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  1. https://venturebeat.com/2018/06/21/may-npd-2018-state-of-decays-second-act-chews-its-way-to-the-top/ Total: $685 million (up 13% from $607 million in May 2017) Hardware: $186 million (up 26% from $147 million) PC and console software: $274 million (down 4% from $285 million) Accessories: $225 million (up 30% from $174 million) May 2018 spending across video game Hardware, Software, Accessories and Game Cards grew 13 percent when compared to a year ago, to $685 million. Growth in Hardware and Accessories & Game Cards offset a slight decline in Software. Year-to-date spending across video game Hardware, Software, Accessories and Game Cards is up 15 percent when compared to the same period a year ago, to $4.9 billion. Growth has occurred across all categories of spending. SOFTWARE Best Sellers drive growth: Year to date, software spending is up 7 percent versus year ago, to $2.2 billion. Far Cry 5, God of War, and Monster Hunter: World are the year's best-selling titles. State of Decay 2 tops the chart: State of Decay 2 was May's best-selling game, as launch month sales nearly doubled that of the previous entry in the franchise, State of Decay. God of War holds strong: God of War was May's second best-selling title, and now ranks in the same position in year to date sales, trailing only Ubisoft's Far Cry 5. Detroit opens higher than Heavy Rain: Detroit: Become Human was the third best-selling game of the month. Launch month sales of Detroit: Become Human represent a record high for developer Quantic Dream, with sales growth of over 20 percent when compared to its previous launch month best-seller, Heavy Rain. Switch Software sees strong growth: Nintendo Switch software sales in May generated growth of 90 percent when compared to a year ago, delivering the highest software revenues for any Nintendo platform in May since the Nintendo Wii in May 2011. Please note that The NPD Group does not currently track digital sales on Nintendo platforms. Sony was the months top publisher: Sony was May's top-selling software publisher, driven by God of War and Detroit: Become Human. Ubisoft remains the top revenue generating publisher year to date, while Activision Blizzard holds the lead revenue position over the 12 month period ending May. HARDWARE & ACCESSORIES Hardware spending up for the year: For the 2018 year-to-date period, hardware spending has increased 15 percent to $1.3 billion. Spending gains for Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and Plug N Play devices such as the SNES Classic have driven growth. Best May since 2011: Hardware unit sales in May 2018 reached the highest total for a May since May 2011, while May 2018 dollar sales reached the highest May total since May 2014. Big 3 break records: Sony's PlayStation 4, Microsoft's Xbox One and Nintendo Switch all achieved all-time unit sales highs for a May month. Previous highs were May 2016 for PlayStation 4, May 2015 for Xbox One, and May 2017 for Switch. PS4 is the months best seller: Sony's PlayStation 4 was the best-selling console hardware platform in May, and remains the best-selling console hardware platform year to date. Switch has a top selling SKU: The Nintendo Switch 32GB w/Neon Red/Blue JoyCon was the month's best-selling hardware SKU in both unit and dollar sales. Accessories Roundup: Sales of Headsets/Headphones more than doubled in May 2018 when compared to a year ago. Year to date, Headsets/Headphones spending has increased 83 percent. The Xbox One Ear Force Recon 50x Gaming Headset from Turtle Beach was the best-selling Headset/Headphone in May, while the company's Xbox One Ear Force Stealth 600 Wireless Headset is the best-selling Headset/Headphone for 2018 year to date. Gamepad spending grew 16 percent in May versus a year ago, with year to date spending growth of 22 percent. The PS4 DualShock 4 Wireless Controller Black is the best-selling Gamepad in both May and 2018 year to date. RANKINGS Physical and Full Game Digital for publishers in the Digital Leader Panel, ranked on dollar sales State of Decay 2 God of War 2018 Detroit: Become Human Far Cry 5 Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze* Grand Theft Auto V Hyrule Warriors Definitive Ed* Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six: Siege Mario Kart 8* NBA 2K18 MLB 18: The Show Call of Duty: WWII Super Mario Odyssey* The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild* FIFA 18^ Overwatch^ Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection Playerunknown's Battlegrounds Assassin's Creed: Origins Monster Hunter: World * Digital sales not included ^ PC digital sales not included Xbox One State of Decay 2 Far Cry 5 Playerunknown's Battlegrounds Grand Theft Auto V Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six: