Quantcast
Archive | October, 2012

Internet Provides Awful Sequel To Equally Awful "Takeshi’s Challenge"

3 Oct
There are many reasons that video games get made. Some find their origins in the passion of their developers; some, from the pursuit of the almighty dollar. Then there are games born purely out of malice. Takeshi's Challenge, a mid-eighties Famicon title, falls into the latter camp: being known not only as one of the worst games of all time, but one of the most intentionally absurd. The game was conceived by Japanese actor and comedian Takeshi Kitano, a man who decided to express his contempt for video games in the most fitting way imaginable: lending his talents to the creation of a video game. The legend goes that he made it his mission to sabotage the project that bore his namesake: a drink-fueled Kitano would propose bizarre and idiotic ideas to designer Taito which, for reasons known only to its development team - one might suspect this was due to the fact that his name was the main selling point for Takeshi's challenge - repeatedly failed to contradict his ridiculous suggestions. As a result, the finished product was full of haphazard design, broken mechanics, and interminably-long tasks that served no purpose other than to punish gamers for their purchase. Unfortunate gamers were subject to an extended karaoke game (in which they had to blow into the controller, as it could not register pitch), a side scrolling "hang glider" section in which the player could move down (but not up), minor decisions that prevented one from getting the ending, and a treasure map that would only materialize if the player did not touch the controls for an entire hour. Indeed, the game was so obtuse as to warrant not one, but two strategy guides - the second being created by a different writer, as the man who made the first guide had since died - which still resulted in Taito receiving about 400 complaints per day. In the end, the game was either a rather callous middle finger to consumers, or a rather brilliant bit of comedy: Kitano's way of making his point that video games are a waste of time, by intentionally wasting the time of gamers who, undeterred, would fritter away their free time trying to beat his digital abomination. In the spirit of the this Takeshi's Challenge, we have Challenge from Kiyoshi: a sort of tribute to Takeshi Kitano and his late 80's troll-fest. According to Destructoid:
The developers at 8BitsFanatics (Tempura of the Dead, Aban Hawkins and the 1,001 Spikes) are in the "revere" camp. That's why they put together a Challenge from Kiyoshi (starring Meat Kiyoshi), a tribute/sequel to Takeshi's Challenge that harnesses the essence of the original game without directly copying it. The game is stressful, ridiculous, and filled with awfulness, but in a whole new way. It's much more straightforward, ditching the non-linear style for a more action-packed, obstacle-course approach. There are also punch/kick combos, super jumps, and boss fights, which give the game a more conventional appeal.
For you "desperate completionist" camp, the game can be downloaded for free at this link. So sit back, keep your Xanax prescription handy, and enjoy (if such a word is appropriate) the eight kinds of frustrating that is Challenge from Kiyoshi!

Gotta Catch ‘Em All!

3 Oct
marlon.jpg Nintendo is hosting two events in New York City to commemorate the launch of Pokémon Black Version 2 and Pokémon White Version 2 for the DS. The game is due in stores on October 7, but Pokéfans in or near the Big Apple can make their way to the Nintendo World Store in Rockefeller Center on Sunday, October 6 to get it a day early! The special early launch event will be held at the Nintendo World Store from 9 am to 2 pm, and the first 1,000 fans in line to buy either game will get a special Pokémon scarf. And Snivy, Tepig and Oshawott will be on hand for photo ops! Then, the following week, on October 13 during New York Comic Con, Nintendo is holding a Launch Celebration for the new Pokémon games that will include live performances from I Fight Dragons, a live stage show, a Pokémon photo booth, the chance to get the mythical Pokémon Genesect, hands-on time with Pokédex 3D Pro weeks before launch, and... um.... live Pokémon-themed ice sculpting? Okay, that might be something to see. The Launch Celebration will be held from noon to 8 pm at SIR Stage37 at 508 W. 37th St. (one block north of the NYCC at the Javits Center), and you don't even need a NYCC badge to enter! It's free for everyone! Attending will get you tickets you can redeem for various Pokémon giveaways (while supplies last, naturally). And Nintendo will also be providing free shuttle buses to take fans between the Javits Center, SIR Stage 37 and the Nintendo World Store if anyone doesn't already have Pokémon Black or White Version 2 and want to buy one!

Got The 311 On The New Rock Band DLC

3 Oct
311-band.jpg Yes, yes, I know it should be "411," but whatever. It's the best I could do for a headline. It's been a long day. But this week, the Rock Band Music Store adds a three-pack from 311, apparently a band that has long been requested by Rock Band fans. The "311 Pack 01" contains "Down," "Beautiful DIsaster," and "Amber." The pack will run you $5.49, or you can buy the songs individually for a couple bucks apiece. "Beautiful Disaster" and "Amber" have keyboard parts, and "Down" is the one with the optional $.99 Pro Guitar and Pro Bass upgrades. And as always, the DLC is also compatible with Rock Band Blitz, and during the first week of release, playing any of the songs from the "311 Pack 01" will net you double Coins whenever you play them!

