I picked up the first Witcher game on a random whim. Low Fantasy, gritty monster hunting, dozens of sidequests and lots and lots of story—it seemed like a good fit. The intricate battle system felt really perfect for a PC game, (even if it took a while to learn,) and I was really impressed by the way the moral choices were handled–long and complex decisions whose consequences wouldn’t play out for a few hours, making it difficult and undesirable to go back and change events for a better ending. I missed out on the Witcher 2, but when I sat down for a private Demo of the Witcher 3 at E3—WOW. Continue reading “Hands On With The Witcher 3: Adventure Awaits” »
Soul Saga is a new JRPG inspired by the likes of Final Fantasy, Breath of Fire and Suikoden. SS features an intriguing story set in the sky city of Medonia and a deep turn based battle system most like Final Fantasy 10. Set for release in Summer 2014 the game is still under development and will go through much change between now and then Mike Gale from developer Disaster Cake tells us.
“Hundreds of years before the story takes place, there was a devastating Cataclysm that ruined the face of the planet. A mysterious man from legend, called the Philosopher, lifted the last human nation, Medonia, into the sky to protect it. Medonia now sits on top of raging storm clouds called the Tempest Reef.”
Scroll down for some gameplay footage and our interview with developer Mike Gale. Note: Gale tells us that the current in-engine art assets are just prototypes.
The petition was started by a gentlemen named Sean Tyler of Georgetown, Texas and as of this writing has over 70,000 signatories.
The petition states:
Tom Clancy’s The Division should be released for PC for many reasons but the most important one is that the release of this amazing game will only be for consoles…This leaves out those of us who like playing games on our PC’s more than console. This leaves out those of us who can only play on PC for whatever reason or are best on PC, whatever the case maybe.
Continue reading “Over 70,000 Sign Petition Demanding THE DIVISION For PC (Probably Isn’t Going To Happen)” »
Being an outsider on the Saints Row experience is an interesting deal. First you start hearing about Saints Row II, which is a fun alternative to Grand Theft Auto because it has sewage trucks and the ability for you to run around completely naked. Then you learn about Saints Row III, where you play as a celebrity and wield giant Dildos. Then you get to go hands on with Saints Row IV, and in the first few minutes you are the President of the United States, punching senators in the crotch and making moral choices like “Cure Cancer” or “End World Hunger.”
And then the aliens showed up. Continue reading “Saints Row IV Is Probably The Craziest F#$king Game You’ll Play This Year” »
We all expected Sony to lead the way with indie game support in the next gen and now we are starting to get a much clearer picture of what that actually entails. Sony will support self publishing for indie developers, something Microsoft has said very little to nothing about. Not only is Sony winning this war with its used game mandate and intelligent, enticing price point, but also with the possibilities that are opened-up for gamers and indie developers alike in terms of new experiences on the console.
There has been much talk online about how Sony is, at least at this point, winning over the minds of gamers based somewhat on its strong messaging and Microsoft’s lack there of. During this, the year of next gen hardware reveals at E3, Sony actually spent time out of its press conference to not only talk about indie games and self publishing but also to put the devs and the games up on stage and really show gamers what it is they support, clearly and concisely.
At this year’s E3, Nintendo debuted the brand new trailer for Bayonetta 2. If you haven’t seen it yet, here it is in all of it’s glorious, 720 HD Quality:
Now. First and foremost. Can we just agree that 0:32 was the best part of that trailer? Seriously. There’s no one quite like the deadly-sexy witch Bayonetta who can make an entrance the way she does. And while at E3, while testing the reboot of Final Fantasy X, a guy came over and told me, “Hey, I like your hair.” My initial response was, “What hair? I don’t have any.” since I opted for the shaved head feature, but didn’t say that, and instead, told him, “Thanks!”
An hour or so later, I’m literally standing right behind this guy and his friends (all bros, of course), as they start talking about the new Bayonetta 2 game. I about chimed in when one of the guys brought up, quote, “The worst thing about that new game”.
And what is it? It’s not the graphics, the music, the battle system…
It’s: “WHAT THE HELL HAPPENED TO HER HAIR???” And this new reveal at her shorter style, is of course, a bit shocking to some, because, let’s face it; part of Bayonetta’s original charm, sex appear, and her powerful attacks, was her impossibly long hair in the beehive style she kept it in. And if you’ve never played Bayonetta, here’s what she looked like before:
And here is Bayonetta now, revealed in the new trailer for the Wii-U:
Cute. Sexy. Short. Right? Well, not so much to a few fans who are less than amused at Bayonetta’s choppy new locks. I thought, “Okay, these guys are just idiots, but I’m certain this can’t be everyone thinking that, right?” Wrong. I got home and started googling, “Reactions to new Bayonetta haircut” and the responses poured in, ranging from youtube comments, to tweets, to forum posts.
