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Uncanny Valley photo
And it looks good and spooky
I got a bit of a The Shining (stylistically crossed with Gods Will Be Watching) vibe in this trailer for Uncanny Valley, but that quickly jumped to more overtly terrifying fare. Still impressive when a pixel art, 2D game can...

Madden NFL 15 photo
Madden NFL 15

Madden 15's overly serious teaser to remind you it's coming


I bet you saw that coming
Apr 28
// Steven Hansen
So, last year was Madden NFL 25, and this year is Madden NFL 15? I can't wait for Madden NFL -5. Integers are fun, kids. Anyway, here's a self-important trailer. Reminder: this is a game. It's a game of a game. Madden 15 is coming to PS4, Xbox One, PS3, and 360 on August 26 in North America, August 29 in Europe. Voting for the next cover player begins May 8.
New pac-Man photo
New pac-Man

Namco has made another Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures


Pac it in, man
Apr 22
// Steven Hansen
Coming to PS3, 360, Wii U, and 3DS this fall, a sequel to "an emotionless venture that's devoid of any soul or effort." I guess Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures, which is based on the new Pac-Man television series, did well enough to warrant a sequel.

Namco takes Gundam Vs gameplay west with F2P Rise of Incarnates

Apr 22 // Steven Hansen
Rise of Incarnates (PC)Developers: Bandai NamcoPublisher: Bandai NamcoRelease: 2014 Rise of Incarnates will feature more than four at launch, but we were shown Mephistopheles (a transforming character), Ares (a summoner), Lilith (an agile transformer), and Grim Reaper. The latter is the best because he summons zombies and can ride on a tidal wave of them. These character designs come from Soul Calibur and Tekken veterans who have teamed up with Gundam Vs. veterans for Rise of Incarnates. It's going the fighting game route of having its four payer battle arenas staged in famous cities -- London, Paris -- so hopefully we get a little less gray throughout the rest of post apocalyptia.  [embed]273576:53529:0[/embed] "We've been developing this game for some years now and we've done a lot of market research as well. Some of the gameplay mechanics we found were still viable to western audiences, we kept and refined, but a lot of times we discarded them for something completely new. A large portion of the game is quite different from Gundam," Rise  and Gundam Vs. producer Ryuichiro Baba explained.  It also runs in a different engine. Because it's a "new game for a new audience," there will be some general streamlining of more technical aspects of Gundam Vs. "The depth is still there, but it's more accessible." A familiar promise.  "Fans who played the Gundam Vs. series, they'll be able to pick it up and they'll get it pretty quickly," but the simplicity of the controls, standard across the characters, should allow anyone to try it out. "It's not like fighting games where you have to spend quite a bit of time learning the moves and such [for each individual character]." Rise of Incarnates has been in development for several years. Namco Bandai sees itself as a late comer to the free-to-play market and, because of this, it has seen and learned from the missteps of its peers, explaining it was, "very sensitive about what users want," and would continue to iterate based on player feedback. The first step was the most obvious: the monetization is largely cosmetic (buying outfits), side-stepping the "pay to win" stigma. But messing up that one at this point is like stepping on a rake. The real question will be if Rise of Incarnates can avoid an entire obstacle course worth of rakes. You can get some idea when it enters alpha testing.
Namco's new F2P IP photo
But leaves the Gundams
The 2 on 2 Gundam vs. Gundam series is as big in Japan as that full-scale Gundam model in Tokyo. It's also big on the Destructoid Forum, in that one Gundam fan keeps explaining how it's the best fighting game and tries to get...

