Wednesday, Sep 10
Today ArenaNet announced that the Season 2 story arc will be picking up again November 4, which feels like such a long ways from now. The news came this morning alongside a rather vague teaser image showing little more than a portal, though this of course implies there possibly being a new zone to explore.
The portal is shown over a set of massive doors, likely belonging to a fortress wall of some kind. If the combined forces of Tyria have decided to act, this wall might have been built recently in an effort to slow Mordremoth's invasion. Then again, I'm just speculating.
Last we heard from Mordy, he had launched an assault on the Grove, severely wounding the Pale Tree and reminding everyone else that the vines might be just the tip of some Elder Dragon-y iceberg. Until November 4, however, we won't get to see much of that.
In the meantime, the Guild Wars 2 September 2014 Feature Pack went live yesterday, so if you haven't taken a proper look at all those changes, I'd recommend doing so.
What a wonderfully torturous position for fans to be in
On the back of Nintendo announcing all new 3DS hardware, literally named the New 3DS, the company has decided that maybe they're not done trying to maximize sales of the regular 3DS just yet. Today the company revealed three new special edition 3DS bundles for release this holiday season. Please note that none of these bundles actually package in games, they're simply stylized to get fans pumped to buy a 3DS later this year.
First of the 3DS platforms is the Super Smash Bros.-themed 3DS XL handheld. Covered in the iconic roster of the upcoming fighting game, fans will be able to pick either a blue version or a red version of the handheld. Oddly enough, this bundle will be released September 19, well ahead of the October 3 launch of Super Smash Bros. 3DS. The package will sell for $199.99 and again -- it does not come with the game.
Second is another awesome game-themed 3DS handheld. This is one we've seen previously released in Japan, but held little hope to see it launched in North America. I'm talking about the Persona Q 3DS XL, covered in arcane runes and sporting a unique blue sheen. It looks surprisingly like a book. Again, the handheld will retail for $199.99 and again, it will not come bundled with the game it sports on its front. One final note, it appears that this 3DS XL's release date is not yet finalized, or perhaps it's being pushed back to November 25 when Persona Q itself will be released.
Finally, and we've saved the best for last, Nintendo has revealed a classic NES controller-themed 3DS XL. Coming in that glorious classic grey with black accents and big red buttons, this 3DS XL's color scheme is a huge nostalgia bomb for fans of the original Nintendo console in North America. Available starting October 10 for $199.99, I have to once again note that this 3DS XL does not come bundled with an NES or one of its controllers. *sigh*
Here we have Nintendo placing its fans in the torturous position of either buying one of these three awesome 3DS XL packages this holiday season, or waiting until next year for the New 3DS to be released. Either way, Nintendo wins.
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Mega Shark, Mega Camel and Mega... superhero?
Another month, another batch of CoroCoro magazine leaks for the upcoming Pokemon Omega Ruby and Pokemon Alpha Sapphire releases! While a full translation and analysis of the leaks will take some time, there are a few obvious details worth sharing immediately. Those obvious details being three all new Mega Evolutions! Who has been blessed with the Mega Evolution gift this time around? Let's take a look behind our three mystery doors!
Who is that behind door number one? Why, that's Mega Gallade! Gallade, the male evolution of the Psychic/Fairy Pokemon Kirlia, is a 100% male Psychic/Fighting Pokemon. It's unclear whether or not Mega Gallade will retain that typing, though he certainly looks like a fighter based on his image. We see that his arms have grown a red, sharp edge to them, and his gladiator-esque helmet has grown an additional flourish as well. Also, Mega Gallade's chest spike has all but disappeared, seeming to be more of a superhero logo than anything else.
Door number two, please come on down! Introducing Mega Sharpedo! Sharpedo, which evolved from Carvanha at level 30, is a Water/Dark shark and his Mega Evolution looks like he's gone full submarine rabies. Seriously, this Pokemon had crazy eyes before, but now with the yellow speed stripe it has gone Mega Crazy. Add in some spikes on his nose, some armored chin protection and the movement of his trademark forehead star to his dorsal fin and one has to ask, "Who the heck made this ridiculous design?"
