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News articles search results by Shayn Dickens

Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag officially announced by Ubisoft, press release on March 4

44 comments Shayn Dickens - Feb 28, 13 8:25am (PST) Like Share

Ubisoft announces the game on Twitter

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Today Ubisoft officially recognised Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag. An update on Twitter told fans that they can expect information from them regarding the newest title in the Assassin's Creed series on Monday 4 at 6pm CET.

Along with the tweet they also unveiled the official box-art for the game. It shows a, to be frank, freakin' awesome looking assassin with a cutlass in one hand and a pistol in the other. In the background a black flag (so that's where it got it's name from) sporting the Assassin's symbol surrounding the jolly roger skull.

Here's the Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag official confirmation. No bright light, sparkly banners or party poppers. Just a twitter update telling us to, "Watch this space," but then why am I so excited? Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag is planned for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC. Financial reports from Ubisoft state a planned fiscal year 2014 release date, but to be more specific we can likely expect Black Flag this fall.

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Rumour: Assassin's Creed IV to be set in the Caribbean, or so a reputable source claims

33 comments Shayn Dickens - Feb 26, 13 10:30am (PST) Like (1) Share

Update More information arises, included supposed Reddit leak

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Update (2/26): Today Kotaku published an article showing that they had received a poster with that claims to be the poster for the next Assassin's Creed title, now with the name Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag. The poster shows a man clad in white (presumerably the new Assassin, which if true is a sad day for those hoping for a female protagonist) fighting off some buckeneering enthusiasts with a gun in one hand, and a sword in the other.

Also, earlier this month a Redditor claimed to have seen a woman who was devising marketing strategies on her laptop, with Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag opened in a Power Point presentation.

"I was on a flight where the lady in the row in front of me was working on a powerpoint presentation on marketing strategies of several gaming titles, and one that stood out the most was AC4: Black Flags, aimed for release 2013 Holiday season according to her slide. It already had a cool looking logo for it."

This certainly adds some level of believability to the next Assassin's Creed title taking place in the Caribbean, at least partially. However, I must supress my inner fanboy and still remain skeptical. Remember, Ubisoft have yet to comment on it, so we can only take it as a rumour at this point.

It's not even been six months and there is already confirmation of the another Assassin's Creed title, Assassin's Creed IV. I mean, we haven't even finished slaying King Washington yet. Just what are you doing Ubisoft?

Regardless of how premature this news may have been, discussion is already rife around the internet about who the next protagonist in the series, where in history the series will take us next, and who will we play as in this new historical setting. Well, according to an informant at, we may have the answer to "where".

A "reputable source" has claimed that the next installment of the Assassin's Creed franchise will take us to the heart of Davy Jones' locker, to the mysterious fountain of youth, to the curse of the Black Pearl... oh wait, wasn't that a film?

When in the Caribbean remains to be seen, but it's an interesting place to set it, for sure. Assuming this turns out to be at all true; at this point, it's all just conjecture to keep the fans going.

A reputable source close to Blistered Thumbs has revealed that the next entry in the long-running Assassin’s Creed series will take place in the Caribbean Islands. The title will allegedly take a heavy focus on naval battles and allow for more exploration across the various islands. 

Am I surprised? Not particularly. Considering how much the Naval Missions and the work put into them was pushed at E3 and beyond, I'm actually surprised something like this wasn't picked up before. Maybe we were expecting some sort of swashbuckling DLC? However, I'm still not too sure on how I feel about it. The premise of Captain Jack Sparrow as an Assassin is an amusing and appealing one, taking down the Templars one drunken quip at a time. 

Assassin's Creed 4 is confirmed to be releasing during the fiscal year of 2014. More news is just around the corner, apparently.  


Assassin's Creed 4 confirmed for 2014, features new hero and time period

42 comments Shayn Dickens - Feb 07, 13 10:49am (PST) Like Share

Ubisoft break tradition and release a game 2 years after previous title

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Today Ubisoft confirmed that the next installment of the Assassin's Creed franchise, Assassin's Creed 4, will be released during 2014 ending months of speculation and rumours

Yves Guillimot said

"We are delighted and proud to announce today that in financial year 14, we will introduce an all-new Assassin's Creed hero, within an all new team and time period, and we expect it to be another major leap forward for the franchise. It is the benefit of multiple teams working on multiple chapters of the product, each getting several years to make their versions of an Assassin's Creed game."

He also said that news about the game would be "coming soon".

Details are extremely thin on the ground currently, but what we do know so far is that the game will feature an all new protagonist and a new time era. Both news bites are a little ambiguous when you look at it, as Assassin's Creed has always been a series that has  allowed us to traverse two time periods and two protagonists at any given time. Does this mean Assassin's Creed 4 will take place in a more futuristic time period? Or does it simply mean we'll be able to go "back in time" to explore history yet again with another Assassin ancestor?

