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Discord’s new Go Live feature will let users stream games to up to 10 friends

Discord’s newest feature, called Go Live, is something like a middle ground between livestreaming to the entire internet and playing a game with your friends on the couch. The new feature, which Discord announced on Friday morning, will allow users to stream their gameplay directly to friends using the Discord client. The feature is set to roll out on Aug. 15.

Go Live is an extension of Discord’s current screen sharing feature, which is available as part of the service’s private voice calls. Unlike the private call version, however, Go Live will require game detection to activate. This means that rather than simply screen sharing, users can only broadcast to viewers while running a game, and only the game will be shown to viewers.

A Discord user streams their gameplay to everyone else in the channel
Discord’s Go Live stream being used in the Discord desktop app
Discord

Go Live broadcasts will only be available to users currently in the same Discord voice channel as the stream’s host. Each Discord Go Live stream can host up to 10 people, including the streamer themselves. There’s no limit to how many people can be live in each Discord server, but only one person can use Go Live per voice channel.

Discord Go Live can be activated or deactivated at any time either through Discord’s desktop app, or while playing a game directly through the in-game overlay. The streams themselves will automatically be broadcast to viewers at 720p, however Nitro Classic users will have the option to upgrade their streams to 1080p, while standard Nitro users will have the ability to stream at 4K.

Some users will begin getting access to Go Live beginning Aug. 15, and the feature will be available to everyone over the course of the next two weeks.

Source: Polygon.com

I’m Back To Watching Video Game YouTube For Fun: Here’s What I Liked

Life has been a little stressful lately. At first, that pushed me to turn to video games for escapism⁠—something I’d not really done before. This week, I’ve found myself too tired to binge through Fire Emblem. But it still felt weird to be more disconnected to gaming, so I returned to something I haven’t done for my own entertainment in a while: YouTube.

For a time, I was fully plugged into YouTube. I had a handful of popular creators and Twitch streamers whose videos I would watch consistently. In the past, before coming to Kotaku, I even contributed to Patreons and other funding campaigns for my favorites. When you start working as a games journalist, all things game related invariably become work related. When you play a game, you’re on the lookout for angles. See someone on the subway with a Switch? That’s a chance to snoop on real players and their habits. If you’re like me and watched speedrunners and other streamers, you turn that into a beat that you cover rigorously. That’s not a complaint; my job is cool, and I’m lucky to have it. But it also means that the way I consumed YouTube videos changed. It wasn’t something I did for fun anymore.

Retreating to fantasy worlds gave me a buffer from stress over this last rocky month. Sleep has often eluded me. In those moments, I’ve turned to YouTube and found comfort in watching good players and funny people enjoy games on what feels like my personal behalf. For instance, I stopped playing Apex Legends. Like many games that require attention and reflexes, it’s not a great game to play when you’re exhausted. To get my action fix, I’ve turned to personalities like StoneMountain64. Stone’s got great energy and production value. He has channels for edited work and longer stream archives. Watching someone be unabashedly enthusiastic—performance or not—is wonderful. Each match has a story, and you feel the ebbs and flows much like a good episode of television.

Stick with the same creators for a while, and you start to learn the cast of characters they play with. In some cases, you watch less for the game and more for their interplay. I’m an avid Final Fantasy XIV player but have been playing less. I can still get my fix, plus fun chatter, by watching creators like DrakGamestein. Drak and his friends play through all sorts of content, but watching them work through Final Fantasy XIV’s high-level raids is fantastic. His team is skilled but not on the cutting edge of progression raiding, which gives videos a more casual feel than if you were watching day one diehards. Fights are edited to highlight witty banter and jokes. It allows me to enjoy my favorite game, even if I’ve sometimes politely bowed out early when I play for real.

It’s nice to return to an old habit I’d put aside for work. Binging games gave me a sense of escapism that eluded me, and watching YouTubers on my terms has reconnected me to something else I’d lost. I’ll find time tonight for the folks important to me, but I might steal an hour to watch things because it’s what I want to do. No more articles (excluding this one), no sniffing out stories. Just some good videos by charming folks.

