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Monday, Aug 11



Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare gets new content, battle to photosynthesize in Suburbination

0 comments Max Navarro - 10:58pm (PST) Like Share

This is not child's play

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Children use pea shooters, adults use pea shooters, it seems like everyone loves pea shooters. Why? Zombies do not like them. Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare is getting a new free update, launching tomorrow, called Suburbination. Xbox One, Xbox 360 and PC gardeners will get the opportunity to crush zombies on a golf course.

The new Suburbination pack gives players the chance to experience the Plasma Peashooter, a new character able to shoot zombies back into the dust. The blue and gooey variant of the everyday Peashooter has the ability to charge up attacks or launch tiny pellets at enemies. I recommend that children stay far away from it during a zombie apocalypse.

The plasma pellet cannon is not the only addition coming in the Suburbination pack however. Players will also receive the new Suburbination mode and Crash Course map, centered around the crash site of a zombie spaceship which is available in all game modes. In addition, there are quite a few new Garden Ops missions coming to the title alongside some stylish new gear. After all, everyone needs to bedazzle a sunflower at least once. Unfortunately, there are a plethora of enemies and a new boss too that players will have to deal with as well, so the Plasma Peashooter and friends probably seemingly have their work cut out for them.

Oh, plants. So beautiful, yet so destructive. It probably is not the best idea to fight against the plants, so I choose to join with them. Suburbination will launch on Microsoft's Xbox 360, Xbox One, and PC tomorrow, though it looks like Sony players have to wait a little bit. Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare still is not available on the PlayStation 3 or PlayStation 4, but will be starting August 19th in North America.

 
 

Third PlayStation gamescom teaser promises 'Horror Reinvented,' Until Dawn announcement likely

3 comments Rory Young - 7:56pm (PST) Like Share

Nothing like being lost in the cold and dark

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Sony's third PlayStation gamescom teaser has been released and the likelihood if it being related to the Move-controlled horror title Until Dawn continues to grow. Today's trailer is labeled quite clearly with "Horror Reinvented," implying both a frightening tale in the cold as well as a new approach to the genre. What better way to do that than with Sony's proprietary motion controller, right? Of course, the question now becomes: Is Until Dawn now a PlayStation 4 title?

The other possibility, should Until Dawn have dropped the Move controller feature as its primary selling point, is that the spooky game may now be a Project Morpheus leading title. That's just a possibility, mind, as Sony's given no indication that its virtual reality headset is anywhere near the quality it needs to be for mass production. Just a little healthy speculation on my part.

For the reveal, everyone should tune in to tomorrow's PlayStation press conference at Gamescom. The even will start at 10:00 AM PDT/ 1:00 PM EDT and odds are Until Dawn won't be the other surprise. With Gamescom quickly becoming the #2 industry convention in the industry, Sony's likely got a few other firecrackers to throw into the crowd. Err, you know what I mean.

Back to the trailer itself, we get more close-ups of blood spattering in a cold environment, ice cracking, and a dude with a blunt object hammering away on an unfortunate victim. I guess that's not just blood anymore, eh? I guess that calls for a gore warning. You've been warned!

Supermassive Games is one of Sony's in-house developers that's been working on quirky and often terrible Move games for some time now. They've been working on Until Dawn for at least four years now, though I believe it was last seen at Gamescom in 2012.

 
 

League of Legends to add 'Master Tier' on top of Diamond, top 200 become Challengers

4 comments Rory Young - 7:47pm (PST) Like (1) Share (1)

Should have been named Wood League, just for giggles

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Today Riot Games notified the most successful League of Legends players in the world of upcoming changes to their ranked ladders. Currently, the system caps out at Diamond 1, with a limited 50-player or team Challenger tier reserved for the best of the best. With the upcoming changes, however, a new tier named the "Master" tier will be added on top of Diamond 1. There's no player or team limit in Master tier, but the big difference is to Challenger. Challengers will now be the top 200 players in the Master tier, refreshed every 24-hours, and with immunity removed.