Only time will tell, right? With Desmond gone and Juno on the loose, and Abstergo still standing strong, the next title had better clear up come questions and answer for it's despicable death of it's protagonist for 5 games, as well as provide a solid storyline for us all to enjoy.


ACInitiates reaches 100% synchronisation, Ubisoft releases mysterious image

15 comments Shayn Dickens - Feb 01, 13 12:19pm (PST) Like Share

Picture depicts Abstergo removing body from the Grand Temple

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Warning! The following article contains spoilers concerning the end of Assassin's Creed III. Read on at your own risk!

After nearly two months of waiting and filling in questions to test our knowledge on the Assassin's Creed universe, the site finally reached "full synchronisation" last night at 11PM GMT. 

Thei image despicts two Abstergo agents hauling a body bag out of the Grand Temple with a broken hidden blade lying in the foreground. Many fans are speculating that this is indeed Desmond's body being carried away in the body bag, and the hidden blade being the one given to him at the end of Assassin's Creed II as they escaped from the Italian Abstergo laboratory in which he was being held prisoner by Warren Vidic. 

What this image means, however, is unclear. It certainly means that the story of Assassin's Creed is far from over -- one might even suggest the Desmond saga was just a precursor of things to come. Whatever it means, I'm extremely excited to see what the following months bring, and I eagerly await an announcement for Assassin's Creed IV in the not so distant future. Will we see it this year? Who knows. Ubisoft told us they would slow down the release of the games after the release of Assassin's Creed III, so we might get an announcement this year, but a release date may be a little further in the future.

To access this image you will need to request an activiation key for your ACIntiniates account. 

Thank you to Boo for the heads up!


Assassin's Creed 3: Infamy of George Washington DLC arrives February 19, now with new art

9 comments Shayn Dickens - Jan 24, 13 11:17am (PST) Like Share

First episode finally dated, alternate reality incoming

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The first installment of the Assassin's Creed III: Tyranny of King Washington DLC, subtitled "The Infamy", will be available from February 19 on PC and Xbox 360 and February 20 on PS3, Ubisoft announced today. The Infamy is only the first of a three part DLC package for the latest Assassin's Creed game, Assassin's Creed III, and will precede a further two installments to come later in the year.

The DLC is centred around an alternate time line in which George Washington took the path of a tyrannical leader of the United States rather than the diplomatic founding father we all know and love today.

It’s 1783 and the American Revolution is over, our hero, Ratonhnhaké:ton, awakens from an unsettling dream to find that despite his efforts to deliver justice in the newly-founded United States of America, a new king has been crowned – George Washington. Blinded by a thirst for unlimited power, Ratonhnhaké:ton must dethrone the tyrant and return freedom to the land.

This episode will be purchased via the Assassin's Creed III season pass, that is available for £23.99 on the Playstation Network and Windows PC, and 2400 Microsoft points. Although purchasable with the Season Pass, this installement will set you back a further £9.99 or 800 MS, depending on your platform of choice.

There is currently no news on when this DLC will reach Wii U players. 

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10 things Nintendo should include in Generation VI games Pokémon X and Pokémon Y

64 comments Shayn Dickens - Jan 15, 13 11:14am (PST) Like (2) Share

DLC, co-operative play, and side missions all make the list

Disclaimer: The opinions and viewpoints expressed by the author do not necessarily reflect the opinions and viewpoints of Neoseeker.


Following the announcement of the Generation VI Pokémon games Pokémon X and Pokémon Y last week, people have been taking the forums to speculate and discuss a wide variety of topics, from whether the X and Y in the titles refer to axis on a graph or the chromosomes that determine our gender, to discussion of whether or not 700+ Pokémon is considered too much; and, of course, what people want to see from the games this October.

This is arguably one of the biggest Pokémon announcements since... well, I don't know! But it's a pretty big deal, so what exactly has Nintendo got in store for us this time? No one knows, but what we do know is what we want. I know what I want, and that's what you'll find throughout this article. Feel free to disagree, but having been playing from the days of Red and Blue, some of this comes from over a decade of waiting.

1. Continue to shake things up

Pokémon Black 2 and White 2 were a first for the series, deviating from the traditional third main title game in a generation (Pokémon Emerald, Pokémon Yellow, Pokémon Platinum, etc.) and going for an all out sequel. While not technically the first sequel in the series, with Pokémon Silver/Gold happening two years after the events of Pokémon Red/Blue, it is the first numbered direct sequel for the franchise, which was a welcome and refreshing change of pace. Aptly timed as well, as things were starting to become a little predicable and stale. It also introduced a "reward" system for players in the form of Medals, something that again hadn't been done previously in the series. 

