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Monday, Nov 24

Neoseeker's Holiday Gift Guide 2014: Xbox One

8 comments Lydia Sung - 10:55am (PST) Like (2) Share

The Xbox One library has grown significantly since 2013

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2014 has been an exciting year for gamers, as the new generation of consoles finally hits their stride with an ever-growing selection of actual games. The Xbox One continues to deliver on Microsoft's promise to bring us more video games, so we now have this amazing lineup of new and returning franchises, all larger than life in their own way.

Unfortunately, most of us aren't in the position to buy up any and every game that looks even remotely interesting. So as the holidays roll around and the spirit of giving (to loved ones and ourselves) grows heavy in the air, Xbox One gamers have some tough choices to make. What, exactly, should you be picking up for that shiny all-in-one console? Allow me to make a few suggestions. Whether buying for yourself or someone else, the Xbox One library is anything but lacking.
 

Xbox One Exclusives

Titanfall

Genre Action first-person shooter
Developer Respawn Entertainment
Publisher Electronic Arts
MSRP $39.99 USD

While also available for PC and Xbox 360, Titanfall has been heavily advertised as an Xbox One staple. Mech shooters aren't particularly common outside of Asian markets, so Titanfall is a bit of a unique case in that respect. Developed by Respawn Entertainment, some of the same minds once responsible for Call of Duty, this sci-fi FPS is a surprising hybrid of parkour-shooter, and it's definitely worth owning. The aesthetics are impressive both from a design and graphical standpoint, and the action is as polished as you would expect from the veterans at Respawn. Regular updates and rotating game modes have also kept the community active since March.

Modes Multiplayer only
Who it's for
Shooter fans, multiplayer addicts, anyone looking for some original sci-fi

Halo: The Master Chief Collection

Genre Action first-person shooter
Developer 343 Industries
Publisher Microsoft Studios
MSRP $59.99 USD

If there's one series everyone associates with the Xbox brand, that would be Halo. Master Chief won a faithful following some thirteen years ago, and while video games have come a long way since his debut, the Spartan remains one of the most iconic figures in gaming. Halo: The Master Chief Collection brings together four separate Halo titles starring John-117, creating an anthology that encompasses over a decade's worth of Halo. More than that, the collection includes the remastered versions of Halo: Combat Evolved and Halo 2 (known as Anniversary editions). For anyone looking to explore the classics and see what all the fuss over Master Chief is about, this is a great place to start. As for diehard fans? A no-brainer.

Additional bundled content like the live-action Halo: Nightfall mini-series and tie-ins to the upcoming Halo 5: Guardians make The Master Chief Collection all the more irresistable.

Modes Single-player, multiplayer
Who it's for
Halo loyalists and newcomers alike, anyone who appreciates a solid shooter

Sunset Overdrive

Genre Action third-person shooter
Developer Insomniac Games
Publisher Microsoft Studios
MSRP $59.99 USD

Tired of the same old zombie apocalypse games? Count on Insomniac to completely break the mold with Sunset Overdrive. In this comedy title, just about everyone in Sunset City has been turned into mindless, homicidal mutants by a wildly popular (and unsafe) energy drink. With the entire city on lockdown, what's there left to do except survive? And you may as well have fun with it. Taking inspiration from the wackiness of their beloved Ratchet and Clank series, the Insomniac team created a fast-paced action shooter that actually makes the post-apocalyptic scene look pretty darn fun.

Modes Single-player, multiplayer
Who it's for
Anyone with a sense of humor and an appreciation for parkour


Cross-Platform Choices

Thief

Genre Stealth
Developer Eidos Montreal
Publisher Square Enix
MSRP $39.99 USD

For years, Garrett remained hidden in the shadows, waiting. Thief, as the 2014 reboot is titled, brings the master thief back into the spotlight in an effort to revive a cult classic. In Thief, you play as Garrett, a man who has never known much beyond his own pursuit of the perfect heist. He's never just about the money, but when a good challenge comes with monetary rewards, then it's all the better. Boasting some of the most satisfying stealth mechanics we've seen in quite some time, Thief is the perfect reprieve from the current trend of action-heavy games.

Modes Single-player only
Who it's for The klepto in all of us, just about anyone who appreciates the more subtle approach

Destiny

Genre Action first-person shooter
Developer Bungie
Publisher Activision
MSRP $59.99 USD

Destiny was one of the most-anticipated games of 2014, mainly because of the developer attached to the ambitious shooter. Yes, Bungie is the same studio responsible for the creation of Halo, so the hype surrounding their newest endeavor is fairly understandable. Destiny is a sci-fi shooter borrowing many tenets of MMO design in order to create an expansive world occupied by a community that never sleeps. The online-only aspect might be a turn-off for some, but for everyone else, this is a new universe worth hopping into. Now is probably a good time, too, with Destiny's first expansion already slated to release the second week of December.

Modes Single-player (online only), multiplayer
Who it's for
Siocial gamers who don't mind sharing the world with their fellows, should actually enjoy shooters (particularly of the sci-fi variety)

Child of Light

Genre Platforming, role-playing
Developer Ubisoft Montreal
Publisher Ubisoft
MSRP $14.99 USD

Child of Light is something truly unique and presents a strong argument for the acceptance of video games as a legitimate art form. As a platformer, the game feels very fluid and simple, which falls in line with its charming visual and narrative style. The environments appear almost hand-painted, adding such a charming aesthetic quality that flows wonderfully with the rhyming dialogue. Yes, the game is written in rhyme, because the Child of Light devs were dead serious when they said they wanted to make a video game fairytale. And don't let the princess protagonist put you off -- Aurora can swing a sword as well as any hero.

