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The Division photo
The Division

Celebrate the long weekend with a super bleak The Division trailer


Tom Clancy's Estate's The Division
Jul 03
// Brett Makedonski
While Americans celebrate Independence Day the only way we know how -- grilled foods, intoxication, and explosions -- watch this crazy depressing Tom Clancy's The Division trailer to bring the mood down a little bit. We...
Arkham Knight DLC photo
Arkham Knight DLC

The first Arkham Knight DLC takes place before Arkham Asylum


Featuring Batgirl
Jul 03
// Brett Makedonski
Batman: Arkham Knight may be the third and final title in Rocksteady's trilogy of Caped Crusader games, but its first add-on travels back to before the origins of the series. Okay, well, it's the first add-on save for th...
Capsule Force photo
Capsule Force

Iron Galaxy's Capsule Force looks adorable


Launching this month
Jul 03
// Chris Carter
Iron Galaxy has announced that Capsule Force will launch on the PC and PS4 platforms this month on July 23. It's a retro-styled four player title that's set in the "far future of 1999." Although it's multiplayer oriented, it will have 30 missions to play solo. I really dig the aesthetic here, so I'll probably give it a shot.

The Red Hood DLC pack for Arkham Knight is disgustingly short

Jul 03 // Chris Carter
[embed]295280:59335:0[/embed] [Straight-up, I'm not going to spoil the story for you, but be aware that this tale takes place after the events of Arkham Knight, and that many commenters may indeed spoil it for you below -- you have been warned.] First, the good news. Red Hood takes the path of least resistance, and can be seen as an anti-Batman vigilante of sorts -- Under the Red Hood was a fantastic film, and I think Rocksteady nailed that vibe here. Red Hood is pissed (for good reason), and he isn't going to let anyone get away with their crime sprees -- unlike Batman, who is content with putting people back in Arkham only for them to break out at a later date. Similar to Harley and all of the other characters in Knight, Hood feels the exact same in the close-combat sections (just mash attack and the counter simple-minded AI), with the added power of some unique animations like...murdering people with his pistols. Unlike Harley who simply couldn't use silent takedowns, this gives the DLC a distinctly different feel, and the tone is fairly unique to the series in general. I'm also a fan of Black Mask, so seeing him return was a treat. All of this is cut short by the fact that it's roughly 10 minutes long, which naturally gives it no room to grow any of the characters or deliver anything worthwhile. You'll be greeted with a combat scene, a brief Predator sequence, then another combat bit with Black Mask, who doesn't exhibit any real unique boss qualities (again, it's "this boss throws adds at you constantly, have fun"). It's a disappointment, to say the least, as both DLCs could have been so much more if they were an hour long, had more involved stories, and interesting boss mechanics. Rocksteady is teasing a few more of these "Arkham Stories" with the Season Pass, and I sincerely hope they're more than this.
Red Hood photo
Man do I love this character though
Just yesterday, we gave you the rundown on the Harley Quinn DLC pack for Batman: Arkham Knight. Much like many aspects of the core game, it was a letdown, mostly due to its length and the fact that it doesn't really provide a...

Fallout 4 photo
Fallout 4

See if your phone will fit the Fallout 4 Pip-Boy Edition


Here's some measurements
Jul 03
// Chris Carter
The Fallout 4 Pip-Boy Edition may be sold out, but you can see if it will actually fit your current smartphone, compliments of a new blog update from Bethesda. According to the publisher, the foam inserts will fit the&nb...
Mortal Kombat X photo
Mortal Kombat X

Mortal Kombat X's Predator gets a firm release date


That ugly mofo is $4.99
Jul 03
// Chris Carter
Although it was possible to fight the Predator in Mortal Kombat X recently, he'll be making his way officially as a combatant very soon. NetherRealm has announced that his debut will be July 7, at which point he will ru...
Slain! photo
Slain!

Slain's new trailer has more blood than a GWAR concert


That is to say, there's a lot of blood
Jul 02
// Brett Makedonski
I was originally going to pass on posting this trailer, but I came across it while I was listening to Lana del Rey's Ultraviolence and that just seemed like too great of a coincidence. Also, the developer's name (Wolf Brew) ...
Renoir Kickstarter photo
Renoir Kickstarter

Noir puzzle platformer Renoir on Kickstarter


Now with gameplay footage
Jul 02
// Darren Nakamura
A few months back we got our first look at Renoir and I expressed some cautious optimism since the film noir genre is underused in games but the reveal trailer had no information on gameplay past the puzzle-platformer genre ...
Piranha Bytes RPG photo
Piranha Bytes RPG

Gothic creator working on a science fantasy RPG


Mutated creatures, you say?
Jul 02
// Jordan Devore
Piranha Bytes is known for Gothic and Risen, but it's stepping away from those series to create a new role-playing game, ELEX. That's "eclectic, lavish, exhilarating, xenial." Got it? Me neither! We can't actually see the gam...
Badman photo
Badman

Warner Bros. reportedly well aware PC Batman: Arkham Knight was hot garbage


Duh
Jul 02
// Steven Hansen
"I will say that it’s pretty rich for WB to act like they had no idea the game was in such a horrible state," an anonymous quality assurance tester on Arkham Knight told Kotaku. "It’s been like this for months and...

