Final Fantasy XV’s Summons Look Awesomely Over-the-top

Posted by Bob Muir on Mar 19, 2015 in Videogames


If you purchased a first-run copy of the just-released Final Fantasy Type-0 HD, you received a code for Final Fantasy XV: Episode Duscae, a demo for one of the longest in-development games ever. If you don’t have access to this demo, well, sucks to be you, because look at this video. Like past games, summons return; but what was almost a vestigial feature in most recent games looks to be a lot more impressive with this game. It’s very cool the way that Ramuh is foreshadowed by a darkening sky and lightning before finally showing up to pluck main character Noctis out of danger. The rest of the party is not so lucky, but somehow they survive, so whatever. Read more…

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First ‘Pixels’ Trailer Pretty Much Sums Up The Movie

Posted by Bob Muir on Mar 18, 2015 in Cinema, Videogames


It’s not like expectations were high for Pixels, a feature-length adaptation of a neat short. What sounded like a shaky concept for a film was soon torpedoed when it was announced to be an Adam Sandler vehicle. Even the presence of Peter Dinklage couldn’t boost interest that much. And so this trailer is pretty much a confirmation of that line of thinking. It gives you the plot justification you’re curious about and shows a bunch of gags, some of which are admittedly amusing, but which you could imagine would get very tiresome when stretched out over 90 minutes. Basically, the whole joke of this trailer boils down to “Man, isn’t it crazy that videogames, of all things, are killing us?” There, let’s all move on. Read more…

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Nintendo To Start Making Games For Phones

Posted by Bob Muir on Mar 18, 2015 in Videogames


I have never understood the people who think Nintendo, a company that has only ever made games for its own systems, should put their games out on phones. Never mind the fact that their development style doesn’t fit the mobile market at all, or the fact that they’d be competing against themselves: how are you supposed to play games like Mario, designed for precise buttons, with an inherently imprecise touchscreen? Some people don’t care, but it’s the kind of design mismatch that I’d imagine even Steve Jobs would have disapproved of. Nintendo still refuses to put their existing games on phones, but they have just announced a partnership with DeNA, a Japanese online company responsible for the Mobage mobile game platform. That’s right: Nintendo is finally making games for phones. Read more…



Former Banjo-Kazooie Developers Bringing Spiritual Successor To Kickstarter

Posted by Bob Muir on Mar 17, 2015 in Videogames

Project Ukelele

Real talk: even though it’s a collectathon, Rare’s Banjo-Kazooie is easily one of my favorite N64 games. The expansive worlds (for the time), the humorous characters, the amazing music, it all made a game I got lost in for days. After Microsoft purchased Rare, they became a shell of their former selves, so any hope for a true sequel from the original developers is gone. But a bunch of former Rare developers are now at Playtonic, and they’ve announced Project Ukulele, a spiritual successor to Banjo-Kazooie. Playtonic says the game is going to be released regardless, but crowd-funding would allow it to be even bigger. The Kickstarter will go up in May, but I’m already dreaming about what a current-gen Banjo-Kazooie-like game could look like. Read more…

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Naughty Dog Delays Uncharted 4 To 2016

Posted by Bob Muir on Mar 12, 2015 in Videogames

Uncharted 4: A Thief's End

I like my PS4, but in terms of exclusives, it’s been fairly weak. Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End was an anticipated game this fall, but it seems that won’t be helping the PS4’s holiday sales anymore. Developer Naughty Dog has shared their decision to delay the game to spring 2016, based on their need to give the game some extra time to make sure it’s as good as it can be. While many modern games come out buggy and need patches, Naughty Dog’s games have all run smooth enough at launch. If this is what it takes to keep that standard, I reckon I can wait a few more months. I’d rather have a quality game later than a troubled game sooner. Read more…

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Have Yourself A Stylish Death In Necropolis

Posted by Ben Huber on Mar 8, 2015 in Videogames


Here’s a sweet, stylish, and funky new game coming from the folks at Harebrained Schemes (the people behind Shadowrun Returns) called Necropolis. It takes its cues from Zelda and Dark Souls, it appears, with third-person combat that is methodical and punishing. There also appears to be an ability to “re-shape” the levels to some degree. That, combined with a semi-procedural world and some beautiful visuals, made this game easily jump up my “anticipated games” list. The game isn’t out until 2016, but you can follow along at the dev’s blog, here. Then check out the trailer below! Read more…