Siege Call of Duty: WWII Overwatch Sea Of Thieves NBA 2K18 FIFA 18 PS4 God of War 2018 Detroit: Become Human Far Cry 5 MLB 18: The Show Grand Theft Auto V FIFA 18 NBA 2K18 Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six: Siege Call of Duty: WWII Overwatch Switch Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze Hyrule Warriors Definitive Ed Mario Kart 8 Super Mario Odyssey The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild Splatoon 2 Kirby Star Allies Labo Toy-Con 01 Variety Kit Mario & Rabbids: Kingdom Battle Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Year to Date Far Cry 5 God of War 2018 Monster Hunter: World Call of Duty: WWII Dragon Ball: Fighterz Grand Theft Auto V NBA 2K18 MLB 18: The Show Mario Kart 8* Playerunknown's Battlegrounds^
  2. I just beat the main story of God of War again and have more side things to do, but the replay solidified how excellent a game this is. It has so much going right and adds so much in comparison to the previous games. 1) Exploration - The original God of War games had secrets to uncover, but God of War PS4 is more "wide-linear," where it's not completely open-world, but it does allow exploration, back-tracking, and the like. Interestingly enough, it utilizes everything to the max. Even in my first playthrough, by the end of the game I still stumbled upon places I missed. And while they're not marked on the map (which is great and I'd like to see more games do that), you can look at the map and go, "Hey, there's an area that looks like it can be entered," and go there, and yup, it's an unmarked area. And then there's the density of the areas. Look up and you'll potentially see items you can shoot down, and they're items you'll use. Find side paths to explore, and you'll find treasures (not to mention the treasure maps that you need to use environmental clues to find). And the treasures are usually new moves, enhancements or some legitimately decent armor. I was changing my Runic attacks throughout the game because I'd explore, I'd find a new, say, light axe attack, I'd notice I like the increase damage or increased stun characteristics, and I'd swap it out. You can just be rowing around the lake and find items in the lake, or permanent stat upgrades around the lake, and they make it very easy to get the items (Atreus mainly takes care of it). You can enter another area and find a mini-puzzle to solve that opens up to a new path. There are just a plethora of goodies you can stumble across, optional enemy encounters, useful items, puzzles, you name it. 2) Combat - I wondered if a story-focused God of War would make concessions in the gameplay department, but the gameplay is aces. It's far more deliberate in this game, I feel. There's more strategy involved, partly due to the new camera angle; you have to be alert to enemy placement, which is why spamming is far less useful to anyone who remembers the tried-and-true [] [] /\ combo. That combo is still useful, but I'm not winning battles spamming it. I also like the use of throwing the axe because you can recall it to help knock away other enemies. You toss it at an enemy (and might be able to pin them to the wall), other enemies are swarming you, and you can line them up and knock them off-balance by recalling the axe. It ended up being a really cool weapon despite not being the iconic blades, and even after expanding my arsenal, I still used the axe. Then you also have Atreus, whose combat ranges from stunning and incapacitating enemies, to being commanded by you with a simple [ ] button. He can open up secrets, detonate explosives, and stun/electrocute enemies. Rarely do you have to save him from something; he can take care of himself. 3) Story and Dialogue - The game easily has the best dialogue in the series. Compare 3 to this game, and it's night and day. The characters all have distinct personalities, and I remember all of them and can describe them pretty easily. The humor... I didn't even expect there to be that much humor in the game, but there are a lot of funny parts, both in the main story and in normal conversation while traveling. The dwarves who sell you things, for example, make fun of the fact that they're everywhere; the game has a lot of fun with it. Many other games have utilized character dialogue while traveling to add to the story, add to the characters and make the walk more enjoyable since you're not engaged in combat. God of War I think pushes it to another level. This is a much more fully-realized Kratos. He's not one-note. He grows. He lack of a sense of humor is his humor. His son grows. The secondary/side characters grow. All in all, I hope God of War PS5 takes it to another level. They have all the groundwork they need.
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