Modes Single-player only
Who it's for
Platformer fans, anyone interested in a good story and doesn't mind if it's told in rhyme

Dragon Age: Inquisition

Genre Action role-playing
Developer BioWare
Publisher Electronic Arts
MSRP $59.99 USD

Dragon Age: Inquisition certainly proved a pleasant surprise. Arriving on the heels of several controversial BioWare releases, Inquisition had a lot to make up for, particularly after the lukewarm reception its predecessor received. Well, this RPG managed to do exactly that, making up for sins of the past while standing out as a solid game in its own right. The sordid events of Dragon Age: Origins and Dragon Age II lead up to the pivotal moments that transpire in Inquisition, promising a rich story along with some incredibly impressive new-gen graphics. Just ignore the mucky-looking hair.

Modes Single-player, multiplayer
Who it's for Hope you like role-playing games! Fantasy lovers, BioWare fans new and old

Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare

Genre Action first-person shooter
Developer Sledgehammer Games
Publisher Activision
MSRP
$59.99 USD

Every year sees a new Call of Duty, and Advanced Warfare marks the 2014 installment. What's interesting about Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare is that it marks the first full game to come from Sledgehammer, the newest studio to join Activision's Call of Duty development rotation. While I can't say with a straight face that this particular entry in the long-running franchise does anything to break from the action-driven mold, it does do a few things right. That is to say, Advanced Warfare tries harder than its predecessors did to create something new, namely in the form of some futuristic tech that's worked into the gameplay. The story is still about what you would expect from a Call of Duty, for better or worse, but Kevin Spacey does his part to spice things up as Advanced Warfare's business-savvy antagonist. And who doesn't like seeing Spacey play the bad guy?

Modes Single-player, multiplayer
Who it's for Call of Duty fans, plain and simple

Skylanders: Trap Team

Genre Action platformer, role-playing
Developer Toys for Bob, Beenox
Publisher Activision
MSRP $99.99 USD

Skylanders hasn't exactly been about Spyro for a long time. The name stands well enough on its own, both as a successful video game and toy brand. Despite how many Skylander games already exist, Skylanders: Trap Team manages to keep everything interesting with an entirely new mechanic that essentially opens up the playable character count to... I don't even know. No longer is your roster limited to the physical toys, but also the enemies in the game. Taking a page out of Pokemon, Trap Team essentially lets players trap enemy characters in the game and then use them in battle.

Modes Single-player, multiplayer
Who it's for Kids of all ages, collectors

Wolfenstein: The New Order

Genre Action first-person shooter
Developer MachineGames
Publisher Bethesda Softworks
MSRP $59.99 USD

Wolfenstein has seen more than a few reboots over the years, but none do it quite as well as MachineGames' Wolfenstein: The New Order. The game feels incredibly satisfying to play, adopting the same brutality that characterized the classics and a higher difficulty than what you'd expect from most modern action shooters. B.J. might be a one-man wrecking crew, but even he can't go head-to-head with mechanized soldiers and robo-dogs.

Modes Single-player only
Who it's for Wolfenstein fans, plus anyone who wants a more challenging FPS


Remastered Must-Haves

Metro Redux

Genre Survival first-person shooter
Developer 4A Games
Publisher Deep Silver
MSRP $49.99 USD

Few games capture the post-apocalyptic scene quite as vividly as the Metro series. In Metro Redux, developer 4A Games revisits Metro 2033 and essentially rebuilds it from the ground up on a new engine. It feels like an entirely new game, with updated graphics, smoother gameplay, and way fewer loading screens. Also included in the Redux bundle is the sequal Metro: Last Light, which also received a visual update and some additional features. Definitely one of the best remasters you can get right now, and for two incredible titles.

Modes Single-player only
Who it's for Metro fans (obviously), survivalists

Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition

Genre Action adventure
Developer Crystal Dynamics
Publisher Square Enix
MSRP $39.99 USD

Tomb Raider proved to be a successful reboot for Lara Croft, opting to tell an origin story that feels more real than anything we would have expected from a Tomb Raider game. The Definitive Edition is a remaster of the original, which was only released for PC and last-gen consoles. The HD upgrade is worth experiencing if you're a huge fan of the 2013 hit, or have yet to actually play it. Hope you don't mind the gruesome death scenes...

Modes Single-player, multiplayer
Who it's for Nature lovers, the budding explorer, Lara Croft fans

Grand Theft Auto V

Genre Action adventure
Developer Rockstar North
Publisher Rockstar Games
MSRP $59.99 USD

Sure, the PC version isn't out yet, but at least we finally have Grand Theft Auto V for current-gen consoles. Grand Theft Auto games are known for looking pretty amazing, so it stands to reason that an Xbox One (or PlayStation 4) version will be worth getting. And assuming you like the previous GTA installments, Grand Theft Auto V is anything but a letdown.

Modes Single-player, multiplayer
Who it's for The morally ambiguous, anyone who likes Rockstar games (particularly Grand Theft Auto, of course)
 



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Sunday, Nov 23



High School Starleague launches scholarship program for gamers

12 comments Andy Lau - 12:34pm (PST) Like (2) Share

Write an essay for a chance to win $500 and an R9 270X graphics card

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High School Starleague, an open league that accepts high school students, has partnered up with MSI, NewEgg and Twitch to bring scholarships to students in the United States. To enter, students must choose one of five prompts and write a 500-700 word essay on the chosen topic, listed below.

