George R.R. Martin has revealed he’s worked on a video game coming from Japan.

George R.R. Martin, known worldwide for his incredible story of A Song of Ice and Fire recently put out a blog post talking about the conclusion to Game of Thrones. In that post, which I highly recommend you read, he talks about how it all started, how he feels now its come to an end and some future projects he has in the pipelines.

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He talks about some of his upcoming TV and Film projects as well as revealing that he consulted on a video game in Japan. “As a producer, I’ve got five shows in development at HBO (some having nothing whatsoever to do with the world of Westeros), two at Hulu, one on the History Channel. I’m involved with a number of feature projects, some based upon my own stories and books, some on material created by others. There are these short films I am hoping to make, adaptations of classic stories by one of the most brilliant, quirky, and original writers our genre has ever produced. I’ve consulted on a video game out of Japan.”

That last sentence really got my gears working so I dusted off the old tin-foil hat and did some digging. Whilst Martin himself hasn’t revealed any details surrounding the game there are plenty of rumors floating around. Gematsu reported that all the way back in March a YouTube channel named Spawn Wave published a video (Which you can watch here) in which they talk about a rumor regarding From Software’s next big project. From software known for their work on Darksouls and Bloodborne. The rumor suggested the game would be an open-world title and George R.R. Martin would be one of the lead writers.

More weight was added to these rumors when someone who was aware of the inner workings of From Software told Gematsu that the game had been in development for the past three years and was a  collaboration between Hidetaka Miyazaki and George R.R. Martin published by Bandai Namco.

Apparently this will be announced at this years E3 by Microsoft, but of course, that hasn’t been confirmed so it should be taken with a pinch of salt. Would you be excited to see an open world game with George R.R. Martin behind it? For many, myself included it sounds like dream come true, but we want to hear your thoughts down below or over on Twitter.

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Mobile Mondays: Sword of Xolan

This week’s Mobile Mondays is a throwback to the arcade side-scrollers of old perfectly fitted for the mobile platform. This game not only looks but plays amazing too, with some genuine challenge and thought clearly crafted throughout. Whilst its attempt at a story feel lackluster its varied and intricate gameplay, as well as it’s downright addictive nature, makes Sword of Xolan a genuinely brilliant, completely free to play mobile game.

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Gameplay

Sword of Xolan is extremely easy to pick up and play, yet at times can be deceitfully difficult to master. Move left and right by holding down the respective buttons, much like the D-Pad of a controller. There are separate jump and attack buttons as well as a button to launch fireballs at your foes if you have the mana to do so. You can also swipe down to fall through certain platforms. The button layout is pretty damn perfect making Sword of Xolan incredibly easy to pick up and play. You traverse through the world by jumping from platform to platform, over perilous spike pits and traps. You can smash crates and barrels along the way dropping coins, mana potions, and health pickups. You have 3 base life which can be upgraded later in the game. Lose all your health and you start over. Your objective is too simply progress. Get to the end of the level, complete all 10 levels and finish the final boss to move onto the next act. The game plays like a console or arcade game and has all the polish of one too. Different monsters have different attacks and different health bars requiring different approaches when taking them on. There are also secret hidden paths, usually hiding one of three captured villagers you can save as an optional objective if you so choose. There’s also a challenge mode which tasks you with smashing a certain number of targets, within a time limit. These added an extra level of challenge, and something else to do for completionists but wernt as gripping as the regular adventure.

Sword of Xolan felt like it had genuine map design, traversal, and combat mechanics in mind throughout its development which not only drags you back into to play more, but it feels like its earned your time.

Story

Sword of Xolan does at least try to tell a story although not very successfully. One cutscene at the very start tells of how a peaceful joyful village was destroyed by the master of the underworld, a battle ensued and the townsfolk were captured. Now you the hero must triumph over evil. A pretty standard story, and unfortunately a forgettable one at that but I appreciated the effort. You’ll find yourself sticking with Sword of Xolan for its gameplay rather than its story.