Blackrock Mountain Adventure Announced For Hearthstone

Posted by Ben Huber on Mar 7, 2015 in Videogames


The Hearthstone train never stops! The next large update for the game will feature the Blackrock Mountain adventure, a new campaign made up of five wings, with one being released each week over five weeks. The adventure will have 17 bosses total, 31 new cards, and other items like a new game board and pre-order exclusive card backs. The adventure begins in April for 700 gold per wing, or $6.99 per wing. You can also pick up the whole package for $24.99. It’ll be available on PC, Android tablets, and iPad, but Blizzard also showed off a phone build of the game, and promised that the Android and iPhone version would arrive in the “next couple of months.” Read more…

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Two New Overwatch Characters Revealed, Beta Begins In Fall

Posted by Ben Huber on Mar 7, 2015 in Videogames


At PAX East Blizzard is bringing the big guns — some especially big guns, actually. Two new characters have been revealed for Overwatch, Blizzard’s hero-based first person shooter. McRee is your deadly gunslinger archetype, with both short range and sniping attacks. Plus, he wears a belt buckle that says “BAMF” on it. On the other hand, Zarya is a weightlifter who abandoned her championship dreams to fight for freedom — and she looks awesome. With her Russian accent, she reminds me of another heavy-class character in some other game… Check out the two new gameplay videos below, then get ready for a beta this fall! Read more…

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Valve Shows Off Final Steam Controller, Steam Machines, and More

Posted by Ben Huber on Mar 6, 2015 in Tech, Videogames


If you’re waiting for a Steam Machine and the accompanying Steam Controller, get ready, because Valve has added them all to the Steam store. You still can’t buy them yet, but their prices and specs are listed, along with a nebulous “November 2015” release date. The Steam Controller is there, featuring its curious dual haptic touch pads and myriad of buttons. The streaming Steam Machine, the Steam Link, is also listed. I’m not really sold on a Steam Machine yet, aside from maybe a smaller streaming box. The controller is definitely something I want to get my hands on, though! Check out everything here, then also see Valve’s VR prototypes they’re showing off at GDC here. Read more…

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Rock Band 4 Announced

Posted by Ben Huber on Mar 6, 2015 in Videogames


No, your eyes aren’t deceiving you: Harmonix has announced Rock Band 4. For real. For Xbox One and PS4. For 2015. There’s not a ton of details yet, and no screenshots yet either, but several big promises: almost all your DLC and music from previous games will work with it, and they’re working hard to ensure all old instruments work as well: “The Sony instruments were wireless via a USB dongle; that’s pretty straightforward. Things are complicated on the Xbox side, and I’m not prepared to talk specifics yet […].” Only one instrument will be left out: the keyboard. Oh well? Harmonix promises that more details will be on the way soon, until then you can read this article at Polygon about how they’re making it happen. Read more…

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EA Closes Main Maxis Studio Behind SimCity

Posted by Bob Muir on Mar 5, 2015 in Videogames


Time to add another one to the list of studios that Electronic Arts bought and closed. Maxis Emeryville is no more. While Maxis (founded in 1987) has grown as a brand and now has other studios, this was the main studio that was known for SimCity, The Sims, and Spore. Perhaps this is the fallout from 2013’s SimCity, the controversial reboot that shrunk the size of cities and required players to be always online for minimal benefit. But I always got the feeling that, despite the developers claiming the poor decisions were their idea, it was EA who mandated the poor decisions. It’s a real shame, as the brand will live on, but the studio that created that brand will be no more. Hopefully all the affected employees land on their feet quickly. Read more…



Metal Gear Solid V Release Date Leaked

Posted by Bob Muir on Mar 4, 2015 in Videogames

Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain

Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes was a good (if expensive) appetizer, but most gamers are waiting on the main course, Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain. IGN just leaked that the game will finally be out on September 1, 2015 in every region. Of course, Konami is so bull-headed with its PR plans that they couldn’t just roll with it, taking the video down instead. But the internet never forgets, and so you can expect to get your hands on MGSV in early fall. Read more…

