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‘Dearest Hollow Knight…’ An Epistolary of the Highest Admiration

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This letter was found buried amongst the private letters of Sir Benjamin McNeill the first, amateur gamer of not-so-great renown and gaming opinion-giver of modest baring. It is believed that it was penned just before he suffered from one of the most severe cases of thumb blistering ever recorded, due to over usage of the D-pad while obsessively playing Team Cherry’s Metroidvania game: Hollow Knight. Hence, rendering him inept at gaming for days. It is a truly tragic tale.

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June 23rd, 2017 ahk (after Hollow Knight)

Dearest Hollow Knight,

I pen these words with the utmost respect and admiration, to bare my soul to you, with regards to how I feel having basked in your presence for 50 glorious hours.

It has been merely three months since I last played you, yet it feels like your presence is ever at my side. Understand, dear Hollow Knight, that I have never been quite the same after having played you. I am as giddy as a school boy, who has just experienced his first video game and cannot help but cajole in reverie at being by your side, always.

Whenever I commence my laptop, I am graced with an image of you, your gracious and subtle art style, forever captured as my desktop background. Hollow Knight, my Dearest, you must understand, never have I been so completely enraptured in a games world, characters, music and gameplay, since Final Fantasy VII! Please pardon my outburst, but I never imagined, not in my wildest dreams, that a video game could ever affect me in this way, ever again. Yet you, Hollow Knight, have made it so.

Even attempting the most mundane of tasks from everyday life, such as acquiring goods from my local grocery store or walking along the London city streets to partake in the services offered by public bus, have become a constant reminder of you, Hollow Knight. While on these frivolous errands, via my earphones, I am graced by the majesty of your soundtrack. I have never been one for video game soundtracks outside of the act of gaming itself, yet yours has utterly enraptured me in its beautiful orchestral symphonies.

You see, Hollow Knight, I have forever been a fan of Metroidvania games. They have often served me as a wonderful distraction, hours spent exploring, discovering, upgrading and progressing throughout countless worlds such as: extra-terrestrial planets with Metroid, Arabian inspired magical worlds with the half Genie hero Shantae, enchanted blind forests with Ori or haunted demon filled castles in Castlevania. Yet, as truly great as these worlds are, none of them come close to the hours upon hours I spent within your mysterious, underground, insectoid kingdom, all but abandoned to madness and decay.

But Hollow Knight, I need to apologise to you. It has come to my understanding that I wronged you. Not so long ago, I penned together a list of my own making, grading and placing you on a top 10 list of best Metroidvania games, to be published within the World Wide Web. It hurts to say it now, but I only placed you as third. You must understand however, that I felt I couldn’t possibly place you ahead of Super Metroid, the game for which you quite possibly wouldn’t even exist! I also felt it strongly deplorable of me to even consider placing you ahead of Castlevania Symphony of the Night! A game that almost single handily solidified the genre from which you were born, not to mention one of my utmost favourite games of all time! Utter madness! Oh, Hollow Knight, what a fool I have been.

You see, Dearest Hollow Knight, I did not understand the importance you would come to have for me at the time. I was too blinded by the classics and past loves to understand that you truly deserved to be crowned as my number one. Over the months since penning that infamous list, you climbed your way up and engrained yourself in my brain as top of the list. Your stubbornness and refusal to let me go, got to me in the end! But you earned it Hollow Knight. By Jove, you earned it, goddammit!

I will be returning to you once more, fairest Hollow Knight, and surely, I will be forever after. You have come to be a must-have and must-play, that I will forever recommend to anyone who wants to listen. You will always be, now and forever, my GotY.

Yours Sincerely,

Sir Benjamin McNeill

Post Scriptum: Seriously though, Hollow Knight is f***ing awesome!

Video games have been a passion of mine from the very first time I played one, at the age of five on Amstrad!( Never heard of it? It was an 80s thing) From then on, I developed a great love for video games and have always owned some form of console throughout each generation of gaming, from the NES to the PS4. Call me a casual if you like, I was probably gaming before you were even born, kiddo.

Gaming

Call of Duty: Black Ops 6 Sets Dates for the Next Multiplayer Beta

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Call of Duty: Black Ops 6 is getting closer and closer, and Activision has announced when players will be able to get their hands on the next game. This means that there will be several chances to try it out before it comes out. If you paid a lot, you might be able to play for more than a week at the end of August and beginning of September.

Call of Duty Early Access will run from Friday, August 30th, to Wednesday, September 4th, as announced on its blog. This is two days after the Call of Duty Next showcase, which is set for August 28th. To play, you must have already bought Black Ops 6.

The open beta is the following weekend, and anyone who wants to can join. The fun will start on Friday, September 6th, and end on Monday, September 9th. The full release is set for October 25th of next month on PS5 and PS4.

How excited are you for the next Call of Duty game? Are you going to play Black Ops 6 in either the Early Access or Open Beta versions? Leave a comment below and let us know.

 

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Ten million people play The First Descendant in its first week

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The free-to-play shooter The First Descendant has gotten a lot of attention in its first week. The game’s publisher, Nexon, says that 10 million people have already tried it out.

Insider Gaming pointed out that since there is no cost up front, it’s still too early to tell how many of those players will stick around, but it’s still a big number for a new IP. On Steam alone, it peaked at 264,860 concurrents right after launch and has still managed to break 200,000 in the last 24 hours, so it looks like a lot of people are still really into the game.

It was a “mindless and repetitive grind,” and we gave The First Descendant a 3/10 in our review. Of course, that’s just one opinion; other experts have had different ones. Most people, though, say that the game’s annoying free-to-play model is the worst thing about it.

Are you one of the millions of people who played The First Descendant last week? Are you going to come back for more? Leave a comment below and let us know.

 

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Gaming

Raiden, the famous shmup series, will come back as a twin-stick shooter on PS5, PS4, and PC

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Raiden has a long and interesting history as a vertical shooter in arcades. However, the series is going to get a Super Stardust HD makeover, which means it will switch to a twin-stick format. It comes out in Japan on October 31. There’s no word yet on when it will come out in the West, but we wouldn’t be surprised if it did.

A Gematsu translation of the game’s website says that the full version will have an arcade mode with up to six stages. There will also be an “Unlimited” option for people who want to be at the top of the rankings. It sounds like a pretty straightforward package in terms of what’s inside, but we think the action will be what makes it worth it.

There’s a trailer up top that should help you figure out what to expect. There are, however, different versions of Raiden 3, Raiden 4, and Raiden 5 that you can play right now on the PS5 and PS4, if you can’t wait for this game to come out in the West.

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