All this outrage…over a haircut.
People are wondering where her signature moves, such as her Wicked Weaves attack. (Yes, that is actually the name of her hair-related attacks.) Nevermind the fact that Bayonetta’s suits, both of them, are made entirely out of her hair. With this hair, she can summon demons, dragons, perform magical spells, and genuinely kill someone if she so wished it.
(Suck on that, Rapunzel.)
What’s even more amusing is that there is more outcry over her haircut, and less over the fact that you have to get a Wii-U in order to play this game. Ironic, no?
Let’s start from the basics, shall we?
Nothing else has been changed about Bayonetta’s character. Her voice actress, Hellena Taylor, returns to provide Bayo with her signature sexy voice, she’s still gorgeous; still sporting skin-tight clothes, and she’s still a badass. Only her hair. Which, the fanboys of Bayonetta, are absolutely enraged by.
Because Long Hair = Sexy, right?
Similarly, this isn’t the first time a character has come under fire for a change to their hair. Back in 2013, when Final Fantasy X-2 was released, trolls all over the internet were perturbed about a minor change to Yuna’s character (and I’m not talking about her “drastic” costume change, either). It was this:
That braid. Originally, people speculated that what has now been dubbed the “Lion’s Braid”, was merely a part of her new threads; a symbol of courage and all that jazz. And then…people realized something…
It was the realization of, “HOLY CRAP. THAT THING IS ATTACHED TO HER HEAD! IT’S HER HAIR?!?!” And sure enough, it was. You’d think something so small wouldn’t cause such an outcry, but sure enough it did. Fanboys were ranting and raving over how they should have just given her long hair, instead of making it look like Tidus’s specific cut. (And the official explanation of Yuna’s hair magically growing the length of her body and thensome, was that it was to be blamed on her Al-Bhed blood).
But really, what I’m more confused about is this: Why. Do. People. Care?
No, really. How is it any loss to anyone that Bayonetta is now sporting a sexy, choppier look that makes her look like a hot, sexy school teacher? Her hair is clearly shown to grow at will, hence her clothes and her attacks as well, so how does that manage to anger a few people now that she isn’t sporting hair that goes all the way out to sea and back?
What’s the critism here? From the moment of the first game’s launch, it was already kind of obvious that she wasn’t like most video game vixens who are of average height, huge boobs, etc, etc. Bayonetta deviates from that, while still being sexy, so her shorter hair makes her less so?
Take a look at her new, character design in full below:
Yup. She still has hair to spare, obviously. Sometimes, I genuinely just wonder if people are just trying to find a reason to complain about a simple character change in what is ultimately still going to be a good game.
Time to shift focus and ask more prominent questions, such as:
“Am I willing to put money down on a Wii-U just to play this game?”
My first E3 was a complete blast. Getting to visit the show floor and check out some of the games from both this and the next generation was like the dream of my 12 year old self, and getting to shake hands with everyone from game developers to fellow gaming writers helped me feel like I was part of a bigger world and not just some gamer typing anonymously into the void.
Here’s a rundown of the best I saw at E3, and why these games should be worth your time. Next week I’ll have a few more in depth previews and thoughts based on getting some more inside access to a handful of games, including The Witcher 3, Saints Row IV, and The Walking Dead: 400 Days.
Yes, I say that with irony shields fully disengaged, as all gaming seems to want to do these days is teach me about fatherhood.
Don’t get me wrong! I’ve actually loved the last few games about fatherhood I’ve played. Bioshock Infinite blew my head off, The Walking Dead made me verbally abuse my iPad, and the last half of Red Dead Redemption, when John Marsden is spending time with his son, is one of the most strangely introspective parts to such an action filled game.
But a few days away from Father’s Day, I’m beginning to realize that I’m unsatisfied–and I wish games had more to teach me about Fatherhood. It’s not for any practical reasons–I’m nowhere near ready enough to have a kid outside of the gaming world, but when I think about what gaming’s tried to teach me about being a dad, I get really frustrated by how inadequate the experience feels. Continue reading “I Wish Gaming Would Teach Me How To Be A Dad” »
The creative director on SOCOM 1 & 2 David Sears and his new studio SOF, have taken to Kickstarter with what he is calling the spiritual successor to SOCOM, H-Hour: World’s Elite. The game is a tactical, team based, military shooter that is set to take the genre in new directions: “we’re willing to take design risks that I’m pretty sure those guys aren’t going to attempt,” Sears tells us. “We’re going a lot farther than perhaps any shooter game on the planet in terms of developing community and clan management tools and wrapping a responsive, gorgeous military shooter in those.”
H-Hour features a hybrid third person-first person perspective, a ballistics model that is as “complete and authentic as any weapons simulation available in a game needs to be,” a very interesting take on clan leader systems as well as a “modern analytics technology” focused on maintaing a healthy online community.
