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Supernova photo
Supernova

Supernova developers unsure on the decision to include a forfeit feature in their MOBA


The debate between MOBA studios rages on
Apr 17
// Chris Carter
Right now, there's a debate going on within the MOBA community regarding a forfeit feature. Currently, Dota 2 does not have any forfeit mechanic in place, among other titles like Heroes of the Storm, which Blizzard says ...
Project Cars photo
Project Cars

Project CARS has a dedicated windshield wiper button


Yes!
Apr 16
// Chris Carter
I'll admit it -- when I first heard about Project CARS, I didn't give it much thought. It doesn't help that the name is fairly ho hum, and it's been ages since developer Slightly Mad Studios worked on Need for Speed...
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Projects Cars finally releasing in Europe next month


Fingers crossed
Apr 16
// Vikki Blake
Project Cars will finally be released on May 7 in Europe and May 8 in the UK.  The racing game has suffered a lengthy string of delays since its original scheduled release last November, with pushbacks to March, then Apr...

J-Stars Victory Vs+ is a shallow masher, but it's fanservice done right

Apr 15 // Chris Carter
J-Stars Victory Vs+ (PS3, PS4 [tested], Vita) Developer: Spike ChunsoftPublisher: Bandai Namco EntertainmentRelease: TBA 2015 So what the hell is this game? Well, it's a 2v2 brawler that's set up a lot like Bushido Blade. All battles take place in large arenas in a 3D format, so you can run around to your heart's content as you try to chase down or escape your foes. According to Koji Nakajima, the game's producer, the "core focus" is strictly on 2v2 fighting, with AI taking the place of a partner if you aren't engaging in two-player co-op. The cast is probably the most impressive part, hosting well-known characters like Kenshin, Goku, and Naruto, alongside of more obscure ones like Toriko and Gintoki Sakata, who only dedicated anime fans may know of. The good news is that you'll likely find a lot of favorites regardless as the final cast is massive, weighing in at 52 characters. Even better news -- Nakajima states that there are "no plans for DLC." If you want some background info on the roster, you can check it out by way of an in-game gallery, which details their personal story. The demo I played hosted matches in Hidden Leaf Village from Naruto, furthering the Bushido Blade comparison. Environmental objects like houses can be blown up, paving the way for more destruction, and there's a lot of room to move around. All told, there's over 10 stages in the final build and given the open-ended nature of just the one I played, that seems like more than enough. I did have some camera issues when the action took place in more enclosed spaces, but there is a lock-on feature, and blowing up those spaces made things more manageable. Blowing up stuff is always a good idea in J-Stars. The way the game works is that each team of two needs to achieve three kills total, at which point the round ends and said team is declared the victor. It's simple enough, especially when the control scheme is so easy to pick up. In addition to your typical "weak and strong" attacks there are also a few supers, as well as team ultimates -- in the case of Goku, a Kamehameha and a Spirit Bomb would fulfill those roles respectively. There really is no finesse in J-Stars Victory -- it's a masher through and through. Although there's a lot of nuance in terms of animations (Goku's flight dash is completely different compared to Kenshin's run), every character pretty much operates in the same fashion, mashing either of the two attack buttons when their opponent is open. Attack animations are very lengthy and advanced tactics like canceling are few, so the opportunity to punish is near constant. What's really impressive though is the commitment to how the characters are portrayed in-game. I asked Nakajima to elaborate a bit on how they came up with some of the movesets, and he replied that "it was a really tough thing to reproduce. Since a lot of the cast wasn't strictly action based, we needed to improvise. Take Kankichi Ryotsu, a police officer. His character really likes remote control cars, so we implemented that as an attack in the game." This isn't just a statement to fluff up J-Stars -- it's absolutely true. Although I'm not thrilled by the lack of depth when it comes to the combat system itself, each character feels like a different experience in terms of their animation. J-Stars Victory Vs+ is set to arrive on June 30 in 2015 in the west, and its release is nothing short of a miracle. Just don't go in expecting a deep fighter, and you'll likely enjoy it.
J-Stars Victory Vs+ photo
Damn if it doesn't feel good to beat up Naruto as Goku
It doesn't take an otaku to see the appeal of J-Stars Victory Vs+. It features a host of famous anime characters, from Kenshin to Goku to Naruto. It's like the Marvel vs. Capcom of Shōnen Jump properties, a mag...