Our final door, who could it hide? Both door one and two were so special, that there's no way door three can disappoint! It's... Mega Camerupt. Oh. Numel's volcanic evolution has reached its eruption point, with its dual humps joining to create one explosive Mega Bump. Magma freely flows down Mega Camerupt's back to produce waht almost seems to be a Bowser shell. Add in some Super Saiya-jin hairstyle, some new black boots and a Zoro-esque M mask and Mega Camerupt is... still just a cow looking thing with a volcano on its back.
That's all for the Pokemon Omega Ruby and Pokemon Alpha Sapphire leaks for now. As the CoroCoro leaks get translated we'll be sure to update this post and/or post additional news covering the new information. And of course, we anxiously await Nintendo's official confirmation (and glorious art assets) in the next week or two. Stay tuned, Pokemon fans.
Pokemon Omega Ruby and Pokemon Alpha Sapphire are 3DS-exlusive remakes of the Hoenn games from 2002, updated for the modern, Mega era. Pick up either or both games starting November 21 in North America and Australia, November 28 in Europe.
All CoroCoro scans sourced from Serebii.net. Thanks to Dragoon for the tip!
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Tuesday, Sep 9
Net Articles Summary
If only there were achievements for snapping achievements
Microsoft's Xbox One may have fallen behind in sales, but they're absolutely proving themselves to be the more agile console in terms of support and software updates. After a solid September update, they're come back harder than ever with a robust October update. Today, Microsoft's social media and marketing king Larry Hryb, AKA Major Nelson, detailed the upcoming update in a preview video.
Without going over every single change in the patch, which everyone can read for themselves on Major Nelson's blog, here are a few of the more significant notes:
- Snap Center optimizations, as well as the addition of the Friends Snap App and Messages Snap App
- Friends section has been made more robust, sharing more information with whomever a player chooses
- Media Player DLNA and MKV support -- it's happening!!!
- Live TV Trending will be shared through a new tab on OneGuide, displaying the top 10 most watched TV shows (available in the U.S., Canada and the UK)
There are plenty of other changes in the works too, however, including functionality for the Xbox One Digital TV Tuner in Europe, the ability to hide games and apps in the "Ready to Install" menu, and everyone's favorite -- SmartGlass features!
The Xbox One October update is rolling out to Xbox One Preview Program members starting today. Expect a full launch starting in, well, October.
All glory to the Season Pass and its now common mystery bag of content. Sunset Overdrive's newly announced Season Pass is just such a case. For just $19.99 (pre-order now) players will get three "game add-ons," two of which are "campaign." Perhaps their goal is to stir players' curiosity? A curiosity that will cause players to invest? Eh, let's be straight, it's all about money.
There are a few more details regarding the Season Pass content, of course. There are the two "campaign game add-ons" which are still complete mysteries. Hell, they may not actually decided what they want to make until they find out how much of a success the game is. Nevertheless, these packs will also include weapons, amps, a new Trap, character outfits, challenges and Chaos Squad objectives. That's in addition to whatever the mystery campaign content is.
The third pack is a Weapon Pack with four new weapons. This will undoubtedly be the first pack to be released as a part of the Season Pass, giving the development team more time to work off on, or put off, the campaign DLC. At least, that's what we've come to expect from these Season Pass packs.
Just for purchasing the Season Pass all buyers will aslo get six character outfits, two Amps and Two Traps. These items will be available on the day the game is launched. A pre-order bonus for the Season Pass, which shouldn't be confused for the Season Pass for the regular game, though that's likely equally disappointing.
