«Ван Гог. На пороге вечности»: наслаждение до тошноты

Фильм для эстетов или развесистая клюква?

Reading time 5 minutes

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Cardboard reality in the big game

Nintendo Switch will get VR support, but that's not what you think

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Since the announcement of Nintendo Switch in the network there is information that the console will receive support for virtual reality . The idea seemed crazy, but now it is known that VR will appear on the Nintendo console. Well, almost reliably…

Do it yourself!

New information about «VR from Nintendo» appeared like a bolt from the blue. Nintendo of America in his Twitter-account announced a new set of a series of cardboard designers Lego — Nintendo Labo Toy-Con 04: VR Kit. The set will give you the opportunity to assemble from cardboard VR-accessories for Nintendo Switch, as well as provide players with related games.

Two new Labo VR kits: Starter (left) and Full (right)
Two new Labo VR kits: Starter (left) and Full (right)

The method of implementing Nintendo picked up from Google Cardboard, which is also a cardboard mask with lenses. In this case, the Nintendo Switch is used as the screen, the image of which is divided for each eye, creating the illusion of immersion and volume.

This time there are several options for buying cardboard peripherals: «Starter kit» with glasses and «Blaster» for $39 (~2800 rubles.) with the possibility of separate purchase of other accessories and «Full set», which also contains «Camera», «Elephant», «Bird» and «air pedal» for $79 (~5600 rubles).

If you do not want to buy everything at once, it is possible to purchase only interesting Toy-Cons
If you do not want to buy everything at once, it is possible to purchase only interesting Toy-Cons

Not my VR

However, the announcement of the cartons from Nintendo was ambiguous. Many age-old fans of “big N” were not very happy that beyond the designers of Labo, focused on children, VR will not apply.

One of the problems associated with Labo products is the lack of tangible depth of built-in games, and Toy-Con themselves are no more than interactive toys.

But there is still hope for a bright future. For example, some of the previous designers received support in the «serious» games of the company. In particular, it is worth noting the «Motorcycle», which can be used to control the Mario Kart 8: Deluxe.

Promotional art collaborations Nintendo Land and Mario Kart 8: Deluxe
Promotional art collaborations Nintendo Land and Mario Kart 8: Deluxe

For the first time rumors about Nintendo’s entry into the virtual reality market appeared with the discovery of the company’s patent, vaguely reminiscent of VR-glasses.

This interesting patent has been discovered for the first time in 2016. He gave rise to further speculation about the VR Switch on the Nintendo.
This interesting patent has been discovered for the first time in 2016. He gave rise to further speculation about the VR Switch on the Nintendo.

It is also worth noting that this is not the first attempt of «big N» to enter the VR market. Back in 1995, the company released the Virtual Boy console, which is a helmet similar to modern «head displays». The experiment was not successful: after prolonged use, the helmet could cause headaches and pain in the eyes, and the project itself is still considered one of the biggest failures of the company.

Must plays of March 2019

The best games of the spring season

Reading time 10 minutes

Along with spring, thaw and sunny weather in March, begins the gaming season. Usually, spring is not as fruitful for big games as autumn or Christmas holidays, but here is the list of the most exciting releases of March.

Dead or Alive 6 — 1st of March

Dead or Alive 6, the newest part of a popular Japanese fighting game, opens up the first month of spring.

Всего в Dead or Alive 6 26 персонажей. Ещё больше контента будет доступно в виде DLC.Всего в Dead or Alive 6 26 персонажей. Ещё больше контента будет доступно в виде DLC.
Overall, there are 26 characters in Dead or Alive 6. there will be more content available in DLC.

This time, the creators decided to shift slightly the vector of the game by dressing up immodest heroins (however, the chest physiology stayed the same) and making the game more accessible and appealing for new players. Besides, there will be a full customization of characters, which can be seen in Soul Calibur VI, Tekken 7, and other modern Japanese fighting games. In addition, the game has extremely realistic visuals of clothes and faces of characters, which there are 26.

If you miss these quality Japanese fisticuffs — and Tekken 7 and Soul Calibur VI already drive you crazy — you definitely should check out Dead or Alive 6.

The Occupation — 5th of March

Also in the first week of March will be released a new project by an independent British company White Paper Games — The Occupation.

The Occupation - один из самых интересных квестов последнего времени.
The Occupation – one of the most interesting quests of the last years.