With all this refreshing material we saw in Generation V, in some regards Nintendo have now dug a hole from which they can't escape. Now they've changed the approach to releasing games they've been following since the release of Red/Blue back in 1998, there is no turning back. They've got to keep surprising us. They can't let it go back to the way we are used to it, at least not without disappointing long time fans. I want them to keep surprising us. They've done that already by releasing the game internationally at the same time. But I'm an insatiable PokéFan. I want more. Keep surprising me, Nintendo!

2. Story Arcs and a more meaningful plot

Generation V astounded me personally and is my favourite generation thus far, usurping Generation II (which was no easy feat), not because I particularly took a fancy to the new Pokémon available, but because of the story. Pokémon Black and White was far more dynamic than any other Pokémon game. We have an antagonist who wasn't really an antagonist and is easily one of the most likeable characters to come out of the franchise. The story can make or break a game, and while the emphasis has never really been on story in Pokémon games I think it should. It added a much more mature spin on the games, enjoyable for people who have grown up playing the games and an exciting chapter for those new.

As such I'd like deeper plot for Pokémon X and Y. I want it to mean something, I want to feel a sense of accomplishment at the end, I want to feel proud of my Pokémon having reached the end of the story. Black and White did this by having you face the antagonist as part of the Elite 4 challenge, which made the villainous team part of the game, rather than something you happened upon while wandering the region in aim to become a Pokémon Master. If possible, maybe even have a story arc spanning several games rather than round it off in one. Create more dynamic characters, bring some characters back (Fantina was noted to have a particularly dense French accent, maybe with the inclusion of an Eiffel tower shaped building, this could be her home region). The possibilities are endless for Pokémon and there is so much untapped potential there for stories that it would be a shame to waste a game that claims to be "breaking into a new dimension" by fobbing us off with a typical story as per every game pre-Generation V.

3. Character customisation

This is something a lot of fans have been wanting since the days of Silver/Gold. What could be better than traversing a new region with a character decked out to your own preference? I'm not adverse to the characters that we've been presented with so far in the series, in fact quite the contrary. I adore nearly all of the character designs provided for us so far, but there is something personal about having your hero clothed the way you want them to be clothed, looking the way you want them to look. I'm almost surprised this has yet to make it into the series, especially considering the idea of a silent protagonist is for the players to project their own personalities on to the character -- something that would be quite hard to do if it wasn't YOUR character. Thinking about this logically, however, it would have been hard to pull this off with sprites still dominating the world of Pokémon, but now we have 3D models of not only our trainer, but Pokémon as well, this would be an opportune time to introduce a feature that a lot of fans have been after for a while.

Speculation has been around since the announcement video, not only because the feature is highly sought after, but because in the part in which the male character swings across a gap on a vine. The glasses adorning his head seem to be left behind, indicating that it is separate of the character model itself. That, and the player is seen looking into a mirror at the start of the debut video, somewhat reminiscent of The Sims games.

4. Connectivity with the Wii U

Sure, why not? Nintendo haven't really been pushing their new home console as much as perhaps they should have been. The console struggles to keep its head above water in the western world. In the UK it barely reached a Top 50 list of gadgets sold. The deal breaker for a lot of people to buy a new Nintendo console is whether or not there is a Pokémon game on there (or another high grossing popular franchise from the Japanese-based gaming giant, although Mario never seems to quite cut it). The Wii saw a few Pokémon titles that connected to their handheld devices. Pokémon Battle Revolution and My Pokémon Ranch proved popular amongst fans but generally had a short shelf life, with people losing interest after only a couple of months. Why not bring a full Pokémon game to the Wii U? Ubisoft did it with the release of Assassin's Creed III and Assassin's Creed III: Liberation. Alright, the connectivity may have only been a few missions where the two characters briefly interacted with one another, but it was entertaining nevertheless.

Even if it's just an application for the Wii U, like a Pokémon storage system that will allow players to store Pokémon on their Wii U system. Highly important for people wanting to start new games and wanting to keep the Pokémon they've trained so hard but with a lack of Multiple save files (which I don't think the series should have) or more than one 3DS. Just for the love of God don't make it another Pokédex application.

