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News articles search results by Philip Moody

Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire introduces Mega Sableye in new gameplay trailer

29 comments Philip Moody - Jun 11, 14 2:41pm (PST) Like (1) Share (1)

One less unknown Mega Evolution

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Another day, another Mega Evolution. Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire have already added four Pokémon to the Mega Evolution roster, with more Mega Stones still to be discovered. Professor Birch is hard at work studying the data Brendan and May are collecting in their travels throughout the Hoenn region and can't wait until November 21 to share the good news. A new Mega Stone has been found and identified, and it belongs to Sableye.

Yes, Sableye. After extensive testing, the good professor teamed up with Game Freak to put together a brief video of Sableye's Mega Evolution in action. When Sableye is Mega Evolved, its eyes turn red and the jewel in its chest grows larger and detaches from its chest, which Sableye uses as a shield. Even with the jewel in the way, the Ghost/Dark Pokémon can still put out some serious hurt and exploit its opponent's weaknesses while the jewel reduces even an EV'd Crobat's Aerial Ace to a brief tickling sensation.

Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire aren't due out until November 21, but that won't stop Professor Birch from revealing any new findings on Mega Stones that turn up in the Hoenn region.


Shin Megami Tensei IV is coming to Europe this fall, digital download only

9 comments Philip Moody - Jun 10, 14 6:21pm (PST) Like (1) Share

Atlus hasn't forgotten about you, Europe

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Shin Megami Tensei is coming back to Europe. Almost a year after Shin Megami Tensei IV was released in North America, Atlus is pleased to announce that they will be self publishing it in Europe after what they call "an unplanned hiatus." The Samurai aren't so easily stopped and will be available as an English only digital download title this fall.

The story focuses on the Samurai, an ancient brotherhood that has long protected the Eastern Kingdom of Mikado. Players will take on the role of a newly appointed Samurai and deal with various factions that have their own plans for the world while defending the kingdom of Makado from demons pouring out from the dungeon Naraku at the same time.

As with previous games in the series, the choices made will affect the overall outcome of the story. Be careful about saying no to helping someone, it could hurt later. Dealing with so many issues at once also won't be easy for the Samurai, who will likely find themselves fighting the same battles over and over again at some point. After all, it wouldn't be a SMT game without having battles capable of causing someone to involuntarily throw their 3DS into a wall.

There have been many spinoffs and various games bearing the Shin Megami Tensei name over the past several years, but Shin Megami Tensei IV is the first true sequel to the series since 2003's Nocturne release on the PS2 and subsequent release as a PlayStation 2 classic last month. DLC, price, and a more specific date for Shin Megami Tensei IV's European release aren't known yet, but will be made known in the coming months.


Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn introducing Ninja job in patch 2.4, Shiva's story begins

29 comments Philip Moody - Jun 10, 14 4:37pm (PST) Like (1) Share

Rogues and ninjas and Shivas oh my

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The English edition of Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn's E3 report is over, and Naoki Yoshida didn't disappoint. The new Rogue class and its corresponding Ninja job were revealed along with many other announcements and answers to questions fans posed over the last several days, ranging from a hug emote to areas that got blocked off as a result of the Calamity between 1.0 and 2.0.

First up is the Rogue class and the Ninja job. Ninja is one of the most requested additions to the Final Fantasy XIV roster, and it will finally be in game in patch 2.4. The Rogue's guild will be made up of former thieves who took their art beyond stealth and low class thievery. The development team felt that having a guild made up of thieves wouldn't be something the various city states would be happy about, so they came up with a more solid, currently unannounced background that will be revealed later. The inclusion of a Ninja-style class has been hinted at, but it will finally take its place among other iconic Final Fantasy jobs and be represented in Final Fantasy XIV.

Combat with the rogue class will feel similar to rogues in World of Warcraft, complete with stealth mechanics and poisons. Similar to pugilists, a rogue will dual wield a pair of weapons at a time, saving players from searching for two weapons at a time. Unlike pugilists and other classes, rogues will be lighter on their feet. They will move faster by default than other classes and take less fall damage, staying true to their history as a nimble thief.

When the Ninja job is unlocked, various ninjutsu will become available. To activate each ninjutsu, the player must select the right mudra combination. Failure to select the right mudra combination won't have any disastrous effects, but there won't be any beneficial ones either. To compensate for the added complexity, the ninja won't be as dependent on positioning unlike its monk counterpart. Final Fantasy XI veterans may be disappointed with this version of the ninja, as it will be strictly a DPS job. New tank jobs are currently being worked on for the expansion, however.