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Harmonix’s Amplitude Reboot Is Club-Ready And Looking Intense

Posted by Bob Muir on Mar 4, 2015 in Videogames


Full disclosure: I backed Harmonix’s Amplitude reboot on Kickstarter, for more than the retail fight of the game. But considering the game only barely got funded, I like to think I helped get the game exist at all. Obviously this won’t be for everyone (and since Sony owns the rights, it’s only on PS3 and PS4), but if you’re a fan of music games and never played the original (or its predecessor FreQuency), you’ve been missing out. It might not end up as easily accessible as Rock Band Blitz and its no-fail states, but Amplitude is a proven design that’s really fun, especially on the higher levels. Check out this first trailer to see what the modern version looks like. There are only a few licensed tracks, with the majority of the music to be made by in-house musicians who have done great work in the past.
Read more…

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Epic Releases Unreal Engine 4 For Free To Anyone

Posted by Bob Muir on Mar 3, 2015 in Tech, Videogames

Unreal Engine 4

Nice move, Epic. The game studio that develops one of the most used middleware engines, Unreal Engine, has decided to make their latest release, Unreal Engine 4, free. That’s right, the engine is free and all updates will be free. Developers making commercially-released software will pay a 5% royalty on gross revenue that is higher than $3,000 per project and per quarter, though developers can still negotiate the fee with Epic. This opens up the middleware to any developer who wants it, no matter how small the project. In fact, if your product doesn’t make much money (or is free), you basically don’t pay royalties. This is going to be great for the indie market and will hopefully lead to some cool ideas. Read more…



Street Fighter V Brings Back Charlie Nash

Posted by Bob Muir on Feb 26, 2015 in Videogames

Street Fighter V

Where do you go from Street Fighter IV? It would be simple for the upcoming Street Fighter V to change direction to differentiate it from IV (and II, since IV was so similar to it). The current footage looks like a graphical improvement to IV (that’s strangely slower), so what sets it apart? Capcom’s answer is to bring back an old character from Street Fighter Alpha. Charlie Nash is Guile’s best friend who was supposedly killed by one of M. Bison’s helicopters. Obviously, he didn’t completely die, but it looks like he has some modifications, so maybe he’s out for revenge. Hopefully we’ll see some other obscure characters pop up as fun additions. Read more…

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You Want To Hear Every Smash Bros. Character Clap

Posted by Ben Huber on Feb 23, 2015 in Videogames


You don’t even know it yet, but you want to hear every Smash Bros. character clapping. It’s true! Every time you finish a match in Smash Bros. for Wii U or 3DS, the losing characters applaud politely (or sometimes not-so-politely) while the winner basks in the glory. In-game the clapping is silent, but the Game Grumps have taken it upon themselves to add in the foley sound effects for all the characters clapping. Sometimes they go a little bit… overboard. Who knew clapping could sound so gross? Come on, you’re curious, aren’t you? Click through to watch nearly six minutes of video game characters clapping in silly, silly ways. Read more…



Headcrabs Are Even Bigger Jerks Than You Thought

Posted by Ben Huber on Feb 20, 2015 in Fandom, Videogames


Here’s a fun little video to start your Friday off right: Headcrabs are pretty rude. Not only do they hide behind easily-crowbar-ed boxes and attempt to couple with your head, eating your brains in the process, but according to this short Source video, they’ll steal your stuff, too. Nathan Hibberd created this short film and I think it’s probably the silliest thing on his YouTube channel currently. Also, I can use this post as an opportunity to talk about Half-Life, one of my favorite video game series ever. I love the world of Half-Life, and the amount of great videos like this one just go to show that a lot of other people do too! Read more…

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Play Codename: S.T.E.A.M. To See Abraham Lincoln’s Mech

Posted by Bob Muir on Feb 17, 2015 in Videogames

Codename: S.T.E.A.M.