Sigh. This is all so depressing. Why can't publishers just announce all of the content included in their Season Passes before they start asking for players' money? Sunset Overdrive is an Xbox One exclusive and will be available starting October 28. It looks like an outstanding game, but when this is the type of DLC offering being put out we have to be honest about the situation. Until there's more information available, it's probably best to put off a Season Pass purchase.
Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor might be one of the bigger action RPGs we're looking forward to this fall, but today, Warner Bros. Interactive and developer Monolith Productions announced the games delay on several platforms. That is, the last-gen consoles Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, which will not be getting Shadows of Mordor until November.
Anyone hoping to pick up this Lord of the Rings-inspired RPG on either the 360 or PS3 will now have to wait until November 18 and November 21, for the updated North America and Europe releases. As for the Xbox One, PC and PlayStation 4 versions, those are still expected to make their September and October dates.
So why the delay? Apparently the Xbox 360 and PS3 versions "will take more time in development," leading Warner Bros. to make the delay.
Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor will be out on September 30 for Xbox One, PC and PlayStation 4 in North America, then October 3 in Europe. Recently, we were introduced to an unlikely ally for Talion, named Ratbag. He's certainly worth a look, in case you missed the little guy's introduction.
Funded in the blink of an eye! The Kickstarter Project Moon Hunters has not only reached its initial funding of $45,000 within the space of 48 hours, but more than doubled it with 16 days still to go. The 1-4 Player RPG delight that is being developed by the team at Kitfox Games with support from the Square Enix Collective and will be making its way onto the PS4 and PC in digital format summer 2015.
Moon Hunters is simply oozing depth right from the outset. Each journey through the world is meant to be a unique experience, as only key lore elements remain a constant in the procedurally generated world. Additionally, while killing absolutely everything that moves is always fun, Moon Hunters appears to be shifting towards the idea that every choice made by the player will have a indirect or direct effect on the world around them. This plays into the game's "Personality" system which attributes traits to each player as they progress.
With it's unique take on the RPG, Moon Hunters' Kickstarter project has hacked and slashed its way through a variety of Stretch Goals. A selection of the successfully funded extra-goals that will be implemented are as follows:
- A friendly nomad faction who shall populate the world
- The Songweaver class, a complex supporting role catering towards multi-player teams
- Familiars will join in the journey alongside players
Current donations currently sit at $109,957, with a single-player PS Vita port on the cards at $135,000, then localizations into French, Spanish, Italian, German, Russian and Portuguese for $145,000.
Moon Hunters has a projected delivery date of July 2015 for the PC and PS4 (hopefully the PS Vita, too) in summer 2015.
Tales of Xillia 2 was recently released in both the Americas and Europe, but that doesn't mean the Tales team is done with it yet. Fans can now purchase two sets of DLC for the most recent installment in the Tales series: swimming costumes for Ludger, Gaius, and Muzét, and sport costumes for the whole team. Don't expect to get these for free, though. Each individual costume will run players $2.99 USD, just another sign that dressing cute these days takes money.
The swimsuit costumes, as is custom in Tales games, are pretty traditional. Most of the guys get shirts and/or swim trunks while the girls get skimpy bikinis. There really is no middle-ground for the JRPG series. The sporty costumes, however, bring some variety to the series. Tales of Xillia 2, however, has nine playable characters that seem to each be proficient in a sport. The following items are now available on the PlayStation Network:
- Ludger's Basketball Uniform
- Ludger's Swimwear Costume
- Jude's Football Uniform (complete with helmet and shoulder pads)
- Milla's Tennis Uniform
- Elize's Gymnastics Uniform
- Rowen's Archery Uniform
- Leia's Soccer Uniform
- Gaius's Judo Uniform
- Gaius's Swimwear Costume
- Muzét's Swimming Uniform (this is the sports set)
- Muzét's Swimwear Costume (this is the swim set)
Oddly missing is Alvin's sporty outfit. It looks like we may be waiting a bit longer to see his baseball uniform in North America. Nevertheless, this is all pretty exciting, and Leia does look admittedly adorable with her soccer uniform and the cute ponytail.