Big Mass Effect 3 Patch Coming on Thursday

2 Oct

Action RPG Mass Effect 3, which released back in March, is getting its largest patch to date on Thursday October 4th, on all platforms, as revealed by an official post on the BioWare Forums. The patch mostly consists of bug fixes (and there are a lot of those), but there are one or two other major changes, such as a redesign of the Singularity power:

  • Singularity no longer has a maximum number of charges and will only be destroyed when the time runs out
  • Performing a biotic combo on someone floating in the singularity no longer ends the singularity
  • Base cooldown changed to 8 seconds
  • Base duration of the singularity changed to 8 seconds
  • Base power now does 100 points of damage per second to all targets that are in range, even if not floating in the singularity
  • Base power sets up biotic combos on everyone that comes into range (only 1 combo added per enemy per cast of singularity)
  • Rank 3 changed to a damage over time bonus (used to be a radius and duration bonus)
  • Evolve 1 changed to singularity duration bonus (used to be a hold duration bonus and number of charges increase)
  • Evolve 6 now detonates biotic combos when the singularity explodes

For the full patch notes, have a look at the post itself.

This story was originally featured on www.gamrReview.com, read the full version here - Big Mass Effect 3 Patch Coming on Thursday

Free Bulletstorm and RE5 – PlayStation Plus October Detailed

2 Oct

With a new month comes a new selection of content from Sony's premium online service PlayStation Plus. Most notably, 2011 FPS Bulletstorm and 2009 survival horror TPS Resident Evil 5 will be available to download free of charge from 10th October, replacing story-driven adventure TPS Red Dead Redemption, open-world sandbox Saint's Row 2 and co-op action puzzler Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light. They can be played as long as you remain subscribed to PlayStation Plus, and can be downloaded at any time if you have downloaded them before, even after they are removed from the Instant Game Collection.

 PlayStation Plus

Also joining the service is PSN platformer Hell Yeah!, which is available a week earlier, on 3rd October. The following discounts will also be available:

  • 3rd October: Spelunker HD – 50% off the full game and 50% off various DLC packs for two weeks
  • 10th October: Derrick the Deathfin – 30% off
  • 17th October: Dogfight 1942 – 50% off a bundle including the full game and two DLC packs
  • 24th October: Hell Yeah! Wrath of Dead Rabbit – 20% off DLC packs

Note that this is the European PlayStation Plus selection. The range in other regions may differ slightly.

This story was originally featured on www.gamrReview.com, read the full version here - Free Bulletstorm and RE5 - PlayStation Plus October Detailed

Pac-Man Poll Asks Fans to Pick New Art Style

2 Oct

A poll appeared today on the official Pac-Man Facebook page, whose contents seem to suggest a new Pac-Man game is on the way. 

Pac-man 

The survey asks fans to pick their favorite of four new art styles (shown above). The survey also asks fans which platforms on which they primarily play casual games, hinting that that is the direction a new game in the series is heading (though the Pac-Man games have always been "casual", haven't they?).

I'm digging all of the new art styles (except for A, yuck), so color me interested on where Pac-Man's future is heading. If you're interested in voting in the poll, be sure to check it out

[Source: Facebook]

This story was originally featured on www.gamrReview.com, read the full version here - Pac-Man Poll Asks Fans to Pick New Art Style

Weekly Sales Analysis, 22 September – Borderlands 2, PES 2013, F1 2012

2 Oct

Overview

Xbox 360 sales increase this week due to the release of Borderlands 2. Hardware sales week on week are up for the Xbox 360 and PSP, and down for everything else. The 3DS continues to be the only platform up year on year, but is only up by two percent. Overall hardware sales are down 41 percent year on year.

Five games debuted in the top 30 this week. Borderlands 2 is this week’s top debut. The Xbox 360 version debuted at the top with sales of 1,042,464. The PlayStation 3 version sold 546,122 units, and the PC version sold 221,228. Software milestones this week in the top 30: Borderlands 2 (X360) passed the one million mark in its opening week; and Madden NFL 13 (X360) passed the one million mark.

Worldwide Hardware

Hardware

Hardware sales week on week are up Xbox 360 and PSP, and down for everything else. The 3DS is at the top for another week with sales of 180,950 units, which is down 3,347 (-2%).  The PlayStation 3 is down 5,213 (-4%) to 119,202 units sold. Xbox 360 sales are up the most this week, up 17,242 (17%) to 116,239 units sold. The Wii sold 35,123 units, which is down 3,187 (-8%). The PlayStation Vita sold 33,311 which is down 1,990 (-6%) compared to last week. The PSP is up 7,500 (31%) to 31,773 units sold. The DS is down 315 (-1%) to 23,231 units sold. Total week on week sales are up 10,690 (2%) to 539,831.

The 3DS continues be the only platform up year on year, however only by two percent. The PlayStation 3 is down 106,565 (-47%), the Wii is down 74.393 (-68%), and the Xbox 360 is down 112,464 (-49%). The PSP is down 62,899 (-66%) the DS is down 57,897 (-71%) and the 3DS is up 3,888 (2%). Year on year sales are down 377,018 (-41%).

Hardware Home Consoles

Xbox 360 sales have increased for one week, almost catching up to the PlayStation 3, which saw sales decrease this week. The PlayStation 3 has been the bestselling home console all year. Wii sales after jumping up the week of August 4 have decreased every week since then. The PlayStation 3 has a 44 percent market share; the Xbox 360 has a 43 percent market share; and the Wii has a 13 percent market share. Compared with ten weeks ago the Xbox 360 is up, while the PlayStation 3 and Wii are down.

