PC Fighter Aces Suit-Up! ACE COMBAT 7: SKIES UNKNOWN Launches Today on STEAM

PC based pilots, your day has come! ACE COMBAT 7: SKIES UNKNOWN is now officially cleared for take-off on STEAM®. Having garnered an 81 Metacritic score for both the PlayStation®4 and Xbox One versions, ACE COMBAT 7: SKIES UNKNOWN is set to deliver the explosive dogfighting action, deep storyline, and beautifully rendered aircraft the franchise is known for, to PC players to experience and enjoy.

ACE COMBAT 7: SKIES UNKNOWN is available now in the Americas for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PCs via STEAM.

Now, buckle up for take-off, we’ll see you in the skies!


Windscape – Homage to “The Legend of Zelda” coming to consoles and PC on 27th March

Open-World Adventure Game’s Full Release for Nintendo SwitchTM, Xbox One and PC

As a huge fan of “The Legend of Zelda”, “Secret of Mana” and “Golden Axe Warrior”, the German game developer Dennis Witte has always wanted to create his own game which contained elements of all of them. In 2016 his dream started taking shape with the help of Headup, when his “Herzensprojekt” Windscape was released into Early Access on Steam.

The result was a first person exploration adventure with elements of modern crafting and sandbox games, where you explore a beautifully handcrafted fantasy world, fight monsters, interact with NPCs, solve quests and puzzles.

Now, almost three years later, Dennis’ hard work and passion as well as the extremely helpful feedback from the community (Thank you!) has led us here: Windscape is leaving Early Access on 27th March and will also be released on Nintendo Switch™ and Xbox One.

Nintendo Switch™ players can enjoy a 20% discount on pre-purchase starting 8th March, while Xbox One users can buy the game for 20% off from 13th Marchin the Microsoft Store. For PC players, the game is already available as Early Access version, also with 20% off until release.

Watch the new trailer for a quick glance at the charming world of Windscape!



About Windscape

Windscape is a first-person exploration adventure set in a lovely world made up of floating islands in the sky. The game is highly reminiscent of the The Legend of Zelda games as well as Secret of Mana and Golden Axe Warrior of which the developer is a huge fan of. As such Windscape combines the spirit and flow of these genre classics with elements of modern exploration, crafting and survival games. The result is a unique game with a fresh blend of genres.

Meet peaceful NPCs each island’s overworld and vicious monsters in the dungeons and lairs you uncover along your journey. While the islands work in a non-linear manner, the dungeons are more puzzle and combat driven – each with its own style and atmosphere. However, brute force won’t get you far in larger boss fights. Tactics and figuring out your enemies’ combat patterns are key to defeating larger foes such as ghosts, ogres and dragons. Your effort will be rewarded of course – there are many valuable items to loot!.

Features:

  • A handcrafted universe
  • A beautiful world to explore and discover
  • An immersive yet classical story around a young girl
  • A profound yet simple to use crafting system
  • Murky dungeons and challenging boss fights

About Headup

Headup is a hybrid games publishing and development company providing players worldwide with the best content in the independent gaming sector. Established in 2009, it is active on all major platforms such as consoles, mobile devices and PC, and was awarded as “Best Publisher” at the German Developers Awards in 2012, 2013 and 2017. With over 70 million customers served on mobile and further several million players on the PC and consoles, Headup is always looking to raise awareness and commercial success for developers thinking outside the box. More information can be found at  www.headupgames.com

About Dennis Witte

Hi, my name is Dennis and I am the creator of Windscape, a first-person exploration adventure. Instead of just letting you read a boring game description, please allow me to share my vision of the game I am creating. Hopefully you will like what I am working on.

Ever since my childhood I was a huge fan of the Zelda series of games, Golden Axe Warrior, Secret of Mana and games in which let you explore a vivid world without time pressures and a too restrictive storyline. Over the past year and a half I’ve been working on my vision of a modern exploration adventure, combining it with my fondness for modern crafting and sandbox games.

