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GTA V Screens photo
GTA V Screens

New GTA V screens showcase the boys in action


Parachuting, heists, driving without roads...
May 07
// Keith Swiader
Rockstar Games today released a new batch of Grand Theft Auto V screenshots which showcase the game's trio of protagonists performing various "action-based" activities. The new screens also do a great job of showing the vario...
Club Nintendo photo
Club Nintendo

Super Mario RPG highlights May's Club Nintendo rewards


And that's about it...
May 06
// Keith Swiader
Another month is upon us, and thus, so is another set of Club Nintendo rewards. The big get for May is Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars on Wii for 200 coins; other than that, the pickings are slim. Maboshi's Arcade&...
Borderlands 2 DLC photo
Borderlands 2 DLC

Borderlands 2's sixth playable character available May 14


Heh. He spelled it "meat."
May 06
// Keith Swiader
The sixth playable character for Borderlands 2, Krieg the Psycho Bandit, will be available for loot hunting on May 14, Krieg himself announced on Twitter. Unveiled at developer Gearbox Software's PAX East panel back in March,...
Wii U Marketing photo
Wii U Marketing

Nintendo urges Wii owners to discover Wii U


Wii owners will receive the info-message through their console
May 01
// Keith Swiader
Nintendo has sent out a mass-message to Wii owners to inform them of the Wii U's release, Kotaku reports. The message was sent in an effort to inform the mass audience that the Wii U is "an all-new home console from Nintendo,...
Mega Man 3DS Case photo
Mega Man 3DS Case

Mega Man 3DS cases celebrate Virtual Console release


Will be available by San Diego Comic-Con
May 01
// Keith Swiader
Capcom will release special edition Mega Man 25th anniversary 3DS and 3DS XL cases to commemorate the series' release on the 3DS eShop, community manager Brett Elston announced on Capcom-Unity.  The two-piece case featur...
Pokemon 3DS photo
Pokemon 3DS

Salivate over these PokÚmon 3DS XL mock-ups


New Eevee 3DS LL releasing in Japan, apparently
Apr 28
// Keith Swiader
Sure, Nintendo already released both a Charizard and Pikachu 3DS XL, but with nearly 700 pocket monsters at their disposal, and with Pokémon X/Y on the horizon, certainly a few more of the adorable critters can be...
Company of Heroes photo
Company of Heroes

Company of Heroes servers close May 7 in favor of Steam


You'll need your CD-Key to make the switch
Apr 23
// Keith Swiader
Company of Heroes' current online servers will shut down May 7 in favor of replacement Steamworks servers, Relic Entertainment announced on the game's official forums.  Relic offered instructions on how to transfer ...
SoulCalibur photo
SoulCalibur

SoulCalibur V hitting Games on Demand, PlayStation Store


A tale of souls and swords, now digitally reborn
Apr 17
// Keith Swiader
SoulCalibur V will be available on Xbox Live's Games on Demand and the PlayStation Store on April 23 for $19.99, Namco Bandai Games today announced. The game features a roster of over two dozen fighters, including Ezio Audito...

Tales producer comments on Symphonia's success, Wii U

Apr 12 // Keith Swiader
"I believe the success of Tales of Symphonia has multiple factors to it," Baba said, "the first being that it was the first Tales title that was rendered in 3D polygons, so we believe that was a huge component to its success. Another huge component was that we had a lot of support from Nintendo, so that allowed us to reach out to a broader audience that we weren't able to reach before." Baba added that external forces were not the entire reason for Symphonia's success; he said Symphonia was also a "solid title with a solid story." Learning that Nintendo provided immense support to the release of Tales of Symphonia -- with a follow-up released on the Wii -- I inquired what Baba's thoughts were on the Wii U, and if past Nintendo experiences would translate to a potential Wii U Tales game. "Our main target audience for the Tales franchise is still ultimately Japan, so when we make a game we want to target our main fanbase," he said, adding that, after doing extensive research in Japan, the team found that their audience is centered around the PlayStation 3. As a result, the team's focus remains there. "So we like the idea of the Wii U -- we think it's a great system -- and if it becomes more and more successful in the future that's a console we would like to tap eventually, but for the time being we don't have any plans and we are focused on maintaining our fanbase on PlayStation 3," Baba said. "It's not really about our opinions on whether or not it's a good system; ultimately it becomes a question of, 'What consoles do our fans have?'" Tales of Xillia will release on PlayStation 3 August 6, and has a snazzy Collector's Edition to boot.
Tales series success photo
Why Tales of Symphonia resonated with the West, and potential Wii U support
During Namco Bandai Games' Manhattan press conference last week, where they showed off the likes of Armored Core: Verdict Day and Dark Souls II, I had the chance to sit at a round-table with Tales series producer Hideo Baba. ...