Project X Zone 2 photo
A follow-up to Sega, Capcom, and Namco's mashup
Back in 2013, Capcom, Bandai Namco, and Sega teamed up to give us a healthy serving of fanservice in the form of Project X Zone for the 3DS. Our own Kyle MacGregor called it a "love letter from Japan," and I think that'...

New Saint Seiya photo
New Saint Seiya

Another Saint Seiya game is on the way for PS3, PS4, and PC called 'Soldiers Soul'


Will feature characters from the new 'Soul of Gold' series
Apr 12
// Chris Carter
Bandai Namco Entertainment has announced that another Saint Seiya game is happening, this time for the PS3, PS4, and PC platforms with the subtitle Soldier's Soul. It follows the same formula as the last game in the ser...
Flaming heads photo
Flaming heads

Super Smash Bros. glitch sets Kirby permanently on fire


Flaming heads
Apr 07
// Steven Hansen
Oh boy, it's like the Syphon Filter taser all over again. If you want to give your Kirby a new look, try getting sucked off by another Kirby while you have your hammer readied and release your grip right when you start getti...

Dark Souls II: Scholar of the First Sin's enhancements are minor, but I ended up beating it again

Apr 02 // Chris Carter
Dark Souls II: Scholar of the First Sin (PC, PS3, PS4 [tested], Xbox 360, Xbox One)Developer: From SoftwarePublisher: Namco BandaiReleased: April 2, 2014 (EU), April 7, 2014 (US)MSRP: $19.99-$49.99 (PC, see below), $39.99 (PS3, Xbox 360), $59.99 (PS4, Xbox One) Scholar of the First Sin is basically a packaged version of Dark Souls II with all three DLCs, and a few other extras -- some of which are coming to older platforms with a free update. Oh, and Bandai Namco is also selling the Scholar disc on said older platforms to add more SKUs into the mix, and don't even get me started on the PC release. Still, I'll do my best to explain everything as I go so you aren't completely lost. After starting up Scholar on PS4, the first big change was immediately apparent after entering the first few zones -- the remixed placement of enemies. While casual fans may not notice this at all, I saw a few notable switcheroos, and they're generally for the best. The starting area won't have as many tougher enemies for instance, but the zone immediately following that will pay it back. Don't think it's inherently easier though, as it feels roughly the same, just with better pacing. It's not enough to get excited about but it makes for a better experience. Aldia, Scholar of the First Sin, is probably the other huge addition, a new NPC that pops up every now and then and can culminate in a boss fight if certain requirements are met. His character model not only fits the world but looks formidable, and the insertion of Aldia is fairly seamless into the core story, providing a bit more background on your main quest. Like the remixed placements he isn't anything to write home about, but he basically serves as a fourth DLC, albeit without a new zone. [embed]289666:57956:0[/embed] Other Scholar-specific additions on PC (DirectX 11), PS4, and Xbox One include a higher online player pool, and an upgrade to 1080p and 60 frames per second. The game is still noticeably dated, but the environments and backgrounds (see 3:00 here) are still as breathtaking as ever. On a more gameplay-related note, the frame rate was consistent, and it's so buttery smooth that it just feels perfect -- every attack is deliberate with no delay, even with tons of enemies on-screen. All action games should strive to be 60fps, period. All my tests were done with the PS4 version of the game, and I'm told the Xbox One edition is identical (if I can get a copy to confirm this I will). It's important to note though that nearly all of the non-graphical updates are coming to the previous-generation (360, PS3) in the form of a free update. But the way the PC version is being handled is as confusing as all hell. On PC, you can opt for the DX9 or DX11 version. There's a tiered pricing model that starts at $40 for the base DX9 game, or $50 for DX11. If you own the original and/or all the DLC you can get discounts ranging from $10 to $30. They even have separate Steam pages. So what's the difference? The DX11 versions mirror Scholar on the PS4 and Xbox One, essentially offering a separate instance of the game with prettier style and enhanced online player pool -- prior generation and DX9 users will not get that bonus bit. Still confused? Re-read these past few paragraphs until it sinks in. If you're coming off of Bloodborne and want more Souls, grabbing Dark Souls II: Scholar of the First Sin would be a great idea. The fact that all three add-ons are included ($25 in total with the Season Pass, hosting the Sunken, Old, and Ivory DLCs) is the icing on the cake. For everyone else, Scholar can barely be considered a remake or remaster of any kind, and you're best served just downloading the free update on the copy you already own. Any goodwill Scholar earns is mostly based off of the core game, but either way you slice it, playing it in some form is recommended. Thankfully, those older copies still exist, and will likely go down in price if you aren't willing to pay Bandai Namco's premium.
Dark Souls II: SE photo
Don't double dip
Love 'em or hate 'em, this is the generation of remakes. It seems as if remasters of the previous generation pop up more frequently than actual new games, but if said remasters actually end up funding new games rather than th...