Tales of Xillia 2 was released exclusively for the Sony PlayStation 3 on August 19.
Today's a big day for Guild Was 2, as ArenaNet prepares to finally roll out their rather highly-anticipated September 2014 Feature Pack update. For the community, this means a number of major changes to PVE and PVP, mostly for the better.
Since August, the developers have actually been offering weekly updates highlighting some of the big changes being implemented with today's patch, and that spanned everything from World vs. World changes (Tactical!) to UI overhauls for multiple in-game features. The Trading Post, for instance, will be sporting a whole new interface for easier browsing, and should also be more stable than the current/old version. Similarly, the crafting UI will be updated for better organization, allowing players to more easily navigate the mess of recipes that have been building in Guild Wars 2 since launch. Incidentally, crafting will be further expanded with the addition of some profession-specific backpieces rewarded to players who are dedicated to their crafts.
Anyone just starting out in Tyria -- or thinking of doing so -- should also find the whole experience more approachable post-patch. This even includes more stat combinations to choose from prior to level 80, plus proper guidance for the less experienced adventurer.
As for the change I'm most excited for? That would be the removal of instance "owners" in dungeons. Dungeon runners will soon find their lives made much, much easier.
The April 2014 Feature Pack brought the account Wardrobe, a system that made it easier than ever for players to manage clothing looks and dye colors. Now, it’s being expanded with new features and functionality, including Wardrobe support to store and manage combat Finishers and ‘Miniatures’ (mini-pets), which can be account unlocked and equipped via a new mini-equip slot.
New Trading Post
The update features a brand-new Trading Post interface which provides a better overview and is easier to navigate, meaning it will be much easier for players to find and buy the items they desire.
A new Collections Achievement category will reward players for amassing items from all over Tyria. By sampling all of the ales, stockpiling trinkets, and collecting themed sets of gear players can earn rewards like new equipment, recipes or even a rare treasure chest for their home instance.
World vs. World Updates
From Commander tag updates to the Siege Golem ability line and the new Siege Disabler Trick, there are many exciting additions in the feature pack affecting strategy and tactics in Guild Wars 2’s popular competitive mode, World vs. World. Furthermore players from across the globe will have the chance to put their abilities to the test in the forthcoming World vs. Wold Fall Tournament 2014 which commences on Friday September 12.
New Player Experience
The latest update includes a series of improvements designed to ensure that Guild Wars 2’s early levelling and learning experience is more engaging, easier to follow and rewarding.
Monday, Sep 8
New Inhouse Articles
A look at the PowerColor R9 285 TurboDuo, built around the new - and quite intriguing - AMD Tonga GPU.
Net Articles Summary
- Plextor PX-256M6Pro Review - KitGuru
- G.Skill Ripjaws4 F4-2400C15Q-16GRB Review - eTeknix.com
- GAMDIAS Hephaestus Review - Techware Labs
- Roccat Kone Pure Military Camo Charge Core Review (French) - Cowcotland
- Cooltek W2 Review - ocaholic
The Paladin reminds me of someone from Fable, I swear
Allods Team and their North American counterpart Obsidian Entertainment are sharing another class from their upcoming free-to-play MMO Skyforge today. The Paladin, a rather tropeful class when it comes to fantasy RPGs, struts his stuff and shows he's just as much of an ass-kicker as any other class. Designed as both as support class with heals and a CC/combo-fiend, the Paladin is sure to be much more than a passive tanking class. Why play something that isn't a constant part of the action?