Hardware Handhelds

3DS hardware sales have declined every week since the release of the 3DS XL and New Super Mario Bros. 2; however sales have started to level out the last couple of week. The 3DS has outsold its predecessor, the DS, by nearly 8 to 1, while the Vita barely outsold its predecessor, the PSP. The PSP has a 58 percent market share this week for the current generation handhelds and the DS has a 42 percent. The 3DS has an 84 percent market share for the next generation of handhelds, while the Vita has a 16 percent market share. Compared with ten weeks ago the 3DS is up while the PlayStation Vita, DS and PSP are down.

Worldwide Software

Five games debuted in the top 30 this week. Borderlands 2 is this week’s top debut. The Xbox 360 version debuted at the top with sales of 1,042,464. The PlayStation 3 version sold 546,122 units, and the PC version sold 221,228. The game launched in North America and Europe, and will be in the following weeks chart for Japan.

Pro Evolution Soccer 2013 (PS3) debuted at number four with sales of 178,172. The Xbox 360 version debuted at number 13 with sales of 47,441. The game launched in Europe, and will be in the following weeks chart for North America.

F1 2012 (PS3) debuted at number six with sales of 112,879. The Xbox 360 version debuted at number seven with sales of 80,535. The game launched worldwide.

Final Fantasy III (PSP) debuted at number 14 with sales of 45,540. The game launched in Japan, and will be in the following weeks chart for North America and Europe.

LittleBigPlanet PS Vita debuted at number 21 with sales of 24,373. The game launched in Japan and Europe, and will be in the following weeks chart for North America.

Other games in the top 10 that are not debuts include New Super Mario Bros. 2 (3DS) at number five with sales of 141,684. Madden NFL 13 (X360) is at number eight with sales of 74,235. Guild Wars 2 (PC) is at number nine with sales of 62,661.  Madden NFL 13 (PS3) rounds out the top 10 with sales of 55,328.

Software

Week on week software totals are up for the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PSP, and PlayStation Vita, flat for the Wii and DS, and down for the 3DS. The Xbox 360 sold 2.31 million games this week, an increase of 996,052 (76%). The PlayStation 3 sold 2.14 million games, an increase of 647,705 (43%). Wii software sales are down 666 (0%) to 738,251. The DS sold 470,977 games, an increase of 439 (0%).  The 3DS sold 464.136 games, which is down 131,025 (-22%). PSP game sales are up 51,225 (24%) to 266,464 games sold. The Vita sold 100,365 games, an increase of 15,509 (-25%).  Total combined software is up 1.58 million (32%) week on week to 6.48 million.

Year on year software totals are up for the PlayStation 3 and 3DS, and down for everything else. The PlayStation 3 is up 287,678 (16%), the Wii is down 377,691 (-34%) and the Xbox 360 is down 1.85 million (-45%). The DS is down 326,749 (-41%), the PSP is down 130,794 (-33%) and the 3DS is up 164,999 (55%). Total combined software is down 2.13 million units (-25%) games sold year on year.

Software Home Consoles

Xbox 360 software sales outsold the PlayStation 3 for the first time since the week ending May 19. The Xbox 360 has a 45 percent market share, the PlayStation 3 with 41 percent, and the Wii with 14 percent. Compared to ten weeks ago the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 software sales are up, and Wii is down.

Software Handhelds

The DS sold more software this week than the 3DS, which is the first time since the week ending July 21. The DS has a 64 percent market share for the current generation handhelds and the PSP has a 36 percent market share. The 3DS has an 82 percent market share for the next generation handhelds, while the Vita has a 18 percent market share. Compared with ten weeks ago all four handhelds are down.

The Top 100 can be seen below or click here to view the full chart.