In the midst of change, community is at Namco's forefront

Apr 11 // Keith Swiader
Last year the company focused on three core pillars, Choi described, which consist of having a focused portfolio of great intellectual properties; taking those properties, diversifying them, and extending their reach in multiple ways; and having a strong sense of what the community wants. "We at Namco Bandai Games are not only here to listen to what you have to say, but deliver what you ask for and work with you to make sure we bring you the best game experience for you on a daily basis," he said. Choi referenced titles like Tekken, which has sold over 42 million units worldwide, 1.5 million of which come from the franchise's latest release, Tekken Tag Tournament 2. Ni No Kuni, with its 86 Metacritic score, also performed well for the company. Then there's the Naruto series, whose latest iteration, Ultimate Ninja Storm 3, sold 1 million units in the US and Europe in 30 days, which Choi said validates the core IP pillar Namco has in place. "This is probably one of the most exciting franchises that we have and spent a lot of time developing in the western market," Choi said. The company is also celebrating the 15th anniversary of the Tales role-playing games, and to date the series has sold 15 million units worldwide. Tales of Xillia, already released in Japan, and will release this August on PlayStation 3. "I really believe this showcases the fact that Namco Bandai Games really puts a lot of time and energy in being the cornerstone of the JRPG market," Tales series producer Hideo Baba said on stage. A diverse and evolving company When looking toward the digital front, Namco has had success so far, with PC's Dark Souls: Prepare to Die Edition garnering 300,000 downloads. This amplifies Namco's pillar of diversifying their content and outreach, Choi said, as the company is not only delivering content at brick-and-mortar stores, but digitally as well. "That is a great indication that our fans are responding and we are delivering what they ask for," Choi added. Tekken Card Tournament, released last week, offers a "different way of looking at the gaming experience," Choi explains. The game intertwines the famous fighting franchise with card battling, bringing two worlds together to create a new form of gaming, as Choi describes. Tekken Card Tournament is available for iOS, Android and PC and offers cross-platform play. Choi referenced the aforementioned free-to-play distribution front, and said that while the consumption of content has changed, the monetization of that content has changed as well, and that free-to-play has really blown up in the past year. "That is something that has been exciting for us," Choi said. "As a global organization, we spent a year to take a look at this and say, 'how do we find ourselves in this business?'" The company’s first foray in free-to-play distribution is Ridge Racer Utopia, which is also a "free-to-drive, free-to-drift, and free-to-pulverize" title coming from the long-line of Ridge Racer games, and will help launch the company into the new form of monetization. Ridge Racer is the one franchise Namco will "be able to manage on our own and that has accompanied the launch of every major game platform release," Choi said, equating the new free-to-play strategy to that of a new console release. A return to dark times Along with Tales of Xillia, Namco's future holds From Software's Dark Souls II, the third iteration in the Souls series. Choi said that ever since its announcement last year, fans have been itching to learn more. "Ever since the release of the teaser trailer, it received 12 million unique view in the first 30 days, and on average each one of these viewers have seen it three times," he said. "That means there are fans out there that are either addicted to the franchise, or they over-analyzed every frame of it -- which they have," Choi laughed. With so much going on for Namco, and with the abundance of changes taking place in the gaming industry, Choi continually referred back to the company's three core pillars during the event, and assured that they are as committed as ever in delivering to the fans first.  The voice of the fans and a strong sense of community are still at the forefront for the company, and that's where the company is headed moving forward.
Namco Bandai Games photo
VP of Marketing and Digital Sales discusses company's success and future
"This year, the industry has had a lot of changes," Carlson Choi, Vice President of Marketing and Digital Sales at Namco Bandai Games America said at the company's Gamer's Day press conference last week. "The way the consumer...