5. Emphasise the importance of Legendaries

Things have been borderline comical for a while concerning legendary Pokémon. For such rare and unique beasts, there certainly are a lot of them! Generation I had five, Generation II had six, Generation III had ten,  Generation IV had 14, and Generation V had 13, and that's not including their different forms. Their constant increasing numbers took away their special quality; it took away the novalty of owning them. I remember playing Pokémon Red when I was younger and felt so cool to be the only one of my friends who had managed to capture Articuno, but as each generation was rolled out I slowly lost the "coolness" of owning such legendary beasts to the extent where I just can't be bothered going after them all and trying to catch them. I tend to just bypass them with a depleted "eh" and focus on training up a Zigzagoon or Pidove for level 100, just for fun.

Bring back their legendary status in Pokémon Y and X. Make them bigger, better, more important to the lore of the world. Make me want to go out and catch them. Decrease them in number, make a few good ones and reserve ideas for future games. They've just lost that "epicosity" that they once had, and it saddens me. Quality, not quantity please.

6. Don't take the 3D for granted

I'm not the biggest fan of 3D as it is, actively avoiding 3D screenings for movies and passing up the opportunity to purchase a 3D TV, but I acknowledge the benefits it brings to visual media. If the last two years of the Nintendo 3DS have told us anything it's that not everyone is a fan. That doesn't mean to say that there should be no 3D elements, that would be insane! Just don't make it important to the overall enjoyment of the game. Use it to hide access to paths that those who don't have the 3D on can't see. If anything, the main pull the 3DS has is the graphical enhancements that come with it over the DS, DS lite and DS XL, and while battles in 3D will be pretty sweet, don't allow it to take away the enjoyment for people who aren't a fan of the 3D effect. After all, there are warnings left, right, and center about taking breaks from the 3D, so having it as a requirement is a no go for me.


7. Abolish hidden moves (HMs)

Hidden Moves have been nothing but a pain since they were introduced to the games in Generation I. Many a time have I stipulated about whether or not I should teach my Pokémon a HM move, such as Cut, over a more favourable move just in order to proceed in the games.Or another scenario is you have to give way a space in your party to the mandatory "HM Slave" just to retain all the Pokémon moves you want but at the cost of valuable team member spot. To be blunt, they're useless and irritating. As of Black and White they were no longer needed to get anywhere in the story, with optional items behind such obstacles as trees or large boulders. Generation V took a step in the right direction with having boulders remain out of your way once you've moved them, but cut trees would still respawn after leaving the route. In the past they were generally used to stop player progression, such as placing a tree outside of Lt Surge's gym to make sure you went aboard the SS Anne in order to beat your rival, meet the ships captain, and them get the HM Cut. 

They've now outstayed their welcome. They need to go. There must be other ways in which Nintendo can stop players from wandering off into areas they otherwise shouldn't. Perhaps barricading an area with NPCs, or have road works taking place until a certain task is achieved... okay, maybe I'm clutching at straws. But anything has to be better than the continued use of HMs.

8. Downloadable content

Downloadable content has always been a topic of controversy, often sparking the debate about whether or not developers roll out unfinished games at full retail price, only to roll out further additional content at a price in order to increase profits. While I somewhat agree this has often seemed the case in the past with several other gaming companies, Nintendo seem to advocate free DLC for some of their titles, so maybe the same can be said for Pokémon. I'm not talking big DLC either, perhaps more customisation for characters, additional quests, etc. I wouldn't be against them releasing bigger DLC however, such as a new story to embark on or further character progression.

It's not like this hasn't been done by Nintendo before! There are "event" Pokémon available all the time. Recent examples include Sacred Sword Keldeo and Genesect. Nice little additions but nothing more than novelty, in my opinion. I'd much rather have something of some substance than a Pokémon with a few previously unobtainable moves or a unique ability.

9. Side missions

When I say side missions, I mean more than a few minutes worth of effort. They tried in Black and White, and Black 2 and White 2 but it wasn't executed terribly well.  I want missions that require me to find items, to talk to certain people, to catch certain Pokémon with certain types and certain natures. I want real side missions with real rewards. Something more than a Super Potion or the odd max revive. Maybe access to additional, otherwise unobtainable, gyms or locations, uncommon items, access to the rarer Pokémon. With this new generation I kind of want it to go in the direction of the Tales series, where optional side quests won't necessarily mean anything in the long run, but might enhance the enjoyment of the game or the quality of in-game items. 

Keys, though not really obtained via side missions but rather completion of the game, were a fantastic idea and are a testament to the kind of rewards I'd like to see. For those unfamiliar these Keys were available in Black 2 and White 2 and allowed access to the ancient chamber in which either Regirock. Regice or Registeel would be waiting. They granted access to an otherwise unreachable area and provide ample reward for those that completed the missions.