Source: Kotaku.com

Destiny’s new cross save feature coming later this month

Despite Destiny 2: Shadowkeep’s recent delay, Destiny’s new cross save feature is still on track for its late summer release date. In Bungie’s weekly blog post on Aug. 8, the studio revealed that players can start accessing their Guardians across multiple platforms on Tuesday, Aug. 20.

Once active, players can use their Guardians on any platform where they own Destiny 2. Players who’ve spent hundreds of hours on Destiny 2 for PS4 could migrate their progress to the PC version of the game without missing a beat, and vice versa.

According to the cross save hub on Bungie’s website, the process for activating the feature seems relatively simple. Players can begin linking their PC, Xbox Live, and PlayStation Network account to a single Bungie account today.

Once players link from their various platforms, they then need to select a group of dominant characters to play with. For example, if players have a Titan on Xbox and a Titan on PS4, players will need to pick one to use for Cross Play and the other to remain dormant. After that, players should simply see their dominant characters for each class each time they log in to Destiny, regardless of the platform.

Bungie clarified that while players will select a dominant group, their other characters won’t disappear. Players can always access their dominant characters by logging in to their game, but can swap their dominant character grouping anytime they wish.

Because of this, cross save won’t merge accounts for players. Instead, players who have accounts across multiple platforms will need to determine which account from which platform they want to use.

Honestly, like most things Destiny-related, it’s complicated. Before you make any changes, be sure to read through our detailed guide.

As far as content goes, cross save won’t allow players to share content across platforms. Until Destiny 2’s free-to-play offering, New Light, comes out on Oct. 1, players will need to own Destiny 2 on whatever platform they intend to use cross save on. Players also need to own any expansion content they want to play on the platform they’re playing on as well, since licenses won’t cross over. Players can use expansion items they’ve already earned on another platform anywhere they play, regardless of the content they own.

Bungie answers more question in their cross save FAQ, such as what happens with the premium currency, Silver. Cross save functions will also include Destiny 2 for Google Stadia when that version of the game launches later this year.

The current setup page doesn’t mention if the original Destiny as also getting cross save. We’ve reached out to Bungie to clarify.

Source: Polygon.com

Call of Duty: Mobile has seen half a million downloads since soft launch

Call of Duty: Mobile, Activision’s upcoming free to play mobile game for iOS and Android, has already soft launched in both Canada and Australia.

According to a report from Sensor Tower, a mobile measurement firm (via GamesBeat), the Call of Duty: Mobile game has already seen 530,000 downloads in Canada and Australia since it’s soft launch in the market across both iOS and Android.

In addition, Sensor Tower reports that since July 18, the Call of Duty: Mobile game has generated more than $100,000 in revenue for Activision.

Sensor Tower, a mobile measurement firm, said Call of Duty: Mobile has amassed approximately 530,000 downloads in Canada and Australia since soft-launching in those markets. The title has only recently begun monetizing and has grossed more than $100,000 across both markets since July 18.

Activision, as part of their investor call, highlighted that the company is excited to launch both Modern Warfare and Call of Duty: Mobile this year. Call of Duty: Mobile is the company’s big expansion of Call of Duty into new regions and onto the mobile platform with a more effective game overall versus their previous attempts.

During the investor call, Activision has stated that they are cautiously optimistic about the mobile game and didn’t want to give investors an indication as to revenue expectations. Based on other mobile games, Activision can easily expect to generate millions from this mobile game as the market for mobile games is huge in international markets.

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Source: CharlieIntel.com

Smash Bros. Ultimate’s First Event Tournament Kicks Off Today

Along with the Hero from Dragon Quest, one of the biggest additions to come in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate‘s major 4.0 update was a new online tournament mode, which would periodically hold special event tourneys. The first of these events kicks off today, August 9, and it fittingly pits good against evil.