The setting is Great Britain in the 1980s, where happened a disastrous terrorist attack that has taken lives of 26 people. In the role of a journalist, the player will have to understand what happened and prevent a looming political scandal. To finish the game, the player has 4 real hours, which means that it can be ended without any player’s interactions, so solving all mysteries of the narrative is not easy.

For those who love fascinating stories and intrigues, The Occupation will be a perfect match.

Devil May Cry V — 8th of March

This year’s international women’s day will bring joy to fans of the Devil May Cry series, slash action shooter games.

Главные герои DMC 5 (справа налево): Данте, Неро и V
The main characters of DMC 5 (from right to left): Dante, Nero and V

After 11 years, if not taking into account a remake in 2013, the Devil May Cry series returns with the complete sequelae — Devil May Cry V. The player still needs to exterminate hordes of demons in the roles of Dante, Nero, and mysterious V saving Red Grave City from awful hell-creatures. Everything the series is popular for stayed the same —  powerful combos, considerable arsenal, and pinch of magic will not leave indifferent both veterans of the series and beginners.

There is no point of saying anything else — you have to see it for yourself. In case you are not ready to purchase the game, there is a demo version for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.

Tom Clancy’s The Division 2 — 15th of March

In the middle of March will be released a project that can possibly become one of the best games for the next couple of years — Tom Clancy’s The Division 2, a loot shooter by UbiSoft.

Explicitly recreated ruined Washington is one of the main features of The Division

This time, as an agent of The Division the player will visit Washington, specially recreated on a one-to-one scale. Like in the first part, the main activity will be helping citizens, neutralizing local gangs, recapturing their territory and, of course, the production of new weapons and armor in industrial volumes. There is also a PvP mode in the form of Dark Zones.

This time, as an agent of the «Division» the player will visit Washington, specially recreated on a one-to-one scale. Like in the first part, the main activity will be helping citizens, neutralizing local gangs, recapturing their territory and, of course, the production of new weapons and armor in industrial volumes. There is also a PvP mode in the form of Dark Zones.

You can play the game either by yourself or in the company of three friends, so whether you look for a game for a couple of evenings or even months, you will definitely enjoy Tom Clancy’s The Division 2.

The Sinking City — 21st of March

A week later, the world will see a new project by Ukranian Frogwares, which is famous for its games about Sherlock Holmes. This time, they were inspired by works of Howard Lovecraft.

You cannot miss The Sinking City if you are a Lovecraft fan

The game’s setting is a fictional American town called Oakmont in in the 1920s. Our protagonist is an investigator Charles W. Reed who decided to visit Oakmont, which turned into a half-flooded wasteland with a couple of people that did not leave the town after the flood. What has happened in this town? What does Reed has to do with it? Carefully exploring the city and communicating with witnesses, the player will find answers to these and many other questions.

For those who was not impressed by the recent Call of Cthulhu and those who love mysteries and puzzles, The Sinking City is mandatory for familiarization.

Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice — 22nd of March

A day later, on the store shelves will appear the most sadistic project of the month or even of the year — a new game by From Software, the authors of Dark Souls and Bloodbourne.

В Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice даже протезы несут смерть и разрушение
In Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice even prosthesis can be used as a deadly weapon

Instead of Gothic of the middle ages you will experience Japan in late 1500s, a Sengoku period. Under the control of the player is the warrior Sekiro, who seeks revenge on the Ashina clan for the loss of his master and a hand, which he now replaces with the mechanical prosthesis. With the help of his new mechanical limb, Sekiro will be able to use the hook and other useful fixtures which can be switched in a moment. As for the combat system, it will be based on blocks and parrying.

Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice promises the same furious action and brand-name complexity of From Software. If you want to tickle your nerves the game will intrigue you as well.

Yoshi’s Crafted World — 29th of March

At the very end of the month will be released Youshi’s Crafted World — infinitely cute 2.5D platformer about the dragon Yoshi by Nintendo.

Yoshi’s Crafted World is definitely one of the cutest projects of this year

The new adventure of Yoshi is created in a handmade aesthetics. The dragon will have to work his way through DIY obstacles made of paper, fabric and other everyday materials in an unusual appearance. The main feature of the game is a reverse mode which turns the world around enabling to look behind the facade of homemade obstacles. The game can be played by two players as well.

Youshi’s Crafted World is a mandatory purchase for everyone who misses classic platformers, but looks for something fresh, and also for those who likes relaxing and colorful games. If you are not sure about buying you can try the demo version.  