10. Co-operative play

I know, a lot of what I've wanted so far has been features touched upon in the Generation V games, but that's because the games were exemplary of what I want future Pokémon can be like. They were good but certainly can be improved upon. Co-operative play was introduced in Black and White via the EntraLink feature. Players could enter each other's worlds by local connection and complete certain missions together. However, for the games to move substantially forward, it needs to be... well, more. Make it a global affair, allow players to communicate by using their microphones or emoticons on screen. Anyone that has played Heroes of Ruin or Animal Crossing should know the kind of global interactivity I want available.

Allow players to train their Pokémon together, in the same game. Swap and trade items on the fly. Use the StreetPass and SpotPass features available on the 3DS. Maybe setting up a Pokémon to trade, and if you pass them in the street you'll get a notification on your 3DS that you passed a person looking for the Pokémon you had on offer and set up a Global Trade System (GTS) negotiation. Privacy is always important, so make it optional. Allow your game to automatically share your Friend Code if you want. Bring the PokéCommunity together.

The 3DS has a lot to offer in terms of co-operative play. Nintendo just need to tap in to it and use it wisely. They developed it, they should know what the system is capable of.

Well, there we are. My personal ten things that I would like to see in the new Pokémon games. What do you think? Do you agree, disagree? Anything that you'd like to add to that list?

Whatever the game brings it will undoubtably be a fun and enjoyable experience, and I look forward to seeing what Generation VI can offer.

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Categories: Nintendo Consoles

Warner Bros. register new Batman 'Arkham' domains, a sequel to Arkham City could be in the works

9 comments Shayn Dickens - Jan 13, 13 2:14pm (PST) Like Share

Domains include and

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Warner Bros, the publisher behind the incredibly popular Batman games, Arkham Asylum and Arkham City, have registered a list of new Arkham-related websites. These domains could indicate that a possible sequel to the infamous Arkham City is in the works, though we wouldn't exactly be surprised by the possibility.

Rumours have been rife for a while about a possible Reboot of the Batman movie franchise in 2016, based off the Batman: Arkham Asylum game, but considering we've heard nothing since the rumours came to light, it seems somewhat unlikely. Of course this could just be a case of Warner Bros. covering nothing but intellectual property and have no further plans of films or video games.

Here is the full list of domains registered:


It's interesting despite their intentions, and is assured to be the center of speculation for quite some time. 


Assassin's Creed 3 multiplayer DLC releases this week, Season Pass holders get it for free

6 comments Shayn Dickens - Jan 08, 13 11:42am (PST) Like Share

Update DLC includes three new characters and maps, now with screenshots

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Update (1/8/13): We've added a good helping of screenshots for the new Battle Hardened Pack DLC, which you can find below after the break.

The much anticipated Battle Hardened Pack DLC for the Assassin's Creed III multiplayer is releasing this week after weeks of idle speculation and frustration on the official forums. The content will be readily available this week, contrary to the Hidden Secrets DLC that was available last month, meaning Season Pass holders won't be getting it earlier than anyone else, but does come with the perk that is completely and utterly FREE. I should note it's only free for people who have purchased the Season Pass, those without will unfortunately need to fork out $£7.99 (no USD equivalent mentioned) on PS3/PC or 800 Microsoft Points for those of you on Xbox 360.

The DLC includes:

  • Three new Multiplayer characters
    • The Influential Governor
    • The Resilient Highlander
    • The Fearsome Coyote Man
  • Three new Multiplayer maps 
    • The "lush, tropical" Saint Pierre
    • The "moody, atmospheric" Fort St-Mathieu
    • The "embattled, enflamed, Boston neighbourhood", Charlestown

The maps will be available in standard multiplayer and Wolfpack game modes.

But when will it release, I hear you cry! The DLC will be available Tuesday, January 8 on Xbox 360, Wednesday, January 9 for Playstation 3, and Tuesday, January 15 on PC. There is currently no announcement on when it will reach those on Wii U, however.

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Assassin's Creed website 'AC Initiates' glitches to commemorate Apocalypse, but what's Ubisoft up to?

27 comments Shayn Dickens - Jan 04, 13 10:48am (PST) Like Share

Update Questions now required to recover data

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Update (1/4/13): The site has recently updated again introducing a new quiz system in order to restore the DNA. You will now need to log in to your ACIniates account (which have the same login details as your Uplay account) in order to answer the two questions currently provided.

The first is to simply enter "INITIATES" into the text box provided, while the other asks you to state the date the site was hacked. More questions will become available every 24 hours for people to answer. It was previously thought that the DNA restoration was linked to the amount of posts the affiliated thread in the Inititates forum produced, however with the total counting to over 5,500 posts and 22% restoration (as of posting), it doesn't seem as likely. It could be this new quiz system is in order to hurry the process along. I hope so, as I'm starting to get a little bored with the whole affair and just want to know what secret they're keeping from us.

