2K Sports has released the first gameplay trailer for NBA 2K19–and it’s pretty incredible. Titled “Take the Crown,” the video shows of a number of NBA superstars include LeBron James (in his new LA Lakers uniform), as well as Kemba Walker, John Wall, Ben Simmons, Anthony Davis, Steph Curry, and more.
The trailer is set to a Jay Rock’s “Win.” You can watch the full video in the embed above. Given the Xbox branding, this video might have been captured on Xbox One.
NBA 2K19 will be available September 11 for PC, PS4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch. The 20th Anniversary Edition will launch a few days earlier, on September 7. Ahed of that, an offering called “The Prelude” will launch August 31 for PS4 and Xbox One. Check out our pre-order guide for all the details.
NBA 2K19 features Giannis Antetokounmpo for the global cover, while Ben Simmons will be on the cover in Australia and New Zealand. A 20th Anniversary edition of the game has LeBron James on the cover.
Nintendo’s timeline of the Legend of Zelda series has been altered to make a minor revision, as well as to find a spot for the latest entry in the series. Surprisingly, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild now officially falls at the end of every branch of the timeline.
Officially, the Legend of Zelda timeline splits into three branches, with Ocarina of Time acting as the inflection point. One branch, in which the Hero of Time is defeated, leads to a dark timeline that covers Link to the Past and the original Legend of Zelda. The other two, in which the Hero of Time is victorious, branches from the childhood and adult versions of Link. The child has his own adventures leading to Majora’s Mask and his legacy being remembered in Twilight Princess, while the adult timeline eventually floods Hyrule and brings about Wind Waker.
It’s all very confounding, but one aspect of the revision simplifies it quite a bit. According to the latest official timeline on the Japanese site, all three of those possibilities end with Breath of the Wild. That means that whether it’s in the ruined Hyrule, the legacy Hyrule, or the new Hyrule established after the flood, the events in BotW can work out. That potentially gives Nintendo a nice clean start-point for any sequels that follow BotW.
One other minor revision to the timeline switches the order of two games. Link’s Awakening had been listed as following the Oracle of Ages and Seasons games, but now Link’s Awakening comes first. It’s a minor change, but it makes a bit more sense. The western site has not been edited yet to make any such changes to the timeline.
Madden NFL 19 doesn’t officially release until August 10 (or August 7 if you buy the Hall of Fame edition), but a trial for the game is out now on EA and Origin Access. The game is picking up generally positive review scores, but as is the case pretty much every year, there have been some issues as well. A new patch is out now to fix some of these and other problems, including the Colin Kaepernick accidental censoring issue.
In addition to fixing that problem, the new update makes the game look better by updating a number of stadium exteriors and tweaking player likenesses and bodies. Additionally, the highly touted Real Player Motion feature gets improved with things like better pre-play QB signature looks, more authentic acceleration rates, and the ability for AI ball-carriers to use the new “one cut” running mechanic.
The pre-release patch also adds new commentary and makes some changes to Franchise mode as it relates to skill point progression. Additionally, the patch fixes a really bizarre bug where the camera would exit the entire stadium in some situations. You can see the full patch notes below, as posted by EA in the Madden forums.
For more on Madden 19, check out GameSpot’s Review in Progress here. We’re still testing the online modes, and we’ll report back with a final score in the coming days.