After Virtuix completely destroyed its Omni Kickstarter goal–now by more than $600K–the company took its VR tech to E3 receiving an “overwhelmingly positive” response.
We got a chance to pull CEO Jan Goetgeluk away from his busy E3 schedule for a brief moment to talk to him about the experience and to gauge his impressions of how folks are taking to the full bodied gaming experience that is Omni:
“We demonstrated the Omni to over 20 press teams in the last three days, included TheVerge, Engadget and the BBC. The reactions have been overwhelmingly positive. The press is excited to see and try disruptive innovations like the Omni, and everyone likes the immersive experience.”
Below we have some video footage of Omni at E3 including the full, nearly hour and half long presentation with Jan and the team at Virtuix.
“Due to our back-to-back press meetings, I have not been able to make it to the actual E3 floor, so my interaction with game developers has been limited. That said, VR offers a wide open canvass to create fascinating VR content; there is an incredible opportunity for game developers to make unprecedented and exciting VR applications,” Jan explains to us. We will be checking back in with the CEO regarding his developer meetings and about some of the creative new implementations that come out of those talks.
“I’m excited to play a game of COD, where the fastest person is actually the fastest person” – E3 Omni briefing attendee.
In the video below, another E3 attendee talks about his experience at the Omni presentation saying:
“Honestly, you had to see it to believe it…”
He also confirmed that the Omni does not make an obtrusive amount of noise while the player is running in-place:
“It doesn’t make noise…this is for the people that think it makes noise…and this is the prototype…”
Some thought that the sound of the players feet pounding on the base of the Omni would causes an annoying amount of noise–partly due to some not so great audio recordings in early prototype videos.
Jan said during the presentation that it will be plastic injection moulded with a steel skeleton for strength:
Virtuix Omni – VR Presentation and Live Demo:
Check out the full Virtuix Omni VR Presentation and Live Demo here.
Dream Jumpers is what its developers describe as a mixture between “an infinite runner and an isometric hack and slash.” Developer Odity is made up of members that previously worked on titles like Diablo 3, Mass Effect 2 and Fez. It’s unique blend of gameplay and Odity’s strong feelings towards how some deva can “hold progression hostage” with in-app purchases, makes this iOS and Android title something to watch out for.
The game features a simple but intuitive combat system and “each character has their own achievements, costumes, weapons, and play style.” Players will choose to play as one of two different characters, Jamie or Norah. Jamie is the melee class with hammers, swords and giant dinosaur bones and Norah has ranged attacks like assault rifles, laser blasters and death rays.
Head below for our full in depth interview on Dream Jumpers with lead designer John McCaleb and some gameplay footage from the Kickstarter video that starts with the text: “The Following Game Will Not Feature Any Annoying IAPs.” Continue reading “Infinite Runner Meets Isometric Hack n’ Slash in the Ever Changing World of DREAM JUMPERS” »
I was lucky enough to check out EA’s Press Conference in person this year–from the floor, I came away with a few insights about what EA is trying to say to the gaming world. Or, rather, what it’s struggling to say.
After watching Sony’s slam-dunk conference showing off dozens of games for dozens of typof players, I realized I had a question: who is EA really making games for?
This question is especially relevant now that EA has latched themselves to Microsoft’s mast for this new console generation, spending most of their conference displaying how their powerful Frostbite and Ignite Engines will display on the Xbox One. While portions of the conference were dedicated to showing off the crazy new games they were preparing, the majority of it seemed dedicated to flashing the shine and sheen of Dragon Age Inquisition, Battlefield 4, and all their EA sports titles.
In order, the list of games ran something like this: Plants Versus Zombies: Garden Warfare, Titanfall, Dragon Age Inquisition, Star Wars Battlefront, Need for Speed, Sports Games, Battlefield, and finally Mirror’s Edge. Continue reading “I Have a Question For EA: Who Exactly Are You Making Games For?” »
Abducted is a new action-adventure-horror game from Sunside Inc, which is comprised of former Borderlands 2 and Battlefield 2 devs among others.
“It’s different than other games in these categories because although many elements are familiar, we combine them and use them in fresh ways, co-founder and designer/artist Richard Cowgill tells us. It is a game with a strong focus on exploration in more ways than one. “For example, we think every good adventure game should have a decent amount of unguided exploration, letting the player move around at his own free will and discover things in the world. We tie this back into the Arm conversation system, so things you find in the world can then be talked about with the Arm and explored a different way.”
Ghost in the Machine is an interesting puzzle platformer with a very unique look and feel that just recently surpassed its funding goal on Kickstarter. “The art was heavily influenced by old MSX, Game Boy, and Virtual Boy games,” programmer Michael Moffitt tells us. Along with Ghost in the Machine’s “tough as nails-n’-asphalt game action,” it also features an amazing, authentic 8-bit retro soundtrack that was made with the restraints of the Nintendo Famicom.