Preview: Grid Autosport's San Francisco needs steeper hills

Apr 22 // Steven Hansen
Grid Autosport (PlayStation 3, Xbox 360)Developers: CodemastersPublisher: Bandai NamcoRelease: June 24, 2014 I don't know a lot about the finer points of racing games. That's Dale's wheelhouse. Har har. But I do know San Francisco, so I had to put the San Francisco street course through its paces. What you have is an admirable representation of downtown -- specifically, the Ferry Building and the Bay Bridge -- that bleeds into a more forced, inaccurate version of Chinatown with race-appropriate wide streets. And San Francisco's endless hills are represented, but they are not as steep as they should be. The result is what Grid Autosport is going for in being "not an arcade racer," but not a "clinical" sim racer, either. The landmark-pocked pastiche of San Francisco is a fun course to race on in a racing game. It's homage without being slavishly realistic. [embed]273531:53534:0[/embed] Grid Autosport's menu is minimal, mostly black and white. There are five race styles to partake in. Touring Cars is a battle with aggressive AI on typical racetrack. Street Racing plops you down in places like San Francisco and Washington D.C. Endurance Competitions are long (around 10 minutes) night races where you have to weigh things like tire wear into your play style decisions. Tuner has drifting and time attacks. Open-wheel puts you behind powerful, delicate machines that will see you fishtail if you take corners badly. In career mode, you choose a discipline to race in, which can be changed at the end of each season. You join a team and worry about hitting objectives while your team AI handles things like car upgrades and your racing partner (though you can set their AI in-race). The idea is to race well and get picked up by better teams. If you decide to try (and do well in) all the disciplines, you'll be invited to a lengthy competition that includes them all together. This is a pared down departure from Grid 2, but "without ripping the fun out of the experience." There are difficulty settings (if you are capable of playing at higher difficulty, you get more rewards and can advance through the career faster) and the Flashback rewind button for taking a mulligan on mistakes. If only that was a thing in real life. I had to use it a lot when I played. I kept taking corners just too fast or accidentally barreling into other cars while trying out Touring. I don't think I placed in the top five once. But it didn't feel insurmountable, and I think I would, as someone not well-versed, still enjoy playing and feeling out the finer points of handling and other race strategies. All the jostling was a pain when I was getting knocked about, but when I got a good handle at jostling back, it felt darn good. I'll definitely need more practice at finding the right speeds to take different corners in open-wheel racing. I was fishtailing like crazy. Autosport, which came about from a lot of dedicated fan feedback and collaboration with professional racers, is also doing a lot of community-focused things with Codemasters' RaceNet site. Social clubs are clan equivalents and clubs gain experience from member performance, ranking up collectively, along with custom livery and their own pages to check out the club's collective stats. In online play, your cars earn experience used to unlock tuning options, but they also accumulate wear and tear. The cars you've been racing well with are better, but maintaining a newer car not put through its paces costs less. To go with the 12 player online play, there's also 2 player local splitscreen. Now I'm going to go drive my real car like a real man to a real grocery store to buy some real cookies. 
Autosport preview photo
Be a good autosport and fetch daddy's carburetor so he can make his joke
Hot on the heels of last year's GRID 2, Codemasters is coming back with GRID Autosport, a "celebration of pure, unadulterated motorsport." This is going to be less of an arcade racer than GRID 2 ended up being, but without d...

A head in the poles: Project Totem is platforming fun

Apr 11 // Steven Hansen
Project Totem (Xbox 360, Xbox One)Developers: Press PlayPublisher: Microsoft StudiosRelease: Fall 2014 Project Totem is called Project Totem because you play as severed rungs in a totem pole. Simple enough. But you plays as rungs, plural, with an 's.' That's how plurals are made. In some languages. Anyway. That's where there's a nice twist, as you control two totems simultaneously. The minimalist style doesn't default to pixel art or faux 8-bit. Rather, the inspiration stems from graphic design, so expect menus full pleasing colors and nice triangles. I hear blue is calming. The gameplay, on the other hand, owes itself to some classic design and a few contemporaries; for example, doing what Super Meat Boy still deserves credit for, it gets you back into the action fast post death. And unless you're super talented and handsome and great at cooking like me, you may be dying often. Sometimes you're meant to as fast paced portions are designed to mess with you and trip you up on routine movements. It's not broken or malicious. It just plays on how we can get psyched out in platformers before muscle memory helps us breeze through.Anticipate jumps that aren't there. In that sense, Project Totem is a bit like two different games. Much of the first run through involves learning how to work the puzzles. You start with consistent movement on your totems, making jumps in time, but alternating terrain occasionally loses perfect reflection and you have to be aware of where they both are. It only gets more complex. There are colored gates that only the same colored totem can get through requiring a button press to swap spots, sometimes quick and often. There are also bits of magnetism that will attract or repel totems, which go beyond walking on the ceiling. Often you have to jump large gaps with momentum, repel the totem away, and attract it back before you're carried into a hazard. Sometimes you're oscillating back and forth for a while. You'll also get stackable totems of the same color, double jumps, and a couple other abilities. Once you can nail the levels as puzzles, you can work on the equally satisfying prospect of speed running and time trials to propel yourself on the leaderboards. All runs earn you totems that stack on your personal, growing pole. And you can compare your pole to all your friends' and see whose is bigger. But it's not just whose is bigger. The better the run -- faster times and fewer deaths -- the better your totem reward. It's the difference between a blinging totem and a piece of plywood. There will also be a daily challenge wherein one winner takes home a special totem piece. The team also hopes to implement ghost data to race against directly, but doesn't want to spoil puzzles. Leaderboards will be there at the least. There's a separate co-op mode -- local only -- available at the onset where you'll both control a couple totems and have to work together to get through levels. Communication and coordination is key. Or telepathy.   I fell into Project Totem's rhythm quickly and happily. All those years of ill-advised multitasking and split attention paid off. Who says you can't text and drive?
Preview: Totem photo
Can't beat that headline
Press Play proved it can make a platformer with Max and the Curse of Brotherhood, but it wasn't meant to test your muscle memory and invite speed running. It was a colorful adventure with some charm and plenty of stopping for...