  1. How has your favorite PC or console game positively affected your life and or community?
  2. How do you balance gaming and academics?
  3. Describe the solutions you would propose to improve or resolve a prominent issue within the eSports community or gaming industry.
  4. What do you see as the greatest threat to eSports or video game culture today and why?
  5. "No matter how far it is to the top, it’s still within my grasp!” -Wukong. Describe a situation where this quote relates to your life.

The deadline for submissions is December 31, 2014 at 11:59pm PST. There will be a total of $1000 in scholarships and $550 worth of prizes for four students.

(1) $500 USD scholarship + 6 month subscription to Loot Crate + $50 Jinx Giftcode + MSI R9 270X Graphic Card + MSI Shirt + HSL Shirt
(1) $250 USD scholarship + $50 Jinx Giftcode + 3 month subscription to Loot Crate + MSI Shirt + HSL Shirt
(2) $125 USD scholarships + $50 Jinx Giftcode + 1 Loot Crate Box + MSI Shirt + HSL Shirt

This is open to American high school students in their junior or senior year, younger than 19 years of age, planning to attend post secondary and have a GPA of 3.00 or higher. HSL is an eSports organization that runs tournaments and other events for high schools across North America. Its events predominantly feature League of Legends and Starcraft II.

Categories: Console Games PC Games
 
 

Friday, Nov 21



Neoseeker's Holiday Gift Guide 2014: PlayStation 3

11 comments Rory Young - 10:59pm (PST) Like Share

Alive and well, here's the PlayStation 3's games from 2014 to watch out for

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The PlayStation 3 continues to be relevant, despite losing quite a bit of sales power to its progeny. Its lasting strength is bolstered in a few different ways. First is the continued support of multi-platform ports, including several that won't be coming to Xbox One and PlayStation 4 due to those platforms small install bases. Second, and certain to be the PlayStation 3's greatest asset in the coming years, are Japanese localizations arriving months or years after their launch overseas. Finally, there's a healthy smattering of solid downloadable titles. Those, however, are also coming to the PlayStation 4 anymore, so we won't be focusing on them for this holiday guide.

I skipped over that PlayStation Plus likely remains the best reason to keep a PlayStation 3 anymore. It's becoming repetitive at this point,  what with me saying the same thing in both the PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Vita holiday guides. Multiple "free" games every month, often representing the best titles from the recent past, are of immeasurable value to gamers who might not be up to spending $60 on a full price PlayStation 3 game anymore.

What's important to take away is that the PlayStation 3 is still a great console, even with the PlayStation 4's growing success. This will likely continue into 2015 and perhaps even beyond. I'd say the day the PS3 starts to become irrelevant is when Sony drops it from PlayStation Plus, but that day has not come yet. Enjoy the holiday guide!


PlayStation 3 Multi-Platform Standouts

Dark Souls II

No doubt the best PlayStation 3 game of 2014, Dark Souls II manages to push both the visual performance of the PlayStation 3, but also creates a challenging gameplay experience unlike anything beyond the Souls franchise. It's not so much difficult as it is different, but new players will find the required patience and poise necessary to succeed initially disarming. Those that stick with the morose action game will discover an experience unlike any other.

Ultra Street Fighter IV

This is the 2D fighting game to own and you won't find it on PlayStation 4 or Xbox One. Ultra Street Fighter IV is the ultimate release of the game -- no more DLC characters, no more expansion releases, just the full roster with tons of DLC skins and as good of balance as there's going to be. It revitalized 2D fighting games in a way no one might ever have expected, which is why the Street Fighter brand is still the most recognized fighting game brand out there.

South Park: The Stick of Truth

Somehow in between THQ going under and the unfortunate delays that hit The Stick of Truth's development, the RPG never made it to PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. That means that the PlayStation 3's generation is the only way console gamers will be able to experience Matt and Trey's love letter to video games. It's a bit heavy on the references to older South Park games, though that's exactly what some folk want, but otherwise chock full of quality, disgusting South Park RPG greatness.

GRID Autosport

Whatever you opinion on GRID 2, with its variety of racing styles each unique in its own, Codemasters set out to make GRID Autosport better. Better handling, better speed, better respect for where GRID came from. Fans of racing games of all sorts, but especially fans of the original GRID title, will rediscover their love for the genre with GRID Autosport. Before you ask, yes, cockpit view is absolutely included in this one.

Minecraft: PlayStation 3 Edition

It's on the PlayStation Vita, it's on the PlayStation 4, and of course it's on the PlayStation 3 now too. Minecraft's cross-buy for the Vita as well, in case you have a gamer that has both platforms. Punching trees and building castles are the start of one of the most significant games of the past decade. It would be impossible not to include on this list, especially considering its appeal to all ages and all sorts of game players.


PlayStation 3 Japanese Localizations

Persona 4 Arena Ultimax

Fighting games with story? What does Persona 4 Arena Ultimax think it is? Spinning off of the magnificent Persona RPG series, Arena Ultimax pits the protagonists from multiple games against each other in a magnificent fighting game with tons of personality. Striking a balance the ridiculous and the boring, Arena Ultimax will see players picking a fighter and wanting to cheer them on... before remembering that it's their responsibility to land the combos and not the character's.

Final Fantasy X / X-2 HD Remaster

Here's where we get into the RPGs that only the PlayStation 3 offers in quantity. Square Enix remastered the hugely popular Final Fantasy X and its sequel X-2 with high definition textures and all-around strong visuals just for the PlayStation 3 and the PlayStation Vita. Go back and experience  the epic story that is Tidus and Yuna's complicated and metaphorical journey, and if you don't pick Auron for your party then maybe you need to think about your turn-based RPG life choices.

