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Microsoft Consoles News

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'Kaos Doom Challenge' adds Horde Mode/tower defense to Skylanders Trap Team, time to power level

1 comments Rory Young - 1:05pm (PST) Like Share

Can I capture a tower in a crystal?

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Toys for Bob and Activision revealed an upcoming feature for Skylanders Trap Team as they work hard to make it the best iteration of the franchise yet. In addition to capturable villains, crystals and playable mini-Skylanders, Trap Team will now also feature a Horde Mode/tower defense gametype named Kaos Doom Mode. Just another great way to level up one's Skylanders while at the same seeing just which Skylander makes you the strongest player.

The mode will allow players to build a variety of towers to help defend against waves of increasingly difficult enemies. I'm thinking Dungeon Defenders, but comparisons could also be made to EA's Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare. Mobs of "trash" enemies will be mixed together with more fearsome boss enemies, villains who pop out of Kaos' "Mystery Box of Doom." 

The mode absolutely looks fun, just from a general gameplay point of view. I've always been interested in something a bit more challenging in a Skylanders game -- something requiring teamwork between co-op partners. However, the mode also does the franchise another big favor by offering a further reason to players to keep playing the game after their Skylanders are all leveled up. Now all Activision needs to add is a leaderboard, or special unlocks for reaching certain waves. Then it'd practically be Destiny!

Skylanders Trap Team will be available starting October 2 in Australia, October 5 in North America, and October 10 in Europe for the PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, Xbox One, Xbox 360, Wii U, Wii, iOS devices and also the Kindle Fire. A sister title to Trap Team will also be available on Nintendo 3DS.


Grand Theft Auto V delayed PC arrival is January 27, PS4 and X1 on track for November 17

10 comments Rory Young - 6:41am (PST) Like Share

You've waited this long, so why not wait a little bit longer?

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Rockstar decided to blow any potential Tokyo Games Show announcements out of the water before they could even start. The long awaited PC version of Grand Theft Auto V now has a release date, as well as the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One versions of the game. More than a year later, PC Grand Theft Auto fans will finally get their hands on their game starting January 27. Before that, however, Rockstar and 2K will maximize profits by releasing the PS4 and X1 versions of the game on November 18 -- just in time for Black Friday.

Yes, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One seem to be getting priority here. It's crap, but that's just Rockstar and 2K's way of saying, "You're all dirty pirates on PC, so you'll get our game last and you'll love it." I'm sure they have hundreds of yes men who agree with research showing this is the proper way to do business. Eh, like Rockstar's ever cared what anyone's ever thought about their game or anything else for that matter (that includes their own employees).

The updated console release of Grand Theft Auto V will include "increased draw distance" and "higher resolution," sure, but apparently Rockstar has some more treats in mind. A year of extra development will do that for you:

  • New weapons, vehicles and activities
  • Additional wildlife
  • Denser traffic
  • New foliage system
  • Enhanced damage and weather effects, and much more
  • Enhanced radio selections with over 100 additional new songs and new DJ mixes from returning DJs across the game’s 17 radio stations
  • Rare versions of classic vehicles to collect from across the Grand Theft Auto series such as the Dukes, the Dodo Seaplane and a faster, more maneuverable Blimp
  • Activities including wildlife photography and new shooting range challenges, new weapons and more

Then they talk about Grand Theft Auto Online a bit, promising increased player counts in-game and the ability to transfer characters over to the new platform. All of the old Grand Theft Auto Online content will be in the new platforms too, as well as more content coming down the pipeline.

I joke because I care. Grand Theft Auto V is finally coming to PC, everyone! Pick up Grand Theft Auto V on PlayStation 4 or Xbox One starting November 18, or keep being patient and wait those two extra months to finally download the game on PC starting January 27. It's finally happening.

Oddly enough, Rockstar accompanied the platform release date announcement with an all new trailer. While there's nothing particularly revelatory about the trailer, it is worth noting that it was recorded entirely from in-game PlayStation 4 footage. Detail-oriented gamers should be able to spot the tech differences between this trailer and footage from the Xbox 360/PlayStation 3 versions of the game with a bit of analysis. I can probably sum up that analysis right now: GTAV looks ridiculously better on PlayStation 4 hardware.


