October 8, 2014
Some Goofy Sights From Destiny
First I wanted to say sorry I haven’t posted more, with life, school, work, Destiny, Shadows of Mordor, Forza Horizon 2, and Super Smash Bros. for the 3DS has taken all of my free time. I will however, try to take the time more often to post, and starting with that here are a couple of videos I put together to show some of the goofy things we have been up to in the world of Destiny. My thoughts on Destiny are split, the story is a incoherent mess, the loot system is all based on chance, the voice acting is hit or miss (mostly misses); but the game play keeps me coming back almost everyday. Enjoy the videos and will be back shortly with another post.
September 8, 2014
Prepare for Destiny
The servers are up, the game is waiting in store rooms around the country in anticipation for the midnight release, and the forums (Bungie.net and others) are filling with excitement. Destiny launches at midnight (though some territories already have it due to it being the 9th already, curse you Aussies and Kiwi) and the hype machine has hit maximum overload. This hybrid MMO/FPS/RPG/Kitchen sink, will be the first non-Halo title to come from Bungie since 2001 title Oni. Bungie finished off their side of the Halo franchise with Halo: Reach (released in 2010), passing the Halo torch to 343 Industries. Since the departure of Halo, Bungie has been focused with delivering a new IP. I, personally, have not been this hyped for a game since Halo 3 (coincidentally another Bungie title). I played the post E3 Alpha, and then in late July, played the Beta on three different platforms (PS4, PS3, Xbox One), and even though much of the content between those trials was the same, I could not be more hyped for this game. If you have not yet caught the Destiny bug, then I have several pieces of media, that will try its hardest to entice you.
First up is three tracks from the beta, that I am more than certain are in the final game. Just a note an official soundtrack has not been released yet, but I am hoping that will change very shortly, since the soundtrack is easily becoming my favorite of the year. The soundtrack was composed by Bungie’s resident craftsmen, Martin O’Donnel (who unfortunately is no longer with Bungie) Michael Salvatori, and special guest Sir Paul McCartney. The soundtrack is robust, dynamic, and full of contrast. Taking the tribal drums, epic choruses, rock, and electronic elements from Halo; they have crafted something that feels fresh yet familiar. Below are three of my favorite tracks from the beta, I had a list of them to choose from, but these three stand above the crowd. Enjoy!
1. The Last Array
2. Deactivating the Mesh
3. Sepiks Prime
Last, but not least, are two trailers. The first is the live action trailer that was directed by the helm of Tron Legacy, Joseph Kosinski. The trailer is all fun and fluff, trying to get the general public interested and it does a fair job. The second trailer is the Gameplay Launch trailer and does a much better job of hyping the game. Enjoy!
For anyone that played the Alpha this is for you…..
I can’t wait to see everyone starside!
August 12, 2014
The Exclusive Heard Around the World
Early this morning, here in the States that is, Microsoft held their press event at Gamescom in Cologne, Germany. There were plenty of games on display during the press event but one title stood out among the crowd and it may have been for different reasons. Rise of the Tomb Raider, the sequel to the 2013 reboot of the franchise, is coming exclusively to the Xbox One in fall of 2015. This announcement was huge. The game sold well on the PC, Xbox 360, and PlayStation 3. The Definitive Edition came to the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One this year and netted more sales for the reboot. This announcement was netted with positive feedback and plenty of negative feedback. Crystal Dynamics, the studio behind Tomb Raider, posted a response on the their Tumblr page . The Response is typical PR, but is also cryptic.
“Our friends at Microsoft have always seen huge potential in Tomb Raider and have believed in our vision since our first unveil with them on their stage at E3 2011. We know they will get behind this game more than any support we have had from them in the past – we believe this will be a step to really forging the Tomb Raider brand as one of the biggest in gaming, with the help, belief and backing of a major partner like Microsoft.”
This is a quote taken from that Tumblr response. What I see is possibly the same thing that happened with Bayonetta. Tomb Raider sold well, but never met the lofty sales expectations Square Enix set for the game until the Definitive Editions were released. Could have this been a move by Microsoft to secure a Uncharted like exclusive? Could it have been a way to guarantee a sequel to a game, that rightfully deserves one? There are more questions than answers with this announcement; there is one thing for sure, Rise of the Tomb Raider will be out in 2015 on Xbox One.
