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E3 2019 – HALO Infinite

Halo Infinite has been officially been revealed as the first game associated with Xbox’s next generation console, currently code named Project Scarlett.  This is huge news as this is the first time since the original Xbox console that a Halo title has accompanied the launch of a new console. The trailer provided at the Xbox E3 2019 Media Briefing did not include much in the way of details but instead was a way of introducing back to a newly remastered and super detailed Master Chief, who is found floating in space.

The developers have already confirmed that this will be a great opportunity for new players to get into the Halo franchise.  They intend to give call backs to the previous games and lore but provide a fresh experience and story to new players. Already, die hard Halo fans have been picking it apart the trailer frame by frame to see what can be gleaned from it, including some of those aforementioned callbacks.  There are plenty of theories and conjecture about what we are actually seeing and what it means and when the game takes place in the overall timeline, but at this point that is all they are. Obviously there will be much more to come with this over the next year. I would expect that come the Xbox E3 2020 Media Briefing we will see much more as Project Scarlett is finalized and they are able to actually product game play content.

Xbox has the opportunity to take full control of the proverbial hype machine by linking these two releases together and fully leveraging the capabilities of their new console.  They have the attention of their legions of rabid fans and I expect that to be cultivated over the next twelve months till E3 2020. Please be sure to keep an eye out here for updates and additional information as the Engaged Family Gaming team scours the multiverse for more information.

What do you think? Sound off in the comments and let us know your thoughts!

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tales of arise

Bandai Namco released a cinematic trailer for Tales of Arise the next installment of The “Tales” Role Playing Game series during the Xbox E3 2019 Media Briefing. The Tales series, with Tales of Berseria and a Remastered Tales of Zestiria being the most recent releases, is full of great games for casual players and Tales of Arise looks like it will continue that trend!


The Tales series has a history of offering flexibility in gameplay. You can actually change the difficulty settings on the fly, allowing families to adjust the difficulty if sharing the game between players of differing skill levels. Game controls can be set to being either partially or fully automatic, allowing for easy one button controls during combat, or putting your character in complete computer control.

In terms of content, the Tales series is on the lighter side of the Teen ratings of the ESRB, with violence focused mainly on monsters and the supernatural, and with games often taking the light hearted approach to their side stories.

The teaser trailer itself is gorgeous and revealed a world that we are excited to spend time in. We’re look ing forward to more information to see if the how the family friendly features have changed or improved in the update.

What do you think? Sound off in the comments and let us know your thoughts!

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psychonauts 2

Xbox Game Studios announced during their E3 2019 media briefing that they had added the whimsical and downright weird Double Fine Studios under the Xbox Game Studios banner. They capped that announcement off with a gameplay trailer for the long awaited Psychonauts 2, which has big shoes to fill from its ancestor.

The original Psychonauts was a PS2 era cult classic which turned the story and game design of Banjoo-Kazooie, Super Mario 64, and Donkey Kong 64 on their head. With the retro homages to these games making their debut now with Yooka-Laylee and A Hat in Time, the market is primed for this one.

They didn’t give us a release date as part of the announcement, but we look forward to more information from this off beat, but family friendly title.

What do you think? Sound off in the comments and let us know your thoughts!

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phantasy star online 2

What is Phantasy Star Online 2?  Probably one of the most anticipated MMO imports of all time (for a very specific set of gamers.)  It is on nearly every console in Japan, and is a sequel to the original Phantasy Star Online, which was out in the US on the Sega Dreamcast, back in 2000.   

Phantasy Star has a rich legacy, going back to December 20th 1987, when they they released the original Phantasy Star on the Sega Master System.  It had wonderful graphics and depth like no other console RPG at the time. It also had the first female protagonist in a console RPG.  (Voiced by the legendary Rieko Kodama). It was my first RPG video game, and I still hold extremely fond memories of it.

In the years to come, Phantasy Star 2, 3 and 4 would all release on the Sega Genesis to much acclaim from fans and critics alike, and its place in gamer history was cemented forever.  Then came the year 2000, and the Dreamcast brought us Phantasy Star again, but this time the game was online, a fairly new genre, and while gamers were unsure going in, they were quickly made believers in the platform, and their faith in the Phantasy Star universe was re-assured.  (IGN gave it a 9.1/10 at release), and then in 2012, Phantasy Star Online 2 released for Windows, but online in Japan. Ever since, western gamers have been craving a stateside release, and Microsoft delivered at E3 2019. It will release on Xbox One in Spring of 2020. And… it’s free to play.

For those of you who are not acquainted with Phantasy Star Online 2, players will embark on “Research expedition called ‘Arks,’ which belong to a fleet of interplanetary cruising ships, setting out to a research a variety of different planets,” according to Sega. “Visiting places for the mission (quest) always evolves into a fresh and surprising adventure, including auto-generated maps, sudden events, and a Multiplayer Party Area, where up to 12 players can play together simultaneously.”