Dying Light rises early, moved from February 2015 up to January 27

5 comments Rory Young - 12:56pm (PST) Like Share

Still not quite 2014, but better than nothing

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A bit of inspiring news coming from Techland this morning. Their first-person zombie and parkour game, Dying Light, had its release date bumped up a bit. This follows their previous delay out of 2014 and into 2015's February, so really we lose two or three months and then get like fifteen days back. Like we say so often in the industry, it's better than nothing! Dying Light will now be released on January 27.

The update comes straight from the source, as Techland updated their Twitter account with a special message. An in-game screenshot shows the new release date paints in spray paint in the bottom of some sort of cache. Other items in the box include a grenade, health kits, ammo and other zombie apocalypse must-haves:

It doesn't look like there are any other secrets hidden in the image. Techland is just excited about their new release date. 

Pick up Dying Light starting January 27 in North America, January 28 in Australia, and January 30 in Europe and Asia. The zombie survival FPS will be available on PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.


Kojima teasing Metal Gear Collection 2014 announcement, Phantom Pain details tomorrow

8 comments Rory Young - 8:33pm (PST) Like Share

Metal Gear Collection coming to PC in 2014?

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Tokyo Games Show is about to get off to a great start. Two Metal Gear-focused teasers have been revealed today, promising a Thursday packed full of Metal Gear goodness. The first teaser came as part of an official press release this morning. All new Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain footage is ste to be revealed at 3:00 AM PDT to start us off. However, another surprise has just come down the pipeline. Kojima himself is teasing something called the "Metal Gear Collection 2014."

First things first, the Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain footage, like previously mentioned, will be shown at 3:00am PDT/6:00am EDT and should be livestreamed. There's currently a countdown on their streaming site, but whether the presentation is more Konami-focused or just The Phantom Pain is unclear. If anyone's up that early, it's probably worth checking out. They've also said they'll be talking about what to expect at their TGS booth.

Which leads to reveal number two, the Metal Gear Collection 2014. A couple of things should immediately be noted. First, that it's not the Metal Gear Solid Collection, it's just Metal Gear. Second, there are no platform symbols attached to the title plate, which if this project was exclusive to any one platform there would most certainly be a logo there. Third, it says 2014 and not 2015. Just what does Kojima have in store for us?

Expect more information during the Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain/Konami TGS livestream running in about six hours from now. Or maybe we can expect more treats directly from Kojima's Twitter account. Stay tuned. Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain is planned for release in 2015, though rumors have been swirling the past month about a potential bump into Q4 2014. 


Activision working on licensed The Voice singing game, coming this Oct. 28 to PS3, 360, Wii U, Wii

4 comments Rory Young - 5:55pm (PST) Like Share

Who doesn't want Gwen Stefani and Adam Levine in their living room?

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The Voice is quickly become the next premiere musical reality show/contest of North America -- goodbye American Idol. That makes it all the bigger of a deal for Activision to announce today that they have the exclusive rights for the brand and are hard at work on game for it. Labeling it both a single-player and party game, The Voice will let singers play with a group of up to eight total people. Better yet, look forward to it starting October 21 -- just less than two months away.

Just don't set the bar too high, as The Voice will only be coming to PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Wii U and Wii. Considering the rather rapid development announcement and release of the project, as well as the platforms being limited to last-gen (all the way back to the Wii, really?), The Voice seems like a rush job. That said, Activision has some musical game chops, with its Guitar Hero franchise which includes a canceled Sing Hero spin-off canceled mid-development. Basically, Activision probably had the tech to make a solid singing game just lying around and tacking on The Voice's brand is a recipe for success.

Details are scant, as Activision just wants the announcement out there. One can only assume the game will come bundled with a microphone so players can plug and play after they buy the game. Similarly, we have to assume that the game will take on some kind of format akin to the show, where singers are chosen by a superstar and must climb their way from simple contestant to winner of The Voice by singing a grueling gauntlet of songs.

Pick up The Voice and start singing starting October 21 next month for the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Wii U and Wii.

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October update for Xbox One adds DLNA and MKV video support, snap features and much more

3 comments Rory Young - 7:49pm (PST) Like Share

If only there were achievements for snapping achievements

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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.

Categories: Microsoft Consoles

Sunset Overdrive's Season Pass to provide ambiguous DLC, two 'Campaign Game Add-Ons'

0 comments Rory Young - 7:05pm (PST) Like Share

The mystery is part of the DLC experience

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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.


Destiny goes live-action, 'Become Legend' trailer tours the universe and appeals to thrillseekers

5 comments Rory Young - 10:22am (PST) Like (2) Share (1)

Who wants to be this airs during tonight's NFL debut?