Tales of Xillia 2

The PlayStation Vita picked up Tales of Hearts R and the PlayStation 3 gets Tales of Xillia 2. It's what every fan of the Tales franchises wants more than anything -- a sequel. New protagonist Ludger Will Kresnik takes the reigns from Jude and leads a merry band of adventurers on a happy quest. Who am I kidding, this is a Tales game. There's a lot of drama and events revolving around crystals and parallel worlds. Stuff happens. Real serious stuff. It's JRPG heaven.

Tales of Symphonia Chronicles

Alternatively, instead of modern Tales on the PlayStation 3 with Tales of Xillia 2, one can instead opt for classic Tales with Tales of Symphonia Chronicles. Bundling together both the original Tales of Symphonia with updated HD visuals and its sequel Tales of Symphonia: Dawn of the New World, players can experience one of the main reasons the Tales franchise is the JRPG mainstay that it is today. Originally released in 2003, Tales of Symphonia is as great today as it was then.

  • Who it's for: (See Tales of Xillia 2)
  • Also consider:  (See Tales of Xillia 2)

As luck would have it Sony is indeed offering two brand new PlayStation 3 bundles for the 2014 holiday season. The LEGO Batman 3: Beyond Gotham and The Sly Collection bundle became available starting November 11 and is surprisingly expensive. Then there's a Disney Infinity: Marvel Super Heroes bundle with less storage also available.

While 2015 will still certainly have its extent of late Japanese localizations, with the popularity of the PlayStation 4 being so staggering the writing is on the wall. Nevertheless, it's great to see Sony supporting the PlayStation 3 in 2014 still.

  • LEGO Batman 3 and Sly Collection PlayStation 3 Bundle - $269 - Includes two packaged-in games (technically four, considering the collection) that were both released in 2014. LEGO Batman 3: Beyond Gotham and The Sly Collection will come with the 500GB storage PlayStation 3, as well as a DualShock 3 wireless controller.
  • Disney Infinity: Marvel Super Heroes PlayStation 3 12GB Bundle - $249 - Includes a 12GB PlayStation 3 system, the Disney Infinity 2.0 Edition software, a Marvel's The Avengers Play Set, the Disney Infinity Base, and figures for Thor, Iron Man and Black Widow. There's also two Toy Box game discs and a web code card for additional content. Plus, the standard DualShock 3 wireless controller.

These new bundles will join two older bundles which continue to be stocked by Sony, among several other bundles which likely remain available due to not selling out in previous years. The other more modern bundles, however, may appeal to age groups or gamers who do not see the appeal of the Batman and Sly bundle.

  • The Last of Us PlayStation 3 Bundle - $269 - Includes The Last of Us and a 500GB PlayStation 3 system, which comes with a DualShock 3 wireless controller.
  • LEGO The Hobbit PlayStation 3 Bundle - $269 - Includes a copy of LEGO The Hobbit and a 500GB PlayStation 3 system, along with a DualShock 3 wireless controller.

As anyone can tell, the PlayStation 3 continues to be a viable option for console gamers who aren't quite ready to make the investment in a PlayStation 4. While the console's lifespan is approaching its final hours, 2015 will not be empty of big game releases. Multi-platform games will continue to be ported to the PlayStation 3, as it still maintains a very large install base. Plus, Japanese PS3 localizations like Tales of Zestiria, The Awakened Fate Ultimatum and even Persona 5 are still planned for release in the west. I wouldn't even consider ignoring the PlayStation 3 until PlayStation Plus stops putting games out for the platform.

Have a great holiday everyone and please let me know if there are any PlayStation 3 titles missing from the guide that absolutely deserve to be there.



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Pro CS:GO players get caught hacking, handed VAC bans just before annual tournament

5 comments Andy Lau - 2:17pm (PST) Like (1) Share (1)

Team Titan and Epsilon eSports removed from DreamHack Winter 2014

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With just a week left until Dreamhack Winter 2014, the biggest Counter-Strike: Global Offensive tournament of the year, several players have been outed as cheaters. Hovik “Kqly” Tovmassian of Team Titan and Gordon “Sf” Giryof Epsilon eSports have received bans from Valve's anti-cheat system. It's been discovered these two players were using a hack that was undetectable, even at LAN events. Both have been suspended by their respective teams.

According to Valve's tournament rules, any player who receives a VAC ban is no longer able to participate in tournaments sponsored by them. Teams that have said banned players on their rosters are also automatically disqualified. Titan and Epsilon eSports have been removed from the Dreamhack event and a last chance qualifier will be held to find replacement teams this Saturday. This last minute LAN event will take place at Inferno Online in Stockholm, Sweden. Four teams will compete for the two available spots and Valve will fund the travel expenses for those teams. Copenhagen Wolves, Flipsid3, 3DMAX and London Conspiracy will battle it out for the chance to participate at Dreamhack.

Groups A and C remain unaffected but B and D will have some seeding changes due to the removal of Titan and Epsilon. Team Dignitas is now the top seed of Group B and iBUYPOWER will face a team from the last chance qualifier in their first match. Group D sees NaVi playing the second qualifier winner.

Categories: PC Games
 
 

Destiny's Expansion 1: The Dark Below teased in ominous new prologue cinematic

8 comments Lydia Sung - 1:46pm (PST) Like Share

Something evil is coming...

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Bungie has released a new trailer today teasing Destiny's first expansion, Expansion I: The Dark Below, and it's really something. The trailer is actually a prologue cinematic for the add-on, and ominously warns of a darkness turning its attention to the final bastion of humanity. Of course, the only thing capable of taking on said darkness is a weapon of Light, meaning a Guardian (or several).