I’m not usually one for Free To Play games, but I can see the allure.  And with all of the beautiful memories I have of playing through the Phantasy Star universe, I am certain I’ll be signing up on release day to try my hand at the newest installment. See you there!

What do you think? Sound off in the comments and let us know your thoughts!

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ori and the will of the wisps

The highly anticipated sequel to Ori and the Blind Forest has finally gotten its release date. Players will now be able to get a look at Ori’s world outside of Nibel. Fans will be treated to everything that they loved from the original, smooth gameplay, stunning visuals and wonderful story telling when it releases on February 11th, 2020.

Just like in the original, you will need to explore and navigate through various puzzles while traveling through the environment and competing against huge and quite frankly very gorgeously rendered bosses.  

The difference this time is that the worlds appear to be much more varied as the intent of the sequel is to expand outside the world we had been introduced to. The preview that premiered during the Xbox E3 2019 Media Briefing on 6/9 gave a glimpse of some of this with a giant spider battle, tentacle monster and what appears to be some sort of lava spitting sand worm.  All of it was gorgeous and the gameplay interaction looks as though it could be just as challenging as the original (tree fight anyone?). So prepare to have your heartstrings tugged, your mind blown and find a way to ice down your thumbs at the end of the day.

The current information that we have tells us that “Ori and the Will of the Wisps” will only be available on Xbox, Windows PC and Steam.  However, it would not be outside the realm of possibility that this could eventually make its way to the Switch at some point in the future as we see more and more cross play.

Please be sure to check out all our E3 coverage as we will update you if and when we find out anything new.

What do you think? Sound off in the comments and let us know your thoughts!

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Project scarlett

By: James Pisano

So it finally happened.  Microsoft announced their next console during the Xbox E3 2019 Media Briefing.  For now, however, we only know it as Project Scarlett.  Phil Spencer did let us know what we can expect from the upcoming Xbox hardware on a technical level though.

Under the Hood

It’ll have an AMD chipset, with their new Navi graphics architecture and a Zen 2 CPU.  They promised to reduce or eliminate(?) load times, and it will contain a new generation of solid state hard drive, also acting as virtual ram, so this actually is possible.  Microsoft says will lead to a 40x improvement in load times over previous consoles, but that remains to be seen.

Overall, they said Project Scarlett would perform 4x faster than their most powerful current console, the Xbox One X.  They said we would see resolutions and framerates we have never seen before on consoles.

8k resolution, 120 frames per second were quoted, and those are certainly the best we’ve seen in the console market to date.  And we got a quick mention that it will be backwards compatibile across all current xbox consoles.

What Does it Mean Though?

It’s a lot of tech speak, and enough to make most parents’ heads spin. That’s why we’re here to explain what this all means to you. (We also have a list of tech definitions here.)

With a more powerful graphics chip and processor will allow the console to display the beautiful visuals that were promised.  That said, most of our current televisions will look beautiful. But, it sounds like this new console will be and to display resolutions up to 8k. That would be stunning… but impossible on our current televisions. As of the time of this writing, the cheapest 8k television is approximately $4,000. That price will almost certainly come way down by the time the console releases however.  

The solid state hard drive is going to be used to facilitate shorter load times which more engagement, and happier players.

They also shared that Project Scarlett would have total backwards compatability. That means that all the Xbox games you’ve bought so far will not be obsolete as they will play on the new console.

We’re excited for Project Scarlett, and we think you should be too.

What do you think? Sound off in the comments and let us know your thoughts!

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5 Things Parents Need to Know from the Xbox E3 2019 Media Briefing!
Check out their media briefing on our YouTube Channel!!

Microsoft held their annual Xbox E3 Media Briefing on Sunday June 9th, 2019. The event was an hour and a half long and was widely expected to be a showcase for the next generation of Xbox consoles and to build excited for the brand going into 2020. It fell a little flat in those regards, but there was still plenty of news for parents.

New Xbox is Coming!

Xbox closed their show by sharing some high level details of the next generation Xbox, codenamed Project Scarlett. They stopped short of revealing the official name, the final release date, or the price, but they did share some information about the technical specifications.

Their main focus appeared to be explaining their design philosophies. They explained that they expect the new system to be a significant leap in power over the Xbox One X. They also explained that they will be using a custom SSD (Solid State Drive) that will greatly reduce loading times.

They also revealed that they will be launching the new Xbox alongside HALO Infinite. This will mark the first time that an Xbox has launched with a HALO game since the original Xbox in November 15, 2001.

Xbox Game Pass Ultimate

Xbox Game Pass has been a wild success since it was announced last year. There are now over 250 games available on the service. It was only a matter of time, however, before Microsoft expanded on the service. That expansion is now underway.

First, they announced Xbox Game pass for PC. It’s similar to its counterpart on consoles, but it is focused on PC games. It is in Beta now with a special price of $4.99 (The price will increase to $9.99 when the beta ends).

