2016-09-27T22:00:00ZYesterday we reported that Microsoft is running a promotion with a free game of your choice when you buy an Xbox One S. The caveat is that the offer only works for in-stock consoles, so you were out of luck if you wanted the Battlefield 1 bundle. This changed today (cue dramatic music). At Dell, you can now pre-order an Xbox One S console bundled with Battlefield 1 and get a free game of your choice. This offer works on either the 1TB "Military Green" Early Enlister Deluxe Console for $349.99 or the 500GB "Plain Old White" Standard Edition Console for $299.99. While there are other Battlefield 1 deals currently online, these two bundles are in our opinion the best picks yet. Battlefield 1 Xbox One Bundle plus Free Game Xbox One S Battlefield 1 Special Edition 1TB Console Bundle + Free Game — $349.99 Xbox One S Battlefield 1 500GB Bundle + Free Game — $299.99 Note: Scroll down in this page and pick an Xbox One game you want for free Dell doesn't hold your hand on getting a free game. You'll need to manually seek out an in-stock title priced $59.99 or less to get the deal (pre-orders won't work). This list is chock-full of recent Xbox One games such as The BioShock Collection, Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, and more. Xbox One download-code titles also qualifies. Once both the Xbox One game and Xbox One Battlefield 1 console are in your cart, the cost of the game will automatically be free. During checkout, do yourself a favor and also sign-up for the Dell Advantage Rewards. For the price of handing them your email address (which you need to do anyway if you want to complete checkout), this gets you free two-day business shipping on your brand new Xbox One S. Battlefield 1 Game-Only Deals Battlefield 1 Early Enlister Deluxe + $10 Gift Code (Xbox One Download) — $79.99 Battlefield 1 Early Enlister Deluxe + $25 Gift Card (Xbox One, PS4) — $79.99 Battlefield 1 + $10 Gift Code (Xbox One) — $59.99 Battlefield 1 + $25 Gift Card (Xbox One, PS4) — $59.99 Don't need a console? Dell is also offering a $25 eGift Card as an incentive if you purchase the game. Or head over to the Microsoft Store for more instant gratification. Microsoft is selling Battlefield 1 download codes (email delivery) and it's tossing in a $10 gift code with every pre-order. [...]
Let's take stock of Tencent's current lineup, shall we?
The Chinese megacorporation currently owns Riot Games and games outlet/guide database Zam.com, has sizable investments in Paradox Interactive and Epic Games, and has previously worked with Activision and Capcom. Now, it owns Supercell -- the folks behind Clash of Clans, Boom Beach, and Clash Royale. If you're not up on the mobile scene, those are some of the most popular games running.
Although the deal will officially close in the third quarter, it seems likely that Tencent will continue its expansion into the Western games market with this 8.6 billion dollar purchase. This all went down over the summer, but it's important you all understand the business side of things. Every time I write one of these articles, I tell you all that we need to be paying attention to Tencent. One day soon -- it may not be tomorrow, or the day after -- there will be a Tencent booth on the floor of E3 and it's going to have something big.
Deals like this don't matter in the short term. It's not like Tencent is suddenly going to interfere with Clash of Clans; the game is enormous and any potential changes are just going to affect hardcore players as opposed to a developer's artistic vision. However, when you look at the long-term implications of mergers like this or the inevitable Ubisoft/Vivendi marriage, you're looking at a large amount of development teams owned by a handful of corporations, stifling competition. That's not good for anybody.
Tencent Seals Deal to Buy ‘Clash of Clans’ Developer Supercell for $8.6 Billion [Wall Street Journal]
The release of 2048 was a flashpoint; the low-budget free-to-play Threes! ripoff became more popular than the game it stole from, starting a conversation about the viability of paid games in the mobile space. Fun fact: the version of 2048 on the App Store wasn't made by the original developer of 2048. Actually, let me break this down for you even further: Threes' first clone was 1024, which itself was later cloned by two separate versions of 2048. The one you probably know was developed by Gabriele Cirulli, but the one you probably downloaded on the App Store was brought to you by Ketchapp. The current 2048 site makes it seem like Cirulli is involved with the iOS port, but that wasn't always the case.
Ketchapp is the definition of a con trying to go straight after being released from prison. Look at its current output, and it all seems harmless -- a lot of platformers featuring rudimentary shapes, a couple games with icons and titles that seem to evoke viral sensation Flappy Bird -- even if the full games themselves don't bear any resemblance. But look at this image from two years ago, sourced from a Giant Bomb story on 2048. Grabby Bird. Flappy Fish. Kitty Jetpack. 2048. Boy, those sound familiar!
Recently, Ubisoft looked at this company's history of putting out cheap knock-offs and thought "Yeah, we'll buy that." If you look at the press release, there's the usual waffle about how gosh-darn awesome Ketchapp is and how amazing its games are, but there's a few interesting points that jump out.
For one, with this acquisition, Ubisoft is now apparently the fourth-largest mobile publisher "in terms of downloads." I can buy that -- looking at its official portfolio on iOS, there are a lot of games and apps that put recognizable IP on a phone, a combination that appeals to casual gamers. Second, I don't think Ubisoft is buying Ketchapp just for 2048 and its ilk. Ketchapp has experience with free-to-play advertising; Ubisoft isn't just acquiring some profitable free-to-play games, it's also investing in its future on mobile platforms.
Anyway, none of this matters because Ubisoft will just be gobbled up by Vivendi in a handful of years.
If you grew up playing games in the late '80s or early '90s, you remember that Mario dominated the discussion on playgrounds and after school. By some estimates, Nintendo controlled up to 90% of the home console market, and it's no wonder that this dominance affected other sectors of the game industry. It took longer than you might think to offer Mario style-experiences on home computers at the time though, primarily because they were never intended to scroll action as smoothly as the NES did.
3D Realms was one of the earliest companies around to try and create side scrolling platformers on personal computers, and they've released a new video that talks to some of the pioneers of PC gaming, and how they were playing catch up with the consoles of the day. It's interesting to look back on a time when PCs were unquestionably the inferior gaming machine and see how much has changed.