Contains spoilers concerning the end of Assassin's Creed III and the Assassin's Creed series.

The Assassin's Creed orientated site ACInitiates has been following the events, in real time, of the Assassin's Creed games several months leading up to the release of the recent game in the series, Assassin's Creed III. Today, however, the site underwent a "hack" to give it a glitched computer appearance trying to reboot, (SPOILER INCOMING) coinciding with the demise of series protagonist, Desmond Miles.

At the end of Assassin's Creed III we see Desmond confronted by two members of the First Civilization, or Those Who Came Before, offering him one of two options about the end of the world; Minerva offering him to let the world die and rebuild it with the survivors of the impending solar flare, while Juno offers him the option of being humanity's salvation. The latter option will kill him and allow Juno to be "reborn" to subjugate humanity, yet Desmond opts for this path (rather hastily, I might add).

For those unaware, the Assassin's Creed series has been centered around the Mayan prophecy of the end of the world on this date (December 21) so it seems ideal that Ubisoft would want to do something to celebrate, or commemorate, the death of their beloved protagonist. But exactly what are they planning? Other than idle speculation on the Initiates forum, we're no closer to an answer. It better be something good, I'll tell you that for nothing.


Rumour: Nintendo may be working on a cartridge to allow streaming between 3DS and Wii U

17 comments Shayn Dickens - Jan 03, 13 10:31am (PST) Like Share

The 3DS handheld could act as a second Wii U Game Pad

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Nintendo could possibly be working on a catridge that would allow players to stream between their Nintendo 3DS and Wii U systems. French gaming site, Nintendo Master, site reports claim that the Cartridge would allow the 3DS to act as a secondary Wii U Game Pad, with the use of the Circle Pad Pro peripheral. 

This news is partularly interesting due to the fact that several big games such as Super Smash Bros. 4 and Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate are arriving to both of the Nintendo consoles. Perhaps the release of this cartridge is in preparation for such games? Well, we don't know.

Nintendo has yet to confirm (or deny) these rumours, so for now we can only sit and hope.

Categories: Nintendo Consoles

Conservative Party explains future plans for tax relief for game companies in the United Kingdom

6 comments Shayn Dickens - Jan 02, 13 10:08am (PST) Like Share

Political party prepare to initiate tax breaks for gaming companies April 1

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The Tories (Conservatives, for those unfamilar with UK politics) seem to be taking a step in the right direction for once, since the coalition with the Liberal Democrats what seems like a lifetime ago. Today a new page on their official website appeared explaining that game companies in the United Kingdom can experience tax relief as early as April 1, 2013. The website claims that this will give a financial boost "to an already-thriving industry further" and "help level the playing field in response to other countries offering tax reliefs."

The side bar on the website explaining the tax relief compares the video game industry to that of the already thriving UK television and film industries, reading:

"Similar tax breaks have already been introduced for the film industry and have attracted big filmmakers to produce in the UK when they could have gone elsewhere. These tax breaks recognise that games are as important as film and television in contributing to the country's cultural and economic output and are integral to the UK's future business growth."

In the main body of the website page, it goes on to say:

"This tax relief will lessen the financial risk of producing new games and enable games studios to invest in more staff. Reduced financial risk will also make it easier for games developers who are fresh out of university to start their own companies."

This is fantastic news for all UK game developers out there, as we'd hate to see a repeat of Rhode Island based 38 Studios.

This could also help upcoming UK-based games companies really make their mark on the industry. I, for one, am right behind them.

Categories: Console Games PC Games

Ghost Recon movie could be in the works as Ubisoft Motion Pictures CEO prepares a pitch

3 comments Shayn Dickens - Jan 02, 13 2:36am (PST) Like Share

Ubisoft adds Ghost Recon to their growing list of blockbuster game to film adaptations.

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Ubisoft isn't exactly new to the idea of translating their beloved frachises to the big screen, with an Assassin's Creed movie in the works with Michael Fassbender, and a Splinter Cell flick with award-winner Tom Hardy (best known as "Bane" in The Dark Knight Rises). Now in a report with the LA Times, Ubisoft Motion Pictures CEO Jean-Julien Baronnet has said that he is putting together a pitch for a movie based on the Ghost Recon games.

Ghost Recon isn't a series one would associate with characters bogged down in backstory, and has very few characters that are memorable or well-known to the gaming fanbase. However, the movie will need to show squads of soldiers using "near-future" technology in order to remain somewhat consistant with it's game counterpart. 

Alongside Ubisoft's Big Screen aspirations, the company continues work on it's young-adult television series based on the Raving Rabbids franchise, which releases later in 2013.


