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Did you like Star Trek: Voyager? I know I did. And from the looks of things, Cryptic Studios does, too, as the newest big update of Star Trek Online titled "Season 9: A New Accord", involves quite a bit of content straight from the Delta Quadrant.
The update, which has just gone live on the servers, introduces new episode missions featuring Tuvok from Voyager (voiced by Tim Russ himself), and new zones where players can band together to fight off the Undine, a race of three-legged CGI freaks known in the show as Species 8472. Playable Undine starships and Undine-inspired gear have been added, as well as events involving everything from destroying Undine superweapons in orbit to conducting investigations to uncover shapeshifting infiltrators. Fans of STO miffed about its ongoing storyline of war between the Klingons and Federation might even be chuffed to find that that very war may be coming to a close. Of course, the resulting peace is probably more the kind of lull you get when factions declare truce to fight a bigger threat, but at least that thread may be taken care of, finally.
Folks looking for other content aren't entirely out in the cold, either, as Season 9 brings big updates to high-level play via revamps to the reputation system and ground combat kits. Several single-player missions involving the Borg have been "remastered", and newl character customization options are aimed at adding greater ethnic diversity, as well. Most visibly, the main hub area for Federation players, Earth Spacedock, has been overhauled entirely, and now looks quite a bit better.
Check out the trailer above for more info about the new changes, and below for an update on the game's story so far.
Windy the Fairy has crash landed in Peggle 2 as the newest master, and she also happens to be a $2 piece of DLC. It's not just a character pack though, as you'll net 10 new story levels (which can be used in multiplayer), 10 trials, more achievements, and extra costumes.
Windy is a no-nonsense character -- in other words, there's no cryptic Big Lewbowski homages here -- she's just a cute fairy who loves the color purple. This is reflected in her power, which allows you turn other pegs into purple bonuses right after you hit a green power peg. As any Peggle fan knows this power is pretty huge, as it's not situational -- it's good for every situation.
Peggle is such a lighthearted game that calling her "overpowered" would be a stretch, but the fact that she morphs four pegs per use of her power (and the screen freezes for a second to allow you to hit them that round), and that they don't go away is major.
Her levels (which take place in an area called Hallelujah Hollow) aren't anything to write home about, but they offer up the ability to score pretty huge bonuses with lots of slides, which will rack up major points when coupled with her power. In other words, don't expect anything challenging here if you're yearning for something more.
I already thought Peggle 2 was absolutely worth the price of entry, but there was a lack of characters that hurt the prospect of long term play. As long as PopCap can facilitate the release of characters as fun (and cheap, pricewise) as Windy, I don't think we have anything to worry about.
After almost two years of wringing my sweaty little hands and looking at screenshots like a schlub, I finally got to take Watch Dogs for a spin last week. After hacking into steam pipes and blowing up cars for two hours, I took a moment to chat with the game's creative director Jonathan Morin.
Video solutions company Qwilt has released some stats on Twitch today that show that the streaming site has become one of the top live streaming sites in the United States, outpacing ESPN, NBC Sports, and even YouTube's live division. They have 45 million viewers each month, which is crazy. These people spend an average of 106 minutes a day watching video on Twitch.
They have 43 percent share of the total live streaming game. I didn't know that WWE was second on the list!
Twitch, can I borrow, like, $200?
If you're interested, Qwilt has a hefty pile of related infographics, though some of it is boring tech solutions stuff.
Because of Ubisoft's persistent insistence on "blending single- and multiplayer experiences," this Watch Dogs video doesn't so much show you a multiplayer mode, but rather what you can expect from others as you play the game. As there are always other people in Watch Dogs, and other people are always jerks, you can expect that other people will be jerks in Watch Dogs and try to hack you.
In all honestly, this facet of the game looks kind of neat in moderation. A little cat and mouse game, somewhat reminiscent of Assassin's Creed's multiplayer, but with some modern tech touches like taking control of surveillance cameras. Now, if other players are constantly hacking you, this will probably get old quickly.
And, really dude? You hid in a taco truck? When I see one of those, it's literally the first place I'm going.
Sweet slumber comes with game music, I've found. I've always had sleeping soundtracks to listen to when I'm traveling or just need to chill out. I love to sleep to orchestral JRPGs, arranged albums, and 16-bit classics, and I've had more than one videogame-type dream from falling asleep to them.
Scarlet Moon Records has taken some of the best tracks ever to sleep to and put them in Prescription for Sleep: Game Music Lullabies. Norihiko Hibino, known for his work on the Metal Gear Solid series, including the fan favorite song "Snake Eater," joins pianist AYAKI in covering some of the best sleepy songs in gaming. Expect pieces from Donkey Kong Country, Secret of Mana, NieR, and Demon's Souls, among others. The full track list will be released on May 19.
Slightly Mad Studios has put out a new trailer for Project Cars, a racing sim with graphics so good the studio felt it necessary to include a little "All footage shown is taken from in-game" disclaimer. (I genuinely love it when trailers for average-looking games say that.)
Now, this is coming to a bunch of platforms in November -- Xbox One, PC, PlayStation 4, and Wii U -- so results are surely going to vary when it comes to visual fidelity. But that's not everything and from the sound of it, Project Cars has things under control in the gameplay department too.
Occasionally, I'll find the allure of racing sims too much to resist despite knowing full well what's about to happen next. I'll buy one anyway -- then it hits me. "Oh, right. I'm terrible at these games."
For those who aren't aware, Universal Fighting System is a line of card games that functions as a battle game, with an additional collecting element. Their newest tie-in is Mega Man, and the collaborative effort that resulted in both Mega Man and Proto Man collectiable tins has launched this week for $30 per set.
