Sunday, Nov 24
Not sure whether this is a fan-service game or serious
Atlus' oddball announcement of the evening had to be Persona Q: Shadow of the Labyrinth, what looks to be a 3DS dungeon crawler mash-up of Persona 3 and Persona 4 characters. While the exact gameplay of Persona Q wasn't clearly shown, it did appear to feature some sort of random battles or turn-based combat system. Also of note is the stylized look of the game, giving a chibi look to each character.
Overall I'd say the game sounds quite a bit like Capcom's Project X Zone, both of which introduce a couple of new characters whose adventure leads them leads them into meeting characters from other games run by the publisher. Of course, Atlus' may be quite different than that, especially considering the Persona titles fit into the same canon. Will Persona Q turn into a serious release or be a silly side-project focused on fan-service.
Persona Q: Shadow of the Labyrinth is scheduled for release on the Nintendo 3DS starting June 5, in Japan. Expect a western localization sometime in the month afterwards.
Thanks to @Rabla for the heads up!
In which you play as a chair that is also a slave
Persona 5 has been announced. Headlining a string of Persona related announcements coming from Atlus last night, a short teaser was run showing a row of five chairs each shackled to a ball and chain. The row is then shown as just one of many, perhaps implying a classroom of chairs? Text is then flashed on screen stating, asking, "You are slave. Want emancipation?" How perfectly Persona. The RPG is announced for release on PlayStation 3 in winter 2014 -- in Japan.
No other details related to the next Persona sequel were revealed, beyond a few names from the development. There are no big surprises here: Katsura Hashino is the game's Director, who also directed Persona 3, 4, Arena, Catherine and so on; Shigenori Soejima is the game's Character Designer and Art Director, as he was for Persona 3, 4, Catherine and soon; Shoji Meguro returns as the game's Composer, as he was for Persona 3, 4 and many other Shin Megami Tensei titles. It's the dream team.
Persona 5 will be launching on PlayStation 3 winter 2014 in Japan. No plans for bringing the game westward have been announced, though the most recent releases from Atlus have been localized and released within as close as 1-2 months after their Japanese counterparts. Hopefully with Persona 5 being as big of a release as it is the localization will come faster than ever.
Thanks to @Rabla for the heads up!
Friday, Nov 22
Net Articles Summary
- Asus Radeon R9 270 DirectCU II Review - techPowerUp!
- Intel Core i7-4770K vs 3770K vs 2600K Gaming Performance - ocaholic
- Creative Sound Blaster ZxR Review - MadShrimps
- 2560×1600: GeForce GTX 780 Ti vs Radeon R9 290X - Benchmark Reviews
- Fractal Design Integra R2 Review - KitGuru
Well, the next-gen is officially here, with today's launch of the Xbox One. Of course, both consoles have their share of problems, which everyone already anticipated. One such issue that both PS4 and Xbox One is sharing has to do with a frighteningly noisy disc drive. Frightening because disc drives aren't supposed to make these horrid noises.
Keep in mind that these noisy disc drives aren't the norm, and they go well beyond the loud humming we saw with the Xbox 360. When the PS4 came out earlier this month, this video caught some attention:
Just one of many, of course. Yeah, that doesn't sound good at all. His Killzone disc seems okay, though, but it's still not a sound anyone wants to hear when they shove a game or music disc somewhere. Awful, simply awful. Sounds like they built a receipt printer into his console.
Anyway, let's compare that to this newer Xbox One version. Microsoft's next(current?)-gen contender came out at midnight. Of course, like the PS4, the Xbox One has its share of launch issues. This happens to be one possible problem:
Oh God. Oh God, it hurts. But the question remains: which one made you cringe more?
The worst problem I had was syncing multiple controllers with my Xbox One. Have any of you run into terrible PS4/Xbox One issues yet?
A new trailer released just recently with the Xbox One launch has teased exclusive Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes content.
The video doesn't get any more specific than "exclusive Xbox content," however, so we have no idea if it's actual gameplay or something as minor as a skin. Also unclear at this point is whether the content is for Xbox One, Xbox 360, or both.
The PlayStation exclusive for Ground Zeroes wound up being a "Deja Vu Mission" that lets players access a Solid Snake skin based on this 1998 appearance in Metal Gear Solid. Maybe the Xbox exclusive content will be similar -- Raiden skin, perhaps? I'd rather have Snake, really.
Metal Gear Solid 5: Ground Zeroes is expected to come out in Spring 2014 for Xbox One, Xbox 360, PS3, and PS4.
