Monday, May 4
So much CAR action that it couldn't be contained with caps-lock off
In preparation for the game's release on May 7, Slightly Mad Studios has released a Project CARS launch trailer as well as some final details for the game. That is, they're aiming for one last surge of hype before the game goes life. That shouldn't be too difficult, because fans of driving games will have hopefully heard of Project CARS, seeing as the game has been around since 2011. Well, that and that it's pretty freakin' awesome.
Accompanying the trailer is a sort of round-up of features and interesting details about Project CARS that I'm sure are meant for marketing purposes, but are still just straight up impressive on top of it all:
- The largest track roster of any recent racing game with 110+ unique locations
- A wide variety of motorsports including GT, Touring, Le Mans Prototypes, Karts, and modern Open Wheel and 80+ cars available at launch
- Dynamic weather, pit stops, and pit strategy creation
- Dynamic time of day and endurance races including the Le Mans 24H
- World-class graphics running at 60 fps with up to 45 drivers onscreen
- Next-gen physics running at 600 fps and deep telemetry & tuning features
- Competitive multiplayer for up to 16 players and the ability to create public, private and friend-based lobbies with ‘Join In Progress’
- Asynchronous Time Trial with downloadable ghosts
- Regularly-scheduled community events
- Social connectivity with photo and replay modes powered by The Driver Network
- Support for 30+ wheels, community apps, and virtual reality via Oculus Rift and Project Morpheus
- Continual updates and further content after launch
Note that you get all of this in the box -- none of it comes in a Season Pass. There isn't a Season Pass at all. It's just one studio and its crowd-funded game doing its best to be a product worth buying once and nothing more. Bless their hearts.
Project CARS will be available on PlayStation 4, Xbox One and of course on PC starting May 7. Reports are going out already that it may already be out in the wild as retailers ship it early, or at least the Limited Edition of the game. Slightly Mad Studios is actually the one retweeting the news, which I think says a lot about how excited they are to have their fans finally playing their completed game.
Tomorrow will see the release of Mortal Kombat X's first chunk of DLC including playable character Jason Voorhees, or maybe Jason Voorhees will you first. The Friday the 13th slasher star will be the first of four currently announced playable DLC characters, each a part of the $29.99 Kombat Pack season pass thing. Except now that we're approaching the DLC's launch, it appears there are more pricing options available.
Jason Voorhees' launch tomorrow will be accompanied by the fittingly named Horror Pack DLC, a set of three skins -- Vampiress Mileena, Kraken Reptile and Pharaoh Ermac. The Kombat Pack mentioned earlier includes all of this DLC, as well as three more similar releases in the future. However, for those who dislike Season Pass purchases and pre-orders, you can buy just Jason or just the Horror pack standalone.
Just Jason will cost $4.99 and just the Horror Pack will cost $3.99. There's also the option of getting them bundled together for $7.99. For those interested only in the DLC characters and could care less for the skins, this pricing update means you can get all four of them for $4.99 each and a total of less than $20. Compared to the $30 Kombat Pack, that's a bit more savings. Of course, being forced to pay a third of the price of the full game for just a handful of DLC characters is mind-boggling in the first place, but that's just how these things go, aren't they?
Watch Jason Voorhees in motion, or at least some of his brutal Fatalities, in a trailer released just for the occasion. Jason and the Horror Pack skin DLC will both be available starting tomorrow for download. Mortal Kombat X is otherwise available on PC, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4.
Friday, May 1
Net Articles Summary
- Thermalright TRUE Spirit 140 BW Rev.A CPU Cooler Review - NikKTech
- SilverStone AR06 Review - HardOCP
- Thecus N4310 Review - HardwareHeaven
- AOC U2868PQU Review - pcGameware.co.uk
- SilverStone Mammoth MM01 Review - TechSpot
More months means more Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate DLC, and May is not unlike April and March before it. Today Capcom unveiled their plans for content drops becoming available right about earlier today. Not much change since prior months -- quests, items, guild items, themed skins -- but I think I can say rather confidently that no change is for the best in this regard. Capcom's doing great with their DLC for MH4U.
Let's cut to the chase and talk about what specifically has been included:
- Samus Hunter Equipment
- Metroid's Varia Suit, Metroid's Zero Suit, Metroid's Arm Cannon, Taiko Drum Master Hunting Horn, USJ's Star Rook armor, USJ's Starlight Axe Charge Blade
- Palico Equipment
- Mega Man, Blanka, Chun-Li, USJ's F Star, Cha-Cha, Kayamba
- 14 New quests
- 5 New weapons
- 3 Complete armor sets
- 6 Palico weapons
- 6 Palico armor sets
- 1 Bonus Palico: Yellow Pal
- 3 Guild Card backgrounds
- 2 Guild Card poses
- 15 Guild Card titles
- 1 Poogie outfit: Kitchen Pig
- New items sold by the Wycoon
Just look at all of that DLC -- and how! Sure, April's Mario and Luigi skins are great, but nothing like a Samus Hunter outfit. Samus is the hunter -- not just of some unruly part of a a Monster Hunter planet, but of space! Alright, so most hunters won't give up their hard earned armor just to look like Samus, but it's still pretty cool. What matter is more quests, more contents for players to burn through.
Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate is currently available on 3DS and all of this month's DLC, along with all forthcoming DLC, is entirely free.
BioWare has announced two free DLC packs for Dragon Age: Inquisition set to arrive May 5, marking the return of the Black Emporium alongside more free multiplayer content.
The first add-on may be familar with Dragon Age II players, as the Black Emporium makes its comeback. This high-end shop contains epic weapons, accessories, crafting materials, and other rare items at a high cost of gold. More importantly for many fans, however, is the ability to change the player character's appearance. The Mirror of Transformation will finally allow players to alter their Inquisitor after starting the game, while owners of Dragon Age: Origins and Dragon Age II will receive additional thrones for Skyhold as an added bonus.
Inquisition's other free expansion is a multiplayer add-on called "Dragonslayer." As the name suggests, it adds the ability to fight dragons in the online co-op mode, plus three new playable characters. An Avvar Skywatcher, a Virtuoso, and Isabela -- the pirate captain from previous Dragon Age games -- will be made available with Dragonslayer.
Both the Black Emporium add-on and Dragonslayer will be out May 5 for PC, Xbox One, Xbox 360, PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 3.
BioWare also set a release date for the Jaws of Hakkon DLC on PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, and Xbox 360. The paid single-player expansion was first released for Xbox One and PC back in March, and will soon be released to the remaining three plaforms on May 26.
Click here to see more images
Titans may chain humanity, but it's licensing that chains all
Atlus has revealed the release date for Attack on Titan: Humanity in Chains, the 3DS action-adventure game made by Spike Chunsoft. It'll be available starting May 13, but only in North America. Unfortunately, it appears that licensing issues have caused the EU version to be delayed for the foreseeable future. It also means that the title of the game has been changed to Shingeki no Kyojin: Humanity in Chains, the Japanese title of the game. You've got to take the good with the bad.
A couple of other cools things accompanied the release date news. First is that the game will come paired with a special exclusive Attack on Titan theme for the 3DS, downloaded as part of the game's digital purchase. Second is a special new "Characters" trailer, perhaps intended to show fans of the manga and anime what their favorite characters look like in-game.
As with Dragon Ball Z, Naruto and One Piece games in general, licensed games from developers like Spike Chunsoft -- developers who make a career out of churning these games out year after year -- the quality of the experience likely isn't going to be Game of the Year worthy. Yet it's still an invaluable task to bring these worlds and characters to life in video games. There are so many fans out there who will be excited to experience Attack on Titan in video game form. Cheers to Atlus for doing what it takes, fighting through what must have been ridiculous licensing efforts, to bring Attack on Titan: Humanity in Chains westward.
Attack on Titan: Humanity in Chains will be released on Nintendo 3DS starting on May 13 in North America. Note that it's a digital-only release, so don't bother trying to pre-order in your favorite retailer. The European version of the game, now renamed to the Japanese title of Shingeki no Kyojin: Humanity in Chains, will take a bit longer to sort through licensing issues. Expect news of its release in the weeks or months to come. Changing all the branding and marketing for the game isn't something done in a night or two.
We're talking as authentically Banjo as you can get without bear and bird
When Playtonics was formed by a crew of ex-Rare developers with more than 100+ years of experience in the company, expectations were immediately high. When they announced that their first game, Yooka-Laylee, would be the spiritual successor to Banjo-Kazooie that fans have demanded for years, expectations grew even higher. When Yooka-Laylee's Kickstarter went live and reached its £175,000 goal in hours, let's just say no one's very surprised.
Yooka-Laylee has been funded, and with 46 days left in its funding window, it's looking to have millions in dollars still coming down the pipeline. Just a few hours later, the project is already sitting near £500,000. While fans may not have been surprised, Playtonics certainly were. They've only set stretch goals up to a million dollars, but I'm guessing they best start brainstorming some awesome extra stretch goals.
What is Yooka-Laylee though? Well, Yooka is a gecko and Laylee is bat! Together they're able to run and fly/glide around like a certain bear/bird team most are more familiar with. Together they'll adventure through five different unique lands -- colorful, vivid lands from a team of artists who built the worlds of Viva Pinata and the modern Donkey Kong Country titles. They'll hunt for "Pagies," a golden currency used to unlock further areas in the game. The Banjo-Kazoo-iness is overwhelming.
