Monday, Apr 20
Net Articles Summary
Leaked images confirm Mickey, Mulan, Tron and Pixar's Inside Out part of Disney Infinity 3.0 line-up
With Disney Infinity becoming an annual franchise after last year's Marvel Super Heroes release, fans are already speculating as to what the theme of the 2015 release of the game will be. While Disney Infinity 3.0 doesn't have a title yet, though it's largely speculated to be Star Wars themed, a Chinese retailer has leaked what's assumed to be the first wave of figures for the release. 11 new figures will be joining the already large pool available to Disney Infinity players, most which shouldn't be too surprising.
The 11 figures all fit into the category of recent big Disney releases, announcements, or ongoing content.
- Headlining the 3.0 wave of figures will be Disney's perennial mascots, Mickey and Minnie Mouse. It's more of a surprise that they've lasted this long without being added! Mickey and Minnie are starring in what must be monthly cartoon shorts on Disney's "DisneyShorts" Youtube channel.
- Next up is Mulan, who we just learned will be starring in her own live-action film (official announcement pending). Disney's has also unlocked the vault to offer the Mulan Blu Ray, DVD and digital movie for the time being.
- Olaf is still popular from his Frozen days, but now we know Frozen 2 is in the works as well. I wish the silly snowman would just melt, but his Disney Infinity figure looks solid enough.
- Pixar's upcoming film, Inside Out, will see all five of its emotion-themed protagonists join Disney Infinity. Meet Joy, Disgust, Sadness, Fear and Anger are all getting their own figures.
- The biggest surprise of hte group are two characters from Disney's Tron franchise. Both protagonists from the 2010 film Tron: Legacy are getting figures, Sam Flynn and Quorra. It might have something to do with the Tron: Legacy sequel starring Quorra named Tron: Ascension that begins filming this October.
That wraps up the 11 figures that have been leaked. Keep in mind that these are Disney Infinity 3.0 exclusive characters, meaning they won't be backwards compatible with the original game or Marvel Super Heroes. It's also important to note that these are not going to be the bundled-in figures with the game either, meaning they'll likely be sold individually. The main Disney Infinity 3.0 theme has yet to be unveiled (come on, Star Wars).
Expect further details on Disney Infinity 3.0 in the months to come, as well as official confirmation regarding the different figures that will be part of the game's release.
Click here to see more images
I'd laugh if all imperial stormtroopers had to shoot in third-person mode
European retailer GAME has themselves an exclusive deal with EA to publisher a series of four developer diaries for Star Wars: Battlefront. Today saw the release of the first of those developer diaries, a short affair that largely covers the few details given out during last week's debut of Battlefront's first cinematic trailer. There were a couple of extra details which slipped through though, including the first still image of third-person perspective within the game.
Additionally, quite a bit of the focus in the trailer was in promising extensive levels of "authenticity." The team at EA Dice, like many teams working on Star Wars projects, traveled to the infamous Skywalker ranch to research various materials used in the original production of the films. From lightsabers to stormtrooper helmets, EA DICE wants everything in their game to be as accurate to the source material as they can manage.
Most of the rest of the trailer shows off footage from last week's cinematic trailer featuring a battle taking place on Endor. I keep hoping each tim I watch it that I'll see an Ewok somewhere in the treetops, but no luck so far. They also went out of their way to remind everyone that Battlefront will feature battles of up to 40 players and that the Battle of Jakku will be available for free post-launch, something being taken from the upcoming Star Wars movie.
As for that third-person still shot, well, it's about what everyone expects. It's the game in third-person, which will certainly be a boon for console players and certain classes or class actions in general. It's always hard to take these still shots seriously until we see 100% game footage, as you never know what's been touched up. Gosh, it does look good though.
Star Wars: Battlefront will be comign to PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One November 17 later this year. Expect three more developer diaries in the weeks and months ahead, which hopefully talk about gameplay in a bit more depth. This will work for now, I suppose.