Mewtwo DLC for Smash Bros photo
Mewtwo DLC for Smash Bros

Mewtwo releasing for Super Smash Bros. for 3DS/Wii U April 15


I'm psyched!
Apr 01
// Jed Whitaker
Nintendo have announced that Mewtwo will be available for Super Smash Bros. for 3DS / Wii U on April 15th for those that bought and registered both versions of the game. Mewtwo will be released for everyone else on April...
Dark Souls II Upgrade photo
Dark Souls II Upgrade

Dark Souls II: Scholar of the First Sin upgrade and pricing systems detailed


While somewhat complicated, there's a good deal here for some
Mar 30
// Rob Morrow
Dark Souls II: Scholar of the First Sin is scheduled to launch on Steam this Wednesday, April 1 with current and last-gen counterparts becoming available the following Tuesday, April 7. From Software has described the reissue...
One Piece photo
One Piece

One Piece: Pirate Warriors 3 is getting a special edition in Europe


Bandai Namco loves the EU
Mar 30
// Chris Carter
When One Piece: Pirate Warriors 3 arrives in Europe, the PS3 and PS4 versions of the game will be getting a special edition. How special? Well, a certain character will grace you with his presence inside the box in figur...

Tekken 7 brings back Jin, Devil Jin, shows off newcomer Josie

Mar 30 // Chris Carter
[embed]289725:57968:0[/embed] [embed]289725:57969:0[/embed]
Tekken 7 photo
Love those devils
If you're a fan of Jin or Devil Jin, you're in luck, as they will be making a triumphant return to Tekken 7. The news was just revealed by way of three videos showing off a trio of combatants, the highlight of which is easil...

Dragon Ball XenoVerse photo
Dragon Ball XenoVerse

Dragon Ball XenoVerse is getting the new form of Frieza as DLC


From Dragon Ball Z: Resurrection 'F'
Mar 27
// Chris Carter
Remember when Frieza said that he had changed into his final form on Namek? Well he lied. In the newest Dragon Ball Z movie titled Resurrection 'F', Frieza will be reincarnated as Golden Frieza, taking on the gang once again....
F1 photo
F1

F1 2015 coming this June, but only on current gen


Yes, this is a good thing
Mar 26
// Robert Summa
Fans of F1 and actual racing can breathe a sigh of relief regarding two facts about the upcoming F1 2015. One, it will be out this June. And two, it's only going to be on current gen consoles and PC -- that's right, no dumbin...
Tease photo
Tease