The female voice you hear narrating the video belongs to Eris, an NPC who will be appearing in the Tower to offer players the new quest and gear. Apparently, she and her unfortunate peers had faced the fearsome Crota before, and only she came out of that encounter alive. Probably not 100 percent mentally sound anymore, but the Hive can have that effect on people.

Expansion I: The Dark Below will be released December 9 for Xbox One, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PlayStation 4. Season Pass owners won't have to pick up the DLC again, and also have early access to the Tumbler Sparrow.

 
 

Thursday, Nov 20



Neoseeker's Holiday Gift Guide 2014: PlayStation Vita

11 comments Rory Young - 7:42pm (PST) Like (1) Share

All of the best PlayStation Vita titles likely coming to PlayStation Plus in 2015

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Another year has passed for the PlayStation Vita and it's becoming more and more clear that the handheld just hasn't found its niche in western gaming. Luckily, however, it has found its niche as an excellent PlayStation 4 peripheral. Consider that PlayStation Plus adds in ridiculous value for the handheld in free games and that Japan keeps pumping out surprisingly great RPGs and action games for the handheld and it's still a great platform to pick up.

Not to mention that due to the relative focus on PlayStation 4 with regards to marketing and so on, many outlets are certain to offer giant PS Vita sales this holiday season. It's the perfect time to pick up the handheld, as well as some of its best games from 2014 at a discount. Unfortunately there aren't any big holiday releases on the handheld, but there's a brilliant backlog just waiting for the taker.

Here's Neoseeker's PlayStation Vita holiday guide for 2014, guaranteed to deliver the best the handheld has to offer this year.


PlayStation Vita Exclusives

Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair / Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc

Danganronpa and its sequel are my personal favorite releases for the PS Vita in 2014. Sure, they're technically a bit older, but both have only just reached North American shores this year. Both are devious, disturbed muder mysteries filled with Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney puzzles and mystery solving -- though with a bit more mature content. That's just the beginning of Danganronpa, however, because the wonderfully written characters and complicated murder mysteries hide a deeper, darker, and wholesale weirder plot that only Japan could come up with.

Metrico

Metrico isn't difficult to describe. It's a platforming game where the players adventure through graphs, charts and other visual representations of data. Data which changes depending on the player's action -- moving up, down, left, right, jumping, or circling around obstacles. The experience that Metrico provides is much less simple. It's like wandering through a forest with trees you've never seen before. Metrico is a beautiful journey, but one that's easy to get lost in.

  • Who it's for: Accountants, number crunchers, puzzlers, platformers and indie oddity fans
  • Also consider: Fez, Limbo, Thomas Was Alone

Soul Sacrifice Delta

A wave of Japanese action games based loosely around the success of Monster Hunter reached western shores in 2014, but Soul Sacrifice Delta is the best of them.  Adding on to the already successful Soul Sacrifice, players will find themselves accepting missions to battle giant and terrible demons, which they'll either kill, absorb, or newly decide on neutral options for. Delta is bigger, better and more action packed than before, and it's a great title for any Vita owner to pick up.


PlayStation Vita Compilations

God of War Collection

While the God of War Collection only bundles together God of War and God of War II, that's still a great package for two of the PlayStation 2's best action games. Take on the role of Kratos and learn his story as he fights for vengeance against the gods that betrayed him and his family. Should he become the enemy he hates along the way, that would be rather ironic, wouldn't it? Eh, that's too serious of a theme to consider in a God of War game. 

Ratchet & Clank Collection

Oh no, this isn't a Ratchet & Clank: Future trilogy collection. We're going all the way back to the original Ratchet & Clank. This bundle includes Ratchet & Clank, Ratchet & Clank: Going Commando, and Ratchet & Clank: Up Your Arsenal. See how a single game spawned a franchise of, what, it's something like eight or nine games now. See how big the original weapons were,  how adorable Ratchet & Clank began, and how few polygons were necessary to make it all.

The Sly Collection

If God of War and Ratchet & Clank don't fit your fancy, then all I've got left for you is The Sly Collection. Sly is more of a throwback to the classic Banjo Kazooie days of platformers. That is, it's more about the platforming, the exploration and less about the action -- though there's plenty of that too. Sly's also an outstanding and fun character and experiencing his story from the beginning will tie you to the franchise forever.


PlayStation Vita Standouts

Minecraft: PlayStation Vita Edition

It's Minecraft. On the PlayStation Vita. Is there really anything else to say? It's potentially the most important game in the past decade, an open-world adventure where players build their own stories, craft their own experience, and lay the road in whichever direction their imagination takes them -- all with the basic blocks spread out in the world around them. It may boil down to punching trees, but Minecraft is a game -- the game -- for everyone. All ages. All play-styles. Now on Vita.

Final Fantasy X / X-2 Remaster

While it's arguable whether Final Fantasy X was the one of the last great episodes in the series, there's no denying that it was hugely popular. Tidus' story begins anew as Square Enix has remastered the epic RPG and its sequel with HD textures and updated visuals and audio. It may not be that classical style we expect from earlier Final Fantasy games, but it's iconic in its own way. At least, I think it is. Who knows, it might all just be a dream.

Tales of Hearts R

While Tales of Hearts R isn't going to revolutionize the RPG or even mix up the expectations fans have from the Tales of franchise, it will be a solid heavily anime-influenced JRPG that's easy to love. Kor Meteor is back in a remake of the classic JRPG remade just for the PlayStation Vita. It's a fantasy epic the likes of which only the Tales team could produce and it's definitely one of the best games on Vita in 2014.


