Friday, Aug 8
Update: Square Enix and United Front Games have confirmed the development of the Sleeping Dogs Definitive Edition for PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC. As leaked previously, the release date will be October 14. The update will feature remastered visuals, as well as all 24 pieces of DLC released for that game. That includes the larger Year of the Snake content pack as well.
Dan Sochan, Senior Producer at United Front Games offered the following prepared statement:
"It was an exciting opportunity for the original development team to be able revisit a game we’re so passionate about. We’re giving old and new fans a lot reasons to pick up the game, as we’ve gone beyond just increasing resolution and running at 1080p. We listened to the fans: we tuned gameplay, we added to the ambience of Hong Kong, increased audio fidelity and pushed the visuals further than we could on the previous generation of consoles."
Typically retailer listings are considered with a grain of salt around here. However, today's Amazon listing for a Sleeping Dogs Definitive Edition for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One came with a enough official assets to make it about as official as these things get without actually being official. The listing included reference to a pre-order exclusive "Artbook Packaging" which comes with 28 pages of concept art from the title's production. Oh, and they also had a release date -- October 14 on both PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.
Square Enix has previously released a Tomb Raider Definitive Edition, upgrading the 360 and PS4 versions of the title with updated visuals for the new generation of consoles. It appears the "Definitive Edition" branding will continue going forward with Sleeping Dogs. There can't be too many last-gen titles left to upgrade though, so maybe the brand will start to be used with remakes? Final Fantasy VII Definitive Edition?
Sleeping Dogs is one of those games where the experience differs dramatically based on the platform that it's played on. If played on the 360 or PS3 you're going to get a much worse looking game, a much slower loading game, and a much less populated game than on the PC. Hopefully the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One versions of the game are able to meet the visual quality of the PC version, though recreating that experience in its entirety can't be completely possible. This is an open world game we're talking about.
At least it will have the dozens of DLC packs that Sleeping Dogs was weighted down with, right?
If Square Enix sticks to its guns and doesn't change things due to this Amazon leak, Sleeping Dogs Definitive Edition for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One will be available starting October 14. While technically the announcement isn't official at this point and thus can change, odds are this one is in the books.
When The Settlers - Kingdoms of Anteria was announced back June very little was revealed about the game itself, outside of the idea that it would be "innovative" anyway. Developer Ubisoft Studio Blue Byte has now disclosed actual gameplay details for the upcoming addition to the long running The Settlers franchise, which has been around since 1993. Blue Byte is still very keen on pushing the idea of innovation in a game that will apparently offer players the chance, "to create a bustling kingdom while leading their champions through dangerous and challenging adventures."
The city building aspect of Kingdoms of Anteria will be familiar to not only fans of The Settlers series but also to most strategy game enthusiasts. Settlers tasks players with building up and enhancing their economy in an effort to acquire new unlocks for buildings and new sectors. The ultimate aim being for players to expand their kingdom under the promise of kingdoms growing larger than ever before in a The Settlers game.
But The Settlers - Kingdoms of Anteria is not a typical strategy game, as it also offers "fierce enemies and frightening bosses" to face off against in what Blue Byte are calling "tactical battles." In these battles players earn rewards such as resources, special loot and the opportunity to level up. Bosses and loot are strange concepts for a city building real-time strategy game, but Kingdoms of Anteria would appear to be something of a hybrid. It offers players a mix of forging kingdoms while also roaming around said kingdom with their Champion. These champions wil lhave options of different class and skill selections, apparntly allowing for thousands of different combinations.
The Settlers - Kingdoms of Anteria does not have to be tackled alone either, as players are able to bring up to three friends on their loot hunting adventures to take on bosses throughout the land. The benefits of teaming up don’t end with adventuring together mind, as players can also work to establish supply chains to trade resources with friends and boost economic growth.
According to Blue Byte players will be able to focus gameplay on their favorite feature which is good news for those uncomfortable with the idea of adventuring around with a champion and taking on bosses to earn loot. Personally, I find it reminiscent of controlling heroes during battles in Age of Wonders III so it’s something I’ll be interested to check out for sure.
