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Monday, Aug 11

Toy Soldiers: War Chest announced, Starbright's Star Power and more factions like the Kaiser's army

0 comments Rory Young - 6:19pm (PST) Like Share

There better be a robot faction, is all I'm saying

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Toy Soldiers, a unique strategy action title from Signal Studios, found an odd sort of success in a World War set in the living room sort of way. Yet even the sequel, Toy Soldiers: Cold War doesn't compare to the over-the-top craziness of this newly announced title in the franchise. Toy Soldiers: War Chest will explore what happens when the Kaiser's army realizes there's a whole world out there beyond the western front. Bring out the Barbies.

Yes, Toy Soldiers: War Chest will focus on the addition of multiple warring factions factions. While the Kaiser and his German Empire will be returning, a transitionary relic from the previous games which sets the stage for the war to come, the three other factions will be entirely new. Only one of these three has yet been unveiled, so please give a warm welcome to Starbright and her Star Power army.

Starbright's army is the thematic counterpoint to the toy soldier theme. Her army is made of unicorns, gummi bears, teddy bears and fairies. They're don't appear to be a very warlike faction in the traditional sense, but when provoked their magic, horns and love powers prove just as effective on the battlefield. Starbright herself is definitely the star of the show, however, seeming a mix of Space Channel 5's Ulala and Venelope from Wreck it Ralph. 

It's great to see Toy Soldiers breaking out of its boy-centric shell, escaping the "War game, but for the whole family" vibe that I found rather unattractive. Including a whole Toy Chest of new playable armies is much more entertaining to me. There's so much more humor, personality, and creativity available for Signal to have fun with. Hopefully it's not just a new look for the same games we've already played.

Toy Soldiers: War Chest will be available on PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One starting in early 2015.

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Dead Island 2 trailer for gamescom promises plenty of ways to kill zombies under the California sun

5 comments Lydia Sung - 6:00pm (PST) Like Share

Come for the sun, stay for the slaughter

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Dead Island 2 could just be the most scenic zombie apocalypse game we've seen to date, being set in sunny Southern California and all. The new trailer released in advance of gamescom 2014 highlights this lovely feature, boasting shots of the Hollywood sign and so many zombies.

Of course, none of this would be very Dead Island if you didn't have the freedom to kill the zombies in just about any way you like, and that's a big part of what his trailer is trying to convey. Yes, you can even freeze zombies, should setting fire to them become too mundane.

Story-wise, Dead Island 2 takes place after Dead Island and Escape Dead Island (which I'm seriously looking forward to), several months following the catastrophe on Banoi. Now that the infestation has spread to California, the US government actually quarantined the entire state, but that just leaves more zombies for you -- and your friends -- to kill.

Dead Island 2 will be out next year in the spring for Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC. Dig the trailer below.

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Pre-order Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare for the Day Zero Edition, grants early access to multiplayer

6 comments Lydia Sung - 4:46pm (PST) Like Share

Be some of the first to try the new exoskeleton

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Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare is steadily approaching release day, and Activision today announced the Day Zero Edition, with extra perks for early adopters. Just pre-order the game and get a nice 24-hour head start in multiplayer, along with two custom weapons and the existing Advanced Arsenal pre-order bonus. Early access is set to begin November 3.

One day of early access and some DLC weapons might not seem like much, but for Call of Duty fans, they're a nice little bonus for simply reserving the game. Imagine getting a whole day's worth of mutliplayer time in before most other players, and being some of the first to try out new features like the exoskeleton.

The big thing about the exoskeleton is the way it enhances player movement and power. Toss this in with other sci-fi weaponry never before seen in a Call of Duty game, and you've got more or less an entirely new playground for the dedicated fanbase.

With the all-new exoskeleton, players can boost jump, dodge, dash, slide, slam and more as the action goes vertical, while using future-tech, cutting-edge capabilities and a brand-new weapon class as part of nearly 350 custom weapons.  Offering a new reward system, including more than 1,000 in-game player rewards, and nearly limitless customization options that create more than 2 billion unique player combinations and more, the title offers the most in-depth, robust and advanced Call of Duty multiplayer experience ever on both next generation and current generation systems.