The theme of the first Smash Bros. Ultimate event tourney is Heroes vs. Villains. Each match features a 2:30 time limit, and only certain heroic and villainous characters are able to participate. You can see the full list of eligible fighters for this tournament below:

  • Mario
  • Link
  • Samus
  • Dark Samus
  • Fox
  • Bowser
  • Marth
  • Young Link
  • Ganondorf
  • Roy
  • Chrom
  • Meta Knight
  • Pit
  • Dark Pit
  • Wario
  • Ike
  • Sonic
  • King Dedede
  • Toon Link
  • Wolf
  • Shulk
  • Bowser Jr.
  • Ridley
  • Simon Belmont
  • Richter Belmont
  • King K. Rool
  • Hero

The Heroes vs. Villains event runs through the weekend until August 12, and players who participate will receive a Spirit as a prize. Nintendo says the further you advance during the tournament, the better the Spirit will be. You’ll need to have a Nintendo Switch Online subscription to take part in the event.

If you’re already a Switch Online member, you can also grab an exclusive Smash Bros. Ultimate freebie from the Eshop. Nintendo is giving NSO subscribers a free Spirit Board Challenge Pack that includes a handful of helpful items for the game’s Spirit Board mode. If you’re in the market for a new controller, a handful of GameCube-style Smash Ultimate controllers are also on sale right now at Amazon.

Hero is the second DLC fighter from Smash Bros. Ultimate’s Fighters Pass to arrive, following Persona 5’s Joker. The next DLC character on the way to the game is Rare’s famous bear and bird duo, Banjo and Kazooie, who are slated to launch sometime this fall. Nintendo still has two more DLC characters in the works, although the company has kept their identities a secret thus far.

Source: GameSpot.com

Smash Bros. Ultimate’s First Event Tournament Kicks Off Today

Along with the Hero from Dragon Quest, one of the biggest additions to come in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate‘s major 4.0 update was a new online tournament mode, which would periodically hold special event tourneys. The first of these events kicks off today, August 9, and it fittingly pits good against evil.

The theme of the first Smash Bros. Ultimate event tourney is Heroes vs. Villains. Each match features a 2:30 time limit, and only certain heroic and villainous characters are able to participate. You can see the full list of eligible fighters for this tournament below:

  • Mario
  • Link
  • Samus
  • Dark Samus
  • Fox
  • Bowser
  • Marth
  • Young Link
  • Ganondorf
  • Roy
  • Chrom
  • Meta Knight
  • Pit
  • Dark Pit
  • Wario
  • Ike
  • Sonic
  • King Dedede
  • Toon Link
  • Wolf
  • Shulk
  • Bowser Jr.
  • Ridley
  • Simon Belmont
  • Richter Belmont
  • King K. Rool
  • Hero

The Heroes vs. Villains event runs through the weekend until August 12, and players who participate will receive a Spirit as a prize. Nintendo says the further you advance during the tournament, the better the Spirit will be. You’ll need to have a Nintendo Switch Online subscription to take part in the event.

If you’re already a Switch Online member, you can also grab an exclusive Smash Bros. Ultimate freebie from the Eshop. Nintendo is giving NSO subscribers a free Spirit Board Challenge Pack that includes a handful of helpful items for the game’s Spirit Board mode. If you’re in the market for a new controller, a handful of GameCube-style Smash Ultimate controllers are also on sale right now at Amazon.

Hero is the second DLC fighter from Smash Bros. Ultimate’s Fighters Pass to arrive, following Persona 5’s Joker. The next DLC character on the way to the game is Rare’s famous bear and bird duo, Banjo and Kazooie, who are slated to launch sometime this fall. Nintendo still has two more DLC characters in the works, although the company has kept their identities a secret thus far.

Source: GameSpot.com

ESPN pulls Apex Legends tournament from broadcast after mass shootings

Apex Legends’ EXP Invitational tournament highlights will no longer be shown on ESPN 2 as they had previously been scheduled. According to an email obtained by Rod “Slasher” Breslau, the network decided to pull the broadcast due to the tragic mass shootings that occurred last weekend. The scheduling change was first reported by Breslau and has been confirmed by Polygon.