Next up, Shiva's story has been confirmed to begin with patch 2.3 even though she won't be an in-game primal battle for some time. Her story is very long and complicated and ties in closely with the main storyline of Final Fantasy XIV and the upcoming expansion that will likely be announced during Fan Fest in October. Patch 2.4's story will focus on events that build up to the confrontation with the Queen of Ice, but Yoshida didn't seem too eager to reveal when she would be challenged by the Scions of the Seventh Dawn.

A new mode of the Binding Coil of Bahmut was also revealed. Aptly titled "brutal mode," the new hard mode of the Coil will be available starting in patch 2.3 and feature super powered versions of the four bosses. The brutal mode will feature the original version of the bosses that even the developers have struggled to defeat, providing an exciting new challenge for raiders that are looking for something to push their skills to the limit. Brutal mode will only be available for the Binding Coil in patch 2.3. The inclusion of additional brutal modes in the future will depend on how successful this experiment is.

Unlike other gameplay modes, brutal mode bosses won't give very many hints of what's coming. One small mistake could turn an encounter into a disaster, but the only way to work around it is trial and error. In order to challenge this mode, players must first complete the regular version of the Binding Coil. The two modes share a lockout, so completing the regular Coil means brutal Coil won't be available until the next week. Players who successfully complete brutal mode will earn exclusive titles that showcases their accomplishment.

Other systems and questions by the community were also touched on:

  • The marriage system will be coming in 2.4 and won't have any restrictions on race or gender because Square Enix knows that everyone secretly wants to be married to a female Miqo'te anyway. Special mounts that can only be ridden by married couples are also a possibility later on.
  • A new /hug and /slap emote will be added. Just be careful not to slap the tank too hard.
  • More 8 player dungeon content is on the table, but is a low priority compared to more 4 player and solo instances.
  • A Free Company quest/goal list will be coming in 2.4, allowing free company members to work together toward a common goal.
  • The development team is working on allowing players to utilize their chocobo companions while queued in the Duty Finder without breaking the Duty Finder or losing the benefits of having the chocobo as a party member.
  • Unique stats and gear enhancements are being considered. Developers were afraid that they would become a requirement, but are considering it now that there's more interest in the community.
  • The ability to save different HUD layouts, possibly through the armory system,  is being worked on by the UI designer.
  • The ability for Free Companies to summon primals is still being worked on, but it's not sure how that will fit into the story yet.

Sadly, there wasn't any preview footage of what the battle with Ramuh will look like or a release date announcement for 2.3. The Ninja reveal was by far the biggest surprise of today's event, though a large number of players who have been looking for a challenge will be looking forward to struggling with the new, experimental brutal mode.

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Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire go Mega November 21, Groudon and Kyogre go Primal

44 comments Philip Moody - Jun 10, 14 11:26am (PST) Like (6) Share (1)

Primal Rayquaza is nowhere in sight to stop the feud

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After eleven years, the Hoenn region is returning to handhelds the world over. Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire will be arriving on US shores November 21, bringing with them updated versions of Ruby and Sapphire that also tie in to X and Y.

The Hoenn region starters are celebrating by getting their own Mega Evolutions. Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire's updated storyline will explore the mystery of Mega Evolution even further as an untold number of Mega Stones have yet to be discovered or identified in the Hoenn region. Team Magma and Team Aqua likely will have an interest in the Mega Stones for their own goals, so be prepared to assemble the best Pokémon team you can to stop them.

Groudon and Kyogre also seek to continue their epic struggle. Thanks to a new phenomenon known as Primal Reversion, the two great legendary Pokémon have reclaimed their original power from nature and are much stronger than before. Like Mega Evolution, Primal Reversion is a recent phenomenon in the Pokémon world. There may be a connection between the two, but various Pokémon Professors are still working that out.

The Primal versions of both Groudon and Kyogre are much larger than their normal form, with Primal Kyogre reaching at least twice the normal size. The reversion also gives both Pokémon some new abilities. Primal Groudon will receive a massive attack boost and gain the Fire type in addition to its normal Ground type. Primal Kyogre will see a similar increase in its special attack and might have a boost in its normal ability that's yet to be confirmed.

Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire will return from the pages of Pokémon history this November 21 on the 3DS and 2DS as Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire.


Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn patch 2.28 now live, let the sightseeing frustration begin

1 comments Philip Moody - Jun 05, 14 10:35am (PST) Like (2) Share (1)

Duty Finder and crafting adjustments for all

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Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn faithful are still waiting for a chance to challenge the normally peaceful sylphs and their primal Ramuh, but Square Enix didn't want to make the heroes of Eorzea wait that long for new content. Patch 2.28 is now live, bringing with it a new entry into the Zodiac weapon quest chain, a new sightseeing log, and numerous quality of life and convenience changes for adventurers everywhere.