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Back then, PC gamers had few options, but could usually try a game out before buying it by sharing disks or connecting to Bulletin Board Services (BBS) and downloading the shareware versions of games created by 3D Realms, Apogee, and Epic Megagames. The video interviews industry notables like Cliff Bleszinski, John Romero, and Tom Hall, and each of them tells a bit about what they were thinking when they were working on games like Jazz Jackrabbit, Duke Nukem, and Commander Keen.
Without Commander Keen, PC gaming may have taken a much different path. It was a PC version of Super Mario Bros. 3 programmed by Romero and John Carmack that brought them to the attention of Scott Miller, founder of Apogee Software. Commander Keen was Apogee's breakout title, and Romero and Hall's work on the series led to the licencing Id Software made its fortune on.
I learned a few things from the video, apart from the fact that John Romero has a fabulous black manicure. In discussing Commander Keen, he mentioned how they wanted to take the lessons they'd learned from playing Mario, but apply them to a game with more vertical space, in which scrolling in all directions was necessary. Ironically, it was Romero and Carmack's later creation, Doom, that ended up wiping out platforming games on the PC for many years.
Bleszinski points out that modern games tend to be more thoughtful and "emo" than games 20 years ago, which featured wisecracking main characters. The video ends by bringing up the recent resurgence of platform games on the PC, with titles like Shovel Knight, Ori and the Blind Forest, and Inside all launching more or less simultaneously with their console versions.
Digital pre-orders for Gears of War 4 on Xbox One are available for pre-loading right now! The official Gears of War Twitter account let the details loose around an hour ago along with some information on the file size.
Good news! #GearsofWar4 pre-load for XB1 digital pre-orders begins later today at 5pm PDT (12am UTC). Expected download size will be 54.6GB.— Gears of War (@GearsofWar) September 27, 2016
The PC version is not up for pre-loading currently, but is scheduled to be ready before launch. At 80 GB on PC, I would definitely prefer the game files be ready on launch instead of waiting roughly two hours for a download. Some people might also be waiting about 12 hours (since the US has crappy internet).
Gears of War [Twitter]
According to a tip from long-time reader JVB and many, many posts on Lego Dimensions-centric social media forums, Xbox One and Wii U players have been unable to access any of the Wave 6/Year 2 level packs until very recently, including Harry Potter, Ghostbusters, and Mission: Impossible. The issue lies in the game's content distribution system -- players have to both purchase the relevant toys-to-life figures and download the content in the form of a patch.
Here's the catch: you can purchase the characters in stores, but the patches have only just started downloading for some Xbox One players, and remain missing for Wii U players. So you can mess around with your new Voldemort figure in the game, but you're out of luck if you want to play the Harry Potter levels; the actual meat of your not-insignificant purchase. JVB got in touch moments before publishing to let us know that his content finally started downloading, but we're still seeing angry comments from other Xbox One users.
This isn't an issue exclusive to JVB. We found many instances of this issue across the internet -- from Reddit, to Facebook, to Twitter. If this issue persisted into the early morning, potentially screwing over hardcore fans waiting in line for midnight releases, that would be one thing. At time of writing, it's late afternoon on the west coast and evening on the east coast. Wave 6 has fully launched, yet Xbox One players were left in the dust well into the evening, with Wii U players still in the lurch.
We've reached out to Warner Bros. Interactive for comment and will update the story if we get a response.
[Thanks again to JVB for the tip!]
Tonight! A special event! I will be hosting a live stream talk show at Laugh Boston, starting 7:30pm EST. It'll be a part of their regularly Player 1/2 event, but if it gets enough views, the show will become a reoccurring thing? That's the plan anyway.
We'll be playing one of these three games, as determined by polling the viewers in Twitch chat as well as the live audience. That's just one of the many ways we'll be integrating viewer feedback into the show.
Our guest for the night is Ichiro Lambe, co-creator of Drunken Robot Pornography. He's got some interesting stories about Gabe Newell that I found shocking. I was shocked.
Tickets for the live event are still available here. The Twitch stream can be found below. Do you think I should wear a mesh tank top?
2016-09-27T17:30:00Z[Update: Famed NeoGAF leak artist shinobi602 has offered additional details to Kotaku's report, confirming the expanded "playspaces" concept. Specifically, shinobi602 cites Saturn as a future location, reportedly "bigger than all of the playspaces currently implemented in the game combined." He also confirms that Destiny 2 could possibly be a separate executable, leaving content from Destiny 1 behind in favor of reintroducing it in the context of Destiny 2's story. "This means we'll get to see older areas or activities through the perspective of the newer content, since the design goal for playspaces is to now make them both way bigger & way denser with activities."] Sources at Kotaku have confirmed that the previously confirmed Destiny sequel will forgo any connections to the original game, "leaving old planets, characters, and activities behind" in favor of a brand-new experience. Insiders compared the change to Diablo II, another loot RPG that moved away from the trappings of the previous game. The outlet's sources also state that Destiny 2 will release on PC, and will completely leave previous-generation consoles behind. Long-time Destiny players will reportedly be rewarded for their loyalty, but there is currently no word as to what those rewards will be. A post on NeoGAF from user benny_a that directly preceded Kotaku's report contains many of the same details, including the involvement of Activision-owned studios High Moon Studios and Vicarious Visions. Kotaku news editor Jason Schreier corroborates the post in his report, having heard similar things in the past few weeks. Destiny 2 will reportedly be under the purview of The Taken King creative staff -- specifically, director Luke Smith and executive producer Mark Noseworthy will be reprising their roles for Destiny 2. The sequel will resemble more traditional RPGs, populating Destiny 2's world with "more interesting" quests and activities, along with more towns and outposts. According to one of Kotaku's sources, "D2 is a completely different game. The Taken King was a reboot for Destiny 1 to fix small things. This is the overhaul to fix big things." Although Kotaku's report makes no specific mention of whether Destiny 2's overhaul extends to its character system, Bungie has previously addressed the issue. Back in 2014, Bungie community manager David Dague told IGN that the studio "intends" to allow players to carry their characters into Destiny 2. "The idea is that the Guardian you have created is something you can bring along with you on that adventure," Dague said. Sources: Destiny 2 Coming To PC, Aims To Feel Like A Totally New Game [Kotaku] [...]