Pos Game Weekly Total Week #
1
Gamewise
Borderlands 2 (X360)
Take-Two Interactive, Shooter
1,042,464 1,042,464 1
2
Gamewise
Borderlands 2 (PS3)
Take-Two Interactive, Shooter
546,122 546,122 1
3
Gamewise
Borderlands 2 (PC)
Take-Two Interactive, Shooter
221,228 221,228 1
4
Gamewise
Pro Evolution Soccer 2013 (PS3)
Konami Digital Entertainment, Sports
178,172 178,172 1
5
Gamewise
New Super Mario Bros. 2 (3DS)
Nintendo, Platform
141,684 2,366,833 9
6
Gamewise
F1 2012 (PS3)
Codemasters, Action
112,879 112,879 1
7
Gamewise
F1 2012 (X360)
Codemasters, Action
80,535 80,535 1
8
Gamewise
Madden NFL 13 (X360)
Electronic Arts, Sports
74,235 1,068,295 4
9
Gamewise
Guild Wars 2 (PC)
NCSoft, Role-Playing
62,661 1,232,485 4
10
Gamewise
Madden NFL 13 (PS3)
Electronic Arts, Sports
55,328 901,709 4
11
Gamewise
One Piece Pirate Musou (PS3)
Unknown, Action
48,539 895,889 30
12
Gamewise
Tekken Tag Tournament 2 (PS3)
Namco Bandai Games, Fighting
47,696 208,738 2
13
Gamewise
Pro Evolution Soccer 2013 (X360)
Konami Digital Entertainment, Sports
47,441 47,441 1
14
Gamewise
Final Fantasy III (PSP)
Square Enix, Role-Playing
45,540 45,540 1
15
Gamewise
Sleeping Dogs (PS3)
Square Enix, Action
35,743 379,584 6
16
Gamewise
Sleeping Dogs (X360)
Square Enix, Action
34,072 417,567 6
17
Gamewise
Mario Kart 7 (3DS)
Nintendo, Racing
28,598 6,201,862 43
18
Gamewise
Super Mario 3D Land (3DS)
Nintendo, Platform
27,146 6,651,664 47
19
Gamewise
NHL 13 (X360)
Electronic Arts, Sports
25,133 106,845 2
20
Gamewise
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 (PS3)
Activision, Shooter
25,104 12,381,778 46
21
Gamewise
LittleBigPlanet PS Vita (PSV)
Sony Computer Entertainment, Platform
24,373 24,373 1
22
Gamewise
Mario Party 9 (Wii)
Nintendo, Misc
23,703 1,783,190 30
23
Gamewise
Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning (PS3)
Electronic Arts, Role-Playing
22,558 522,511 33
24
Gamewise
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 (X360)
Activision, Shooter
22,138 14,531,980 46
25
Gamewise
Battlefield 3 (PS3)
Electronic Arts, Shooter
21,329 5,823,310 48
26
Gamewise
Battlefield 3 (X360)
Electronic Arts, Shooter
21,162 6,288,721 48
27
Gamewise
Zumba Fitness 2 (Wii)
Majesco Entertainment, Sports
20,965 2,073,584 45
28
Gamewise
Mario Kart Wii (Wii)
Nintendo, Racing
20,730 32,445,465 233
29
Gamewise
New Art Academy (3DS)
Nintendo, Misc
20,644 59,667 9
30
Gamewise
Max Payne 3 (PS3)
Take-Two Interactive, Shooter
20,392 957,073 19
31 NHL 13 PS3 Electronic Arts Sports 2
32 Wii Sports Wii Nintendo Sports 305
33 Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception PS3 Sony Computer Entertainment Action 47
34 Tekken Tag Tournament 2 X360 Namco Bandai Games Fighting 2
35 The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim X360 Bethesda Softworks Role-Playing 46
36 Medalot 7 3DS Rocket Company Action 2
37 Batman: Arkham City PS3 Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment Action 49
38 Skylanders: Spyro's Adventure Wii Activision Action 50
39 Just Dance 3 Wii Ubisoft Misc 51
40 Tiger & Bunny: On-Air Jack! PSP Namco Bandai Games Action 1
41 Pokemon Black / White Version 2 DS Nintendo Role-Playing 14
42 Tousouchuu: Shijou Saikyou no Hunter-Tachi Kara Nigekire! 3DS Namco Bandai Games Action 12
43 Gran Turismo 5 PS3 Sony Computer Entertainment Racing 96
44 Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games Wii Sega Sports 45
45 Diablo III PC Blizzard Entertainment Role-Playing 19
46 London 2012: The Official Video Game of the Olympic Games PS3 Sega Sports 13
47 Wii Fit Plus Wii Nintendo Sports 156
48 Call of Duty: Black Ops PS3 Activision Shooter 98
49 Dead Island X360 Deep Silver Action 55
50 The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim PS3 Bethesda Softworks Role-Playing 46
51 New Super Mario Bros. DS Nintendo Platform 332
52 Batman: Arkham City X360 Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment Action 49
53 Pokemon Black / White Version DS Nintendo Role-Playing 106
54 Red Dead Redemption PS3 Take-Two Interactive Action 123
55 Zumba Fitness Wii Majesco Entertainment Sports 97
56 Forza Motorsport 4 X360 Microsoft Game Studios Racing 50
57 Max Payne 3 X360 Take-Two Interactive Shooter 19
58 Call of Duty: Black Ops X360 Activision Shooter 98
59 The Sims 3 PC Electronic Arts Simulation 173
60 LEGO Batman 2: DC Super Heroes PS3 Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment Adventure 14
61 The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim PC Bethesda Softworks Role-Playing 46
62 FIFA Soccer 12 PS3 Electronic Arts Sports 52
63 Hunter x Hunter: Wonder Adventure PSP Namco Bandai Games Action 1
64 Dead Island PS3 Deep Silver Action 55
65 LEGO Batman 2: DC Super Heroes X360 Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment Adventure 14
66 Kinect Adventures! X360 Microsoft Game Studios Misc 99
67 Darksiders II PS3 THQ Action 6
68 Assassin's Creed: Revelations PS3 Ubisoft Action 45
69 Wii Sports Resort Wii Nintendo Sports 170
70 Borderlands X360 Take-Two Interactive Shooter 153
71 LEGO Batman 2: DC Super Heroes Wii Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment Adventure 14
72 F1 2012 PC Codemasters Action 1
73 Samurai Warriors Chronicles 2nd 3DS Action 2
74 Darksiders II X360 THQ Action 6
75 Battlefield 3 PC Electronic Arts Shooter 48
76 Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance 3DS Square Enix Role-Playing 26
77 Kinect Sports X360 Microsoft Game Studios Sports 99
78 Football Manager 2012 PC Sega Sports 49
79 London 2012: The Official Video Game of the Olympic Games X360 Sega Sports 13
80 Mass Effect 3 X360 Electronic Arts Role-Playing 29
81 Gears of War 3 X360 Microsoft Game Studios Shooter 53
82 StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty PC Blizzard Entertainment Strategy 113
83 Grand Theft Auto IV PS3 Take-Two Interactive Action 230
84 Red Dead Redemption X360 Take-Two Interactive Action 123
85 NCAA Football 13 PS3 Electronic Arts Sports 11
86 Halo: Reach X360 Microsoft Game Studios Shooter 106
87 New Super Mario Bros. Wii Wii Nintendo Platform 149
88 Taiko no Tatsujin: Chibi Dragon to Fushigi na Orb 3DS Namco Bandai Games Misc 11
89 Eureka Seven AO: Jungfrau no Hanabanatachi PS3 Namco Bandai Games Action 1
90 Borderlands PS3 Take-Two Interactive Shooter 153
91 Assassin's Creed: Revelations X360 Ubisoft Action 45
92 Super Smash Bros. Brawl Wii Nintendo Fighting 243
93 Grand Theft Auto IV X360 Take-Two Interactive Action 230
94 Uncharted 2: Among Thieves PS3 Sony Computer Entertainment Action 154
95 Tales of Graces f PS3 Namco Bandai Games Role-Playing 95
96 Saints Row: The Third PS3 THQ Action 45
97 The Sims 3: Pets PC Electronic Arts Simulation 49
98 Super Mario Galaxy Wii Nintendo Platform 254
99 Wii Party Wii Nintendo Misc 116
100 Mass Effect 3 PS3 Electronic Arts Role-Playing 29