Bioshock: Infinite figurines of Elizabeth and Heavy Hitter's Boys of Silence to be available from January 2013

3 comments Shayn Dickens - Dec 20, 12 1:48pm (PST) Like (1) Share

NECA Toys ready release for two Bioshock: Infinite Characters in the New Year

The next installment in the award winning Bioshock series, Bioshock: Infinite, will be getting some of it characters brought into the real world thanks to American manufacturer NECA (National Entertainment Collectables Association) come January 2013. Two characters from the game will be available at retail: protagonist Elizabeth and one of Heavy Hitter's Boys of Silence. Both figurines will stand 6.5 to 7 inches in height and feature at least 20 points of articulation.

With Bioshock: Infinite due for release on March 26, 2013 these figurines will be avaialble two months prior to the games release, hopefully hyping up fans for the game.

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Steam for Linux beta is now open, able to play Portal, Team Fortress 2, and Serious Sam 3: BFE

2 comments Shayn Dickens - Dec 20, 12 1:32pm (PST) Like Share

Valve games available during the beta

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The Beta is now open for the Linix Beta to steam users operating on the Ubuntu operating system. For those wishing to take part you can download Ubuntu 12.04 LTS from Steam and begin playing games through Steam optimised for Linux users.

Those that are taking part in the Beta can currently only play three Valve games; Portal, Team Fortress 2, and Serious Sam 3. There are also currently plans to add Left 4 Dead 2 to that list.

While the beta has been around a while, it was only open a select group of Steam users, and now is open for everyone to use.

Categories: PC Games

Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Gates to Infinity arrives in North America on March 24

43 comments Shayn Dickens - Dec 20, 12 1:25pm (PST) Like Share

New Mystery Dungeon game arriving in spring

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The next installment in the popular Pokémon spin-off is due to hit shelves in North America on March 24, 2013. Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Gates to Infinity is the second retail Pokémon game to come to the Nintendo 3DS console (excluding apps such as Pokédex 3D, Dream Radar, and Pokédex 3D Pro), with the main series games still waiting to make an appearance. The game will feature enhaced 3D graphics and 20 unique dungeons that change layout every time they are entered, somewhat reminiscent of N-Space's Heroes of Ruin which hit shelves back in June of this year.

In the game you can become one of five iconic Pokémon from the series; Pikachu (of course!), Snivy, Oshawott, Tepig, and Axew. Much like other games in the Mystery Dungeon series, you will traverse dungeons, battle fearsome wild Pokémon, befriend other Pokémon, collect a ridiculous amount of treasure and explore the games world in glorious 3D for the very first time. In Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Gates to Infinity there are dungeons called "Labyrinths" which change in appearance every time they are entered, and along with them every item and treasure will change location upon each visitation.

There is also an entirely new feature to the series called "Magnagates". These allow players to access additional Dungeons by scanning circular objects in the real world by use of the Nintendo 3DS camera, adding seemingly unlimited post-story gameplay. Gates to Infinity will also be the first Mystery Dungeon game to incorporate Wireless Multiplayer, however details on how haven't yet been revealed.

There is currently no news on when it will be released in Europe or other territories.

Categories: Nintendo Consoles

FEZ only 400 Microsoft Points on Xbox LIVE Arcade until tomorrow

3 comments Shayn Dickens - Dec 20, 12 1:23pm (PST) Like (1) Share

Xbox 360 bestseller reduced by 50% for 24 hours

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Polytron, the developer behind the Xbox LIVE bestseller Fez, revealed via their Twitter that the game will be on special offer until tomorrow. You will be able to get the game, which is usually 800 Microsft Points, for half the cost at 400 MSP

Earlier in the year, Fez went on to win Best Original Score and Best Indie Game at the Inside Gaming Awards. It did extremely well at a time where "perspective" games were insatiably popular, I think it's fair to say. The only other game that immediately springs to mind in this little niche sub-genre that also did well for itself was Pushmo on the Nintendo 3DS eShop, a game that was hailed by Nintendo fans and critics.

For those interested you can download the 273.45 MB game right from  the Xbox LIVE Arcade marketplace.


Sleeping Dogs: Zodiac Tournament DLC pays homage to old school Kung Fu movies in new trailer

2 comments Shayn Dickens - Dec 19, 12 11:02am (PST) Like (1) Share

New DLC has an "Enter the Dragon" feel to it

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Sleeping Dogs: Zodiac Tornament DLC launched this week on Xbox 360, Playstation 3 and PC. It takes Wei Shen, the protagonist of Sleeping Dogs, to an island fighting tournament that seemingly pays homage to Kung Fu movies of days gone by, such as Bruce Lee's Enter the Dragon.