Below is the achievement list for Dishonored 2 -- which I'll be playing tomorrow -- with the achievements helpfully separated into a general category, and story-related ones that you might consider to be spoilers. If you do, don't read those ones! You might not even want to scroll down any further, lest you be betrayed by your own peripheral vision.
Like a free spirit or a wandering nomad, PlayStation Experience is on the move once again. In 2014, the inaugural PSX was in Las Vegas. Last year, Sony took over part of the Moscone Center in San Francisco. This year, it'll take place in Anaheim.
On December 3 and 4, the third annual PlayStation Experience will take place in the Anaheim Convention Center. A registration page is up, but it doesn't seem as if tickets are available just yet. Last year's prices were $40 for a one-day pass, $75 for Saturday and Sunday, and a $60 early bird option for access on both days.
Things were looking kind of grim for the prospects of another PlayStation Experience. The 2015 show was announced on August 14, and we're well past that date. However, it is worth noting that the first PSX wasn't revealed until mid-October.
Now that we know PlayStation Experience still exists, we'll surely find out more in the coming days. Tickets should go on sale soon. In the meantime, remember that tickets to Disneyland are always on sale.
I've never been to Denver outside of an airport layover.
I'm sure it's a lovely place, but Bat Dad has ruined it for me (sorry Brett).
The already good Hyper Light Drifter is getting even better with a substantial update, out now in beta form on Steam, that enables 60 frames-per-second support and adds two modes.
The first is Newcomer mode, meant for "folks looking for a less intense challenge." I know you're out there! The second, Boss Rush mode, unlocks after clearing the game on the standard difficulty.
Speaking about the new 60 FPS toggle, the developers say they "worked through over 115 thousand lines of code the past several months in order to make this happen, manually changing timings of each object and enemy, fixing the dozens upon dozens of little problems that arose when changing frame timing, optimizing the game and testing the bits out of it internally." We appreciate it. Really! This patch is the pick-me-up we needed after the unfortunate Wii U and PS Vita port cancellation.
"The combat and movement often left me slack-jawed and giddy, a perfect homage to the '90s RPGs that obviously inspired Heart Machine, while still feeling completely fresh and constantly surprising," Nic said in his Hyper Light Drifter review, which you should read because he is great and handsome.
The 60 fps Update - Smooth as Butter, Rushing Bosses [Steam -- Thanks, Fuzunga] [Image]
2016-09-27T15:30:00ZYoung, "less-educated" (which apparently includes people with associate's degrees; gotta keep tricking kids into going into $50,000 in debt for the Bachelor's), able-bodied men are apparently still not working, or not working full-time, in "unusually large percentage[s]," according to a Washington Post report on new research from Princeton, University of Rochester, and the University of Chicago economists (which has not yet been published in a peer-reviewed journal). The culprit? These young men are living at home with parents or family, not looking for work, and playing a shit load of video games, apparently. "As of last year, 22 percent of men between the ages of 21 and 30 with less than a bachelor’s degree reported not working at all in the previous year — up from only 9.5 percent in 2000," The Washington Post reports. "Overall, only 88 percent of men between the ages of 25 and 54 are working or looking for work, the third-lowest among 34 developed countries, according to the White House’s Council of Economic Advisers." So while national unemployment numbers look better (partially because of all the people who have completely stopped looking for work coupled with people getting by on all combinations of contract and part-time work -- it's like Uber, for finding a loophole to withhold health insurance from would-be employees!), younger men are not doing too hot. "Young men without college degrees have replaced 75 percent of the time they used to spend working with time on the computer, mostly playing video games," according to the study. Pre-recession, young, unemployed, degree-less men played games for 3.4 hours per week. From 2011 to 2014, that group played 8.6 hours of games a week. Researchers don't seem to think the relationship stems from, "weak demand for their services," but rather that a portion of the change is the "result of the appeal of video games." Basically games are too good to choose being a mistreated, underpaid wage-slave. And often cheap, with games like League of Legends, an engaging way to drop 3,000 hours, being completely free. And when you live at home -- and more 18-34 men live with parents rather than partners for the first time since 1930 -- the need to take shit jobs (absent the kind of 40-year-career options their parents had with just a high school diploma) decreases. And you know what? These folks are digging the lifestyle -- look how much happier they are: This is a great time to link to a great -- and very appropriate -- piece from communinty blogger WryGuy: Games aren't too expensive, you're just broke. "Unfortunately, the world is a harsh place right now. For about 40 years now, funnily enough since about as long as video games have existed, things have slowly been turning topsy turvy. Wages have gone completely flat. Costs have gone sky high. Most of us are fucking broke. Ironically despite how much we might complain about the cost of them, video games are one of the few things we have left in this world that aren't (completely) trying to fuck us over." Why amazing video games could be causing a big problem for America [The Washington Post] Read more...[...]
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I can't remember the last time I downloaded a demo, but I'll happily take the time to nab the trial for Dragon Quest Builders (PS4 here, PS Vita here). I'm so curious about this game. What initially looked like a me-too sandbox construction title has come into focus as something far more compelling.
We're rapidly approaching October (What the? How!) which means we're not far off from Builders. It'll grace PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Vita on October 11 in North America, and October 14 in Europe.
I can't for the life of me seem to finish a main-series Dragon Quest, whether console-bound or portable, but spin-offs like Dragon Quest Heroes (and hopefully Dragon Quest Builders)? They put a spell on me.
A lot of Call of Duty titles remain the most-requested games for Xbox One backward compatibility, but that list may soon change. Last week, Call of Duty 3 was given functionality and this week, Call of Duty: World at War has been added.