Although there is emphasis on players being able to concentrate on what they prefer in the game it’s still unknown to what extent each element of gameplay will be required and whether or not it is possible to ignore parts of it. Hopefully that's something which will be clarified soon as The Settlers - Kingdoms of Anteria is due to appear at Gamescom in Germany from August 13 through to August 17 with a closed beta also due soon.
Click here to see more images
gamescom 2014 is about a week away, and that means the first ever Guild Wars 2 International All-Stars Tournament will be kicking off soon. Set to take place between August 14 through August 17 in Cologne during gamescom, this gathering of champions draws players from North America, Europe and China.
The tournament will be a major first for ArenaNet and Guild Wars 2, marking their first event on such an international scale. In July, the studio announced their plans to host the All-Stars Tournament with Twitch.tv and community voting to decide who would represent North America and Europe. The Chinese competitors were decided by the game's distributor in China, KongZhong.
For those who can't actually make it to Germany for the tournament, ArenaNet will be livestreaming the entire affair via Twitch. Here is the schedule they provided:
- Thursday, August 14 at 6:00 a.m. PDT (15:00 CEST)
China vs. Europe
- Friday, August 15 at 8:00 a.m. PDT (17:00 CEST)
US vs. China
- Saturday, August 16 at 9:00 a.m. PDT (18:00 CEST)
Europe vs. US
Be sure to hit up the official page for more about the competitors from each region and the prizes they'll be competing for. Incidentally, next Tuesday also brings a new chapter to the current Living Story, with The Dragon's Reach: Part 2.
Another month, another set of CoroCoro scans revealing more Pokemon Omega Ruby and Pokemon Alpha Sapphire details. Yet again there's a few Mega Evolution reveals and yet again a feature additions that's new to the franchise. Hopefully everyone's not tired of hearing about Pikachu and her all-new costest wardrobe, because it's back and more Skill-tacular than ever. If that doesn't float your boat, then hopefully you're an Altaria, Lopunny or Salamence fan.
Let's start with Pikachu, because I am the most excited to get this over with and stop talking about Pikachu for a bit. Pikachu's previously revealed costumes, part of a special contest feature in Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire, are now confirmed to also give Pikachu new skills. After meeting with Lucia, a new Contest Idol character, she will give the player clothes and allow them to join in on Pokemon Contests. Apparently one of these contests even rewards a shiny Beldum holding its Mega Stone.
As for what sorts of skills our powdered and pampered Pikachus will be pulling off, here's the currently revealed list:
- Rock Star Pikachu - Meteor Smash
- Dr. Pikachu - Electric Terrain
- Pop Star Pikachu - Draining Kiss
- Belle Pikachu - Icicle Crash
- Luchador Pikachu - Flying Press
It looks like Pikachu will be expanding on her competitive viability with these costumes, in addition to straight up looking FABULOUS. Caps lock required.
Let's move on to the good stuff now. As mentioned earlier, Mega Altaria, Mega Lopunny and Mega Salamence. Altaria, previously an adorable cloud bird, has grown up into a rather intimidating cloud phoenix of sorts. Where Altaria was Dragon/Flying, Mega Altaria will become Dragon/Fairy, a most threatening type pairing. Lopunny's Mega Evolution is equally threatening, as its so-shapely-its-bordering-on-creepy legs have hit the gym and suddenly become ripped! Mega Lopunny goes from Normal to Normal/Fighting! Finally we have Salamence, who don't need no fancy type change. Dragon/Flying to start and Dragon/Flying to the end. No one can mess with Salamence once he's gone full Rodan, except maybe Godzilla.
That concludes the currently translated details from this month's CoroCoro scans. Hopefully we'll get a few more details from these pages, like each of the Mega's main skills. Game Freak has typically shared that detail with Mega reveals in the past. That, and their weight and height.... Japan. /shrug
Pokemon Omega Ruby and Pokemon Alpha Sapphire will be available exclusively on the Nintendo 3DS starting November 21, 2014.