Set within the remote Zodiac Island, which presumerably the DLC takes it's name (...or which takes it's name from the DLC), Shen is thrown into a masterclass in all things martial arts, and must overcome a crumbling metropolis of traps such as deadly pits of fire, ceilings laiden with spikes poised to kill any and all trespassers, arenas that require the utmost concentration from even the most skilled in the ways of mortal combat, and a myriad of other cold blooded killers each trying to best one another in close quarters combat.

Zodiac Tornament is available on the Xbox Market Place for 400 MS points, and $4.99 / €3.99 / £3.19 from Playstation Network and Steam.

Zodiac Tournament trailer - YouTube



Treyarch preps for 'Christmas Noobs' with an in-game message to players, calls for better behavior

39 comments Shayn Dickens - Dec 18, 12 11:12am (PST) Like Share

"We'd ask you to go easy on the Christmas noobs, but we know you won't"

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The Call of Duty fanbase isn't known to be the most well mannered community out there in gaming, but in a recent in-game announcement by Treyarch they also seem to acknowledge just how overbearing (to put it diplomatically) their online community can be, especially toward new players.

The message opens with:

"It's that time of the year again where thousands of new players join the online ranks for the first time. We'd ask you to go easy on the Christmas Noobs, but we know you won't."

It tells the new players not to allow themselves to get bullied by the more veteran members of the community, and diligently informs them of the Boot Camp playlist which they insist is the"best place for a new player", allowing the newcomers to rank up against "both human and AI controlled opponents".

With the game released just over a month ago, a plethora of both new and old players joined the battlefield in arguably one of the most anticipated games of 2012 and in an rare instance for Treyarch, they seem to be appealing directly to players, which is a much welcomed change.


Microsoft accidentally bans just under 200 Halo 4 players, issue supposedly resolved

31 comments Shayn Dickens - Dec 18, 12 11:04am (PST) Like Share

Bans occurred when players downloaded the Crimson Map Pack

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On December 17, disgruntled players of the Xbox 360 exclusive, Halo 4, flocked to the official forum to "politely" inform Microsoft officials that they were receiving bans from the game after downloading the new Crimson Map pack from the Xbox LIVE Market Place.

The ban message recieved by affected players was ambiguous to say the least, failing to mention the reason for their ban but listed violations such as manipulating network conditions, impersonating Microsoft, 343i, or Bungie employees, and behaving in an unsportsman-like manner.

Since then it has been revealed that less than 200 players have been affected, and the issue since resolved... at least according to a statement Microsoft released today:

There was a situation yesterday (Sunday) in which less than 200 Halo 4 users were being incorrectly banned from accessing certain parts of the game (not banned from Xbox LIVE as a whole), and we have since resolved the issue. All players accounts impacted are working as normal. For more information, please go to the Halo Waypoint forums here.

Categories: Microsoft Consoles

Playstation holiday sales for PS3 and Vita this week covers Resident Evil 4, Catherine, more

15 comments Shayn Dickens - Dec 17, 12 7:23pm (PST) Like Share

Deck the halls with games up to 50% off!

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Sony has announced via their blog that 14 Playstation 3 and three Vita titles will be on sale from tomorrow, December 18, through to December 24 as part of their holiday promotional deals.

Certain games will come at a discounted price from the Playstation store throughout the forthcoming week with prices being slashed by 30%, or if you're a Playstation Plus member you can find selected games priced half their original values. The games this week include:

Playstation 3

  • Catherine - $27.99, PS Plus: $19.60
  • Counter Strike Global Offensive  - $10.49, PS Plus: $7.35.
  • Dyad  - $10.49, PS Plus: $7.35
  • I Am Alive - $10.49, PS Plus: $7.35
  • LittleBigPlanet 2 - $13.99, PS Plus: Free
  • Magic: The Gathering – Dules of the Planeswalkers 2013 - $6.99, PS Plus: $4.90
  • NHL 13 - $41.99, PS Plus: $29.40
  • Rayman Origins - $13.99, PS Plus: $9.80
  • Resident Evil 4 - $13.99, PS Plus: $9.80
  • Retro/Grade - $6.99, PS Plus: $4.90
  • Street Fighter III: Third Strike Online Edition - $10.49, PS Plus: $7.35

Playstation Vita

  • Escape Plan  - $10.49, PS Plus: $7.35
  • LittleBigPlanet - $24.99, PS Plus: $17.49
  • Rayman Origins - $20.99, PS Plus: $14.70

More festive deals will run from December 25 through to December 31, and another batch will run a week after that.

Categories: Sony Consoles
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