Recently, there have been rumors going around that Sega would be leaving the console market and only releasing games for mobile devices. Takashi Iizuka, the Sonic Team lead, put that rumor to rest in an interview with 4g... read
Aug 12 //
Diablo III: Reaper of Souls: Ultimate Evil Edition (PS3, PS4 [tested], Xbox 360, Xbox One)Developer: Blizzard EntertainmentPublisher: Blizzard EntertainmentRelease: August 19, 2014MSRP: $39.99 (PS3, Xbox 360), $59.99 (PS4, Xbox One)
If you've played the game previously and want to bring over your character, the process is painless -- you just log into Battle.net by way of in-game menus, and log into Xbox Live or PlayStation Network. You can transfer over saves/characters from the previous console generation to the new generation (even cross-platform or cross-publisher), with the only limitation of not being able to transfer from PS4 to Xbox One and vice versa. The process takes a total of roughly one minute, but it could be longer if you forgot your Battle.net password.
What you're getting with the Ultimate Evil Edition is everything from Reaper of Souls basically (which is still currently $40 on PC) -- the new Act V, the Crusader class, Loot 2.0, the new difficulty system, adventure mode, the level cap of 70, the Mystic artisan, and a few more changes. The console version of the game allows you to use an in-game mail system to share loot as well as take advantage of the "Nemesis" feature, which is set up kind of like a Souls game.
In short, players can encounter rare creatures that will attempt to assassinate them, which will allow your friends to avenge your spirit. It's a very small social feature, but it's a welcome one that doesn't impede on the experience in any way. There's not a whole lot that's different about Ultimate Evil outside of those small additions, but if you're playing it on PS4 you can nab a Shadow of the Colossus armor pattern, as well as randomized enemies from The Last of Us in certain Rifts.
Ultimate Evil also has the same great console controls, which translate perfectly with Diablo III's skill system. All of the face buttons as well as R1 and R2 are still mapped to abilities, and the right stick is used as a combat roll that's unique to the console version.
The only hangup still are the menus, which are particularly slow to navigate with local players since only one player is allowed to use them at at time. Blizzard should have taken a cue from Champions of Norrath on the PS2, which allowed people to have separate menu instances, as well as buy or sell items at the same time. As it stands though it's not the end of the world since the quick-equip system exists with the d-pad, and online players all have their own menus.
Speaking of local players, four-player online and couch co-op returns, which is easily one of the biggest draws. On the PS4 the game doesn't chug in the slightest even with extra players on-screen, and there's something about playing dungeon crawlers locally that makes them even more enjoyable. In case you're wondering, loot is distributed equally upon pickup (or directly to players that can use an item, like bows in the instance of a Demon Hunter), and with Loot 2.0, the drops are plentiful.
Ultimate Evil Edition is a natural progression for those of you who loved the console version of Diablo III, and current generation owners can pay a $20 upgrade fee of sorts for a slight visual upgrade. If you've already played the PC version to death and don't have any local friends to play with, there isn't much here for you, though.
Go try it if you haven't already Diablo III has had a tumultuous history to say the least. Always-online DRM, the Real-Money Auction House, and loot problems plagued the original release -- all issues that took months to address. It's a hot-button issue even... read feature
Hyperkin's RetroN 5 console will be released in the Americas for $140 beginning June 6, 2014. It seems to be sold out for the time being, so I hope you got your pre-order in.
This thing is a beast, supporting NES, Famicom, SN... read
Nov 15 //
Dale North Launch Day
Killzone: Shadowfall Release Date: November 15, 2013MSRP: $59.99Score: 9.0 (review here)
I like Killzone: Shadow Fall for its change of direction from previous series games, as well as its change of pace over other first-person shooters. Guerrilla has tried a few new things this time around, and should be commended as such. I welcome the almost sandbox-ish level approach, and the stealth segments did a nice job of breaking up the standard shooting action. It’s really nice when gameplay concepts win out over big set pieces and cinematic events.
Oh, and it’s beautiful. A stunner. Killzone: Shadow Fall is the game that will make you happy to own a PS4. This needs to be on your PS4 launch game list.