All images and translated details are sourced from Serebii.
Click here to see more images
Thursday, Aug 7
Net Articles Summary
It looks like Aladdin and Jasmine are finally getting their chance to shine as part of the Disney Infinity roster. The royal couple from Agrabah has been officially revealed to join elites such as the Marvel superheroes, Phineas and Ferb, Stitch, and the cast of Up in the upcoming Disney Infinity: Marvel Super Heroes.
Coming to stores alongside the two new characters are multiple Power Discs that can be placed on the Disney Infinity power base. These discs give players the opportunity to truly explore a whole new world within the game; that world can now be manipulated into a mini-version of Agrabah. Players can transform their Toy Box into the desert land and fly with the ever-popular magic carpet while building race tracks, beach volleyball courts, and other various challenges with the materials available to them.
But who could forget the character gameplay? Aladdin's weapons-of-choice are his sword and magic genie lamp, though it appears that he is also quite talented in the art of evading pursuers. That skillset has to be taught in Noble Thief 101. Of course, what prince would be even worth mentioning without his princess? Jasmine is not one to sit back and play the damsel-in-distress role. She takes on her enemies with pure acrobatic talent, then shows off by launching over a cactus in the middle of town.
The most important thing to come out of this news is that kids can now suck up a mob of Jafars with Aladdin's magic lamp. Unfortunately, nobody knows just yet if Genie is in there, but it would be fun to see Jafar and Genie duke it out on gaming consoles. Disney Infinity: Marvel Super Heroes will be available on all last-gen and current-gen consoles, as well as the Nintendo 3DS, Apple iPad, and PC starting September 23, 2014 in North America.
Click here to see more images
Last time Nintendo took over a certain period of time, they called it the Year of Luigi. This time around, the gaming giant has coined August as National Princess Peach Month. No game-related announcements came with the holiday reveal, but now gamers have a good excuse to look pretty in pink -- do it for the princess.
What might come from this? Nintendo has left it up to gamers to speculate and hope. August is not coincidentally National Peach Month in the USA, so there is evidence this could just be for the comedic value. Throughout the Year of Luigi, the green plumber received two video game title roles and some nice cameos in other game, so here's hoping for something similar from Princess Peach Month. After all, who could resist a Super Princess Peach 2 or New Super Peach Bros.?
Hopefully there's some additional news regarding National Princess Peach Month soon, but things aren't looking good. All there is to rely on so far is a tweet confirming the celebration's existence. Maybe there's some Mario Kart 8 Peach DLC in progress, perhaps to complement the Mercedes-Benz release? The Month of Peach will be officially ending in September, so put on those pink dresses and crowns and take advantage now.
It was only a matter of time before Atlus finally announced Persona 4 Arena Ultimax's release date for North America. They've been endlessly advertising the game in Japan, as it will be releasing in just three weeks over there. Unfortunately western regions will have to wait a bit longer. Persona 4 Arena Ultimax will be available on Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 starting September 30. No European release date has been confirmed, as it may not be Atlus localizing the game for that region.
The roster for the absolutely wild fighting game currently sits at 21 potential characters, with 18 in the box, two available as free DLC, and Margaret yet to be confirmed as DLC for the west. For those who haven't heard about Margaret yet, our Persona addict community member Rabla has done a great job writing up some thoughts and speculation on the DLC character. Ultimax is going to make the original Persona 4 Arena pale in comparison.
Here's a reminder that Persona 4 Arena Ultimax is a full-on sequel. It's not any sort of Street Fighter IV Super Turbo Edition add-on that costs as much as the full game. This one has a whole new story, updated characters rebalanced and with new moves and abilities, a new soundtrack, a new "Golden Arena Mode" to keep players in the game for months to come. That said, new game means full price. Expect Persona 4 Arena Ultimax to cost the the standard $59.99.
Buy Persona 4 Arena Ultimax for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 starting September 30.
