Monthly Archives: July 2013

  • PC Gamers Will Get Their Hands on Rayman Legends

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    Rayman Legends, the latest iteration in the classic platformer by Ubisoft has seen countless delays after it was announced as one of the launch title for the Wii U. Ubisoft eventually announced that the game would no longer be a Nintendo exclusive due to sales concerns, and would not be released until September 2013. This time, the game will be available on PC, Xbox 360, PS3, PS Vita and Wii U on August 30 in Europe and September 3 in North America.

    There has been several controversies surrounding the delay of the game, especially on the Wii U. The game’s creator Michel Ancel reportedly joined co-workers in a protest about the decision to delay the game for the Wii U. They requested that the Wii U version be released in February as was originally planned, seeing as work on it was essentially complete.

    But at least all is not lost for gamers waiting to scratch their platforming itch: due to the delay, the production team has apparently managed to put in 30 new levels into the game. Well, at least we know that they’re doing something good for the game in the meantime.

  • Indie Development Events Announced by Sony

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    Sony announced that it will begin hosting quarterly indie developer events at its London offices later this year. These events will be used as an opportunity to update developers about the changes that are coming to the PS4, PS3 and PS Vita, as well as get feedback about the state of the PSN. As can be expected from the location, these events will focus on European developers; however, Sony has confirmed that any developers from around the world will be welcome should they wish to attend.

    Sony Computer Entertainment Europe senior account manager Agostino Simonetta spoke to Developers:

    “You know we do these things very with all our partners, but with the indie community it is so vast and they are spread out, that it is hard for me to go and work with developer days in the Middle East. So while we do these things, we want to make sure it is that on a regular basis. With the great success we are having actually of indie developers registering, we are seeing incredible numbers of new companies coming to the platform. There is a real sense that PS 4 - and Vita as well, PS3 still has a long life - that this is a great opportunity for them to come back to console.

    “We are really accelerating and changing the way we approach this. So before was more of a narrow cast, now there is a real opportunity for us to go what I call broadcast a lot more visibility to be able to answer the questions.”

    Simonetta also explained how the burst of indie developers’ interest on the platform has influenced the developers’ events.

    “I can tell you I have been there for four years, and one of my colleagues has been in third-party relations for ten years, and we’ve never seen anything like this. And this is not just PS4, it applies to Vita and PS3 as well,” he said.

    Sony has been pretty open about their support for indie developers. With the rise of quality indie games that has been published on both PS3 and Xbox 360, this news can only mean good things for gamers who are looking forward to the next generation consoles.

  • Activision Announces 6 titles for Nintendo Wii U

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    Wii U owners, prepare yourselves for a dose of awesomeness this fall: Activision has confirmed 5 other titles alongside their much-lauded Call of Duty: Ghosts which will be released on 5th of November - the same date as versions on other consoles.

    “As we have said before, we’re committed to doing everything we can to support the Wii U, which is why we’re excited to be bringing some of the most popular entertainment franchises in the world to the platform this year,” said Eric Hirshberg, CEO of Activision Publishing, Inc.

    “The Call of Duty franchise continues to be one of the most powerful forces in gaming and Skylanders continues to enchant new fans around the world.  Our studios have been hard at work creating brand new immersive experiences perfectly suited to the Wii U platform and our fall lineup has something for everyone.”

    Hirshberg wasn’t kidding when he said that the company has a lot to offer to a wide range of gamers. The five games announced for the Wii U are Skylanders Swap Force, Angry Birds Trilogy, Angry Birds Star Wars, SpongeBob Squarepants: Plankton’s Robotic Revenge and Wipeout Create & Crash. I am most excited about SpongeBob Squarepants, a game that will be blending platforming, action, and puzzle-solving; especially considering the fact that the original voice actors will be involved with the game.

  • GTA V will be more fast-paced than its predecessors

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    Developers of GTA V seem to be want players to jump into the game and get their GTA fix ASAP. Speaking in an interview with Jeuxactu, Leslie Benzies, the Rockstar North President wants to change the pace that so many gamers are used to from the prequels.