“Out of respect for the victims and all those impacted by the recent shootings, ABC will no longer air ‘EXP Invitational APEX Legends at X Games’ on Sunday,” ESPN said in an email sent to affiliate networks. In its place, ESPN will air an episode of its E:60 series about a tragic bus crash.

Reached for comment, a representative for ESPN told Polygon that the network is “delaying” coverage of the tournament as it “seemed the prudent thing to do given the swirl at the moment.” The program is being rescheduled to air on Oct. 6 at 5 p.m. ET on ESPN 2, with reruns to follow on Oct. 15 and Oct. 27.

The EXP Invitational competition itself already aired on ESPN’s streaming services, Twitch, and YouTube channels last weekend. The program on Aug. 11 would have been a collection of highlights that served as a recap of the tournament.

According to the email obtained by Breslau, the internal announcement of this schedule change was made Tuesday, Aug. 6, just one day after President Trump blamed the mass shootings in both El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, in part on violence in the media, including video games.

“We must stop the glorification of violence in our society,” Trump said during a press conference on Monday. “This includes the gruesome and grisly video games that are now commonplace. It is too easy today for troubled youth to surround themselves with a culture that celebrates violence. We must stop or substantially reduce this.”

The Entertainment Software Association, the video game industry’s largest lobbying organization, responded to President Trump’s claims quickly. “More than 165 million Americans enjoy video games,” said an ESA spokesperson, “and billions of people play video games worldwide. Yet other societies, where video games are played as avidly, do not contend with the tragic levels of violence that occur in the US.”

Deflecting blame for mass shootings toward the video game industry is commonplace in the current administration. Meanwhile, studies have shown no link between video games and real-world violence.

Source: Polygon.com

Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice Sales Reach Almost 4 Million

Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, the latest FromSoftware game, has sold 3.8 million units as of June 2019, just over three months on the market. The worldwide figure is sell-in, not sell-through, so that figure is numbers sold to retailers. Still, it’s a big number for Activision, which published the game.

Niko Partners senior analyst Daniel Ahmad noted the figure on Twitter, and noted for comparison that the Dark Souls series as a whole has shipped 25 million copies as of June. Most of those sales came after the release of Dark Souls 3, which both sold well for itself and boosted the brand as the older games released PC versions.

Sekiro had a strong debut, hitting the second-best selling game of March in the US NPDs despite only being out for about a week. It maintained steady sales afterwards, appearing in both the April and May charts.

Sekiro is a spiritual successor to From’s other games, with a similarly tough timing-based battle system. GameSpot’s Sekiro eview praised its exhilarating combat and intricate environments.

“The orchestration of intense one-on-one boss encounters that truly test your mettle, and slower-paced stealth sections that let you take on battles at your own pace, is masterful,” Tamoor Hussain wrote. “More so than in previous games, From Software has honed in on the inherent tension found in the challenging nature of its games, and uses it to incredible effect. Sekiro marries the developer’s unique brand of gameplay with stealth action to deliver an experience that is as challenging as it is gratifying.”

Source: GameSpot.com

Deep-Pocketed Collectors Are Fueling A Retro Game Gold Rush

Joshua Entin holds high-grade copies of the NES games Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out and Metroid.
Photo: Courtesy Joshua Entin

Danielle Smith has spent half a million dollars on rare video games, most of it in the last nine months. And she’s just getting started.

“I really just want the best of the best,” said Smith, 35.

That half a million bucks has only bought her around 200 games. Last week, she spent $2,650 on a sealed copy of Donkey Kong Country for the Super Nintendo. Smith, a comic dealer from Florida, is just one of many deep-pocketed collectors who have only recently started splashing out in earnest on games.

“Comic book people and art people are coming in, and we want rare games that are hard to find,” she said.

Even longtime video game collectors like myself have been stunned at the news as of late. Games that just a few years ago might have only sold for a few thousand dollars are quickly exploding into five- and six-figure valuations. First, there was the sealed copy of Super Mario Bros. that sold on eBay for $30,000. This year, an earlier print of the game sold for $100,150. And it’s not just the first Super Mario that’s powered up in price. By now you’ve probably heard the story of the sealed copy of the NES classic Kid Icarus that sold for over $9,000. Sales of sealed games are shattering records left and right—and if you want to know why, just follow the money.