The Harley Quinn DLC pack for Arkham Knight is painfully brief

Jul 02 // Chris Carter
[embed]295181:59315:0[/embed] Much like Azrael and Batman's other playable companions, Harley's fighting style is nearly identical to the Dark Knight, and other than a few new animations, feels exactly the same -- though, she does have a "party popper" batarang substitute that functions like a Spider-Man web trap. Sadly, the most enemy waves will throw at you is roughly four standard foes and a shield-wielding cop, which doesn't really allow you to dig deep with the Free Flow combat system. A lack of nuanced gameplay permeates in the stealth portions too. In the few Predator sequences that are included, stealth is not really a priority for Harley. She employs laughing gas rather than smoke bombs, tumbles and leaps up walls instead of grappling, and so on, including exploding jack-in-the-boxes rather than explosive gel. Thankfully there are a few differences, most notably the fact that her "detective vision" shows her more demented side with graffiti written on the walls. Harley also cannot employ silent takedowns -- in fact, they're called "loud takedowns," and will always alert guards. She can however use a "Mayhem" ability that lets her knock out enemies in one hit for a limited time, and use Ivy's plants to take out enemies from afar. The entire affair is far too linear, taking place in the Blüdhaven Police Department. It's a prequel, so you know exactly how it plays out if you watch the intro, with a bit of stupid Penguin chatter (I never really liked Arkham's rendition of him) littered between the loose collections of challenge rooms. It all culminates with a final battle with a major hero from the story that uses the tired "throw adds at the player until he wins or loses" mechanic. There are some bright spots, like the idea of Harleen's inner self trying to reason with her insane "Harley" personality, but those concepts aren't really explored in half an hour. If you're a huge fan of Harley you can buy it this fall once its "pre-order exclusivity" (so dumb) is up, or you can just wait for the Game of the Year Edition where it will most likely appear as well. The same goes for the GameStop exclusive Red Hood pack, the PS4 exclusive Scarecrow DLC, and all the costume exclusives.
Harley Quinn photo
Less than 30 minutes
Harley Quinn is at it again this time with a pre-order exclusive DLC (yuck) for Batman: Arkham Knight. I have good news for everyone who didn't bother pre-ordering -- you aren't missing much. The entire add-on basically amounts to less than 30 minutes of the same core gameplay as Knight, minus the Batmobile-fest.

Shenmue 3 photo
Shenmue 3

Give $1,000 to Shenmue 3 Kickstarter, get personal message from Ryo


'Let's get sweaty'
Jul 02
// Vikki Blake
The voice actor who played Ryo in the English versions of Shenmue 1 and 2, Corey Marshall, has been confirmed for Shenmue 3. "We would all like to thank Corey-san for coming back," says an announcement on the Shenmue 3 K...
Microsoft photo
Microsoft

Xbox: 'Sony does a really good job in mainland Europe'


'It's good competition which is good for everybody'
Jul 02
// Vikki Blake
Xbox boss Phil Spencer has acknowledged that the company must "do better in Europe." In an interview in the latest Edge Magazine, Spencer said, "when I look globally, mainland Europe is definitely an area we want to focus on....
Uncharted 4 photo
Uncharted 4

Uncharted 4 extended trailer: Drake is a Terminator


Kill me? No thanks!
Jul 01
// Steven Hansen
Hey, remember when I crouched in a bush beside skating teens and told you about the extended Uncharted 4: A Thief's End demonstration I saw at E3? (I wrote about it, too.) Now you can watch that extended gameplay and see jus...
WWE 2K16 photo
WWE 2K16

WWE 2K16 roster swells to almost twice the size of last year's


Bulking up
Jul 01
// Brett Makedonski
Developer Visual Concepts and wrestler Seth Rollins have a lot in common. They're both the architects and the future of the WWE. The only difference is that Visual Concepts handles the 2K video game side of things, not t...
PlayStation Plus photo
PlayStation Plus

There are four PS4 games in July's PlayStation Plus lineup


And, sweet, Geometry Wars 3 for Vita
Jul 01
// Jordan Devore
I feel like a digital hoarder with PlayStation Plus. So much stuff I don't need and never will. But I do need Rain, that game about a boy who is invisible unless he's in rain. Missed that back in 2013 and haven't given it any...
Arslan photo
Arslan