New pokemons of the «Alternative UK»

The Pokémon Company announced new games of the legendary series

Reading time 4 minutes

The information about new games in the main Pokémon series appeared last year, but so far fans of pocket monsters could only guess what’s going to come next. Now the new «Pokémon RPG 2019» has more details. What is interesting in the latest projects of the iconic franchise?

Sword and Shield

First of all, the «Pokémon RPG 2019» finally possessed a name. During the February video presentation Pokémon Direct, names of  Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield games were revealed, they will be the eighth generation in the series.

As well as in previous generations, Sword and Shield will be separate games, and despite the similar story, the single setting and game mechanics are going to differ in the set of included pokemons. However, there is no need to buy every game at once: in order to catch them all, the owners of various versions are able to exchange their pocket monsters.

Brave New World

New generation — new region. This time, the game will take place in the region of Galar, which is going to be one of the biggest settings in the series with the great number of different zones. The Galar’s theme reminds of the undecided in its time period UK, which was the subject of rumors long before the game’s presentation.

Полная карта нового региона - острова Галар
The full map of the region of Galar

On the official map of the region posted on the teaser site of the game there are rural, urban and industrial zones, as well as various climatic biomes

Railways and trains can also be noticed on the map. Apparently, they will serve as a means for rapid travelling in the region.

They’re not Pikachu!

In addition to the names and setting, three new initial pokémon were shown: Grookey, Scorbunny, and Sobble, which relate to grass, fire, and water types respectively. It is with one of them that players will begin their journey as a pokémon coach.

Стартовые покемоны в Sword/Shield: Груки, Скорбанни и Соббл
Initial pokemons of Sword/Shield Grookey, Scorbunny, and Sobble

In Sword and Shield the series will return to the system of Gyms and and icons instead of tests from the previous generation, Sun and Moon. it means that the main purpose of the games is again gaining the title of Champion, the best trainer of pokemon.

Some information about «Pokémon RPG 2019» appeared in the middle of 2018 for the first time. It was when The Pokémon Company announced the development of new games. The franchise itself was created by Satoshi Tajiri, a Japanese video game designer, in 1996, while the game’s production was managed by Game Freak studio. In addition to games, the franchise includes manga, anime, collectible card game and several full-length cartoons.

In may 2019, the big screens will also see the first feature film in the series — POKÉMON Detective Pikachu with Ryan Reynolds as Detective Pikachu. Pokémon Sword/Shield themselves will be released exclusively on Nintendo Switch in the end of 2019.

Странная история Soulja Boy и его «нечистых»

Появление, пропажа и возвращение пиратских игровых консолей от репера Soulja Boy

Reading time 3 minutes

Sorry, this entry is only available in Russian.

Nintendo Switch Online hides games

In the program’s code, dataminers found 22 unrealised games for SNES

Reading time 3 minutes

From the launching of a paid online service for Nintendo Switch, a lot of console’s fans complained about a shortage of games in a starting packet: Nintendo Switch Online still offers exclusively 8-bit NES games. However, the situation can change very soon.

Dataminor with a nickname Kapu announced his discovery in one of his Twitts. After an  investigation of the latest update of the NES app, he found 22 hidden games for another retro console – SNES. Presumably, these games will soon become a part of a new paid service for Nintendo and will be officially announced at the next video presentation of the company.

Список игр SNES, обнаруженных Kapu
A list of games that Kapu has found

Moreover, Kapu with a group of other dataminers found out that the app contains not one, but 4 emulators at once: Kacikachi, Canoe, Hiyoko and Count. At the moment, there is information about only two of them – Kacikachi and Canoe, which are used in NES Classic and SNES Classic consoles. The presence of several emulators in the program code also suggests possibility of library extension for Nintendo Switch Online, where other games from old versions of the console might appear as well.

Твит OatmealDome относительно найденных эмуляторов

Prior to this, in the interview for The Hollywood Reporter Nintendo of America President, Reggie Fils-Aime, announced that the company will keep producing NES Classic and SNES Classic consoles, which at the moment are almost the only legal tools for company’s classic games. If the rumor about the appearance of new games in Nintendo paid service’s library gets confirmed, it is likely this service will become a new platform for classic projects of the big N.