Numerous sources speaking to Kotaku for this story have all said the same thing: The past two years have seen an influx of new money coming in to the classic game collecting scene, primarily high-end collecting experts from other areas of interest like comic books, Magic cards, and coins. They see video games as the next big thing. Like a mint-condition Action Comics issue 1 might be the ultimate trophy of nostalgia for the superhero age of the mid-20th century, so too might a sealed Mario be the perfect bottling of the pop-culture moment of the 1980s.

And these new collectors are ready to spend to get their hands on the best, rarest, mintiest copies, because they’ve seen what happened in their own collecting fields when prices started to rise.

“I truly believe that we are on the brink of something really epic and incredible happening,” said Smith, who says she’s recently been selling off rare comics to fund more video game buys.

Thus far, the world of classic video game collecting has been mostly driven by avid gamers seeking complete sets of games for a certain platform. That’s what caused Stadium Events, an unremarkable and largely forgotten exercise game from the 1980s, to become for a time the most desired, rarest Nintendo Entertainment System game. You couldn’t complete your set without it, so up went the price, even though by itself it held almost no nostalgic appeal.

“You show Stadium Events to someone on the street, they’re not going to know what the hell you’re talking about. But you show anyone Mario and immediately they can sing you the jingle from the first level,” says Deniz Kahn, the president of Wata Games, a company that authenticates and assesses collectible video games.

That’s what Danielle Smith, and others like her, want. They want something that matches their comic collections: a small batch of games representing key moments in gaming, in the best condition possible. A “sticker-sealed” early copy of Super Mario, a sealed Metroid, a first-print Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out. Although she’s been collecting comics for 15 years, Smith’s personal collection only numbers around 90 books that, even encased in their protective plastic slabs, fit into three small boxes. But those boxes contain an Action Comics issue 1, the first appearance of Superman, that Smith estimates to be worth about $750,000. She’s also got a Detective Comics 27, the first appearance of Batman.

These books are extremely rare and valuable in any condition. But Super Mario Bros., Metroid, and Punch-Out are some of the most common NES games out there. In this case, the condition drives the value. A loose copy of Metroid with no box is a five-dollar game. But a mint, sealed, first-print copy is so difficult to find that its price would be more like five figures.

“Someone said, you know, there’s a lot of copies of that game, so you don’t want to buy more than one copy,” Smith said a collector told her at one point about Punch-Out. “And they’re like, there’s 50 sealed copies. And my mind was kind of like, what the hell? Like, that’s Action 1 rarity.”

Danielle Smith with her collection of Action Comics, including the first appearance of Superman..
Photo: Nerdy Girl Comics

Joshua Entin, 43, a lawyer from Fort Lauderdale, is another longtime Golden Age comic collector who’s jumped into the deep end of the pool with video game collecting over the last two years. He got the collecting bug from his dad, who would take Josh along as he scoured stores for old issues of EC Comics back in the pre-eBay days. Today, the younger Entin’s comic collection includes many books valued in the five-figure range, and in the last two years he’s spent about $75,000 buying up about 200 NES games: a sealed Zelda, a sealed Mario, etc.

Entin first saw the appeal of collecting games when he saw a game that had been authenticated and graded by Deniz Kahn’s company Wata Games, which is to the video game world what the Certified Guaranty Company, better known by its acronym CGC, is for comics. Its panel of experts assesses collectible games, assigns them a numerical condition rating, and seals them in an attractive plastic display case.

“I did see one of their games in a prototype case and I was blown away by it,” Entin said. “It was sealed, it was nostalgic, I thought it presented incredibly well.” That’s when Entin knew he wanted some of these games on his shelf. “A switch went off, and I said to myself, I have to get into this, this is awesome.”

