Wednesday, Aug 20
After many successful months, the Titanfall Xbox One bundle has been discontinued. First released back in March alongside the game's launch, the bundle neatly packaged an Xbox One system and Kinect with one month of Gold membership and a copy of Titanfall for just $500. Well, Microsoft won't be releasing any new editions.
Head of Xbox Phil Spencer confirmed as much recently when responding to a follower's request for a version of the Titanfall bundle that excluded a Kinect (thus making it cheaper). Spencer's answer was direct:
@Shane_Stocks Titanfall bundle is done.— Phil Spencer (@XboxP3) August 19, 2014
You can, of course, still buy the bundle from any number of third party outlets, be it eBay or Amazon. That said, two new Xbox One bundles will be taking Titanfall's place very soon, starting with the Madden NFL 15 bundle on August 26, then another with Sunset Overdrive October 28. The former, featuring the upcoming Madden title, will drop the Kinect and be slightly cheaper at $399, while the full-priced Sunset Overdrive bundle debuts the white Xbox One system.
If waiting isn't an appealing option, the Forza Motorsport 5 bundle is currently already available.
Azure Striker Gunvolt hits the Japanese eShop today with a special surprise: a complimentary download code for the newly announced Mighty Gunvolt, an action platforming title scheduled for a winter 2014 launch that promises to blend Capcom's classic NES Mega Man titles with Konami's Kid Dracula. Even better, the official English Gunvolt Twitter account confirms that the upcoming North American Gunvolt release will also come with free Mighty Gunvolt downloads.
Mighty Gunvolt features Gunvolt, Beck from Mighty No. 9 and... Ekoro from GalGun as they tackle five levels of retro action, right down to the 8-bit NES style graphics. Two Mega Man inspired heroes in a Mega Man inspired title that comes free with another Mega Man (X) inspired title; Inti Creates knows what sort of retro love letters you're looking for, but keep in mind the free Mighty Gunvolt offer won't last forever.
Make sure to grab Azure Striker Gunvolt before November 19th if you want two games for the price of $14.99 USD, as the promotion only lasts three months following the release of the title on eShop this August 29th.
Jumping from one generation of consoles to the next is no easy feat for most developers, but that's especially true for developers who have to deliver a new game every year. Case in point EA Sports' NHL 15. Today EA confirmed the various game modes that will be included with the launch edition of NHL 15. They also, however, detailed how two modes will unfortunately not be ready for the game's big day for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. These omitted modes will be included on Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.
Online Team Play, which lets players go online to play cooperatively, will not be available at launch. EA Sports does plan to add the popular multiplayer mode to the game at a later date. Specifically, EA Sports says, "OTP will be rolled out as part of our NHL 15 content update program." The assumption we can make from that statement is that OTP will be part of the paid DLC that EA loves to staple onto each of its games. Fans are certain not to be happy.
EA Sports Hockey League will also not be included with NHL 15 at launch. Unlike OTP, however, there are no plans to add the Hockey League mode at a later date. EA Sports notes that they have big plans for the mode in future iterations of the game, but unfortunately the team does not have the time to add it this year.
Onto the core game modes that EA Sports has confirmed will be included in NHL 15:
- Play Now
- Be A Pro
- Be A GM
- Online Versus
- Hockey Ultimate Team
- NHL Moments Live
Altogether, EA Sports is adding all of the main modes that are core to the experience with each year's release. Obviously OTP is a disappointing omission, but knowing EA they measured out which mode was played the least and decided these are the important ones and OTP is not one of them. Fans who do want the mode will certainly be willing to pay extra to help the developers make the mode post-launch. Or something like that.
Closing out the announcement, EA Sports provided a rather endearing apology to its fanbase. Good on them for at least noting that a portion of the NHL 15 audience will be disappointed in their decisions:
"Decisions like this are never easy, nor do we take them lightly. We know that there is a passionate group of fans that loves these modes and is no doubt disappointed with this news; but we also know that this same group of fans expects a high quality gameplay experience above anything else. We’re a franchise built on quality, so launching these modes without confidence in their quality wasn’t something that we were willing to do."
NHL 15 will be available starting September 9 for the PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, Xbox One and Xbox 360. I'll note again that these two omitted modes will only not be available in the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One releases. They'll still be included and working on the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.
The wait is over. Wasteland 2 now has a release date. Some may have only been waiting for a short time, as the game was delayed past its original October 2013 release date. Others, however, have been waiting over twenty years. The original Wasteland was launched in 1988, which is rather incredible. That flagship post-apocalyptic title, which birthed the Fallouts of our modern age, will see its sequel launch on September 19.