The new Novus weapons awarded from the Zodiac weapon chain will be the first customizable equipment beyond the materia system. Adventurers must first obtain a sphere scroll that corresponds to their Animus weapon and infuse it with materia containing the bonus stats one would like their shiny new 110 item level relic weapon to have. Once the scroll is applied to the weapon, there's no way to recustomize it. The ability to redo the Novus upgrade is planned for a future patch, but there's no word on that yet.

The sightseeing log has also been added, giving players something to work for besides just hunting logs and the weekly challenge log. This log is unlocked in Gridania at level 20 after completing the "Sylph-management" main storyline quest, giving otherwise bored adventurers something to explore. Many of the destinations in the sightseeing log will be difficult to reach and completion will only be recorded when you find the exact area mentioned in the hints. To make things more complicated, players have to be there at the right time of day and in the right weather conditions.

Other minor, yet notable changes to the game are largely convenience based:

  • Expert and High Level Duty Roulettes can now be queued for while in a party.
  • Player commendations can now be voted on when queued for a duty in a group, but can only be awarded to players outside the group.
  • Item drops by enemies appear in place of "Item found!"
  • Clicking on aetheryte crystals on the map will now let you teleport directly to that area.
  • The Expert Delivery interface has new filters allowing you to hide items that belong to a gear set or that are in your armoury chest.
  • A "Retainer" category has been added to the challenge log.
  • "The Fury's Anthem" item for PvP profiles is no longer available. A new button on the PvP interface allows you to reset your accumulated points for free. Existing Fury's Anthem items can be exchanged for Wolf marks.
  • Labyrinth of the Ancients and Duty Roulettes now award more Allagan tomestones of mythology
  • The crafting log now has the ability to filter results by category.
  • Clicking on an item's area in the gathering log will now show you where to look on the map.
  • A gear preview feature has been added.
  • Players can  now repair gear when not in a designated class as long as they  meet the requirements to repair an item.
  • Visual preferences for showing or hiding helms or weapons can now be saved by gear set.
  • Hovering over a FATE on the map now shows you its current progress.

There's no word on a release date for patch 2.3 yet, but it's not likely to be a long wait. In the meantime, go out and explore with the new sightseeing log while working on your Novus weapon!


World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor alpha goes live, the Iron Horde draws near

2 comments Philip Moody - Jun 05, 14 10:25am (PST) Like (1) Share

Also, Mankrik's wife got lost again

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It's been a long time coming, but World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor is finally on the horizon. The MMO has gotten a little stale, having only two minor patches since the Siege of Orgrimmar went live in September. Blizzard has been updating the community with glimpses of what's in store for class mechanics in the expansion, drawing both praise and ire from Azeroth's many adventurers. The alpha version of Warlords of Draenor is now live three months after pre-orders were opened, signaling to the World of Warcraft that the savage realm of Draenor will soon be ready to be explored by all.

The first wave of alpha invitations were focused largely on friends and family of Blizzard employees, along with various members of the press and live streaming personalities. Codes given out at PAX East aren't active yet, so anyone who received one will have to wait their turn. Blizzard aims to ramp up invites as alpha progresses and beta eventually begins based on testing needs and server stability. It's unlikely that the test servers will experience problems similar to Diablo III's rocky launch, but it's hard to fault them for wanting to ensure a smooth process.

Only the Horde's starting area of Frostfire Ridge is available for now, so Alliance players expecting more from the first phase of testing will likely feel left out. There's no restriction on sharing or streaming content, so expect to see lots of screenshots, videos, and live streams of the zone and eventually all of Draenor in the near future.

Warlords of Draenor is expected to release this fall.

Categories: PC Games

Batman: Arkham Knight trailer reveals Batmobile's BATtle mode, more to come at E3

3 comments Philip Moody - Jun 03, 14 12:09pm (PST) Like (1) Share

See what I did there?

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E3's just around the corner, and Rocksteady is climbing aboard the hype train. Their new Batman: Arkham Knight trailer shows just how the Dark Knight is evening the odds with the Batmobile. No, it's not with souped up Batarangs and gadgets. Lucious Fox out did himself this time and tricked out Batman's ride big time.

Not only will you be able to drive around Gotham in the Batmobile, but you'll be able to play with some of Batman's new toys when you switch into battle mode. The trailer shows us Batman breaking the speed limit and driving where cars normally wouldn't be driving, but that's nothing new. The new toys under the hood are the real treat.

The all new Batmobile will feature a riot suppressor with non-lethal ammunition, a vulcan gun for taking out tanks and aircraft, and even a rocket launcher for when other gadgets aren't enough. It's doubtful anyone unfortunate enough to be caught up in a rocket launcher-induced explosion or a vulcan gun barrage will survive, but Batman's got bigger fish to fry. The "no killing" rule can hopefully be put on hold long enough to clean up Gotham. After all, Bruce Wayne isn't Superman.