The high-profile emergence of Wata Games onto the scene last year seems to have been the inflection point that caused many comic collectors to get interested in games. A similar service called Video Game Authority has been operating for over a decade, but Wata seems to be attracting new collectors in a way that VGA has not. Wata also shrewdly aligned itself with Heritage Auctions, the massive auction house that specializes in pop culture memorabilia. Heritage began putting Wata-certified games into its listings and thus created more awareness of the trend.

“They’ve made it easier for comic people because they use a similar grading scale,” said Smith. “It makes the crossover easier. Because a 9.4 is a 9.4, a 9.2 is a 9.2, and it’s easier for us to correlate that.”

NES games graded by Wata.
Photo: Courtesy Joshua Entin

This was all by design, said Kahn. “The closest parallel between video games and any other collectible industry that’s matured is, without a doubt, comics,” he said.

“Comics transcend just the books into the Marvel Universe, and the same thing with video games today,” he said. “In all three major Universal parks, we’re going to have a Nintendo-themed park. We’re now starting to see, between the Pikachu and the Sonic movie, that they’re making their foray into movies. It’s just something that’s recognizable, whether it’s the characters or the medium itself.”

“I wouldn’t be surprised that the next big thing [is] something like a Metroid movie or a Zelda movie,” said Entin, in the way that the Superman or Batman films raised the cultural awareness of the original comics. “Once that happens I think it’s going to take a lot of these to another level.”

Kahn sees the 8-bit NES era of the mid-1980s as the parallel to the “Golden Age” of comics, the days of Superman and Batman, characters that have survived for nearly a century. There were comic books before Superman, and those early “Platinum Age” books are much rarer than even Action Comics issue 1—but practically nobody’s interested in them.

So too does video games have its “Platinum Age”—the era of Atari. “Extremely rare, but not necessarily very desirable,” Kahn said. “Some of the rarest games don’t even command close to the same premium as NES.”

“I can certainly tell you I’m not alone in this newfound endeavor,” said Entin. “I’m certainly nowhere near as invested financially as many comic book colleagues of mine, and hobbyists that have come into this in the last year. There are some that I know have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars of games” in the last year, he said. He gets offers from other collectors looking to buy his games from him “every day.”

Since they got into collecting, Entin and Smith have both discovered a passion for all the little details, the variations of the games that let you tell if a particular copy of Super Mario Bros. is a highly-valued first edition, or a comparatively less desirable later version. On Mario, you’re looking for the top flap of the cardboard box to be sealed with a small round sticker with the Nintendo logo on it, and that sticker should have a matte finish, not glossy. For Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out, you need to look at the bullet-pointed list of features on the front cover. If the bullets are colored white, that’s a first print.

Most longtime game collectors aren’t so obsessive about these details. In general, once a collector got a Kid Icarus, any Kid Icarus, the gap in their set was complete and they’d move on to the next, more obscure, game. When the first stories about the Kid Icarus began to hit the news, before the auction went live, many posts in game collecting forums outright scoffed at the idea that the game could reach a price of $10,000.

There were always a few veteran collectors who had long obsessed over print runs and variations, but they mostly shared their knowledge with each other, buried in pages on pages of scattershot forum posts on enthusiast message boards.

The “Bros.” appears to Mario’s left, overlapping his hand, on a first edition Super Mario Bros. 3.
Photo: Wata Games

“There wasn’t a lot of education available for video games,” Danielle Smith said. She attended a recent classic gaming convention, Too Many Games, in Philadelphia earlier this year, and it was like she was speaking a different language. “I was surprised at how little knowledge some dealers, that have been doing this for—and I don’t want to say this in a negative way, so please don’t think I am—but they had no idea that, like, a ‘Left Bro’ Super Mario 3 was a first print.” (The first run of boxes for Super Mario Bros. 3 put the “Bros.” in the logo to Mario’s left side, which was changed by the second printing.)

“I was a little mind-blown by that because I’m like, this is your job,” she said. “I think that’s also why they’ve been so undervalued for so long.”

Smith, under the name Nerdy Girl Comics, is one of those few remaining comic vendors that still sets up shop at San Diego Comic-Con. As you might imagine, she doesn’t exactly vend boxes full of half-priced graphic novels. She’s got a glass case full of extremely rare books, all CGC-graded and encased in plastic. This year, she topped off the case with some Wata-graded games.

