In case you missed it, the upcoming Yakuza spin-off titled Judgment was pulled from store shelves in Asia, due to one of the main actors facing drug charges. Pierre Taki, whose voice and likeness were used in Judgment, was reported to have tested positively for cocaine. As such, Judgment was pulled from Asian storefronts, both digitally and physically, and the game’s developers had to promptly start working on replacing the actor. This was seemingly a massive task, as all of the dialogue had to be re-recorded, the character model had to be replaced, and all of the pre-rendered cut scenes had to be changed. Because of this, a re-release called New Price Version will be launching in Japan on July 18th.
In terms of the Western release, which is expected to arrive on June 25th, Taki has also been replaced. Sega Chief Creative Officer Toshihiro Nagoshi had this to say about the removal of the actor:
There was an option to leave it as it was, but personally I felt strongly that changing the character was the right decision. It’s hard to know how big the risks are. If the game had already been on sale for several years, I don’t know what the outcome would have been. But this was just three months after the Japanese release, so it was still hot, and I think that requires a sensitive approach.
It’s wild that the replacement process hasn’t impacted the game’s Western release. Based on what was described above, it was no easy task to remove all evidence of the previous actor, so it’s likely that the studio was hard at work to meet that deadline.
If you’re in the West, you can look forward to Judgment soon, as it arrives on June 25th. If you’re in Asia, the re-release will drop on July 18th.
Game of Thrones may have ended, but don’t worry about George R.R. Martin; he’s got plenty on his plate to keep him busy for years to come. One such project is hasn’t been mentioned before, but has been heavily rumored. The iconic author has been working with a Japanese development studio on an upcoming project, though there were no details outside of that. While he didn’t reveal what studio it was, there have been rumors that he put work in on a secret project from Dark Souls developer FromSoftware.
The tidbit (and I mean that literally) came from a blog post following the series finale of Game of Thrones. Reaffirming that he apparently never sleeps, Martin listed off all of this current projects, including eight television shows across various networks, a few in-development film projects, and the Meow Wolf art collective. He’s also got a little book called The Winds of Winter (not to mention A Dream of Spring) in the works. However, he mentioned that he “consulted on a video game outside of Japan,” but that’s all he mentioned on the topic.
While this is his first confirmation of the project, it’s been heavily rumored for some time. Back in March, rumors began to emerge that Martin was involved with an in-development FromSoftware project. A Gematsu source affirmed those reports, saying the unannounced title features an open-world map and has been in development for three years. FromSoftware president Hidetaka Miyazaki would once again be involved with the project, though wether he would be directing or not is unknown. This project will also supposedly reunite FromSoftware with Dark Souls publisher Bandai Namco Entertainment.
While the original reports cited Martin as one of the project’s lead writers, him wording his role as a consultant puts that into question. Of course, he could just be underselling his role before a proper reveal. Rumors point to this title being announced at E3 2019, though until then, make sure to add the usual grain of salt to this information. FromSoftware recently released Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, which launched to rave reviews and commercial success.
What do you make of the potential for a FromSoftware game from George R.R. Martin? Let us know!
In a sales figures report on Capcom’s official website, it was revealed that several of Capcom’s flagship titles continued to sell quite well for the company as of March 31, 2019. A number of its established series has updated sales figures. All of them seem to be performing well.
Devil May Cry has passed 20 million units sold, no doubt thanks to the latest release in the series, Devil May Cry 5. It was released on March 8, 2019 and saw the return of Dante and the series’ ever popular cast of characters.
Monster Hunter continues to be extremely profitable too. It passed 54 million copies sold. Monster Hunter: World made waves when it released on the PS4 and Xbox One last year on January 26, 2018. Fans will have more to look forward to on that front once the Monster Hunter: World Iceborne expansion releases on September 6, 2019.
Resident Evil is also another series that keeps bringing in money for Capcom. The series just reached 91 million units sold. This makes it the highest selling game out of the list, which included other long running series like Mega Man and Street Fighter. The recent remake of the timeless classic, Resident Evil 2, definitely made a large contribution to those sales figures. As a reminder, it launched on January 25, 2019.