August 1, 2014
Remastered Cutscenes in Halo 2 (mcc) are Haunting and Beautiful
This fall we will see the release of Halo: The Master Chief Collection. In that collection comes the highly anticipated Halo 2 Anniversary, a visually updated remaster similar to what we received with the Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary edition released 3 years ago. 343 Industries is taking the remaster a bit further this time with the help of Blur Studios, all of the in-game cutscenes are being pre-rendered and reanimated; they look absolutely stunning. If you are familiar with the Halo series, you will know Blur’s work with the franchise. They provided the “Scanned” trailer for Halo 4 and all of the pre-rendered cutscenes for Halo Wars. They have also created the pre-rendered cinematics for the Batman Arkham franchise, Injustice, Star Wars: The Old Republic, and War for Cybertron. They have a have an incredible resume, and every time I watch the video below, my heart hurts because I have to wait till November to get my hands on this. At the end of the trailer is Johnson’s speech to the scared marines accompanying the Chief, now on each difficulty level he spouted off something different, making it a fun easter egg. I hope they have taken that into an account when remastering these cutscenes. Enjoy the preview!
Microsoft and 343 Industries have also sent out a heap of screens showing off the remastered multiplayer map Zanzibar. One of best maps to come out of Halo 2 (and we were lucky to gets its return in Halo 3) we are getting a retooled version as one of the six maps that are getting this treatment. Enjoy your return to Zanzibar in the screens below.
July 14, 2014
Gaming in Stereo: Old is New Again
As the eighth generation of consoles are still relatively new, new games are hard to come by, and development can be delayed while learning the ropes for these consoles. As games that are next gen specific like Batman: Arkham Knight are seeing delays, we are seeing a return of previous gen games that pushed the older hardware to their breaking limits. This past January we saw the re-release of Tomb Raider in the Definitive Edition for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. At the end of this month we will see the re-release of The Last of Us in the Remastered Edition for the PS4, and at some point this year Grand Theft Auto 5 will jump to the new hardware as well. While some may scream that this is simply a money grab from companies, I see this as an opportunity for people to play gems that could have taken visual, performance, or even gameplay hits from the aging seventh gen hardware. I purchased Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition for the PS4 recently and I am surprised over how good the game looks and run on the fresh hardware. I still have my original 360 copy and that was by no means an ugly game, but their is a stark visual and performance contrast. This maybe the continuing trend of HD releases we received during the last gen, which I was well on board with. Playing the game the past couple of days has also given me a new respect for Jason Graves incredible score. Graves is also known for scoring the Dead Space franchise, Murdered: Soul Suspect, and Alpha Protocol. Tomb Raider’s soundtrack may have been something I missed in the past ( with the amount of games I play and soundtracks I listen to, something just get lost), but I am correcting that today with a look at its fantastic score.
Secret of the Island Complete – Jason Graves – A very percussion heavy piece, laid with early Japanese/tribal feel; Secret of the Island is a great representation of Yamatai, the island in which Tomb Raider takes place. When the strings enter you can feel the sense of danger; the mysterious Storm Guard; the Sun Queen, Himiko; and the deranged cultist led by Mathias. The percussion makes this piece, enjoy
SOS Tower Final In-game (unreleased) – Jason Graves – This track was not on the official soundtrack, but thanks to SoundCloud and Graves, we get to listen to what is one of the more happier moments in the game. The part of the game where this piece takes place is a huge step for Lara. Still shaky about her surroundings, she is less than confident to climb the dilapidated radio tower. She does, and proves to herself that she can do this, she can become the character we know. The sight from atop the tower is beautiful, and this piece captures that wondering beauty.
A Survivor is Born – Jason Graves – The main theme from Tomb Raider, is sweeping, beautiful piece of production. Lara’s theme that starts around the (1:25) mark is epic, encasing all that Lara has been through on Yamatai and becoming the strong protagonist she is meant to be. At the (2:02) mark, the Lara theme is played again but by a solo piano. I love how in the piece there is the same central theme, the same notes even, played three different ways, at different tempos; but yet it all fits together so perfectly. I hope you Enjoy!
June 10, 2014
Nintendo Digital Event Aftermath
Nintendo held their digital press event this morning and while there was a few surprises and some light shed on a few titles in development; it was lackluster over all. Don’t get me wrong I love Nintendo, but they had the same symptoms that both Sony and Microsoft had, the 2015 delay bug. They are coming off a hot title for the Wii U, if the event showed more titles that are coming this year, they could have made a difference in the Wii U’s fate. Though we are getting some good looking titles this fall, but they are scarce and the lack of third party support isn’t helping. But lets get to what they should because it is good, but it again needed to be sooner than later.
