Friday, Dec 5
To hell with porting Street Fighter IV to modern consoles
A surprise announcement was made this morning, likely unintentionally on the verge of a more proper reveal at tonight's The Game Awards 2014 show. Nonetheless, a short inspirational trailer was released by Capcom unveiling Street Fighter V. Street Fighter is making the jump onto modern hardware, leaving behind the prefixes of yore. No "turbo" "super" or "remix" here. Something else was apparently forgotten in jump, too. Street Fighter V is coming to PlayStation 4 and PC -- no Xbox One release.
Unfortunately no further details were released about the fighting game. We can likely make the assumption that it will be 2D like its predecessors, that it will feature the same style of visuals as Street Fighter IV, and likely very similar gameplay as well. The development turn-around since the last release of Street Fighter IV doesn't exactly give much room for the addition of innovative features. Not to mention Capcom would be silly to throw away the outrageous success of Street Fighter IV just to mix things up.
The next question to pose is why Capcom would make Street Fighter V exclusive to PlayStation 4 on consoles. The obvious answer is that Sony made a very appealing offer to them, but there really must be more to the story, correct? The PlayStation 4 is certainly outselling the Xbox One up to this point, which is a boon. There's also the fact that the Xbox One has almost zero community presence in Japan where Capcom's home base is. Those are a few very good and very simple reasons for Capcom to go exclusive.
Perhaps it goes deeper, however. Street Fighter IV's leading platform was absolutely the PlayStation 3. There's a reason why major eSports competitions all ran the games on PlayStation 3. Now take a look at modern consoles and how clear it is that developing for all platforms isn't as easy as it seems. Multiple AAA projects are having technical issues running on both Xbox One and PlayStation 4. With a single-console focus, Capcom is able to focus on the best game they can make. Just don't expect Xbox fighting game fans to be happy about it.
As noted earlier, it's expected that the Street Fighter V trailer leaked earlier will be shown in an official capacity during tonight's The Game Awards 2014. Like Spike's Video Game Awards from previous years, the show is sure to be filled with big announcements. Street Fighter V certainly belongs in that category. Expect more information on the sequel soon.
Note: This post will be updated with the official Street Fighter V trailer as soon as it's made readily available.
Thursday, Dec 4
Net Articles Summary
Trailers are a dime a dozen, and perhaps none can ever top this Saints Row: Gat Out of Hell musical. Before you go running, rest assured the video is only five minutes long, not a whole musical production. Also, it's Saints Row, so clearly not meant to be taken seriously.
So for those who aren't aware yet, Gat Out of a Hell is a standalone expansion for Saints Row IV. Fan favorites Gat and Kinzie are the stars this time, and both are playable either in single-player or co-op mode. Why not the POTUS? Well, the president has been kidnapped by Satan, who hopes to marry off his daughter to the Saints leader. While she's not entirely a bad gal, her family might be a huge issue for some.
The rest is Saints Row history -- or a musical. Saints Row: Gat Out of Hell will be released for Xbox One, Xbox 360, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, and PC on January 20, 2015. This video is likely just the tip of the crazy iceberg.
And they have an "unannounced next-generation title"
2K Games, the publisher behind BioShock and Borderlands, today officially announced the formation of Hangar 13, a new studio based in California's San Francisco Bay area. The new development office is led by one Haden Blackman, known for his work on LucasArts' many Star Wars games.
Hangar 13's public debut also comes with a tease regarding an unknown project. Apparently, the studio is already working on an "unannounced next-generation title," along with building proprietary technology and a strong core team. In an official statement, Blackman spoke proudly of Hangar 13's dedication to the players:
"At Hangar 13, our mantra is ‘Every player story is unique. Our ambition is to create next-generation games that allow players to shape their own experiences, from the moment-to-moment gameplay, to the long-term impact on the world, characters and narrative. To realize this goal, we’re building proprietary technology and assembling a core team passionate about delivering mature experiences loaded with meaningful choices.”