Second, they announced Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, subscription that combines Xbox Game Pass, Xbox Game Pass for PC, and Xbox Games with Gold for $14.99 per month.

Minecraft Dungeons

Minecraft is one of the biggest games on the planet. It is also, largely, impossible to follow up with a sequel.

Microsoft did, however, announce a spin-off title called Minecraft Dungeons last year. It was fully unveiled at this year’s E3 media briefing. Dungeons is a kid friendly take on a Diablo-esque dungeon crawling action game. It will be coming to Xbox (among other consoles and PC) in Spring 2020.

LEGO in Full Force (Or Full For..za?)

LEGO games were well represented during this year’s briefing. They announced LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga and a LEGO Speed Champions expansion to Forza Horizon’s 4.

RPG Time – The Legend of Wright

Xbox spent one minute and thirteen seconds showing us that Nintendo did not have an iron grip on the arts and crafts art style they used on Yoshi and Kirby. The Legend of Wright uses the same console that makes cars in Forza: Horizon 4 come to life, and uses it to animate the pencil sketches of every kid who grew up in the 90’s. We will be keeping an eye on more information as this game gets closer to its 2020 release.

What do you think? Sound off in the comments and let us know your thoughts!

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Yooka-Laylee and the Impossible Lair

Playtonic Games got out ahead of the insanity that is E3 2019 and revealed their next game on Friday June 7th. Yooka-Laylee and the Impossible Lair is coming to Steam, Nintendo Switch, PS4, and Xbox One and it looks to be a delight.

Playtonic’s first game, Yooka-Laylee, struggled to reach expectations. They launched on Kickstarter and it set the world on fire, but that came with high expectations. People wanted Yooka-Laylee to be the second coming of Banjo-Kazooie. That just didn’t happen. One of the biggest complaints about the original game was about the camera. Some players even reported getting motion sick.

Faulty camera issues can doom a 3D platformer so it makes sense that Playtonic would abandon that path in the sequel. Impossible Lair is a “2D-Platforming-Adventure-Hybrid” that combines 2.5D platforming with gameplay segments that are top-down and have a heavy puzzle focus.

The trailer is embedded below. Take a look and let us know in the comments if this looks like a game you would want to play!

What do you think? Sound off in the comments and let us know your thoughts!

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Cuphead and Mugman flying planes in Cuphead by Studio MDHR

Here are all the video game releases rated E-T by the ESRB that will be released between April 14th and April 20th.

Tuesday, April 16th


Eternity: The Last Unicorn- Xbox One
Final Fantasy X/X-2 HD Remaster- Xbox One, Switch
My Time at Portia- PS4, Xbox One, Switch
Path to Mnemosyne- Switch
Tanks Meet Zombies- Switch
Warhammer Age of Sigmar: Champions
World of Warships Legends: Premium Edition- Xbox One

Wednesday, April 17th


Revenant Saga- Xbox One
Snooker 19- Xbox One
Truberbrook- Xbox One, Switch

Thursday, April 18th


Cafeteria Nipponica- Switch
Cuphead- Switch
Dawn of Survivors- Switch
DayD: Through Time- Switch
SlabWell: The Quest for Kaktun’s Alpaca- Switch
Sudoku Relax
The Knight and the Dragon- Switch
The Padre- Switch

Friday, April 19th


Active Soccer 2019- Switch
Moto Rush GT- Switch

For the Grownups


Wasteland 2 (Tuesday, April 16th)- Switch
World War Z (Tuesday, April 16th)- PS4, Xbox One, PC
Katana Zero (Thursday, April 18th)- Switch

What do you think? Are any of these going to make the it into your home? Sound off in the comments and let us know your thoughts!

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Family Friendly Video Game Releases from March 17 – March 23, 2019

Here are all of the video game releases rated E-T that are releasing between March 17th and March 23rd.

Monday, March 18th


Turok- Switch

Tuesday, March 19th


American Ninja Warrior: Champion- Switch
Fate/Extella Link- PS4, Switch
SNK 40th Anniversery Collection- PS4, Switch
Symmetry- Switch

Wednesday, March 20th


Chocobo’s Mystery Dungeon Every Buddy- PS4, Switch
Super Kickers League- Switch

Thursday, March 21st


Azura Saga: Pathfinder Deluxe Edition- Switch
Block-a-Pix Deluxe- Switch
Grand Prix Story- Switch
Reptilian Rebellion- Switch
Rogue Bit- Switch
StarDrone- Switch
Super Phantom Cat- Switch
Witch & Hero- Switch

Friday, March 22nd


Peasant Knight- Switch
Sushi Time!- Switch
Unravel 2- Switch

For the Grownups


Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice- PS4, Xbox One, PC (Friday, March 22nd)


What do you think? Sound off in the comments and let us know your thoughts!

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