In addition to more CoD, E4: Every Extend Extra Extreme, Funtown Mahjong, and Encleverment Experiment will be coming to the backward compatibility service, bringing the games to over 260! Woooo....though that is pretty awesome.
The more interesting tidbit is that the Call of Duty titles seem to have improved functionality. No new features are present, but the performance is smoother and any instances of screen tearing have disappeared. Playing Call of Duty 3 on the Xbox One is the best way to play it; now there just needs to be an actual reason to play it.
I'm still holding out hope that Activision can find some way to make DJ Hero work. I would run out and get an Xbox One if I could have Daft Punk digitized onto Microsoft's new box.
Major Nelson [Twitter]
You and me, Carter! We're racing for slips! And not the "now I own your car" kind of slips, but pink slips. The loser's fired and has to go work in some other corner of the industry!
Wait, what? We can both review Forza Horizon 3? Oh, that sounds much better. Jump in shotgun, my co-pilot amigo!
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Most Battlefield players don't show up for the single-player campaign, but if it's there, sure, I'll probably go through it before switching over to the multiplayer. These stories have never been what I'd call "good," but perhaps Battlefield 1 will be the one to break through. This trailer has me feeling hopeful.
Part of that stems from the "War Stories" approach, which splits the focus between multiple factions and protagonists rather than having some lone elite squad out to save the world. "We felt that to have one character hopping through those different settings wouldn't be as immersive or totally respectful to the setting," says DICE. "So we decided on an anthology format; a set of characters with their own more focused stories. That way we can have immersion and variety -- a double win."
And from a gameplay perspective, the studio says it wanted to craft a campaign that felt more in line with the multiplayer's spontaneity. "Playing Battlefield games, you usually have an objective, a loadout, and a plan. That plan often comes apart as you're realizing it, and then you have to improvise to make do based on the enemies and vehicles you might be facing. We're embracing systemic gameplay and the freedom that makes Battlefield the high-agency game that it is."
If this well-cut trailer is genuinely indicative of the campaign, consider me pleasantly surprised.
The Single Player of Battlefield 1 [Battlefield]
Sega has announced a special pre-order deal for Yakuza 0 for North America. If you pre-order the "Business Edition" you get---business cards. A steel business card case with some business cards for Kiryu, as well as a hostess club card. These are not used in English-speaking countries so much, but even if they were or even if we were Japanese, I don't envision myself passing these out or framing them or anything.
But wait! You also get this theme for a digital pre-order--that is also kind of lame. Correct me if I'm wrong, but can't you set any uploaded image as your PS3 and PS4 background? They didn't change the icons or anything.
Wyald, the sadistic creature from Berserk, will be making an appearance in the new Musou game (now titled Berserk and the Band of the Hawk). You can get a look at his moveset above, which seems to take the "wacky" Musou route, with rolling attacks and belly flops. Except, you know, he has a giant mouth in the middle of his chest when he transforms, and there's blood splattering everywhere.
Some folks are upset that Wyald is in, as he takes up a slot for another Apostle or playable character (going on what we've seen so far, this might be it as far as the cast goes), but based on this video I'll be giving him a go.
If Square Enix had their way, every Final Fantasy homage would involve Lightning and Cloud.
Out of every iconic character in the series' storied history, Lightning is the recent one that no one can seem to escape. She's got her own fashion line, she's appeared as a major guest star in Final Fantasy XIV, and she has three main series games to her name among many other guest appearances.
That includes Brave Exvius, which, Square Enix is claiming that due to "great demand," is being added to the international version this week. Great demand? I think I've met less than 10 people who really, actually like Lightning.
As I've said many times she's not as bad as folks say she is, at least in Lightning Returns, but who are these people who are requesting her over say...any other character who isn't in Exvius yet?
Lightning Arrives In Final Fantasy Brave Exvius [Siliconera]
There are a handful of franchises that I generally talk about as criminally underrated, and Deception is up there. Built around the concept of setting up traps and not actually fighting head-on, the games are still very much alive, and I'm stoked to see its legacy carried on yet again in Musou Stars.
In addition to featuring characters from Ninja Gaiden, Dynasty Warriors, Dead or Alive, Samurai Warriors, and more, Millennia (from my favorite Deception game, II) made the cut. Although her moveset hasn't been fully unveiled, it looks like she's going to summon her traps based on her first screen.
Musou Stars [Famitsu]
If you've already forgotten by now Blizzard tunes the PC and console editions of Overwatch separately, and the latter is about to get another big patch soon (many features of which you can test now on the PTR on PC).
Basically what it does is improve analog stick movement through stick acceleration alterations with the "Dual-Zone" setting. This will slow down sensitivity for "most" movements, but when you get to an extreme zone, it'll speed up for "more precise aiming" and quick turning. Don't fret, the original option of "Exponential Ramp" is still in.
I'm loving how much attention Blizzard is giving Overwatch, and although I was concerned that the console versions would be set aside within weeks of its launch, that isn't really the case.
Overwatch PTR [Overwatch]
World of Final Fantasy is too cute for words. I mean, if you can make the super edgy Sephiroth look adorable, you know your art team is large and in charge. And the same goes for Tifa (her hat!), who was revealed by way of Famitsu this week. It's still slated for an October 25 release on PS4 and Vita, which is two days before Japan gets it.
Rydia, a character that's generally not as celebrated by Square Enix as their top five characters -- Lightning, Lightning, Lightning, Lightning and Lightning (because she spits hot fire) -- is also in.
Legendary designer Michel Ancel is once again up to his old tricks, hyping up some upcoming project. Or is he?
These days you can never be too sure with seemingly innocuous posts, like a Beyond Good and Evil related piece of art he posted on his Instagram recently. It could be concept art for the original, a scrapped game, or the sequel that's basically been in limbo for five years (according to, of course, Michel Ancel, who said it was "far into development" at the time.
At this point I think fans of this series are done being yanked around, but the latest rumor is that the game is actually in the works for the NX, so maybe we'll see it sooner than later.
Michel Ancel [Instagram]
Did you know there is a new Sonic game releasing in just a few days exclusively on the Nintendo 3DS?
