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Olija’s Crunchy Combat And Alluring Lore Are Highlights In This New 2D Platformer

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Revealed during the Devolver Showcase, Skeleton Crew Studio’s Olija is set to launch for PC and Nintendo Switch later in 2020. A demo is available now on Steam, giving you a slice of its 2D action to try ahead of its release. Before its reveal, I had the chance to dive into the game with an exclusive demo for GameSpot, learning about it’s crunchy combat, ambiguous and mysterious themes, and the cursed harpoon at the center of it all.

Olija is a 2D action platformer with equal measures of fast-paced combat and small but clever puzzles. Core to both is your main weapon, a cursed harpoon that you can throw in any cardinal direction with a button press and return to your hands with another. Your harpoon can lodge itself in the guts of enemies and certain points of the environment, letting you pull off a quick and satisfying dash to its position.

It feels great to chain together throwing and recalling the harpoon as your soar through the air, and the game encourages you to get comfortable with it. Early enemy encounters are limited to just a few foes at a time, but as you progress, they become more complex ballets where you have to balance positioning and aggression in equal measure. Groups of enemies will quickly overwhelm and kill you, but using your harpoon to fling yourself to a distant enemy–both giving you space and letting you kill them off effortlessly–feels incredibly satisfying.

Complementing your main harpoon are a handful of secondary weapons that you’re free to cycle through once unlocked. They range from a lightning-fast rapier to a crowd-controlling crossbow, letting you swap from fast close-quarters combat to ranged options with a bit more space between you and danger. You can also equip different hats after you’ve crafted them to add unique abilities to your repertoire, including resistances to hazards like acid or adding a flurry of damaging slashes to each of your dashes.

Olija’s combat makes you feel every attack, with each landing with a weighty feel and a slight pause on connection to add some emphasis. It’s effortless to swap between your weapons as you zip across the screen, making your aerial death-dealing look as stylish as it is effective. It took some time for the challenge to necessitate some of the more impressive routines I eventually got comfortable with, but once Olija struck the right balance between the two it made it difficult to not look forward to the next beg combat arena to flex my skills again.

Interspersed with combat are some small but smart puzzles, some of which are required to progress while others are optional. Many build on your understanding of the harpoon, encouraging you to think of different ways to use the tool across multiple screens. For example, one door linked to a timer required me to leave the harpoon stuck near it before venturing off to flip its switch, letting me dash towards to from another screen entirely and sneak under the falling stone slab blocking my way.

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Later, the harpoon gained the ability to conduct electricity too, tying in with puzzles where you have to navigate half-flooded stages while protecting the weapon’s charge for a door switch found later in the level. None of these puzzles forced me to pause for too long in search of a solution, but executing the steps still let me zip around each screen with an enjoyable sense of momentum.

Olija features a structure that lets you play some stages in different orders, but each one contains an item required to unlock the next big portion of the map. Returning to the settlement I established near the start of my preview, it was rewarding to see how each new venture helped it grow from a dreary and hopeless abode to a bustling hive of activity, with merchants, jolly sailors, and men for hire. How this settlement will ultimately fare with the monarch who rules over it, and what becomes of it when protagonist Lord Faraday leaves back to the impoverished nation he was trying to save, are questions I found myself asking when confronted with the strange lore Olija presents, including with thematic stylings of an inescapable purgatory and a secret waiting to be unraveled at its core.

Those mysteries, complemented by the engrossing combat and puzzles, are what made me want to play more of Olija. It’s a game that might be visually difficult to pick apart from the peers it wants to hang alongside, but the pace of its action and the allure of its world differentiate it enough that it’s difficult to see it as just another one of those 2D pixel platformers. That, and the harpoon is just such a satisfying weapon to wield.

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Now Playing: 6 Minutes Of Exclusive Olija Gameplay

Source: https://www.gamespot.com/articles/olijas-crunchy-combat-and-alluring-lore-are-highli/1100-6479601/?ftag=CAD-01-10abi2f

Gaming

Stack Sports and Battlefy Partner to provide sports organizations…

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Stack Sports and BattleFy Logos

“It’s really amazing to see the world of sports and esports coming together,” said Jason Xu, CEO of Battlefy.