First brief look at Dragon Ball Z: Extreme Butoden


Arc System Works 2D fighter needs a longer trailer
Mar 23
// Steven Hansen
Please cut a longer trailer, Namco. Arc System Works' (Guilty Gear) upcoming Dragon Ball Z: Extreme Butoden is the best thing to hit DBZ videogames since this unsanctioned 2D fan fighter. But damn, I just want to see more of...
Dark Souls photo
Dark Souls

Prepare to scroll: This Dark Souls illustration captures the complexity of Lordran


It just keeps going
Mar 20
// Jordan Devore
Uncovering the mysterious, unforgiving, crazy-but-believably-crafted world of Lordran is one of the greatest pleasures experienced in not only Dark Souls, but in the last decade of videogames. I'm still wrapping my head aroun...
Ray Gigant photo
Ray Gigant

Namco teases new Vita RPG Ray Gigant from Demon Gaze dev


Dungeon crawl against alien monsters in the semi-future
Feb 26
// Steven Hansen
Demon Gaze developer Experience has been busy on the Vita since with Operation Abyss: New Tokyo Legacy (and its upcoming sequel in Japan), but there are no shortages of dungeons to crawl or publishers to team with, so Bandai...
Supernova photo
Supernova

Bandai Namco is behind new space robot MOBA Supernova


With a twist of RTS
Feb 26
// Steven Hansen
You can play Supernova today. The MOBA from developer Primal Game Studios is publisher Bandai Namco's next push into the realm of free-to-play (you'll remember the Gundam Vs-like 2-on-2 arena fighter Rise of Incarnates). Nam...
Majora's Mask photo
Majora's Mask

Majora's Mask bumped by God Eater from atop Japanese sales charts


God Eater's all the rage (burst)
Feb 25
// Brett Makedonski
It wasn't a long reign -- just one week, in fact -- but it was a good one. Majora's Mask 3D has to settle for second place on the Japanese sales charts. God Eater 2: Rage Burst is the new ruler. In its second w...
Pokkén Tournament photo
Pokkén Tournament

Flex those muscles, Machamp


Did it for the headline
Feb 18
// Jordan Devore
This is vaguely the same footage of Pokkén Tournament we've seen over the past couple weeks, but it's a direct capture of the game, so what the hell. Good recap of the current roster, though do note that the voice over and text are in Japanese. Long way to go before this'll get localized. What's going on with Pikachu (starting at 1:25)? That expression is Kirby-in-the-USA angry.
Pokkén photo
Pokkén

Hey you, Haradachu!


#ICYMI
Feb 16
// Kyle MacGregor
Tekken producer Katsuhiro Harada in a Pikachu onesie, everyone. The world's a wonderful place.  稼働時期は2015年夏頃!AC「ポッ拳 POKKEN TOURNAMENT」ステージイベントをレポート [Gamer]
Suspicious trademarks photo
Suspicious trademarks

A trademark has been filed for Soldiers' Soul


Is this our next Souls game?
Feb 13
// Brett Makedonski
This should be prefaced by saying that trademark news should always be taken with a grain of salt. With that out of the way, we might have a heads-up as to what the next game in the widely beloved Souls series is. In Europe, ...
Pokkén Tournament photo
Pokkén Tournament

Pokken strikes Japanese arcades this summer


Love that outfit, Harada
Feb 12
// Kyle MacGregor
Pokkén Tournament launches in arcades across Japan this summer, Bandai Namco revealed today at the Japan Amusement Expo in Chiba. The studio is showcasing the fighter this weekend at the event, giving attendees an...
Pokkén Tournament photo
Pokkén Tournament

Off-screen Pokkén Tournament footage has Gardevoir-on-Gardevoir action


Give the people what they want
Feb 11
// Jordan Devore
As a man of simple tastes, my big takeaway from Pokkén Tournament's location test in Japanese arcades was Pikachu wearing shorts, but, I get it: game mechanics are important too. This off-screen video from seadraDS ha...
Tekken 7 photo
Tekken 7