KnackRelease Date: November 15, 2013MSRP: $59.99Score: 7.0 (review here)
Knack is still a fun romp, and definitely worth a play. It’s easy to pick up, a joy to look at, and and some of the boss battles are pretty great. My recommendation is that you take it in smaller doses, or try out the drop-in/drop-out cooperative play, which will definitely help when the going gets tough.
It’s not the next blockbuster platformer you'd want out of a launch title, but you need a break from shooters or want something with some personality, Knack is worth a look.
ResogunRelease Date: November 15, 2013MSRP: $14.99 (free with PS+)Score: 9.5 (review here)
Resogun is a satisfying arcade-style game with a next-gen look and feel -- the ideal system launch game. It’s an eye-searing blur of a loop that you’ll be happy to jump into again and again. Don’t miss it.
FlowerRelease Date: November 15, 2013MSRP: $9.99, but free to owners of the PS3 versionScore: Coming soon (our original review can be found here) [8.0]
An already beautiful game now looks even better. Flower has been ported from PS3 to PS4, now running at 1080p at 60 frames per second. Visually, the improvement is so massive that it's almost unbelievable. Fields look more lush with the increased detail, and the motion is so fluid that it feels like a brand new game. While the improvements are purely visual, anyone that enjoyed the original should definitely try it again. The best news is that it's free for owners of the PS3 title. If you're buying it for the first time on PS4, you'll be able to download it on PS3 or Vita, too.
Sound ShapesRelease Date: November 15, 2013MSRP: $9.99Score: (our original review can be found here) [7.0]
Like Flower, Sound Shapes gets a PS4 update. It's essentially the same game, but now you have another platform to play it on.
Assasssin's Creed IV: Black FlagRelease Date: November 15, 2013MSRP: $59.99Score: (our original review can be found here) [8.5]
Updated impressions here.
Call of Duty: GhostsRelease Date: November 15, 2013MSRP: $59.99Score: (our original review can be found here) [5.0]
Updated impressions here.
DC Universe OnlineRelease Date: November 15, 2013MSRP: Free-to-playScore: [N/A]
FIFA 14Release Date: November 15, 2013MSRP: $59.99Score: [N/A]
Battlefield 4Release Date: November 15, 2013MSRP: $59.99Score: (our original review can be found here) [8.0]
Like Call of Duty on the PS4 and Xbox One, Battlefield 4 benefits significantly on a next-gen system, giving it feature parity with the PC. Now you can experience Battlefield the way it was meant to be played, with full 64 player matches and enhanced visuals.
The PS4 version is slightly sharper than the Xbox One release, so if friends aren't an issue, I'd go with the former -- Chris
Just Dance 2014Release Date: November 15, 2013MSRP: Score: [N/A]
Injustice: Gods Among UsRelease Date: November 15, 2013MSRP: $59.99Score: (our original review can be found here) [8.5]
LEGO Marvel Super HeroesRelease Date: November 15, 2013MSRP: $59.99Score: (our original review can be found here) [8.5]
Madden 25Release Date: November 15, 2013MSRP: $59.99Score: (our original review can be found here) [7.5]
NBA 2K 14Release Date: November 15, 2013MSRP: $59.99Score: [N/A]
Need for Speed: RivalsRelease Date: November 15, 2013MSRP: $59.99Score: 8.0 [review here]
Skylanders: Swap ForceRelease Date: November 15, 2013MSRP: $59.99Score: (our original review can be found here) [8.5]
Blacklight RetributionRelease Date: November 15, 2013MSRP: Free-to-playScore: (our original review can be found here) [9.0]
ContrastRelease Date: November 15, 2013MSRP: $14.99 (free with PS+)Score: 6.5 [review here]
Super MotherloadRelease Date: November 15, 2013MSRP: $14.99Score: 8.0 [review here]
Trine 2: The Complete StoryRelease Date: November 15, 2013MSRP: $14.99Score: [N/A]
WarframeRelease Date: November 15, 2013MSRP: Free-to-playScore: [N/A]
Doki Doki UniverseRelease Date: December 2013MSRP: TBA
Doki Doki Universe is adorable, but I'm still not quite sure what it is even after spending a few hours with it. I mean, I like whatever it is, but I still don't understand it. I have a feeling that figuring out just what it is may take awhile.