I wouldn't be surprised if you answered no, considering Sega itself has seemingly forgotten this game existed, instead heavily marketing Sonic Mania which doesn't even have a release date other than sometime in 2017. Even the wildly popular Sonic the Hedgehog Twitter hasn't mentioned it, though it did retweet when Nintendo did. Fire & Ice isn't a bad game, despite the Boom part of its name, but it isn't a great game either, and has seemingly already been forgotten by everyone except hardcore fans. Can't blame them, though -- Mania looks great.
Pikmin might look and feel a little dated compared to its stellar sequel, but heck yes I'd be down to play it again with those well-matched Wii Remote controls. Nintendo is bringing the Wii version of its precious 2001 real-time strategy game to the Wii U eShop this Thursday, September 29.
This digital re-release is going to cost $20, which isn't bad at all given how well even pre-owned copies of the Pikmin games have retained their value. You'll be able to command your armies to beat down alien wildlife and collect trinkets with either the Wii U GamePad or the Wii Remote and Nunchuck.
This is what the game looks like, if you've yet to try it. You really ought to!
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It wasn't until I reached the end of writing this post that I recalled that we are getting a new Pikmin out of Nintendo (it just happens to be for the 3DS, something I wasn't expecting in the slightest). Still feeling somewhat bummed about that surprise, but in time I should be able to enjoy it on its own merits.
2016-09-26T22:00:00ZRemember when you could play video games while being offline? Pepperidge Farm remembers, and GameStop is hoping the public at large wants to relive their old experiences because there's a big Blast from the Past sale going on. Pre-owned Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Nintendo Wii, and Nintendo 3DS consoles are bundled with a ton of games and selling for decently discounted prices. You can pick up a Wii, for example, with both Super Mario Galaxy and Wii Sports for only $50. Not a bad deal all things considered. Also notable are two different three-console bundles GameStop is offering. First up is a bundle with PS4, Xbox One, and Wii U eighth-generation consoles for $680 (do the math, it's actually an okay price). But perhaps more impressive, discount-wise, is all three seventh-gen consoles: the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and Wii for only $160. Pre-owned Console Bundle Deals: Multi-console Three-Console Bundle: PS4 + Xbox One + Wii U — $679.99 (list price $720) Three-Console Bundle: PS3 + Xbox 360 + Wii + Accessories — $159.99 (list price $288) Nintendo Wii and Wii U Wii U 32GB + LEGO Marvel Super Heroes + Sonic & All-Stars Racing — $229.99 (list price $270) Nintendo Wii + Super Mario Galaxy + Wii Sports — $49.99 (list price $85) Nintendo 3DS New 3DS XL Red + Chibi-Robo! Zip Lash + Sonic Generations — $179.99 (list $210) New 3DS XL Black + Chibi-Robo! Zip Lash + Sonic Generations — $179.99 (list $210) 3DS XL: New Mario Bros. 2 + Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam + Memory Card — $159.99 (list $180) PlayStation 3 PS3 Slim 320GB + Far Cry 4 + Destiny + COD: Black Ops — $149.99 (list price $190) PS3 320GB + GTA V + COD: Ghosts + Batman: Arkham Origins + Watch Dogs — $149.99 (list $205) PS3 160GB + The Last of Us + Battlefield Hardline + Dark Souls — $139.99 (list price $187) Xbox 360 Xbox 360 20GB Assassin's Creed Bundle — $79.99 (list price $136) Xbox 360 4GB + Halo 4 + Skyrim + GTA V + 120GB HDD — $79.99 (list price $166) Xbox 360 4GB Blast from the Past System Bundle + 250GB HDD — $79.99 (list $160) Xbox 360 20GB + COD: Ghosts + Battlefield 4 + Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag — $49.99 (list price $88) Xbox 360 20GB + COD 4: Modern Warfare + Left 4 Dead 2 + NBA 2K14 — $49.99 (list $111) PlayStation 4 PS4 + Rayman Legends + LEGO Movie Videogame + Controller — $349.99 (list $373) PS4 + NBA 2K14 + Madden 15 + MLB 14 Show + Trials Fusion — $299.99 (list $314) This used-console sale promo from GameStop will run until Saturday, October 1. The deals are online only, unfortunately. The good thing is all deals listed above come with free shipping. [...]
2016-09-26T19:00:00ZHeader image by Satoakiamatatsu on DeviantArt. While Konami works on... whatever this is (link possibly NSFW), the Castlevania series quietly turned 30 years old today. Akumajo Dracula (Devil's Castle Dracula) was released in Japan on the Family Computer Disk System (FamiCom) on September 26, 1986. It was ported to several other consoles and computers at the time, but it took another eight months before we got it in the U.S. as Castlevania in May of 1987. The name Castlevania doesn't make a lot of sense if you break it down. Castle is clear enough, but Vania means "trees" or "Forest." It's meant to evoke Transylvania, the traditional home of Dracula, but Transylvania just means "through the trees." Accuracy probably wasn't high on the original localization team's list of priorities, however, with monsters like "Fred Askare" and "Paula AbGhoul" showing up in the U.S. manual. Castlevania wallpaper by Cavevoice on DeviantArt. Anyway, Konami isn't doing anything to celebrate the anniversary, but that doesn't mean that nobody is. The Castlevania series has always been praised for its music, and so I was happy to see that the Bloodstained Kickstarter posted some new songs, reminiscent of the tunes from what's arguably the series' high point, Symphony of the Night. As long as you're checking out music from the series, you may want to check out the A.V. club's retrospective on the best track from most of the mainline games. It's hard to argue with their choices, though it's difficult to choose just one song from each of these games. If you'd like to hear a more nuanced retrospective on Castlevania's music, one of my favorite podcasts, VGMpire, did an entire rock block of four episodes devoted to Castlevania's tunes in October of 2012. With Halloween just around the corner, this might be the perfect excuse to dust off Symphony of the Night and give it another playthrough. S'cuse me while I whip this out. Read more...[...]