    “I think it was the right strategy for stories we wanted to tell at the time, but not this time. Today, we want to surprise people with very intense mission from the start. The pace of the game is much faster than any of its predecessors.

    “From the beginning, we want to show off the new game mechanics while creating intense, action-packed gameplay, to capture the player’s attention immediately. Remember that the three characters in the game are already living in the city of Los Santos and surrounding areas. They are not newcomers like Niko and Tommy Vercetti, or people returning after a long absence like CJ.”

    Character development this time will also be tackled in a different manner. Since not all the characters will be playable from the get-go, players will get to know them through a series of missions in the game. This new paradigm in pacing and story-telling is also hinted at the variety of missions in the game. The prequels are well-known for the strange, surreal and sometimes downright implausible missions the characters can undertake; the next title will apparently be more realistic and the characters won’t act out of character for the most part. We can still expect some missions that are not, shall we say, totally sane though. After all, it is still a GTA game, right?

  • Oculus Rift Developing Team Has Set Their Eyes on 2014 as Possible Release Date

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    Oculus Rift, the highly anticipated Virtual Reality gaming apparatus, has its origins in a very successful Kickstarter campaign where it raised approximately $2.5 million. Now, speaking to Edge, CEO Brendan Iribe said that the team wants to release the VR headset to the public next year. Iribie also said that the company is right now focusing on the PC and “next-gen cellphones.” Seeing as how the developer’s kit is only compatible with the Mac and the PC as of now, their focus on PC (or Mac) is not very surprising. However, the “next-gen cellphones” bit is intriguing. On the prospect of releasing the Oculus Rift into the mobile market, Iribe said:

    “It’s the innovation, and how fast cellphones are now improving - where we’ll be with the next Galaxy or the next iPhone compared to where consoles are. Those tings are almost doubling every year, compared to a console that’s just stuck it out for eight years - it just makes us very excited. There’s a lot of improvements that can be made on the hardware side for VR that no-one’s doing yet because it’s a new thing. The mobile rate of innovation is going to be able to make a lot of those improvements.”

    To yours truly, the main thing to look forward to in this VR paradigm is the immersion factor. And thankfully, Iribie seems to agree with my sentiments:

    “I think a lot will come from the social and emotional side that nobody has even seen yet. Like, you’ll know where the player’s eyes are, and characters can now look at you and say ‘hey what’s up?’ and if you look away they’ll be like, ‘hey, what’s going on?’. There’s a lot of emotion you can spark in [VR] that you just can’t on a TV. When you have headset with a really wide field of view and low latency, your brain flips the switch and says: wait a second - this is reality now? It just fundamentally changes the way you feel things.”

    Although the team is aiming for a next year release, they’re not in hurry, since they’re putting a lot of effort in making it ready for the consumer market. Still, Iribie said that “... we have internal prototypes which have a lot of each thing solved and it’s such a magical experience when you see it all together.” As for the subject of pricing, the team seems to intend to keep the launch price as close to 300$ as possible.

  • Forza 5 to be playable only with day-one download

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    The subject of connecting games to the internet seems to be the hot button this year, as shown by the public outcry at the now-diseased “always connected” Xbox One policy, not to mention the fiasco that is the SimCity game by EA. So when news such as making Forza 5 virtually unplayable (or lacking features) without a log in and content download, makes the round, how will gamers react, I wonder?

    In an interview with IGN, Dan Greenawalt, the studio head at Forza creator Turn 10 Studios, stated that “when you first boot up the game we’re going to ask you to log in, and when you log in you’re going to get a whole bunch of content: tracks and cars. That is required content to play the game.” Greenewalt also said that this connection requirement ties in with their latest flagship AI system, dubbed the ‘Drivatars’. Since the new AI system mimics the traits of real-world players, it is to be expected that new data must be streamed constantly in order for the AI to be more accurate.

    “You do have to connect the game in order to get the latest Drivatars, because we need as many people training them as possible. And so rather than having just a launch-day set that was created by us, every day that people race is going to make the Drivatar set that much more accurate, that much more diverse, that much more interesting.”

    Past the initial requirement for an internet connection to download some essential stuff for the game, it does seem like users can opt not to update the data for the AI system, so this news is certainly not as bad as, again, SimCity.