Basically, this is the first time we're seeing a Call of Duty game make the leap from cutting-edge modern to what can be described as borderline futuristic. A lot of the new tech look like they've been ripped from some science fiction universe, but Sledgehammer Games made sure they kept everything relatively believable.

Bear in mind that the Day Zero Edition works with any other version of the game you've pre-ordered, whether it's a standard copy of Advanced Warfare or the various Atlas editions. Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare will be out for Xbox One, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4 and PC on November 4.


Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA F 2nd release date announced, sing and dance this November

0 comments Max Navarro - 3:38pm (PST) Like Share

Party like a pop star

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Sega is offering yet another chance to virtually dance with Hatsune Miku for those unable to pick up Mirai Remix on the Nintendo 3DS. The publisher revealed that Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA F 2nd will be heading the Sony PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Vita starting November 18 in North America and November 21 in every other part of the world.

Project DIVA F 2nd takes the stage as yet another addition into the Project DIVA series. What makes this game special compared to the nine other entries that appear on the outside to be exactly the same? Well, F 2nd introduces twenty brand new songs that will be played amongst elite grooves such as Cat Food, now available in the game's Augmented Reality mode on the PlayStation Vita, and Tokyo Teddy Bear. Oh, and players will also be able to design their own Modules, or costumes, through use of F 2nd's Edit Mode, though over eighty others will be previously made and available for those who feel like they are more suited to dancing versus designing.

Those who are not a fan of the blue-haired pop star have the option of using a variety of pre-programmed characters including Kagamine Rin, Megurine Luka and more. However, if you're truly desperate for more dancers, check out the pre-order DLC. Sega also announced three additional characters -- Akita Neru, Yowane Haku, and Kasane Teto -- that will be available in the game by pre-ordering your copy with GameStop.

I have to say, the reveal of retailer-exclusive downloadable content is not the best news I have received today. Nevertheless, this game should still provide the cute, bubbly, and perky experience that everyone has to come to expect from Hatsune Miku titles. Aspiring dancers who may need the help of a controller to get their grooves on will be able to pick up Hatsune Miku: Project Diva F 2nd, coming only to the Sony PlayStation Vita and PlayStation 3, starting this November.

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Square Enix braves new IP for PC and consoles with Life is Strange, from the makers of Remember Me

2 comments Leo Chan - 11:59am (PST) Like Share

DONTNOD returns with new episodic game series where you mess with time

Square Enix still isn't one to shy away from new IP even for consoles, as the JRPG publisher teams up with DONTNOD (the makers of Capcom's Remember Me, which if you'll remember we liked) to announce Life is Strange for PC, PS4, Xbox One, PS3 and Xbox 360. In spite of the looming threat of bankruptcy which befell DONTNOD following the release of Remember Me, the Paris-based developer has a new opportunity to strike gold with something that isn't a sequel.

So what could be bold enough for Square Enix to test the next-gen console waters with? Life is Strange is so far confirmed to be an episodic adventure game series where decisions made in earlier chapters may affect how later ones unfold. Okay so maybe it doesn't sound all that bold nowadays (look at any Telltale Games release), but Life is Strange throws in a character that can rewind time.

Life is Strange stars Max Caulfield as she (hey, Max is an androgynous name) returns to her fictional US town of Arcadia Bay, Oregon, reuniting with friend Chloe to investigate the "mysterious and rather uncomfortable" disappearance of fellow senior student Rachel Amber. Max must come to grips with the power to turn back time, and Square Enix promises that how you use this ability will play its part in evolving the overall story.

No, it has nothing to do with Chrono Trigger despite messing with the space-time continuum. Here's hoping for easter eggs though. Hey, even the Thief reboot had one.

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Destiny's beta Guardians fall to the Darkness, Bungie confirms all data erased

11 comments Matt Newbould - 11:35am (PST) Like (1) Share (1)

Destiny's Guardians in need of a ghost once more

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The record breaking Destiny console beta last month attracted over 4.6 million players. Throughout it all there was one big question from those participating: just how much data from beta saves would be carried over to the final version of the game? They have their answer now. Bungie has made it official -- no beta Guardians will carry on into the full release. In fact, they've already been deleted.

