Monday, Jun 29
Don't you dare keep this one Japan-only too, Capcom!
Damn it all, Capcom! Why do you do this to us? The Great Ace Attorney, a loose translation of the Japanese title Dai Gyakuten Saiban: Naruhodō Ryūnosuke no Bōken, is coming up on its July 9 launch in Japan. Yes, that's the latest tile in the Ace Attorney franchise, though you won't see Phoenix Wright or Miles Edgeworth in this one. This one's set in feudal Japan and starring Ryūnosuke Naruhodō, his last name a pun on "I See!" Time travel probably isn't out of bounds for the franchise though. But back to the point -- here we are so close to the Japan launch and Capcom still hasn't announced a western localization. Damn it all, Capcom!
I'll be honest, the launch trailer for The Great Ace Attorney isn't likely to be very enticing to western audience. I'm not really posting this one for us all to watch and get hyped. I'm posting it because apparently Capcom needs quite a bit more pushing before they'll localize the damn game and if one more news post can help with that then I'll do my best for the cause. Remember, Capcom didn't even release Ace Attorney Investigations: Miles Edgeworth 2 in the west, because they're freakin' jerks. I'm crossing all of my fingers that The Great Ace Attorney won't also miss a localization, but you really can't trust Capcom with these things these days.
The trailer itself focuses on introducing each of the major characters in the game, spinning up a bit of the classic investigative intrigue with a tease of the game's first murder, as well as showing plenty of that classic Ace Attorney personality. Unfortunately there's quite a bit of text and very little movement in the trailer. 3DS gameplay doesn't translate very well into a big, high-resolution launch trailer, so they spend a lot of their time dropping unmoving concept art on-screen and adding the Japanese voice-over on top of it. I'm sure it's great if you know Japanese.
Dai Gyakuten Saiban: Naruhodō Ryūnosuke no Bōken, loosely translated as Great Turnabout Trial: The Adventure of Ryūnosuke Naruhodō and known in the west as The Great Ace Attorney, will launch in Japan on July 9. The 3DS exclusive adventure game has yet to have a localization for other regions announced. It may not be localized at all. Make sure to message Capcom via their social media channels that we want more Ace Attorney here, because we do. And Capcom won't do it unless we make them!
Battleborn is Gearbox's upcoming free-to-play shooter. The name can be a bit tough to remember in the mix of all these upcoming F2P shooters like BattleCry, Gigantic and Overwatch. Think of it as Battle-Borderlands, which kind of sounds like Battleborn. Battleborn-derlands. Whatever. Anyway, Gearbox went E3 with Battleborn and showed off their game to attendees. That doesn't do much good for us kids at home, however. Luckily Gearbox has our back too, as they've released about 20 minutes of gameplay footage from their E3 2015 demo.
As expected the game is quite Borderlandsy. Battle-Borderlandsy. The mission shown is one of the game's cooperative modes where the players push through enemy AI, ultimately growing into the escort of a large doomsday robot of sorts. The footage ends just as this robot seems to be converted to the enemy's side. Apparently watching our players take on waves of mindless, near powerless drones makes for a good demo, but the big awesome boss fight at the end was too much to handle. Eh, the gameplay seems less focused on the action, oddly, and more on introducing the characters and their abilities.
Battleborn is one of the upcoming waves of FPS MOBA-likes where players pick one of a large roster of characters to play as. Each character has a subset of unique abilities as well as general attacks, but the focus is on ensuring each one feels fun, special, and packed with personality. Gearbox has really exemplified these ideas with Borderlands, pouring style and humor onto a surprisingly simple sort of gameplay and finding a lot of success with it. Battleborn is an extension of that idea, but capitalizing on the current popularity (and profits) of the microtransaction-rich F2P MOBA-likes.
The issue I can already see arising is that perhaps Borderlands' gameplay, and so then Battleborn's as well, just isn't enough to carry this kind of experience. Borderlands was all about progression, including leveling up, finding tons of loot, and moving the story along bit by bit. The shooting was just a part of following these progression paths. Free-to-play games and MOBA-like experiences, however, are all about quick, fast and adrenaline-pumping gameplay. The style and personality help differentiate the games from competitors, sure, but the gameplay is what's key.