Super Smash Bros. for Wii U and 3DS – Two new characters were announced, your Mii and Palutena (from Kid Icarus). The Mii’s will be able to take on three varieties; brawlers, sword fighters, and gunners. You can choose 4 special moves for your Mii from 12 different choices. The 3DS version of the game has been delayed from summer until October 3rd, 2014. The Wii U version is on track for holiday 2014 but I wouldn’t be surprised if it slipped to early next year.
Amiibo – A new line of NFC figures coming for the Wii U. The first title to implement this toys will be Super Smash Bros.
Yoshi’s Woolly World – The new Yoshi title that feels like a spiritual successor to KIrby’s Epic Yarn. There will be 2 player co-op and guess when it comes out, 2015.
Captain Toad’s Treasure Tracker – Captain Toad’s great levels in Super Mario 3D World are getting their own title with Captain Toad finally getting the spotlight. The game will be out this holiday.
The Legend of Zelda (Wii U) – The first video was revealed and the game is gorgeous. The game will also take an open world approach versus the typical formula. The visuals are somewhere between the original Wii U E3 demo and Skyward Sword. It will be out in 2015.
Bayonetta 2- Finally showed off gameplay and looks amazing! I was a big fan of the original and great news for those who never played the original; the original Bayonetta is being tossed into the box with Bayonetta 2. As another bonus, there are Nintendo themed costumes in the original game. The Bayonetta package will be released in October 2014.
Pokemon Omega Red and Alpha Sapphire – The remakes are coming this year and they are looking great with the new visuals in line with X and Y.
Hyrule Warriors – The smash up between Dynasty Warriors and The Legend of Zelda is coming to our shores! It will be out on September 26th, 2014.
Kirby and the Rainbow Curse – A sequel to the DS cult hit Kirby Canvas Curse and it is coming to the Wii U, next year. 2015
Xenoblade Chronicles X – The Monolith soft’s long awaited game formally known as X, looks to be wrapping up development and will be out in 2015.
Mario Maker – A game in which you can build your own Mario courses. The layout is very simple, like a new age Mario Paint. The game will be able to play the levels in both classic Mario and “New” 2-D Mario form. The title will be out in 2015.
Splatoon – A new IP and a game I am legitimately excited for this title. It is a 8 player, 4 vs 4, territory based shooter. Yes, Nintendo is making a shooter; but like Nintendo fashion it is colorful and looks like a massive load of fun. The trailer is below and it looks fun. This was the height of the NIntendo Press event for me, though it won’t be out until 2015.
June 10, 2014
Sony Press Event Aftermath
Being very entertained by Microsoft this morning, Sony had to bring their A game to the table tonight, and they didn’t disappoint; well mostly didn’t. There was plenty of games, a movie trailer, and some new hardware (at least coming to America). Lets to the announcements because there is plenty to cover.
Destiny – a new gameplay trailer kicked off the press event with several details coming about the summer beta. PlayStation users will be able to join the beta on July 17th. There is a special alpha preview that you can register for at greatnessawaits.com/destiny that will run for this upcoming weekend. If you are selected you will be notified via email and your PlayStation 4. When Destiny launches, it will launch with a bundle featuring a white PlayStation 4 with white DS4, Destiny and 30 days of PlayStation Plus.
The Order 1866: A new gameplay trailer was shown and the game was shown with a much darker tone. It looks like what Resident Evil should have been. This game was pushed to next year, but I am still really intrigued by it.
Infamous First Light – The first DLC expansion for Infamous: Second Son. The DLC will focus on Fetch, the conduit you received the neon powers from.
Little Big Planet 3 – This came out of left field and I am happy that it did. The Little Big Planet series has been fantastic on every Sony platform the series has graced and now its taking another evolutionary step. There are three new characters that will accompany Sackboy, each with their own special abilities. There is Oddsock, a dog like character that is all about speed; Toggle, who has the ability to shrink and grow; and finally, Swoop, a bird that has flight. The best news is all the creations from both Little Big Planet and Little Big Planet 2 will be playable in LBP 3. The game will release in November of 2014.
Bloodborne – a new game being developed by From Software and being directed by Hidetaka Miyazaki of Dark Souls fame. The game will release in 2015.