In this game you play as a robot named OT3. This poor robot has been standing on a little planet for 11,432 days, waiting for his family to come back. On that 11,432nd day, he learns from a new alien friend that they're probably never coming back. And to make matters worse, this friend tells him that his model is being discontinued, and that he's to be scrapped.
But QT3 has a chance to stick around by showing that he's capable of humanity. To do this, he travels on the back of his choice of interstellar steed (I picked a flying beaver) to different planets to meet beings and become friends with them. In my short time with the game I've fed a friendly zombie chicken, danced, learned how to make earthquakes, collected dust bunnies, and more. You are supposed to meet with a therapist to see how you're doing on your humanity quest. Mine farted when I gave him a castle.
Yeah. I don't know what's going on. But I like it.
Awesomenauts: AssembleRelease Date: TBA 2013MSRP: $14.99Score: [N/A]
Impressions coming at the launch of the game.
Child of LightRelease Date: TBA 2014MSRP: TBA
In our first hands-on preview, we played the PS4 version of Child of Light, which was impossibly pretty. Ubisoft's JRPG-inspired storybook fairy tale uses hand-drawn art, dialogue written in verse, and a battle system that takes from RPG classic Grandia 2. It's powered by the same engine they used for Rayman Legends, so theres's some serious potential here.
So far, it's looking like Child of Light could be the PS4's first true role-playing game. We can't wait.
inFamous: Second SonRelease Date: TBA 2014MSRP: TBA
We're super bummed that Sucker Punch's inFamous: Second Son didn't make launch. But we played the latest build this week and it looks to be shaping up.
Blasting faces with fire coming straight from Delsin's hand was...well, a blast. But I liked running around to explore his home town of Seattle more, mostly because getting around is so much fun. Using super powers to fly is great, but turning into smoke to instantly teleport thorough grates is much more fun. But, neither are anywhere near as satisfying as Delsin's neon powers, which lets him run in any direction -- up walls or even in the air. It's like having some kind of god mode on. It almost feels wrong.
Oh, and Second Son looks amazing. Explosions look like something you'd see in a movie, and the special effects tied to Delsin's powers pop right off the screen. But some of the subtle visual stuff also makes an impact. Seeing signs and other lights reflected in the puddles of the streets of rainy Seattle really goes a long way toward making the game's setting seem real.
The demo was just a small taste of Delsin's destructive powers. I want more. Let's hope the wait isn't going to be too much longer.
War ThunderRelease Date: TBA 2014MSRP: TBA
WarThunder has five million people signed up for its PC beta, so this free-to-play title is already off to a good start before it lands on the PS4. We saw the latest build running on PS4, played with a DualShock 4 controller. Their control system takes flying and makes it easy, with movement and aiming tied together in analog stick moves, giving players what are essentially first-person shooter controls in the sky. But, if flight sims are your thing, the PS4 version will support flight sticks as well as mouse/keyboard control, permitting full, unassisted control.
Flight sims have been niche titles, but WarThunder looks really easy to get into. Anyone can jump in and blow stuff up in more than 300 available planes. Soon they'll add tanks to the mix, and ships later.
The PS4 version will be fully cross-compatible with the PC version.
What to get, and what to skip As we draw closer to PS4 launch day, November 15, we will be bringing you reviews and previews from the launch window and beyond. This is where we'll collect all of our coverage, updating it daily as embargoes lift and more t... read feature
Though Diablo III has had a few ups and downs, its publisher is now sitting pretty. During Activision's recent financial call to investors, Blizzard CEO Mike Morhaime laid out the financial success that this action-RPG title ... read
Blizzard has dropped a patch for the PS3 version of Diablo III, and it fixes a number of bugs in the game, such as crashes that occur when quitting during a cutscene, or other multiplayer related glitches. It's nice to see Bl... read
Sep 04 //
Diablo III (PlayStation 3 [tested], Xbox 360)Developer: Blizzard EntertainmentPublisher: Blizzard EntertainmentRelease: September 3, 2013MSRP: $59.99
I'll spare you the intricate details of Diablo III's most basic of qualities (you can read about them in Jonathan Ross' review here) like the simplified rune system and class mechanics, but suffice to say I heartily enjoyed Diablo III at launch. In fact, the game is mostly intact from the PC version including the extra Paragon levels that enhance your character past the maximum level limit, and every other bit of content is still accounted for.