Rocksteady promises more Batmobile battle goodness at E3 next week. Arkham Knight will be available in 2015 for PC, PS4, and Xbox One.


Mario Kart 8 sells over 1.2 million units during launch weekend, franchise reaches 100 million sales

23 comments Philip Moody - Jun 02, 14 12:55pm (PST) Like (4) Share (1)

In other news, Nintendo listens to Metacritic

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Nintendo's highly anticipated krazy racer Mario Kart 8 launched over the weekend, giving gamers old and new a fun, wacky game to have some good old fashioned Mushroom Kingdom fun on wheels. It was enjoyed by many review sites around the Internet, being the 14th Wii U game in the US with a Metacritic score of at least 85 acording to Nintendo. We're not here to talk about reviews, though. Mario Kart 8 sold over 1.2 million units over the weekend, making it one of the most well received Wii U titles yet.

Over a million units sold over one weekend may not seem like much compared to Sony's success with the PS4, but it's cause for celebration at Nintendo. The Wii U has been in a bit of a slump, selling less than three million units over the past twelve months. Mario Kart 8's krazy sales have surely given that number a bit of a mushroom power up, as many would be Wii U owners have been holding out for the Mario crew's latest track based adventure.

The sales so far have pushed the Mario Kart franchise well over the coveted 100 million mark, with total franchise sales sitting at about 101.3 million. Super Mario Kart paved the track with 8.76 million total sales back in the SNES days, with Mario Kart Wii leading the pack at 35.53 million sales. Mario Kart 7 is holding steady in fourth place with 9.62 million, but there's still plenty of time left for the 3DS and Wii U releases both to push ahead and take the lead.

Mario Kart 8 launched May 29 in Japan and May 30 for North America and Europe.


Watch Dogs bug causes the game to lock up on loading screens, nobody is safe

96 comments Philip Moody - May 30, 14 2:18pm (PST) Like Share (1)

Aiden must not have been on the QA team

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Despite Tuesday's Uplay troubles keeping many people out of Chicago, Watch Dogs was poised to avoid the common problem of game breaking bugs in new game releases. Unfortunately, all is not well with Chicago. Ubisoft neglected to put Aiden Pearce on the QA team, and a game breaking bug has popped up that affects every system. The issue has been reported on the official Ubisoft forums and currently has over 90 pages of Watch Dogs fans from PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, and Xbox One complaining about the loading screen bug. 

The most common variation of this bug happens when players attempt to obtain DLC from the Uplay store and attempt to return to the game. Watch Dogs will load to about the 90% mark and then stop. Future attempts to load that save will also fail, likely due to the save file being corrupted. Some have reported that Watch Dogs will also lock up when installing, preventing them from even playing at all.

Ubisoft UK forum manager Mr_Shade commented on the matter, stating that the reports would be passed on to the Watch Dogs development team. The official status on their known issues post shows that the bug is being investigated. They claim that a workaround is available for the PS4, but the link provided leads to an error.

It's unfortunate, but launch day mishaps and mayhem have become an expected inevitability these days. While waiting for Ubisoft to provide an update and a fix for Watch Dogs' loading screen woes, avoiding DLC from Uplay is likely the best way to avoid becoming a victim.


Dragon Quest VIII celebrates its 10 year anniversary with iOS and Android release

15 comments Philip Moody - May 29, 14 5:05pm (PST) Like (1) Share (2)

Happy birthday to me, so play me again

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It's Dragon Quest VIII's tenth anniversary today, and what better way to celebrate than making it available for everyone to play once more? Dragon Quest VIII: Journey of the Cursed King is now available on iOS and Android devices, making good on Square Enix's promise to bring the first eight Dragon Quest games to the mobile market. What's even better is that the game is more or less untouched, including the original score by Koichi Sugiyama.

Featuring intuitive touch-based controls, the mobile release of Dragon Quest VIII puts you in the shoes of the story's hero once more to defeat the evil Dhoulmagus, recover the forbidden scepter he stole from King Trode's castle, and save the kingdom. The new touch countrols are configurable for one or two handed play. Sliding across the screen will pan the camera a complete 360 degrees, allowing the player to see past the edges of an already limited screen. An auto run button has also been added.

The battle system has also been reworked to allow players to tap a button to automate battles based on their selected in-game battle strategy. People that prefer a more traditional approach can still control each character's actions individually. The automated mode can be cancelled mid-battle if needed, allowing players to play more defensively to avoid having to restart a lengthy dungeon.