Here's the full roster of Persona 4 Arena Ultimax, including returning characters, new characters, and console exclusive and DLC characters (as in, not in the Arcade version):
- Akihiko Sanada
- Chie Satonaka
- Kanji Tatsumi
- Mitsuru Kirijo
- Naoto Shirogane
- Shadow Labrys
- Yosuku Hanamura
- Yu Narukami
- Yukiko Amagi
- Junpei Iori
- Sho Minazuki
- Yukari Takeba
Console Exclusive/DLC Characters:
- Ken Amada
- Margaret (DLC)
- Marie (DLC)
- Rise Kujikawa
- Tohru Adachi (DLC)
Casey Hudson is practically a celebrity in gaming, and today, he officially announced his departure from BioWare after a solid 16 years with the company. Many of you might know him best as the lead director behind the Mass Effect trilogy, but Hudson also worked on some of the company's classics, like Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic and Neverwinter Nights.
In two rather heartfelt letters to his peers and the community, Hudson talks about his desire to step back and "hit the reset button." Interestingly (or not so), Hudson was seen during EA's media briefing at E3 in June, promoting BioWare's upcoming mystery IP and the next Mass Effect. He does mention both in his message directed at the BioWare staff, in which he mentions having already completed the foundation for both to progress into full development.
Below is the letter directed at his fellow devs. He does give the impression that this departure has been a long time coming, but after 16 years and several high-profile projects later, this shouldn't come as a surprise.
“After what already feels like a lifetime of extraordinary experiences, I have decided to hit the reset button and move on from BioWare. I’ll take a much needed break, get perspective on what I really want to do with the next phase of my life, and eventually, take on a new set of challenges.
Though there’s never an easy time to make a change like this, I believe this is the best time for it. The foundation of our new IP in Edmonton is complete, and the team is ready to move forward into pre-production on a title that I think will redefine interactive entertainment. Development for the next Mass Effect game is well underway, with stunning assets and playable builds that prove the team is ready to deliver the best Mass Effect experience to date. And the Dragon Age: Inquisition team is putting the final touches on a truly ambitious title with some of the most beautiful visuals I’ve seen in a game.
But while I feel that the time has come, this is without a doubt the most difficult decision of my career. BioWare is as magical a place today as it was when I started. The projects we are working on are some of the most exciting and prestigious in the world. The talent in our teams is second to none. And the people here are some of my closest friends. I’ve spent more time with many of you than my own family, and I have enjoyed every day of it.”
The second part of Hudson's letter addresses the fanbase, the larger community that's so faithful to the BioWare name. He of course thanks everyone for their support and patience, and hopes that the fans will enjoy whatever BioWare has to offer in the future.
“Long before I worked in games, I was fascinated by their ability to transport me to places where amazing and memorable experiences awaited. When I made my very first asset that I knew would actually make it into a game (the laser bolt in MDK2!) I couldn’t believe how fortunate I was to contribute in some small way to the process of creating interactive entertainment.
Now, having led the development of four major titles, I’m profoundly appreciative of the role I’ve been able to play in creating these games. The very idea that so many of you have enjoyed spending time in the worlds we’ve created is the defining achievement of my career, and it’s your support over the years that made it all possible.
I know that I leave our projects in great hands, and I join you in looking forward to playing them.”
Seeing a senior developer like Casey Hudson leave a major studio is never not surprising, but I'd argue that it pales in comparison to the departure of Ray Muzyka and Greg Zeschuk, the founders of BioWare. Either way, EA and BioWare will likely continue business as usual.
Sony dropped a new PlayStation teaser today, in advance of next weekend's gamescom show in Cologne. Looks like they're sticking with the blood and ice imagery, because this second teaser clip has plenty of both, in addition to a bloody chopping axe. Pretty eerie visuals, especially with the cryptic "It's coming" message in the title.