Since keyboard and mouse support on consoles is basically dead these days, one major change is of course the requirement of a controller. It operates just as you'd imagine, with the left stick moving your character about and the rest of the buttons essentially functioning as attacks (which can still be customized to your will by enabling "Election Mode" in the menu).
Dodging is a new mechanic that's mapped to the right analog stick a la God of War, and it works wonderfully well -- as in, I kind of want a patch to add it to the PC version. There's a lock-on ability that also works as intended, and given the hack-and-slash nature of the game, the quickness of the controller mechanics feel natural. Melee characters might be more suited to this scheme than ranged classes, but I didn't have any major issues with the Demon Hunter, Witch Doctor, or Wizard.
The only thing I'm not really keen on in particular is the user-interface system, which is rather clunky once you're micro-managing all of your loot and skills late-game. Since the console version still employs the same limited runic skill system as its PC counterpart, it's not too hard to manage all of your abilities and map them to the game's face buttons and triggers.
But the inventory system is a different story, since Blizzard has designed a radial-style UI to sift through all of your inventory spots and junk individually. Each piece of armor and weapon must be viewed one by one, forcing you to equip the proper gear or mark it as junk by clicking the right analog stick.
There is a concession for all this madness in the form of an on-screen "plus or minus" layer when picking up loot, to let you know whether or not it's worth picking up or equipping on the spot, sans menus -- but once you progress to the point where loot is more nuanced, it's fairly useless. In short, prepare to flip around menus a fair bit if you care about your stats or higher difficulties.
So what's the biggest change? There's no doubt in my mind that it's the complete removal of online DRM and the Auction House (in any form -- in-game gold or real money). This is not only a win for consumer rights from an industry standpoint, but it also mechanically strengthens the game. Loot is much better in the console version since people can't just pick up the best pieces on the Auction house, and it's a feeling that's fairly evident sooner rather than later.
Yes, it took two iterations of Diablo III to get it right, but thankfully you can now play the game offline without an install -- you just pop in the game and it's instant action. Of course the removal of the online requirement may have its drawbacks depending on who you talk to, as there is no Blizzard or Battle.net connectivity whatsoever -- meaning you cannot import or cloud save your characters from the PC version.
But so long as you're willing to start anew, you'll have plenty of options to mess around with the way you want to play them. Same-screen co-op is supported for up to four players, with the same drop-in and drop-out play from the online component -- and on the PS3, it's also one of the few games to fully support multiple profiles. From a local-op standpoint, it's just as engaging as the PS2 Baldur's Gate games or the Champions of Norrath series in that it offers up fast and easy hack-and-slash fun.
I had no trouble finding games online, dropping out, and adding local players into my session with their own profiles and characters. There's also a plethora of choices, as you can turn off the option for anyone to join, set parameters for the type of game you want to broadcast to other players, and more. Funnily enough LAN play is also built into the console version of Diablo III in addition to offline and online play, which is a nice touch. Blizzard really went all-out in terms of multiplayer and as a result, it makes for a great party game -- a stark contrast to the DRM-laden, isolated feel of the PC version.
For the thousands of gamers out there who feel duped by Diablo III on PC, it may be hard to justify buying the game all over again on consoles for a better experience -- especially since the announced expansion may come to the PS3 and 360 later than the PC. I know it's a bit hard to swallow feeling like you were beta testing a future iteration of the game, but so long as you're willing to return to the world of Diablo and vanquish its evil once again, this is the best way to do it.
The version you always wanted The thought of the Diablo franchise coming to consoles yet again was something I found hard to believe. I had a front-row seat to the launch of the original Diablo on the PlayStation, and to say it was a letdown is an underst... read feature
I keep telling myself that the next time I see a Kickstarter from a team that developed a much-loved classic from my youth, I'll try to contain my excitement. After all, my youth was quite a while ago. This is a promise that ... read
I was always skeptical of the Diablo III console news. Something in me always knew that given Blizzard's history with consoles, it would take a long, long time for a Diablo III console project to see the light of day -- if ev... read
Sep 17 //
Wireless headphones -- hell, wireless products in general -- suffer from lower response times, battery hassles, and generally inferior ... everything. To a degree, this reputation is certainly deserved. In the same way that laptops will always be inferior to desktops in every way but one, so too have peripherals paid the price of convenience.