PlayStation Vita Downloadables

PixelJunk Shooter Ultimate

PixelJunk Shooter Ultimate is about flying a little 2D spaceship into terrifying environments with the goal of of rescuing little scientists that have been stranded. Do this by using powers and technologies to pass through obstacles including various types of manipulatable liquids. It's an  absolutely beautiful 2D game  without a priority on shooting that every PS Vita owner should have in their collection.

Luftrausers

From the creators of Super Crate Box and Ridiculous Fishing comes a mobile shooter that's meant to be played in quick, fun sessions. Luftrausers placed the player in the shoes of a fighter plane as they battle ongoing waves of battleships, jets and assorted other flying enemies. The mission? Take out as many enemies as possible. As the player finds success, they can permanently upgrade their plane to be more powerful the next time around. It's a straightforward and exhilarating game that again, can be played in short bursts or marathoned for hours on end.

Frozen Synapse Prime

A sequel to the highly popular top-down strategy title Frozen Synapse is here, and it's basically just a whole lot more Frozen Synapse. Control a square of sci-fi soldiers through treacherous maps filled with opposing soldiers. Turn by turn, players will inch towards their objective by taking on enemies with precision and patience. It's a bit overwhelming at first, but once caught up in the action Frozen Synapse Prime is wickedly addicting.


Unfortunately it seems that Sony is deprioritizing their PlayStation Vita marketing in favor of the PlayStation 4 this holiday season. The handheld probably sells better positioned as a PlayStation 4 peripheral, as it's completely functional as both a controller as well as a roaming second screen. Play in the bathroom! The result is that there are no bundles for the PlayStation Vita this holiday season. Odds are there will be some very kind deals on the hardware alone at various retailers though, so keep an eye out as Black Friday approaches.

That's all for the PlayStation Vita holiday guide this year. Like last year, let me give a final reminder that with a PlayStation Plus subscription alone PS Vita owners have an oustanding library of games (often brand new) to play month after month. One alsmost doesn't even need to buy any other games. Not to mention some of the  best games on the platform unlock instantly just by subscribing. 

Have a happy holiday, everyone, and please share any games you feel are missing from our 2014 list in a comment.



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Titanfall Deluxe Edition bundles together full game with three expansions, drops first on PC

1 comments Lydia Sung - 4:11pm (PST) Like Share

Coming next week for Xbox One

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Titanfall has been out for months now, and today Respawn and EA announced the existance of a Titanfall Deluxe Edition, already available for PC and coming soon to Xbox One.

Bundling together the full Titanfall game with its three expansions, the pack is actually decently priced and a good deal for anyone who doesn't own a copy yet. Included in the Deluxe Edition are the downloadable add-ons Expedition, Frontier's Edge, and IMC Rising -- each with their own collection of maps for bonus multiplayer parkour shenanigans.

A recent video from Respawn features some of the developers talking about their favorite aspects of the mech shooter, providing a retrospective look at Titanfall since its inception. The game has, after all, come a long way, with all its new modes and features.

Remember that Titanfall Deluxe Edition is only available on PC as of now, and will not be released for Xbox One until next week. The PC version is priced at $39.99, while the Xbox One version will be $49.99.

 
 

Neoseeker's Holiday Gift Guide 2014: PlayStation 4

5 comments Rory Young - 1:55am (PST) Like (1) Share

The preference for the modern generation is the PS4 and here are it's best games

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Like it or not, the PlayStation 4 is king of the consoles in 2014. Sony's hardware is currently selling at a rumored 2:1 rate compared Microsoft's Xbox One and shows no sign of slowing going through the holiday. Startlingly, they're doing this on the back of less than a handful of platform exclusive AAA titles in 2014, those being Infamous: Second Son and DriveClub which has been buried with technical issues since its launch just recently. And yet, the PlayStation 4 continues to offer outstanding value.

How has the PlayStation 4 done this? Well, it's in no small part due to Microsoft's own mistakes regarding their initial 100%-digital plans for the Xbox One, as well as the $100 greater launch price due to the forced inclusion of the Kinect. They've done plenty of work on their own, of course, offering an initially compelling launch line-up, the most robust library of less-than-$20 digital games on a console, a strong push for platform-exclusive DLC, and of course there's PlayStation Plus.

One can't applaud Sony's PlayStation Plus service enough. Yes, PS+ is required for online multiplayer and other online functionality, but it more than makes up for that in free games. Every month sees the release of two PlayStation 4 games, often as they debut on the platform and occasionally as they debut on all platforms. New games that gamers may otherwise have never seen as part of a service gamers would otherwise be subscribing to anyway? Priceless.

Now that PlayStation 4 has such a high adoption rate, all they have to do is keep gamers gaming. We'll be honest and say they dropped the ball on PlayStation 4 exclusives this year, but there are still plenty of other outstanding titles to choose for this holiday -- and even more looking forward into 2015.


PlayStation Exclusives

LittleBigPlanet 3 (Also available on PlayStation 3)

Media Molecule's baby has spread its wings and is now being developed by a different studio. Nevertheless, LittleBigPlanet is back and retains the fun and cheerful disposition of the first two games in the series. With a largely similar single-player campaign full of goofy co-op enabled platforming and one of the most robust level-creators in console gaming, there's not much innovation needed to make LittleBigPlanet 3 a success. That didn't stop them from adding three new playable character in addition to Sackboy, though. I call dibs on Oddsock.