Things have certainly escalated a bit from the first teaser. Last week, Sony released an even shorter clip featuring a snowflake and blood, two visual elements that we don't necessarily associate with one another. At any rate, the ice and blood thing remains pretty prevalent here, and both teasers end with the sight of cracking ice. Rather than a snowflake stained with red then disintegrating this time, we see an axe covered in blood cleaving into a tree stump. That's not suspicious at all, or anything.
The #PlayStationGC is still there, of course. The real question is who has the better gamescom teasers: Sony or BioWare?
World of Warcraft raid-finding Molten Core for 10th anniversary, Molten Corgi pet and Core Hound mount
O, how I long to go back to those Vanilla World of Warcraft days
World of Warcraft is nearing its 10th anniversary. Can you believe that? 10 years running and it's still the most popular subscription-based MMO in the world. I'd hope Blizzard is as impress with that as I am, and according to this announcement for an anniversary celebration it appears they certainly are. Starting this November, World of Warcraft will be adding a couple of fun events to the game. How about a throw-back Battleground featuring Tarren Mill vs. Southshore? Or a "boosted" 40-man Molten Core? Then there's the rewards...
Before we get to the rewards, let's talk about these new gameplay events in a bit more detail. Vanilla World of Warcraft players will recall the Tarren Mill vs. Southshore war, and it was a war, very fondly. This was a time before Arenas and Battlegrounds, a time before the PvP rating system was introduced into the game. The war in Alterac was just because the Alliance and Horde wanted nothing more than to fight. The battles would go on for hours with dozens and occasionally hundreds of players. Those were truly the glory days. A Deathmatch-style Battleground will certainly rekindle a bit of that old fun. Still, when there are clear win conditions a bit of the magic does disappear. Plus, who knows what the player cap will be. There is no player cap in our hearts and memories.
Molten Core, the first full 40-man raid dungeon, ignoring the standalone Onyxia battle, also holds a very nostalgic place in Vanilla World of Warcraft players' memories. Wiping and then taking 10-minutes running back to a boss. A new raider pulling a Core Hound pack that was meant to be skipped and wiping all 40 players. Priests fighting over that damned Eye drop. I'll never forget that feeling of Ragnaros' Hammer finally dropping from his hand, announcing our victory. Blizzard wants new players to experience that too, and if they can recreate that highly challenging, tense experience while also keeping it tuned for 40-man raid finder, then they're unbelievably talented. At the very least, it'll be like a theme park ride. Us old Molten Core veterans may break down crying half-way through though. Core changes a man. Note that the instance will be for max-level players only.
Now for the rewards! It wouldn't be an anniversary celebration without rewards, and let me just say that Blizzard is doing the right thing here. Just for logging in during the event, just so everyone who attends the party feels excited to be there, Blizzard will give out free Molten Corgi pets. They are adorable. Who really needs anything else? For the overachievers, defeating Raganaros in the Molten Core will unlock two things: an achievement and a Core Hound mount. Every end-game raider will want it. Unfortunately there are no announced rewards for the Alterac Battleground.
That's World of Warcraft's 10th anniversary celebration. The corgi alone makes me want to resubscribe, just for a bit. Overall though, I think I might prefer holding onto my memories rather than refreshing them with updated, changed experiences. That said, I'll be going back for Warlords of Draenor anyway, so win, win for me!
Click here to see more images
- Test your game soundtrack repertoire with the Super Smash Bros. for 3DS lineup of composers 
- Daniel Ricciardo's Red Bull RB10 runs Austria's Spielberg circuit in latest F1 2014 trailer 
- Skylanders Trap Team to add 16 Skylanders Minis, small but powerful and oh so adorable 
- Pac-Man Friends hits mobile devices, start a daily diet of ghosts, pellets and bananas 
- The Walking Dead's S2 concludes with No Going Back on August 26, final 5-minute trailer is heavy 
- Age of Wonders III expansion Golden Realms revealed, adds Halflings, Wild Magic and more 
- Titanfall available for Origin Game Time again, try for free in the next 48 hours and keep your unlocks 
- Mass Effect lead Casey Hudson leaves BioWare, despite Mass Effect 4 and new IP still in the works