 

Говорят, что Новая Nintendo Switch появится в будущем году

Муссируем слухи и намёки о предстоящем релизе игровой консоли

Reading time 2 minutes

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Видеоигровой «Оскар» достался «Богу войны»

The Game Awards в пятый раз назвала лучших в индустрии видеоигр

Reading time 3 minutes

Sorry, this entry is only available in Russian.

A video game as a piece of art

Can games ever rise in aesthetic and intellectual levels?

Reading time 8 minutes

From the ancient times people strive for expressing themselves via art, inventing more and more tools for this. Literature, fine arts, statuary, architecture, music, photography, cinema – all of these are media created in a result of technological progress and a drive for sharing new ideas.

Video games is a form of creativity as well, however, they are not construed as a real art yet. Although, a couple of examples can make people doubt in this statement.

Journey

Speaking of aesthetic qualities and audiovisual sequence of video games, we should look a little closer at Journey by thatgamecompany.

"Захватывающее и медитативное приключение" - так часто описывают Journey
An exciting and meditative adventure is a common description for Journey

Journey tells us a story about a nameless figure in a vast desert, traveling towards a mountain in the distance where he expects to find something that he needs for some reason. The game lacks any kind of speech or dialogue what creates space for  personal interpretation of the story. The game never tells anything directly, but the surrounding world gradually reveals the veil of secrecy around the place and our main character. All of these creates a unique magic atmosphere of journey where adventures await at every turn.

At the same time a meditative and exciting game Journey has conquered the hearts of most people and earned the recognition of critics.

Cuphead

Another example of a video game as an audiovisual piece of art is Cuphead by Studio MDHR Corp.

Even a promo cover sends us to the 1930s

A visual style of Max Fleischer’s animation of the 1930s, hand-drawn characters and backgrounds, and an unpretentious story about a cupheaded boy attach the feeling of an interactive cartoon to this game.

Cuphead is a synthesis of old-school creative techniques and up-to-date technologies. The game has been fully appreciated by players as well as by critics.

Stanley Parable

Not all of the games can boast a vivid and memorable visual image like previous ones. But the main distinctive feature of Stanley Parable game is its story, or, to be more precise, the absence of it.  

На мониторе больше нет указаний, и Стенли отправляется в путь
The main screen of Stanley Parable

This game can be colloquially called a walking simulator. At first sight, the game is pretty obvious: nothing interesting is happening and the character can only wander around and interact with a short amount of objects. Nevertheless, this kind of games can be very surprising when it comes to a unique way of storytelling.

Stanley Parable’s main character is clearly Stanley, an ordinary office worker who does not have anything to do but pushing the buttons on his monitor. However, one day all his colleagues disappear and the flox of commands on his screen stops.

During the course of the game, speechless Stanley is being guided by a storyteller who voices over all character’s moves and gives him hints of what to do next. The player can either listen to the invisible narrator or disobey his suggestions, on which the guide will immediately react. The game encourages the players initiative to make their own decisions, giving them a control over situations and total freedom. To be completely honest, the reality is that every single step is already planned by creators of the game, but it only means the games plays chicken with people pretty well.

This is the Adventure Line at the beginning of the game. Although, you don’t have to follow it

Stanley Parable is hardly a first experiment with an interactive form of narrative, but it is one of the most successful and highly rated ones in this peculiar genre.

Papers, Please

Even the most seemingly boring professions turn inside out in video games. For instance, the Papers, Please game tells the story of a typical border crossing immigration officer.

Even by looking at logo of the game, we can find a lot of common features

The main character is an immigration officer in the fictional dystopian country of Arstotzka. His motivation is pretty simple: the more people he checks the higher his salary is. Every day the government introduces new rules and changes the list of necessary documents for which you have to closely monitor. If you make too many mistakes during checking you will get a fine.

Very soon there is going to be too many documents that it will be impossible not to miss something

Looking through the documents, the player gradually finds out more and more about Arstotzka and the surrounding world. Although, the work at border crossing post is not that easy as it might seem at first. One character forgets his or her documents at home, or has an important operation, but does not have a necessary pass, another might have all required documents, but he is a suspect in following people he wants to kill. These and many other moral dilemmas give Papers, Please a new depth.   

What can be more lame that checking documents the whole day? But this dark, Kafkaian game immerses players into the story and does not let go until the very end.

There should be mentioned much more fascinating projects which go beyond these usual “shooters” and  “puzzles”.  But, as with any work of art, you better play these games once instead of hearing about them a hundred times.