the incident. [Source: AMC]

Loki


Disney+ has released a new poster for the “Loki” TV series several weeks out from its premiere on June 9th – a poster featuring a cartoon clock chacter.

The series sees the God of Mischief stepping out of his brother’s shadow after the events of “Avengers: Endgame”. Tom Hiddleston returns and is joined by Owen Wilson, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Sophia Di Martino, Wunmi Mosaku, and Richard E. Grant.

Time to begin the countdown Marvel Studios’ #Loki arrives in four weeks with new episodes every Wednesday starting June 9 on @DisneyPlus. pic.twitter.com/eHj5xYs6Qd

— Loki (@LokiOfficial) May 12, 2021

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A Final Fantasy IX Animated Series Is In The Works

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A Place To Call Home The Final Fantasy franchise has had a fairly rough time when it comes to adaptations over the years. Square’s first venture into film, the 2001 CGI movie Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within, near bankrupted the company, leading to a merger that formed the current company, Square Enix. Now, they’re taking…

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A Place To Call Home

The Final Fantasy franchise has had a fairly rough time when it comes to adaptations over the years. Square’s first venture into film, the 2001 CGI movie Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within, near bankrupted the company, leading to a merger that formed the current company, Square Enix. Now, they’re taking another shot at the silver screen, with an upcoming animated adaptation of the classic PS1 title Final Fantasy IX.

Final Fantasy IX

The adaptation is currently being worked on by the Paris-based animation group Cyber Group Studios, who’ll also be handling the distribution of the series. Interestingly, the animated series will be targeted towards children – specifically 8 to 13-year-olds. While there’s no indication yet of a release date or even an episode count, Cyber Group Studios are currently working on putting together a setting bible outlining the world and story of the original game, and they’re aiming to begin shopping the series to broadcasters in the next few months. Right now, the goal is to get a broadcaster secured so that production can begin in either late 2021 or early 2022.

final fantasy ix pc featured



Pierre Sissmann, the CEO of Cyber Group Studios, commented on how they’re aiming to make the show enjoyable for both people who have played the game and who’ve never experienced a Final Fantasy title before – “The games have a strong co-viewing potential. For those who do know Final Fantasy IX , this will be an [introduction], and for the many who don’t, this will immerse them in a universe they’ll love.”. Seeing as Final Fantasy IX deals with some pretty heavy themes in its plot – there’s at least one attempted genocide over the course of the game – it’ll be interesting to see how it’ll be made a bit more child-friendly.

Final Fantasy IX isn’t the only FF game getting an adaptation – an FF XIV series has been in the works for quite a while now, but it’s been a little bit since we’ve heard anything from the project. Here’s hoping we get updates from both series soon!

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Blade Assault is a Stylish Cyberpunk Thrill Ride

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Blade Assault Preview Starting up Blade Assault plunges you right into the middle of a cyberpunk action movie. By which I mean, the story opens with the young cyborg protagonist, Kil, already locked up on the floating city of Esperanza, and you spend the opening level orchestrating his jailbreak while gradually figuring out who he…

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Blade Assault Preview

Starting up Blade Assault plunges you right into the middle of a cyberpunk action movie. By which I mean, the story opens with the young cyborg protagonist, Kil, already locked up on the floating city of Esperanza, and you spend the opening level orchestrating his jailbreak while gradually figuring out who he is–and what he was imprisoned for. The game moves at a breakneck pace, throwing hordes of enemies at you before you’re even familiar with the controls, which sounds like a recipe for disaster. However, in practice, it worked extremely well. After a brief period of desperate key smashing, I found myself immersed in Blade Assault’s stylish pixel art world and slick combat.

As it turns out, Kil was formerly an agent of Esperanza’s corrupt regime who turned on his superiors, Electra and Panus, after realizing that Panus was responsible for his parent’s deaths. While Electra wishes to have Kil immediately executed, Panus seems to have some sort of attachment to Kil… or perhaps he simply wants to get more use out of him. Either way, the playable prologue ends with Kil swearing vengeance and Electra throwing him off a floating city. Then Kil wakes up in the aptly named Undercity, the monster-infested slums beneath Esperanza, his robotic arm freshly repaired by the resistance. Though he’s not interested in saving the Undercity, he is very interested in carving his way through Esperanaz’s government, so he joins up. This is where the game truly begins.

A Playable Cyberpunk Action Movie

Blade Assault is very linear, especially for a rogue-lite, but that’s not a knock against it. The narrow focus helps create a constant sense of forwarding momentum, which is very important because the lack of procedural generation in the levels means you spend a lot of time replaying almost exactly the same areas. Between runs, you return to the hub area–a neon-lit jazz bar where the other playable characters and various NPCs hang out. At the bar, you can spend various currencies gathered in each runs to strengthen your bonds with other characters, which improves their services, unlocks their backstories, and helps advance through the narrative. You can also buy permanent upgrades and set the skills for a given run.