Graphics and Sound

sword of Xolan totally owns the retro arcade pixel art style. Its soundtrack is fanatstic too really adding an extra layer to all the action. If you don’t like this style obviously Sword of Xolan won’t be for you but if you enjoy the more retro look of the game its works beautifully. One thing that really stood out was the incredibly bright and beautiful map designs and the huge variety in the games various monsters. All of which makes Sword of Xolan a joy to play and look at.

Progression

There’s plenty to keep players playing in Sword of Xolan. First, 30 levels and 3 boss battles across 3 totally different locations with some fairly challenging areas will keep you busy for quite some time. Then there are the 9 challenge maps to complete as well as 3 villagers to save in each level. If ALL that isn’t enough you can also unlock 10 unique game cards to increase your power by collecting coins. So there’s always something to do in Sword of Xolan.

If you’re a fan of retro side scroller you absolutely have to try sword of Xolan. Its gameplay and art-style give off this charming appearance and its gripping gameplay will keep you playing well after you download. Try Sword of Xolan out now. You can thank me later.

Comic Review: John Wick #1

To celebrate John Wick Chapter 3 – Parabellum’s recent release we’re going to be diving into Wicks’ earlier action-filled adventures before he became Baba Yaga in the 5 issue long 2017 John Wick Comic run. The series debut issue encapsulates the action seen on screen, with some familiar faces and callbacks thrown in to make fans feel welcome. The plot is virtually all set up, leading to some fairly intriguing mysteries but may leave more casual readers a little underwhelmed.

This Review Will Contain Spoilers

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Plot

John Wick issue #1 is written by “Planet Hulk” writer Greg Pak with artwork from Giovanni Valletta, David Curiel and, Tom Napolitano. Issue #1 starts off in a pretty standard way. John isn’t in the game yet, he hasn’t been introduced to the continental properly. He’s on a vendetta mission, tracking down someone from his past, Pecos is your run of the mill scumbag, who John knew in his youth. Wick stole from him when he was a young boy in Mexico, Pecos decided to mow down an entire village trying to kill John and now 12 years later Wicks back to set the records straight. Wick just so happens to run into an old friend Charon, a character fans of the movies will instantly recognize who Pecos is trying to rob. The ensuing action is pretty spectacular, as is to be expected, and I really enjoyed Wick and Charon’s interactions together. The issue ends with a really nice call back to the first film after a cop, decides to look the other way when he comes across a hotel room full of bodies before revealing Wick interrupted a heist, organized by the Russians. Which just put a target on his back. I really enjoyed the flashbacks to Wicks youth in this issue, I got a some slight Nathen Drake vibes from him then, and I think Greg Pak did an excellent job of capturing the characters cold and calculated personality as an adult. The plot was in large part simply set up for issue #2 with Pecos being a one and done villain, which was a shame because they could have done more with him but I am very interested in seeing Wick properly become a part of the continental in the future.

Characters

We’re seeing a younger John here, someone who hasn’t even been introduced to the continental yet, but that doesn’t mean he can’t kick some serious ass. He hasn’t met his wife yet, hasn’t even joined the game yet but his core character still shines through. He likes to keep himself to himself, likes it quite, up to a point and he has a soft spot for animals. We get very small glimpses at Wicks childhood something I really want to be explored more in future issues, hopefully adding a little more weight to his vendetta and his want for revenge on Pecos’ surviving companions Buffalo and Billy.

Speaking of Pecos he was an enjoyable enough villain but I can’t help but feel his potential was wasted. Watching him laugh as he kills an entire village without mercy was a nice way to get me to get hate him but they could’ve built up his character and his history with John so much more. It looks like the series will build on Johns history with the Russians, something I would love to see way more than Pecos, a character we only meet in this issue but I just wished they’d done more with him.

Charon is the only other character who gets some TLC in this issue, and I really enjoyed what we see of him here. I appreciated them building up his and Johns friendship, It was cool to see him actually get a bit of action, something I hope there’s more of. Plus, seeing a familiar face helped flesh out the wider John Wick universe which I appreciated.

Artwork

I really dig John Wicks art-style. It has this gritty graphic novel look to it, which not only suits the story but really helps sell the action. Speaking of, this issue is full to the brim with action, most of which looks fantastic. John’s an absolute powerhouse, obviously which leads to the action feeling like a pretty damn accurate representation of what we see on screen.