  • Who it's for: Sackboy, audiences of all ages, aspiring level designers, gamers who love simple and straight forward fun, no Oddsock players -- I've got dibs already
  • Also Consider: Skylanders: Trap Team, Knack, Lego Batman 3: Beyond Gotham

Infamous: Second Son

It's every Seattle-ite's dream, to become a morally apathetic super hero making friends with drug addicts, video game addicts and generally feeling like a badass in the meantime. Infamous: Second Son is an action game that teases the idea of what it would mean to suddenly gain super powers and the decisions those powers would force a person to make to protect the ones they love, or to attack the ones they hate.

  • Who it's for: Cole, mutants, aspiring superheroes, Mass Effect fans missing good/evil conversation prompts, action lovers and parkour fans
  • Also Consider: Infamous: First Light, Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor, Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition

PlayStation 4 Multi-Platform Standouts

Dragon Age: Inquisition

This is the RPG of 2014 that everyone has been waiting for. BioWare, who unfortunately took a couple of missteps with Dragon Age 2 and Mass Effect 3, is back on their A-game. While Inquisition isn't perfect, balancing some technical issues and controller standards for such an in-depth experience, no other game will be matching the epic fantasy storyline and deep inter-character relationships of BioWare's biggest RPG in years. By far the best single-player RPG on PlayStation 4... for now.

  • Who it's for: Wounded Mass Effect fans, relationship simulation lovers, NOT ANDERS, anyone who wants to play as a dwarf, elf, or Qunari instead of Commander Shep... err, Hawke, but mostly just RPG lovers who wait way too long for good RPGs to come along
  • Also Consider: Child of Light, Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn

Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor

Whoever decided to combine the impactful combo-based combat of the Batman: Arkham series with Assassin's Creed parkour and Tolkien's Middle-earth deserves five raises. The story may not be as grand as Middle-earth deserves, but with the best action combat of 2014 mixed with an innovative new Nemesis System that puts the player up against thousands of unique orcs one on the fly it can get away with a week fantasy story. 

  • Who it's for: Batman, those experiencing Assassin's Creed fatigue, Tolkien nerds, those willing to kill hundreds upon thousands of orcs, everybody
  • Also Consider: Infamous: Second Son, Assassin's Creed Unity, Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition

Destiny

Somehow Sony persuaded Bungie and Activision to supply exclusive DLC for the biggest shooter of 2014 just for the PlayStation 4. Even without it though, Bungie's gamble of an always-online first person shooter set in a mysterious sci-fi universe panned out. Millions of players log on every day just to try and equip their Guardian with stronger loot. While mistakes were made with regards to story and end-game content, Bungie's Destiny is the big game of 2014.

  • Who it's for: Bungie lovers, loot grinders, console shooter fans, MMO newborns, haters of video game stories
  • Also Consider: Killzone: Shadow Fall, Metro Redux, Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare

PlayStation 4 Remasters, Ports and Expanded Games

Grand Theft Auto V

Grand Theft Auto V was great when it was released on PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 over a year ago, but here it is again on PlayStation 4  with upgraded visuals, more content, and stronger hardware to drive a more powerful experience. Did I mention the game also has first-person mode? Now all of this year's biggest first-person shooters have to deal with this rated-R powerhouse as direct competition too. It's for the best.

  • Who it's for: Trevor, Franklin and Michael, sociopaths, adults, FPS lovers, open world adventurers, those who love great music
  • Also Consider: Watch Dogs, Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes, Sleeping Dogs: Definitive Edition 

The Last of Us Remastered

One of the PlayStation 3's best games is now one of the PlayStation 4's best games. The PlayStation 4 needed exclusives and Naughty Dog needed as many people as possible to play their incredible game. It's one of the greatest examples of cinematic writing in modern gaming, tied into some of the best setting design to boot. Naughty Dog exudes style in their games without trying anymore, but it just happens they also try very hard on top of it. A must-have for any PlayStation faithful that haven't tried it yet.

  • Who it's for: Movie watchers, adults, Uncharted fans, those willing to cry playing a video game
  • Also Consider: Infamous: Second Son

Diablo III: Ultimate Evil Edition

Blizzard's managed to bring their hugely popular PC action-RPG to consoles and found out it worked pretty damn well. Now it's on PlayStation 4 with its first major expansion, Reaper of Souls and not only does it work great with a control, but it's a much better game in general. "Loot 2.0" makes great items dropping from challenging foes a larger part of the game, which isn't just fun in general, but also leads to more variety in builds. Okay, really it's just about the loot. That's the truth.

  • Who it's for: The Prime Evils, Deckard Cain's ghost, loot grinders, folk who wanted a better Diablo III, co-op gamers
  • Also Consider: The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth, Destiny

Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn

On a platform where RPGs are in general quite rare, Square Enix comes along and puts out one of the best MMORPG  releases of the past few years. While other MMO companies are still learning how to launch an MMO successfully on PC, Square Enix's experience with Final Fantasy XI on PlayStation 3 led to a quick turnaround time for this MMO's console debut. Not only is great with a controller, but it's also the best traditional Final Fantasy since Zidane and Garnet's adventures with Vivi.

  • Who it's for: MMO lovers, Final Fantasy traditionalists, online gamers, dedicated players, epic fantasy fans
  • Also Consider: DC Universe Online, War Thunder, Pier Solar HD

PlayStation 4 Download-Only Titles

The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth

It's made by half the team responsible for Super Meat Boy, taken over by a third party and revamped with updated graphics and a gross amount of exciting new content. This top-down rogue-like about Isaac's dark spiral into his basement, hell, and insanity. He's just a boy! How did this happen? Yet Isaac's wild journey will be our gain, as firing powerful teardrops at demonic enemies has never been as exhilarating as it is in The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth.