Riot Games has long been unhappy with the current Challenger system in League of Legends ranked play. More specifically, they're unhappy with how the Challenger system concludes at the end of the season. This is largely due to an "Immunity" for new Challengers, a system that prevents them dropping back into Diamond 1 for seven days. Players are able to qualify for Challenger promotion, then wait until the seven days until the season ends, perhaps qualify and then no worry about being knocked back down to Diamond 1 -- whether they deserve it or not!

With the new system, no player will be safe. Consider the Master tier to simply be the Diamond 1 tier of tomorrow, except a bit more exclusive. Challenger will take the top 200 players or teams in Master tier and give them Challenger status. This check for the top 200 occurs every 24 hours. There's no immunity and players are all measured on the same metrics. The top 200 will be the best players in League of Legends at the moment the ratings are measured. No other systems will interfere with each players rating.

The result will be, as Season 4 comes to a close, what in my mind is equatable to a League of Legends blood bath. As opposed to players qualifying, earning their immunity and sitting in wait of season's end, everyone in Challenger will have to keep playing to keep their rank. Imagine that last week, those last 24 hours, with each Challenger fighting game after game to climb a few more ranks, or fearing falling out of the top 200. Glorious.

Here's a quick recap: 

  • All new "Master" tier
  • Players qualify for Master tier through promotion from Diamond 1
  • Master tier has no player or team limit -- it holds as many as can qualify
  • Challenger tier still the top of the League
  • Challenger reserved for the top 200 players in Master tier, or all those in Master tier until more than 200 qualify
  • Becoming Challenger no longer grants immunity, though qualifying for Master tier does
  • Challenger's top 200 recalculated every 24 hours

League of Legends is a free-to-play MOBA available on PC. Odds are if you're reading this that, like me, you're never going to reach Master tier, let alone Challenger. Still, best of luck.



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Categories: PC Games
 
 

Kano becomes king of the jungle in new Mortal Kombat X gameplay trailer, with plenty of brutality

6 comments Lydia Sung - 6:58pm (PST) Like (1) Share

Did he just shoot a laser through someone's head?

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An old favorite is returning in Mortal Kombat X, and his name is Kano, leader of the The Black Dragon. The devs really have been listening! In the new reveal trailer, we see Kano take on D'Vorah, the bug lady and newcomer to the series. Walking us through Kano's skill set is Mortal Kombat X creative director Ed Boon, a fellow who definitely knows a thing or two about this long-time fighting franchise (hint: he's the co-creator).

Interestingly, Kano appears to be slightly older in MKX, but he remains a cybernetic powerhouse thanks to all those implants. This half-man, half-machine fighter has three distinct variations just like any other fighter, dubbed Cutthroat, Cybernetic and Commando. The first equips Kano with enhanced knife-fighting abilities, leading to some rather awesome unique combos. In Cybernetic mode, the crime lord is equipped with more weapons, like his eye laser and grenades, which are just perfect for long-range or aerial combat. For players who prefer getting up close and personal, Commando might be your go-to option, making Kano a superior grappler that overwhelms opponents from close range.

Mortal Kombat X will be out some time next year, in 2015. See Kano in action in the trailer below; make it all the way through and you'll be treated to his laser-tastic Fatality.



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Hearts of Iron IV's first in-engine footage briefly shown, World War II simulation and strategy

0 comments Rory Young - 6:46pm (PST) Like Share

I want to play, but at the same time I am afraid to play

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Have you ever wanted a strategy game so in-depth and authentic that it'll likely drive you insane? Let me introduce you to Paradox. They love games that are outrageously complex, but that typically goes hand-in-hand with zero patience for acclimating new players to the experience. With each release, however, they do a little bit better. Better or not, it's going to be hard to ignore Hearts of Iron IV.

Today, in celebration of Gamescom, but not at Gamescom since Paradox isn't actually there, the development studio released the first in-engine look at Hearts of Iron IV. This World War II strategy game, err, I'm sorry -- grand strategy game, already is well known for it's gameplay systems. With Hearts of Iron IV, however, it may just become known for it's outstanding visuals as well.

See, the actual in-game footage shown in the footage is quite brief and alarmingly well cut into the old World War II footage. If one isn't paying attention, one might think it's a wholly CG or animated sequence of a map from the war days. I had to go back and rewatch the damned thing. It looks so good it could be a board game. With the addition of the user interface and statistics, as seen in the screenshots provided, it gets quite a bit more messy. Still...