I'm not sure that from what I've seen of Battleborn is enough to keep people tied into the experience in such a way. Compare what we see here to Overwatch with its quick skill cooldowns and frantic, action-packed combat, or even Gigantic's speedy action with tons of verticality and really large, screen-filling abilities. Then look at Battleborn with its rather tepid gun-play, slow movements, scant skills that are very understated and on long cooldowns. Maybe the game's overarching progression systems will be a more worthwhile investment, like in Borderlands, but the gameplay definitely isn't selling the experience very well right now.
Battleborn ha no currently announced plans for a beta, though one should be expected before the end of the year. Hopefully we'll hear more in the months to come.
Thursday, Jun 25
2 total articlesNet Articles Summary
- AMD Radeon R9 Fury X 4 GB - techPowerUp!
- The AMD Radeon R9 Fury X 4GB Review - Fiji Finally Tested - PC Perspective
Everyone knows what Disgaea delivers -- there's nothing else to say!
Nippon Ichi Software continues to pump out these Disgaea games like they're a niche strategy JRPG of Call of Duty! What number are we on again? Oh yeah, Disgaea 5: Alliance of Vengeance! This time, it's a boyish protagonist with a lady side-kick for some reason wearing a bikini, wait... that's the same, isn't it? Okay, well this time they're fighting to overthrow the dark powers ruling hell, wait... that's the same too, huh? Okay, well this time it's on PlayStation 4. Hah! Even Disgaea can do new things once and a while. Announced today, Disgaea 5: Alliance of Vengeance arrive on October 9 exclusively for PlayStation 4.
And of course I'm mostly kidding, guys. Disgaea 5 has plenty of new features that should placate the dedicated fans that the franchise has amassed so far. The latest game will feature alliance attacks, special moves only activatable when protagonist Killia's "relationship" is aligned with an ally. There's also an all new Revenge Mode which strengthens characters as their allies get defeated in combat. And Disgaea 5 is making a point to show off more of the Netherworlds than ever see before. Okay, so the new features aren't really changing the game in any significant way. But it's on PlayStation 4!
The game doesn't need to change in any huge ways, after all. Fans love Disgaea because of the huge customizable roster of allies, including over 40 races and jobs, each with their own specific traits. They love the grid-based tactical combat and grindy yet challenging combat. They love the oh-so-anime storytelling from the perspective of an anti-hero battling for control of what's basically hell. There's not really anything like Disgaea, which is why Nippon Ichi doesn't really ever need to change the formula. Fans want more of this sort of experience and so Nippon Ichi delivers.
Disgaea 5: Alliance of Vengeance will be available on PlayStation 4 starting October 6 in North America and October 9 in Europe. The latest game in the Disgaea franchise will not be coming to PlayStation 3 -- it's a PS4 exclusive! So if you're a Disgaea fan, I'd recommend jumping to the new generation. I don't think the franchise will be going back now that they've made the jump.
NIS America also announced that Disgaea 5 will feature a special Launch Day Edition which includes the game, a reversible cover, a wider collectible box, a 32-page art book and the game's original soundtrack -- all for the same price as the game would be otherwise. It's basically the best way to do launch day incentives ever, because there's none of that pre-order DLC crap involved.
The iOS storefront yet again shows it's not a safe place for video games
In today's chapter of "Video Games: Is it Censorship?" I believe we can add another page in the, "Yes, it's Censorship" part of the book. Apple has gone on a banning rampage in their own iOS storefront, removing every game which depicts the confederate flag. This includes titles such as strategy game Ultimate General: Gettysburg and a series of Civil War strategy games made by Hunted Cow. The only similarity between the titles appears to be that they include the confederate flag as an asset within their game files.
The statement that Apple has apparently been sending to developers who have had their art pulled from the store gives only a bit of reasoning for the action:
"...because it includes images of the confederate flag used in offensive and mean-spirited ways."