Dragon Quest VIII is the youngest RPG to find its way to iOS and Android devices as a re-release, suddenly making mobile re-releases for other classics like Legend of Dragoon or Shadow of the Colossus seem not as far fetched as some may have thought previously. Dragon Quest VIII is now available for download from the App Store or Google Play store for $19.99.


Star Wars: Attack Squadrons struck down, become one with the Force it has

5 comments Philip Moody - May 27, 14 11:51am (PST) Like Share

8v8 dogfights were stupid anyway

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The free-to-play dogfighting Star Wars game you never knew you wanted to play will never see the light of day. Star Wars: Attack Squadrons has been canceled after only being announced last December. It's unclear whether developers Area 52 Games had outstanding debt that Jabba the Hut called in or if Disney was behind the cancelation, but only the Force knows.

In a sudden shutdown of the game's official site, all information about Attack Squadrons has been replaced with this simple message:

"We want to thank all of the fans who participated in the closed beta of Star Wars: Attack Squadrons. After much consideration, we have decided to cease development so that we can focus on other Star Wars game experiences. We truly appreciate the time you spent engaging in the beta."

Maybe the pressure of promising regular updates got to them, or maybe the developers couldn't decide what microtransactions to offer. Such questions will only be revealed to us if it is the will of the Force. The sudden, almost silent end of development for a Star Wars title does raise questions. Where did Attack Squadrons go wrong? Perhaps it will resurface as different game later or be woven into a future Star Wars game's online play.

8 on 8 player dogfighting PvP action doesn't look like it will be coming Star Wars fan's way unless Star Wars: The Old Republic implements a new PvP mode at some point. There's always the Battlefront title EA teased a while back, which one can only hope will be a better Star Wars title than another random free-to-play game. Rest in piece, Star Wars: Attack Squadrons.

Categories: PC Games

Watch Dogs playable beneath minimum PC specifications, no lock on 6GB RAM requirement

50 comments Philip Moody - May 22, 14 11:39am (PST) Like Share

Cardboard box PC gamers rejoice

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It's no secret to those who have been following Watch Dogs for PC that it's a modern day Crysis as far as hardware requirements are concerned. With a required 6GB RAM and no support for 32-bit operating systems, some people will have to invest in new hardware to be able to connect to Chicago. Those who want to run Watch Dogs on ultra settings will need a fully tricked out system with an Intel i7 4770 and GTX 780.

Don't despair yet, however. Developer Jonathan Morin has confirmed that there won't be a hard locking mechanism preventing anyone from playing with less than the minimum amount of RAM.

6GB of RAM is a hefty requirement for a PC game, even when a good number of PC gamers have no problem meeting it. Not having a hard lock helps open Watch Dogs up to people who may want to play on a laptop or a lower end desktop. There will be some lag involved when running with less than 6GB according to Morin, but as long as nothing else is open you should be able to make do with 4GB.

Chicago will look gorgeous on the PC with HBAO+ and NVIDIA is offering a Watch Dogs bundle with select GeForce cards while supplies last, making this a good time to upgrade. Watch Dogs will release worldwide for PC, PS4, PS3, Xbox One, and Xbox 360 next week on the 27th. The Wii U release is still in limbo.


Dragonball New Project teaser site powers up, Z fighters coming to PS4, PS3, and Xbox 360

9 comments Philip Moody - May 21, 14 3:05pm (PST) Like (1) Share

PS4 turns Super Saiyan, but do we get a muffin button for pre-ordering?

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Who wants more Dragon Ball? Goku and the Z fighters will be making their next-gen (or is it current-gen now?) debut in Dragon Ball New Project on the PS4, PS3, and Xbox 360 according to a new teaser site that just went up today. Just because the Dragon Ball story is finished doesn't mean the games have to stop. After all, Vegeta loves the attention.

The game's existence was teased in April's V Jump magazine and believed to be a next-gen exclusive. The teaser site reveals that's not the case, and Xbox One owners will unfortunately be sitting out with Krillin and Yajirobi for now. As it stands, we don't know much about the latest adventure yet outside of three screenshots.

The first shows what looks like Goku's first fight with Vegeta with what appears to be either a custom character or a new entry into the Dragon Ball saga watching from the sidelines, indicating that we might be seeing four-on-four or eight-on-eight action like in Battle of Z. Of course, the obligatory Super Saiyan Goku and Frieza fight is also shown in another screen. You can't have a Dragon Ball title without that iconic matchup.

All we can really do at this point is speculate, but future issues of V Jump and the teaser site will surely keep us updated on the roster and various game modes as well as a release date in the months to come. Let's just hope we get a muffin button for pre-ordering.