There's a lot of lava in Tekken 7's arcade intro


Classic Kazuya versus Heihachi
Feb 10
// Chris Carter
Although I haven't gotten into the mainline Tekken games for a while (I've always favored Tag), Tekken 7 is looking pretty great. In this new intro video for the arcade version, you'll be able to see Kazuya and Hei...
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He's really the Prince of All Jerks
I was surprised to find myself given the opportunity to interview Christopher Sabat; the founder of voice over studio, Okratron500, and the voice actor for Vegeta, and many other Dragon Ball characters. I've been a huge Drag...

Dark Souls II: Scholar of the First Sin is more than just a remaster

Feb 05 // Alessandro Fillari
Dark Souls II: Scholar of the First Sin (PC, PS3, PS4 [previewed], Xbox 360, Xbox One)Developer: From SoftwarePublisher: Bandai Namco GamesRelease date: April 7, 2015MSRP: $59.99 "It's about the rediscovery of the Dark Souls II experience, from the director's perspective," said Yoshimura during his presentation on Dark Souls II: Scholar of the First Sin. "That was something that the team at From Software in Japan really wanted players to experience." The developers and publisher Bandai Namco have kept many details close to the vest, in part due to the studio working on another Souls-esque experience with Bloodborne, and wanting to keep fans in suspense. It's easy to think of this as nothing more than a remastered game-of-the-year edition, which is totally fair, but From Software wanted to set the record straight. In the cursed kingdom of Drangelic, you play as an afflicted traveler looking to find a cure to end their suffering. With the kingdom filled with monsters and other nefarious foes, you'll discover that the curse, and those crazy enough to remain in the defiled lands, are all linked in the fate of Drangelic. Granted, you know this if you played the original Dark Souls II. You might even be comfortable with what lurks in the cursed lands. But what if I were to tell you that things are a bit different with the coming of Scholar of the First Sin? With this release, From Software wanted to spice things up by adding characters as well as overhauling and retweaking gameplay. "If you played Dark Souls II on Xbox 360 or PS3 all the way through, then you would think of this game, Scholar of the First Sin, as roughly the same game with all of the DLCs," said marketing director Brian Hong. "But what we're really trying to get across with players is that with [current-generation systems], we have a completely different experience for Dark Souls II." A common criticism of the original release last year was that it was much easier than its predecessor. While there is an argument for that case, even though it was still an immensely challenging game, the folks at From Software want to address those concerns head-on. Scholar of the First Sin is to Dark Souls II what Master Quest is to The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. It's not only for newcomers looking to see what the Souls experience is all about, it's also for those who may think they've mastered Dark Souls II. In my brief time with the game, it was apparent the game wanted me to feel very uncomfortable with what lied behind the corner even though I've already cleared the previous title. But of course, the feeling of discomfort is a normal part of the series' experience. One of Scholar of the First Sin's most apparent changes is that enemy and monster placements have been reworked. Foes you encountered at certain points in DSII will appear much earlier, and in greater numbers. During my session in the Forest of Fallen Giants, Ogres were wandering throughout, and Hollow Infantry are in larger groups. Surprisingly, the Heide Knights were nowhere to be seen, as they've been moved to other locations. With the increased number of foes, and different placement of them, I found myself having to effectively relearn aspects of areas I was quite familiar with. What's even more surprising was that the A.I. was not only improved, but the enemies of Dark Souls II had also lost their fear of Bonfire spots. They will have no qualms about chasing players down to their safe havens. To put it simply, you're more vulnerable in Scholar of the First Sin than in the original, which means you'll be using your hoards of lifegems far more often. As any fan of the Souls series will tell, mastering your environment and knowing the limits of your enemies is everything. So it was especially interesting to see that Scholar of the First Sin pulls the rug from under the players. From Software has especially had fun