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The best presidents in video games

Washington Post - Technology News

Most presidents in real life and in games have stained their hands with the blood of innocents, and Sonic the Hedgehog's president is no different. In "Sonic Adventure 2," we learn that Mr. President requested Eggman's grandfather, Gerald Robotnik, to unlock the secrets of immortality. Robotnik was driven by his need to cure his fatally ill granddaughter, Maria Robotnik. Of course, these experiments led to the creation of the "ultimate lifeform" Shadow the Hedgehog, as well as a galaxy-level threat in some kind of biolizard thing that Sonic kills as Super Sonic. Anyway, the point is that there's a direct line of cause and effect from Mr. President's decisions and the creation of the Eggman Empire, which threatens the peace of the United Federations.


Start 2021 off right with a great gaming laptop — get a Dell G7 for $400 off

Mashable

SAVE $400: The Dell G7 4K gaming laptop is a great way to experience PC gaming without the bulk of a desktop -- it's $400 off at Best Buy as of Jan. 20. Before they all start coming out, you're going to want to prepare by getting the right gear, whether that's one of the elusive new consoles or a high-end PC. If you haven't had any luck snagging a PlayStation 5 or Xbox Series X, you should definitely look at dipping your toes into the world of PC gaming. A gaming laptop is a good way to start, and the Dell G7 is $400 off at Best Buy as of Jan. 20. The Dell G7 gets you a high-quality pc gaming experience without the bulk of a desktop.


'Hitman 3' is the grandest stage for your own stories, even as it tries to end its own

Washington Post - Technology News

I've already talked at length about how the brilliant second mission alone, based on "Knives out" or Agatha Christie's "Poirot" murder mysteries, already justifies this game's existence. Chongqing is another highlight, a deliberate throwback to the old Hong Kong levels of the original PC release. It's a rain-drenched district that once again illustrates the kind of grand interconnectivity and neon sheen that "Cyberpunk" tried to achieve, and "Hitman" does effortlessly. Rain slithers off his leather-coated back as he waits outside his mark's building, assessing the place. In the meantime, he can open an umbrella and make small talk with a woman waiting for her girlfriend, just one of the series' many small but important storytelling flourishes to make each level feel more alive than you've seen in any action adventure.


This Nintendo player turned 'Mario Kart 8 Deluxe' into a fitness game. Here's how he did it.

Washington Post - Technology News

The lengthy video breaks down how Choi built his "Labo Fit Adventure Kart Kit." The heart of his creation is TAPBO, a small robotic device he engineered that holds the Joy-Con in place and has motorized arms that press down on two of the controller's buttons for accelerating and slowing down in "Mario Kart 8 Deluxe." To play, you sit on the bike (which he comically calls the Bike-Con and covered in cardboard to resemble Nintendo Labo's line of products), hold the Ring-Con in both hands like a steering wheel, and peddle to move forward.


Why Do Exploding Barrels Make Video Games So Much More Fun?

WIRED

Too often game worlds can feel like static backdrops for gameplay. But by incorporating elemental reactions, developers bring complexity and characterization to a player's surroundings. By now we're all familiar with the overused exploding barrel trope. A single bullet is all it takes to create an explosion that can take out multiple enemies, turning an element in the environment into an interactive arrow in your quiver as you progress. While environmental storytelling has stolen the spotlight when it comes to designing spaces, emergent environmental narrative design is quietly the bigger innovation happening in games right now, with elemental reactions being the easiest to grasp.


This clever bot turns Reddit arguments into video game scenes

Mashable

There's plenty of drama on Reddit, but it's not often that drama gets to play out on the screen. On Sunday, 24-year-old software engineer Micah Price from Cape Town, South Africa, unveiled what can only be described as a niche-but-genius creation: a bot that takes everyday arguments on Reddit and has them play out in the style of scenes from Ace Attorney, Capcom's animated courtroom-based video game series. The end result is a gloriously dramatic affair that shines a whole new spotlight on Reddit's comment section. Price's video was shared on Reddit's r/Videos sub shortly after it went live on YouTube, and at the time of writing it's racked up over 21,000 upvotes. Price told Mashable he's always been a fan of Ace Attorney, which sees players taking on the role of defense attorneys who must carry out investigations to protect their clients (the game's episodes culminate in a courtroom trial where you have to cross-examine witnesses and present evidence to a judge).


Glitches, long hours and delays: Inside Cyberpunk 2077's disastrous rollout

The Japan Times

CD Projekt SA Chief Executive Officer Marcin Iwiński made a public mea culpa this week about the disastrous rollout of the video game Cyberpunk 2077 in December. He took personal responsibility and asked fans not to blame the team. In a somber five-minute video address and accompanying blog post, Iwiński acknowledged the game "did not meet the quality standard we wanted to meet. I and the entire leadership team are deeply sorry for this." Iwiński's apology, the second within a month, was an attempt to restore the Polish company's reputation with scores of fans -- and investors -- who had waited eight years for the game, only to discover it was riddled with bugs and performance issues when it was finally released.


4K may be the present, but 8K TVs showed us the future at CES 2021

Mashable

It feels like 4K is just barely getting started and 8K is already one-upping it. At the all-virtual version of CES this year, most of the biggest names in TV manufacturing like Sony and LG trotted out their upcoming wares. While the majority of the TVs shown maxed out at 4K resolution (which is still gorgeous and is supported by more movies and video games than 8K), there were a few sets that went above and beyond. Companies like Samsung and TCL proved that 8K is real and it's here -- just in time go to along with the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X, both of which will support it as soon as 8K games start existing. If you're unfamiliar with the distinction between 4K and 8K, you can brush up with our explainer, but the main thing you need to know is that it has 16 times the number of pixels as a 1080p display. If that sounds appealing to you, here are some of the coolest 8K TVs shown off at CES this year.


Video game spending hits record $56.9 billion in 2020

USATODAY - Tech Top Stories

With many Americans stuck at home last year due to the pandemic, spending on video games hit a new record. Total video game spending in 2020 hit $56.9 billion, up 27% higher than the previous year, says research firm NPD Group. Consumer spending last December, an important month for the industry with holiday shopping in full swing, reached a record $7.7 billion, a 25% increase from 2019. Last year also saw the arrivals of new video game hardware: Sony's PlayStation 5 and Microsoft's Xbox Series S/X. Both devices launched in November. Mat Piscatella, executive director and video game industry advisor for NPD Group, said on Twitter spending in December "could have been significantly bigger" if not for constraints on the supply of PS5s and Xboxes.


Blizzard's Battle.net launcher is getting a much-needed redesign

Engadget

For many, Battle.net is the portal into their favourite PC and macOS video games. As PC Gamer explains, though, the client has barely changed in the last eight years. Thankfully, a long overdue update has arrived. The general layout has been overhauled, and it's now possible to'favorite' games for easy access. The social pane has been reworked too, alongside a new notifications hub for messages and checking downloads.