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Experience 'A Story About My Uncle' this May 28, a first person platformer set in a mysterious world

1 comments Philip Moody - May 12, 14 12:49pm (PST) Like (2) Share (1)

A long time ago, in a world far, far away

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I'm not one to talk about my family much, but I've got to tell you guys A Story About My Uncle. Okay, okay, it's not my uncle, or anyone I know, but Gone North Games wants to share this story with you in the form of a nonviolent, first person platformer coming to PCs on May 28.

Published by Coffee Stain Studios of Goat Simulator infamy, A Story About My Uncle will take you on an adventure to a world that nobody thought existed. A father is telling his daughter a bedtime story about the adventure he took while he was just a young boy. He wanted nothing more than to be able to follow his uncle on grand adventures throughout the world. That is, until his uncle suddenly disappeared one day. The youth took after him, and with a little help from some inventions, explores a beautiful world in search of Uncle Fred.

Movement and story are the two biggest core components of this story. Gone North stresses that A Story About My Uncle is focused on story and not on action. The gameplay about moving around with a laser like grappling hook and exploring the world around you and not so much shooting up any aliens that come your way. Each life form you come across has its own story that might have clues about what happened to your Uncle Fred. After all, you're just a kid. Shooting a bunch of aliens probably isn't the first thing on your mind anyway... right?

A Story About My Uncle releases May 28 exclusively for PC. Prepare yourselves by experiencing the beautiful trailer below.

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Categories: PC Games

Infinity Ward and Neversoft merge after cooperating on Call of Duty: Ghosts

10 comments Philip Moody - May 05, 14 11:12am (PST) Like Share

That eyeball was terrifying anyway

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Call of Duty developer Infinity Ward and Tony Hawk developer Neversoft are making their cooperation more official. Recall that Neversoft helped out Infinity Ward with Call of Duty: Ghosts. The two companies will now be merging together into one "super studio" according to Activision Publishing CEO Eric Hirshberg. Sadly the new super studio decided to just drop Neversoft's name entirely and just run with Infinity Ward. Apparently, Neversoft-Infinity Ward, Infinity Ward-Neversoft, or Never Infinity Wardsoft didn't quite sound as good as they'd hoped.

The two studios "have very complementary skill sets" according to Hirshberg. Neversoft's last standalone title was Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock in 2010, which came just before Activision decided to kill off the musical franchise. Hirshberg admits that not seeing the Neversoft logo is going to be awkward for a while, but that their 20 year run has been great:

"The impact of their 20-year run of hard work and success cannot be overstated ... As already mentioned, we are merging these two very talented teams and obviously had to choose a name for the combined studio. Since the Infinity Ward brand is indelibly tied to the Call of Duty franchise, it is the sensible choice. While it will be strange to not see the Neversoft logo on future games, the important things--which are the Neversoft team’s talent, creativity, professionalism and commitment to creative excellence--all remain unchanged as part of this new chapter."

There are always various costs assigned with mergers, and in this case Neversoft is losing two of its top people. Studio head Joel Jewett and director Scott Pease have chosen to retire after more than 20 years with the now-defunct company. They'll stick around until the transition is completed, but will likely leave later in the year.

It's sad to see Neversoft absorbed. It's unlikely we'll see any new Neversoft Tony Hawk games now, but we can always hope that Call of Duty will be that much better when Infinity Ward's turn comes in the three year rotation.


Xbox Originals arrive on Microsoft devices starting in June, original TV content like Halo show

10 comments Philip Moody - Apr 28, 14 10:50am (PST) Like Share

Netflix is too mainstream, I watch Xbox Originals

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Microsoft revealed a new content initiative for the Xbox One today that takes its all-in-one entertainment system pitch a step further. Xbox Originals will be arriving next month for Xbox 360, Xbox One, and various other Microsoft devices. By "originals," they don't mean original Xbox titles. Xbox Originals will be not unlike Netflix with on demand television streaming of original TV shows developed by Xbox Entertainment Studios. Xbox Originals will have various levels of interactiivity on a per-episode basis.

Microsoft stresses that the Originals are supposed to be an extension of first-party game development and not a replacement. Xbox Entertainment Studios' Executive Vice President Jordan Levin says that TV programming is a "logical next step" in the studio's evolution.The studio's president Nancy Tellem acknowledges that creating a batch of hit shows isn't easy, but she's excited that the road for Xbox Originals has begun.