Madden 19 Patch Notes
Authenticity: Updated various stadium exteriors, player likenesses/bodies, rosters and coaches
Real Player Motion: Improved Pre-Play QB Signatures, Players’ Acceleration rates and AI-controlled ball carriers’ usage of the One-Cut mechanic
Franchise: Tuned rookie generation to better match the base rosters & skill point progression for better league balance
Commentary: Added additional commentary for Franchise, MUT Solo Challenges, and more player specific content for the Legends and Rookies
Soundtrack: YG “Big Bank” track updated
General stability and quality improvements
Tuned generated rookies to now have traits that are similar to base rosters
Tuned the frequency of high OVR rookies generated in the draft
Increased regression for some positions to maintain a more realistic league turnover rate
Increased XP cost of skill points for younger players, and reduced XP cost for higher OVR players
Tuned XP earned from training, awards, and goals to increase XP gain for rising stars
Reduced frequency of injuries
Reduced simulated game score results during the preseason for better realism
Tuned post game Snapshot logic to reduce shots of idle players and empty space
Resolved a bug where the camera POV would exit the stadium
Updated various stadium exteriors, player likenesses/bodies, rosters and coaches
Updated face likeness for the following players:
San Francisco 49ers’ QB Jimmy Garoppolo
Buffalo Bills’ QB Josh Allen
Arizona Cardinals’ QB Josh Rosen
Baltimore Ravens’ QB Lamar Jackson
New York Jets’ QB Sam Darnold
New York Giants’ RB Saquon Barkley
Kansas City Chiefs’ WR Tyreek Hill
Philadelphia Eagles’ K Jake Elliott
New Orleans Saints’ LB Alex Anzalone
Baltimore Ravens’ TE Hayden Hurst
Tuned Acceleration rate so players can hit their top speed faster
Fixed an issue to make QB Pre-Play audio when using hot routes to bluff on running plays
Fixed Pass Interference penalties not being called when a defender would use the cut stick mechanic vs. a receiver while running his route – this applies to all Game Styles and difficulty levels
Added ability to view Team TD Celebrations when playing online
Added coverage logic to better defend passes to the flats
Fixed an issue causing AI-controlled ball carriers to repeatedly use the one-cut mechanic during the same play
Fixed an issue to make the Audibles on the Fly interface update dynamically
Fixed an issue that was preventing users from loading into game with their selected playbook when not using an active profile
Fixed cases of players giving up on the play after a failed attempt at a fumble recovery
Fixed fumbled tosses on the following plays: I Form Pro FB Fake HB Flip, Gun Trips TE Speed Option, I Form Pro HB Toss
Tuned to decrease the frequency of defensive wins vs. double team blocks on zone plays
Fixed a missed handoff on Wildcat Trips Over Jet Sweep
Fixed issues with pre-play pass blocking adjustment interface that caused players to get stuck in the menu
Fix for blockers on kick return sometimes forming an illegal wedge, per new NFL kickoff rules
Fixed an issue causing players to repeatedly knock the ball out during fumble recoveries
Fixed an issue around the camera pointing in the wrong direction during Extra Points and Field Goals
Fixed an issue that caused receivers to go into a pass block assignment when running curl routes or after being sent in motion
Fix for defensive linemen constantly shifting back and forth when using defensive line adjustments in pre-play
Fix for receivers and/or defenders warping out of catch interactions
Fix for receivers running backwards after catching WR Screen passes
After watching you play the game and listening to your Beta feedback, we increased the speed of the QB pre-play animations and added some more clock-driven context around them while maintaining the integrity of our new approach. You can read about the QB Signatures in further detail in our earlier Gameplay Deep Dive (https://www.easports.com/madden-nfl/news/2018/gameplay-deep-dive).
Tuned to make player transitions smoother from the huddle break to the line of scrimmage
Added functionality for QBs’ pre-play animations to speed up when there is either 10 seconds or less on the play clock, or the game clock when it’s running – under these circumstances, all QB adjustments will use Hot Route animations only
Tuned to increase the speed of QB pre-play animations
Added functionality for one free pre-play adjustment when breaking the huddle – the QB will not use an animation if an adjustment is called right after the huddle break
Resolved an issue that would cause keyboard and mouse users to log out of their Origin account when entering Exhibition modes
Back in 2015, Warner Bros. and Mojang announced that It’s Always Sunny star Rob McElhenney would direct the Minecraft movie. McElhenney at the time said he was looking forward to doing something “stranger and wonderful” with the movie. Now he’s left the project, and the movie has been delayed beyond its previously announced May 2019 release window, apparently.
“No, that is not happening,” McElhenney told The Wrap.
