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Handheld Games Articles

NVIDIA Shield Review
NVIDIA is coming into a “touchy” market with the Shield and its beefy controller. How does it fare?

Fanatec Porsche 911 Turbo S (CE) Review
In the realm of racing games there are few challengers to the top seat of racing wheels; the Fanatec 911 Turbo S is the latest, packing 900 degree turning a 6+1 shifter and a full pedal set.

Handheld Games News

Minecraft: Story Mode is Telltale's next episodic series, mixing 'new characters with familiar themes'

14 comments Rory Young - 2:45pm (PST) Like Share

They don't outright call it an adventure game, but what else would it be?

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Minecraft wouldn't have been at the top of my list for properties Telltale Games would want to turn into an episodic series, but nevertheless that is exactly what has happened. Today Mojang and Telltale Games announced Minecraft: Story Mode, a narrative-driven episodic series based on... well, Minecraft.

Everyone is hopefully as confused as me at that idea, considering Minecraft has only a minimal amount of story. Telltale Games seems to have a plan in mind, however. They've reached out to the increasingly large Minecraft community, or at least specific members of said community, to make Minecraft: Story Mode "as Minecrafty as possible." Telltale notes that it won't be creating an "official" story for Steve, nor explaining the world of Minecraft in detail. It's... rather unclear what Telltale's plans are.

The best hint is perhaps this small portion of the official statement provided by Telltale Games in its announcement:

"Telltale's game series will mix new characters with familiar themes, in an entirely original Minecraft experience, inspired by the Minecraft community and the game that continues to inspire a generation."

Minecraft: Story Mode is a stand-alone release from adventure game creators Telltale Games. It'll be released episodically, just like the rest of Telltale's games, starting in 2015. It'll be coming to PlayStation consoles, Xbox consoles, PC, Mac, iOS and Android-based devices. While it's never outright called an adventure game, it is called a narrative-driven experience based on player choice. I'm pretty sure that means adventure game.

 
 

November NPD Number Crunch: Xbox One outsells PS4 for the first time since last December

3 comments Leo Chan - 6:01pm (PST) Like Share (2)

Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare tops charts, while GTAV returns to the top ten

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Despite November witnessing the official launch of several major gaming titles across all platforms, the NPD Group earlier today confirms that industry sales in the U.S. still ended up falling 11 percent year-over-year to $2.41 billion USD. What's more, November 2014 marked the first time since the launch of the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One consoles that hardware sales actually fell ($1.10 billion compared to $1.31 billion in November 2013). On the plus side, monthly software sales didn't suffer from a similarly drastic drop for a change, sliding just one percent year-over-year to $1.09 billion.

Now the part you're probably more interested in: did the Xbox One manage to beat the PS4 in sales last month like Microsoft boasted? While NPD's monthly report card failed to provide unit sales numbers as usual, Microsoft already announced that the Xbox One managed to reclaim the crown for best-selling console hardware in both the U.S. and U.K. during November. The Xbox One will ring in a fine anniversary for the last time it outsold the PS4, assuming the console can keep the momentum through this December. MIcrosoft also confirms that Xbox One software outsold those for the PS4 in November, making for a record-setting month for the number of Xbox Live users.

Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare perhaps predictably topped the industry charts on the software front for November, though interestingly the best-selling platform for Activision's latest CoD entry would prove to be the Xbox 360. Grand Theft Auto V also makes a triumphant return to the NPD software top ten thanks to the high-definition re-release of Rockstar's record-setting game on PS4 and Xbox One, with the PS4 version selling the best.

Nintendo also made a fine showing for itself with no less than three titles on the NPD software top ten. You'll never ever guess what their bestselling game in November was (honest!), but you may be interested to learn that Pokemon Alpha Sapphire was the better selling Generation VI game, outpacing even Ubisoft's Far Cry 4. Guess you can't have too much water in Hoenn after all. Speaking of Ubisoft, Assassin's Creed: Unity still managed to land in ninth place in spite of its technical woes.

Halo: The Master Chief Collection meanwhile barely squeezed into the charts, highlighting another platform exclusive title which managed to make NPD's software top ten.

