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2D will ride again! photo
2D will ride again!

More footage from the new 2D Dragon Ball Z fighter


2D will ride again!
May 22
// Steven Hansen
Last month we finally got a look (in video form) at the new 2D Dragon Ball Z fighter from BlazBlue developer Arc System Works. One month ahead of its Japanese release date, Bandai Namco has released another decent length loo...
:( photo
:(

Namco's Pac-Man 35th anniversary celebration is just sad


Publisher patches the mobile port
May 20
// Kyle MacGregor
On this day in 1980, Pac-Man debuted in Japanese arcades. Now, publisher Bandai Namco has decided to celebrate the arcade classic's 35th anniversary in the most depressing way possible. The company has passed along a note ann...
Tekken 7 photo
Tekken 7

Yoshimitsu is coming to Tekken 7


Wow, really? I'd never have guessed
May 08
// Joe Parlock
Yoshimitsu’s turned into a weird mix of Cthulhu, a Xenomorph, NiGHTS, and Frieza from Dragonball for his appearance in Tekken 7. The video released by Namco shows him in all of his swordy, hovery, self-stabby glory; a...
Dark Souls II photo
Dark Souls II

From Software fixed Dark Souls II's wonky weapons


Weapon durability update released
May 07
// Jordan Devore
The PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One versions of Dark Souls II suffered from an issue that caused players' weapons to degrade faster than normal, requiring frequent repairs. In short: The rate at which weapon durability decrea...
Project CARS review photo
Project CARS review

Where is our Project CARS review?


Dragging a bit
May 06
// Brett Makedonski
Project CARS is at the starting line raring to go, but before the green flag waves, some people would like to offer their analyses. We won't be one of them. The game's review embargo just lifted, but we'll be laggin...
SoulCalibur news photo
SoulCalibur news

Who's your favorite SoulCalibur fighter? Team teases 'something huge'


369, damn I'm fine
May 04
// Steven Hansen
Project Soul is doing a thing. Probably developing SoulCalibur VI. On the team's Facebook page, it's asking fans to weigh in on the, "future of SoulCalibur" by voting in a month-long poll of your favorite series characters. M...
Project Cars photo
Project Cars

Project Cars trailer can't seem to move at the right speed


But it looks gorgeous, nevertheless
May 04
// Brett Makedonski
I haven't yet had a chance to play Project Cars, but I have a fair amount of experience in the racing genre. Usually these games depict fast cars going reasonably fast. This trailer wavers a bit before finally nailing that. ...