It’s unfortunate, too, because the headphones, especially those meant for home theaters, do not at all lend themselves well to a perpetually tethered environment. For the best comfort, for the best experience, wireless is arguably the ultimate goal. The A50s are incredible in their ability to assuage my general trepidation towards the cordless world.
The A50s have a number of design changes over Astro’s bread-and-butter A40 set. The most striking of these is the primarily metal frame. It gives the set an excellent feeling of quality and strength that the plastic-framed A40s lack. Even the Creative Tactics can’t measure up.
The cups are lined with a soft, velvet-like fabric -- a welcome change from the leatherette standard. The headstrap is also lined with this material, coating the padding. The microphone sits on the left side, activated only when pulled down in front of the user's face.
The other controls, including volume, power, a switch for three different listening modes, and a basic equalizer are jammed into the the outer edge of the right cup. The proximity of each can be a bit confusing at times. So much packed so closely together -- and the simple fact that while gaming, you can’t see any of the components -- can make selecting the wrong setting or bumping something unintentionally an occasional annoyance.
Aurally, the A50 is a phenomenal set, packed with rich, booming base, soothingly smooth midtones and crisp highs. The soundscape is huge and open, not unlike Sennheiser HD 650 -- a pair that retails for nearly twice as much. The effect is so notable that I actually had to ask whether they were closed or open-back.
My only gripe here is the inability of the set to handle higher volumes. Don’t get me wrong, they sound spectacular at anything that even remotely resembles “safe,” but it is a bit disconcerting to hear their fail conditions. Wireless sets, unlike their tethered relatives, don’t have to cope with amps or absurd amounts of power streaming in because some idiot 20-something wants to be deaf in five years.
The positive side of that fickle coin is that, in contrast to the Creative Tactics, you will never encounter a situation where the volume level of the source limits you to to quiet and muted tones -- it will always get louder.
Microphone reception and quality is prismatic. Everyone I asked online said I came through very clear without any issues in understanding me. As mentioned before, the mic boom can be flipped up and away from the face to mute -- a simple yet brilliant feature that makes the whole system just a bit more user-friendly.
If you’ve used the A40, then you are familiar with the Mixamp, Astro’s term for the base station. It includes a USB port to charge the headset itself as well a a few basic controls to turn the system on and off. Provided with the station is a small plastic tower that acts as both a tray for the station and a rack to set the headphones on when not in use. Unfortunately, for inputs, the system only accepts optical. The set is largely console-focused and both the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 natively support TOSLink.
If you’re a PC user, you’d be hard pressed to find a cheap, consumer-grade card that would be compatible, but for everyone else, it shouldn’t be too much of a problem.
The final effect, however, is definitely worth the trouble. Because the set only takes optical, Astro thought it would be absurd to compress the the audio stream to the headset as most other wireless sets do. To accomplish this, they used the 5.8 Ghz band, which has the added benefit of being largely free from any form of electromagnetic interference.
Astro has been in the business of creating high-end gaming headsets for some time now; building inroads with MLG and other competitive communities has secured their spot as a respected manufacturer. In my experience, however, their products have suffered from lackluster build-quality and a juvenile, ostentatious design.
That trend seemed a bit true when they released the A*, a slick, modern reinterpretation of a cell-phone headset. My pair, for example, has survived everything from door jams to being put through a washer and dryer at full heat. While I can’t say with any certainty that the A50s will endure the same punishment, they have given me a bit more confidence in the design and engineering of Astro’s products.
At $300, they run on the high-end, but they at least seem to be in the same class as their price would suggest. Gone on are the days of cheap, plastic-y $200 boondoggles. From those ashes have risen a respectable, clean vision of the future of high-end gaming peripherals.