Stack Sports and Battlefy are Partnering up to provide sports organizations an all-in-one technology solution for esports tournament and event management. This partnership brings together the platinum standards of technology in sports and esports, to help organizations deliver professional and safe programs to kids around the world.

Battlefy is home to over 230 thousand independently operated esports tournaments and leagues across the globe. Their platform makes it easy for anyone to create, manage, and market tournaments for a huge variety of game and competitive formats. Battlefy provides full flexibility to design and monetize the perfect experience, using features such as automated scoring, match stats, and solo/team competition modes, as well as sponsorship management, loyalty programs, and full service event management for organizations looking for amazing tournaments that are fully managed.

With existing clients such as FIFA, Bundesliga, Turner Sports, Vancouver Canucks, and Red Bull; Stack Sports is confident that Battlefy’s innovative technology is perfect as it’s premier partners in the professional and amateur space. With the growing popularity of esports, partnering to provide innovative technology to traditional sports franchises fits well with Stack Sports mission to increase participation and transform the sports experience.

“Following the addition of esports to the Stack Sports ecosystem and CaptainU recruiting platform this year, we’ve seen consistent growth in these programs,” said Jeff Brunsberg, Chief Revenue and Strategy Officer. “We intend to continue to invest in this space and offer sports organizations the very best tools available and we believe Battlefy will help us do that.”

The Battlefy team provides the best-in-class service for event organizers with an open communication platform and a full white glove support team. With a global footprint, the staff offer a level of support unmatched for brands. Spanning from Vancouver all the way to Jakarta, the team operates across New York, Paris, London, San Francisco, Sao Paulo, and more. This allows them to help organizations think globally about their esports events and activations. This Partnership will continue to grow the capabilities Stack Sports offers while meeting the need for more remote and contactless programming in traditional sports.

“It’s really amazing to see the world of sports and esports coming together,” said Jason Xu, CEO of Battlefy. “I was an active kid growing up, playing soccer and badminton competitively. I learned a lot of life lessons on the field that I applied to playing esports and vice versa. Battlefy and Stack Sports have the opportunity to bring out the best of both worlds, and help kids continue to experience competition and sportsmanship in these trying times.”

About Stack Sports

With nearly 50 million users in 35 countries, Stack Sports is a global technology leader in SaaS platform offerings for the sports industry. The company provides world-class software and services to support national governing bodies, youth sports associations, leagues, clubs, parents, coaches, and athletes. Some of the largest and most prominent sports organizations including the U.S. Soccer Federation, Little League Baseball and Softball, and Pop Warner Little Scholars rely on Stack Sports technology to run and manage their organizations. Stack Sports is headquartered in Dallas and is leading the industry one team at a time focusing on three key pillars — Play, Improve, and Engage. To learn more about how Stack Sports is transforming the sports experience, please visit http://www.stacksports.com.

About Battlefy

Battlefy is the virtual YMCA for esports. Our digital platform is home to over 230 thousand esports tournaments and leagues from the popular game developers, consumer brands, sports organizations, colleges & high schools, professional teams, streamers, gaming communities, and fans. With competitions across every major game title, our mission is to help everyone with a passion for esports build an amazing and authentic experience for their fans, customers, employees, and friends.

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Source: https://www.prweb.com/releases/stack_sports_and_battlefy_partner_to_provide_sports_organizations_global_online_technology_for_esports_tournament_and_event_management/prweb17490991.htm

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AR/VR

League of Legends World Championship to feature immersive Mixed Reality experience through Rokid Vision glasses

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In Augmented Reality and Mixed Reality News

October 22, 2020 – Rokid, a provider of augmented and mixed reality (AR/MR) glasses, has today announced that its technology will be available for fans to use at this year’s League of Legends (LoL) World Championship tournaments and opening ceremony for the event finals held in Shanghai, China.