$5.7 billion games investment in 2018 doubles previous record

Digi-Capital’s Games Report Q1 2019 tracked games companies raising $5.7 billion in 2018, which was over twice the previous record investment from 2017. Tim Sweeney’s Epic Games’ $1.25 billion was not only the largest round raised last year, it was the largest non-IPO games investment of all time. The only larger single amount raised by a games company was when Netmarble Games held its IPO in 2017. Even that record might not survive given Fortnite’s extraordinary performance.

Source: Digi-Capital Games Report Q1 2019 (note: free charts do not include numbers and data from subscriber version. All data sourced directly from companies and reliable secondary sources)

As a sign of both financial muscle and the need to expand beyond core markets, Tencent was either a major shareholder in or investor in four of the top five deals last year. As we’ve discussed before, this is becoming a familiar pattern. Tencent was behind investments in Douyu ($630 million raised), Shanda Games ($474 million) and Huya ($462 million raised). France’s Voodoo raised $200 million from Goldman Sachs to round out the top five.

11 other companies also raised $100 million plus rounds last year, with more in the single millions to tens of millions range. By far the largest categories for investors were mobile and games tech/other (particularly streaming), each of which took around one third of investment dollars last year. MMO/MOBA games, eSports, console/PC games and AR/VR games companies also raised significant amounts.

The games acquisitions market was also on fire in 2018, with over $22 billion games M&A making it the second highest year on record. Games M&A dollars are always dominated by mega-deals, which last year included Naspers selling 2% of Tencent for over $10 billion dollars for a 60,000% return, and Tencent and others acquiring Vivendi’s $2 billion plus stake in Ubisoft.

Zhejiang Century Huatong acquired Shenyue Network (the online games affiliate of Shanda Games) for $4.4 billionPAI Partners picked up Asmodee Digital for $1.4 billion, and Aristocrat closed its Big Fish Games deal for nearly $1 billion. There were another eight acquisitions in the $100 million plus range, and more in the single millions to tens of millions range.

Unsurprisingly, mobile dominated acquisition activity last year as it did the year before. MMO/MOBA and console/PC made up most of the rest of the acquisitions market. The games market as a whole is incredibly consolidated, with the top 10 public (i.e. stock market listed) games companies taking over three quarters of public games company revenue and around four fifths of public game company valuations worldwide (note: this is not all market revenue/valuation, as privately held companies are also significant). The big keep getting bigger.

Over the last decade, games IPOs have gone through three year repeating cycles where one huge year is followed by two quiet ones. The last high came in the record year for games IPOs in 2017, with games IPOs in 2018 raising around 90% less than that high point (as Digi-Capital anticipated at the start of last year). While it’s too early to tell, if the 3 year cycle repeats in the same way 2019 could also see muted games IPO activity.

In such a highly consolidated, hit driven market, the level of games deal activity last year was extraordinary. Again it is too early to tell whether this year will continue in a similar vein, or if the cyclical nature of deal-making might see the market pull back. One thing’s for sure, it’s not going to be dull.

(Full details and all transactions in Digi-Capital’s new 258 page Games Report Q1 2019)

(Tim Merel is Managing Director of Silicon Valley AR/VR adviser Digi-Capital)

Four Hours : Red Dead Redemption II

I don’t really like reviewing games, especially since I have not finished it yet so cant give a real “review” of it…. so lets do what I think of the game so far.

When Red Dead Redemption (the original) was first announced way back when, it caught my interest, but when was only going to be released for PS3 era consoles, I was a bit gutted……  but it became the reason I bought a PS3. (Got a great deal on the PS3 with games inc RDR)

I was hooked on the game – GTA 3 etc were good but this was amazing, the freedom, the graphics, the sound, the game play, it was just a top notch game.

It was/is so good, I even bought it on Xbox360 for my Xbox One (backwards compatibility FTW) and was still playing it until a few weeks ago when I pre-ordered RDR2…..

Anyway, onto RDR2

Graphics – being a “nex-gen” console, of course I was expecting better graphics than the first game, but wow, the detail and draw distance is fantastic. You can just lose yourself in the environment and forget about the rest of the game. Everything is well detailed and animations spot on.