You can find them all over at various hobby sites, but eBay Store listings are probably the best bet for many of you out there. To be honest I couldn't care less about the game itself, I just picked one up for the sweet tin and the high quality card artwork.
Following its big gameplay reveal of H1Z1, Sony Online Entertainment has detailed what the developers have come up with so far for the PS4 and PC open-world zombie survival game's monetization strategy. SOE president John Smedley gave a breakdown on reddit:
Wearables will be sold, but players can "find and craft a lot of stuff." If someone kills and loots another player's gear, they'll be able to wear it for a few deaths. "Station Cash wearables won't degrade at all."
Guns, ammo, food, water, and boosts impacting these won't be sold.
Extra emotes beyond "the basics," which will be free.
Crates containing "random cool stuff from the store" can be found in H1Z1. "We're considering letting you see what's in them before you buy a key (ala Dota 2.). This idea isn't fully locked yet."
These concepts are of course subject to change and the team is taking feedback. So far, so good. Even if I'm not interested in playing existing open-world zombie games right now -- much less new titles along the lines of H1Z1 -- I can appreciate the transparency shown here.
I'll fully admit that when I was younger, I had disdain for Luigi.
Hey! I grew out of it eventually. But for whatever reason, I associated Luigi with the second controller slot, also known as the dreaded "player two." Since people usually came over to my house to play games, I always wanted to be player one with my boy Mario. For years I would never willingly choose Luigi, going so far as to shun him in Mario 2 even when I had the choice (Peach rocked anyway). Now, I go out of my way to choose Luigi over Mario.
But I was thinking recently -- these days, it doesn't really matter one bit. Outside of Nintendo games, contemporary titles are dumping local multiplayer left or right. Online, everyone is player one. There's no epic fight over something as menial as a controller slot with your friends or siblings, you just log on, and you're always in-charge. There's a lot of good in that, but one very unique piece of gaming culture is disappearing more and more each passing year.
So I ask you -- did you ever have an affinity towards Mario or Luigi? Did it make you seethe with anger when someone stole your character, which is simply dictated by a slot?
European PlayStation Plus members will have plenty to play throughout May. I'm trying hard not to be jealous of their next batch of free titles -- to just be happy for them -- but that's a nigh impossible task. Not when they're getting Puppeteer (PS3), Payday 2 (PS3), Stick it to the Man! (PS4), Muramasa Rebirth (PS Vita), and Everybody's Golf (PS Vita) on April 30.
You're probably already familiar with Japan Studio's neat-looking platformer Puppeteer, the stylish Vanillaware action game Muramasa Rebirth, and the co-op heists of Payday 2. So I'll make this quick and say that PS4 owners will want to dive into Stick it to the Man! straight away.
I have this thing about breath. I'm not so concerned about those that just had coffee or ate roasted garlic. It's more about the people with the breath that lets you know that they just don't bother to brush. That breath. That breath that goes beyond food or funk. It's like the pure smell of human innards and rot. Look, you only get one chance for a first impression. And more importantly, you only get one set of teeth.
To be honest, toothbrushing game Grush doesn't look like something I'd want to play. But it might work on your kids so they don't have to grow up to be the type of person that has people taking a step back or facing away when they talk. It's motion sensor and wireless link to mobile devices helps it to gameify mouth cleaning, letting kids conduct an orchestra, or pet a giraffe. That's great. Cute. But would kids really dig this?
What about one for adults, the ones with the worst breath? Maybe a cover-based first-person shooter -- quick, pull down to bottom teeth to duck. Wait...hold your fire. Now shoot. Brush. Shoot! Or a roguelike where you have to start in the back left corner of your mouth, brushing to make sure plaque monsters are defeated before moving to the next tooth.
I don't know. And worst name ever, right? But great idea. If you're like me and hate bad breath, check out Grush's IndieGoGo. It looks like they're well on their way to their goal already.
The delay of Ubisoft Montreal's new open world IP, Watch Dogs, surprised many. With only a month away from launch, and a rather bold marketing push for the holiday season, Ubisoft appeared ready, but then we found it wasn't. At all. It's not too often you see publishers holding back a game's release to further development, and it's certainly admirable of them to be so honest.
"The game wasn't finished," said lead game designer Danny Belanger rather bluntly. "You see all the content we have, there was a lot of different parts of it that were not at the level we wanted -- so it was hard, there was a lot of others reasons too, but at the end of the day, we didn't want to release the game in state we weren't happy with."
With its May release approaching, Ubisoft is ready to unveil its upcoming open world action title, and the publisher invited the press to get plenty of hands-on time with the game. As you can tell with title, I came away pretty pleased, though I have some reservations still.
Sad story: I was supposed to be on the 2014 Train Jam, which is a game jam that took place on a train traveling from Chicago, IL to San Francisco, CA. I'm not a programmer, but I am a creative, and a decent composer. The plan was to cover the event while making music for all the games that came from the other jammers on board. But I had some scheduling conflicts that had me missing out. Friends are still telling me how great it was.
It's not as nice as being there, but at least I can play the games they made on Train Jam 2014. Developers from all over made some pretty interesting stuff on the 52 hour ride, and it's all free for you to play.
Infamous: Second Son is ending its Paper Trail DLC run this week, and before people finish the final chapter and get disappointed, developer Sucker Punch has confirmed that there is no new "Paper Power" that's unlocked as a result.
You will, however, unlock Celia's mask and four custom jacket outfits if you complete all six episodes, which is something. All in all, a new power would be great for roaming the world weeks down the line, but I'm pretty satisfied with Second Son overall.