Fans of the popular MMORPG game will be able to use a pair of Rokid Vision AR glasses to experience LoL live at the event and to witness an immersive experience featuring a dragon from the game hovering over the Shanghai Oriental Pearl Tower and flying up to them in their seats, transforming the spectators experience and transporting fans to the Summoner’s Rift, an in-game location from LoL.

Furthermore, whilst wearing Rokid Vision, fans will be able to witness the space surrounding them change to include personalized features such as highlights of the game, close-ups of a favorite player, team names, logos, and other information.

Rokid first introduced its Vision mixed reality glasses at AWE USA 2019. Through a combination of Rokid’s binocular optics, AR and AI capabilities, the glasses extend existing user interfaces with augmented and mixed reality (via a USB-C connection) for devices including phones, laptops, gaming consoles, helping to enhance productivity, entertainment, and gaming. The glasses are also 6 Degrees of Freedom (6DoF) enabled, allowing users to experience more natural interactions with the 3D virtual content that is projected within their visual field.

Due to the impact of COVID-19, there are limited seats at the 2020 League of Legends Global Finals, and many fans cannot attend in person to watch. This is therefore the first time that League of Legends fans will be able to use AR glasses to watch the finals, thanks to Rokid.

This is not the company’s first time employing the use of its AR and MR solutions to offer event fans new experiences though. In 2018, Rokid, in partnership with Teslasuit, created an immersive experience for Formula 1 fans. The experience utilized data and camera footage collected from Formula 1 vehicles, and using the Rokid Vision glasses and Teslasuit’s somatosensory haptic suit, reproduced tactile feedback that enabled users to experience the visual impact and physical experience of driving a Formula 1 car.

For more information on Rokid and its augmented and mixed reality offering, please visit the company’s website.

Image credit: Rokid

About the author

Sam Sprigg

Sam is the Founder and Managing Editor of Auganix. With a background in research and report writing, he covers news articles on both the AR and VR industries. He also has an interest in human augmentation technology as a whole, and does not just limit his learning specifically to the visual experience side of things.

Source: https://www.auganix.org/league-of-legends-world-championship-to-feature-immersive-mixed-reality-experience-through-rokid-vision-glasses/

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Gaming

2020 Videogame Spending Reaches Highest Level in 10 Years

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Overall spending on total physical hardware, software and accessories, and digital console and PC content increased 25% over the same period in 2019, according to The NPD Group. In the most current quarter (July – September) sales were up 7% over the same time period last year.

Overall spending on total physical hardware, software and accessories, and digital console and PC content increased 25% over the same period in 2019, according to The NPD Group. In the most current quarter (July – September) sales were up 7% over the same time period last year.

Gains were seen across each of hardware, software and accessories. Strong growth across Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One led to an overall hardware category sales increase of 46% versus the same period last year. Sales of video game accessories including gamepads, headsets, steering wheels and other peripherals increased 39%.

“During the pandemic, many people have turned to video games not only as a source of entertainment, but as a way to stay in touch with friends and family with online play,” says Joan Ramsay, Industry Analyst for Canada Entertainment for the NPD Group. “What we’ve seen, in addition to new players discovering gaming, is more video game players playing for more hours, while spending more in the process. They are discovering that the industry provides a wide variety of ways to play to meet every budget, interest and device.”

Top Performing Video Game Titles

Among the best-performing titles so far this year are:

  • Animal Crossing: New Horizons
  • Call of Duty: Modern Warfare
  • The Last of Us: Part II
  • Final Fantasy VII: Remake
  • Super Mario 3D All Stars
  • Ghost of Tsushima
  • Marvel Avengers
  • Grand Theft Auto V
  • Mario Kart 8: Deluxe
  • NHL 20

“We expect that these strong sales will continue through the end of the year, buoyed by the continued success of Nintendo Switch and the launch of the new hardware platforms for Playstation and Xbox next month,” says Ramsay.

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Source: https://www.prweb.com/releases/2020_videogame_spending_reaches_highest_level_in_10_years/prweb17493308.htm

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