The currently announced shows to be created through the Xbox Originals program are:

Committed Projects

  • Halo - "The “Halo” television series is a groundbreaking original series based on the award-winning “Halo” franchise. Award-winning filmmaker, director and producer Steven Spielberg will executive produce the live-action TV series, created in partnership with 343 Industries and Amblin Television."
  • Every Street United - " “Every Street United” is an unscripted series of eight, thirty-minute episodes and a one-hour finale, featuring legendary soccer players Thierry Henry and Edgar Davids, focused on the global search for soccer’s most gifted and undiscovered street stars scouted across eight countries (United States, England, Argentina, Spain, Brazil, the Netherlands, Ghana and South Korea). The series culminates this July in a 4v4 street game finale in the shadow of the World Cup in Rio de Janeiro."
  • Bonnaroo - "Xbox owners around the globe can experience the magic of the 13th annual Bonnaroo music and arts festival with a live concert destination on Xbox Live Friday, June 13 through Sunday, June 15, 2014, brought to viewers in partnership with Superfly Presents. "
  • Signal to Noise/Atari: Game Over - "Xbox is creating a new six film documentary series, “Signal to Noise,” (working title) with two-time Academy Award winning producer Simon Chinn (“Searching for Sugar Man” and “Man on Wire”) and Emmy winning producer Jonathan Chinn (FX’s “30 Days” and PBS’s “American High”), through their multi-platform media company, Lightbox. The series will expose little known stories of how modern technology has radically altered the way we interact with our world.'
  • Humans - " “Humans” is a bold new drama co-produced with UK broadcaster Channel 4. Award-winning UK production company Kudos (“The Hour,” “Utopia,” “Broadchurch”) will produce the hour-long, eight-episode series, which will share a premiere broadcast window on the Xbox platform and Channel 4 in the UK in 2015."
  • Halo (digitial feature) - "343 Industries and Scott Free Productions are creating a "Halo" digital feature to be released later this year. The project will be executive produced by Ridley Scott and Scott Free TV President, David Zucker. Sergio Mimica-Gezzan ("Battlestar Galactica," "Pillars of the Earth," "Heroes") will direct."

Projects in Development

  • Deadlands - "Xbox Entertainment Studios has committed to a script based on the successful pen-and-paper role playing game created by Shane Lacy Hensley. “Deadlands” is a genre-bending alternative history of the Weird West, filled with undead gunfighters, card-slinging sorcerers, mad scientists, secret societies, and fearsome abominations."
  • Extraordinary Believers - "Xbox Entertainment Studios is developing an innovative, hybrid stop-motion show dubbed “Extraordinary Believers” (working title) with Stoopid Buddy Stoodios, creators of the Emmy-Award winning “Robot Chicken,” the longest running stop-motion show on television. The executive producers on the project are Seth Green, Matt Senreich, and creators/writers/executive producers are Eric Towner and John Harvatine IV."
  • Fearless - " “Fearless,” (working title) is an unscripted series currently in pilot production starring Paul de Gelder, an Australian Navy bomb clearance diver and shark attack survivor who takes on an adrenaline-fueled quest to aid individuals who risk their lives to make the world a better place. “Fearless” will be produced by Australia’s International Emmy-Award winning production company, Cordell Jigsaw Zapruder (CJZ)."
  • Gun Machine - "Xbox Entertainment Studios acquired the rights to “Gun Machine,” a hardboiled detective thriller based on the New York Times bestselling novel by Warren Ellis. Ellis will executive produce with Brett Conrad (“The Killing,” “Sons of Anarchy,” Netflix’s upcoming “Marco Polo”) who has signed on to write the pilot script about a detective tracking a serial killer who is tied to a mysterious collection of guns used in infamous New York murders." 
  • Untitled JASH Comedy/Variety Show - "In this unique comedy format developed by Xbox Entertainment Studios with JASH (a comedy collective founded by Sarah Silverman, Michael Cera, Tim and Eric and Reggie Watts), the biggest names in comedy will showcase the people that make them laugh. Each week, a different comedian will host/curate a show featuring new and unsung talent, in various video formats. Sarah Silverman will host the pilot episode and Daniel Kellison (“Late Night/Late Show with David Letterman,” “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” “Crank Yankers”) will executive produce. The series has a pilot commitment and will begin shooting in June."
  • Winterworld - "Xbox Entertainment Studios and IDW Entertainment are co-developing a limited event live-action series based on Chuck Dixon and artist Jorge Zaffino’s seminal graphic novel series “Winterworld,” in which our world has been encased in ice from pole-to-pole. The surviving humans have formed tribes that war, enslave and trade with one another in an effort to survive the infinite winter. Ted Adams and David Ozer from IDW Entertainment, and Rick Jacobs and Dave Alpert from Circle of Confusion (“Walking Dead”) will executive produce."

The first several shows from the Halo TV series to the Halo digital feature are in production and have release dates that aren't currently known, while everything from Deadlands down is still in development or being filmed. The initial offering of Originals will begin appearing on the Marketplace beginning some time in June.