 

November 2014 Top Ten Software Sales
  Game Publisher Platform Release
1. Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare Activision PS4 / Xbox One / PS3 / Xbox 360 / PC 11/2014
2. Grand Theft Auto V Rockstar PS4 / Xbox One / PS3 / Xbox 360 11/2014
3. Super Smash Bros. for Wii U Nintendo Wii U 11/2014
4. Madden NFL 15 Electronic Arts PS4 / PS3 / Xbox One / Xbox 360 08/2014
5. Pokémon Alpha Sapphire Nintendo 3DS 11/2014
6. Far Cry 4 Ubisoft PS4 / Xbox One / PS3 / Xbox 360 / PC 11/2014
7. Pokémon Omega Ruby Nintendo 3DS 11/2014
8. NBA 2K15 2K Games PS4 / Xbox One / PS3 / Xbox 360 / PC 10/2014
9. Assassin's Creed: Unity Ubisoft PS4 / Xbox One / PC 11/2014
10. Halo: The Master Chief Collection Microsoft Game Studios Xbox One 11/2014

 

 
 

Theatrhythm expands past Final Fantasy, Square Enix announces Theatrhythm Dragon Quest

5 comments Rory Young - 10:47pm (PST) Like (2) Share

Dragon Quest it is and what a glorious choice they made

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Square Enix had previously announced that they planned to expand their Theatrhythm franchise past Final Fantasy. The success of the original title and its Curtain Call follow-up must have been persuasive, because less than a year after Theatrhythm Final Fantasy: Curtain Call's release in Japan and just months since its release in the west, Square Enix has announced the next series to be released. I'm excited to announce Theatrhythm Dragon Quest.

Yes, a franchise near as popular as Final Fantasy has been chosen (though perhaps not as popular in the west), with just as astounding a soundtrack to boot. The musical game will likely include a ton of tracks from the main franchise, as well as the Monsters, Mystery Dungeon and Slime spin-off series. Perhaps it will even dabble in the anime series. Still, nothing will compare to those grand, cheerful epics of the big main franchise games that defined JRPGs for years to come.

Theatrhythm Dragon Quest is schedule for release in Japan starting March 26, exclusively on the Nintendo 3DS. Speculating a bit on a western release, Final Fantasy Curtain Call was launched in April in Japan and then September in the west. With a Japanese launch in March, we can cross our fingers for a pre-holiday season launch! That's if we're lucky.

The only question to ask is, after Final Fantasy and now Dragon Quest... what comes next?

 
 

Dodge Roll Games' Enter The Gungeon has gun on gun violence, debuts at PlayStation Experience

0 comments Rory Young - 11:07am (PST) Like Share

Bullet on bullet crime is no laughing matter

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Is this what our world has come to? Guns shooting bullets with bullets? I don't even know how to read that previous sentence, but when I try it makes my insides cry. Enter the Gungeon is that feeling come to life, a "radial shooter" bred with a dungeon crawler to create inhuman fast-paced insanity. The game debuted yesterday morning during the PlayStation Experience keynote and is planned for release on PlayStation 4, PC, Mac and Linux in 2015.

The narrative premise of Enter the Gungeon is as brilliant as its title -- the hunt for a gun that can kill... the past. Just from the perspective of someone who has never played or heard of the game beyond yesterday's announcement, it sounds like a great explanation for a game where players will go through the ssame type of content over and over and over again. The past gets destroyed so it can be relived once more.

What's really quite interesting about Enter the Gungeon should be obvious. It's the style and humor that developer Dodge Roll Games has made so blatant. The enemies are quite literally bullets with guns. They're equipped with all sorts of wild weaponry that makes the action exhilarating every second of every game. It looks like pure mayhem. The only disappointing issue is that it looks quite a bit like Nuclear Throne, though I hope that's just a coincidence.

Enter the Gungeon is a Devolver Digital published title planned for PlayStation 4, PC, Mac and Linux. It's planned for release in 2015, so you can bet your butt it'll be up in Steam Early Release in the blink of an eye.

 
 

Double Fine to follow up Grim Fandango remaster with Day of the Tentacle

1 comments Rory Young - 11:07pm (PST) Like Share

The greatest protagonist to ever live: Hoagie

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In glorious day where both Final Fantasy VII and Suikoden II were announced for rerelease on modern platforms, what more could a humble boy ask for? I want Day of the Tentacle too, damn it all. Ask, and ye shall receive. Tim Schafer took the stage at the PlayStation Experience keynote today first to remind everyone that Grim Fandango is being remastered for the PlayStation 4, but didn't leave the stage until he also announced that Day of the Tentacle would be remastered next.

Yes, the Maniac Mansion spin-off featuring three unlikely losers (unlikely that they're involved in an adventure that is, as they're very likely losers) fighting through time itself to defeat an insane tentacle come to life. It's an adventure game, and I don't mean any of this modern Walking Dead adventure game stripped to a couple of conversation options and quick time events. I mean LucasArts sets you loose in a hotel and you've got to search the place in order to knock over a stereo speaker to dislodge gum holding a quarter which you use to... hell, I don't even remember. It's a good think Double Fine is bringing it back.

Day of the Tentacle will be remastered for PlayStation 4, PS Vita and also PC and Linux. Its development will kick off as work is completed on Grim Fandango. I can only imagine what projects will follow those two titles up. Loom? Indiana Jones? No, it's got to be Full Throttle, doesn't it? Look forward to more information soon.

