October 3, 2013
Transistor to use the DualShock 4 Lightbar in an Interesting, subtle way
Since 2011 I have been a huge fan of SuperGiant Games. Bastion flew under my radar and when I sat down to review the title, I was blown away and have since played through the title several times and came away amazed every time. Their newest title, Transistor, is set to release next year on the PlayStation 4. With new hardware comes a new controller and already SuperGiant Games is looking to bring the game closer to the player. The Official PlayStation Blog is running an article discussing with SuperGiant Games how they plan to use the DS4 in interesting ways. Below is a picture of the DualShock 4 and the light bar in question. The light bar is capable of creating any color and SuperGiant is using it for dialog, in a certain way.
According to the article, the Transistor, the circuit board like sword Red carries with her, glows a certain hue of blue and pulsates when it is speaking. SuperGiant has programmed the DualShock 4 to do the same. They said they have matched the blue and light pulsating to capture the feel of holding Transistor in your hands.
“Nevertheless, it’s a subtle enough feature so we didn’t really play it up. We don’t like talking about our games in terms of specific features anyway, plus we wanted to see if anyone would even notice. And sure enough, when we showed Transistor at PAX Prime recently, dozens of people who played it mentioned to us that they caught that little detail, and how cool they thought it was.”
I love when developers through subtle features in, never discuss it with the media, and get to see natural reactions from players. If the reaction is positive, you know you are on to something, that may not be game changing, but is unique and outside the box. I can not wait to play this title. Titles like Bastion, Limbo, and Hotline Miami have really opened the indie floodgates for me, and I am constantly impressed by what we will see from devs in the next generation. Darren Korb will be returning to compose the soundtrack, if it is anything like Bastions, we are in for a huge audio treat. Check out the E3 trailer below, and Transistor will be out on the PlayStation 4 and PC in 2014.
September 30, 2013
Holy Downloadable Tuesday Batman!
There is plenty to be excited for tomorrow coming down the downloadable pipe. The Battlefield 4 beta launches tomorrow for the Xbox 360, PS3, and PC. Tomorrow will be early access for those who have pre-ordered the digital deluxe version on the PC, or have Battlefield Premium for BF3, or still have a dusty, moldy copy of Medal of Honor: Warfighter. For those of you on the PC, you can start to preload the beta now, 360 and PS3 owners, it will be available to you when the respective stores update tomorrow.
For those of you looking for something a bit different, Quantic Dream’s fall release, Beyond: Two Souls, will be getting a demo tomorrow. The Heavy Rain developers new title will be out on October 8th here in the States, and you can try it out for yourself starting tomorrow.
On both the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, a new month rolls around and more free games are headed your way. Starting tomorrow, with your subscription to PlayStation Plus or Live Gold, you can download Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning on the PlayStation 3 and Heroes of Might and Magic: Clash of Heroes for free. There is plenty more coming to you in October for PS+ members including Shadow of the Colossus, Hotline Miami, Poker Night 2, and Sine Mora. There isn’t a game in the line up I wouldn’t recommend, if you have the hard drive space grab them all if you can. On the Xbox 360, starting on the 16th you will be able to grab Halo 3 for free. Though this isn’t the latest title in the series, it is certainly one of the best entries. Hopefully we see a revival in the multiplayer numbers when the game is free later in October.
There is plenty for all of you out there tomorrow coming down the virtual pipeline, even if you have a Wii U. The Wii U right now is enjoying The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD on the eShop service. The retail copy hits stores this Friday. Rain, a very interesting looking indie title coming to the PS3 this Tuesday is worth checking out as well. If you have a copy of Grand Theft Auto V, Grand Theft Auto is to launch tomorrow as well. This is include with every retail and downloadable copy of the game. Rockstar has warned that there maybe a few bugs/glitches, and that some of the content will coming shortly after launch. Hopefully there is something here for everyone, I will be very busy tomorrow with Battlefield 4, GTA Online, Beyond: Two Souls demo and checking out Rain.