At LucasArts, Blackman worked as creative director on Star Wars: The Force Unleashed and lead producer on Star Wars: Galaxies. In 2012, he co-founded indie studio Fearless Studios, which was later purchased by another company.
Next week marks the arrival of Destiny's first expansion, the aptly named Expansion I: The Dark Below. Seems about the right time for a follow-up trailer to the cinematic intro from last month, reminding us what to expect come December 9.
The Dark Below will obviously be (thankfully) elaborating on Destiny's amazing -- if often poorly-conveyed -- lore and expand both PVE and PVP content. For one, Guardians can expect a new level cap of 32, a whole mess of new Crucible maps, plus more Exotic and Legendary gear. For many players, one of the most unexpectedly exciting changes will be the added Bounty slots.
The official Dark Below trailer touches on some of this, as well as the intro featuring Crota. Eris Morn, the new vendor and source of much lore, makes an appearance, but I'm slightly distracted by the swords.
As a reminder, PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4 versions of Destiny will be getting an extra strike and other bonus stuff, all exclusive until Fall 2015.
Wednesday, Dec 3
Net Articles Summary
- Galax GeForce GTX 980 HOF 4GB Review - Guru3D
- ECS Z97I-DRONE Review - MadShrimps
- Chieftec Navitas GPM-650C Review - ocaholic
- Intel Z97 & Z87 Motherboard Charts: 43 Models tested - Update ASUS Sabertooth Z97 Mark-S - ocaholic
- Corsair Carbide 330R Titanium Edition Review (German) - Technic3D
Techland's next zombie survival game Dying Light won't be out until late January, but it's never too early to talk DLC. With a reasonably-priced Season Pass already confirmed, Techland today detailed the three add-on packs $19.99 will cover.
Cuisine & Cargo, Ultimate Survivor Bundle, and The Bozak Horde will released in the months after Dying Light, and we can expect a decent variety in content; from additional missions to cosmetic outfits. The first DLC is expected to be out sometime in February.
Cuisine & Cargo – Available first for Season Pass holders, these two hardcore missions let players put their skills to the ultimate test. Investigate buildings sealed off in the very first days of the outbreak – with the infected inside. Explore ominous corridors of once the most famous restaurant in Harran, and employ both stealth and combat to ransack a zombie-filled loading bay at an abandoned railroad yard.
Ultimate Survivor Bundle – Players will receive seven unique in-game items that will bring fighting zombies to a whole new level. Grab three special outfits and four blueprints for over-the-top weapons to make your survival in the quarantine zone a good bit easier.
The Bozak Horde – The final Season Pass drop will deliver a new map and gameplay, playable in either single-player or co-op. Go inside the Harran Stadium, the most famous landmark in the city, and test your combat know-how against relentless hordes of the Infected. Fight increasingly stronger and larger enemy waves as you oppose a mysterious psychopath called Bozak.
So that's that. Dying Light is an open-world zombie survival game from the same studio responsible for the first Dead Island. From everything we've seen thus far, their latest endeavor seems to really focus on the whole survival aspect, even taking into account night and day.
Dying Light will be out January 27 in North America (January 28 in Europe) for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC. You can obviously reserve the game now, or wait for the Dying Light Ultimate Edition pre-orders to open up if you're already planning to grab the Season Pass.
Celebrate the Zelda franchise with live orchestral music
Nintendo’s "The Legend of Zelda: Symphony of the Goddesses" concert is back on tour for the third time. The performance, now titled "Master Quest," kicks off with back to back shows in Nashville starting January 21, 2015. Tickets are available now for some shows, while others will be on sale December 8.