Insomniac Games slipped a game past our radar! Today saw the release of the PC exclusive Slow Down, Bull, an experiment from the studio that brought us Ratchet & Clank and Sunset Overdrive. It's just a small, internal project made by 4-5 people within the studio on Unity about a bull who enjoys collecting beautiful things, his friend and the bull-catcher which is chasing after them. It's cute, it's quirky, and it's available on PC starting today.
According to Insomniac, Slow Down, Bull is the studio's response to similar indie initiatives within other studios, such as Double Fine's Amnesia Fortnite event and Vlambeer's Nuclear Throne project. A similar way of thinking about it might be Ubisoft's efforts with Child of Light, though on a smaller scale. Only when Insomniac goes indie, they really go indie. Despite the studio's notoriety, the project has less than 200 Twitter followers and almost no news coverage. There's no PR for the project. It's so indie it hurts.
Which is actually really exciting for me, that I get to write about Slow Down, Bull. I can't speak on the game itself, though it's definitely clear that it has a lot of personality. What's exciting to me is that Insomniac is donating a portion of every sale of the game to charity.
"In partnership with Starlight Children's Foundation, 50% of Insomniac's net proceeds from Slow Down, Bull (at least 30% of the purchase price) will benefit Starlight's efforts to improve the life and health of kids and families around the world."
Slow Down, Bull is now available on Steam for $9.99. Check out Insomniac's indie experiment for yourself -- don't worry, there's no pre-order DLC to have been missed.
Valve has introduced a new policy limiting what Steam accounts that have spent less than $5 can do. Before this policy, scammers could easily set up accounts and send friend invites to any user with a public profile. The company says these new restrictions were put in place to protect its customers from scams and phishing.
The concept isn't entirely new, with how many free services and games already place activity requirements as a safeguard. So what sort of limits is Valve imposing? Low-spending accounts will be unable to perform the following actions:
- Sending friend invites
- Opening group chat
- Voting on Greenlight, Steam Reviews and Workshop items
- Participating in the Steam Market
- Posting frequently in the Steam Discussions
- Gaining Steam Profile Levels (Locked to level 0) and Trading Cards
- Submitting content on the Steam Workshop
- Posting in an item's Steam Workshop Discussions
- Accessing the Steam Web API
- Using browser and mobile chat
Users who don't have access to the American Steam store will have their currency converted to determine if they meet the $5 requirement. However, it should be noted that retail games redeemed through Steam will not count towards the required amount. This could potentially pose a problem for Steam users who only use the platform for disc-based retail games or prefer getting activation keys from other sources. Thankfully, low-spending accounts will still be able to play games, as these restrictions apply only to community features.
Games Workshop sure knows how to make a cinematic trailer, at least
Warhammer 40,000: Regicide is a chess-based strategy game. It takes place on an 8x8 grid and is heavily inspired by chess movements, though with an added layer of tactical combat more akin to XCOM: Enemy Unknown. Regicide is coming to both PC and mobile devices, which is to say it shouldn't be considered of the same scale as other Warhammer titles like Space Marine and Dawn of War. Enter Regicide's "Campaign Opening Cinematic."
The cinematic trailer focuses on one A. Karthus, a soldier of some sort who has secured an ambiguous "site." Over a 19-day period we see A. Karthus come into confrontation with some sort of voice within his head, a voice the he says will eventually kill him. It's difficult to tell what is actually going on where A. Karthus is located, beyond the fact that he's definitely going all sorts of crazy. It's a very haunting, thrilling trailer for being a simple log from a soldier who doesn't seem to be doing much.
A question should be in everyone's mind right now: this, for a chess game? This is the type of cinematic that would befit a huge game, something of impressive scale. This is the kind of cinematic Games Workshop wants at the forefront of its Warhammer video game efforts. But, it's for a chess game? I mean, it's a very nice looking chess game with some over the top animations and so on, but how does this dramatic of a cinematic fit at all with the game? Was this released for the wrong game? Is that what happened here?