September 26, 2013
PlayStation 3 gets Exclusive Arkham Origins Content, Season Pass for All
The PlayStation 3 version of Batman Arkham Origins will be getting a few added extras. These extras will come in the form of two exclusive skins 3 combat maps and 2 predator maps dubbed the Knightfall Pack. The Knightfall Pack skins bring Adam West’s 1966 Batman costume and the Azrael outfit from Knightfall. Azrael stepped in for Bruce when Bane broke his back, though his methods were far more brutal and braking Bruce’s “one rule”, his enhanced costume is still one of my favorites. You can see all you will get in the video below, no work if this will ever come to the PC, Wii U or Xbox 360 versions of the title.
For everyone else, Arkham Origins will be getting a Season Pass filled with content. More than a $30 worth of content, the Season pass can be had for a discounted price of $19.99. The Season Pass includes two exclusive skins, Gaslight Batman and Brightest Day Batman, two costume packs (New Millennium and Infinite Earth’s) for a total of 12 new costumes, new story missions, as well as “Initiation” challenge maps featuring one of Batman’s greatest teachers, Kirigi. Check out the flyer below for everything that you get with the season pass, interestingly enough, there is no mention of multiplayer outside of the skin sets. I guess take that hint with a grain of salt. On another note, the artwork for the flyer and the shot above is awesome in its own right. It is available on the Arkham Origins site as a wallpaper, your welcome.
September 25, 2013
Some Interesting Tidbits from Around the Web
What a weekend, that culminated into a very sad day yesterday. Personally I have had a very rough weekend and start to the week, but I still want to sit here and write about games and discuss games, because games and the games industry make me happy. I am going to link a couple of articles that I feel are important that I have found around the web, while I went to and from the hospital this weekend. Here we go!
Games Industry International – This article was just posted today, but I still find it very important, though I have not had ample time to mull over the subject. The article is on the decline of mobile gaming and devs finding it easier and more cost effective to head to PC’s and consoles, now that they are offering self publishing. The other thing I find interesting is a few years ago, everyone was on the mobile bandwagon, and that your iPhone was going to replace your portable and console gaming. I remember Rovio, the developer behind Angry Birds, saying mobile will rule the market and that Angry Birds is better than some AAA titles, or something along those lines. Please don’t quote me, I am paraphrasing from memory. Anyway, the mobile space is now in decline, with devs jumping ship, and 3DS sales are very strong and has a great library making it very competitive. Check it out, let me know how you feel about the mobile segment.
Game Trailers- Annoyed Gamer – Marcus Beer is either loved or despised, but he brings up plenty of good points. Personally, I like the guy and we need more people to question the industry we work in. His latest rant is on the subject of Grand Theft Auto V, not the game but on mature rated games getting into the hands of kids. Marcus can be a bit brash, but he has a very good point. Enjoy and hopefully it provokes your thoughts.
September 19, 2013
News Round Up: Electronic Arts New ceo, Sega buys Atlus, and Huge gta v numbers
I was absent yesterday trying to get through Grand Theft Auto V in a effort to finish the story in a timely manor for review, but there was some large moves in the industry in the past two days. EA has finally appointed a new CEO after John Riccitiello who resigned in March of the this year, and that new CEO is the executive vice president of EA Sports, Andrew Wilson. There were several candidates in the running for this position including the former Xbox head and now EA COO, Peter Moore, and EA’s Labels president Frank Gibeau. It will be interesting to see if there is any bad blood between Wilson, Gibeau, and Moore now that the shareholders have spoken. I am curious on several of EA’s next gen launch titles. I an anxious to see how Battlefield 4 handles the new hardware and if their sports titles will be more advanced and better packages than what we are getting on the current gen. I was sorely disappointed with Madden 25 on the current gen, with this year feeling more like a rehash from last year, even more so than previous entries. We will know when the new hardware launches in less than 2 months.
