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Namco Bandai photo
Namco Bandai

Namco opening new studios in Vancouver, Singapore


Some positive news!
Apr 11
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
It seems like we've been hearing nothing but studio closers happening left and right. Well there's some good news in this field as Namco Bandai is opening up a new studio in Vancouver, Canada. The British Columbia Ministry of...

Preview: Sang-Froid - Tales of Werewolves

Mar 02 // Alasdair Duncan
Sang Froid - A Tale of Werewolves (PC [previewed], Mac)Developer: Artiface StudioPublisher: Artiface StudioRelease: March 2013MRSP: $14.99 Set during a harsh December in 1852, the story centers around the brothers Joseph and Jacques O'Carroll and their sister Josephine. Josephine has fled the town of Wolvesvale with Jacques after an accident leaves the town church half destroyed and the town in the grips of a supernatural curse. After re-uniting with their estranged brother Joseph, the siblings find their isolated cabin under siege every night from packs of wolves and Josephine falling into a mysterious illness. Sang-Froid is split into three separate sections: during the day, you can take trips into town to visit the shops to buy items or have one of your weapons blessed by the nuns at the Convent. At twilight, you will enter an overhead view showing the family's cabin and homestead; this is where you can place traps and identify which enemies will be approaching and in what order. Lastly, at night is where you will be taking control of one of the brothers as you fight off waves of enemies in a third-person action sequence.  The tactical section of Sang-Froid is where you can lay traps and boost items across the map to improve your chances of killing some of the attacking wolves before they reach the fragile cabin and barn. There's a good variety of options in how you deal with upcoming enemies: a simple wolf trap will kill a simple wolf and damage a hardier enemy but they're only really useful placed in a thin path. A hanging net will take out a group on enemies but it requires the player to activate it by shooting it down.  The fun part is that traps can be used in conjunction with another trap; so placing a wolf trap with a hanging net above it will kill a tough werewolf at once. If you place bait underneath a hanging net, you can get a large pack of wolves to pause underneath your trap, making it a cinch to take out the whole group. Placing traps costs action points and money, which are finite; you can't simply cover the whole map in traps and hope they take out the bulk of the pack. Careful placement and paying attention to where the enemies are heading and what wave they're in is key. The strategy mode is pretty well-executed; all the available traps are laid out at the bottom and all are explained in a lot of detail, including what enemies are immune to them and tips for their best use. Another neat feature is that any traps not set off during the night phase will be left on the map for you to re-sell. If you find yourself struggling or even dying in the night phase, you'll be able to restart from either the beginning of the night or at the start of twilight so you can re-plan and change your setup. The night phase is where you'll take control of Jacques or Joseph (you make your choice at the start of the game, each brother offering a different difficulty setting) and fight off the wolves whilst in a third-person view. This part doesn't feel as polished, however; melee combat consists of using your axe to hack away at enemies in either single strikes or a simple three-hit combo. The axe initially feels weak although it can be improved either by blessings or buying a more powerful model. The combat still feels lightweight, even after improving your arsenal. Your other weapon is a rifle that lets you take pot shots at enemies but being period-accurate, it takes a while to reload. Rest assured, you're not going to be headshotting scores of enemies, but there is a tactical element to the combat. Regular wolves behave similarly to a real wolf pack; they'll circle you and attack at different angles. A fear gauge indicates how long you have before a wolf will strike; killing a wolf or intimidating them by standing near a bonfire will increase that time. If you stand still out in the open, your enemies will attack a lot quicker so it's really important to use any time between attacks to let your stamina recharge and to reload your rifle. After each successful defense of your home, you'll get the chance to upgrade some of your core skills. The skill tree looks initially unwieldy but it offers some meaningful choices; choosing between a quicker reload or more powerful traps is a hard choice to make. Choosing to spend your hard-earned cash on new weapons or blessed ammo is another tough one. You could spend that money on extra traps if you're confident in your plans. You'll usually learn the hard way if your plan works as you can be frequently over-run by rabid wolves without too much warning. Artiface Studios is a small team, and even though this is a beta version of Sang-Froid, there were some rough edges that stood out; whilst the game has a good range of PC graphics options, there wasn't one to change the resolution of the game -- a big oversight. There were parts where it seemed that dialogue was missing, mainly from the town's inhabitants in the shops and convent. Their lips were moving but I wasn't hearing any dialogue. Speaking with Adam Rotondo at Artiface, he's assured me that more graphics options will be included in a forthcoming patch. The cutscenes do a good enough job but the 3D models look quite rough and the animations are a bit stiff which is all the more grating as there's a nicely animated 2D intro movie. Considering the cutscenes are non-interactive, it would have been nice to see this art style carry forward into the game itself. A compelling blend of different gameplay styles, Sang-Froid - A Tale of Werewolves is an interesting title. It's well-structured as the challenge unfolds gradually over a period of days and each new mechanic and trap is explained well. Here's hoping the challenge continues to build and that the strategy element is key to successfully defending yourself through the night -- that's where Sang-Froid's strengths lie.
Tales of Werewolves photo
Greenlit title pits Werewolves vs. Canadians
Don't know about you, but I have a real soft spot for supernatural tales set during the frontier times in North America. The mixture of exploring a new world mixed with the superstitions and myths of the time is hea...