That’s it for my grenade spamming Warlock and his trusty scout rifle, my sneaky Hunter with that full set of uncommon armor and the Titan I hardly got a chance to know. They’re all gone now as Bungie completed a full wipe of the latest build last week. It’s back to square one for the full release in just under a months time.

It seems the decision was made with the balancing of the final game build in mind. Numerous changes, some just small tweaks, have been made since the beta begaun -- bringing in new features and items along with removing some others. Alterations to how experience is earned would apparently make beta Guardians in the final version, "confusing at best, broken at worst." It’s a perfectly feasible explanation, but it's also justifiable that Bungie wants players to experience the full release of the game as they intended it to be and with no shortcuts allowed. 

No matter what, it will surely make the early levels of Old Russia and that grind to level 8 once more a tad monotonous for anyone who played both Beta and Alpha builds of Destiny. Bungie has put a strong emphasis on getting right back into Destiny when it launches. They promise that once players delve back into this world there will be little to lament about the loss of a level 8 character and some early gear. 

Destiny is set to launch globally September 9 on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. Expect more information about in the coming weeks as Destiny heads to Germany to feature at gamescom from August 13 through to August 17.


Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare multiplayer gameplay trailer, traversal, armaments, customization advanced

2 comments Rory Young - 11:07am (PST) Like Share

Let me play as Kevin Spacey, please

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With Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare just months away from release, it was only a matter of time before Sledgehammer Games revealed the multiplayer for their shooter. With the franchise now on a 3-year development cycle, Sledgehammer had a lot to prove. Yet with today's multiplayer gameplay trailer, they've shown some ambitious plans to both retain that Call of Duty pacing and feel, but otherwise advance how movement, customization and combat work in motion.

The Titanfall influence is real. The most dramatic way in which Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare will change in terms of play-style is through environmental traversal. Sledgehammer's added a double jump jet pack feature, much like lost child Respawn's jumping. In addition to that, they've added a dash-strafe feature for quick dodges of potentially fatal attacks. There's no wall-jumping though, so Call of Duty will still remain a bit more grounded than Titanfall.

Also shown in the gameplay trailer are several new maps, weapons, game-types, and a startling amount of customization both in terms of character design and also skill usage. Kill-streak customization is about to get a little wild. Needless to say, there was much more revealed in detail than the gameplay trailer captures. Look forward to more details soon.

Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare is planned for release on PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Xbox 360, and PlayStation 3. Pick the game up starting November 4, or 24-hours early for pre-orderers.


Sunday, Aug 10

Official Pokemon Omega Ruby/Alpha Sapphire footage of latest Mega Evolutions, Horde Battles

53 comments Rory Young - 12:28pm (PST) Like Share

Nintendo of North America has a lot of catch-up to do

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Earlier this week Mega Altaria, Mega Lopunny and Mega Salamence were revealed in the usual CoroCoro scan leaks from Japan. More Megas in Pokemon Omega Ruby and Pokemon Alpha Sapphire is good news for both you and me. Those leaks also confirmed some new details about Pikachu's cosplay contests, such as new skills depending on which costume Pikachu is wearing. It was an amazing drop of information, but it lacked being official... until now.

Today, Nintendo's official Youtube channel rushed the gun and released all-new game footage of the three new Mega Evolutions, the costume contests, Pikachu's cosplay skills, and a few surprises too. Needless to say, it's all so beautiful. Mega Altaria's majestic clouds, Mega Lopunny's ripped muscles, and Mega Salamence still has arms! I saw them, I swear!

For those looking for additional information on the Mega Evolved Pokemon: Altaria's largest boosts will come to both its Attack and Special Attack stats, though its Defense will also increase; Lopunny learns the Scrappy ability, and gains a huge boost to its Attack and a smaller boost to its Speed. Salamence's Defense will get the most reward from Mega Evolving,  but it will also gain the Aerilate ability which turns Normal-type moves into Flying-type moves.

As for surprises... first, I have to mention that Pokemon Omega Ruby and Pokemon Alpha Sapphire will launch with a distribution event. Starting November 21. Shiny Beldum will be available via in-game Internet distribution -- that's the Pokemon that evolved all the way into Shiny Metagross. The Pokemon will of course be holding its Mega Evolution stone upon delivery. Note that it says "in-game" here, which means it's for Pokemon Omega Ruby and Pokemon Alpha Sapphire early adopters. Shiny Beldum is basically a pre-order bonus. Oh, and this is confirmed for both the USA and Canada!