Contact VGChartz at wdangelo@vgchartz.com

Has Tomb Raider Finally Found Itself? – Preview

2 Oct
When people talk about stripping back a character, Lara Croft is often a name on people's lips for a very different reason. The intention with the new revision to the Tomb Raider franchise is to discover what made Lara Croft the heroine she became, and thus bring the game back to its roots. The indication originally was masculine superiority, but that's an argument that has been debated more in the media than I care to mention. Here, the player picks up the pieces of Miss Croft as she recovers from an apparently devastating experience, alone on a deserted island. The onus is primarily on survival.
 


The result then, surprisingly, is rather dull. Although I believe this is a game which will rely on emotional attachment if done properly, something impossible to relate in a demo, the resultant 'climb this, pick this up, shoot this, eat this, shiver longingly' was done in a way to suggest vulnerability and innocence but actually just manifested as very, very slow gameplay.

The areas she inhabits - small pockets of woodland and cliff vistas - are startlingly artificial, bricked in areas lacking any kind of eco-system or nature; it was clearly designed around her, rather than vice-versa. Sharp graphics cannot mask the sparseness of the landscape (not an intentional sparseness either). The survival aspect is thus unconvincing and poorly implemented, with everything too scripted and inevitable for any kind of spontaneity.

More bizarre is the futuristic visual HUD and maps. If Lara is lost, and you are embodying Lara, why the hell can you move her around upon a high res map screen with clear locations? She is either lost in the wilderness with no equipment or not – there is no halfway house. It feels like a hangover from a previous development process they have declined to remove. A hand-drawn map, or even better a rough charcoal and paper device which fills in as you go forward, and something that could have been narratively implemented, would surely have been far more appropriate.

Likewise, when Lara is sat at her camp, a futuristic HUD flashes up (think a Splinter Cell/Heavy Rain hybrid) which deals with levelling and spending experience points. This is all well and good, but surely there could have been a more convincing aesthetic than a screen taken from Mass Effect. The result, of course, is one of befuddlement and contradiction, like a student claiming poverty in a post on Facebook from his iPad in an internet café in Covent Garden. These appear to have been one of several bemusing development decisions which, along with the dull gameplay, make Tomb Raider a bit of a mess. A lot of work needs doing to this, and I'm not convinced they have the time to do it.
This story was originally featured on www.gamrReview.com, read the full version here - Has Tomb Raider Finally Found Itself? - Preview

Mediatonic Opens Brighton Studio, To Hire 50 New Employees

2 Oct

Mediatonic, the UK developer, has opened a new studio in Brighton. The developer is also looking to hire 50 new employees this year. The new studio will focus on cloud infrastructure, live operations and analytics for Mediatonic's cross platform products, as well as its mobile and free-to-play games.

"Having lived in Brighton and Hove for many years it's obvious how much creative and technical talent can be found on the doorstep," said CEO Dave Bailey. "Plus, a city this vibrant makes an awesome setting for making games."

Mediatonic in April of this year moved its headquarters into a larger office in London's Soho district and hired 10 more employees at the time.

Valve: Left 4 Dead Franchise Has Sold 12 Million Units

2 Oct

Valve's Chet Faliszek, in an interview with VG247, has announced that the Left 4 Dead franchise has sold more than 12 million units. The first Left 4 Dead debuted in 2008 for the Xbox 360 and PC and Left 4 Dead 2 released the following year on the same platforms.

"Telling people a game is great will sell one extra copy, said Faliszek. "Letting people play the game – Left 4 Dead is a good example – is much better. All of our pre-release stuff is designed to just let people play it. We just let the game speak for itself because the internet has made this thing where, you can’t pull the wool over people’s eyes any more. They’re going to know you’re hyping."

"But when a game does really well at pre-release, they’re going to know that you’re not just talking a bunch of PR crap," he continued. "I mean, the Left 4 Dead series has now sold over 12 million copies."