Just the idea of an N64-era puzzle platformer being made with modern ideas, modern technology and a team of developers with hugely valuable experience, fills me with a warm, fuzzy feeling. Mario's great, don't get me wrong, but it is what it is - an unchanging franchise that hasn't progressed past its initial Mario 64 release. Regressed, even. This is a genre that gamers love and that has been hugely devalued by publishers and developers. Just one game might change that. A Yooka-Laylee with so much support could usher in a new ear for the genre, in the same way Broken Age did for adventure games.
46 days remain in Yooka-Laylee's Kickstarter campaign. If they've raised over £500,000 (yes, the campaign raised another £100,000 while I was writing this article). $10 of funding will pick up a PC digital code at the game's launch. Console codes (console support will be added at $1,000,000 of funding) will need a contribution of $15. Bumping that up another $5-10 will also provide a demo to be made available later.
Let's see whether Valve still owns everybody's wallets, shall we?
It's almost time for Valve's annual Dota 2 championship, The International, to begin the grueling process that will lead to the tournament starting August 3. That means that team invitations will begin going out beginning today, May 1. That means that qualifying tournaments for the remaining International berths will begin later this month. Most of all, however, it means that Valve will be launching this year's The International Compendium right about... now.
Yes, The International 2015's Compendium, the DLC book that collects team, player and event information while also promising huge in-game rewards for players and also contributing to The International's prize pool, is out. $10 for the compendium itself, with 25% of each purchase going into the prize pool. Then, as the prize pool increases -- first in $500,000 hops and then in $1,000,000 leaps -- rewards will be sent out to Compendium owners (at some point in the future. Rewards this year include a Wyvern Hatchling Courier, a Desert Terrain skin for the map, and plenty of Immortal treasures.
The other half of the Compendium, the odd meta-game where players "level up" their book, has also begun. Every 100 points a player collects earns a level, and the points are earned either by playing more and more Dota 2 or by straight up buying the points directly (500pts for $2.49 base). Of course, there's additional complexities like earning coins, spending coins on additional awards and, well, it's designed to encourage people to spend lots of money.
The cheapest way to get to level 250, which caps out the "hard" rewards and grands a Gold Effigy Block, will cost about $111.90, including an initial Compendium bundle costing $26.99 and boosting you to level 50 (the Compendium itself includes no levels), 8 $9.99 packs which are worth 2400 points each, and one final $4.99 pack worth 11 levels to put you over 250. Every 50 levels after that will boost your "Coin Booster," but there are no other boons. Oh, and it can also be much more expensive if you buy your levels in smaller bundles, or cheaper if you earn experience playing.
For the full list of rewards and a generally inadequate description of how the whole Compendium thing works, head over to the official International website. For casual to moderate Dota 2 players, I'd recommend just the $9.99 Compendium for all of its fun bonuses and the meta fun it adds to The International experience. Hardcore players? I'd look through the level rewards and decide what you must have before you buy, then decide the cheapest route to that point.
Of course, the big deal here is that all purchases add to Dota 2's The International 2015 prize pool Only a few hours in and already over $300,000 have been raised on top of the initial $1,600,000 that Valve adds to the pot themselves. Last year's prize pool capped out at almost $11,000,000. It wouldn't be surprising to see that go much higher this year, especially after Valve's announcement that they'll be running four annual tournaments instead of just one next year. Oh, and it's worth noting again that Valve is taking 75% of every purchase. For every million the players will get, Valve pockets three million themselves. Just something I think is worth thinking about, especially in this post-paid-mods world.
Click here to see more images
This is it, racing fans. Project CARS will finally be out next week, and developer Slightly Mad Studios has the final list of cars that will be featured in their racing sim. It's a long list, obviously, and includes a freebie for everyone who has the game.
The standard edition of Project CARS comes with no fewer than 65 cars, not including the free W Motors Lykan HyperSport (the first one several). For anyone who ordered the limited edition, that number goes up to 70 with the five additional cars. Pre-ordering gets you another three as part of the Modified Car Pack DLC.
Project CARS was originally due for a 2014 release, when Slightly Mad and publisher Bandai Namco decided to push it into 2015 to avoid the holiday competition. It was then pushed into April, before suffering another delay that placed CARS in May, eventually winding up with the finalized release date of May 6. The time is finally upon us.