In total, there are 20 shows scheduled to take place in 19 cities around the world. Take a look at the schedule below:
01/21/2015 Nashville, TN, Schremerhorn Symphony Center
01/22/2015 Nashville, TN, Schremerhorn Symphony Center
01/30/2015 Honolulu, H,I Neal Blaisdell Concert Hall
02/07/2015 Tokyo, JP, Venue TBA
02/27/2015 Boston, MA, Symphony Hall
03/06/2015 Monterrey, NL Arena Monterrey
03/08/2015 Mexico City, DF, Arena de Ciudad
03/20/2015 Toronto, ON, Sony Center PAC
04/16/2015 Stockholm, SE, Ericsson Globe
04/17/2015 London, UK, Wembley Arena
04/19/2015 Dusseldorf, DE, Mitsubishi Electric Hall
04/23/2015 Paris, FR, Palais de Congres
04/24/2015 Milan, IT, Teatro degli Arcimboldi
04/30/2015 Atlanta, GA, Cobb Energy Center
05/20/2015 Edmonton, AB, Northern Jubilee
05/22/2015 Vancouver, BC, Queen Elizabeth Theatre
05/23/2015 Calgary, AB, Southern Jubilee
05/30/2015 Montreal, QC, Place des Arts
06/20/2015 Austin, TX, The Long Center PAC
10/22/2015 Houston, TX, Jones Hall
"Symphony of the Goddesses: Master Quest" will feature music inspired by newer releases, but will also celebrate the classic Zelda games. The tour features live orchestral performances set to visuals from the Zelda franchise. New arrangements are approved by Nintendo's composer, Koji Kondo and Zelda producer Eiji Aonuma. 2015 will also see the release of Majora's Mask on the 3Ds as well as an unnamed open-world Wii U Zelda title.
Another episode of Guild Wars 2's ongoing Living Story is out now, and it's actually much more interesting than the last. That aside, however, Guild Wars 2 players should find some interesting additions to the Gem Store, including the return of Wintersday goods and the very first purchasable mail carrier.
For over two years, we've settled for the default pigeon carrier when it comes to our mailing needs. You know, those birds swooping in and out each time you receive a new message or completed a trading post transaction? ArenaNet apparently realized at some point that custom mail carriers would be a feature players might like, bringing about today's very first Gem Store carrier, a griffon.
As for the Wintersday stuff, this includes the returning outfits and baby minis. So get spending.
Oh, and if you don't have the game, rest assured ArenaNet's 50% off sale is still valid through Sunday, December 7.
Tuesday, Dec 2
Net Articles Summary
Official statement issued, still can't undo the damage
Next year's Assassin's Creed will be headed to Victorian London and bear the title Assassin's Creed Victory, a major leak revealed today. Well, we already know Ubisoft has another installment for 2015, and the first details have been prematurely unveiled, much to the company's understandable chagrin.
So what else do we know about the Victory beyond the Victorian setting? Development was actually handed to Ubisoft Quebec, leaving the primary Montreal studio that had been responsible for every major Assassin's Creed game since 2007. Like always, the main team is supported by Ubisoft's small army of international offices, encompassing studios from Canada to China.
Ubisoft Quebec previously worked on DLC for Assassin's Creed III and Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag.
The leak also mentioned Victory being the only Assassin's Creed game slated for release next year, with no plans to cover Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3. Some unspecified gameplay innovations were teased as well.
As for Ubisoft, the publisher was irked enough by the leak to actually issue an official statement indirectly calling out the people responsible. It's quite a guilt trip:
It is always unfortunate when internal assets, not intended for public consumption, are leaked. And, while we certainly welcome anticipation for all of our upcoming titles, we're disappointed for our fans, and our development team, that this conceptual asset is now public. The team in our Quebec studio has been hard at work on the particular game in question for the past few years, and we're excited to officially unveil what the studio has been working on at a later date. In the meantime, our number one priority is enhancing the experience of Assassin's Creed Unity for players.
All of this comes just weeks after the release of Assassin's Creed Unity and Assassin's Creed Rogue. The former earned most of this year's hype, being the first Assassin's Creed game to be developed specifically for new-gen consoles and feature cooperative play. Unfortunately, a number of flaws led Ubisoft Montreal to issue an apology of sorts, along with free DLC as compensation.
Nothing better for a video game then a space war plot
Those who have participated in one of the many Evolve alpha tests may have been confused about the premise of the title, even while enjoying it in practice. Is it some sort of gladitorial combat televised for the audience back home? Is Evolve some sort of punishment for serious criminals, forcing them to clear out the dregs of space? Is it just some serious hardcore trophy hunting? No, those would be the easy answers. Evolve needs something with a bit more scale.