The flag has long been an object of political controversy in the United States, but has recently been pulled back into the spotlight after a racially motivated public shooting occurred in the state of South Carolina resulting in nine murders at a Charleston church. The state's leadership has come under fire for running the confederate flag at the state capitol, a symbol rooted in racist history going back to the times of slavery and a symbol the South Carolina shooter used to justify his hate crimes. The South Carolina governor has taken down the flag as the controversy has spread across the nation, starting a conversation regarding the meaning of the flag to those who continue to fly it. It still runs in front of many government buildings in the United States.
Apple has apparently decided that this controversy is worth dealing with within its own App Store, dealt with by removing games featuring the confederate flag in any way from their storefront. Video games remain a federally protected art form, but as far as Apple's storefront goes they are well within their rights to remove any product they want to. Still, this amounts to suppressing art based off of content found distasteful within them. That is to say, it is the very definition of censorship.
The question of whether this is the right thing for Apple to do or not is another question entirely, but let no one call this anything but censorship. At least some of the games pulled from the storefront went lengths to portray an accurate historical context for their content, but this seems to have no meaning to Apple in their effort to remove all instances of the confederate flag. Apple is well known for removing any sort of "distasteful" games from their storefront in the past, including games approaching any sort of sexual content or excessive violence. Censorship is something they are well versed in, for better or worse. It's unlikely these games will be allowed back on the storefront.
Touch Arcade has received a statement from the developer of of Ultimate General: Gettysburg which I believe accurately and maturely summarizes the situation:
"We accept Apple's decision and understand that this is a sensitive issue for the American Nation. We wanted our game to be the most accurate, historical, playable reference of the Battle of Gettysburg. All historical commanders, unit composition and weaponry, key geographical locations to the smallest streams or farms are recreated in our game's battlefield.
We receive a lot of letters of gratitude from American teachers who use our game in history curriculum to let kids experience one of the most important battles in American history from the Commander's perspective.
Spielberg’s "Schindler's List" did not try to amend his movie to look more comfortable. The historical "Gettysburg" movie (1993) is still on iTunes. We believe that all historical art forms: books, movies, or games such as ours, help to learn and understand history, depicting events as they were. True stories are more important to us than money.
Therefore we are not going to amend the game's content and Ultimate General: Gettysburg will no longer be available on AppStore. We really hope that Apple’s decision will achieve the desired results. We can’t change history, but we can change the future."
Simply put, the iOS is not a safe place for art and so is not a safe place for video games. Hopefully more developers become aware of this as a result of today's events.
Join in the ongoing discussion for this topic within the Neoseeker community, care of @Shilz.
Dedicated XCOM fans have probably been able to sniff this out already, as Firaxis Games gave several live demos to various live-streaming outlets during E3 2015. The folk at Firaxis and 2K understand that not everyone was able to keep up with every E3 livestream though. So they went ahead and released a full recording of their E3 2015 demo which was otherwise only shown "Behind Closed Doors." XCOM 2 will be arriving in November later this year, so you can rather reliably say that even though this is beta footage, it should be feature complete. This gameplay is a good indicator for what the final game will look like.
As is typically the case for any and every E3 demonstration, the XCOM 2 demo focuses rather heavily on introducing the various new features which Firaxis will be adding in the sequel. These range from large features like stealth approaches to start a mission, secondary objectives like blowing up the statue, to less obvious features like the new classes, improved cinematic quality of gameplay and evacuation procedures. All in all, there is a ton of information for XCOM players to take in from this demo. I figure folk will be looking it over for quite some time in order to figure out its secrets.
For folk like me who aren't so interested in the features so much as the XCOM authenticity, I'd say this demo is a triumph. The whole party is wiped out except for one single character, yet performed rather amazingly considering they went up against overwhelming odds in the middle of an alien-controlled stronghold. Just having that final character survive is great symbolism, as the game's entire premise is about losing the war yet continuing to struggle against oppression. Also, he saved that other character so he could salvage her armor and items. That's a true XCOM player right there. What a huge loss of investment otherwise, right?