There's just something about all those sexy borders. It's hard not to want to play it, even knowing it's may be well beyond my cognitive abilities. I'm getting too old for these games.

Hearts of Iron IV currently has no announced release window, but will be available as a digital PC release when it does finish up development.



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Categories: PC Games
 
 

Toy Soldiers: War Chest announced, Starbright's Star Power and more factions like the Kaiser's army

0 comments Rory Young - 6:19pm (PST) Like Share

There better be a robot faction, is all I'm saying

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Toy Soldiers, a unique strategy action title from Signal Studios, found an odd sort of success in a World War set in the living room sort of way. Yet even the sequel, Toy Soldiers: Cold War doesn't compare to the over-the-top craziness of this newly announced title in the franchise. Toy Soldiers: War Chest will explore what happens when the Kaiser's army realizes there's a whole world out there beyond the western front. Bring out the Barbies.

Yes, Toy Soldiers: War Chest will focus on the addition of multiple warring factions factions. While the Kaiser and his German Empire will be returning, a transitionary relic from the previous games which sets the stage for the war to come, the three other factions will be entirely new. Only one of these three has yet been unveiled, so please give a warm welcome to Starbright and her Star Power army.

Starbright's army is the thematic counterpoint to the toy soldier theme. Her army is made of unicorns, gummi bears, teddy bears and fairies. They're don't appear to be a very warlike faction in the traditional sense, but when provoked their magic, horns and love powers prove just as effective on the battlefield. Starbright herself is definitely the star of the show, however, seeming a mix of Space Channel 5's Ulala and Venelope from Wreck it Ralph. 

It's great to see Toy Soldiers breaking out of its boy-centric shell, escaping the "War game, but for the whole family" vibe that I found rather unattractive. Including a whole Toy Chest of new playable armies is much more entertaining to me. There's so much more humor, personality, and creativity available for Signal to have fun with. Hopefully it's not just a new look for the same games we've already played.

Toy Soldiers: War Chest will be available on PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One starting in early 2015.



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Dead Island 2 trailer for gamescom promises plenty of ways to kill zombies under the California sun

5 comments Lydia Sung - 6:00pm (PST) Like Share

Come for the sun, stay for the slaughter

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Dead Island 2 could just be the most scenic zombie apocalypse game we've seen to date, being set in sunny Southern California and all. The new trailer released in advance of gamescom 2014 highlights this lovely feature, boasting shots of the Hollywood sign and so many zombies.

Of course, none of this would be very Dead Island if you didn't have the freedom to kill the zombies in just about any way you like, and that's a big part of what his trailer is trying to convey. Yes, you can even freeze zombies, should setting fire to them become too mundane.

Story-wise, Dead Island 2 takes place after Dead Island and Escape Dead Island (which I'm seriously looking forward to), several months following the catastrophe on Banoi. Now that the infestation has spread to California, the US government actually quarantined the entire state, but that just leaves more zombies for you -- and your friends -- to kill.

Dead Island 2 will be out next year in the spring for Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC. Dig the trailer below.



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Pre-order Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare for the Day Zero Edition, grants early access to multiplayer

6 comments Lydia Sung - 4:46pm (PST) Like Share

Be some of the first to try the new exoskeleton

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Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare is steadily approaching release day, and Activision today announced the Day Zero Edition, with extra perks for early adopters. Just pre-order the game and get a nice 24-hour head start in multiplayer, along with two custom weapons and the existing Advanced Arsenal pre-order bonus. Early access is set to begin November 3.

One day of early access and some DLC weapons might not seem like much, but for Call of Duty fans, they're a nice little bonus for simply reserving the game. Imagine getting a whole day's worth of mutliplayer time in before most other players, and being some of the first to try out new features like the exoskeleton.

The big thing about the exoskeleton is the way it enhances player movement and power. Toss this in with other sci-fi weaponry never before seen in a Call of Duty game, and you've got more or less an entirely new playground for the dedicated fanbase.