It doesn't take much to really improve the gaming experience. Better seating, better lighting, better company, etc. are sometimes all it takes to go from an utterly insufferable trek through your simulated world of ... read feature
Activision and Fox announced today the impending arrival of a new Family Guy game. Inspired by the season 8 premiere episode, "Road to the Multiverse," Family Guy: Back to the Multiverse is currently in development ... read
With everything going on during this year's E3, you may have missed some big news. Grease for the Kinect and PlayStation Move is out this week in the US, and will be out November 4th in Europe. This isn't just another singing... read
I'm not the guy who squirms in his chair while watching trailers. I was a pretty cynical and jaded guy before I became professionally consumed by videogames and time has not been kind to my level of enthusiasm. Every once in... read
Nov 11 //
Wildlife: Forest Survival (Xbox 360, PlayStation 3)Developer: EA Salt LakePublisher: EATo be released: Spring 2011
While the four class types seem slightly arbitrary, they are each pretty important. Wildlife follows the natural pattern of the food chain. Rabbits on the bottom, their goal is to eat as many carrots as possible, which can be found all over the various maps. Carrots don't seem to be worth many points, so rabbits have to eat a lot if they hope to win. With the best jumping skill, fastest running speed, and a “danger sense” that shows up as a hard to see ear wobble. Often times they are the only ones who can fit in certain hideaways, and they can eat poison peppers (making them poisonous) or speedy green peppers, which will make them even faster.
Foxes can eat both rabbits and hawks (should the birds miss on a dive, the fox can make an easy kill), and they also see the sense trails left behind rabbits. As a larger target for the hawks and gators, they have some serious weaknesses, but have enough evasive and offensive skills, they can be quite effective at winning matches.
The hawk initially has some of the best skills. Being able to fly above the forest arenas gives them a clear view of the animal shenanigans below. Diving down to kill a fox or rabbit is a bit harder than you'd think, and the rabbits are very difficult to snag. Both foxes and gators pose a threat if you fly too close to the ground and water.
Gators, from my play session, seemed to struggle the most. Slow on land, but fast in the water, they can eat anything and sneak up from the ponds and creeks. At the top of the food chain, having all the food options available means there are plenty of choices, but since everything is so much faster than you, it's hard to catch up.
One little feature some will find cute are unlockable skins and color options for the animals. Nothing unrealistic, but you can have a pinkish rabbit and a golden hawk for some minor customization, for example. I'm secretly hoping little hats will be unlockable.
While all this is grand and good, one problem I noticed with Wildlife is balancing. There can only be four of each animal type on the map at any time, and if there is a disproportionate number of animal types on the map, it can be easy for them to dominate. Even more, certain matches would just be impossible, like just hawks vs gators. EA Salt Lake will have to balance things out before the game launches next spring.
Personally, the game does feel a little simple, if totally wacky and fun. Wildlife: Forest Survival not a terribly realistic take on the food chain, but it's an enjoyable one. I don't think it has the depth of other class-based games, but it's a distinctly unique videogame. Keep an eye out for it next spring.
Wildlife: Forest Survival is one of the weirdest class-based versus games I have ever played. Different from the upcoming Tokyo Jungle, Wildlife: Forest Survival only has four animals, and is an arena based game that's in cute forest environments. It's all rather odd, and it is certainly like nothing else on the market. Follow for more. read feature
Dale North, Tim Sheehy and myself were lucky enough to attend a special Child of Eden event at Tokyo Game Show. Footage will be a few days before we can tell you about what we saw, but I'm sure Ubisoft wouldn't mind if I let ... read
This is the last episode of Sundays with Sagat before the proposed reboot of the show. We'll get a sneak peak of Sagat's new take on the series this Saturday during Destructoid LIVE PAX panel. Until then, behold -- the death... read
Patriotism may not be my favorite thing ever, but I do love a good revolution. That's a big part of why I love the videogame industry. In television, movies and music, truly revolutionary moments are few and far between. In v... read
One of the breakout PC hits was Runic Games' Torchlight. A modern take on the point and click action of previous loot-collecting RPGs like Diablo, Torchlight was only heavily criticized for it's ... read
Here's the first episode of Season 2 of Sundays with Sagat. If you're new to the series, here's a quick recap; this is a video series where a man named Sagat talks to you about videogames. This is serious business. Sadly, Sa... read
God, it feels like years ago now that I posted the first video where Husky and myself chat about Tron: Evolution on the Wii. Before that though, we got a crack at the PS3/360 build of the game. Due to technological difficult... read
I find this one hard to believe for several reasons. For one, Street Fighter and Tekken play nothing alike, so combining them would surely necessitate the alienation of one or both of the series's fan-bases. Secondly, Capcom ... read