Originally created for the 24-hour game jam, you play as a little character that rushes around this factory looking machine to keep it working. The game features a dark, partially obstructed view that can cause a lot of tension in difficult platforming/puzzle sections and adds a lot to the game’s punishing difficulty. “Part of what sets Ghost in the Machine apart is how little of the screen is visible to the player at a time. This contributes not only to the aesthetic, but also how puzzle solving works.” When entering a new level, “the player has to become familiar with the layout of the level. Lots of surprises may jump out at the player, but rarely is it just a matter of memorization,” Moffitt explains
We now know the XBOX One needs to connect to the internet at least once over a twenty four hour period, or else you will not be allowed to play video games. Why?
Microsoft needs to “verify if system, application or game updates are needed and to see if you have acquired new games, or resold, traded in, or given your game to a friend.”
This all comes on the shoulders of one of the most monumental intelligence leaks in the history of the United States, which reveals a potentially dangerous relationship between Microsoft and the U.S. government. A relationship where the government can access your hypothetical, private data — which with the new XBOX One specs, could include the ability to recognize your face, count how many people are with you in a room, and even track your heartbeat. Continue reading “XBOX One’s Problems Show XBOX One is The Last of Our Problems” »
Hard to believe, but Tetris just turned 29 years old. The addictive block puzzle game that spawned more clones than a Chinese DVD shop first appeared in Russia on June 6, 1984.
Upon coming to American shores years later, the game became an instant hit on personal computers and later the video arcade. It also became the basis of a lawsuit, as both Atari and Nintendo demanded they had the rights and both wanted to produce console versions of the game.
Nintendo won the suit as Tetris helped the GameBoy dominate the early handheld console market and the NES version went on to sell millions and become a key point in the 1990 Nintendo World Championships.
Take a look at this music video tribute to the early days of this still-popular puzzle classic as we prepare to celebrate it’s big 30th anniversary in 2014!
Prey was originally released in 2006 with commercial success having sold over 1 million copies in the first two months and has since garnered a fairly dedicated following. There was a lot of anticipation for Prey 2 when the first footage of the game surfaced but has since dwindled due to internal development issues and rumored studio changes.
Several sources have said that after rights on the game transferred over to Bethesda and the game’s impressive showing at E3 in 2011, there were internal issues between developer Human Head and Bethesda that eventually lead to the stoppage on development. Apparently Bethesda at some point “denied further funding of the project, and started failing milestones.” This seems to have lead to a Human Head development strike that lasted the duration of the contract between the two and rights were reverted back to Bethesda. Continue reading “Prey 2 Development Rumored to be Troubled and Shifted to Dishonored Dev Arkane Studios” »
With E3 2013 starting in less then a week, its time to take a look back at some of the most memorable moments of past E3 presentations and boy, are they wondiferous!
Sony’s presentations at E3 started out as bit of an uphill climb in 2006, with a price point on the PS3 that was a bit higher than consumers expected, but there sure were some unique games shown, and one even taught players about Ancient Japan’s history of battling giant crab monsters!
Continue reading “The Most Memorable E3 Moments In the History of Space and Time (Or At Least What We Could Find On YouTube)” »
Our Darker Purpose is described by its creators, Avidly Wild Games, as a “fiendishly difficult action RPG.” Set in the Edgewood Home for Lost Children, this dark, top down rogue-like features an interesting take on permadeath and a full action combat system woven between “bizarre storylines.”
Players take on the role of a young girl named Cordy attending Edgewood. After a strange set of events causes the school’s teachers to mysteriously vanish, Edgewood descends into chaos. Cordy “must battle feral classmates and dangerous creatures as she ascends to the cruel Administrators’ offices atop the Edgewood Home for Lost Children.”
Head below to check out our interview with Avidly Wild’s David Roth and some gameplay footage in the official launch trailer.
Void Destroyer is an ever evolving single player space action/RTS hybrid in development by dedicated game designer Paul Zakrzewski. Along with the game’s dual full action fighter pilot meets fleet commander RTS-like mechanics, Zakrzewski tells us that he will be constantly updating the game with new content: “What do you think about when you wash dishes, mow the lawn, or even shower? I think about the game. What do you do in your spare time for fun? I add new features and polish existing ones.”
“Void Destroyer is my answer to other space sims. It has features of traditional sims and aspects that I’ve always wanted added. It combines both space combat and real time strategy elements.” – Paul Zakrzewski
Scroll down to check out some gameplay videos and our in-depth interview with the game’s creator Paul Zakrzewski along with a link to the playable alpha demo. Continue reading “VOID DESTROYER: Hybrid Space Shooter RTS Gives You “War, Not Skirmishes”” »