It's just three minutes of Master Chief staring into your eyes
During last night's Xbox One "Countdown" live event video games in general didn't really make an appearance. Perhaps the one shining moment of the event, however, was a video clip titled "Future Xbox One Games," a montage showing off a ton of the Xbox One's upcoming big titles. While 95% of the footage was recycled from previously seen trailers, it was still a great way to build hype about the Xbox One's game lineup.
The other 5% had some interesting content. For instance, we got a good taste of something Quantum Break (well, five seconds of a taste) as well as the promise of exclusive content for Metal Gear Solid V. The rest was just straight up, exciting action.
Microsoft's Xbox One is now available, launching earlier today. There's a healthy selection of games for every player, but there's no argument that the best of it is in the platform's future. This video is a great reminder of what's coming next.
Oh captain, my captain. John Carmack, founder of id Software and savior to us all, has resigned his already limited role at id. Carmack, who became CTO of VR headset tech company Oculus earlier this year, has planned to remain with id in a technical advisory capacity, but unfortunately the situation didn't work out as planned. Carmack admits dividing his attentions was challenging.
Here's the full statement issued by id Software in regards to Carmack's departure:
"John Carmack, who has become interested in focusing on things other than game development at id, has resigned from the studio. John's work on id Tech 5 and the technology for the current development work at id is complete, and his departure will not affect any current projects. We are fortunate to have a brilliant group of programmers at id who worked with John and will carry on id's tradition of making great games with cutting-edge technology. As colleagues of John for many years, we wish him well."
While the text of the statement makes it clear that Carmack voluntarily resigned from his position at id, the more we read into this new piece the more it sounds like it was id's decision rather than Carmack. Carmack of course acquiesced with id's decision, but it sounds like Carmack would have preferred to remain on the team at least in a small capacity.
I wanted to remain a technical adviser for Id, but it just didn't work out. Probably for the best, as the divided focus was challenging.— John Carmack (@ID_AA_Carmack) November 22, 2013
The golden side of this rain cloud is that John Carmack can now dedicate his full attention to the Oculus Rift and other projects at Oculus. The man has ideas in his head and the sooner those things become a reality for consumers to pick up, the better.
Our best wishes to both John Carmack and id Software! Hopefully this is a big step towards a brighter future for both parties.
Officially sanction PlayStation sales for the holidays
Sony's provided a rather kind service to sales-seekers for the upcoming holiday season. They've collected some of the major sales related to PlayStation products, what we can assume to be Sony's officially sanctioned sales. Most aren't specifically associated with retailers, so everyone will have to find these deals out in the wild on their own. Still, this is a great starting point for Black Friday.
Here are Sony's big Black Friday sales:
- PlayStation 3 Black Friday Bunduru - $199.99
- 250GB PlayStation 3
- Batman: Arkham Origins
- The Last of Us
- Best Buy — All PS Vita systems available (11/24 – 11/28) — $169.99
- GameStop — PlayStation Vita 3G/Wi-Fi Bundle (11/29 – 12/1) — $179.99
- Target — All PS Vita systems available (11/28 – 11/30) — $179.99
- Toys R Us — All PS Vita systems available (11/28 – 11/29) — $179.99
- Walmart.com — All PS Vita systems available (11/28 – 11/29) — $179.99
No word on any official memory card sales.
- One year of PS Plus, which typically costs $49.99, will be available for $29.99 at select retailers nationwide.
- The Last of Us - $39.99
- Beyond: Two Souls - $39.99
- DualShock 3 "Special Pricing"
- Deals on more than 20 first-party titles
Keep in mind that these are just the Sony officially sanctioned sales and not the only sales out there. For instance, Knack was just on sale as an Amazon lightning deal for $49.99 and so was Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag. Everyone's best bet for the best deals is to keep your eye on the internet, check local retailer listings, and make sure there's spending money to be found. This is an expensive year for gamers.
Personally, I'll be picking up a year of PS Plus at that awesome price of $29.99 and watching the PS Vita deals like a hawk. Obviously Best Buy has the best direct sale on Vita, but depending on what that bundle GameStop has I may opt for that. Or who knows, maybe Amazon will offer something that catches my eye?
Co-op action playing as psychic rodents? Better than Killzone
Tiny Brains was originally planned to be a PlayStation 4 launch title, but was unfortunately delayed at the last minute. Probably because it has an Xbox symbol in the logo. Anyway, it seems like everything has been sorted out as the devs at Spearhead have confirmed the game is now planned for released on PS4 starting December 3. Odds are PC will be same-day or some time shortly thereafter.