Other notable sales figures on the list include the Street Fighter series and Mega Man. Street Fighter currently sits at 42 million units sold, which is quite good considering the middling response to Street Fighter V when it released on January 16, 2018. Mega Man has passed 35 million copies. Its most recent installment was Mega Man 11, which was released on October 2, 2018.
Are you surprised to see Resident Evil at the top of this list of sales figures? What did you think of the Resident Evil 2 remake? What about some of the other Capcom games that have been doing well? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!
If you’re not one of the nearly 10 million people that have already invested money and time into Marvel’s Spider-Man, you’re in luck. Spider-Man’s acclaimed PlayStation 4 adventure has recently received another price drop. This time, the price has gone from $40 to $35. Sure, it’s nothing to write home about, but that $5 in savings may be the perfect push for someone sitting on the fence about making a purchase.
Based on the title’s listing on Amazon and Best Buy, this price drop may be a brief one. Presently, there’s no way of knowing for how long this particular sale will remain intact. Therefore, those interested in picking the game up would be wise to act as quickly as possible.
Earlier this year, both Marvel’s Spider-Man and Detroit: Become Human received permanent price drops. Insomniac’s latest dropped to the aforementioned $40 price point. Meanwhile, Quantic Dream’s futuristic sci-fi title fell to $20. It’s currently hard to determine how the new prices have benefitted sales, particularly with regards to Spider-Man. Sales data hasn’t been updated for months. In fact, the most recent figure comes from late in November 2018, which placed the title at over nine million units sold. Because this number only represents two months of sales data, it’s reasonable to assume sales of the Insomniac title are exponentially higher.
In saving money on the game itself, new purchasers may also consider grabbing The City That Never Sleeps DLC for Spider-Man. Three expansions were released for the DLC pack, each of which told their own story. The first round of DLC, The Heist, brought Black Cat into the forefront, as she played such a small role in the game’s main campaign. Spider-Man’s second expansion, Turf Wars, saw Hammerhead vie for control of New York. Finally, the Silver Lining expansion gave some much needed love to the fan-favorite Silver Sable.
After a bit of teasing on social media, developer Supermassive Games and publisher Bandai Namco have finally confirmed a release date for Man of Medan. The first release for The Dark Pictures Anthology will hit store shelves this summer on August 30, 2019 for the PlayStation 4, PC, and Xbox One. Preorders for the game are already live.
In addition to the summer launch date, Man of Medan also received a brand-new trailer. In it, viewers are taken aboard a party boat, then into the depths of an abandoned ship, where the video cycles between scenes of a livelier time and a more horrific reality. The trailer emphasizes the significance of choice, before ending with a note that warns against playing alone. Check out the latest look at Man of Medan in the video below:
The Dark Pictures – Man of Medan: Release Date Announcement | PS4, X1, and PC - YouTube
Man of Medan’s newest look also reveals what to expect from the game’s preorder bonus, which will reward costumers with the Curator’s Cut. This preorder bonus will give players access to the following:
A new perspective from different characters are unlocked.
New options and choices are offered within each scene that requires player choice; new decisions means new outcomes to discover.
New scenes and secrets not featured in the original playthrough are also unlocked.
According to Bandai Namco, all of the content featured in the Curator’s Cut for Man of Medan will eventually become available to players who do not preorder. When this content will go live for everyone else and its pricing has not yet been unveiled.
Man of Medan follows a group of friends who venture out at sea in search of a supposed World War II wreckage. As is common in horror stories of this fashion, the young adventurers bite off more than they can chew. Instead of finding the key to riches and fame, they stumble across a ghost ship. Naturally, terror and tragedy ensues.
Sony seems to be gearing up for a PlayStation 5 (name still TBA) reveal in the near future. The company showed off it’s next-generation platform in action recently, giving the public its first real look at what the future of PlayStation has to offer. The presentation shown by Sony touts one of the most talked-about pieces of that deep-dive Wired interview earlier in the year. The video makes it clear just how much more powerful this technology is than Sony’s current most powerful console, the PlayStation 4 Pro.