Natty Doc photo
Natty Doc

SRPG Natural Doctrine coming to North America, Europe


Valkyria Chronicles-esque PS3/PS4/Vita SRPG from Patapon director
Apr 02
// Steven Hansen
Natural Doctrine -- Natty Doc to its friends -- is getting a digital and physical western release after its release in Japan today. The PS4, PS3, and Vita strategy RPG from Patapon director Atsushi Ii is coming courtesy of N...
Momodora III photo
Momodora III

Like Cave Story? Greenlight the adorable Momodora III


Momodorable
Mar 20
// Steven Hansen
Old school action platformer Momodora III has gone up on Steam Greenlight and it's looking cute as heck. Give it a vote, why don't you. You can also play the first two Momodora games for free. They're available for download on Bombservice's website.
New Minority game! photo
New Minority game!

Papo & Yo developer is working on another new game, Cali


A tragic love story for all you Her fans out there
Mar 20
// Steven Hansen
The wonderful Papo & Yo was successful enough for Minority Media to start production on a new game, Silent Enemy, which we haven't seen too much about in the year since its vague announcement. It appears Minority is also ...
Race the Sun photo
Race the Sun

Race the Sun coming cross-buy to PS3, PS4, Vita


Racer? I hardly even know her!
Mar 14
// Steven Hansen
Race the Sun is on its way to PS3, PS4, and Vita this summer. It will be cross-buy and cross-save, meaning you buy it once and can access it on all three and, if you have a Vita, you can take your saves on the go because of Transfarring. I miss Transfarring. Race the Sun? More like Race the Fun.
Duelyst photo
Duelyst

Ex-Blizzard, Insomniac dev working on tactical, turn-based Duelyst


With art from Rogue Legacy lead artist Glauber Kotak
Mar 13
// Steven Hansen
This game looks amazing. Duelyst, which I'm too in awe of to poke at the "y" in the title, started as a tabletop game that the team at newly formed Counterplay Games decided to turn into a videogame. That vision has come stu...
Angry Birds Epic photo
Angry Birds Epic

Angry Bards: The next Angry Birds is a turn-based RPG


Angry Birds Epic
Mar 12
// Steven Hansen
If Angry Birds Stella was Rovio playing it safe (make the same game but the bird is pink, that way girls will know it's for them even though girls and everyone else already play Angry Birds), the newly announced Angry Birds E...

