Gaming

Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice is the game fit for those who dare

A hands-on look at the story of the Shinobi warrior

Published

on

I have to admit: I hardly hear much about games that focus on the Eastern side of the world that aren’t Pokémon or Dragon Ball. But, I do like games that have some sort of historical background to them, say folklore or modern history. And wouldn’t you know it, FromSoftware and Activision pull out one from underneath all of us.

Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice dives into the world of a reimagined 16th century Japan, ravaged by countless wars. It is an open-world, action-adventure game made by the same guys behind Dark Souls. I got the chance to see what this game is all about, and here are some of my initial thoughts.


We start with an insightful backstory

I did appreciate that the first ten minutes of the two and a half hours worth of gameplay gave a good backstory on Sekiro and his humble beginnings. He started out as a simple boy, found at the crossroads of war. A samurai offered to nurse him in his early years, until he grew old enough to be a protector of his lord. However, gameplay picks up on a much older Sekiro, so playing through a childhood with lots of fighting didn’t seem to be that important.

The overworld of early Japan is breathtaking! FromSoftware really did a good job with the visual presentation of the whole game. What stood out to me the most was the detail not just on Sekiro, but also on all his enemies.

It plays well into the whole open-world aesthetic, in that it allows you to explore everywhere and grab as much as you can, including extra items to use for healing or fighting. And you probably want to do that to prepare for all the tough battles ahead.

Waking up a one “good” armed man

After 30 minutes of trying not to die, I arrive at this garden with a mysterious samurai who basically challenges Sekiro to a duel. After the duel you’re supposed to lose, the samurai not only takes your master but he also slashes your arm off. You then wake up in an old temple, and the first thing you gaze upon is a wooden arm attached to your shoulder.

That wooden arm is called the Shinobi Prosthetic, and you can actually do some crazy stuff with it. I was only able to try the prosthetic arm with a Grappling Hook that allows you to travel much faster. It’s a simple press of the L2 button on any “hook” you can sling onto, whether it’s a tree branch or a rooftop. It’s like being Spider-Man minus the webs!

Apart from the Shinobi Prosthetic, Sekiro also carries his trusted katana to slice and dice enemies. It’s his only form of defense, but at least it doesn’t break! Pressing R1 multiple times lets you continually attack opponents until they are too weak to fight back. On paper, combat looks easy to do, right? Well…

Nothing comes easy for a shinobi

Let’s be real: This game has a difficulty spike that rises faster than the sun does in Japan! Although, this isn’t necessarily surprising from the developers that brought you Dark Souls. The whole deal is having the right amount of aggressiveness when dealing with enemies. You use Circle to dodge incoming attacks and L1 to block strong attacks (mostly with weapons). But even that won’t stop your opponents from beating the living hell out of you if you don’t fight back.

Of course, you are alerted when the enemy is about to strike you heavily, giving you a chance to block the attack properly. It’s a healthy dose of combat, mind games, and reading the situation accordingly. I can’t even count how many times I’ve died, then resurrected but still died trying to fend off strong enemies. And some of them even have guns and cannons shooting at you, dealing heavy damage.

Is it worth playing through and through?

In the short amount of time I got to play it, I really think that Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice is a great game. It’s got great visuals, fast-paced and aggressive gameplay, and an enjoyable open-world experience. But again, I really can’t stress enough that this game is difficult. If you enjoy a challenge, you will definitely enjoy this game.

Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice will be available for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC. The game will be released on March 22, 2019, priced at PhP 2,799 in the Philippines, SG$ 69 in Singapore, MYR 219 in Malaysia, and THB 1,790 in Thailand.

Apps

Apple Arcade provides access to over 100 exclusive games

Play wherever, whenever

Published

on

Apple is taking gaming way more seriously with the introduction of Apple Arcade, the company’s latest subscription service for video games available across its platforms.

In a nutshell, Apple Arcade lets you download and play any game on the service — whenever and wherever. It’s found in a new area with its own tab in the App Store and will offer over 100 exclusive games at launch.


Apple promises new titles launching all the time. Even cooler: They can be played seamlessly between an iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, and even a Mac computer.

Unlike most online subscriptions, every game is playable offline in case you have no mobile data or Wi-Fi to work with. And because you’re paying for the service, Apple guarantees that you’ll see no ads — something that’s plagued lots of other platforms.

Apple hasn’t revealed pricing details yet, but did confirm that Apple Arcade will come to more than 150 countries and regions in fall 2019.

We also don’t have a list of games yet, but we did see Sonic the Hedgehog prominently featured in the trailer. Check it out:

Continue Reading

Gaming

Nintendo plans to release two Switch models this 2019 — report

A pro and a lite version

Published

on

Nintendo Switch | Image credit: Pexels

If you plan to buy a Nintendo Switch, you might want to hold back for now. Talks about a cheaper and smaller Switch console have been around for more than a year, and it could finally happen. To make things more exciting, we might even have another Switch that’s better than the first one.

The Wall Street Journal reports that Nintendo is planning on releasing two new models of the Switch, and both may be unveiled later this year.


The first model is the long-rumored cheaper option. It’s angled to be a successor to the aging 3DS. This makes sense since fans of the popular Nintendo hand-held device need an upgrade. Some also find the Switch to be bigger than they had hoped for, so this is something that might pique the interest of 3DS users.

In order for Nintendo to offer a cheaper Switch, they’ll have to cut features and WSJ cites that this includes the vibration motor in the Joy-Con controllers.

Those who have been asking for a more powerful Switch (like me) will be happy to know that the other new model is reported to “have enhanced features targeted at avid video gamers.” Although, it still won’t be as good as the PS4 or Xbox One X, graphics-wise.

Both new versions are expected to be announced sometime in June at E3 2019 with a possible sale a few months later. It’ll be available in the market in time for the holidays and the release of new games like Pokémon Sword and Shield.

Via: Kotaku

SEE ALSO: Nintendo reveals new Pokémon games for the Switch

Continue Reading

Gaming

You may not be able to play PUBG for more than 6 hours in a day

Still better than banning the game completely

Published

on

Player Unknown’s Battlegrounds mobile edition needs no introduction. It has been the most trending multiplayer game for the last year and the trend shows no sign of cooling down. The game has been a hit in countries like India and players are hooked on it for hours.

Though, the game has received intense scrutiny from authorities because of its addictive stance. There have been multiple reports of addiction death and authorities have been scrambling to ban the game. Parents are worried about their children not being able to concentrate on studies and educational institutes have reported lower attendance as well as poor academic performance.


To counter bans and indirectly help players avoid addiction, PUBG is testing a six-hour per day gameplay limit. According to SportsKeeda, the app is sending a health reminder to players after six hours of gameplay and asking them to take a break. The game also has an age verification request now, which asks players if they are over the age of 18.

https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

The new limit isn’t active for all users right now and is currently in a testing phase. While some users are reporting seeing the message after two to four hours of gaming, some are being locked out after six hours of usage. It seems only players in India are seeing this at the moment and other regions haven’t been affected.

This restriction comes after the game was banned in Gujarat and multiple arrests were made by the police. The Chinese government recently banned PUBG Mobile for players under the age of 13.

There is no official word from PUBG Mobile on this health reminder-based daily gameplay limit yet. The addition may irk some users, but it’s the first step towards ensuring the game isn’t outright banned.

Continue Reading

Trending