Here's another big one for you guys, and just in time for screwing off homework! The awesome folks at ConsoleTuner.com are again, letting you pick your choice of console (PS3, PS4, Xbox 360 or Xbox One S), an opposing controller (If you get the Xbone S, you pick a DualShock and vice versa), and of course, the Titan One. Now some of you may be asking, "What's a Titan One?" Fair enough, let's check the blurb:
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Modeling a console after a car doesn't sound like a bad idea. Lopping off the front section of the car and modeling the console after that sounds like a significantly worse idea. But, someone did it anyway.
Meet the Xbox One S Audi R8 edition. It's a promotional thing for the upcoming release of Forza Horizon 3. Xbox Germany is giving away three on its Facebook page. Apart from that, this won't ever see the light of day. This is not a machine that's fit for retail.
I don't think that the word "abomination" is too strong here. In fact, that's the exact word Jordan used when linking me to this story. I sincerely hope these go to appreciative homes, because I would just be bummed to have this sitting underneath my television.
To me, Call of Duty has been playing catch up to Battlefield for years. Everyone lost their mind when Call of Duty 4 came out and had a modern setting, but Battlefield 2 released two years prior and did the same thing. It also had larger-scale multiplayer, which was awesome to me.
Attempting to ride on the success of BF2, EA took the series into a future era with Battlefield 2142 and the response was...tepid. Most fans didn't really care for the less realistic approach and the game had a lot of compatibility issues at launch (much like Battlefield still has to this day!). Now with Call of Duty taking the war into space, it looks like history is repeating itself.
I was always a huge fan of 2142, but the closure of the GameSpy servers two years ago rendered the game unplayable online. Fans have set out to recreate its sci-fi action with a new revival mod. Simply titled Battlefield 2142 Revive, the mod brings all of the action and unlocks from 2142 back into service.
While this isn't official by any means, EA hasn't put up much resistance (unlike some publishers). I don't expect this to get shut down any time soon, unless a major internet crisis happens. I need to see if I still have my DVD laying around, because I'd love to actually see this game with a smooth framerate.
Indie developer and publisher Campo Santo has announced that it's teaming up with Good Universe, a motion picture production company. The goal behind the partnership is to create video game adaptions of movies and vice versa. The first project has already been announced.
Firewatch is being turned into a movie. The adventure-mystery story about the forests of Wyoming, guilt, and non-physical relationships will supposedly debut on the silver screen eventually. Details are very sparse at the moment. No release date, director, or actors have been revealed.
This news feels fitting and maybe somewhat ironic because an argument could be made that film would've been the best format for Firewatch in the first place. The more that a game strips meaningful interactivity, the stronger the case gets that a different medium would've been a better choice to tell that particular story. It's not that these tales can't be told as video games -- plenty of people were enamored by Firewatch, after all -- but sometimes a video game just isn't the best fit.
Firewatch is a rare instance where we'll (probably) get to see if turning this narrative into a game first was the correct decision. We'll have a movie and a game, and, assuming the stories are comparably close, we'll be able to decide for ourselves which medium best suits Henry's ever-crumbling life.
Good Universe, Campo Santo Team Up for Video Game, Movie Slate (Exclusive) [The Hollywood Reporter]
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Coming off of its Norse mythology adventure Jotun, Thunder Lotus Games is back with another hand-drawn, boss-filled game, one that's "heavily inspired by Lovecraft's writings." It's called Sundered, and you need to see its eldritch horrors in motion before we go any further.
The team describes it as a "replayable Metroidvania" with procedural elements -- somewhere between "Rogue Legacy and Super Metroid" -- which is also what Chasm hopes to pull off. That might be a turnoff to some, but I think creative director William Dubé does a decent job of selling the concept.
"Obviously, you can't stuff in everything about the game in a 60 second trailer," he wrote in a post on NeoGAF. "We really wanted to convey the mood, setting and art-style more than gameplay. The procedural generation we're doing is close to a game like Diablo. We're using it to create sub-sections, but the global layout of the world does not change. There are central unique rooms that always spawn though, allowing us to create sections that are blocked off by abilities you haven't yet acquired."
Another tidbit: "We're also triggering dynamic events for monsters and hordes (sort of like Left 4 Dead)," says Dubé. "The enemies don't just patrol back and forth on platforms, they are spawned based on where you are in the world, how long your run has been going, tension levels, etc."
The last couple years, I've noticed my excitement petering out going into the busy holiday video game season. I think I'm just more suited to the new-ish, busy spring season than the latter half of the year where all the Christmas gifts -- Call of Duty et al -- seem to be dropping. This is a simplification and there are plenty of exceptions, of course.
I do remember, though, in 2014, Alien: Isolation (October 7) being the last thing in the year I was particularly jazzed for. Same for Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain (September 1) last year. Sure, Samurai Gunn came out in December a few years back. And yes, I ended up liking Rise of the Tomb Raider last November. And, hey, December had Just Cause 3. So it might be me arbitrarily imposing my taste on an existing calendar.
But I was recently thinking, with Persona 5 pushed back: what the heck am I stoked for in the last quarter of 2016? Not, which games are probably going to be fine and good, but which am I longing for? Well, thanks to Open Critic's neat major release calendar, I've got answers!
Mostly it's Dishonored 2. I absolutely loved the first, which mixed BioShock-level stylization with much more coherent themes -- Javy Gwaltney wrote a good thing on how it's the best Batman game. Plus I like the stealth and creeping, though the game has surprising combat depth allowing for some wild fucking trick kills that people have put out.
Beyond that, I am still steadily excited for The Last Guardian, even though it was delayed (again), and I am at least interested in Final Fantasy XV, but possibly not enough to give it a sniff at launch.
What are you super jazzed for as this horrible, rotten, no-good year wanes?
[Update: I'm fucking stupid because my most anticipated game for the last three years running, Gravity Rush 2, is indeed planned for December 2, 2016, and not early 2017, where my brain transposed it. Fuck every other game that is not Gravity Rush 2!!!]