The game’s pixel art graphics are stunning. Its beautiful pixel art graphics manage to capture both the gritty neon of top-notch cyberpunk and the shining gold of a corrupt paradise. Each environment has something enjoyable to look at and explore, whether you’re in a town section or actively fighting for your life. Seriously, this game manages to make a sewer level visually interesting—a sewer level. The electronic/jazz soundtrack is also very fitting for a fast-paced cyberpunk game about carving a bloody path through a world that’s failed you. The writing has quite a few typos and tends to feel awkward during the story, but I was able to overlook that.

blade assault hub

Combat moves at a breakneck pace. It’s impossible to remain stationary when hordes of enemies flood the screen at once, and some of them move faster than you. I spent much of the tutorial panicking because I couldn’t pause long enough to read the button prompts, but the opening was forgiving enough to let me learn by trial and error. As time passes, the assault level will gradually increase, meaning you’ll be faced with more and more difficult opponents. Defeat enemies for various currencies that can be used to buy randomized power-ups. There’s a wide variety of possible upgrades, all of which will noticeably tweak your move set, so there’s a lot of fun to be had with customization. In general, you should do okay if you keep moving, use special moves often, and try to take out ranged enemies first. Dash attacks are also invaluable, but the base dash doesn’t do any damage, which brings us to upgrade and customization options.

Incredibly Slick Controls

As of writing, Kil is the only playable character, and there are three available weapons for him: a slow but powerful axe, a long-ranged gun that demands periodic breaks for reloading, and a fast sword that’s good for combos. Each weapon has its own passive abilities that can be applied and upgraded. Three different elements can be applied to each weapon, but while you can choose your passive skill in the hub, the elements are encountered randomly during a run. Your first upgrade point will be selected at random. After that, you’ll have the option of picking between 1 and 2 doors marked with the icons of various elements. Different elements can bestow different abilities that will interact differently with specific weapons. If you have the gun, stock up on abilities that boost damage from range, for example, but it would be a bad idea to take those upgrades if you’re using the axe. I got the best results with the gun, but generally, I let the random number god select elemental specialties for me.

blade assault combat

There’s also a fourth option for support upgrades marked by a heart. Damage, shields, skills, and dash upgrades are important, so I don’t recommend focusing on support upgrades, but I also don’t recommend neglecting them completely. This isn’t a game where taking one hit will kill you instantly. You’ll be in trouble during boss fights if you can’t absorb some hits. Of course, you’ll be in trouble anyway because the boss fights are brutal.

While the combat may move a bit too quickly for some players’ liking, the linearity may eventually feel repetitive, and the writing is a bit lackluster; I had a lot of fun with Blade Assault. The lack of options available in the current Early Access build leaves me looking forward to the finished product.

***PC code provided by the publisher***

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E3 2021 Impressions and Round Up (Part 1) | Press X To Podcast, Episode 4.10

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Press X To Podcast, Episode 4.10 It’s E3 season, but everything’s weird. Still, we found a bunch of cool things to chat about like Forza Horizon 5, Replaced, Metroid Dread, Elden Ring, and more! Will Breath of the Wild 2 be better than 2 Fast 2 Furious? Only time will tell. Okay, so E3 didn’t…

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Press X To Podcast, Episode 4.10

It’s E3 season, but everything’s weird. Still, we found a bunch of cool things to chat about like Forza Horizon 5, Replaced, Metroid Dread, Elden Ring, and more! Will Breath of the Wild 2 be better than 2 Fast 2 Furious? Only time will tell.

Press X To Podcast 1

Okay, so E3 didn’t blow our socks off but there were a ton of excellent announcements that has got gamers around the world excited for the future. Although nearly every big release came with a massive 2022 graphic, we still have a lot to look forward to before the year is over. So, check out the always interesting and hilarious banter of the COG gang and see if you agree with their views about E3 in the latest episode of Press X To Podcast | E3 2021 Impressions and Round Up (Part 1).

What are your thoughts on Paul, James, and Rhett’s views on the latest in the industry? What are your predictions for E3? Make sure you let us know your thoughts and of course, your favorite parts of the episode in the comments below or on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram. As always, remember to check back for the next episode of the always entertaining Press X To Podcast. If you haven’t subscribed to Press X To Podcast yet, make sure you do so right here, and don’t forget to subscribe to us on Youtube for more video game content.

Thank you for keeping it locked on COGconnected.

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