Halo 4 Multiplayer is Neither Evolution nor Revolution – Preview

2 Oct
As last year's Halo: Anniversary Edition indicated, Microsoft's flagship series has shown little sign of waning popularity. Typically of such series, this edition is the 6th in the range (not counting Halo Wars, just the first person shooters). However, this was the first not to be developed by Bungie , but rather 343 Studios. Settling down for a quick dose of the multiplayer mode, I wondered what had, or could, be changed to such a well known staple of the Xbox diet.
 


The answer, of course, was very little. It looks like Halo, plays like Halo, sounds like Halo, and is extremely similar to the previous outings, to the point it is very hard to tell what, if anything, has actually been done to the gameplay itself. There are more superficial and noticeable changes - the graphics look terrific and highly polished, whilst the option of different load-outs (as opposed to character classes) could be beneficial depending on the opponent – whilst old complaints still remain. The balance is still a major problem, with the assault rifle in particular feeling overpowered, and the shield still makes multiplayer combat problematic.

Still, if you love Halo then you will love this. All the staples are here; the fast paced combat, wild grenade fights and up-close punch-outs still rule supreme, as does the rare team player. Key weapons are now highlighted on the map in team death-match; a delay of a few seconds when picking up the items makes it a risky manoeuvre to attempt.

Realistically, there isn't really enough in the way of improvement or refinement to justify this as a new addition to the series from a multiplayer perspective; there is barely evolution here, let alone revolution. Yet, this may be a welcome relief to fans who have grown to love the signature multiplayer experience and who simply want more of the same. Judging by the fleeting glimpse offered at the heaving Eurogamer stand, this is exactly what they will be getting.
This story was originally featured on www.gamrReview.com, read the full version here - Halo 4 Multiplayer is Neither Evolution nor Revolution - Preview

Is Devil May Cry Finished? – Preview

2 Oct
Remember the original Devil May Cry, that perfect concoction of horror, suspense and thrillingly stylistic combat? Remember how fresh it felt, how full of life it was? Remember the more action-based second, the lackluster third and the reasonable fourth? Remember thinking that it had somewhat lost its way, but with a bit of love and attention and the right care it could, possibly, return to its former glory?
 


Well, this isn't it. Sticking with Capcom's apparent company-wide decision to remove any semblance of tension from their games, this new incarnation is all about the guns, the flying, the shooting, angels, demons, the minions of hell itself – and it is incredibly boring.

The impression I've just given is far more entertaining than the actual product itself. The reality is a laboured and tired experience that tries too hard and trips on its own shoe-laces. The demo, as it is, is effectively a series of battles against increasingly powerful enemies of variously grotesque nature. At its core, the real problem is that it wasn't much fun. Despite the option to use both angel and demon attacks, each with their own specific abilities, plus the obligatory guns and sword slashing, it became tiring very quickly. The lack of variety added to this, with very little in the way of adventure; you are forced from fight to fight, and every so often allowed to jump a gap to mix it up a little.

As a result, the combat, the game's main and apparently only feature becomes very strained very quickly. When one thus loses concentration (and it happens rather quickly) it soon becomes apparent how forced everything is. The monsters are impressive in a 50p pulp horror kind of way, whilst the lead characters are charisma vacuums, which, like the rest of this light experience, lack any kind of humour or thought.

Graphically Devil May Cry is decent, if a little rough round the edges. That's about as good as it gets really. It is hard to enthuse about a game so disappointing, so dull, so un-enjoyable, so utterly devoid of redeeming features that one becomes as utterly bored and tired of it as the developers appear to be after only five minutes. Judged on this play-test, the recently-released HD collection is a far better bet; at least you're guaranteed a good game with that.
This story was originally featured on www.gamrReview.com, read the full version here - Is Devil May Cry Finished? - Preview

Could Far Cry 3 be A Surprise Game of the Year Contender? – Preview

2 Oct

Wow. Dear gamer, I must admit to have been taken somewhat unexpectedly. Although Far Cry was a decent enough adventure before it got weird, and Far Cry 2 was disappointing in every way, there was little to suggest the series had legs, and few probably greeted the announcement of a third title with bated breath. What even these hopefuls could not have expected was a first-person adventure of such great fun, personality, intrigue, freedom and outstanding potential. If the full game plays anything like this thrilling fifteen minute segment, then Far Cry 3 (may I whisper it?) will easily be one of the best games of the year.


Hard to believe isn't it? I assumed the same as the lead wakes up in a small island village by the gun store. Walking out of the village I was given control of my weapons, a small arsenal of scavenged weapons, and the task of turning on the radio tower to show new locations and missions. Using a battered old car to scale a path in the beautifully foliaged hill teeming with animals (from a charming behind-windscreen view), I came across the tower and a bandit guarding the entrance. Sneaking up reasonably close to him, I made to loosen an arrow into his head. However, at some point I had accidentally changed to an explosive arrow, exploding him to pieces and carefully spoiling my stealthy approach much to the amusement of the queue which had formed behind me.

Wait. Explosive arrows? Are there more? Shifting through my inventory I found a flame-tipped number, and, once I had climbed a third of the tower, I loosened it into a group of goats grazing below. Napalm. Minutes later I was zip-lining back to ground before launching myself from a cliff attached to a hang-glider before storming an enemy camp to acquire a rocket-launcher. Did I know it was there? No. Had anyone told me to do it? Nope. Like all great sandbox games I did it because I could.