“I put prices on them, but they weren’t really for sale,” she said of the games. “It was more to draw attention and just have conversations. At first it was astounding to me, how many people came to my booth and were more excited about video games than comic books.” Even at the “not really for sale” very high prices that Smith put on her games, she actually sold one. “A longtime comic book buyer of mine ended up buying a Punch-Out from me,” she said. “He remembered playing that game when he was younger, and he was a boxer.”

“That’s what’s going to happen more and more,” she said. “They come into their mid-30s and maybe early 40s, and they have established careers, and this becomes a grail for them.”

Rare video games share the space with rare comics at Danielle Smith’s San Diego Comic-Con booth.
Photo: Nerdy Girl Comics

Kahn agrees. “For every speculator that comes in from comics, I think there’s at least two guys from comics that are coming in simply because they play these games too. They love it. They’re collectors at heart. And they see something new and exciting that they want to get involved with.”

That doesn’t mean the field is free of blatant speculation. “One thing that a lot of the people that are coming in from comics are doing, that I don’t do,” said Joshua Entin, is “buying every copy of, like, every…sealed Super Mario Bros. 11th or 12th print, whatever it is, that they can get their hands on.” Kahn, too, said he’s seen people buying up multiple copies of games with popular characters.

As the prices rise on first-print games, even some veteran collectors might find that, unbeknownst to them, they have a $10,000 game sitting on their shelf stuck in among their finds from the dollar bin. Some of them might decide it’s time to cash out. If this is all a temporary bubble, they’re right to get paid while the getting is good. But what if it’s not?

“The exact same thing happened in every mature collectible industry,” Kahn said. “Coins, comics, baseball cards. People for decades were like, the prices are crazy, I’m selling out, I can’t handle this anymore. And fast-forward 20 years and they’re like, what the hell was I thinking?”

“That’s why I think a lot of these guys coming over from comics and coins are seeing this and willing to buy when these guys are selling, even if it’s ‘over market,’” he said. “I think ultimately the market’s going in an upward trajectory, but you’re going to have your dips here and there because there is a lot of speculation.”

It’s anyone’s guess whether this moment in classic video game collecting will be looked back on as a flash-in-the-pan speculation bubble or the moment when everything changed for good. But it’s no small thing that many seasoned collectors are betting serious money on the upward trend continuing.

“I compare this to the honeymoon phase in a new relationship,” said Smith. “Everything is still brand new and exciting.”

Source: Kotaku.com

A talking cat that shreds your every choice, plus 2 other games worth your time this week

A few hundred indie games are released every week, but most are likely safely ignored. Lost in the flow are some really special games, however. Our job is to fish them out and tell you about them. Your job is to play them and have a good weekend.

This week we have three new games in three very different settings, but each one is worth your time and money for different reasons. These games may not be getting all the buzz, but they certainly deserve at least some of it. We’re going to start off with A Short Hike, a game about being a bird whose biggest worry is enjoying their vacation.

A day on the island

This is the pure joy of writing a column like this, and the whole reason why I will play through any amount of dross if it increases the chance of stumbling upon something as wonderful as A Short Hike. This adorable, peaceful game has immediately become one of my top games of 2019, and I absolutely implore you to take a look.

You play the part of Claire, a teenage bird visiting her aunt on a very special island. Aunt May encourages you to make the hike to the very peak of the island, mostly to get you off your birdy butt to enjoy your vacation. I presumed I was playing a tiny narrative game as I made my way along the linear path, but I was entirely wrong.

The game is just a few hours long, but it takes place on a wonderfully open island that yours to explore at your own pace, along with a pile of other activities to enjoy. I was taught to fish, participated in a new sport called “Beachstickball,” and, perhaps most importantly, learned the art of climbing while collecting golden feathers.

The island is packed with other animals, some asking you to take part in races, others giving you some throwaway (but fun!) fetch quests, but most are just there for the chat. And all of them have well-sketched personalities that makes meeting the new characters feel fun.