Sound – again, amazing, just stop and listen to the world around you. Some of the speech of NPC’s can be a bit repetitive after a while but cant have everything.

Gameplay – Great as usual with Rockstars games.Does take a little while to get used to the controller changes from RDR but everything is accessible fairly quickly. I’ve only done a couple of the missions so far, but each have flowed well and been straight forward to complete. The intro missions are a bit linear but its more of a training system – does take a while to get through though.

Now, warning – it does take approx 90mins to install the game on a standard Xbox – so dont get home after buying it and think “yay, cant wait” – you will wait. But its well worth it.

Multiplayer will be available soon but I wont be trying that as I dont subscribe to Xbox Live Gold.

If you enjoyed RDR, or GTA5, just grab this, you wont be disappointed – except you cant put an exhaust on your horse 😉 But its testicles do shrink when its cold…………

 

Xbox One Repair

Last year our 3 year old Xbox One stopped connecting to the controllers consistently. They would connect, then after a short period drop out, then come back and drop again. I found the closer to the Xbox I got with the controller, the more stable it was.

Everything else appeared to be working perfectly on the Xbox, so was a bit puzzled and frustrated that a 3 year old device was giving this grief, when my 8+ year old PS3 has never missed a beat (apart from controller failing after years of constant abuse).

After doing some research online, found the issue was quite common, yet no-one had managed to get Microsoft to come to the party to fix it.

So everyone was left to their own devices to fix it.

Turns out its a small card in the Xbox which is primarily the Wifi controller, but also handles the controllers wireless connection as well – makes sense.

Swapping this out for another one was the most common fix. So I did it.

Found the replacement part of Ebay for $10NZD, waited 2 months for it to arrive, then spent 30mins installing it using the following guide.

https://www.ifixit.com/Guide/Xbox+One+Wi-Fi+Board+Replacement/36779

And now have working controllers!!!!!!

It wasn’t hard to do, just more frustrating trying to get the bits of the Xbox apart without breaking them 😉

Hopefully thats the last time I have to take it apart.

Game on!

Easy as Pi Emulation

Recently I was given a Raspberry Pi, inc case, power, wifi and SD card. Plan was for my eldest daughter to play with it and see if its something that would interest her going forward…. she showed a lot of interest, more so when she found Retropie.

Since then, she started hassling me to help her get it running to play some old games….so I did.

And guess what ? It was damn easy.

Just dump the latest Retropie image on the SD card, and away you go. The only thing we had issues with, was getting through the initial controller setup. It didnt seem to like my budget USB game pad, so ended up using an Xbox One controller.

Now, since this is an original Pi, its not amazing at emulation, but runs the early arcades such as PacMan, Space invaders, Donkey Kong well, but anything else can be hit and miss. My daughter fired up Super Mario Kart (SNES) and while it did run, it wasnt great.

Copying new games was easy as copying some ROM’s into the relevant folders onto the SD card over the network.

So now, I’m hooked on this little box for emulation purposes, but looking at obtaining the latest Pi which apparently handles most stuff without a problem. Being so small, its portable, which makes it great for throwing into a bag when you go away for a weekend and the kids start going “Im bored” – find an HDMI capable display and you’re away.

Now, this does make my RetroBox project rather redundant………  I may still do it, I’ll see how the new Pi goes.

 

Check out : Retro Asylum

If you’re into retro gaming and listen to podcasts, I’m pretty sure you would have come across Retro Asylum.

It’s a great podcast with a group of guys who love their retro gear and gaming and have a great sense of humor.

I’ve been tuning into them for about 8 months now and find it fascinating listening about all the systems they’ve come across or own, a lot of gear we never saw officially in New Zealand.

They cover all aspects of retro gaming, from hardware, software, peripherals, newly developed games (inc Amstrad!) and more.

I highly recommend checking them out. You can find them on all the usual social media platforms, including Discord – but the bugger about discord is that we’re usually asleep when they all come to life 🙁