  • Who it's for: Weirdos, the anti-Christ, rogue-likers, hardcore challenge lovers, Mom
  • Also Consider: Rogue Legacy, Spelunky, Road Not Taken

Velocity 2X

Somehow Velocity 2X mixes 2D platforming with non-conventional warping mechanics alongside puzzle-y SHMUP gameplay and creates one cohesive and very fun experience. Despite the different in the two types of gameplay, the pacing and challenge are similar. See, while precision and reaction time are still helpful, the key to success in the game is challenging yourself to play faster. Even then, the game isn't particularly punishing. It's more puzzle-like than otherwise.

  • Who it's for: Those too timid for full-on SHMUPs, 2D shooter fans, frantic platformer lovers, female sci-fi protagonist fans
  • Also Consider: Strider, The Swapper, PixelJunk Shooter Ultimate

Towerfall Ascension

Couch co-op is coming back strong and the PlayStation 4 is the home of the best of it. The best game yet for this reemerged fad is Towerfall Ascension, a highly competitive 2D archery game where players aim to take out their opponents with precision and planning. Mix in Sony's new Share Play functionality for the PlayStation 4, which lets player get together online as if they were sitting on a couch playing together, and every couch co-op title just became your new favorite online multiplayer title.

  • Who it's for: eSports, local multiplayer fans, tournament players, casual fun, all-ages
  • Also Consider: Sportsfriends, Samurai Gunn, Nidhogg

As for holiday bundles to help new adopters save a bit of cash, Sony certainly has a couple of great options. They've put together two PlayStation 4 bundles, one aimed at a more mature core audience of gamers and one aimed at a younger or family-focused audience. Fair warning the Grand Theft Auto V and The Last of Us bundle is stuffed full of mature content. It's not for everybody, but at the same time both games are absolutely excellent. You can't say the same thing for the Lego Batman bundle.

Here are Sony's two Black Friday bundles. They don't drop the console's price, but they do each bundle in two games. Odds are they're limited in quantity for the holiday so all bets are off regarding whether they'll be around in December or later:

  • PlayStation 4 Grand Theft Auto V Bundle - $399.99 - Sony's primary PlayStation 4 bundle for Black Friday includes a 500GB PS4 and a copy of the newly released Grand Theft Auto V. Also included in the box is a voucher for a downloadable version of The Last of Us Remastered.
  • PlayStation 4 Lego Batman 3 Bundle - $399.99 - Sony's alternative bundle for Black Friday is targeted towards younger audiences and includes copies of both LEGO Batman 3: Beyond Gotham and the newly released LittleBigPlanet 3.

With spring touting big PlayStation 4 exclusive releases like From Software's Bloodborne and Sony's delayed cinematic shooter The Order: 1886, 2015 is already lining up to be a bigger year for the console than 2014 could have ever been. There's only one Black Friday between then and now, so choose wisely. Also, have a great holiday everyone. Please let me know of any omissions you believe just have to be included in this holiday gift guide.



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Wednesday, Nov 19



Creators of Monkey Island hit Kickstarter with a new project called 'Thimbleweed Park'

11 comments Andy Lau - 5:57pm (PST) Like Share

Bringing back some classic LucasArts point-and-click

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Ron Gilbert and Gary Winnick, best known for Monkey Island and Maniac Mansion, have created a Kickstarter page for their latest adventure game, Thimbleweed Park.  Gilbert and Winnick are hoping to capture the nostalgic feeling of old LucasArts point-and-click adventures.

That means '80s era graphics and a classic user interface. Thimbleweed Park centers around the story of two detectives investigating a dead body found outside of a town. The player will switch between five characters as they explore the dark, satirical and bizzare world within the game. Gilbert promises to deliver multiple meaningful endings.

The funding goal for the project is set to $375,000 within the next 28 days. Backing options range from $5 to $10,000 with copies of the game starting at $20. The duo are hoping Thimbleweed Park will be ready by July 2016. As the first day of funding wraps up, the project has already attracted over 5000 backers and raised nearly $190,000.

Categories: PC Games
 
 

Guild Wars 2 PVP overhauls are on the way, expect better matchmaking and map selection this winter

10 comments Lydia Sung - 5:55pm (PST) Like Share

With luck, the changes will encourage more PVP action

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Big changes are coming to Guild Wars 2 PVP next month, starting December 2. ArenaNet recently released a rather long announcement highlighting upcoming changes, from the updated Dishonor system to improved ranked arenas. The basic idea here is to promote "more high-level competitive play."

An overhaul to matchmaking is one of the major highlights. Rather than looking only at a player's rating, the new system should take into account "a number of parameters" in addition to rating. This encompasses factors like group size, team comp, accumulated dishonor, and more. ArenaNet plans to elaborate on this soon.

The way players enter matches should also be better soon, doing away with rosters in favor of simply joining a party, confirming before a match, and then diving straight in. No longer will AFK players be a problem when queuing. Soon, PVPers will have more control of the maps they play on as well.

PVP will also be restructed to fall into three areas: Practice in hot-join, "Play" in unranked arenas, and "Compete" in ranked arenas. All competitive play will soon be combined into Ranked Arena, which players can join with a party size between one and five. The new matchmaking should ensure the resulting match-ups are as fair as possible. To avoid hurting your ladder standing, there will be an Unranked Arena too; the new matchmaking algorithm will affect all aspects of PVP.

Further into winter, ArenaNet will be holding a test season. The top 120 players by the end of the season will be gifted a Mini Llama, while the top 20 get a piece of Glorious Hero's armor. The top five players get two pieces of the same armor.

Be sure to check out the full blog post for more details, and keep an eye out for more PVP updates in the near future.

Categories: PC Games
 
 
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