With the all-new exoskeleton, players can boost jump, dodge, dash, slide, slam and more as the action goes vertical, while using future-tech, cutting-edge capabilities and a brand-new weapon class as part of nearly 350 custom weapons.  Offering a new reward system, including more than 1,000 in-game player rewards, and nearly limitless customization options that create more than 2 billion unique player combinations and more, the title offers the most in-depth, robust and advanced Call of Duty multiplayer experience ever on both next generation and current generation systems.

Basically, this is the first time we're seeing a Call of Duty game make the leap from cutting-edge modern to what can be described as borderline futuristic. A lot of the new tech look like they've been ripped from some science fiction universe, but Sledgehammer Games made sure they kept everything relatively believable.

Bear in mind that the Day Zero Edition works with any other version of the game you've pre-ordered, whether it's a standard copy of Advanced Warfare or the various Atlas editions. Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare will be out for Xbox One, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4 and PC on November 4.

 
 

Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA F 2nd release date announced, sing and dance this November

0 comments Max Navarro - 3:38pm (PST) Like Share

Party like a pop star

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Sega is offering yet another chance to virtually dance with Hatsune Miku for those unable to pick up Mirai Remix on the Nintendo 3DS. The publisher revealed that Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA F 2nd will be heading the Sony PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Vita starting November 18 in North America and November 21 in every other part of the world.

Project DIVA F 2nd takes the stage as yet another addition into the Project DIVA series. What makes this game special compared to the nine other entries that appear on the outside to be exactly the same? Well, F 2nd introduces twenty brand new songs that will be played amongst elite grooves such as Cat Food, now available in the game's Augmented Reality mode on the PlayStation Vita, and Tokyo Teddy Bear. Oh, and players will also be able to design their own Modules, or costumes, through use of F 2nd's Edit Mode, though over eighty others will be previously made and available for those who feel like they are more suited to dancing versus designing.

Those who are not a fan of the blue-haired pop star have the option of using a variety of pre-programmed characters including Kagamine Rin, Megurine Luka and more. However, if you're truly desperate for more dancers, check out the pre-order DLC. Sega also announced three additional characters -- Akita Neru, Yowane Haku, and Kasane Teto -- that will be available in the game by pre-ordering your copy with GameStop.

I have to say, the reveal of retailer-exclusive downloadable content is not the best news I have received today. Nevertheless, this game should still provide the cute, bubbly, and perky experience that everyone has to come to expect from Hatsune Miku titles. Aspiring dancers who may need the help of a controller to get their grooves on will be able to pick up Hatsune Miku: Project Diva F 2nd, coming only to the Sony PlayStation Vita and PlayStation 3, starting this November.



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Square Enix braves new IP for PC and consoles with Life is Strange, from the makers of Remember Me

2 comments Leo Chan - 11:59am (PST) Like Share

DONTNOD returns with new episodic game series where you mess with time

Square Enix still isn't one to shy away from new IP even for consoles, as the JRPG publisher teams up with DONTNOD (the makers of Capcom's Remember Me, which if you'll remember we liked) to announce Life is Strange for PC, PS4, Xbox One, PS3 and Xbox 360. In spite of the looming threat of bankruptcy which befell DONTNOD following the release of Remember Me, the Paris-based developer has a new opportunity to strike gold with something that isn't a sequel.

So what could be bold enough for Square Enix to test the next-gen console waters with? Life is Strange is so far confirmed to be an episodic adventure game series where decisions made in earlier chapters may affect how later ones unfold. Okay so maybe it doesn't sound all that bold nowadays (look at any Telltale Games release), but Life is Strange throws in a character that can rewind time.

Life is Strange stars Max Caulfield as she (hey, Max is an androgynous name) returns to her fictional US town of Arcadia Bay, Oregon, reuniting with friend Chloe to investigate the "mysterious and rather uncomfortable" disappearance of fellow senior student Rachel Amber. Max must come to grips with the power to turn back time, and Square Enix promises that how you use this ability will play its part in evolving the overall story.

No, it has nothing to do with Chrono Trigger despite messing with the space-time continuum. Here's hoping for easter eggs though. Hey, even the Thief reboot had one.



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