Another fun surprise includes the reveal of Horde Battles coming to Hoenn. The gang-fight style ambushes of multiple Pokemon popping out of the tall grass and asking you to smash their faces in was both received well and poorly in Pokemon X and Pokemon Y, depending on the type of trainer you were. These battles were great for leveling, great for hunting down certain types of Pokemon, but take forever to just beat up and keep on your way. Hordes of trainers has also been confirmed, though what that looks like in practice...

Pokemon Omega Ruby and Pokemon Alpha Sapphire will be available starting November 21 later this year. Hopefully there will be a Mega Evolution for everyone's favorite Pokemon

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Friday, Aug 8

Darksiders showing signs of life as Vigil Games is reborn under Gunfire Games, led by Vigil founder

6 comments Lydia Sung - 3:29pm (PST) Like Share

New indie studio led by core studio team is born

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After seemingly abandoned to death, the Darksiders series is showing new signs of life, as key developers from long-defunct Vigil Games reconvene under a new banner, Gunfire Games.

The new independent studio is led by Vigil founder and Crytek USA head David Adam, the very same man who previously expressed an interest in buying up the Darksiders IP again, Gunfire Games is comprised of his very own core studio team. In a recent interview with Polygon, he delves heavily into his personal feelings on the industry, working for Crytek and, of course, a possible future for his beloved Darksiders

On the topic of War, Death and the fate of the post-apocalyptic fantasy action game, Adam isn't making any promises. It remains an option that Gunfire are interested in, and they're talking to the current IP owner Nordic Games, but the studio is still young and their long-term plan is to build an entirely new IP. Nonetheless, Darksiders remains a possibility:

"That is one of the options we are exploring. But we don't want to jump into something immediately. We want to weight our options.

"We're looking at some smaller short term deals to keep the guys working. We do want to get a solid idea of what we're going to do next so we can make an informed decision about the engine we'll be using and the size of the team.

"We have a couple of good ideas. One of them is for an original idea, one is to work on an established IP. A couple of alternatives is more about helping other projects."

This is a man who clearly puts a lot of stock in his own vision and the capabilities of his team. Whatever the future has in store for Gunfire Games, we're wishing Adam and his staff all the luck in the world.

Categories: Console Games PC Games

Farming Simulator 15 to harvest October on PC, graphics and physics engine rebuilt for the Tractors

3 comments Rory Young - 2:07pm (PST) Like (1) Share

Get it? They rebuilt the tractor's engine?

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Do you know what time it is? It's farming time, so shut up and put that game down before I slap your face. When Farming Simulator 2015 speaks, you listen. This behemoth of a game series single-handedly laid the foundation for a generation of boring, yet surprisingly realistic simulation games is back. Today Giants Software announced the that Farming Simulator 2015 will be released on PC this August. That's just in time for a Halloween field maze!

"Gosh, Rory. I already played Farming Simulator 2014 and I work 16 hours of a day on the farm too. What can Farming Simulator 2015 offer me?" It's a farming game, fella. I have no freakin' idea. In terms of gamey-type stuff, I can tell you that Farming Simulator 2015 will feature and all new game engine. It probably has new tractor engine's too. And like harvesting some fine, rich and well maintained earth, the crop of actual gameplay will be better than ever. Maybe a few surprises to be found too.

I've never played a Farming Simulator game. I probably never will play a Farming Simulator game. But I'll be damned if I don't respect the crazy fools willing to spend hours simulating a farm closed off in their bedrooms and offices day after day. You may never taste the bounty of your crop in real life, and you probably lack imagination based off of your choice in video game, but, well, I don't know really. You're crazy.

Sure, Farming Simulator will be harvesting hay in October, but what about all of those other farming wannabes on console? Don't worry, you slack-jawed yokels, Farming Simulator 2015 will also be coming to PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 in early 2015. Wait, a game coming out in the same year that it's titled? I think that bad juju. Aren't farmers supposed to be superstitious?

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Categories: Console Games PC Games