Remember Chromehounds? Here's Armored Core: Verdict Day

Apr 11 // Keith Swiader
Armored Core: Verdict Day (Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 [Previewed])Developer: From SoftwarePublisher: Namco BandaiRelease: Fall 2013 "That looks like Chromehounds!," I shouted in my head once I saw the game's main menu, which details a tri-colored real-time intelligence map of the current three-faction war. The war, or season, as it was called, resets once two of the factions succumb to the might of the third. Knowing which team is in the lead will become more apparent as one of the three colors -- red, green and blue-- begins to take up more and more space on the map. These factions, I was told, represent North America, Europe and Asia -- at least in the minds of From Software. The factions remained nameless during the presentation. But why three factions, and not two or four? Simply put, three is the sweet spot in terms of game design, where two is too few and four just becomes a mess. Producer Toshifumi Nabeshiba said that development of Verdict Day saw the team focus on its online component as well as renewing its overall game design, and that is visible through the game's new Operator mode. Here, players indirectly engage in battle against other players by commanding a squad of AI-driven Armored Cores -- mechs -- which was also referred to as an "AI counter-system." Through this, players that may not otherwise be able to keep with the best in the game can now have a fighting chance in participating in the action. "[An operator's] role is to search for the enemy, analyze the enemy information and give a command to his Armored Core's based on that information," Nabeshiba said before calling this gameplay "real-time simulator." The AI mechs can have specialties, like in close-range combat, for instance, and the more you play the more powerful mechs you can acquire. Customization is also a big part of Verdict Day, Nabeshiba added, and during the demo a new transforming weapon type was shown off, which can go back and forth from being a melee weapon to firing bullets and projectiles. "We believe that by introducing new parts and categories, we'll give players more options for battle and battle strategies," he said. Armored Core: Verdict Day is a brand new entry in the franchise, and not an expansion of Armored Core V, Nabeshiba assured, and is due out later this year. If you somehow couldn't tell from this hands-off look, I love, love, looove Chromehounds, and I am ecstatic to see the gameplay mechanics from that cult classic infiltrate the Armored Core series.  Whenever this three-faction war decides to enlist, I'll be damned if I'm not one of the first enrollments.
Armored Core: Verdict Day photo
A three-faction war rages on
Back in early 2006 there was not much going for the Xbox 360 in regards to engrossing online play. There was Ghost Recon: Advanced Warfighter, which was great, but that was it. That is, however, until the release of From Soft...