XCOM 2 is in development at Firaxis Games and is planned for released exclusively on PC in November later this year. It takes place some time after the events of the original XCOM and is built on the idea that humanity lost the war with the invading aliens. XCOM has survived, however, and is planning on taking back their planet.
Here ends the reign of Pool Nation FX of the Xbox One's line-up
Well hey, hey, hey! Look at this! Microsoft's got a pretty solid line-up of title for Games With Gold in July. Both Xbox platforms will be picking up a pair of games. I guess Pool Nation started to ask for too much money. Best yet, we're getting both a pretty outstanding AAA game as well as a smaller indie game. That's the best of both worlds. The Xbox 360's are both just outstanding. Two of the best games of that generation, and one of them well-timed considering a pair of announcements at E3. Good on Microsoft to even be willing to share this one. Alright, enough teasing.
Let's take a look at Microsoft's Games With Gold line-up for July:
- Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag (July 1 - July 31)
- So Many Me (July 16 - August 15)
- Plants vs. Zombies (July 1 - July 15)
- Gears of War 3 (July 16 - July 31)
We're witnessing an interesting divergence here. It looks like Microsoft has figured out the direction they want for the program going forward. Xbox One games on the service seem to be on a monthly release schedule, but with tapered releases. That is to say that a new game will be added every 15 days, but an old game will then be removed. This will maintain a 2-game schedule, but also provide two new games every month. The Xbox 360, though, where it must be easier to get contracts for new games in a short amount of time, will also maintain two games each month. However, they'll only last 15 days and only one will be up at a given time.
Gears of War 3 is an awesome game, my favorite in the franchise, and Microsoft must be releasing it to build up hype for the pending release of the Gears of War Ultimate Edition on Xbox One. Hopefully they don't end up showing how much better the series is on Xbox 360. Plants vs. Zombies is an understandable pick. It's a great title that comes from one of Microsoft's closest third-party partners. I believe Garden Warfare has also been a part of Games With Gold. And Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag is just a solid get no matter what. Sure it's one of the older titles on Xbox One, but it's possibly also the best launch title for the platform.
There's your Games With Gold for July, everyone. Make sure to hop online and download Massive Chalice and Pool Nation FX on Xbox One before the end of July, as well as Thief on Xbox 360.
Unclear if the Ruins of Sescheron is story-based content or not
Season 3 continues unabated in Diablo III, looking as strong as it ever has. The game has been reinvented with post-launch patches and the major changes introduced with the release of the Reaper of Souls expansion. The flock of returning player has only reinvigorated the Blizzard Entertainment devs currently working on Diablo III, as they've only just announced their plans for Patch 2.3.0. The patch will feature an entirely new zone to explore and adventure through, rewarding players with the mysterious Kanai's Cube artifact upon completion. And that's just scratching the surface.
The patch will be hitting the Public Test Realm "soon" for those willing to be test rats. It's not clear whether Blizzard intends to release 2.3.0, though with Season 3's end still a ways away it seems like might have it ready before the Season's end. Here are the major feature updates, though it should be noted that Blizzard has made major changes to patch features before. Don't be surprised if things change between now and release:
- Ruins of Sescheron Zone: Patch 2.3.0 will unlock the Ruins of Sescheron zone, an explorable are with new enemies and "environmental hazards." At the end of the zone will lie the Tomb of King Kania and his mysterious Kanai's Cube artifact."
- Kanai's Cube: Like the Horadric Cube on steroids, Kanai's Cube allows for breaking down Legendary items in order to equip their effects as passive skills, converting crafting materials, and other tricks.
- Crafting Updates: "Crunched down" number of crafting recipes, as well as dynamically adjusting recipes for low level items.
- Adventure Mode Updates: Changes to improve the pacing of Adventure Mode, while encouraging players to do more bounties across multiple acts. Includes Act-specific crafting materials and bonus Horadric Caches for completing Bonus Acts.
- Season Journey: Starting in Season 4, a new interface will allow players to track their progress across Chapters and Tiers. These will note "major milestones" and unlock portrait rewards for certain challenges.
- Increasing Torment: Torment, previously capped at VI, will not scale all the way up to Torment X.