Here's the official confirmation for the release date, coming from Wasteland 2's director Brian Fargo:
Official Wasteland 2 release date... September 19th! The 20+ year wait is soon over.— Brian Fargo (@BrianFargo) August 19, 2014
It seems like just yesterday that Wasteland 2 was on Kickstarter, earning nearly $2.9 million in fundraising over the course of 30 days. It was one of the initial success stories on Kickstarter that launched the crowdfunding site into the controversial behemoth it is today. Though few projects of such magnitude go through Kickstarter in recent memory.
Those who couldn't wait to play Wasteland 2 could have bought the Early Access of the game quite some time ago. What's said to be a beta version of almost half of the game is available via digital storefronts. It will remain so limited until the full game is launched in September. Still, it's odd to think that half of the game has been played for over half of a year now. It kind of tarnishes the full release.
Nevertheless, it's difficult not to be excited for Wasteland 2 hitting PCs across the world on September 19. The strategy RPG looks outstanding and will certainly do its predecessor proud.
Microsoft made a surprise reveal this morning for something most Xbox 360 owners likely figured would never become a reality. A 500GB "Media Hard Drive" will be released for the 360 soon, a 180GB jump on the currently available 320GB hard drives. What's perhaps even more startling is that the 500GB hard drive will cost just $109.99, which is $20 cheaper than the retail price of the 320GB drive.
Obviously Microsoft must have an assortment of reasons for releasing this large hard drive at such a price. One can only speculate as to why that is, however. It could be due to the Xbox 360's life cycle currently in its elder days. It could be Microsoft consolidating its hard drive production for the console, retiring smaller drives in favor of this single larger one. It could just be Microsoft pricing the hard drive at a price that fits the current market environment.
The only thing that's for certain is that Microsoft is still making a healthy profit on these bad boys, as non-Xbox branded external 500GB hard drives go at half the price -- and probably twice the reliability.
Still, Xbox 360 owners who want to secure their console's future, as well as their large digital library, now have a great new option to consider. While the Xbox 360's 500GB hard drive is not yet available for purchase or pre-order, expect more news in the months ahead. I'm certain it will be available for the holidays -- probably bundled as part of some some extreme holiday Xbox 360 package.
Sony has, bless their hearts, released a direct feed video of Bloodborne's demo from Gamescom, teased last week. That is to say, we've got 6 minutes of cut footage from the demo Gamescom attendees were able to experience hands-on. It seems whoever played the demo for this video was definitely an experiences player, as they're able to perform a wide variety of complex Dark Souls combat maneuvers. In fact, after watching this trailer no Dark Souls fan should be confused about what sort of game Bloodborne really is.
From the desolate and gritty atmosphere to the up-close and always too personal action, Bloodborne is without a doubt a Dark Souls game. Why they dropped the branding for the sake of changing the setting I don't know, but that's what this game is. The UI is almost identical to Dark Souls 2's, the way enemies break through barriers is strikingly similar, and most of all the way a torch pops out of the folds of the player's cloak -- the shared animations are uncanny.
Of course, Bloodborne is still a follow-up to the Dark Souls brand and as one would expect From Software has iterated on the experience. Players may immediately notice that countering enemies will now result in weakened states, and that damage taken in a fight can be regenerated by fighting back. Of course, if one doesn't fight back fast enough, the damage lingers. Still, the message is clear -- the developers want to encourage Bloodborne players to dedicate themselves to fights in a way Dark Souls never supported.
Bloodborne is a PlayStation 4 exclusive action RPG planned for release in 2015. Just look at how the protagonist is soaked in the blodo of the first boss after goring its head. My goodness, what have From Software cooked up now.
Tales of Xillia 2 hits shelves for PlayStation 3 offering bonuses for owning previous games in the series
Cook, babysit, cut, and shoot -- the life of an adventurer
Tales of Xillia 2, successor to the original Tales of Xillia, launched yesterday in North America for the Sony PlayStation 3. For those interested in picking it up, Bandai Namco has also announced a few nifty bonuses for anyone with save files for either Tales of Graces F or Tales of Xillia on their console. These dedicated fans will receive items exclusive to Xillia 2.
So, what exactly is Tales of Xillia 2? Expanding on the prequel, this title re-introduces players to the worlds of Rieze Maxia and Elympios. These neighboring worlds, previously divided by a spirit arte, or magical technique, known as the Schism, are now being forced to co-exist. Players begin as Ludger Kresnik, a cook who quickly becomes an adventurer (and babysitter) after meeting Elle Marta, a young girl who changes his life forever following a train hijacking.
A first for the Tales series, Ludger is considered a semi-silent protagonist. Xillia 2 gives players choices to decide which path the story should take, and all choices can change the outcome of any event. Party members from Tales of Xillia, including Jude Mathis, as well as the main antagonists, Gaius and Muzet, take on the role of playable characters this time around. Choices made by the player will affect relationships with other characters, so choose wisely, lest allow a battle of words between party members. Though, knowing the Tales series, a text battle may actually be quite humorous.