Naughty Dog is celebrating Outbreak Day, "the day the Cordyceps virus reached critical mass" in The Last of Us, with a sale on the game, the DLC, and merch. But what really caught my eye was this wonderful limited-edition poster by illustrator Kevin Tong, created in collaboration with the studio.
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From what I've played of Planet Coaster in its early alpha builds, I think the theme park sim has a sound foundation and Frontier is on the right track. As someone who has felt unsatisfied with the genre in recent years, that's so heartening (to say nothing of other promising games like Parkitect).
This most recent trailer is further evidence that the developers get it. They know our dark secret.
The Death Star is such a no-brainer for Star Wars Battlefront. The iconic assault against the Empire's superweapon has appeared time and time again in games, and for good reason. It's cool! Thrilling, even. And as much as I prefer DICE's superior on-the-ground battles to its aerial dogfights, Battlefront could stand to have more maps and modes for the latter to balance out the package.
I've seen people express a renewed interest in the game thanks to this expansion, and I totally get it. The concept is sound. But having helped blow up the Death Star a few times (and failed to even get a chance to do so countless more), I'm far less optimistic about the DLC than I thought I'd be.
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Bit.Trip! Now there's a name I'm happy to hear again. Choice Provisions is following up its excellent obstacle-course platformer Bit.Trip Presents Runner2: Future Legend of Rhythm Alien with a game known simply as Runner3. Those arrows in the logo are curious indeed.
While this teaser tells us little, the developers say they "plan to be very open with you about the creation of Runner3, and we even plan to solicit feedback occasionally and offer user polls to give everyone a chance to chime in and help us think of things like level names, possible unlockable outfits, and more." There are already a few devlog posts up, including one about instilling joy.
If you're new to Bit.Trip or just missed out on Runner and Runner2, it's currently a good time to make amends. Both games are half price on Steam, Wii U, Vita, and PS4 until October 2.
2016-09-26T13:00:00ZIf you thought about buying this year, the Xbox One S sales this week may be worth pushing up your purchase ahead of schedule. Microsoft is putting the pedal to the metal on its Xbox One S promotion by offering a free game of your choice whenever you buy the new console. For pre-holiday sales, these are solid. We've broken down the deals below by retailers. If nothing below strikes your fancy, you can also browse through the best Xbox One S list here. Microsoft Store Xbox One S 1TB Madden NFL 17 Bundle + The Crew + Free Game — $349 Xbox One S 1TB Halo Collection Bundle + The Crew + Free Game — $349 Xbox One S 500GB Halo Collection Bundle + The Crew + Free Game — $299 The Microsoft Store is tossing in a free copy of Ubisoft's The Crew on select Xbox One S console bundles and a free game of your choice. The free game of choice is from a list of 19 games and has some decent picks such as the recently released ReCore and The BioShock Collection. Those in the market for the Xbox One S 1TB Madden NFL 17 bundle or Xbox One S Halo Collection bundles should pick them up from Microsoft, as the two-game bonus is the best overall deal. GameStop Xbox One S 500GB Minecraft Favorites Bundle + Free Game — $299.99 Xbox One Gears of War Bundle + Rise of Tomb Raider + Free Game — $229.99 Xbox One Gears of War Bundle + Rare Replay + Free Game — $229.99 Xbox One Gears of War Bundle + Extra Copy + Free Game — $229.99 Xbox One Gears of War Bundle + Forza 6 + Free Game — $229.99 Xbox One Quantum Break Bundle + Free Game — $229.99 Within the similar promotion, there is a competing offer to Microsoft Store that should turn some heads. GameStop has the brand new Xbox One S Minecraft bundle with a free bonus game of your choice. ANY in-stock physical game from their entire library priced $59.99 or less is free when you buy an Xbox One S or even an Xbox One console through GameStop. Note, that you'll need to add the console and the game of your choice to cart separately (once both are in cart the game shows up as free). We've looked through Xbox One consoles offered at GameStop and came up with all the best pick above. If you want to buy an Xbox One S, go with the Minecraft bundle since this offer from GameStop is the best (and only) offer on the web for it. As for a plain old Xbox One console, GameStop has some pretty good options. The old Gears of Wars Ultimate Edition bundle is offered with a bonus game such as Forza Motorsport 6, at the discount price of $229.99, plus the aforementioned free game of choice. Walmart Xbox One S 1TB Madden 17 Bundle + Free Game + Extra Controller — $349 Last to mention is Walmart. It has the Xbox One S 1TB Madden NFL 17 bundle with a free game of your choice from a list of nine and a bonus controller for $349. Note that the free game options aren't as good as the aforementioned deals from GameStop or Microsoft, but with a free controller as an additional bonus, it's a worthy pick to consider. [...]
I don't know why controllers with extra buttons and features cost so damned much.
Clearly, neither do the folks at PowerA, who have created the Fusion controller for Xbox One that includes swappable sticks, quick-trigger locks, and two extra mappable buttons on the back all at a budget price of $10 less than a standard wireless Xbox One controller.
This isn't the shitty MadCatz GameCube controller you gave to the friend you secretly hated, and while it is a damned good piece of hardware, it comes with a few minor drawbacks.
The next Call of Duty, YouTube dislikes and all, launches in November, but you'll be able to try it out for yourself soon enough.
For folks that have pre-ordered Infinite Warfare the PS4 beta starts on October 14 at 10AM PT. Beyond that both PS4 and Xbox One players can get in on October 21, 10AM PT until October 24 at the same time. So in essence, PS4 players get a 10-day beta, and Xbox One players get three days.
The exact details for the session haven't come to light, but in all likelihood it's going to be the multiplayer build shown off at Call of Duty XP recently. The first zombies map is also basically done, so that could make an appearance too.
As I sat down to speak with Rog Carpenter, Executive Producer for Minecraft's console branch, I wanted to know one thing immediately -- now that they're under Microsoft's umbrella, how open is the team to working with other publishers? Pretty open, as it turns out.