PROJECT CARS STANDARD EDITION
Ariel Atom 300 Supercharged
Ariel Atom 500 V8
Aston Martin Rapide S Hydrogen Hybrid
Aston Martin Vantage GT3
Aston Martin Vantage GT4
Audi R18 TDI LMP1
Audi R8 LMS Ultra
Audi R8 V10 Plus
BMW 1 M CoupÈ (E82)
BMW 320 Turbo Gr.5 (E21)
BMW M3 Gr.A (E30)
BMW M3 GT (E92)
BMW M3 GT4 (E92)
BMW Z4 GT3
Caper Monterey Stockcar
Caterham Seven Classic
Caterham Superlight R500
Ford Capri Zakspeed Gr.5
Ford Escort RS1600
Ford Focus RS
Ford Mustang Boss 302R1
Ford Mustang Cobra SCCA TransAm
Ford Sierra RS500 Cosworth Gr.A
Formula Gulf 1000
Ginetta G40 Junior
Ginetta G55 GT3
Ginetta G55 GT4
Gumpert Apollo S
Lotus 49 Cosworth
Lotus 72D Cosworth
Lotus 78 Cosworth
Lotus 98T Renault
Marek RP219D LMP2
Marek RP339h (PM 06a) LMP1
McLaren 12C GT3
Mercedes-Benz 190E 2.5-16 Evo2 DTM
Mercedes-Benz 300SEL 6.8 AMG
Mercedes-Benz A45 AMG
Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG
Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT
Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X FQ400
Oreca 03 Nissan
Pagani Zonda R
Palmer Jaguar JP-LM
Radical SR3 RS
Radical SR8 RX
Renault Clio Cup
Renault MÈgane R.S. 265
Ruf RGT-8 GT3
RWD P20 LMP2
RWD P30 LMP1
SMS Formula A
SMS Formula B
SMS Formula C
SMS Formula Rookie
SMS Kart 125cc (Kart01)
SMS Superkart 250cc (Kart02)
LIMITED EDITION CAR PACK
Sauber C9 Mercedes
Mercedes-Benz C-Class Coupe DTM
Ford Mk. IV
BMW M1 Procar (E26/1)
MODIFIED CAR PACK
Ariel Atom Mugen
Ruf CTR3 SMS-R
Pagani Zonda Cinque Roadster
W Motors Lykan HyperSport – Free Car #1
Click here to see more images
Thursday, Apr 30
Net Articles Summary
League of Legends is still riding its Shurima kick, and Risen Fiddlesticks is one of the results. He joins the "Guardian of the Sands" themed skins for Skarner, Rammus, and Xerath this week, just without the divine appearance. I mean, this is Fiddlesticks we're talking about.
Available now through the League of Legends in-game client, Risen Fiddlesticks is currently 28 percent off, as is customary for 1350 RP skins upon release. So for now, you can grab this mummy themed Fiddles skin for 975 RP through Monday, May 4.
This makes him more expensive than most of the similarly designed Guardian skins, though it makes sens when you look at the cosmetic differences and consider the different recall animation. His altered spell effects include scarabs instead of crows for his ult and... a lot of gold.
Valve has announced that game developers can now implement bans on Steam accounts. This is a big deal because enforcing bans was previously a process that Valve did itself, through the Valve Anti-Cheat System.
When a developer finds out a player is cheating, they will notify Valve, which will then issue a game ban on the offending player's Steam account. Game bans will be visible in the player's Steam profile, listing the game they were caught cheating in, like a badge (or many badges) of shame. Valve issued a community post regarding the change, confirming that, well, no one likes cheaters.
Because nobody likes playing with cheaters.
Playing games should be fun. In order to ensure the best possible online multiplayer experience, Valve allows developers to implement their own systems that detect and permanently ban any disruptive players, such as those using cheats.
Game developers inform Valve when a disruptive player has been detected in their game, and Valve applies the game ban to the account. The game developer is solely responsible for the decision to apply a game ban. Valve only enforces the game ban as instructed by the game developer.
For more information about a game ban in a specific game, please contact the developer of that game.
With thousands of titles in the Steam library, it's understandable that Valve would now leave anti-cheat responsibilties to individual developers. This will hopefully lead to a tougher crackdown on hackers that have been plaguing various Steam games.
However, there are some concerns to be raised, as Valve provided no information regarding the appeal of wrongfully implemented bans. Accidental bans do happen, as Valve once VAC banned thousands of accounts that had played Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2.
In other Steam related news, the company recently removed the controversial paid mods section from the Skyrim Steam Workshop.
- Pokemon Super Mystery Dungeon announced, super-sized dungeon crawling starts this winter 
- Heroes of the Storm video walks through Muradin's talent system in Blizzard's all-stars MOBA 
- League of Legends has artwork for Order of the Lotus Irelia, Knockout Lee Sin, Nightmare Tryndamere 
- Life is Strange Ep. 3: Chaos Theory out May 19, secrets lie within the Blackwell Academy 
- EA teases next Need for Speed game with picture of a car and the name 'Speedhunters' 
- Divinity: Original Sin Enhanced Edition coming to consoles, PC users get free upgrade 
- Blade & Soul confirmed for this winter, NCsoft West finally localizing 2012's wuxia epic 
- Blade & Soul Hands-On Impressions: Better Late Than Never