Here's our first look at the Heroic Legend of Arslan Musou game


Finally, actual in-game footage
Jul 01
// Chris Carter
The Heroic Legend of Arslan is getting a Musuo game that will arrive in Japan later this year on PS3 and PS4. Arslan is a classic manga series that's pretty popular in the east (and just got a new anime series), th...
Onechanbara photo
Onechanbara

Onechanbara Z2: Chaos eviscerates PS4 July 21


Subheaders are the bane of my existence
Jul 01
// Kyle MacGregor
Onechanbara Z2: Chaos is coming to North America on July 21, XSEED Games just announced. After a brief hands-on session with the upcoming PlayStation 4 exclusive at E3 the other week, I'm actually looking forward to this...
Skullgirls photo
Skullgirls

Skullgirls 2nd Encore will arrive on PS4 next week


July 7
Jul 01
// Chris Carter
Developer Lab Zero Games has announced that Skullgirls 2nd Encore will arrive on the PS4 next Tuesday on July 7. It will feature Cross-Buy with the Vita version, which is apparently still in development with a "six week ...
Shovel Knight retail photo
Shovel Knight retail

Shovel Knight headed to retail with a proper instruction manual


'No two-page inserts here!'
Jun 30
// Jordan Devore
Shovel Knight is one of those games that's so good, you want as many people as possible to hear about it, play it, and hopefully dig it as much as you do. To that end, some good news: Yacht Club Games is pushing for a retail ...
The Witcher 3 photo
The Witcher 3

The Witcher 3's free DLC run isn't over, a new quest debuts this week


Where the Cat and Wolf Play
Jun 30
// Chris Carter
Another week, another free content update for The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. This time around it's a new quest, entitled "Where the Cat and the Wolf Play." For those who aren't aware, CD Projekt Red has been adding small bits of D...
Visceral Star Wars photo
Visceral Star Wars

Visceral's Star Wars has hints of Uncharted and 1313


Uncharted writer lost 8 months of work
Jun 29
// Steven Hansen
Visceral Games' (Dead Space, Battlefield: Hardline) Star Wars game was noticeably absent from EA's E3 showing this year. I thought there was a chance we'd see it, anyhow. Uncharted voice actor Nolan North did give some hints ...

'You paint the world with your Soft Body'

Jun 29 // Jordan Devore
[embed]295022:59271:0[/embed] Introducing Soft Body on PS4, PS Vita [PlayStation Blog]
Soft Body photo
Gooey
Well, that headline wrote itself. Soft Body, *ahem*, looks like a cool, free-flowing take on Snake. Here, you're dodging bullets while filling in the world and your snake can split apart to form two bodies, each controlled by...

#darksiders photo
#darksiders

The Darksiders II remaster doesn't look all that different


Reminder: This thing is $40
Jun 29
// Jordan Devore
Were we expecting the remaster of Darksiders II for current systems to look significantly better than the 2012 original (RIP THQ)? I was not. Crisper and smoother, sure, but that's about it. Here are some comparison screenshots that, at least to these less-than-stellar eyes, took some studying.
New Atelier photo
New Atelier

Gust announces JRPG Atelier Sophie for PS4, PS3, Vita


The Alchemist of the Mysterious Book
Jun 29
// Steven Hansen
Gust has turned heads with a new PlayStation (3, 4, and Vita) action RPG Yoru no Nai Kuni (something along the line of Land of No Night). It's much darker (but still pretty) than the Atelier games the company might be best k...
Mixed accounts photo
Mixed accounts

Sony: 'We failed,' technical issues on PS3 'compromised' The Last Guardian


Mark Cerny rumor 'totally bogus'
Jun 29
// Steven Hansen
Ah, so here's a thing. Director Fumito Ueda just gave an interview with Game Informer where he put the delay on "a corporate decision by Sony" and not just technical issues. "There are always delays in production, as you know...