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Wii Mini online scrapped to keep down costs


Nintendo claims Wii Mini is for 'families'
Dec 06
// Jim Sterling
Nintendo has justified the Wii Mini's lack of basic features by claiming the aim was to keep costs down. Yes, I know, a bit of a Captain Obvious response. More interesting is the extra reasoning provided by Nintendo of Canada...
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Come see some games at Toronto's Gamercamp


You hear that, you canuckers!?!
Oct 29
// Allistair Pinsof
[Update: This post, originally published with the headline, "Playable Splinter Cell and more at Toronto's Gamercamp," has been amended. We have received an email from Ubisoft saying Splinter Cell will not be playable at ...
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Rockstar Toronto getting a new place, Vancouver moving in


Jul 09
// Brett Zeidler
Things are a-changin' over in Rockstar Canada. Rockstar is moving their Toronto team into a much bigger studio, a part of which the Ontario government is footing the bill for (specifics of the financial details were not relea...
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Indie devs and artists unite for Comics Vs. Games


Apr 30
// Tony Ponce
If you are in Toronto this week, you might want to scoot on by the Comics vs. Games exhibition, hosted by TIFF Nexus and led by They Bleed Pixels creator Miguel Sternberg. The main draw of the event is a set of five games, e...
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Canadian Videogame Awards finalists announced


Mar 27
// Maurice Tan
Why yes, there is such a thing as the Canadian Video Game Awards! The 3rd annual edition of the awards show will take place in Vancouver on April 21st, and coincides with Fan Expo Vancouver (limited seating available to Fan E...
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Activision hunting down Modern Warfare 3 pirates


Oct 28
// Jim Sterling
Impatient gamers have already managed to get their hands on leaked copies of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, with pirated versions springing up online -- but if you mess with the bull, you get the horns, and Activision i...
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Katamari creator Keita Takahashi to work on MMO Glitch


Jul 14
// Dale North
What's next for the guy behind Katamari Damacy and Noby Noby Boy? A MMO. Keita Takahashi has joined forces with Canadian developers Tiny Speck to work on the upcoming MMO Glitch. You'll easily get why he is involved when you ...
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Here's a mysterious Canadian viral campaign to watch


Jun 02
// Conrad Zimmerman
The Canadian Videogame Awards recently aired and, in amongst the hustle and bustle, a web address was shown onscreen leading to a countdown timer. The countdown at thereisnolist.ca ended last night, revealing what appeared to...
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Sony hit with second PSN class action suit


May 04
// Jim Sterling
Sony is already facing a class action suit in the United States, but now Canadian lawyers have caught the whiff of blood in their nostrils and are circling the embattled company. If Sony collects a full set of suits, it can t...
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Canabalt 2 player coming to the Winnitron 1000


Dec 05
// Jonathan Holmes
Have you played Canabalt yet? It's a free and fun auto-run platformer, and it's surely worth a second or two of your time, if not just to see how compelling one-button gaming can be. Just like Meat Boy was the foundation of ...
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Kevin Butler shows Canada some love


Nov 10
// Conrad Zimmerman
Sony has released a new Kevin Butler ad in which the VP who "only does everything" addresses the good people of Canada in regards to the video delivery service on PSN. Now, I thought I had missed some news about a new featur...
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Gears 2 gets 8X experience in celebration of America


Jul 03
// Matthew Razak
There are two ways to express your love for America this weekend: fireworks and earning 8X experience in Gears of War 2. The latter you can do any time through July 6, while the former must be done at night on July 4 (or July...
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Creative Director of Ubisoft Montreal says au revoir