It’s just completely delightful! There are coins to collect, shells to find, dozens of hidden areas, secrets, and treasures to dig up, but there is no pressure to race around finding them. This is about gentle exploration, climbing up to a new area, and then soaring back down via the game’s absolutely perfect flying and gliding. Flying in games is almost always disappointing, so for a wee little indie like this to absolutely bloody nail the feel of the air under your wings is a rare and special thing.

It’s very pretty, too, and the visuals are accompanied by a lovely original score by Mark Sparling. Completely family friendly, funny, sweet, and infectiously cheerful, this is the bee’s knees.

A Short Hike is available on Mac, Linux and Windows PC via Steam and Itch for $7.99

Don’t drink the diet Kool-Aid

Announced three years ago, The Church in the Darkness immediately suggested something that could be fairly controversial. Set in 1977, your character is infiltrating a Christian-esque cult base in the South American jungle to rescue your nephew. You’re there to sneak your way through the environment and rescue him, but first you’ll need to find him.

The result is oddly uncontroversial, perhaps simply because of how brazenly the story is presented, but it’s interesting all the same.

The layout of the cult’s jungle base is redrawn every time you start a game, and the individual tasks you need to complete are also changed, moved, or remixed somehow. You need to find certain people within the map, choosing whether to take a completely silent, deathless approach, or charge about shooting cultists in the face, then hiding until their friends get over it.

With the amnesiac guards, and ability to wantonly murder your way through the camp, the game is less serious than I was expecting. But that doesn’t mean it lacks charm. It feels almost silly to be shot by one of the many armed guards, especially since you get two further chances to carry on after escaping the flimsy cages constructed of sticks.

There’s just so much wrong with The Church in the Darkness, and yet I keep having another go. Which is ridiculous, but I can’t deny it’s happening. It feels simple, but succeeding in my quest to rescue my nephew still eludes me, and I still want to keep playing. Clearly it’s doing something right.

The Church in the Darkness is available on Mac and Windows PC, Switch, Xbox One and PS4 for $15.99.

The call of the sea

There was a time when a fully voiced, meticulously animated point-and-click adventure like this was a big deal. That time was, admittedly, 30 years ago or so. I still can’t help but be thrilled when someone puts in the effort to make one of these well, and that was certainly done in the case of Gibbous.

Yes, I’m as fed up of bloody Lovecraftian games as any other elder god, and good grief, it’s about time everyone tried to have a smidgeon more imagination than regurgitating the ghastly old racist’s three ideas. I mean, how hard is it to come up with a different name for a magic book, and have your monsters have, I dunno, loads of claws instead of tentacles? But I’ve decided to give Gibbous a pass on this one, maybe the final pass, as it is at least broadly knowing in its overuse of these hoary tropes.

This tale of a librarian on a mission to rescue a detective who was been kidnapped is extremely light-hearted. Very early on, after accidentally discovering the book of the dead, he mistakenly gives his cat the gift of speech. The cat is most displeased by this, and only accompanies you on your adventures to force you to find a cure for her condition.

She becomes a UI option for every item, inviting as many cat jokes as you could possibly imagine. The gags are gentle, fun, and plentiful. I especially loved a throwaway gag near the start where the woefully cliché private eye tosses his vape cigarette over his shoulder like a used butt, and it smashes on the ground.

It certainly relies a little too heavily on the burdensome inclusion of “I’m a game!” lines and adventure gaming history references — Monkey Island was released 29 years ago, by the way. But there are so many jokes, including at least two for every item, plus more with the cat, and multiple characters to play as, which is even more impressive since the game comes a first-time indie team in Transylvania. This was a labor of love, through and through.

So no, it’s no longer the ’90s, and games like this no longer cause much fanfare. But Gibbous is good enough that I think it could have stood its ground in that era, and it’s a pleasure to have it today.

Gibbous: A Cthulhu Adventure is available on Mac, Linux and Windows PC via Steam and GOG for $19.99.

All three of this week’s games were reviewed using final retail downloads, via a Steam press account.

Source: Polygon.com