Here's a brief lore introduction to the Paladin, supplied by Obsidian:
"Born amongst the gloom, terrible bloodshed and chaos of the first years of the New Age - Paladins emerged as guardians of order. Eternal law states that chaos is doomed to create order. They rose from the fires of countless feuds and fratricidal wars, daring to stand up for order and dedicating their lives to protecting the weak and oppressed. They are the spiritual heirs of Aeli and a true weapon of good." - Asterius’s Encyclopedia
Pretty standard lore for a Paladin, what with the whole knights of good, order over chaos thing. They could have literally summed it up as "Lawful Good" and called it a day. Still, it will be interesting to find out what the "spiritual heirs of Aeli" really means. Was Aeli the first Paladin?
Moving on past the lore, Obsidian also provided a look at each of the Paladin's skills. As should be clear from the skills themselves, they're broken into three categories: basic attacks which require a single button press are are likely spammable; combos which require a combination of button presses and likely have cooldowns; then other abilities which are likely meant for special opportunities as opposed to regular rotation skills.
- Righteous Blow (LMB) - The Paladin attacks the enemy with a sword and inflicts minor damage. First strike in a series of basic attacks.
- Waves of Wrath (RMB) - This ability needs to be charged and can be activated by holding down the mouse button. The character swings his sword in a circle, hitting several enemies at once and knocking them off their feet. The weaker the opponent, the longer they will stay down.
- Seal of Light (LMB+RMB) - The Paladin swings his sword crosswise, inflicting moderate damage to the target and all enemies in the line behind it.
- Punishing Bolt (LMB+LMB+LMB) - The Paladin sword deals a powerful downward strike. On Holy Ground the target will be struck by lightning and the attack will inflict increased damage.
- Justice Blade (LMB+LMB+LMB+LMB) - After Righteous Blow, the Paladin does three quick strikes with the sword, each dealing more damage than the previous one.
- Divine Scourge (LMB+LMB+LMB+RMB) - On the fourth hit, the character jumps in the air and deals a downward blow, accompanied by lightning that strikes several targets. If the paladin is affected by Celestial Shield (one of the defensive skills), the shield explodes, inflicting additional damage. On Holy Ground or when righteous anger is used, the radius and the force of the attack increase.
- Holy Ground - The Paladin sanctifies the ground around him and gains inexhaustible power. While Holy Ground is active, character skills do not consume righteous anger even outside its borders.
- Aegis of Light - The character raises his shield in the air. A bright beam of light strikes it, making the character invulnerable and immune to control effects for some time.
- Radiant Aspect (special ability) - The Paladin calls upon divine power, rising into the skies and shaking off all negative effects. A moment later, he strikes nearby enemies, knocking them down and inflicting massive damage. The character becomes temporarily immune to control effects, his attacks inflict increased damage and all incoming damage is reduced. Once the attack is activated, Holy Ground appears next to the Paladin.
Sword skills, shield skills, holy lightning skills and plenty of righeous fury. Yup, that about sums up the nature of a Paladin and what his kit should revolve around. Still, it's fun to see Allods encouraging Paladins to be a more active participant in battle whereas they're more commonly tanky, passive casters. Also, sword instead of maces? Dungeons and Dragons is rolling in its grave.
Skyforge is a free-to-play MMO from Allods Team and Obsidian Entertainment, published by My.com. There's currently no planned release date for the MMO, but plans are in the works to get a beta going before the end of the year.
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- Free Hyrule Warriors DLC to add Cia, Volga and Wizzro as playable characters, more DLC planned 
- Assassin's Creed movie gets pushed back to 2016, misses Summer 2015 release 
- Dark Souls II TGS assets for Crown of the Ivory King tease an icy nightmare 
- Deep Down returns for TGS, trailer connects A.D. 2094 with A.D. 1494 -- but with dragons 
- Battlefield Hardline Hotwire gameplay trailer is all about fast cars and not getting caught 
- Final Fantasy XV director Tetsuya Nomura no longer on team, now working on Kingdom Hearts III 
- Jennifer Hale to voice playable female 'persona' in survival sim The Long Dark, all praise FemShep 
- Unofficial Destiny PSA: Bungie requests Guardians cease taking degrading selfies with vendors