As a final gift to players, Bandai Namco made all DLC costumes from Tales of Xillia useable in Tales of Xillia 2, so money won't go to waste. As far as I'm concerned, that just opens up the opportunity for more fun party roleplay. After all, what long-time Tales fan hasn't wanted to see Milla in an Asbel costume fight Elize in a Mint costume?
After two years of it being out in Japan, North and South American players finally have their opportunity to pick Tales of Xillia 2 up in digital or retail format for the PlayStation 3 for $59.99. Unfortunately, European players have just a slight wait, but it won't be too rough. Just be sure to avoid spoilers if at all possible until the Xillia sequel becomes available across the pond starting this Friday, August 22, 2014.
Tuesday, Aug 19
Net Articles Summary
Following the recent leak of two new Mega Pokémon, Mega Audino was officially revealed through a trailer released by Nintendo. Unfortunately though, Mega Slowbro was nowhere to be found -- probably crawling along somewhere behind the cameraman. Either way, here he is now with his own trailer to make a splash against the Hoenn starters.
Should players prefer to keep Slowbro instead evolving it into Slowking, players can give Slowbro its Mega Stone and see where that goes. Mega Slowbro retains his water/psychic typing, and regardless of its abilities before mega-evolving will gain the Shell Armor ability, which stops enemies from landing critical hits. Of course, all of this is in exchange for allowing Shellder to eat the poor thing. When Shellder consumes Slowbro, sparking the mega evolution, the defense and special defense stats greatly improve. Step out of the way Slowking, there's a new best Pokémon in town.
Game Freak describes the new evolution as follows.
Slowbro is a Water- and Psychic-type Pokémon and one of two evolved forms of Slowpoke, the other being Slowking. When Slowbro Mega Evolves into Mega Slowbro, its energy gathers in the Shellder clamped onto its tail. As a result, the hardness of its shell is boosted, making its armor incredibly strong. In battle, Mega Slowbro balances on its tail, wearing Shellder as an impenetrable armor over its body.
Mega Slowbro has the Shell Armor Ability, meaning opponents can never land a critical hit, making Mega Slowbro a defensive threat in battle. Its Defense and Sp. Attack also increase, making it a great teammate for long battles requiring high endurance.
For the trainers jumping out of their seats to get the oddly adorable and slightly memetic Mega Slowbro, a bit of a wait is in the way. Mega Slowbro will not be available until the release of Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire, coming to North American Nintendo 3DS systems on November 21, 2014. Even with all of these new forms being announced, the real question is -- what's the next Mega Pokémon?
With gamescom 2014 all wrapped up, CD Projekt is celebrating with a new Witcher 3: Wild Hunt gameplay video. Great, but did I mention it's over half an hour long? This "Downwarren" segment shows Geralt traveling through swamplands in search of news regarding Ciri, and debuted first in June during E3. What he finds there are some expectedly strange characters.
In hopes of learning more about Ciri, Geralt seeks the council of three witches, but he needs help even seeking them out. That's when he meets Johny the Godling, a strange little creature who lost his voice. This triggers a longer series of quests, in which Geralt must recover Johny's voice, then see what the witches will need him to do in exchange for decent information.
Anyone who is even remotely familiar with how The Witcher works, however, will also realize that doing the right thing is sometimes impossible. Guess we'll see how this particular situation works out in the long run when Wild Hunt releases in February 2015.
Team Meat is up to their ol' shenanigans once more. Tonight the team unveiled a teaser site for a project titled, "A Voyeur for September." The teaser trailer is, well, it's full-motion video nonsense. There are shots of a back yard, a tire swing, bees on flowers, and a creeper recording a lady in a bath robe. The Youtube description says the game is a "live action stealth" title, which doubles down on the crazy. Oh, and the title is also an anagram for Super Meat Boy Forever.
I mean, sure, we could make the assumption that these crazy jerks are actually making a sequel to their spectacular hit, Super Meat Boy. We could assume this whole A Voyeur for September thing is just a thinly veiled joke to see how many sad news outlets fall for it. We could, but doesn't it seem so much more right, more ethical, to say A Voyeur for September is the real game here. I wouldn't want to confuse my readership with something as complicated as an anagram.
It's Super Meat Boy Forever. Get hyped.
- Resident Evil Revelations 2 confirmed for 2015 release, live-action teaser hints at Claire's return 
- Resident Evil 2015 HD remaster gets new trailer and screenshots, looking better than ever 
- Assassin's Creed Unity needs more development time, delayed until early November 
- Persona 5 confirmed for PlayStation 4, time freezes for one shaggy-haired student in Shibuya 
- Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel Season Pass announced, covers four DLC packs with $10 difference 
- Dragon Quest comes to PlayStation 4 with musou title Dragon Quest: Heroes 
- Neoseeker is giving away Guild Wars 2 Living Story t-shirts! 
- Nintendo reveals upgraded 'New 3DS' with second analog stick, boosted hardware