In addition to a massive amount of support from Nintendo directly for the Mario Mash-Up pack for the Wii U version of Minecraft, the team is in "constant" communication with just about everyone. "We talk to all the major players, and we have a back and forth with them, so there's no real barriers in place. In fact, we'd love to tackle a property like Uncharted for Sony next, or even Gears for Microsoft...we've looked at doing both of those things as Mash-Ups.
Mighty No. 9 put the cart before the horse. It put a whole bazaar before it, actually, as Inafune and his team banked on the fact that everyone would love the idea of showing up Capcom enough to connect with newcomer Beck and his inaugural game. But that didn't really play out as well as he'd hoped, and now they have all of these planning stage projects like an anime, TV show, movie, and toys to work with.
But Inti Creates took their time with Azure Striker Gunvolt. The first game in the series launched two years ago, did well, and was ported to PC. Now they're gearing up to release the sequel on 3DS this month in the west (it's already out in Japan), and they've secured a publisher in Yacht Club Games. They're doing everything right, and later this year, they'll have an anime OVA from LandQ Studios.
You can watch the trailer below for the work that's meant to entice both new and old fans.
Odds are you've heard of Vince DiCola.
Whether it's his work on the 1986 flop-turned-cult hit Transformers movie (that was just remastered in 4K last month) or his recent contributions to the world of video games, he's a recognizable force in music. Due to the recent vinyl release of the Saturday Morning RPG soundtrack I had a chance to chat with Vince and his writing partner of many years, Kenny Meriedeth, on what it means to write video game music even if you don't necessarily identify with them.
So there's this little game out. I believe it's called Heroes of the Storm, maybe you've heard of it? Apparently it is in fact a game, and it's free to play! Now there are characters and skins you can buy though, which brings me to the point of this giveaway. The kind folks at Blizzard have bestowed 20 codes, for their new Machines of War bundle! What does said bundle include? I'm glad you asked! Here's a bullet point breakdown:
Pretty damn sweet bundle. So... What do you have to do to win? Paint for me. MSPaint for me to be exact. I want silly renderings of Heroes characters. Nothing dirty (keep it SFW), but have some fun and impress me. Contest ends Sept. 30th @ 11:59pm PST. So get to work!
River City Ransom was probably one of the best, most overlooked games on the NES, but remains a favorite for those who've played it since its release back in 1989. Combining a traditional beat-'em-up with the economy and stat growth of a role-playing game turned out to be way more fun than dipping peanut butter in chocolate. The rights to the game have been contested or unclear for years, and even now, there's a Kickstarted spiritual sequel close to completion using the same name and art style.
That's why I was so surprised to see that Natsume and Arc System Works were bringing out a new title in the Kunio-kun franchise in North America, though maybe it does explain why it's not actually called River City Ransom here in the States.
2016-09-26T06:00:00Z[Update: Twitter user @thisoldconsole has reported issues getting the emulator to operate. Alongside that, YouTube user SpitfireSpud has released a video demonstrating the overall instability of the application.] [Update 2: Microsoft has quietly removed the application from the Xbox One store. If you go to the application page now, you'll notice that the console no longer appears on the list of compatible platforms. Anyone who has previously purchased the application will still be able to use it.] Earlier this month, NESBox, a NES emulator that was to be released on the Xbox One, passed certification for sale on the console's storefront. This would have allowed it to be purchasable on the platform without the need to modify the console's system software. While the certification was eventually revoked prior to the software's launch, it was interesting to see such a program get so close to having an official release on a modern gaming console. It looks like Microsoft was too distracted with NESBox to notice that a Nintendo 64 emulator had managed to sneak past certification and make it on to the Xbox One's store. Win64e10, which is a modified version of the Nintendo 64 emulator Mupen64plus and was previously available for Windows Phone and Windows 10, now features Xbox One compatibility as of its most recent update. Considering the highly litigious nature of Nintendo, as well as the fact that Microsoft currently publishes several ports of Nintendo 64 titles with the Rare Replay collection, I do have to wonder how much longer Win64e10 will last on the Xbox One storefront. I guess it's always possible for the developers to convert the emulator into a HTML5 application that's compatible with the Xbox One's web browser, should Microsoft decide to take it down. It wouldn't be the first time such a thing has happened. Read more...[...]
My first thoughts upon seeing Battlerite's Steam page was "This looks like yet another boring and doomed-to-fail League of Legends clone," which I'm sure would be the reaction of most people who haven't played the game.
Let me tell you just how wrong I was. Upon being shot a key by the developer and installing the game, I found myself playing for hours straight. As a recovering LoL addict, that both scared and excited me. Battlerite is damned good -- and not just as a Steam Early Access game. It takes all the parts I loved about LoL and leaves out all the things I hated.
[Thanks to user Rabite for the tip]
Forza Horizon 3 will be releasing next week and the original Forza Horizon was recently added to Xbox One backward compatibility. Everything seems to be going swell for the spin-off series. There comes a time, though, when we need to part ways; it looks like Turn 10 has decided to put the forerunner out to pasture.
As noted in the Forza Hub, Forza Horizon will be getting delisted from the Xbox Live Marketplace soon. This includes the digital sale of the game and all of its expansions. If you have any interest in getting a digital version of this title, you have until October 20 to grab it.
Horizon was featured in this month's Games with Gold promotion, though its time in the spotlight ended a few weeks ago. This isn't as dramatic a case as with Castle of Illusion, but I find it so strange how Microsoft works to add a game to backward compatibility and then stops selling the title.
Forza Motorsport Week in Review 9-23-16 [ForzaMotorsport.net]
[For this month's Bloggers Wanted, Luca Blight shares with us how he goes about Killing Time...literally - in Dead Rising 2. ~ JuIc3]
Hi I'm Luca Blight the mad prince of Highland. You probably remember me by from burning your house and making you squeal in the mud like a pig you are. If not forget all that please.
Like all people, I have some bad days and I need to unwind or out of sheer boredom and the game I turn to is Dead Rising 2. It was the first game I played on my own PS3 and countless hours were spent. Why? Because the game is balls out insane.