FarCry 4 – A gameplay trailer was shown off with many improvements over 3, though 3 was great in its own right. The game will release this fall.
Dead Island 2 – Just a pre-rendered trailer was shown, but the game looks like it will be set in the states some where. The trailer has a humorous attitude compared the to original Dead Island trailer.
Paradox Entertainment – Paradox is developing 4 different PS4 titles, and Magicka 2 will hit the console. It also was one of the funniest trailers of the show so far.
Grim Fandango – The Tim Schafer classic point and click adventure is getting an overhaul for the PS4 and PS Vita.
Devolver Digital – The publisher had a sizzle reel showing off some of its upcoming titles coming to the PSN including Broforce, Titan Souls, Hotline Miami 2, Not a Hero, and The Talos Principle.
Let It Die – A new game from one of my favorite dev’s Suda 51.
Abzu – A game by Giant Squid (comprised of former Journey devs)
No Man’s Sky – The game that captivated the Spike VGA’s last year is debuting on the PlayStation 4. The gameplay shown was impressive and I can not wait for this title.
Project Morpheus – the Sony VR headset is at the show.
Youtube is coming to the PS4’s share capabilities
Guns up, Kingdom Under Fire 2, and Planetside 2 are all Free to Play and are all coming to the PS4 in the next 12 months.
PlayStation Now will hold an open beta on the PlayStion 4 with PS3 titles. The beta opens on July 31st and will move to the PS3 and Vita shortly after.
Four new titles are coming to the Vita – Child of Light, Tales of Heart R, Tales from Borderlands and Minecraft.
PlayStation TV, which was shown at Tokyo Game Show 2013 and has been on sale in Japan for some time is coming to the US. The unit will run $99 for the standalone, and a $139 bundle that will come with a DualShock 3, 8GB memory card, and a copy of The Lego Movie video game. They are now available for pre-order.
Mortal Kombat X – The newly announced title was given its first gameplay footage, and it looks awesome. Scorpion faced off against Sub-Zero, and two new fighters were pitted against each other. The title will launch next year.
The Last of Us: Remastered – The phenomenal PS3 title from Naughty Dog hits the PS4 with beefed up visuals on July 29th, 2014.
Grand Theft Auto V – After all the speculation, it is coming to next gen via the PlayStation 4. The new version will be able to take your GTA Online character and money via transfer, so you can pick up where you left off. The game will release this fall.
Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain – A new trailer showcasing the upcoming Kojima Productions opus was shown. The game is looking fantastic and having recently playing through Ground Zeroes, I can not wait for this title.
Batman: Arkham Night – New gameplay footage was shown off and it broke my heart. This game is looking incredible and I have to wait until next year.
Uncharted 4 – To close out the show, Naughty Dog showed off the first official trailer and title for Uncharted 4. Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End will hit the PlayStation 4 next year. I am really sad to see this franchise end, it has been truly a great ride.
June 9, 2014
Microsoft Press event aftermath
Microsoft had quite a showing, lots of games, some exclusives, a MASSIVE Halo collection, and a huge lack of Kinect (which was for the better). There could have been a few more surprises but over all, it was one of Microsoft’s press events in recent memory. Games was the theme of the event, no mention of Kinect, NFL apps, TV, and the celebrities were turned down to minimum. Let gets to the games and like the press event I will break them up into things you will be playing this year and things you will be playing net year and in the future. Here we go!
What you will be playing on Xbox One in 2014
Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare – 11/4/2014 – There was a live gamplay demo given like there is every year. While it looking very nice, it did not pull the a wow factor. The game still looks incredibly scripted, it did not appear to have the signature 60 FPS (though it could have just been the stream), and it looked bland. Everything just looked like gaming Sci-Fi tropes. Microsoft, as always, will have the DLC first on the Xbox One.
Forza Horizon 2 – 9/30/2014 – This is where the press event picked up and never let go. I loved the first Horizon and I am stoked it garnered enough for a sequel. The drivatars from Forza 5 will be transferable to Horizon 2, there will 200+ cars, and you can create clubs with up to 1,000 other players. The game will be 1080p, but 30 FPS like the previous Horizon title.
Evolve – The new title from Turtle Rock studios is looking like a blast and the Xbox One version is getting exclusive content and beta.
Assassin’s Creed Unity – Ubisoft’s venerable franchise is back in 18th century France during the height of the French Revolution. There will be a new lead character and the edition of 4-player co-op.