Warhammer 40,000: Regicide is planned for release on PC within the next few months, with an iOS and Android release to follow.
Update: Warhammer 40,000: Regiscide will be available via Steam Early Access beginning May 5. Some early details from the single-player campaign were also included in the press release:
"Free to Early Access purchasers, the Regicide - Angels of Blood campaign will be revealed in multiple acts throughout the Early Access. The campaign opens with Guardsman Karthus and his fellow troopers garrisoned the Phaedrus Orbital Station above Hethgar Prime."
"Clearly related" to gaming, and hoping to catch the "next wave" of technology
Phil Harrison has officially parted ways with Microsoft as VP of its Interactive Entertainment Team in Europe last week, but the exec who also enjoyed a long history with Sony Computer Entertainment is hardly in between jobs as this week Harrison reveals his new startup called Alloy Platform Industries. Speaking with GamesIndsutry.biz, Alloy was apparently something Harrison has been planning for "a little over a year", specifically with cooperation of Microsoft as well as current Xbox and Microsoft Studios chief Phil Spencer.
That may lay to rest the rumors of bad blood between Harrison and Microsoft following the departure of Don Mattrick, but it also suggests that Harrison's latest venture remains very much related to gaming, certainly enough to have Microsoft collaborate with Alloy in some capacity.
Harrison himself would only hint that his new startup is "definitely in the same neighborhood" as gaming, and the only sure thing is that Alloy has licensed technology from Microsoft (that has not yet been demonstrated to the public) for the purpose of cooking up a new consumer product of some kind.
As for his time at Microsoft, Harrison reminisces that highlights include working with the "crown jewels of game development" like Lionhead and Rare. As if to fuel even more speculation as to what Rare will be up to next, Harrison teases that another career highlight was bearing witness to the studio's secret project.
Blizzard has announced that their MOBA, Heroes of the Storm, mixing the heroes and villains of their most popular franchises will be launching on June 2. The date will largely be ceremonial, however, as the game will officially open to the public with an open beta beginning on May 19. Meanwhile, current Closed Beta participants can celebrate starting today, because there will be no further progress wipes! For anyone excited about Heroes of the Storm, today is a grand day indeed.
Blizzard is planning for Heroes of the Storm to launch with 30 playable heroes and seven different Battleground, for better or worse. By comparison, League of Legends launched with 40 different champions, but only a single map. I think this is a great example the different sort of experience Blizzard is aiming for with Heroes of the Storm -- one focused on diversity. Will this diversity come at the expense of a tried and true meta and a growth into eSports? Well, that's probably Blizzard's intention.
Nevertheless, Blizzard will try their best to follow in League of Legends' eSports footsteps as long as they can. They've also announced a "Heroes of the Dorm" championship. Teams of students from over 400 schools in North America will compete, with the ultimate prize being a full scholarship. This finals of the Heroes of the Dorm event will be broadcast on an ESPN affiliate on April 26.
Oh, and don't forget all of the microtransactions. Blizzard also announced plans for Heroes of the Storm to launch with over 130 skins, 14 mounts, and over 430 different "Tints" for heroes, skins and mounts. Customization has never tasted so sweet, and all at the cost of change you'd just lose in the washer and dryer anyway.
Heroes of the Storm opens its doors to all players starting May 19 with the official open beta, with full launch coming on June 2. Let's see what happens when Blizzard's MOBA enters the already intensely competitive marketplace in full stride. It's bound to be exciting.
Friday, Apr 17
Net Articles Summary
After no less than three delays, racing sim Project CARS is finally given a release dates. For PC, the game will be out May 6, while the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 versions come out May 12.
When first announced back in 2011, Project CARS set some high expectations, and racing fans were understandably excited for such a visually and mechanically advanced simulator. The game's crowd-funding phase went through without a hitch, and development was underway.
Project CAR's initial delay in 2014 was based on publisher Bandai Namco's desire to avoid competition with other Fall releases.