Two new Razer laptops offer power and profile at a premium

Mar 12 // Steven Hansen
Razer Blade Pro (17") The Razer Blade Pro is in an iterative year. Of course there has been an obsessive attention to making the laptop more powerful, abetted by Nvidia's Maxwell generation Geforce GTX 860M. With what is seen as the fastest mobile GPU, the Pro has seen 46 percent higher benchmark performance.  With the 860M comes a host of Nvidia Geforce features. ShadowPlay allows for easy live streaming to Twitch and ten-minute buffered game capture without performance issues while GameStream allows streaming from the Pro to a remote display. Nvidia's Battery Boost, meanwhile, can reportedly double battery life. Locking the frame rate to 30 will help with that as well. Doubled RAM (now 16GB) and a fourth-generation Intel i7 have all been jammed into the Pro's consistent form factor. Razer is also pushing its Switchblade UI. The touch pad on the Pro is also a screen, which you can use to browse Twitter or watch YouTube -- even while you're playing a game. It's all customizable and Razer has more partnerships in the works with applications. A new Twitch app lets you watch streams on the little screen and even chat while the Windows 8 Charm app tries to pare down the new OS. Razer even co-developed a DJ app with electronic/dance artist Afrojack.  It starts at $2,299. Razer Blade (14") Here's where things get crazier. The (relatively) cheaper 14" Razer Blade started at $400 less last year. We expect technology to go down in price. I think we still do. I still do, anyway. But an edge-to-edge glass 3200 x 1800 10-point capacitive multi-touch display doesn't come cheap. And it looks incredible, thanks also to a 250 percent improved contrast ratio and 160-degree viewing angle on both axes. In his review, Dale was disappointed with the Blade's lack of vibrancy and color in its display, particularly, "compared with Apple's MacBook Pro Retina." Razer clearly took that criticism to heart, delivering the highest resolution 14" laptop display there is. Somehow Razer managed to squeeze that ludicrous touch display -- does that really make Windows 8 that much more usable? -- into its flagship gaming laptop without sacrificing its claims of being the thinnest and lightest in its field. ".7 inches thin," Razer explains in the same way my mother talks about how many "years young" she is. Sei vecchio, va bene. The new Blade uses Nvidia's GTX 870M, a fourth-generation Intel i7, and a bunch of other computer parts (specs are on site, naturally) to deliver around 65 percent benchmark improvements. Which means when Battlefield 4 crashed, it wasn't the computer's fault, and Sleeping Dogs looked more vivid than ever and all I want to do now is play it more. The average FPS at 3200 x 1800 during its benchmark was over 50. You could probably run that on the battery for longer than my laptop will play a movie with the display turned off (critical warnings before one True Detective episode finished).  It starts at $2,199.
Razer's new laptops photo
Razer? I hardly even know her!
Every time I see a razor blade in person I have to pick it up. Those things are dangerous and shouldn't be left lying about. Kids could put them in their mouth or pigeons could weaponize them. Maybe mobsters will smuggle them...

The Masterplan photo
The Masterplan

What if Nixon ditched the gold standard because you stole it all?


The Masterplan
Mar 10
// Steven Hansen
Three former Disney Interactive developers have gotten together to form the much better named Shark Punch. On that there website (or embedded above) you can see a teaser for The Masterplan, a 70's styled heist game wherein y...
Gone to consoles photo
Gone to consoles

Gone Home going to consoles this fall


Go home again
Mar 10
// Steven Hansen
Majesco's indie publishing label Midnight City is bringing last year's surprise hit Gone Home to consoles later this fall, it has announced. Details on which consoles it will release for and when exactly are not yet availabl...
Last of Us live action photo
Last of Us live action

Start your dream casting: They're making a Last of Us movie


How about Ellen Page as Ellie?
Mar 06
// Steven Hansen
Distributor Screen Gems is teaming with Sam Raimi and his Ghost House Pictures production company to produce a live-action Last of Us movie, Deadline reports. Last of Us co-director and writer Neil Druckmann will pen the scri...
Guacamelee photo
Guacamelee

Guacamelee: Super Turbo Championship Edition coming soon


Updated release to add new content
Mar 05
// Conrad Zimmerman
A new version of Guacamelee has been announced. Along with the above trailer, IGN is reporting that the Super Turbo Championship Edition will bundle in all of the existing DLC for Guacamelee into one release w...
Rise of Mana photo
Rise of Mana

New Secret of Mana is a free-to-play mobile game


Competing with Capcom's Breath of Fire VI as biggest fan disappointment?
Feb 26
// Steven Hansen
Square Enix is releasing free-to-play (with microtransactions!) action-RPG Rise of Mana to iOS later this week in Japan. Controller support will be added somewhere down the line and an Android port is coming this summer. Man...
Mario's Galaxy 5 photo
Mario's Galaxy 5