Far Cry 3's great strength is this zealous sense of adventure, wisely mimicking the high-octane action of Just Cause. The engine is solid and satisfying; each bullet feels like it hits, whilst the handling of vehicles is just right. The island environment is enormous and incredibly detailed, vibrant with colour and hints of exploration. Moreover, it truly feels alive; islanders go about their business, animals graze and hunt, hunters wait in ambush – the island feels a living, breathing system and culture, and the fact you are there is a coincidence. Unlike other games, it does not feel like you are the centre-piece; a beautifully considered idea for such a location.

The resulting impression is that you really feel like you can do anything, and, like the equally impressive Dishonored, when you open your mind to this possibility you truly can; the world is your oyster to be sleuthed or ravaged as you wish. The option to turn off your HUD and make it minimalist would complete the impression. The lessons of Far Cry 2 have been learnt, and the result is a deeply engaging and invigorating experience. Definitely one to keep an eye out for.

Find out more about Far Cry 3 on the Gamewise Wiki.

This story was originally featured on www.gamrReview.com, read the full version here - Could Far Cry 3 be A Surprise Game of the Year Contender? - Preview

Video: Wootini’s Video Podcast #88

2 Oct
No more shame this week. (Although I bet if I went through my old PlayStation games, I'd find just as many treasures and trash!) This time around, I talk about the recently-announced Wii U launch library. It's impressive, in quantity if not quality. But will it be enough? And who cares, since that won't happen until November, and I've got a slew of 3DS games coming out in October to keep me extremely busy?

Demo Your Dance Moves!

2 Oct
hidef80s02.jpg
If you've already got a Kinect, I'd be surprised if you don't already have Dance Central or Dance Central 2. But even if you do, there's still a reason to download the demo of Dance Central 3 — so you can dance to some new songs and try the Party Time mode before the October 16 release date (in the US, Canada and Latin America... October 19 in Europe, Asia and Australia!) You can sample "On The Floor" by Jennifer Lopez ft. Pitbull, "Moves Like Jagger" by Maroon 5 ft. Christina Aguilera, and "Starships" by Nicki Minaj ft... well, no, that's all her! You can also try out Party Time, which lets you explore some of the new features in Dance Central 3, like Make Your Move, which lets you choreograph your own moves for your friends to perform!

Top 10 in Sales – Xbox

1 Oct

Welcome to the ‘Top 10’ weekly feature. Each week we will be taking a look at the top 10 selling games in a particular genre, platform, most recent month, even sprinkling in the top 10 selling games from a past year. All sales specified will be worldwide, unless stated otherwise.

This week we will be looking at the top 10 bestselling games on the original Xbox. Last week we looked at the top 10 bestselling games on the PlayStation 2 and the week before that the top 10 bestselling games in August 2012. If there is a particular top 10 you want to see leave a comment and it may be featured in a future top 10.

Top 10 Selling Xbox Games

Looking at the top 10 bestselling games for the Xbox, four games are first party, published by Microsoft Game Studios, and the other six games are third party. The third party games have been published by four different publishers – two by Ubisoft, two by Take-Two, one by Electronic Arts, and one by Activision. Also five of the games are exclusive to the Xbox, the four first party games, as well as Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic.

The top 10 bestselling games for the Xbox sold a combined 34.49 million games. Halo 2 and Halo: Combat Evolved are the only two games for the platform to sell five million or more units. Also one other game, Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell, sold three million or more units.

Looking at the game sales in the top 10 by publisher, the four first party games, published by Microsoft Game Studios, sold a combined 19.7 million units or 57.1 percent of the total games sold in the top 10.

The six third party games sold 14.79 million units. The two Ubisoft games sold a combined 5.88 million units or 17.0 percent of the total games sold in the top 10. The two Take-Two games sold a combined 4.44 million units or 12.9 percent of the total games sold in the top 10. The one Electronic Arts game is equal to 6.6 percent of the total games sold in the top 10, while the one Activision game is equal to 6.3 percent of the total games sold in the top 10.

Top 10 Selling Xbox Games

Taking a look at the top 10 bestselling games for the Xbox as a graph really shows how crucial the Halo franchise was for the platform. The two games sold a combined 14.92 million units or 43.3 percent of the total games sold in the top 10.

As a quick note here are other software sales for the Xbox. 258. 41 million games were sold on the Xbox. 54 games sold one million or more units and 156 games sold 500,000 or more units.

Contact VGChartz at wdangelo@vgchartz.com

Minecraft: Xbox 360 Edition Sells 4 Million Units

1 Oct

Minecraft: Xbox 360 Edition, which became the bestselling Xbox Live Arcade game right after it was released, passed four million units sold over the weekend. The game has achieved these sales in less than five months.

Developer 4J studios broke the news on Twitter. "Minecraft: Xbox 360 Edition has passed 4 million sales! Incredible number, thanks to you all!," read the Tweet.

Minecraft: Xbox 360 Edition has broken many Xbox Live Arcade's sales records. The game sold more units in its first 24 hours than any other game on for the Xbox Live Arcade and it sold one million units in just five days. By the time sold two million units it had already become the bestselling Xbox Live Arcade game of all time.

The original game has gone on to sell 7.58 million units according to the official website.