- Legendary & Set Items: It wouldn't be a patch without new legendary and set items and effects, as well as revamping some existing items. Not retroactive.
- Combat Changes: Crowd control to be less effective against certain "tougher" monsters. More or less experience granted based on monster difficulty (time taken to kill a monster). Difficulty diverted away from Rift Guardian and into challenges along the way.
This is just a list of major feature changes made in Diablo III's patch 2.3.0. The specific notes have not been published, and the developers have even noted that there are some smaller but equally awesome changes that just didn't make the list.
As mentioned earlier, the patch is not yet live on the Public Test Realm and it's not clear whether or not the patch is intended to be released before or after the end of Season 3. The general trend for Blizzard is to release these big patches as a season is ending, however, so players can get accustomed to the content before the next season begins. All without shifting the meta mid-season. Expect more details on this soon.
Diablo III and its expansion Reaper of Souls are both currently available on PC, and also on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One in the form of the Ultimate Evil Edition. News on console patches tends to come quite a bit later than for PC, so please wait for more information in the months to come, console players.
Why can't everyone be as cool as you guys, Obsidian?
As the gaming industry toils over botched PC ports and exploitative DLC practices, it's good to know developers like Obsidian Entertainment are still there for us. Today the developer announced their Pillars of Eternity 2.0 patch, arriving with the release of their expansion The White March. Or, well, the first part of The White March that is. What's so awesome about another expansion gamers will have to throw their money at? How about the fact that patch 2.0 and the major features it adds will be available for all players of Pillars of Eternity. No expansion required.
Patch 2.0 won't include any additional content for Pillars of Eternity players, as if they'd need any more in the base game. However, for those doing their second run or perhaps for those who are just starting out, these will be great features which enhance the overall experience. As usual, in addition to the feature additions the patch will also include bug fixes and balance changes
- Party AI - "You will now have the option to enable AI behavior for your party members. You can toggle AI on and off by selecting the toggle on your character action bar. You can choose what kind of behavior you want to use by right-clicking the new icon or opening the menu from the character sheet. There's a variety of behavioral options available to each class and there's also an option to enable them to use per-rest abilities. While the AI is active your party members will select targets, spells and abilities automatically. You won't need to micro-manage them. However, you can override the AI at any time with your own input."
- Individual Stealth - "You can now select which individual party members go into or out of stealth. When one of your party members is spotted your entire party won't be forced out of stealth. At the start of combat you now have the option to sneak some of your party members around to get into the perfect position."
- Range Indicators - "We have a new UI option being added that shows the range of your spells, abilities and attacks. It should be easier to tell how close your wizard needs to be to cast a spell or what distance your ranger can maintain from a foe."
- Accuracy Indicators - "We now have an option to show accuracy over the heads of enemies when you select them for an attack. This will give you more information for how difficult a particular enemy might be. It will also show you how likely you are to hit a friendly target with a spell that hits everyone within its area of effect.
Again, all of these features will be available to Pillars of Eternity players whether or not they've purchased the expansion.
Pillars of Eternity is Obsidian Entertainment's big Kickstarted classic RPG originally pitched as "Project Eternity." The game was released in March earlier this year on PC about two and a half years after raising over $4 million in crowd-funding. It has received very high praise from critics and its expansion, The White March, was only just officially announced at E3.
Update: Driveclub PS+ Edition is now available for download in both America and Europe!
Driveclub's initial announcement was exciting -- the game would be debuting as both a full game as well as a PlayStation Plus exclusive demo versions. Yet when it came time to launch, the glee turned to scorn as the PS+ version's servers were quickly overhwhelmed. The launch was disastrous for all Driveclub players and the PS+ version was postponed indefinitely. Ever since developer Evolution and publisher Sony have promised that the game would return, it was a huge part of the PlayStation 4's launch campaign after all, but until today no one knew when. Today we learned it would arrive tomorrow.
Yes, on June 25 the Driveclub PlayStation Plus Edition will be released in all its glory. Err, hold that thought. It won't be released in all of its glory. It'll be released in all of its offline glory. Sony's apparent solution to their servers being overloaded was not adequately preparing their serves for the load, but rather to disable everyone's online access to start and then slowly roll it out to the masses. I'm not sure why it took so long for this solution to be found.