Review: Project CARS

May 01 // Brett Makedonski
Project CARS (PC, PS4, Xbox One [reviewed])Developers: Slightly Mad StudiosPublisher: Bandai NamcoReleased: May 6, 2015 (PC), May 12 (PS4, Xbox One)Price: $59.99 Even though Project CARS is difficult, it's all rather appropriate. I've never raced cars before, but I imagine it to be an unrelentingly tough gig. There are a dozen or so drivers that are all after the same checkered flag. Slightly Mad has done a fantastic job crafting a racing experience that reflects real-life competition. Whereas other games often feel like races take place around the player, Project CARS feels like the player is one small part of the race. However, in the heat of the moment, one could be forgiven if they don't agree with that. Project CARS' AI can be so aggressive at times that it seems as if the game is trying to pound the player into submission. Opponents will veer across the track to block progress, and they'll occasionally send you skidding into the gravel trap. Sure, it's an accurate portrayal of racing, but, man, that comes as no consolation at all when it dooms the entire race. The AI isn't the only opponent in Project CARS; you're a constant threat to cause your own downfall. In the rare event that you break free from the pack, the most minute of miscalculated turns will send you straight to the back. One tire overstepping the bounds of the track will often send the car skidding off into a pile of tires, relegating you to an unimpressive finish. Also, this title doesn't play the rubberbanding game, so once the leaders have created separation, you're likely to stay off the podium. Again, frustrating, but that's what you signed up for when you booted up Project CARS. [embed]291507:58427:0[/embed] All that annoyance isn't aided by the fact that Project CARS starts the career with the lowest levels of kart racing, which just so happen to be the most uncontrollable vehicles in the game. It's almost like a trial by fire of sorts, a challenge from Slightly Mad that if you can command these unwieldy beasts, you're good enough to play this game. I was handily defeated so consistently during these races that I wondered if tweaking vehicle settings was an absolute necessity to success. That's where Project CARS' commitment to being for hardcore simulation fans became actively detrimental. Before each race, the menu will implore the player to make alterations, but offers little in the way of guidance as to what anything does. Those who know the ins and outs of cars may take great pleasure in adjusting camber angles and changing suspension heights, but the layman will be left wondering if they're actively at a disadvantage. Honestly, they probably are. Regardless of where all those sliders end up, Slightly Mad has some great driving to offer. The cars all have an appropriate weight about them, only seeming floaty when they're the lightest of vehicles. Project CARS also mandates a nice degree of subtlety with the throttle and brake, often requiring barely touching the gas to optimally weave through a set of turns. The most appreciated facet of driving is that most of the 70-some vehicles feel legitimately unique from one another, meaning that each takes some time behind the wheel before you can control it efficiently. That learning curve won't be welcomed by everyone, however. A lot of nuance is needed, and it's difficult to master. This is especially true with a standard gamepad, which is how the majority of people will play Project CARS. These controllers are often too finicky, and will send the car careening further and more slapdash than the player intended. Those with proper racing wheels will surely have an easier time. One aspect of Project CARS that never fails to impress is its aesthetic. Everything is stunningly gorgeous at all times, even when the sun blinds you as you're trying to corner. The scenery might be at its best during the rainfall, which looks fantastic, but adds another degree of difficulty as the slick roads definitely impact driving performance. Unfortunately, it also impacts game performance, as rainy weather acts as a kind of stress test, and it's where the frame rate dipped the most noticeably in the Xbox One version of the game. For a title that touts itself as offering a staggering amount of control, Project CARS is ironically rather shallow. While all cars are unlocked right from the get-go, the player has no say in what they drive throughout the career. Once signed up for a new league in which to compete, the game decides what vehicle the races take place in. Likewise, outside of the standard career progression, there just isn't much more to do in Project CARS. It basically boils down to the obligatory multiplayer, some community events, and some one-player quickmatches. The game doesn't give the player much incentive to keep playing, so that drive has to be internal. If it isn't, you might find yourself putting down Project CARS sooner than you'd think. Actually, Project CARS' career is paced in such a way that it directly conflicts with the desire to keep playing. Every race is preceded by a practice and qualifying round. Each of those lasts a minimum of ten minutes. You can probably afford to skip practice (easy, Allen Iverson), but qualifying is borderline mandatory. Bypassing it, or simulating to the end after a solid lap, means you run the very real risk of starting the race in last place. If that happens, it's unlikely that you'll finish first. The AI is just too good to let you overcome those odds. You were probably damned before you even began. Admittedly, Project CARS isn't for everyone. In fact, it isn't for most people. It's niche, and it's for those who take their racing games seriously. It does most of what it sets out to do, and it does that very well. However, the broad appeal is lacking, as the long learning curve likely outweighs what most are willing to put up with. But, for those who put in the time and manage to take the checkered flag, this title has a supremely rewarding experience that most anyone can feel proud of, regardless of familiarity with cars.
Project CARS review photo
Hard charger
Project CARS is a game that revels in its inaccessibility. It was made specifically for people who have come to expect more from their realistic racing simulators. Developer Slightly Mad took that desire and ran with it....

Project CARS photo
Project CARS

Here is your Project CARS full car listing


Jay Leno says hi
Apr 30
// Robert Summa
The upcoming racing sim Project CARS has been on the radar for many of those who live and breathe the genre. Slated for release on PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC on May 8, here is the full car list that we know about so far (65 of which will come with the standard edition).
Gundam Battle Operation photo
Gundam Battle Operation

Gundam Battle Operation Next is free-to-play, coming to PS3 and PS4


Check out the beta if you have a Japanese PSN account
Apr 30
// Chris Carter
Some time ago, Bandai Namco put out a free-to-play game called Mobile Suit Gundam: Battle Operation on PS3. Now the time has come for a sequel -- Gundam Battle Operation Next. It'll hit both the PS3 and the PS4, and the...
DL see? photo
DL see?

Super Smash Bros.' Sakurai explains studio's reversal on paid DLC


Lucas joins The Fray, dies from a water overdose in a beige 2004 Dodge Stratus
Apr 28
// Steven Hansen
In November of last year, Super Smash Bros. head Masahiro Sakurai aptly referred to the man-made Pokemon Mewtwo's appearance as Smash Bros. DLC as an "experiment." Sakurai, who has called modern DLC a "scam," said, "I think t...
Man meat photo
Man meat

Weird sexy hose robot Gigas is the newest Tekken 7 fighter


Man meat
Apr 28
// Steven Hansen
TEKKEN EXECUTIVE: You know Bane, right? From Batman? TEKKEN CHARACTER DESIGNER: Yeah? TEKKEN EXECUTIVE: Ok. That, but dog dick red. With nipple clamps. And a chastity belt. And extra long hoses like a bunch of idiots drove a...
Galaga x Tekken photo
Galaga x Tekken

When Tekken met Galaga


Did it for the dumb Photoshop
Apr 27
// Jordan Devore
Can two friends sleep together and still love each other in the morning? I don't know about all that, but the idea of Galaga x Tekken sounds damn fine to me. It originally entered our consciousness on April Fools' Day, but i...
Pokkén Tournament photo
Pokkén Tournament