The house that Sonic built has built the house that Persona built. Sega announced this week it has purchased Atlus for $140 million. Sega has really been changing itself over the past couple of years for the better, starting with Sonic Generations and All-Stars Racing Transformed, and they picked up Relic Entertainment during the THQ fire sale. Sega has just recently released the well received Total War: Rome II and Company of Heroes 2, with the great looking Sonic: Lost World coming to the Wii U and 3DS in just over a month. Atlus is known as the niche game savior with the Shin Megami Tensei and Persona series. it will be interesting to see how Sega’s new acquisitions play out for them as the publisher returns to form.
Who says crime doesn’t pay? We in all actuality it doesn’t but Grand Theft Auto V cleared a huge $800 million mark in the first 24 hours. Games Industry International is reporting that this is a first for Rockstar and their parent company Take- Two Interactive. Halo 4 reached $200 Million in 24 hours last year, and Black Ops II did somewhere around $500 Million, making GTA V the top grosser. The estimated cost of development was bordering $270 million, that is summer movie territory. I am several hours into the game and have spent ample time messing around in the world and the technology that went into the game is extremely impressive. The way they were able to get this game running on the extremely aging consoles is beyond me, and they should be commended for that alone. The game was released on September 17th.
September 17, 2013
The Evil Within is Looking Like Mikami is Returning to Form
Shinji Mikami is the creator of Resident Evil, director of several titles like Vanquish, Dino Crisis, the seminal Resident Evil 4, and God Hand; he also was executive producer on titles like Devil May Cry, Viewtiful Joe, and Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney. Lately, his key survival horror franchise, Resident Evil, has gone from survival horror to action game with occasional horror elements. With The Evil Within, Mikami wants to go back to his roots. Below is the latest trailer for his last directorial title. The game is being developed by Tango Gameworks, Mikami’s studio he opened in 2010, and will be published by Bethesda Softworks. I have to hand it to Bethesda to not rely on only their key properties, items like The Evil Within and Dishonored are showing promise with the latter being a great title that released last year. The trailer has a bit of cheese to the dialog, but it feels like it is hinting at the original Resident Evil. I am old enough to remember playing Resident Evil for the first time when it was released and feeling this sense of dread and my nerves tensing up every time I would round a corner. The last games to play with my mind was Eternal Darkness and the original F.E.A.R., I would love a return to form for the horror genre, especially survival horror. This newest trailer is primed for Tokyo Game Show and shows off some impressive visuals. The last “horror” game I played was Fear 3, and while it was a decent shooter, I was mocking the “scary” moments and making jokes at Alma. Hopefully, The Evil Within can give me the scares I so sorely miss. The PC has been doing a good job with titles like Amnesia and Outlast, we need to make good on the console front again. Check out the latest trailer below.
The trailer does contain blood and horror elements, viewer discretion is advised.
September 17, 2013
Battlefield 4 Beta Deploys October 1st
The online pipes, at least on the consoles, will be bursting on October 1st. Not only does the online component for Grand Theft Auto V hit on that day, but so does the Battlefield 4 beta as well. On October 1st, if you have pre-ordered the digital deluxe version, have Battlefield Premium, or still have a dust collecting copy of Medal of Honor: Warfighter sitting around, you will get into the beta on the 1st. For anyone wanting to give the game a go, but don’t have any of the three prerequisites above, you can get into the action on October 4th. The beta will have two game modes, conquest and domination, and will take place on the Siege of Shanghai map. The beta will be available on the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC. I am going to be double dipping and playing it both on the PS3 and 360. I played the 360 of Battlefield 3, and still play it from time to time, and while fun; there are still a checklist full of issues. I have already decided on my next gen console of choice and plan on getting the game for said console, but I would like to see if the current hardware can run this game at a good clip with out the BF3 problems. Check out the latest trailer below for the Battlefield 4 multiplayer.