PS Vita store has most PSP and PlayStation classics available [Update: Now unavailable]

19 comments Philip Moody - Apr 24, 14 9:59am (PST) Like (1) Share

Update Games are now "unsupported"

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Update: Sony has changed the status of PSP and PS One classics to "unsupported" on PS Vita, disabling future downloads. Games that have already been downloaded aren't affected.

Original (4/22): PS Vita owners everywhere are rejoicing. Without any announcement or other build up, man PlayStation One and PSP game are now available for download through the Sony Entertainment Network Store for the PS Vita. Some of us have been waiting a long while to play Spyro the Dragon, Crash Bandicoot, or Metal Gear Solid on the go.

Not every game is available for purchase through the PS Vita store, however. For best results, visit the SEN web store or from your PS3 or PS4 system. The games themselves don't claim to support the Vita, but it appears that most of them will download and play.

If this is in fact a bug, it's possible that games purchased and downloaded on your Vita may not remain available once Sony patches things up. Considering how such a move would be met with resounding disapproval ath this point, it's unlikely to happen. PS Vita owners, here's something to make the summer lull go by a little bit faster. Visit the Sony Entertainment Network store for a full catalog of available PS1 and PSP titles available to play on PS Vita.


Producer Drew McCoy finds success in Titanfall being enjoyed, apathetic about sales

0 comments Philip Moody - Apr 17, 14 10:08am (PST) Like (1) Share

Someone who's not all about making big bucks for a change

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Titanfall producer Drew McCoy is a breath of fresh air in an industry that's slowly becoming more focused on the money than entertainment. He hasn't looked at the sales figures to know if the recently released shooter is making a profit, nor does he really care.

Some might have worried that EA might try to have encouraged microtransactions to be implemented into Titanfall. That didn't happen, much to everyone's relief. The developers even looked the other way if regarding players who managed to acquire Titanfall prior to launch, maybe because they were trying to sneak in as well.

McCoy's interview with GameSpot at PAX East sheds some light on this behavior from Respawn Entertainment:

"I don't know if it's making a profit, I don't know if it's meeting sales expectations. I don't really care... I care that I worked on a game that I can sit down and enjoy playing. The fact that people enjoy it and it has made enough that we [get to] continue supporting it as a studio, that's to me a success. We make games because we love them and we want other people to play them with us."

It's refreshing to see Respawn Entertainment is remaining focused on game development and not letting Titanfall's success get to their heads. Let's hope they don't get blinded in the future.


Oreshika: Tainted Bloodlines confirmed for localization on PS Vita, a cruel curse must be lifted

4 comments Philip Moody - Apr 14, 14 10:43am (PST) Like (2) Share

Eye candy draws more people than story these days

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Sony's PlayStation Blog has been busy this morning. Little known JRPG Oreshika: Tainted Bloodlines is going to be localized for release in North America and Europe, following a similar announcement for Freedom Wars and Soul Sacrifice Delta. Soul Sacrifice Delta will be the first to be released on May 20 while the other two will be giving us bits and pieces of information over the next few months.

What we do know about Oreshika is that the Japanese title roughly translates to "Go forth over my dead body" and that you're in charge of a Japanese clan that has been afflicted with an ancient curse lowering life expectancy to a very short two years. The player takes their clan on a journey to lift the curse by enlisting the help of powerful gods along the way to make sure each successive generation of your clan is stronger than previous generations.

Information on Oreshika is at a premium. Sony Japan Studio clearly doesn't want to give us too many details just yet. They have promised that we'll learn more about this fantastic looking title later on as the localization process moves further along. For now though, we'll just have to settle for the brief bit of story we know so far, some screenshots, and this trailer.

Click here to see more images

Watch Dogs and NVIDIA trailer showcases Chicago in shadow with HBAO+ technology

0 comments Philip Moody - Apr 10, 14 11:44am (PST) Like (1) Share

The windy city never looked so good

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Watch Dogs is a little over a month away from its May 27 release date, which means it's time for the marketing to really ramp up. Ubisoft and NVIDIA released a trailer for the Uplay-marred PC version today, showing us Chicago like we've never seen before in a video game.

The video showcases some new NVIDIA technologies named horizon based ambient occlusion (HBAO+) and TXAA. HBAO+ deals mostly with shadows, while TXAA does the harder work of reducing aliasing and video noise. Along with the Disrupt engine, the new NVIDIA tech really helps make Watch Dogs a visually stunning title.

May 27 is fast approaching, so get ready to connect your world with Aiden Pearce and Watch Dogs for PC, PS4, PS3, Xbox One, and Xbox 360. The Wii U version is still waiting on a release date.

(total 116 articles found)