The website also reported that Warner Bros. has hired new writers, Aaron and Adam Nee (Band of Robbers), to pen the latest draft of the script. Wonder Woman writer Jason Fuchs wrote the previous draft.
McElhenney is at least the second director to leave the Minecraft movie. Night at the Museum and Stranger Things director Shawn Levy was previously attached to direct a movie that was going to be a Goonies-style adventure. However, Mojang vetoed this idea and Levy exited the project. Levy is now set to direct the upcoming Uncharted film starring Tom Holland as a young Nathan Drake.
Little is known about the Minecraft movie. Mojang COO Vu Bui stressed back in 2015 that the film is not going to be the definitive, official take on Minecraft’s story–because it doesn’t really even have one. “We don’t want any story that we make, whether it’s a movie or a book, to create some sort of ‘this is the official Minecraft, this is how you play the game’ thing,” he said. “That would discourage all the players who don’t play in that way. When coming up with a story [for the movie], we want to make sure it is just a story within Minecraft, as opposed to the story within Minecraft.”
Part of what Minecraft so great is that has central, defining story but it rather an open-ended sandbox experience where players can create and do anything they want. Mojang experimented with story-telling in the Minecraft universe with its partnership with Telltale for the adventure game series Minecraft: Story Mode.
The film will be produced by The Departed’s Roy Lee.
If you love reading superhero comic books, there’s a good chance that a huge part of what makes them so attractive is the way they explore the regular lives of the people behind the masks. Matt Murdoch’s daily courtroom drama and neighborhood philanthropy, Jessica Drew’s demanding commitments as a single mother, and the multifaceted teenage dramas of Kamala Khan and other student-aged heroes are equally as engrossing as the crime-fighting adventures of their alter-egos. And when work and life clash, that’s when things really get interesting.
The more mundane side of superhero stories are rarely explored in video game adaptations, and that’s something Insomniac Games is openly talking about as a major point of difference in their take on Marvel’s Spider-Man. In the game’s first two hours, which I experienced during a recent preview tour, a large chunk of time was spent controlling Peter Parker in his mild-mannered form, as well as Mary Jane Watson. Insomniac explained that this ratio was largely indicative of the rest of the game, with major themes of mentorship and trust as something that would be explored with and without masks.
That might sound like a far cry from what’s been shown of Insomniac’s Spider-Man up to this point, but these moments hit all the right notes for us. The game’s version of Peter Parker falls on the dweeby side, despite being old and having almost a decade of crime-fighting expertise. He’s messy, perpetually behind on his bills, and isn’t currently in any kind of romantic relationship, all thanks to his second life. But he takes time to visit his Aunt May and catch up with acquaintances, as well as work on science projects as part of his day job, hoping he can do some good there, too.
I spent a large part of Spider-Man’s opening hours exploring interior environments as Peter, making and listening in on small talk, looking at photos and reading documents to fill out back-story, and performing research experiments–there are Pipe Dream and pattern matching minigames that can earn you experience points to spend on Spidey abilities. Mary Jane, an investigative reporter in this universe, has her own separate narrative motivations that quickly become entwined in the rest of the plot. Her interactive segments have their own mechanics, which Insomniac told us would grow and evolve over the course of the game. For more on Mary Jane’s section in these opening hours, be sure to read Kallie’s in-depth account.
But as happy as I was to see a big emphasis on the Peter and MJ side of things, I still had just one thing on my mind, being this was my very first first hands-on: Whether or not Insomniac’s Spider-Man was going to surpass the memories I had playing Treyarch’s open-world Spider-Man 2 for consoles, generally regarded as the best Spider-Man game to date, thanks to its phenomenal web-swinging mechanics. And it most definitely does, as we’ve previously reported. Insomniac’s Spider-Man adheres strictly to the rule that Spidey’s web lines need to attach to a structure, and that creates the wonderful sense of tangibility that is both essential to selling the experience, as well as creating a satisfying need for forethought when traversing New York City.