in placing monsters in areas that were not present in the original game. For instance, elevators that lead to bosses or shortcuts now house enemies that lay in wait for the player. With the technology that the current-gen has brought, the developers were very keen on getting the title out on the new hardware. With the increased horsepower, From Software was able to bring a visual boost to the Souls experience. In addition to the title running at 60 frames per second and at 1080p, the texture quality and lighting are improved to give the atmosphere an extra kick. Moreover, online multiplayer has also seen a boost with a maximum of six players during engagements. Much like another upcoming remaster, the developers were also inspired by much of what PC modders were able to accomplish, and wanted to offer the same level of content boosts (like textures and lighting) to the console releases. "Thanks to those players online, we were surprised by what they came up with," said Yoshimura. "Just one week after the release of [Dark Souls II], we saw all these mods being released, and the team at From Software were surprised and like 'This mod is awesome!'" Surprisingly, the producer was candid about the state of parity between each version. As there was some controversy over the differences in the original game to the one that was ultimately released, Bandai Namco was very adamant about what's in Scholar of the First Sin. "All [current-gen] versions will run at 1080p and 60 frames per second, including the Xbox One. So it is not 900p blah-blah-blah, it's 1080p and 60 FPS for all three platforms. Though some people said that it is worse to play the game on PC without DirectX 11, and the answer is yes. I'm really confident about clarifying this, because the improved lighting and shadows, clothing effects, and etc. -- this is only available on DirectX 11 technology, and not on DirectX 9." If you have the PS3, Xbox 360, or PC (DX9) versions of Scholar of the First Sin, then you might find yourself surprised to see that nothing has been altered visually or tech-wise, though you'll definitely experience the gameplay enhancements and new content. I dug what I played of the PlayStation 4 version. Though I was a little disappointed that no new areas were implemented, it's exciting to see that the developers sought to redefine what Dark Souls II was. The graphical boosts are very apparent -- quite stunning in person, even -- and the smooth 60 FPS combat is immediately noticeable. Though it's a bit disappointing that only those with new hardware will be able to experience it (without mods, of course). It's an interesting experience to re-learn Dark Souls II. Coming off of its predecessor, it seemed to have gotten flack for not quite living up to that standard while wanting to try something different. But with Scholar of the First Sin, which the folks at From Software consider the definitive edition, it feels like the game has gotten a much-needed invigoration -- especially with Bloodborne coming out the month before. It's not often you get to experience a game like this for the first time all over again, and that's something fans should love.
Dark Souls II photo
Prepare to die harder
I'll be the first to say it: it's going to be the year of Souls. With the release of Bloodborne only a month away, which looks to redefine the experience along with its wonderful change of setting, From Software has been...

Free Steam fighter photo
Free Steam fighter

Gundam Vs-like 2-on-2 arena fighter Rise of Incarnates on Steam


Early Acccess and free-to-play
Feb 04
// Steven Hansen
Namco took the format of Gundam Vs. and brought it west with a new IP, the free-to-play Rise of Incarnates.  After some time in beta, Rise of Incarnates is now in Early Access. And unlike some games ...
Bloodborne photo
Bloodborne

Glasses, tattoos, origins: A taste of Bloodborne's character creator


The potential for creating hideous monster people is high
Feb 04
// Jordan Devore
In this short runthrough of Bloodborne's character editor, IGN was able to create a Harry Potter lookalike now that glasses are an option in the game. That's a worthwhile addition, but it's the "Origin" (i.e., class) option ...
Bloodborne gameplay photo
Bloodborne gameplay

These first 18 minutes of Bloodborne make me feel all tingly


Got me feeling pee shivers
Feb 02
// Jason Faulkner
From Software's latest action-RPG looks to replicate the butthole-puckering tense gameplay that originated with its predecessors in the Souls series. IGN posted the first 18 minutes of gameplay (minus character creation...

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