"We have to take this precaution because Driveclub connectivity is demanding for a multiplayer game, with countless ever-growing social connections across clubs, challenges, multiplayer, and hundreds of thousands of dynamic leaderboards and activity feeds."
Still, better late than never and also better offline than not at all... maybe? Actually I'm not so sure about that last bit. Sony will apparently keep a record of how quickily online services for Driveclub are rolling out over at the official Driveclub website.
The thing is, I'm not so sure how excited people are to download Driveclub anymore. Dilligent PlayStation Plus members will be certain to check it out, but will they go out of their way especially with online disabled to start? The full game has already been released for some time, and while the game's visuals were a high point of the game it was overall panned as a relatively lackluster game. I get the feeling this is just Sony trying to deliver on an old promise with as little fanfare as possible. They just don't want it to be another car crash. After the thing is out, everyone can start forgetting about it all.
Driveclub PlayStation Plus Edition will be available starting tomorrow, June 25, exclusively on PlayStation 4.
"Thank you to everyone who has stood by Driveclub during the past year and for everyone who has accepted the extra wait for the PS Plus Edition and the companion app which will come after. The team at Evolution Studios is working incredibly hard to make Driveclub great for you, to get everyone to have fun racing in clubs and continue the evolution of the game with spectacular updates every month. I can’t wait to see all of you enjoying the game online together."
Riot Games never stop making awesome stuff for League of Legends. Sometimes it's pretty unexciting, sometimes it's expensive, and sometimes it's just really awesome. Today came the reveal of one of those awesome things. Riot is planning their next big themed meta event/content drop, similar to previous drops for Freljord, Shadow Isles, and Shurima. Next, summoner's will be visiting the pirate island nation of Bilgewater. Details on the drop will be forthcoming in the next few weeks, but Riot did have one special reaveal for now -- introducing Butcher's Bridge.
Butcher's Bridge is a new map, or should i say a new old map? As the name implies, Butcher's Bridge is an ARAM map, meaning it's just like the Howling Abyss map currently in-game. They'll both run the same game mode of ARAM and feature the same mechanics. Riot's said that Butcher's Bridge will be replacing Howling Abyss for the duration of the Bilgewater event, they're still exploring their options for the map post-event. I'd hope they just put the maps on a randomizer and half the time you get Howling Abyss and half the time you get Butcher's Bridge. In a few years maybe we'd have four or five of the maps on rotation! How awesome would that be?
But yeah, as far as gameplay is concerned there will be no differences on the ARAM map. Everything else, well, it wouldn't do to have Freljord influence in Bilgewater, would it? Riot's given the bridge an all new style, high above the Slaughter Docks. The towers have become salvaged cannons of sorts, the shops are manned by characters of a more pirate-y origin. Even the minions have taken up the pirate spirit and, err, no, I think they're just still wearing their Pool Party clothes. Never mind.
The Butcher's Bridge is currently up and playable on the League of Legends Public Beta Environment. It might stay there for a bit yet, as Riot says they still have some work to do on it. They also warn folk who'd like to avoid spoilers for the Bilgewater event to avoid PBE round-ups for the next week or few. They'll be testing quite a bit of things, apparently. Bilgewater sounds like quite the endeavor.
- Activision teams up with Sony for new limited edition Destiny PS4 bundle 
- Neoseeker's Best of E3 2015 Awards: Game of the Show 
- The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth torments Xbox One, New 3DS, and Nintendo Wii U this July 23rd 
- PlayStation Plus in July adds Rocket League on PS4, Geometry Wars 3 on PS Vita 
- Extended Uncharted 4: A Thief's End E3 2015 demo reintroduces Elena 
- Skyforge, F2P MMO collaboration between Obsidian and Allods, starts Open Beta on July 16 
- Bethesda to build a better Fallout 4 by learning from Skyrim's technical issues 
- E3 2015: Five minutes of Star Wars: Battlefront make the wait to Nov. 17 feel like years