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Brass gets a facelift, and it was about time

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Brass Kickstarter campaign covers

Any self-respecting board gamer has played or at least has heard of Martin Wallace’s magnum opus: Brass. I myself managed to play it for the first time a couple of years ago. It was a warm summer evening. The local insect population was already swarming the lowly lit porch where we were sitting. Yet the intensity that game created was so exhilarating that not even mosquito bites managed to break the fun. I myself can attest that although we were just some dudes drinking beer and flipping tokens over a plain looking map of Lancashire, we could actually feel the heat coming from the newly built ironworks of Manchester. As the sun was setting, we were determined to grab the last contracts with the overseas market and develop our cotton mills before the board would be wiped clean. And that was just the beginning.

Brass gets a facelift - Kickstarter campaign, Lancashire map

Lancashire map detail
/credit Kickstarter

For those who can’t quite grasp the experience of playing Brass, Roxley Games has taken upon themselves to produce a visual update to the classic game that’s worthy of its spirit. Being now live on Kickstarter, Roxley Games is offering Brass: Lancashire along with Brass: Birmingham, a new implementation of the rules, but in a different setting and with the same outstanding production value.

What is it about?

Brass was originally released ten years ago. The game focused on the area of Lancashire, England which experienced a massive change due to the Industrial Revolution. The damp climate was a perfect environment for developing cotton wool, and so auxiliary industries such as coal extraction and iron smelting were also on the rise. Players take on the role of greedy industrialists seizing new business opportunities. Each player is dealt a hand of cards which must be used wisely in order to capitalize not only on the intrinsic cotton demand of the external market but also on the demands created by their competitors’ industries. New ports scream for shipping contracts while the iron market beckons with quick profits.

Surely enough, Liverpool was becoming an important link for commerce. However, transport boats could not keep up with the demands. The water canals from the late 18th century could no longer support the volume of goods and so, Lancashire went through a new phase. Railroads pumping coal now began reaching from all directions. At a certain point in the game, the board goes through a literal apocalypse.

The entire canal infrastructure gets removed and most if not all industries go into disarray. Players who have not prepared for the shift in paradigm need to push hard to recuperate. Only the strongest industries get to prosper as the land is reshaped to make way for the steam engine. The dance of industry continues and by the end of the game, Lancashire becomes dotted with coal mines and cotton mills. The coastline is busy with commercial traffic and ship manufacturing. Finally, industrialists get to count the final points, because ‘Where there’s muck there’s brass’.

Gaming

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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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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Bandai Namco and Nike designed Tekken 8 sneakers with tag-team designs

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Nike, the maker of high-quality shoes, is working with Bandai Namco, the company that makes the Tekken series, to make a pair of sneakers. The fun competition is part of the franchise’s 30th anniversary celebrations. You can get your own pair for $250 or the equivalent in your country, though they’ll probably be worth a lot more on the sneakerhead black market.

Two pairs of Tekken 8 x Nike Air Foamposite One Fist sneakers are set to come out in September 2024, according to shoe fan Sole Retriever (thanks, VGC). The designs are based on Kazuya and Jin, two main characters in the series. You can get them at Nike and some other stores. People who like hypebeasts and fighting games are likely to buy these quickly, so if you like Tekken and shoes that make people talk, you should probably act fast.

Should Bandai Namco and Nike work together? What do you think? Are you going to fight for your own pair? Make sure to take good care of your shoes and keep their value in the comments section below.

 

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