Gengar licks the competition in Pokken Tournament


Ghost-types are the best types
Apr 26
// Ben Davis
Bandai Namco revealed Gengar as a new playable character for Pokkén Tournament at NicoNico Chokaigi 2015 yesterday. The grinning ghost Pokémon brings the roster up to seven characters, along with Pikachu, Lucar...
Katamari Damacy photo
Katamari Damacy

Close out Earth Day with a little Katamari Damacy


Wake up the King
Apr 22
// Jordan Devore
Chris gave a nod to Final Fantasy's Geomancer in honor of Earth Day, which I thought was an original choice. It got me thinking about games that are ever so vaguely related to the celebration. I'm sure you have one in mind. ...

Pac-Man to show up in unexpected places this year, let's guess where

Apr 22 // Jed Whitaker
Mario Kart 8 Pac-Man is no stranger to Mario Kart games having been in all three iterations made for arcades, and with Pac's recent appearance in Super Smash Bros. for 3DS / Wii U, having him as a racer in Mario Kart 8 just makes sense. Running for president as a Republican This one is a no-brainer -- just think about it. What do Pac-Man and the Republican party have in common? They are mostly men, 35 years of age or older, greedy, don't play well with other races, and are deeply rooted in religion. Pac-Man isn't the typical white male that leads the party, but perhaps a recognizable yellow face could give Republicans the push they need to take the White House in 2016. Dark Souls II The Souls series and Pac-Man actually have a lot in common; in both, you play as a lone hero traversing dark mazes filled with spooky ghosts in a world where the only sure thing is death. Perhaps the original maze from Pac-Man will be reworked in a 3D space, much like that beer commercial, and released as free DLC for Dark Souls II. Pac-Man would of course be a grotesque version of himself that guards the end of the maze.  Pellets, Please Gritty, dark, realistic games are all the rage these days, so perhaps Bandai Namco Entertainment will give Pac-Man the reboot he deserves. Pac-Land has fallen on tough times and Pac-Man must sneak into the neighboring country of Arstotzka to find work and food, all while dealing with terrorists and extreme hunger. Pellets, Please could be the smash hit to bring Pac-Man into the two thousand teens. RuPaul's Drag Race Everyone's favorite feminist already told us that Ms. Pac-Man is just Pac-Man with a bow on his head, so Pac-Man decides to own it and joins RuPaul's Drag Race. Pac, Ms. Pac-Man if you're nasty, will take the other divas by storm. Mama Pac will be a ruthless, z-snapping glamazon that makes up for her size with an over-the-top personality. Drag and gays are so in right now to the point where people are trying to make laws against them, which is what happens when anything gets popular with the kids. Playgirl Pac-Man has always been a sex icon. He's known for running around in the nude in his early, drug-filled days; even now the dude doesn't wear pants, baring it all is a constant in his life. Plus, PlayGirl is a great publication to reach parts of the population that are rarely marketed to in gaming: women, and non-straight men. A bit of trivia for ya: the history of PlayGirl kind of falls in place with the history of Ms. Pac-Man, as they were both made as an answer to their male-oriented versions.  An Adam Sandler movie I'm just foolin', there is no way that Pac-Man would ever have a large role in an Adam Sandler film, right? 
Pac-Man's midlife crisis photo
35th anniversary, midlife crisis
This year is the 35th anniversary of Pac-Man, a fact that will surely make your dad feel old. At a recent event in Las Vegas, Bandai Namco Entertainment said to look for Pac-Man to "show up in unexpected places this year." I've thought long and hard about where those places could be and compiled my best guesses below. Feel free to post yours in the comments!

Dragon Ball Z photo
Dragon Ball Z

Dragon Ball Z: Extreme Butoden looks great in action


Finally, gameplay
Apr 20
// Chris Carter
Dragon Ball Z: Extreme Butoden by Arc System Works sounds amazing on paper, and no we longer have to settle for a brief look -- we can ogle at the whole damn thing thanks to YouTube user ShonenGameZ. The entire demo is on di...
Dark Souls II update photo
Dark Souls II update

Dark Souls II weapon durability fix on the way


The glitch that wouldn't die
Apr 17
// Jordan Devore
In Dark Souls II, the speed with which weapons degrade is tied to the frame rate. That system wasn't an issue for those of us who played the sequel on last-generation consoles, but it has been an annoyance for PC, PS4, and Xb...
Pirate Warriors 3 photo
Pirate Warriors 3

One Piece: Pirate Warriors 3 is the craziest One Piece game yet


Quad-character supers
Apr 17
// Chris Carter
Omega Force isn't always known for innovation, but occasionally, it'll surprise just about anyone. As the developer of countless Warriors subfranchises, this group knows a thing or two about beat-'em-ups, and the One Pie...
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...

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