Forza Horizon Launch Trailer Released; Demo Dated

1 Oct

Microsoft has announced that the Forza: Horizon demo will be playable from 9th October, two weeks before the final release on 23rd October. Anyone who downloads the demo and goes on to purchase the full game will receive an in-game 2013 SRT Viper GTS.

Here is the launch trailer, which shows racing vehicles set to rap music and commentary:

This story was originally featured on www.gamrReview.com, read the full version here - Forza Horizon Launch Trailer Released; Demo Dated

Lightning Bolt Action Indeed – Preview

1 Oct

Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance has been causing me a lot of frustration since it was announced. My initial reaction was excitement at the prospect of playing a Metal Gear game on my Xbox 360. Since then my excitement has turned into confusion - is revengeance a word? -  and casual interest. To say that there have been mixed messages regarding this game would be an understatement. Is it a stealth game? Is it a hack 'n slash? Should it really be associated with the Metal Gear franchise? Why is that cyborg dicing a melon with an enormous samurai sword? All important questions, and all will be answered in this preview.

The demo picked up with Raiden on a mission to infiltrate an enemy base. That’s about as much story detail as I can provide due to the fact that because my time with the game was limited I had to skip most of the cutscenes. We all know how long these Metal Gear cutscenes can get, so I’m sure you’ll forgive me.

MGR

Infiltrating this base involved little stealth and a lot of combat. That’s fine, though, because the combat is immensely entertaining. Raiden is as quick, acrobatic and agile as cyborgs come. It’s safe to say that he can handle himself in a sticky situation. Don’t go thinking that combat is all about button mashing and hoping for the best, though. You’ll need tactics if you hope to complete this game. Sure, the combat is brutal and lightning fast, but if you don’t think about what you’re about to do, you will be brutally relieved of life.

By far the best part of the combat in Rising is the unique slicing mechanic. When using this mechanic you can control exactly where your sword stroke falls. It’s a masterful addition to the combat and really helps Rising stand out from the crowd. In combat you’ll use it to carefully attack various weak points and finish off foes with masterful precision.  You can only go into this mode for a certain amount of time though, so use it wisely.

As I’ve previously stated, the demo I played didn’t showcase much stealth gameplay. However, that doesn’t mean stealth won’t be a major part of the final game. I say that because this particular demo appeared to be focusing on the combat aspect of the game, so I can only comment on what I played, although I do find it hard to see how stealth could be cohesively implemented alongside this particular brand of combat. However that doesn’t have to be a negative thing, does it? Different doesn’t always mean worse, and this is definitely the case with Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance.

MGR

Graphically, Rising didn’t impress me as much as I’d hoped it would. It doesn’t look bad by any means, it just doesn’t have any sort of wow factor. In fact, some textures look quite rough, and as a whole, the game appears to be lacking in sharpness. The exception to this is the character model of Raiden which is chock full of detail.

Oh, and in answer to that final question: I cannot begin to describe the amount of satisfaction you’ll get from carefully carving up a melon in Rising. Just know that when you finally do it, you’ll realise exactly why melons are present. 

This story was originally featured on www.gamrReview.com, read the full version here - Lightning Bolt Action Indeed - Preview

Mass Effect Trilogy Collection Detailed, DLC Sold Separately

1 Oct

BioWare and EA fulfilled a lot of fan hopes and dreams last week when they announced the "Mass Effect Trilogy", bringing all three Mass Effect games together into one package for the Xbox 360 and PC as well as, most surprisingly, bringing the original Mass Effect to PS3 for the first time alongside its sequels. However, many fans have been wondering what other bonuses, such as downloadable content, will be coming to the collection, but now it looks like EA has provided the answer. 

METrilogy

Here are the details for Mass Effect Trilogy's DLC, according to the official website

  • On PC, Mass Effect will include Bring Down the Sky and Pinnacle Station on disk. For Mass Effect 2, Cerberus Network will be included which features Zaeed – The Price of Revenge, The Firewalker Pack, Cerberus Assault Gear, Arc Projector heavy weapon, and Normandy Crash site mission. For Mass Effect 3, Online Pass will be included granting players access to co-op multiplayer.
  • On Xbox 360, Bring Down the Sky and Pinnacle Station are not included with Mass Effect, however they are available as stand-alone downloads through Xbox LIVE. For Mass Effect 2, Cerberus Network will be included and Online Pass will be included for Mass Effect 3.
  • Information on PlayStation 3 DLC will be available soon.

For those of you that don't know, the Cerberus Network and Online Pass granted you free DLC for Mass Effect 2 and Mass Effect 3, respectively, and had to pay for it separately if you bought the games used. This means that all of the DLC included with the console versions of the Mass Effect Trilogy are the ones already available if you had already bought the games new, and will still have to buy the post-release DLC separately (for example, Mass Effect's "Bring Down the Sky", Mass Effect 2's "Lair of the Shadow Broker", Mass Effect 3's "Leviathan", etc.). 

The Mass Effect Trilogy looks to give a great jumping off point for new Mass Effect fans, but for those who have already purchased each game separately, it's disappointing that all this trilogy seems to offer extra is a shiny box. Perhaps we will see a "Complete Mass Effect Trilogy" box set sometime down the line. 

[Source: EA]

This story was originally featured on www.gamrReview.com, read the full version here - Mass Effect Trilogy Collection Detailed, DLC Sold Separately