It’s already pretty ridiculous that you take missions from Abraham Lincoln in Nintendo’s upcoming game Codename: S.T.E.A.M. The 3DS strategy game is being made by Intelligent Systems, the talented team behind Advance Wars and Fire Emblem. And in this new game, you’re taking orders from the man who saved the Union. And if that isn’t enough, apparently Lincoln has a Lincoln-Bot (powered by steam, of course). Could we already have the undisputed game of the year by March 13? Read more…

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How To Make A Fake Smash Bros. Leak

Posted by Ben Huber on Feb 16, 2015 in Fandom, Videogames


Over the last day or so you may have seen the supposed “leak” of DLC for Smash Bros. for Wii U and 3DS featuring Rayman. It was pretty real-looking, aside from the fact that people were wondering if Rayman could really be added to the game. Well, YouTube user Artsy Omni quickly revealed that he was the one behind the video, and yes, he made it all on his own. Sorry, Rayman fans, maybe next time! Still, Omni made a great video going into how he made the “leak” and made it seem authentic. It’s also just a great primer on the things you can do with After Effects! Don’t be too upset… check out the video below! Read more…



Here’s Just Cause 3’s Explosion-Filled New Trailer

Posted by Ben Huber on Feb 14, 2015 in Videogames


Just Cause 3 got a spotlight in Game Informer back in December, and a new trailer confirms what we all suspected: this game will have lots of explosions, and it will come out in holiday 2015. It’s pre-rendered video — no gameplay in sight — which is a little disappointing in 2015, but I suppose most folks like big explosions, so they should be alright. But hey: if you wanted a very up-close and hi-res look at the protagonist Rico Rodriguez’s face, you’re in luck, because this trailer also has that. The game will release on Xbox One, PS4, and PC. Check out the trailer below! Read more…

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Hitman: Agent 47 Reboots The Franchise, But Still Looks Off

Posted by Bob Muir on Feb 12, 2015 in Cinema, Videogames

Hitman: Agent 47

On the surface, this trailer for Hitman: Agent 47 isn’t too bad. There’s some decent action, and it seems that Agent 47 is being portrayed as a villain this time. That makes sense, because he, you know, kills people. But something about the whole thing feels off. Isn’t stealth a major part of the game series this is based off of? It seems that got lost along the way, so unless the action and story is particularly impressive, I doubt this will please either fans or non-fans, just like the first movie. Read more…

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Get Pumped For The Evolve Launch Trailer

Posted by Bob Muir on Feb 11, 2015 in Videogames


Evolve has launched, so you know what that means: a launch trailer! In case you’ve been living under a rock, Evolve is from the guys who originally made Left 4 Dead with Valve. It takes the co-op shooter vs. zombies idea and updates it to a co-op shooter vs. a giant beastie. 1 guy hunts down the four other players who are trying to kill him, making the game 4v1. It’s interesting to see more asymmetrical gameplay, similar to some of the things Nintendo has tried with the Wii U. Anyway, if you’re not sold yet, watch this trailer and maybe the game will be sold to you later! (Alright, that was horrible.) Read more…



One Piece: Pirate Warriors 3 Adds Even More Characters

Posted by Bob Muir on Feb 10, 2015 in Anime, Videogames

One Piece: Pirate Warriors 3

The first One Piece: Pirate Warriors was a fairly enjoyable game, but certain story arcs from the manga were conspicuously absent. Some of those characters and areas were included in the sequel, but that game had an original story. So now we have One Piece: Pirate Warriors 3 for PS3, PS4, and Vita, which adds in a lot of those missing elements, most notably Thriller Bark and the fight against Gekko Moriah. I’m interested in playing a more complete version, and I know there are other improvements, going by this trailer. But seeing as so much of this stuff was in the first game, it’s hard to get as enthusiastic about its release. If I find more interest in it, the game is coming out in Japan in March, in the US sometime this summer, and in Europe before the end of 2015.
Read more…

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Netflix Is Developing A Live-Action Legend of Zelda Show

Posted by Ben Huber on Feb 8, 2015 in Videogames


Here’s something surprising: Netflix is currently working with Nintendo to develop a live-action Legend of Zelda show for their service. Given how guarded Nintendo usually is with their properties, this is a big leap for them, although company president Satoru Iwata had said that Nintendo would begin allowing for more licensing opportunities. The show is still in the early stages, and Netflix is currently on the hunt for a writer. Netflix is apparently describing it internally as “Game of Thrones for a family audience.” This could very easily be bad, so lets hope Netflix and Nintendo put the right people behind this. Read more…

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