Like in the Wired interview, Sony uses Marvel’s Spider-Man to show off the performance capabilities of its next-generation console. (The PS5 is backwards compatible, after all) While it took eight seconds to fully load on the PS4 pro, the next-generation dev kit took less than a second. While hearing Mark Cerny’s words on the matter is impressive on its own, seeing it in-person (more or less) really sells it all. No true gameplay was shown in the clip, though watching the load time comparison is definitely a big deal.
The clip also showed off seamless transitions in Marvel’s Spider-Man, which is also impressive in its own right. Load times on the PS4 Pro were relatively short, but watching that platform’s performance in comparison to the next-gen platform is a sight to behold.
Other details on the next-gen platform were slim, though Sony confirmed it was remaining in contact with numerous third-party developers “to ensure PlayStation will remain as the best place to play.”
While the console itself still remains under wraps, details on the system continue to piece together. Outside of the more powerful hardware, it will be compatible with the current PlayStation VR headset. We still don’t know when it will release, though we do know it will be in late 2020 at the earliest.
Plenty of talk about the next-generation of games has surfaced of late, and it appears Sony aims to keep the conversation going. In the company’s recent Corporate Strategy Meeting, details about the future of streaming were briefly touched upon. These details included confirmation that features such as PlayStation Now and Remote Play will indeed make their way to Sony’s still unnamed next-gen console.
During the meeting, Sony CEO and President Kenichiro Yoshida stressed the importance of two key words with regards to PlayStation’s future, “immersive” and “seamless.” PlayStation Streaming, seemingly the umbrella term under which PlayStation Now and Remote Play exist, will focus most notably on the “seamless” aspect. The continued evolution of these features will be reflected in the next PlayStation console, though the company has yet to offer any concrete bits of information in this regard.
However, there does exist one hint as to what may lie beyond the horizon. It appears Sony intends to eventually make PlayStation Now accessible to those who don’t own a PlayStation console. Of course, this will require quite the feat of technology. Might the recently announced collaboration with Microsoft for streaming technologies be of help?
Apart from PlayStation Streaming’s implementation into next-gen, Sony’s long-term goals for these services are worth noting. For one, the company wants to see Remote Play made available across even more Android devices. Sony has also been evaluating the user experience on PlayStation Now, drawing conclusions about what players value most in the service. Minimizing latency serves as a key goal, for example. The same can be said for increasing the number of AAA titles that appear on the streaming service.
It may not seem so, but PlayStation Now has had many successes of its own; no wonder Sony is doubling-down. Since its 2014 launch, the number of subscribers for the streaming service has steadily increased by an average of 40 percent. It should be interesting to see whether such momentum is maintained as the service continues to evolve.
From the minds within Nippon Ichi Software (and brought to us by NIS America), Lapis x Labyrinth is a dungeon-crawling adventure where treasure is your one goal. Playing as a ragtag group of adventurers, you’re tasked with burrowing deeper in the titular labyrinth, which is said to house untold rewards. Easy, right?
Well, if you want to play Lapis x Labyrinth, you better love grinding. Probably around 90 percent of what you’ll be doing in Lapis x Labyrinth is killing enemies every which way. There’s very little else besides combat, so if you’re not a fan of the grind, maybe this isn’t the game for you. However, should you enjoy a little mindless hacking and slashing (to generalize things a bit), this may be just the thing. What Lapis x Labyrinth does isn’t complex or groundbreaking in any way, but it’s a solid action-RPG that will suck you in and make you want to see how far your wits can take you.
Lapis x Labyrinth Review – Adventures From All Corners
The core conceit of Lapis x Labyrinth is simple. You play as a treasure hunting party who turns up in a down-on-its-luck town. That’s about all the story there is, so if you’re someone who likes a deep narrative with your RPG, possibly look elsewhere. It’s little more than an excuse to get you crawling through dungeons to claim your rewards.
Any given party is made up of four treasure hunters, each with their own unique class. There are eight job classes available, and each one is available from the start. In addition, you’re free to mix and match party members as you please, giving you plenty of options before you take the plunge.
My favorite part of Lapis x Labyrinth was tinkering with different combinations of classes. Each class equips a certain type of weapon, and has different abilities and stats, giving you plenty of opportunity to mix things up. The fact that none of these classes are locked means players can immediately play with the mechanics in a meaningful way.