It works like this: R2 shoots out a web line, and pressing X while mid-swing will let you jump and gain height or distance, depending on where you are in your arc. Pressing X without being attached to a web line will let you perform a quick web zip, which propels you forward, allowing you to gain directional momentum without losing height, and is great for quickly changing directions. Finally, holding L2 will trigger a slowdown, allowing you to aim a cursor and hit R2 to create a direct zipline to that particular point (provided it’s in range), and is a great landing technique that allows you to expertly perch on lampposts and other locations, just like a spider can.
Web swinging feels fantastic, and minor additions, such as hitting L3 to nosedive, using Circle + Triangle in tandem with the left stick to perform aerial tricks for experience points, and the motion blur when you pick up a large amount of speed, adds a lot to making the act of getting around town a pure joy. Even Central Park can be traversed by web-swinging, thankfully, so long as you pick a route with enough trees to latch onto.
Movement on the ground also feels suitably Spider-Man-like. Aside from using L2 and R2 to web zip from point to point, holding R2 acts as an Assassin’s Creed-like parkour button, allowing you to easily clear obstacles, as well as run up and across the side of buildings. But if you need a break from thinking about how to get from A to B, Spidey can also just take the subway and fast travel to a different station.
The parkour button isn’t the only inspiration Insomniac’s Spider-Man takes from an Ubisoft series, though. In a move that took me completely by surprise, Spider-Man incorporates the archaic mechanic of tower reveals, that is, points of interest that you have to find, travel to, and solve a puzzle at in order to reveal a map of the immediate area, as well as the locations of other points of interests like side missions, challenges, collectables, and Far Cry-style outposts. Each district of Manhattan represented in the game–Chinatown, Greenwich, Financial District, Hell’s Kitchen, Midtown, Upper West Side, Central Park, Upper East Side, and Harlem–has a number of towers hidden within them, which you’re required to activate before you’re even able to see where you’re going on your minimap.
This is strange not only because the mechanic feels incredibly outdated–Ubisoft has moved on, their open-world franchises now focus on more organic discovery mechanics–but it just doesn’t make characteristic sense. Insomniac has been pitching their version of Spider-Man as an experienced one, one that’s been fighting crime in New York for nearly a decade, and it’s incredibly puzzling that this Spider-Man hasn’t internalized an intimate geographic knowledge of the city he protects. I don’t believe him when he exclaims, “I’m flying blind here!” while swinging through world-famous Times Square, no matter what the tower MacGuffin might be.
Any activity revealed by towers can still be found by naturally stumbling across them, and minor Spider-Man 2-style randomly-generated events, such as car crashes and armed robberies, also can pop up unannounced, which is great to see. But the emphasis on using towers to reveal them just seems like a huge misstep, a puzzling addition that feels like unnecessary filler.
But there’s still plenty of good filler in there, namely, the number of things you can stuff into Spider-Man’s suit. As expected, you can unlock dozens of different Spider-Man costumes by earning experience and leveling up to gain access, and spending different tokens (earned through completing side content) to purchase them for use. Each suit comes with its own unique suit ability to assist you during the game’s exciting, Batman Arkham-inspired combat system, but a nice feature is that once you own a suit, you can transfer its unique ability to a different suit you own.
For example, I immediately sought to don the Spider-Man Noir costume, which comes with the ability to stop enemies from calling backup (great for stealth approaches), but swapped that out for the Battle Focus ability from the Advanced Suit seen in the game’s marketing materials. Battle Focus steadily increases your Focus meter, used in combat to heal and perform the game’s cinematic takedowns. Other suits and abilities I saw included the Classic Suit (webs every enemy in sight), Scarlet Spider (creates holographic decoys), and the Spider Armor MK II (protects from bullet fire).
True to Peter’s science background, you can also equip a number of unique combat gadgets, switching between them using a radial menu with L1, and upgrade their effectiveness over the course of the game. Aside from the standard web shooters, they include things like impact webbing to pin enemies to surfaces, spider drones that seek out opponents and fire energy, electric webs that stun, web bombs that are proximity triggered, web trip mines, concussive blasts, and a suspension matrix that suspends enemies in the air.