Samsung announces Galaxy 5 in ridiculously-named colors


And a weird bumpy exterior
Feb 24
// Steven Hansen
Can I be on the committee that names the colors for cars and tech? Samsung's new Galaxy comes in "shimmery white, electric blue, and copper gold." It also has other features.  Copper gold? C'mon. Get creative. What's nex...
Titan Invasion photo
Titan Invasion

Titan Invasion announced for PS4, PS3, Vita


Cross-buy!
Feb 19
// Steven Hansen
No, it's not a ploy to trick people into thinking they're buying Titanfall. Titan Invasion is a collection of two indie PC games; the Space Invaders-styled Titan Attacks!, which won me over with its well-done trailer (above)...
Traverser trailer photo
Traverser trailer

Stealth puzzle game Traverser looks great


Traverser? I hardly even know her!
Feb 11
// Steven Hansen
Gatling Goat Studios' Traverser stars Valerie Bennett, the traverser with the ability to swap between the mirrored Uppertown and Lowertown, the two sides of an underground city connected together by gravity plates. The city,...
Muraski Baby photo
Muraski Baby

Creepy child dragging game Murasaki Baby coming to NA


That's North America, not Nipple Academy
Feb 11
// Steven Hansen
The dark, twisted game from Italian studio Ovosonico, Murasaki Baby, is coming to Vita in North America. You'll be tasked with guiding Baby back to her mother and away from terrifying nose monsters that are chasing her aroun...
XBlaze Code: Embryo photo
XBlaze Code: Embryo

BlazBlue visual novel coming to PS3/Vita in North America


XBlaze Code: Embryo
Feb 11
// Steven Hansen
XBlaze Code: Embryo is a visual novel set 200 years before the events of BlazBlue.  XBlaze tells the story of Touya Kagari, a mostly unremarkable high school sophomore with a remarkable past, and his transformation fro...
ReRoll is really weird photo
ReRoll is really weird

ReRoll is mapping the world with drones for you to play


Not a Megaman spin off
Feb 04
// Steven Hansen
Yeah. Wait. What? ReROLL's ultimate aim is to map the entire world (that is, planet Earth) using autonomous drones in order to make an enormous videogame map. This will be done over long periods of time and in sections, of c...
Murdered: His Fashion photo
Murdered: His Fashion

Murdered: Soul Suspect also takes its dumb fedora to PS4


This June!
Feb 04
// Steven Hansen
Yesterday we learned Murdered: Soul Suspect would come out on Xbox One in addition to PC, 360, and PS3. This upset some of you who like fedoras. Unsurprisingly, this latest story trailer shows the game is also slated for PS4...
Matador  photo
Matadorable
Ernest Hemingway was an aficionado of bull fighting, the "only place where you could see life and death, i. e., violent death now that the wars were over." He wrote of the matador as an artist in The Sun Also Rises, with as...

You Must Build a Boat photo
You Must Build a Boat

10000000 creator's new game is You Must Build a Boat


Don't tell me what I must do
Feb 03
// Darren Nakamura
At this point, so many match-three puzzle games exist that it is easy to see a new one and immediately write it off without a second thought. Fortunately, 10000000 did enough new stuff with the genre that it gathered a decent...
Murdered for Xbox One photo
Murdered for Xbox One

Murdered: Soul Suspect takes its dumb fedora to Xbox One


Hey soul suspect, every little thing you dooooo
Feb 03
// Steven Hansen
Fedora. Lame vest and tie combo. Watch -- or worse, wallet -- chain. Man, the protagonist of Murdered: Soul Suspect looks dumb. Certainly has nothing on the style of Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective's lead, though I soul suspe...
New PS4 game photo
New PS4 game

RC racer Ready to Run announced for PS4


Can you RC what I RC
Jan 31
// Steven Hansen
Beatshapers, responsible for developing and publishing a stable of PSN releases (Furmins, Jetpack Joyride, Canabalt), just announced its new PS4 game, Ready to Run. They're not taking a brake, not taking their foot off the g...
The Chainsaw Incident photo
The Chainsaw Incident

Rock n' roll horror fighter Chainsaw Incident announced


Chainsaw everything
Jan 24
// Steven Hansen
I don't know about you, but when I think of a chainsaw incident, I think of Christian Bale dropping one down several flights and killing a woman in American Psycho. Or maybe that scene in Scarface. Chainsaws are pretty horri...

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