The eight classes run the gamut from your standard RPG tropes to more unique choices. A Hunter deals fast, close-ranged attacks, while the Gunner, naturally, prefers to keep his attacks at a range. More off-the-wall picks like Maid and Bishop offer even more variety, and help encapsulate the main thing I kept going back to when thinking of Lapis x Labyrinth: plain fun.
Lapis x Labyrinth Review – Where’s the Treasure?
The bulk of your time dong will be spent exploring the labyrinth in an attempt to score some treasure. Lapis x Labyrinth is divided into missions, each one sending you into the depths. Combat in the labyrinth is fairly simple—there’s no combos or anything to keep track of. Each character has access to a basic attack and a couple of special abilities. You’ll also able to send the character at the top of your stack (we’ll get to that in a bit) for a unique attack based on their class. Finally, you can charge up an all-out assault that throws your entire party at the monster horde.
Lapis x Labyrinth occasionally turns into “fever mode,” which resembles a slot machine, for lack of a better analogy. The background is full of flashing lights, and rainbow gems will fly from every enemy you damage. I was never quite sure what triggered this change, but I’m assuming it’s related to the amount of damage you give. I was full of joy every time I entered fever mode; with the flashy background and rainbow gems everywhere, I truly felt invincible.
For a game that is fairly simple, Lapis x Labyrinth features a pleasing amount of variety, which is what ultimately keeps it so engaging. The different combinations of characters, who again, each have their own weapons and skills, as well as shuffling through your party mid-combat, go a long way to keep things fresh.
Lapis x Labyrinth Review – It’s Dangerous to Go Alone
While combat is simple in its execution, it’s definitely not devoid of strategy. While traveling through dungeons, characters are stacked on top of each other. Probably not the most efficient form of adventuring, but whatever. While the stacking looks silly at first, it actually factors into how you play the game.
Only the character at the bottom of the stack is able to consistently damage, though conversely, they are the only ones who can take damage, as well. You’re able to constantly switch the formation of your party, which adds not only variety, but strategy. Sure, having a character who deals high damage as leader has its advantages, but you also must be able to make sure that they don’t lose all of their health, and therefore become unplayable.
When forming your party, you also need to equip them with various weapons, armor, artifacts (which provide you with different boosts), and snacks (which you can consume in-between floors). Each item has an “equip cost,” which adds to your equip total. You must ensure that your stock does not exceed that number before you push on. You can buy upgrades to increase your limit, but more powerful items cost more, meaning you must consistently keep an eye on your limit. Lapis x Labyrinth focuses much more on the “action” in action-RPG, but there are still some noticeable traditional RPG elements here. And those may be enough to entice some more wary fans in.
Lapis x Labyrinth Review – Beautiful, Yet Deadly
As you journey further into the labyrinth, you encounter a greater variety of environments. From a dense forest to a water-soaked cave, there is plenty of diversity of ecosystems to be had. Lapis x Labyrinth’s beautiful 2D artwork really helped sell the adventure, too. Non-pixel art 2D games are somewhat of a rarity these days, and while there’s nothing mind-blowing about the graphics, it’s still pretty, nonetheless. Character sprites look great and move fluidly, and the enemy designs vary from cute and quirky to somewhat off-putting, though in a good way.
As this is a game about grinding, you’ll become quite familiar with that soundtrack. Thankfully, the soundtrack is a good one; one that doesn’t drive you insane after hearing it non-stop. In fact, I found myself playing the central hub’s theme right in my head before it even kicked off. As there’s no dialogue to be found here, save for some choice soundbites from the characters, the music is the main aural experience you’ll be getting.
The music is more atmospheric than pulse-pounding, but it works. This is a game about exploration, after all. It sets the mood for your adventure, and will probably crawl inside your head for weeks after playing. Add in some smooth animations (save for moments where there is a lot happening on your screen), and this adventure is at least aesthetically pleasing, if emotionally taxing.
Lapis x Labyrinth Review – Fight, Fail, Repeat
Lapis x Labyrinth isn’t a particularly challenging game. However, there were moments where the monsters wiped out my team. At one point, your guild level will likely be outclassed by the level of your current mission. But you shouldn’t worry about trudging back to past missions to get experience. No matter how you fare in a mission, be it success or failure, you’ll still gain experience when the mission ends.