Dark Souls II's director talks freedom and accessibility

Apr 09 // Keith Swiader
Freedom "In terms of freedom what we mean is Dark Souls 1 had this seamlessly connected world with free exploration, and we tried to enhance that further to provide more options for the players to choose from and decide how he or she wants to play based on their play styles," Tanimura said. Such options include environmental tactics, where players will be able to use traps that are laid out throughout the world in order to take down their foes. From Software is also utilizing a new engine that they hope will allow players to become more immersed into the world than ever before, with feelings of "nervousness" and "fright" flowing through them as they face the game's challenges. Yikes! Streamlining and accessibility?! When the words "accessible" or "streamline" are spoken in a sentence that regards a Souls game, fans begin to die a little bit on the inside. The thought of a Souls game losing its brutal difficulty is downright preposterous, as that, along with its beautiful environments, is what draws fans to each release. So when Tanimura says that From Software is looking to make Dark Souls II more accessible, you may think there's cause for alarm. Thankfully, that isn't the case. "So, just to clarify, when we said the word 'accessible,' I'm sure there were people who took that as the game becoming a little bit easier, which is not the case," he said. If the gameplay presentation I saw is anything to go by, this statement is definitely true, as I witnessed more than a handful of deaths within a mere 20 minutes. "But what we did mean was we wanted to, after a lot of feedback from the community and fans, streamline the experience so that we take away a lot of the tedious or, pain in the ass aspects that were in the original Dark Souls," Tanimura added. While the exact definition of this concept remained quite vague, even after the presentation and discussion, Tanimura noted examples such as the "unnecessary need to move from one area to the next" in order to progress the game, the removal of backtracking, and the refinement of bonfire checkpoints. "So one of the things that we're thinking of doing is, in Dark Souls 1, the warping from bonfire to bonfire, you can only use it in certain locations in the later half of the game. But for Dark Souls II we're starting to think of bringing that right to the beginning so it's more convenient for players -- to a certain extent -- instead of having to walk all the way back to an area to get where you need to be," he said. If you're still not convinced that Dark Souls II will be as excruciatingly challenging as past games, Tanimura assured that the game won't feature the likes of an easy mode. From Software is instead working toward reaching the fine balance between difficulty and achievement -- a primary goal for the team -- and will continue to work toward that balance right up to the game's release later this year. Tanimura said it's all about making sure players continue to have enough sense of accomplishment throughout Dark Souls II so that they play through its entirety, and not make it "unfair" or "unconquerable." The network will be server-based And that's about the short and skinny of this aspect, as Tanimura said From Software was not ready to reveal more information on Dark Souls II's network capabilities at the moment. He did say, however, that servers are new for the Souls series, and that they hope to utilize this mechanic to provide a smoother online experience. Being developed on PC, Dark Souls II looked great in the demonstration I saw, and the direction in which From Software is taking the series sounds rather promising. 
Dark Souls II photo
An informal discussion with director Yui Tanimura
So, you saw the gameplay reveal yesterday, you saw the screenshots, and yet, you still want more Dark Souls II. Of course! Why wouldn't you?! Well, good news for you, as it just so happens a round-table discussion with Dark S...

Evoland photo
The possibility is being discussed 'regularly'
Evoland, an exploration of adventure games' evolution from independent developer Shiro Games, is currently available for PC through Steam and GOG.com, with an iOS release due later this month. However, given the nature of the...

BlazBlue photo
BlazBlue

BlazBlue team targeting PS4 for new fighting series


It's 'who Arc System Works is,' says producer
Apr 05
// Keith Swiader
Arc System Works has their sights set on the PlayStation 4 as the platform to debut another new fighting series to the world, according to a Shoryuken-translated Dengeki interview with BlazBlue producer Toshimichi Mori. ...
Grand Theft Auto photo
Grand Theft Auto

Liberty City/Vice City Stories now on PlayStation Store


May help ease the wait for Grand Theft Auto V
Apr 03
// Keith Swiader
The catalog of downloadable PlayStation 2 titles on the PlayStation Store increases by two today, as Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories and Vice City Stories are now available in North America and Europe for $9.99/€9...
Advance Wars photo
The Fog of War clears just a tad
With Fire Emblem: Awakening released on 3DS and seeing quite the success, many may be wondering what that could mean for developer Intelligent Systems' other franchise, Advance Wars. When inquired about the possibility of a n...

Road Rash Reboot photo
Road Rash Reboot

Road Rash reboot now being discussed, says designer


Programmer/co-designer responds to fan reaction
Mar 15
// Keith Swiader
Following the stir caused by Road Rash programmer/co-designer Dan Geisler's Reddit post about the possibility of a series reboot comes a promising reply to the fan response. "I am amazed at the level of interest in the remake...
The Conduit HD photo
The Conduit HD

The Conduit HD now available for Tegra 3 devices


Has multiple purchasing options
Mar 15
// Keith Swiader
The Conduit HD, a high-definition re-release of High Voltage Software's Wii-exclusive first-person shooter, is now available for Tegra 3-optimized Android devices on Google's Play Store. Along with the visual upgrade, the gam...
Samsung Galaxy photo
Samsung Galaxy

Samsung unveils Galaxy S4 Bluetooth controller


Bears a striking resemblance to that other controller
Mar 15
// Keith Swiader
Samsung yesterday showed off its new Galaxy Bluetooth controller at the Galaxy S4 Unpacked event in New York City, where the company unveiled its new flagship phone. The controller, referred to as the "Game Arcade," will see ...
Open Beta photo
Open Beta