Dragon Age 3: Inquisition – 10/07/2014 – The game is looking beautiful running on Frostbite 3 and the Xbox One has snagged content first.
Sunset Overdrive – 10/28/2014 – The Insomniac developed exclusive looks like a massive load of fun. A third person shooter, with an emphasis on traversing the terrain in fun ways, the game will have a solo mode as well as a 8 player co-op mode. The game will have day one edition.
Dance Central Spotlight – There will be a new Dance Central game, it will be download only, and was the only hint at Kinect during the event.
Project Spark – the create a game, game has hit 1 million creations. There will be Conker (Conker’s Bad Fur Day) content coming to Project Spark soon.
Fable Legends – The game will not release this year, but there will be a beta this year. The game has 4 heroes teaming up to fight the threats of Albion. There will be playable villains, which works more like a level editor, where you are working against the heroes. You can sign up for the beta and more at Fablelegends.com
Ori and the Blind Forest – a new game from Moon Studios that looks incredibly beautiful and touching.
Halo: The Master Chief Saga – 11/11/2014 – This game garnered a huge applause from the crowd at the event and with good reason. For $59.99 you get Halo 1, Halo 2, Halo 3, and Halo 4; all four titles on their original engines but running at 60 FPS and at 1080p. The games will feel the way they did when they were released, all the nuances, fun, and secrets will be there. All 4 games will have their respective multiplayer as well, over 100 maps will be available. The collection will also debut the Ridley Scott produced series, Halo Nightfall, which ties into the upcoming Halo 5: Guardians. But that is not all, Halo 5: Guardians will have a beta this fall as well.
Here comes the games you will be playing next year and beyond.
Playdead Studios project – A new title from the Limbo creators was shown off and will be exclusive to the Xbox One.
Rise of the Tomb Raider – A sequel to the excellent Crystal Dynamics reboot. Only a promotional video was shown.
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt – new gameplay was shown off. The combat still looks deep and complicated (that being a good thing).
Phantom Dust – An original Xbox title is getting the reboot treatment just like Killer Instinct.
The Division – Showed us a bit more gameplay, Xbox One will snag new content first.
Scalebound – A new game coming from Platinum Games being published by Microsoft.
Crackdown – the venerable franchise is coming back, with series creator David Jones heading up the project.
June 9, 2014
Here is the E3 Schedule
Here is the times and dates for the big E# press events. Microsoft kicks off here in just 15 minutes which you will be able to watch right here on The Gamers Blog. If you would like to catch Microsoft’s and Sony’s press event, you can on their respective consoles. The Xbox Live Event Player and PS@E3 app are available to download and you can watch all the press events live. Hopefully we will see plenty of new titles and some very good reasons to own these new consoles this year.
June 3, 2014
And the Delays keep coming…
2014 was looking like a great year for games. We had big hitters such as Batman: Arkham Knight, The Witcher 3, Tom Clancy’s: The Division. The Order:1866, The Elder Scrolls Online (console version), and many others. The latest title slipping in to 2015 is Batman: Arkham Knight. Thought this makes my fall release schedule a tad easier on the wallet, this was my most anticipated title of the year. So now I have Destiny, Assassin’s Creed: Unity, Dragon Age: Inquisition, Evolve, Smash Brothers Wii U, Lord of the Rings: Shadow of Mordor, and the recently announced Forza Horizon 2 to look forward too. Not a bad line up of games to get me though the cold winter, but the Dark Knight will sadly be missed. I agree that game creators should take their time, more time could mean a better, more finished product. Here is a list of everything that has been pushed back so far.
-Batman: Arkham Knight (PS4/One/PC) – 2015
– The Elder Scrolls Online (PS4/One) – atleast 6 months, could be December, my money is on early next year.
– Tom Clancy’s: The Division (PS4/One/PC) – 2015
– The Witcher 3 (PS4/One/PC) – February 2015
– The Order:1866 (PS4) – 2015
– Steam Controller (PC) – 2015
– Mad Max (being developed by Just Cause 2 developer Avalanche Studios) – 2015
– Half-Life 3 – 2054
Hopefully with E3 a week away, we see some more concrete titles coming this fall, and more reason to put money down on a new console. Even if 2014 does end up on the weaker side, 2015 should be a smashing year for gaming. If any other delays are announced I will update the article.