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Talking Point: Where Are All The Lord Of The Rings RPGs On Console?

Boil ’em, mash ’em, stick ’em in a RPG.

The year was 2002. Peter Jackson was about to release the second instalment in the Lord of the Rings movie trilogy, EA had bagged the rights to the video game adaptations of the films and Vivendi was just about to release its own console adaptation, not of the New Line Cinema property, but adapted directly from the Tolkien-penned source material.

It is hardly a hot take to say that the motion picture trilogy is fantastic. The fellowship is perfectly cast, Howard Shore’s score stands up today as one of the greatest of all time, and each film efficiently serves Tolkien’s original work through the scope of their worldbuilding. Though even with a combined runtime just short of 12 hours (extended editions, of course), the films could never really capture the entirety of the world about which Tolkien had written.

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Ninja Theory disputes claims it is using AI to replace voice actors

Hellblade developer Ninja Theory has disputed claims that it uses AI technology to replace voice actors in its games, saying it only uses AI-generated voice work for “placeholder content”.

Ninja Theory was named by GLHF as a company that utilises the services of Altered AI, a tech firm that supports studios in creating “compelling, professional voice performances” via AI rather than professional – and real – voice actors.

The report stopped short of revealing the minutiae of the arrangement, however, stating that “the details of their partnership are under wraps”.

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Check out this Metal: Hellsinger behind-the-scenes mini-documentary

The Outsiders and Funcon have released a behind-the-scenes (BTS) video showcasing how the rhythm FPS came to be.

Exploring the “origins of the game, including exclusive interviews with the game’s creators, music composers, and some of its amazing voice talent”, the BTS documentary also includes conversations with the soundtrack creators, Elvira Björkman and Nicklas Hjertberg of Two Feathers.

You can check out the 15-minute video – which includes a sneaky peek at Two Feathers’ “huge live concert” at Gamescom – below:

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Top flight: what’s the best video game jetpack?

Life can be a lot less bother when you hover. Think of Exile, the 1988 marvel that cleverly crams an entire alien world and its belligerent fauna into the scrawny 32k memory of a BBC Micro. Chief among the game’s chaotic pleasures is its nifty jetpack, empowering your stranded space captain to explore the hostile planet Phoebus and its clever tangle of interlocking physics systems.

As modes of transport go, jetpacks are often more about pluck than precision. In Exile you are engaged in a constant push-pull with unhelpful gas geysers, explosive shockwaves and the invisible tug of Phoebus gravity. But rocketing around at high speed in low-roofed caverns chimes perfectly with a game that asks you to jump headfirst into the unknown and apply seat-of-the-pants problem-solving. Exile’s rocket-powered emergent slapstick makes me smile the same way I do when seeing a jelly start to wobble: precariousness as pleasure. It is undoubtedly my second-favourite video game jetpack. (In keeping with the subject matter, please strap in and allow me to loop around in some discursive aerobatics before revealing my actual favourite.)

It is a boost universally acknowledged, then: jetpacks rule. They have ruled since the early 20th century, when they first propelled space cowboys like Buck Rogers into high adventure via lowbrow pulp novels and comic strips. For decades these portable domesticated explosions were sleek symbols of a seemingly imminent tech-assisted future, gleaming pointers toward a world where humanity would be free to blast off at will into the Y-axis while flicking V-signs at boring old gravity.

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Talking Point: What Are You Playing This Weekend? (September 24th)

The splat-best of the Splatfest.

After last week’s Nintendo Direct extravaganza, this week has seemed a little more relaxed by comparison. As we have prepared ourselves for the weekend’s coming Splatfest (go Team Fun!) we have taken our time recuperating from what is already shaping up to be an amazing slate of upcoming games.

In the Direct’s aftermath, we have broken down everything that we know about Pikmin 4 (mostly because we can’t stop thinking about Miyamoto’s shirt) and also chewed over Square Enix’s frankly unbelievable release schedule.

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Mario + Rabbids Sparks Of Hope Won’t Include Multiplayer

The team wanted to focus on the “solo experience”.

If you were hoping for some more multiplayer action in the upcoming Switch release Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope, we’re sorry to say but there won’t be any options like this on offer.

Speaking to Screenrant, producer Xavier Manzanares clarified how the team decided to focus exclusively on the “solo experience” in the new entry. As you might recall, the original game had co-op, and Ubisoft patched in a versus mode in a free update.

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Bandai Namco Releases Switch Demo For Taiko no Tatsujin: Rhythm Festival

Don Chan is back!

Today marks the digital release of Taiko no Tatsujin: Rhythm Festival on the Nintendo Switch. If you’re still on the fence about this latest entry, Bandai Namco has released a demo which you can download from the Switch eShop right now.

It comes with some sample songs including Donderful Everyday and Symphony No.5. It also introduces players to the new character Kumo-kyun, a few other individuals, Omika City and the story.

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New Avatar: The Last Airbender Nintendo Switch Listing Appears Online

But there’s still no official announcement.

Back in August, Amazon Japan seemingly revealed an unannounced Avatar: The Last Airbender video game, based on the popular Nickelodeon anime-style cartoon series.

A follow-up rumour then suggested the game would be arriving on November 8th. Now, in the latest development, the same title, known as “Avatar: The Last Airbender – Quest for Balance” has surfaced on GameFly.

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