The fact that you can try a mission that’s maybe a little too high-level for you, yet still gain experience if you fail, is huge. It’s honestly the thing that kept me going in Lapis x Labyrinth, even if I died right at the end of a boss fight, which caps off every mission. Yes, you’ll do a lot of grinding, but it’s a rewarding grind. You can tackle even the highest-level missions, go as far as your team possibly can, and you’ll still come out stronger. This process also encourages you to mix up your party members and equipment even more. There’s never one “right” combination of characters, though. You’ll just need to find what works best for you in each specific instance.
This is a game where I could plug a few minutes in, try to make some kind of progress, and gain experience either way. There may not be a ton of complexity to be had, but what it offers is plenty of variety, fast-paced action, and a desire to push forward. While the labyrinth is full of dangers, the rewards can be great.
Lapis x Labyrinth review code provided by publisher. Version 1.01 reviewed on a standard PlayStation 4. For more information on scoring, please see our Review Policy.
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Sony hasn’t released solid figures about God of War sales in quite some time. Still, the title’s meteoric success broke records at launch, topping 3.1 million units sold in three days. Now its long-term success has a more defined metric attached. According to a presentation given by SIE CEO and President, Jim Ryan, during Sony IR Day 2019, God of War has passed 10 million copies sold worldwide.
Daniel Ahmad, Senior Analyst at Niko Partners, posted a graphic depicting the sales numbers of a few PlayStation exclusives. Across PlayStation 4 platforms, God of War, Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End, and The Last of Us Remastered have all reached the coveted 10 million units sold milestone. It’s quite the impressive feat, really. What’s particularly interesting is none of the aforementioned PlayStation exclusives achieving this milestone during the PlayStation 3’s lifetime. See the graphic in Ahmad’s tweet below:
Considering its launch numbers, God of War’s continued success is nothing to scoff at. Within its first month on the market, Kratos’ return moved a total of five million units on the PlayStation 4. The latest figure of 10 million means another five million copies were sold in just a year’s time. Again, this seems nothing short of an impressive feat.
Of course, the game’s triumphs don’t stop there. A documentary about the title’s development, Raising Kratos, recently hit YouTube and has already amassed over one million views on the official PlayStation channel. Success is likely to be generated elsewhere, too, as there seems no shortage of God of War memorabilia to collect. For example, there exists merchandise celebrating the one-year anniversary of the game’s April 2018 launch. In addition, Prime 1 Studio just announced plans to release premium God of War figures, impressive in sculpt and no doubt incredibly expensive.
Sony held its Corporate Strategy Meeting on May 20, 2019, where it discussed a slew of news and results pertaining to the ongoing state of PlayStation and looked ahead to the company’s future. Among some of the interesting points was a look at the current number of active users across the entirety of the PlayStation Network. It was revealed that the PlayStation Network has reached 94 million active monthly users, which is an impressive accomplishment for Sony.
Since there are several platforms across the PlayStation ecosystem that support PSN, it’s important to note that this isn’t only pertaining to the PS4, but also the PS3 and Vita. This number also accounts for all PSN users, regardless of whether they have a PlayStation Plus subscription or not. But, in case you’re wondering, there are around 36 million PS Plus members, as of February of this year.
Aside from the impressive number of active PSN users, it was reaffirmed that 96.8 million PS4s have shipped. Keep in mind, this does not mean 96.8 million systems have been sold to customers, but rather that they’ve been shipped to retailers. Still, Sony should hit 100-million units shipped by the fall of this year, with an equal number of units sold shortly thereafter.
Sony is most definitely in the position to start the next generation off strong, as the company aims to make PlayStation “the best place to play.” As it stands, there is no confirmation for when we’ll see next generation hardware, but it’s expected to launch in the fall of 2020. With 94 million monthly active users, there is certainly a massive community that is sure to be fired up to migrate to the PS5 (or whatever it will be called since Sony hasn’t offered a name yet).
Either way, a huge congratulations to Sony for continuing to succeed in the console space. We’re excited to see how the next generation shapes up.