There’s plenty to enjoy about John Wick issue #1. The action hits throughout, John Wicks characters is captured really well, and there’s plenty of callbacks and nods to make fans smile. I would’ve liked to see more from the issue’s villain Pecos, and the plot was virtually all set up for issue #2 which could leave some readers underwhelmed but it has got me pretty excited to see the origin of John Wick explored in the future.

 

Destiny 2 Players Are Unhappy With The Game’s Most Recent Update Weakening Their Favorite Weapons

Bungie has been consistently tweaking and updating their AAA looter shooter and flagship title, Destiny 2 through various live updates. It appears they have kicked the hornet’s nest with their latest one which has left many players unhappy.

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Bungie has detailed, on their official blog, not only the upcoming “Season of Opulence” which will start June 4th but they have also detailed various tweaks to some of the games most infamous Exotic weapons and gear. Bungie stated that with the launch of a new season there will also be a new raid which they want players to “plan accordingly” for. The most notable changes come to the exotic sniper rifle Whisper of the Worm and exotic linear fusion rifle Sleeper Simulant. The former has now had its infinite ammo perk removed in order to get players using different snipers and Sleeper Simulant has had its bounced shot damaged reduced. Both of these weapons are not only considered fan favorites but also two of the most powerful weapons in the entire game. There apparent nerf is to help get other lesser used exotics back into guardians hands.

The Blog then goes onto to detail various changes to exotic armor, more specifically in terms of armor which helps players generate their super-charge abilities, basically their ultimalty abilities. “Along with the weapons above, we will also be making some changes to some Exotic armor pieces. Primarily, we’re paying attention to pieces of Exotic armor that grant back Super energy. We felt they are increasingly becoming “must-pick” gear choices. Orb generation from teammates is meant to be the best way to accelerate your Super generation. These Exotics are allowing players to bypass this teamwork mechanic by generating a large amount of Super energy without relying on other players’ orbs”.

Armor pieces such as the Skull of Dire Ahamkara, Orpheus Rigs, and Phoenix Protocol give players super energy back, upon using their super abilities which meant players could chain multiple super’s in quick succession. As cool as it was to feel like an overpowered space wizard destroying everything in front of you, Bungie just made it much harder. These armors will “now receive Super energy back with diminishing returns, making it rarer to get a full Super back”.

Fans can still hold onto some hope however, as the full patch notes for Destiny 2’s next season of content haven’t dropped yet and will most likely contain even more changes and tweaks. How fans will respond to them is unknown but many have shown their distaste to this recent update with some even threatening to leave the game until their favorite weapons are restored to their former glory. Regardless of whether that happens, Bungie does listen to its very vocal community but it remains to be seen if they take any action on players most recent comments.

Are you unhappy with Bungie’s most recent update and some of their changes to exotic weapons and gear? Are you excited for Season of Opulence? Let us know down below or over on Twitter.

Fortnite’s latest crossover event ties in with John Wick: Chapter 3 Parabellum

Fortnite is now becoming known for its tie-in events, more recently allowing players to fight against the Mad Titan Thanos in their Avengers: Endgame event. Epic Games are back at it again now introducing the stylish assassin, John Wick.

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Wicks Bounty

The event has added a whole host of goodies, the largest of which is a limited timed gamemode title Wicks Bounty. The gamemode pits squads of bounty hunters against each to collect as many gold tokens as possible by eliminating other bounty hunters. The winners are the team who can fulfill the order first. It isn’t quite as simple of course, collecting the most tokens marks your team as the target for everyone else putting a whole lot of crosshairs on your head.

After getting some hands-on with the gamemode I have to say it feels way more like regular Fortnite than the Avengers gamemode, with the real differences being limited respawns you have and the fact you get to keep all your loot after you die. The added tension of trying to stay alive after collecting a heap of tokens could add an extra layer of fun for some but It could also leave regulars players feeling a little underwhelmed.