What is Tiny Brains? It's a cooperative puzzle game where players take on the role of superpowered rodents in a test laboratory. Naturally, they must work together and use their abilities in extraordinary ways to solve each puzzle. Naturally, the game has much more personality than just the unique premise, as there's a lot of styled visuals and what looks like some zany humor too.
Tiny Brains is console exclusive on the PlayStation 4. Get hyped for the console's first true co-op title, or play it single-player if that's your style. Either way, Tiny Brains looks like a great early addition to the console's line-up.
Update: I just got word from Spearhead Games that the the PC release date remains unconfirmed at this time, though they're aiming for an early to mid-December launch.
@bluexy No date announced for Steam. But we're aiming for early for early to mid-December.— Spearhead Games (@SpearheadMtl) November 22, 2013
Click here to see more images
No new primals, but more than enough content to make up for it
Content cometh to those who wait. Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn will be picking up its first huge content patch on December 17 as revealed in the lasted Q&A session with the game's producer. That's big news for the MMO faithful, because the patch will feature tons of content, some new and some recycled from the game's earlier release. Combined, it spells for a ton of awesome new activities.
For a full round-up of what to expect in patch 2.0 check out community member Rabla's great information collection post in the forums. It has details and images related to what's coming next, as well as content that has been pushed further down the line. For a quick summary, however, here are the big features:
- Lighting Returns Active Event
- Crystal Tower Dungeon, a 24 person dungeon that drops Level 80 gear
- Pharos Sirius Dungeon
- Copperbell Mines and Haukke Manor Dungeons get Hard Mode
- Duty Finder Update Adds "Content Roulette"
- Free Company Housing
- The Wolves Den PvP
- Good King Moogle Boss
- Ifrit, Titan, Garuda Extreme Difficulty Modes
- Ultima Weapon Hard Mode
- Aesthetician, allows players to recustomize their character's hair, etc.
As you can see, that's a lot of content. Perhaps the biggest change for many players, however, will be the increase of the Mythology Tome Cap from 300 to 450 a wekk. This will allow players to get the highest of end-game gear in a month less than before. Previously it would take at least 3 months of capping every day, but now it's only two. Still a bit excessive, but good for hardcore players.
Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn players have a lot of look forward to. Let's get this next patch over with so we can move on to new story content and the introduction of Leviathan and other primals!
Nintendo has proudly reported that Pokemon XY are officially the fastest of all 3DS games to reach one million sales. As if you needed anymore evidence of the games' success. The world never outgrew its Pokemon fever.
The top four 3DS games in terms of sales include Pokemon XY, Mario Kart 7, Super Mario 3D Land, and New Super Mario Bros. 2, in order of popularity. Pokemon XY beat all three by hitting one million sales in a single day, while the rest reached the same milestone across four weeks, six weeks, and 16 weeks, respectively. Previously, Nintendo announced that Pokemon XY had exceeded four million sales on launch week.
Additionally, the US has seen more than two million copies of Pokemon XY sold. Like I said, Pokemon fever.
It all works out rather nicely for Nintendo, too. Four weeks after Pokemon XY came out, 2DS/3DS sales were estimated to have risen 135%. Dig the infographic below.
- Hyrule Warriors, a mash-up of The Legend of Zelda and Dynasty Warriors, announced for 2014 
- Twitch.tv update imposes delay of up to 60s in all streams, viewer interaction severely affected 
- Indie hit Terraria is heading to PlayStation Vita in a week on December 17, includes Cross-Play 
- Next Mass Effect game now in playable form, teases BioWare general manager 
- Pokemon XY anime, Pokemon the Series: XY, debuts January 18 and gets English trailer 
- Dragon Age: Inquisition screenshots, images show off development progress and in-game look 
- Sony Entertainment Network on PlayStation 4 facing serious issues, login errors 
- NES Remix announced and launched on Wii U, wonky remixes of classic gameplay 
- Public Service Announcement: Next-Gen Has Been Canceled 
- VGX Live-blog and Live-chat: GTAV crowned GotY (surprise), Naughty Dog wins top studio 
- Xbox One Countdown Liveblog 
- Terrifying disc drive sounds from Xbox One and PS4, let's compare 
- League of Legends LCS contracts ban streaming of Dota 2, World of Tanks, Blizzard games 
- Pokemon Bank confirmed for December 27, transfer Pokemon X and Y favorites with a free trial