The game also has a skill tree for ability progression, featuring three branches with which to upgrade Spidey’s combat and web swinging techniques. The Innovator branch focuses on web-based combat techniques, such as using webs to disarm gun-toting thugs and the ability to throw a larger variety of objects and enemies, while the Defender branch improves Spider-Man’s general striking, evasion, and combo abilities, letting you earn bonuses for things like perfectly-timed dodges. Finally, the Webslinger branch largely lets you perform additional traversal moves, but also gives you access to Spidey’s infamous web swing kick in combat. It also unlocks the aforementioned ability to perform tricks in mid-air for small amounts of XP and large amounts of style.
There are a number of references too, of course, found in dialogue, environment, and the game’s backpack collectibles. But it’s a range that can be appreciated by both casual Spider-Man fans (Spidey asking “Should we kiss?” to a hanging enemy), and fanatics (a mention of “Nazis made of bees”). There were some nice interactive touches I loved: using the attack buttons around citizens lets you wave and give high fives, with some interactions giving you XP, and J.J. Jameson now hosts a podcast Peter listens to, but you can unsubscribe in the audio settings menu.
Insomniac’s representation of the Spider-Man experience plays as good as it looks, at least in its opening hours. The web swinging and acrobatic combat are instantly satisfying, but it’s also wonderful to see that there’s a lot more to it–a significant focus on interacting as Peter Parker and Mary Jane (which we’re hoping will continue to evolve into something great), a depth of progression options and combat abilities, and many minor, but exciting details that positively colored my short experience. The opening hours had me eager to play more–even just to have more time swinging around the city–but it also reinvigorated my excitement about the Marvel universe in general. I just wish I could forget about those towers.
The next RPG in the Persona franchise, titled Persona Q2: New Cinema Labyrinth, just received a new Japanese trailer (see below) that revealed plenty of new details. Casts from the past three mainline games are brought together in what appears to be a charming, yet mysterious adventure with cinema as the central motif. Cinematics and gameplay were shown off, as well as adorable chibi versions of Persona 5’s Phantom Thieves to fit the Persona Q aesthetic.
Like the first Q spin-off game–with Rei and Zen–new characters are thrown into the mix. The currently unnamed character is shown standing in front of a theater screen and later falling from a building; there’s also shadow-like figure standing in a film room. During the brief gameplay clips in the trailer, you can see a party made up of the three main protagonists, Makoto Niijima, and Yukari Takeba. Afterward, you can see the Persona 3 protagonist casting a spell with a Persona 5-style graphical cut-in for effective attacks. A dialogue sequence also shows Ann Takamaki talking with Teddie and Yu Narukami, Caroline and Justine tripping over themselves, and Ann with Goro Akechi investigating the theater.
It seems there’s a misunderstanding as the Persona 4 and 5 main characters; they’re seen fighting each other hand-to-hand. Lastly, a wonderful surprise comes at the end of the trailer which shows the optional female protagonist from Persona 3 Portable.
The long-running franchise is known for its stellar character development and dynamic turn-based combat. As spin-offs of Shin Megami Tensei, Persona 3, 4, and 5 in particular merged elements of social simulation genre and traditional RPGs to create unique and powerful experiences. Persona Q adopts the dungeon-crawling exploration and modified turn-based combat style seen in the Etrian Odyssey franchise while staying true to the spirit of the core Persona games.
Persona Q2: New Cinema Labyrinth launches in Japan on November 29, 2018 for Nintendo 3DS. Details on a localized version for the West has not yet been revealed. More information on the game will be given on August 6.
We consider Persona Q: Shadow of the Labyrinth one of the best 3DS games available; it unites the Investigation Team and SEES for a challenging and charming RPG. We also awarded second place to Persona 5 in our best games of 2017 list. This year marks the 10-year anniversary of Persona 4, be sure to read our retrospective feature in celebration of the game’s impact and legacy.