Review: J-Stars Victory VS+

Jun 28 // Laura Kate Dale
J-Stars Victory Vs+ (PS3, PS4 [reviewed], Vita) Developer: Spike ChunsoftPublisher: Bandai Namco EntertainmentRelease: June 26, 2015 (EU), June 30, 2015 (US) I may not be the most knowledgeable anime fan out there, but I'm always willing to try out a new series if it looks interesting. As such, I was pretty excited coming into J-Stars Victory VS+. I was hoping to experience well known characters I already knew, as well as finding new characters to get invested in and try watching going forward. Unfortunately, J-Stars Victory VS+ was a bit of a disappointment in that regard. The representations of characters I already knew didn't feel accurate and the hooks to get invested in new series just weren't there for me. So, as this is a fighting game first and foremost, let's talk about the fighting mechanics at play. Every character has one light attack button, a heavy attack button, a special attack button, a block and a dash. While these are tailored to each character, the movesets all feel very similar to play using. While it's cool to see Ichigo pull off a Getsuga Tensho and Goku a Kamehameha, both on a mechanical level act near identically. Every move is an approximation designed to fit a specific combat system's mold, which ultimately takes away some of what makes these characters unique. Defensive techniques like cancels are minimal, so if you wait for an attack animation to start then start mashing buttons you'll usually win. J-Stars Victory VS+ is not a game of skill, it's a game of waiting for any enemy to attempt anything slower than a light attack, interrupting with a light attack then button mashing while they remain locked in your combo. [embed]294934:59255:0[/embed] So, ignoring the fact the combat system itself lacks depth, lets look at how this functions as a pure fanservice game. Just looking at the numbers there is a lot here for fans of Shonen anime to love. There's representation from newer series like D.Gray-man as well as older series like Rurouni Kenshin and a whole host of series in between. There's even inclusions from my super niche sports anime, but only as support characters rather than full playable roster members. Damn, I was just about ready to praise this game for supporting my niche interests. So, let's talk about the modes on offer in J-Stars Victory VS+. There's J-Adventure, where you sail around the world on a tiny boat given to you by god to earn your way into a tournament of champions, where everyone involved seems perfectly fine with the fact god gave them a boat that couldn't get most of the places it needed to go and needlessly pads out the experience with narrative fluff between fights. This mode has four arcs, each of them near narratively identical. I couldn't see any reason players would want to go through all four of these, they're all equally padded and dull. Your other options are Victory Road which sets up special fights loosely themed around anime dream team fights, a standard Arcade mode which offers minimal challenge, local free battles and online free battles. None of these modes felt terribly coherent or fleshed out. On paper, the roster of nearly 40 playable characters is certainly impressive, but what makes these characters unique is rarely utilized fully. Each character's ultimate attack feels decidedly less visually impressive than comparable titles like Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 4. The story mode offered on disk features static 2D images of characters that may say the odd single word to each other, but otherwise remain silent. Their dialogue feels terribly homogeneous, stripped down so that every character speaks with the same uniform voice. This doesn't feel like a series of characters clashing for the first time, rather it feels like one person in many different outfits badly acting out their alternative universe fanfiction. Where the games opening cinematic gave me hope for a visually impressive, fanservice heavy experience, the single player largely boiled down to watching static images talk to each other in a weirdly unemotional tone then fight for no adequately explained reason. It just wasn't compelling. Ultimately, J-Stars Victory VS+ only succeeds as numbers on paper, the game itself being largely disappointing. The roster have had much of what made them unique stripped down, stopping me getting truly excited about the characters I knew and preventing me getting a sense of which characters were worth me investing future time watching. The mechanics are shallow, the fanservice is surface level and it only succeeds in terms of its pure number of supported characters. Overall, I walked away rather disappointed. [This review is based on a retail build of the game provided by the developer.]
J-Stars Victory VS+ photo
Mash, mash, mash, mash, mash, mash......
J-Stars Victory VS+ is a game that's mechanically light, heavy on fanservice volume but that only ever skims the surface of the characters it includes. If you want an anime brawler that focuses on the sheer volume of anime ch...

Shantae: Risky's Revenge photo
Shantae: Risky's Revenge

Shantae: Risky's Revenge - Director's Cut is better than the original


Now on PS4 this week
Jun 27
// Chris Carter
Let's take a little trip down memory lane, shall we? Back in 2002, WayForward released the original Shantae for the Game Boy Color. It wasn't a massive hit, but it quickly became a cult classic, and eventually lead to th...
PSN flash sale photo
PSN flash sale

Time for another PlayStation Network flash sale


Dragon's Dogma: Dark Arisen for $13.20!
Jun 26
// Jordan Devore
I haven't made much use of the PlayStation Network flash sales -- the best deals are often for games I own -- but I'm happy they're a regular occurrence. There's another one this weekend. PS4 Bound by Flame ($14) CastleStorm...

Willy Chyr's Relativity is Escher art come to life

Jun 26 // Jordan Devore
I only got to play around in one world, but there are others, each with a different theme or pattern. One was straight out of House of Stairs. Their designs make a lot of sense once you know that Chyr does, among other things, installation art. It shows. Relativity is somehow his first game. He has something cool in mind for how those worlds connect, but wouldn't say any more about the transitions. I'm curious to see how everything ties together, assuming I don't get totally lost.
Relativity preview photo
Walk on walls
When you jump off a ledge in Willy Chyr's Relativity, you can keep falling. Forever. The abstract world, made up of floating platforms and puzzle rooms, loops. Why climb a huge flight of stairs when you can just "fall" to the...


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