Tactical Intervention now in open beta


Full game launches March 28
Mar 14
// Keith Swiader
Tactical Intervention, Counter-Strike co-creator Minh "Gooseman" Le's free-to-play first-person shooter, is now available to play in open beta, with the full game to launch March 28. No keys are required to participate in the...
Unreal Engine 4 photo
Unreal Engine 4

Spec Ops developer licenses Unreal Engine 4 for next game


Next-gen game to be unveiled 'in the coming months'
Mar 14
// Keith Swiader
Spec Ops: The Line developer Yager today announced their licensing of Epic Games' Unreal Engine 4, making them the first independent studio to do so in Europe. Yager will utilize the new engine on their next project, "a ...
Road Rash Reboot photo
Road Rash Reboot

Road Rash to resurface if there's demand, says designer


Programmer/co-designer takes to Reddit
Mar 13
// Keith Swiader
A new entry in the long-absent motorcycle racing series Road Rash could be a possibility if there's enough demand for it, programmer/co-designer Dan Geisler said on Reddit. When a post raised the question as to why ...
Skyrim Statue photo
Skyrim Statue

Limited Dragonborn statues are hand-crafted, pricey


1/6th scale replica with hand-crafted armor
Mar 13
// Keith Swiader
If your mantel is in need of a protector from pesky dragons, then look no further than artist Alejandro Pereira's 1/6 scale replica statue of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim's Dovahkiin, the Dragonborn. This hand-crafted, hand-pa...
Xbox 360 bundle photo
Xbox 360 bundle

Xbox 360 spring bundle shipping in US today


Available for a limited time
Feb 28
// Keith Swiader
Microsoft today announced a new Xbox 360 bundle that is shipping to select major US retailers today. The "Spring Value Bundle" is a $299 package that includes a 250GB Xbox 360 console, a wireless controller, a physical copy o...
Wii U GamePad photo
Wii U GamePad

Nintendo selling replacement Wii U GamePads for $150


Best take care of your current one
Feb 27
// Keith Swiader
It's probably a good idea to take extreme care of your current Wii U GamePad, as a replacement from Nintendo will cost you $150, according to one NeoGAF user. User nbthedude shared his story on the forum, along with his recei...
3DS Patent Case photo
3DS Patent Case

3D patent infringement case against Nintendo now underway


Inventor claims the gaming giant used his technology
Feb 27
// Keith Swiader
Opening arguments in a patent infringement trial against Nintendo took place in U.S. District Court on Monday, as an inventor accused the gaming giant of using his glasses-free 3D technology to develop the 3DS handheld. The i...
RE6 DLC photo
RE6 DLC

Resident Evil 6's Siege mode, DLC bundles out next week


Will you siege the new content?
Feb 27
// Keith Swiader
Siege, the latest multiplayer mode for Resident Evil 6, will release on March 5 for Xbox 360 and March 6 for PlayStation 3, Capcom announced. As per the other mode releases, Siege will cost 320 Microsoft Points, or $3.99/&nbs...
Nintendo 3DS photo
Nintendo 3DS

Two new 3DS colors hitting Japan


Coupled with increased storage, too!
Feb 27
// Keith Swiader
Two new 3DS flavors will release in Japan on March 20, Nintendo revealed: Light Blue and Gloss Pink. The new colors apply to the original 3DS design, and come packed with a 4GB SDHC memory card instead of the traditional 2GB ...
 photo

Wii Mini launching in UK March 22


New Nintendo Selects titles, too!
Feb 26
// Keith Swiader
The Wii Mini, the $99 redesigned Wii console that launched in Canada last December, will release in the UK on March 22, Nintendo today announced. The console retains the new matte black and red aesthetic found in th...
Most Wanted DLC photo
Most Wanted DLC

Need for Speed Heroes, Movie Legends DLC out today


A huge day for Need for Speed: Most Wanted
Feb 26
// Keith Swiader
In addition to today's release of the Terminal Velocity expansion pack for Need for Speed: Most Wanted, two new themed car packs are also available: Need for Speed Heroes and Need for Speed Movie Legends. The Heroes pack...

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