 
 

Suikoden II coming to PS Vita and PS3, Konami and Sony deliver one of the best JRPGs ever made

14 comments Rory Young - 8:03pm (PST) Like (1) Share (1)

Get this onto PlayStation 4, I don't care how

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I say, with no doubt, that Suikoden and Suikoden II are two of the best JRPGs ever made. I recall fondly the hours upon hours that I spent recruiting followers, the 108 Stars of Destiny, in order to create the perfect run. Of course, that isn't so simple an ordeal as the RPG is highly challenging, which makes every battke won an accomplishment in itself. Today Konami and Sony announced that both RPGs will be coming to the PS1 Classics via PSN.

It's a bit bogus that the PlayStation Classics collection isn't yet available on PlayStation 4, otherwise I was prepared to make a whole argument about picking up Suikoden and and Suikoden II instead of Final Fantasy VII. For now though, the excitement will have to be limited solely to PlayStation 3 and PS Vita owners. Those are the only platforms which support PS1 Classics -- and even then only some of them apiece.

December 9 is when Suikoden II will launch via PSN. Keep in mind that up until this point the physical release of Suikoden II was so limited that it was selling for hundreds, if not thousands of dollars on auction sites. It's that good of a game. It's almost worth paying that much. Luckily, PS Vita and PlayStation Vita players won't have to.

 
 

The Legend of Zelda: Symphony of the Goddess concert returns 2015

17 comments Andy Lau - 12:11pm (PST) Like Share

Celebrate the Zelda franchise with live orchestral music

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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.

 
 

Philips reaches licensing agreement with Nintendo, resolving patent dispute

8 comments Leo Chan - 10:56am (PST) Like Share

Lawsuits across four regions terminated as a result of reaching settlement

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Philips Electronics confirms it is no longer embroiled in a patent infringement dispute with Nintendo over the motion and gesture-tracking tech in the console giant's gaming hardware like the Wii and Wii U. The Danish technology company has reached an agreement with Nintendo today where both companies will henceforth cross license each other's patent portfolios.

While Philips did not reveal any financial details concerning its settlement, the company will drop patent infringement proceedings against Nintendo not only in Britain where it had already won its patent infringement case back in June, but Germany, France, and the U.S. as well. Indeed, this represents all four jurisdictions where Philips had previously filed complaints against Nintendo.

 
 

Game developers team up with Humble Bundle to fight against ebola outbreak

4 comments Andy Lau - 10:23pm (PST) Like (2) Share

Pay what you want to support Direct Relief

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Several prominent game developers are participating in a 96-hour game jam to raise money to help support efforts against ebola. They will be working until Sunday to make games around the theme of healing. Those games will then be sold as a Humble Bundle, with all proceeds going towards Direct Relief, a private humanitarian nonprofit organization based out of California.

The participating developers are Mojang (Minecraft), Coffee Stain Studios (Goat Simulator), Grapefrukt (rymdkapsel), Ludosity, Glitchnap and SLMN. Each developer team will stream their efforts throughout the event, viewable at the Games Against Ebola page. The finished games will be DRM-free, and the platforms they are released on will vary between the developers.

Humble Bundle previously hosted a game jam with Mojang back in 2012 to support various charities. A game jam is a gathering of developers for the purpose of creating one, or often many games in a short amount of time.

 
 

Sony will offer partial refunds to PlayStation Vita early adopters after FTC ruling on misleading ads

12 comments Andy Lau - 1:05pm (PST) Like Share

Those affected will receive $25 in cash or $50 credit

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The US Federal Trade Commission has found Sony guilty of "deceptive acts or practices" in regards to adverisements featuring the PS Vita during launch. Sony has agreed to a settlement and must now offer partial refunds to customers who bought the handheld before June 1, 2012. Eligible costumers will be contacted by Sony via email, they will receive either $25 cash or $50 in credit for Sony merchandise.

Sony is also barred from making similar misleading advertising claims in the future. During the PS Vita's launch campaign, Sony claimed its machine featured cross-platform play with the Plystation 3, allowing users to start a game on the PS3 and continuing where they left off on the Vita. However, the FTC says this was misleading as the Vita's "remote play" and cross-platform capabilities vary greatly from title to title. The FTC also claims Sony failed to inform customers that in order to use this feature, they must own two versions of the same game, for PS3 and Vita respectively. It was also noted that Sony advertised remote play for the PS3 hit Killzone 3, but no such option exists for that title.

The FTC also filed a complaint against Deutsch LA, Sony's advertising agency for the Vita campaign. The Commission alleges the agency was using deceptive product endorsements for the PS Vita. Deutsch LA employees were asked to help with the #gamechanger campaign by posting comments about the handheld on Twitter. The FTC says the tweets are misleading as they did not reflect views of consumers.

Categories: Handheld Games
 
 
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