Jun 14
// Ben Perlee
As the creative director of Ubisoft Montreal, and Assassin's Creed and Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, Patrice Désilets is a big deal for the company. Or, he at least was a big deal, as announcing today, courtesy ...
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NHL 11 to have real-time physics, Canadian Hockey League


May 21
// Samit Sarkar
The fall 2010 release of NHL 11 is still far off, but already, EA Sports is putting out bits and pieces of information on the game. Earlier this week, EA Canada updated the franchise's Facebook page with the screenshot y...
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Canada: Today is the day you can get a free DSi XL


Mar 28
// Matthew Razak
If you were considering getting a DSi XL -- even for just a single, momentary second -- and you live in, near or around Canada then you should probably pick up five relatively new games you aren't playing anymore and head to ...
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Final Fantasy band nixes name in fear of Square banhammer


Dec 19
// Joseph Leray
If you've ever listened to the Arcade Fire, Beirut, Stars, or any number of alternative Canadian bands, you've heard Final Fantasy's work. At least, you heard what used to be Final Fantasy: violinist, composer, and indie-pop ...
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Sorry Canada, no Half-Minute Hero for you


Oct 28
// Jim Sterling
Apparently, if your game doesn't have French in it, Quebec won't let you sell it. This is probably something our millions of Quebec readers already knew, but one of them, Destructoid reader Mike, was unaware and has been disa...
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Canadian government funding indie games development


Aug 11
// Joseph Leray
You and I both know that every person that has ever said, "If [so and so] gets elected, I'm moving to Canada!" is lying. Well, it seems that Canada is starting to call our bluff, doing everything it can to attract g...
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P.E.I. goes to bat for Longtail Studios with tax breaks


Jul 09
// Joseph Leray
Two Canadian provinces, Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia, have agreed to a bare-knuckle brawl to the death, both hoping to curry the favor of Longtail Studios, an iPhone and Wii developer based in New York. Twenty-three L...
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THQ hates Canada


Apr 09
// Aerox
Ok, not really. I'm sure THQ loves Canada just as equally as the rest of the world. However, it turns out that a whole bunch of copies of Company of Heroes: Tales of Valor shipped up in Canada with incomplete instruction book...
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Killzone 2 ads pulled in Toronto because OMG VIOLENCE!


Mar 12
// Jim Sterling
Sony has pulled a number of bus shelter ads promoting Killzone 2 following complaints concerning their "violent" imagery. It's been proven that viewing pictures of things that may represent fictional violent acts in...
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Oh, Canada: Beyond Good & Evil is a cheese pack-in


Feb 20
// Dale North
I love me some string cheese. I'm not sure why it peels like that, but I totally dig it as a midday blogger snack. And I dig Beyond Good & Evil. Though it's not the newest game around, and I think it was largely overlooke...
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EA's new Canadian studio gets a red light


Dec 12
// Jim Sterling
Electronic Arts' misfortune continues, as the former dominatrix of the games industry has announced that plans have been scrapped for new studio in Vancouver, Canada.Citing lower-than-expected revenue figures and ongoing glob...
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Sex or videogames? Canadian women answer!


Oct 17
// Jim Sterling
If you love rampant sex, then you might not want to visit Canada during the launch of a big game. A recent survey has concluded that more women than men would choose interactive entertainment over good old fashioned intercour...
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Kids microwave cat, get banned from playing videogames ... wait, what?


Sep 06
// Jim Sterling
I know some of you are sick of the "videogamers who do crimes" angle, but this one's just a bit too eyebrow-raising not to post. It involves a cat, a microwave and two teenagers who wanted to combine the former with...
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Best Buy Canada gets into the used games market


Jun 17
// Qais Fulton
Best Buy Canada, recognizing the obscene profits to be made by reselling used games, has decided to adopt the practice at its subsidiary Future Shop stores. The Globe and Mail goes on to tell us what we're already intimately ...
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Canadian cops hop on the GTA IV stupid wagon


Apr 25
// Jim Sterling
Probably feeling left out as the world's biggest moron parade marches by without them, the Calgary police department has come out to say that Grand Theft Auto IV is a "grave concern" and is worried about children be...
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GDC 08: Fable 2 gameplay and details. Also, co-op


Feb 21
// Dale North
 Lionhead Studio's Peter Molyneux came to the Microsoft keynote at the 2008 GDC packing new Fable 2 footage and details on cooperative gamplay.  Molyneux first showed off a new money making minigame for Fable 2. Wha...

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