According to today's newly released Evolve trailer, titled "Evacuation Story," Evolve is focused on the efforts of a small team of 12 hunters going into a colony under attack. What was once meant to be an endeavor to take out some wildlife has suddenly become much more serious. The wildlife has evolved, has wrecked the colony, and the hunters are now there to assist the evacuation. Or die trying.
How this "plot" will actually play out in Evolve is still a bit of a mystery. Will it be a Left 4 Dead style of experience where the core game is actually loosely tied together with light plot? Will be be like Titanfall where the story is set aside in a secondary (and cursory) mode where players still participate in multiplayer? Or something different altogether? I suppose it doesn't matter, so long as we all get to hunt us some monsters down.
Evolve is planned for release on PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One starting February 10 in 2015. It's a 4v1 asymmetric multiplayer experience, potentially with off-line story mode. Get hyped.
ForGG wins his first SC2 title, many more champions were crowned
The world's biggest LAN event took place in Stockholm, Sweden. 22,483 unique computers were registered into the local network and millions watched online as major tournaments were held for StarCraft II, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Hearthstone and other popular competitive games.
Park "ForGG" Ji-Soo took home the StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm crown, defeating the reigning WCS Global Champion Lee "Life" Seung-Hyu. The Terran player bested Life 4-2 in the grand finals, after having already beat him 3-2 in the upper bracket finals just hours earlier. This is ForGG's first major SC2 title, he takes the $30,000 grand prize and the coveted DreamHack trophy.
The CS:GO tournament was met with some controversy as the Swedish team fnatic withdrew following an initial victory over LDLC. Fnatic was accused of using a map exploit. Overpass contains a glitch where players can be boosted to a section where they can see the map in its entirety, leading to an unfair advantage. Tournament referees ordered the match to be replayed at the moment before the exploit happened, with fnatic down 12-3 at the half. Instead of playing the rematch, fnatic withdrew from the tournament, giving LDLC the win by default. LDLC went on to win the whole tournament, beating the home favorite Ninjas in Pyjamas and capuring the $100,000 prize. The tournament already saw controversy before it began, as two teams were removed following VAC bans handed to players for hacking.
Aleksandr "Kolento" Malsh emerged victorious at the most talent stacked Hearthstone tournament to date. The Ukranian phenom bested Thijs "ThijsNL" Molendijk 4-2 in an exciting best of 7 series. Ai "Fuudo" Keita won a tough finals against Bruce “GamerBee” Hsiang in Ultra Street Fighter IV. Meanwhile in Dota 2, Evil Geniuses beat Cloud 9 for the DreamLeague season 2 title. The professional tournaments attracted millions of viewers across multiple Twitch streams.
DreamHack started in 1994 as a small LAN event between a group of schoolmates and friends, attracting a modest 40 people the first time. Within 3 years, hundreds of gamers started showing up, with DreamHack 98 being the first to break the 1000 attendee milestone. In 2002, organizers began splitting events into DreamHack Summer and Winter. The event has since expanded exponentially and each DreamHack Winter LAN has broken attendance records.
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- Minecraft: Story Mode is Telltale's next episodic series, mixing 'new characters with familiar themes' 
- Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare 'Exo Zombies' teaser brings on the explosions and new playable cast 
- The Walking Dead's S2 concludes with No Going Back on August 26, final 5-minute trailer is heavy 
- Evolve info drop reveals Wraith monster, offline accessibility, January 17's Xbox One open beta 
- Bloodborne's ever-changing 'Chalice Dungeons,' procedurally-generated hell holes detailed 
- See Red and Blue fight it out in new Halo 5 Guardians multiplayer beta teaser trailer 
- Square Enix unveils Mevius Final Fantasy, an iOS and Android RPG of numbered Final Fantasy quality 
- Let the games begin! Wintersday arrives in Guild Wars 2 along with new dailies and outfit