A New Suit

Like always with Fortnite you can’t have a new event or update without some fresh new cosmetics to try out and the Wicks Bounty event is no different. It was also a cool touch that no matter what skin you choose in the Wicks Bounty gamemode you wear a sleek black suit or skirt.

For any free to play players out there, you can earn some sweet free rewards such as the new Gold Token Back Bling, One Shot Glider, Boogeyman Wrap, and some nice bonus XP by simply completing challenges.

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For those of you willing to fork out some cash, you can get your hands on the official John Wick skin (which has a default and damaged version, showing some tears in his suit and a little more blood) as well as the Simple Sledge Pickaxe, Assassin Pack back bling and, Assassin Wrap.

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I wouldn’t blame you for thinking John Wick was already in Fortnite with many players boasting their own “John Wick” skin for some time now. That is actually known as the Reaper skin and whilst it was never official, it was a clear nod to the character of John Wick. Now fans can play as the real deal.

Will you be playing the Wicks Bounty event over the weekend and are you excited for John Wick Chapter 3: Parabellum? Let us know down below or over on Twitter.

 

Sony And Microsoft Officially Announce Partnership Opening Up Possibilities For Gaming and the Cloud

In a move that nobody saw coming, Sony and Microsoft have officially announced that the companies are planning to collaborate for gaming and Cloud services.

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The partnership will mainly focus on the sharing of technolgy and information and whilst each company’s flagship console aren’t mentioned by name (PS4 and Xbox One) the partnership will help improve entertainment platforms including gaming.

Both Microsft and Sony will work together using Microsoft Azure to help develop future cloud solutions and services within the gaming industry. Sony will also be using Microsft Azure in their own gaming and streaming services. There were also talks of the two working on A.I in the future thanks to the partnership.

Sony president Kenichiro Yoshida had this to say in the announcement; “Sony is a creative entertainment company with a solid foundation of technology. We collaborate closely with a multitude of content creators that capture the imagination of people around the world, and through our cutting-edge technology, we provide the tools to bring their dreams and vision to reality. PlayStation® itself came about through the integration of creativity and technology. Our mission is to seamlessly evolve this platform as one that continues to deliver the best and most immersive entertainment experiences, together with a cloud environment that ensures the best possible experience, anytime, anywhere.”

He then went onto say; “For many years, Microsoft has been a key business partner for us, though of course, the two companies have also been competing in some areas. I believe that our joint development of future cloud solutions will contribute greatly to the advancement of interactive content. Additionally, I hope that in the areas of semiconductors and AI, leveraging each company’s cutting-edge technology in a mutually complementary way will lead to the creation of new value for society”.

On the other side of the partnership, Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft stated; “Sony has always been a leader in both entertainment and technology, and the collaboration we announced today builds on this history of innovation. Our partnership brings the power of Azure and Azure AI to Sony to deliver new gaming and entertainment experiences for customers”.

She and head of Xbox Phil Spencer also had a back and forth over Twitter where they repeated the emphasis on their efforts for the gaming industry.

Many Xbox and PlayStation fans may be quick to get excited about possible new announcements, especially with E3 on the horizon and whilst there is definitely a possibility I wouldn’t bank on it just yet. Whilst Xbox will still be attending Sony will be skipping this Years E3 out.

What are your thoughts on Microsft and Sony’s new partnership? Are you excited for some of the possibilities this opens up? Let us know down below or over on Twitter.

Tools Up! Is similar to Overcooked, but swaps cooking for construction work

Yesterday saw the official reveal of Tools Up! A couch co-op party game coming from All In! Games set to arrive sometime in 2019.

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Tools Up! seems to take the 4 player couch co-op style of games like overcooked (which recently featured on this month’s PS Plus game list) and has switched the sandwiches and desserts for paint brushes and hammers. In the short 57 second trailer, seen below, we get a quick glimpse at what the game might entail.

You and your 3 fellow builders will be redecorating houses, renovating properties, laying down floors, painting walls or knocking them down, moving furniture and much more. Just like overcooked, teamwork makes the dream work as you will race the clock to get the job done in time.

Tools Up! is set to release some time in 2019, so will you be putting your building skills to the test? Let us know your thoughts on Tools Up! down below or over on Twitter.