Today, EA and DICE release the long-awaited Star Wars: Battlefront debut trailer. While it doesn't exactly feature straight gameplay, the trailer does offer up plenty of in-engine footage, showing us how the Battle of Endor is going to look in DICE's hands. A small batch of screenshots confirm a number of other planets as well, offering a quick look at Hoth and Tatooine.
Battlefront will, of course, be taking place during some of the most pivotal moments in the original Star Wars trilogy, including the Battle of Endor. The previously unexplored planet of Sullust has also become a new setting of conflict.
Iconic characters like Darth Vader and Boba Fett are all made playable in the upcoming reboot, and players will find a number of different modes to keep entertained. A 40-player competitive multiplayer has been confirmed, and missions will support online or split-screen offline co-op. Now there's a feature you don't see too often anymore.
For especially eager fans, EA is already offering the Battle of Jakku as a pre-order bonus for Star Wars: Battlefront. Reserve the game, and you'll get early access to this Outer Rim planet on December 1, while everyone else has to wait until December 8. The game itself will be out November 17 for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC.
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Thursday, Apr 16
Net Articles Summary
- Phanteks PH-TC12LS Review - Frosty Tech
- Enermax DigiFanless 550W Review (French) - Cowcotland
- BitFenix Colossus Venom Review - pcGameware.co.uk
- 17 CPU water coolers test - Hardware.Info
- Crucial Ballistix Sport LT DDR4-2400 4x4GB Kit Review - PureOverclock.com
Have you ever danced with a dungeon crawler in the pale moonlight?
Rhythm and rogue, it's the perfect combination. Brace Yourself Games is ready to transition their successful Early Access release into a fully launched game, they revealed today. Crypt of the NecroDancer, a mixture of a rogue-like dungeon crawler and rhythm-based music game, has come together better than I bet anyone could have expected. Starting April 23, hopefully the entire world will be caught up in the dance -- compelled, even.
Crypt of the NecroDancer is magical. It's almost ridiculous that the concept hasn't been done prior. Dungeons are laid out in a grid as rogue-likes tend to be, but the player must move space to space in rhythm with the beat of the soundtrack. Each beat will also move enemies as well, which means if you aren't moving, you're giving your enemies the opportunity to flank you. Yes, it turns into a bit of a dance between you and the monsters of a dungeon. It's almost too perfect.
Attacking is done by moving into the enemy, so long as the player has a weapon which can reach them. Different weapons have different attack patterns, so pairing the right weapon with the right positioning, against an enemy who can't attack the player, is where the depth of the experience comes in. Each enemy is its own kind of rhythm puzzle and of course the deeper in the dungeon a player gets, the more complicated the puzzles.
That's just the shallow end of the pool for Crypt of the NecroDancer though. The game bleeds personality and retro fun in the same way that Shovel Knight and Rogue Legacy have done in recent years.
According to the game's Steam page, the final version will add the final fourth zone and end-game bosses as well as three additional playable characters. Veterans of the game will be excited to challenge themselves further and new players will find a complete game full of epic dancing difficulty.
Crypt of the NecroDancer will transition from Early Access to full launch on April 23. If folk can't wait they can buy into Early Access now for $14.99, which should be the same price as the game will be at launch.
- Valve places limits on Steam accounts that don't spend money by locking most community features 
- Warhammer 40,000: Regicide's haunting opening cinematic seems more than the chess game deserves 
- Project CARS dated for release once more after many delays, now expected to arrive May 6 
- Leaked images confirm Mickey, Mulan, Tron and Pixar's Inside Out part of Disney Infinity 3.0 line-up 
- Rumor: Super Smash Bros. update 1.06 hides files for Street Fighter's Ryu and Fire Emblem's Roy 
- New Nintendo 3DS gets Unity support 
- Insomniac Games sneaks out 'Slow Down, Bull' on PC today, supports Starlight Children's Foundation 
- Destiny update 1.1.2 nerfs Valus Ta'Aruc boss, already data mined for 'House of Wolves' details