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Bungie really hopes you liked yesterday's teaser trailer, bro, because today they've released a bro-tastic teaser trailer just for today's edgey, thrill-seeking youth. What Lydia speculated might be a cinematic launch trailer has actually turned out to be a live-action hype trailer. Three adventuresome Guardians tour the Destiny universe, throwing to the wind the dramatic lore that weighs heavily on players shoulders in the action game. Destiny's really all about having a good time, bro.

The trailer doesn't seem to imply any extended live-action endeavor on the parts of Bungie or Activision for Destiny. Rather the trailer, titled "Become Legend," really seems more like an advertisement. I wouldn't be surprised if the trailer actually debuts as a commercial during tonight's NFL season kick-off. It's 100% fitted to appeal to that NFL watching audience who just wants to chillax with their broskies, kill some alien scum and tackle an adventure or two in-between work and that night's NFL match.

Very little revealed in terms of actual Destiny content. The fireteam jumps to the Moon and cracks a joke about how aliens are so disrespectful to our history. Uh, understatement of the year considering the humanoid races in Destiny were all but extinct not too long ago. They jump then to Venus and a few other places. Destiny almost appears like a vacation tour as opposed to the space opera that it is.

For those who didn't already know, this is why you shouldn't get excited over teaser trailers in this day and age. Countdowns though, countdowns are where the hype is at.

Destiny will launch in less than a week on September 9 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.


Need for Speed Rivals joins the EA Access Vault soon, NHL 15 and FIFA 15 trials in September

3 comments Rory Young - 4:16pm (PST) Like Share

Got to earn that $4.99 a month

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Electronic Arts has updated us on their planned September content additions to the growing EA Access subscription program. Up until now The Vault, or the selection of free games available to subscribers, has been limited to Battlefield 4, FIFA 14, Peggle 2 and Madden NFL 25. Early subscribers were also granted up to six hours with NFL 15 prior to its launch. September will see the addition of another free game to the Vault, as well as two more game trials.

Need for Speed Rivals will be the standalone title that will soon be available for all subscribers. Considering it was released in November 2013, that means that it will have taken than a year to added to The Vault. With EA having released around 20 games in 2013, they've definitely got enough of a catalog to keep up the trend of monthly Vault releases. Only one month into the subscription service, I think it'd be great for EA to come out and state their plans for continued value in the program.

Additionally, two more trials will also be unlocked in September. NHL 15 is only a few days away from launching, so EA Access subscribers can download  and play up to six hours of the game right now. FIFA 15 will get the same treatment leading up to its launch later this month. If it's within five days of launch, then subscribers can access their trials. It's also worth nothing that should players want to upgrade to the full game, their achievements will cross over and  they'll also get 10% off on the digital purchase.

That's all for EA Access in September, though it's worth noting that once a game goes in The Vault it will always be available for subscribers. Unlike PS+ or Games With Gold, if you miss a month and come back later all of those games will still be there. Whether or not that's worth $4.99 a month or $29.99 a year? Well, I suppose that's a question that's yet to be fully answered.

Keep in mind that EA Access is currently exclusive to Xbox One.


Escape Dead Island starting November 18, solve the mystery and slaughter zombies with a bat

2 comments Rory Young - 3:55pm (PST) Like Share

Escape zombie tropes, please

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What Escape Dead Island is only becomes more clear today with the release of a new trailer titled, "Unraveled." In the trailer players are introduced to the game's protagonist and his goal of reporting on the zombie infection and the events that led to it, and bringing that news to the world. A grand mystery awaits, it seems. Then again, the other half of the trailer is all about beating zombies to a pulp with a guitar. You know, zombie game stuff.

The question left unanswered is, "Why?" Considering that Escape Dead Island is being made by a developer previously unattached to the franchise, made for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. That's as the next iteration in the main series, Dead Island 2, is being pushed heavily for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. Is Escape Dead Island just capitalizing on a brand and an already existing consumer base? One would hope there's more to the game than that.

Narratively, this Escape Dead Island trailer should certainly pique some interest. Combat-wise? Well, melee combat isn't exactly a new thing in zombie action games. It will be interesting to see how the brand balances out with the rather scaled-back visuals and standard action. Lydia, at least, seems rather pleased with her experiences with the game.

Escape Dead Island will be available on PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and PC starting November 18 in North America and November 21 in Europe.