  • Bioware Pumped About the Next Mass Effect

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    Cinematic Director Ken Thain tweeted “New #MassEffect story and main character reviews today. This sh**’s gettin’ real! I think the fans will be really excited to play this story.” In a similar tone, minus the sudden excited outburst, Producer Mike Gamble also said: “Lots of great @masseffect meetings today. Things are really moving forward. It’s great to be involved in the universe again.”

    Previously, on Tuesday, Bioware Montreal studio director Yanick Roy said the upcoming Mass Effect game will be “friendly both to old fans and newcomers.”  Fans of the Sci-fi RPG from Bioware have been endlessly teased by such vague details of the upcoming sequel, but until now, there are still no official information released yet. However, with this recent development, gamers can at least be sure that the next protagonist will not be the much loved Shephard, and that the story has been finalized (or so it seems).

    Since the previous storyline has been resolved somewhat controversially in Mass Effect 3, we can expect a completely new saga from the next game. To shed some light on the matter, Bioware’s Community Manager Chris Priestly took to the forums on February and said that “to call the next game Mass Effect 4 or ME4 is doing it a disservice and seems to cause a lot of confusion here. We have already said that the Command Shephard trilogy is over and that the next game will not feature him/her. That is the only detail you have on the game.”

    Still, they know that fans of a game as massive in its scale in terms of story line and setting as Mass Effect will speculate anyway. How about you? What do you expect from the new game?

  • Capcom Announces Yet Another Entry to the Street Fighter 4 Series

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    Count on Capcom to make a series out of a sequel to a series.

    This new entry will be hitting stores in early 2014, and it will bring with it several new features and characters. Adjustments to the current roster will be made to account for the new characters, of which there will be 5 of them. The new characters are Poison, Hugo, Rolento, Elena, and 1 mystery character said to be completely new.

    Along with the new characters, the game will also feature 6 new stages. DLC costumes from the past entries will also be available, and fans who pre-orders the game will get a bonus costume from Udon.

    Hungry for more news of the game? It seems that a trailer will be coming before the grand finals this Sunday with the official name of the title. How about pricing? It will cost gamers $14.99 to upgrade from any version of Street Fighter 4, and a cool $39.99 for the full game.

  • Early Prototype of DualShock 4 Able to Detect Amount of Sweat

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    In a recent interview with Stuff, PS4 Lead System Architect Mark Cerny said that the DualShock 4 prototype was able to see how moist your palms were at any given time. Although the feature did not make it into the final design (fortunately or unfortunately), this revelation shows that the PS4 development team is really serious about pushing the boundaries of what a game controller can do for the gamers, in addition to what we gamers can do with the controller.

    This feature was part of a long research project which sees the team trying to rectify complaints that some players had regarding the ease of use of the DualShock 3 for playing first person shooters. The end product seems to be the result of that long research, where Cerny said that “we tested the throw of the triggers, the position of the triggers, how much pressure it takes. We looked at the Joysticks, the dead spot, the convexity and concavity. [It] feels extraordinarily natural.”

    I guess it’s a shame that the sweat detection feature was left out then. I can imagine scenarios where I am chased by a group of armed players in a first person shooter game, sweating my palms off, and my in-game character would show signs of anxiety as well.

  • Want to Know What the Battlefield 4 Collector's Edition Includes? Czech Retailer Reveals All

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    Some retailers just don't seem to understand the concept of surprise. Luckily for us, that means we usually can find out a little bit more about a game before the company that made it even announce that information.

    In this case, a Czech retailer has released an image that shows off everything included in the Battlefield 4 Collectors' Edition.

    This includes: A plastic carrying case, a grenade coffee mug, a beanie, a steelbook game case, a bracelet, 3 postcards and the previously announced China Rising DLC. The collectors edition also includes other in-game exclusives such as three gold battlepacks.

    For those wondering whether this is Czech only, Game UK went to confirm it even more by releasing an English poster with similar stuff on showcase. The UK version shown has been called the deluxe edition and doesn't show off as many of the Battlefield bling shown in the Czech Collectors edition image.

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