September 16, 2013
Amazon Breaks Grand Theft Auto v Street Date
One of the most anticipated titles of the fall, and quite possibly this generation, Grand Theft Auto V has seem to make its way to some consumers a bit early thanks to Amazon. Games Industry International is reporting that some folks that had pre-ordered the title through Amazon, started to receive their copies this weekend. The game will be out in stores tomorrow, with many GameStop’s and other retailers having midnight launches tonight. It sounds like they were trying to ship the game in time for the release and the postal service was on their game rather than lagging behind. While breaking street dates can incur fines, warnings, and bad relations between publishers and retailers, I am not sure if anything will come of this, other than some people getting to enjoy the game a little early. I have been on both the consumer and retail end of broken street dates. When the first Bioshock was about a week from release, the retailer I worked for put it out for sale a week ahead of its release date. There was no giant neon stickers on the shipping box stating the release date and the registers were not prompting not to sell the game before the street date. My store store did sell a few copies and was reprimanded for the infraction. At the time like I am now, I am very versed in the industry and new better and questioned why it happened in the first place, I was off the day they made the mistake. Though that same day I went into the store to purchase Madden Football as well as another title since there was a deal with the purchase of Madden to get another game at 50% off. I had the option to buy Bioshock a week early and get it at a discount, but decided against it. I walked out with Madden, Dead Rising, and a clear conscience. Street dates are in place to make consumers happy, so they all receive the product on the same date, but to also coincide with competition. There are reasons publishers do not release games the same week that a GTA or Call of Duty title are released, they want a return on their investment and to not be buried by the competition. For example, Battlefield 4 will release the end of October and Call of Duty will release the second week in November, those few weeks can mean plenty of sales. This is the same reason we started to see plenty of titles release in the first quarters of new years instead of trying to capitalize on the Christmas rush. Anyway, if you are one of the lucky ones that got your copy early, enjoy. I am pretty sure after this, Rockstar will probably never let it happen again. As for everyone else the game releases tomorrow.
September 11, 2013
More Star Wars Pinball? Yes Please!
Zen Studios has been churning out great pinball outings since 2007 with the original Pinball FX. Pinball FX 2 (Xbox 360) and Zen Pinball (PS3, Vita) have become hubs of great pinball tables, both original and based on existing franchises. The Marvel tables were a huge hit and well done, culminating 15 great tables each with their own theme. This past spring we received 3 Star Wars tables that were available on the console platforms as well has several tablet and phone marketplaces. They turned out to be superb, and now we are getting even more Star Wars Pinball. “Balance of the Force” add’s three new tables to the existing line up. The three tables will feature their own themes, “Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi”, “Darth Vader”, and “Star Wars: Starfighter Assault”. The tables will be added as add-on’s for Pinball FX2 (since itself is a distribution platform) and for the other version will be an add on to Star Wars Pinball so the content can be found and added with ease. The new tables will be out this fall, and will be available on Xbox Live Arcade, PSN (PS3 and Vita), the Wii U eShop, the Apple App Store, Google Play, Windows 8, Steam, Mac App Store, and the Kindle Fire HD. I already own the first three tables (among almost all the other tables available on Pinball FX 2) and convinced my mother to get them on her Kindle Fire HD and she loved them. If you have any love for Star Wars, Pinball, or a game to just pick up and play anywhere, then please try out any of Zen Studios Pinball titles.
September 10, 2013
Kingdom Hearts 1.5 hd Remix is out, packaging is fantastic
Releasing today is Square Enix’s love letter to their PS2 franchise Kingdom Hearts, Kingdom Hearts 1.5 HD Remix. The game includes a remastered and retooled, Kingdom Hearts Final Mix (originally only available in Japan), Chain of Memories in HD, and all the cinematic’s from 358/2 remastered in HD. There is a huge amount of content for only $40, but the games are not the best part. The packaging needs to at the forefront of this discussion, it is really clever. The game does not come in your standard PS3 case; instead, the game lies in a 24 page art book that serves as the case. Full of concept art and never before seen sketches by creator Tetsuya Nomura, this case is literally a work of art. I have a gallery below showing off the case and all the beautiful artwork inside. Out of all the HD collections I have this has to be the one with the most love thrown in. Say what you will about the current state of Square Enix, but if this is any indication of how the Final Fantasy X and X-2 collection will turn out, I am very happy to have it already pre-ordered. I am about to go into review mode and review this game, but I wanted to share the outstanding packaging. The game is available at all retailers and runs you $39.99. Below is the launch trailer that Square Enix released today, very happy to get my play through underway.