Nintendo isn't exactly known for its online experiences. With the exception of a few recent titles like Mario Kart 8, the public is typically clamoring for some form of online support. Games like Mario Party 10 would probably be more enjoyable with the feature, and games like Splatoon, coming in May, are predicated on a strong online infrastructure.
While the core of Splatoon's multiplayer is very fun, I do have a few concerns specifically stemming from Nintendo's inexperience in the market.
Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker launched its amiibo compatibility this week, and I've found a new reason to revisit the game. It's as simple as adding in a "Hide-and-Seek" mode, enabled by tapping the newly minted Toad amiibo to the GamePad as you're selecting each stage.
After a quick tap the minigame will start, tasking you to find a "Pixel Toad" while playing the level as normal. All you have to do is locate it and tap it on the GamePad to complete the extra mission. Hide-and-Seek will work with all three core episodes, but it is not compatible with the bonus stages. After finding the Pixel Toad, you'll earn a new stamp in your notebook for that page.
Experience Points is a series in which I highlight some of the most memorable things about a particular game. These can include anything from a specific scene or moment, a character, a weapon or item, a level or location, a part of the soundtrack, a gameplay mechanic, a line of dialogue, or anything else about the game that is particularly noteworthy and/or awesome.
This series will no doubt contain spoilers for the games being discussed, so keep that in mind if you plan on playing the game for the first time.
This entry is all about Persona 4. Feel free to share some of your own favorite things about the game in the comments!
Earlier this week Square Enix began taking pre-orders for Final Fantasy XIV: Heavensward - the upcoming first expansion to Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn. Releasing later this summer on June 23rd, the game retails for $39.99 on all its available platforms.
For this weekend there is still a limited time discount thrown into the mix dropping the price of the PC version of the game to $29.99 for the base game and $46.80 on the Collector's Edition. Pre-ordering Heavensward will grant you early access and includes in-game goodies such as chocobo pet.
In the now arriving to PC department, Dead or Alive 5 Last Round arrives March 30th. As usual prior to launch all digital retailers are offering a 10% instant discount to $35.99, however you can stack the previously mentioned discount, making the final price only $28.09.
Finally for those unaware, there's a giant 2K catalog sale going on at Steam Store. Most titles are tying historic lows, though a few games are cheaper at Mac Game Store vs Steam Store. You can reference our post from yesterday to dig into the deals deeper.
Recently, amidst the hubbub of PAX East news and previews, we had the audacity to ask you to vote for your favorite game on the show floor. The nerve of us! Forcing you to choose from such a vast array of amazing videogames!
Well, vote you did, and the results point to yet another amazing year for gaming. Read on to see which awards took home the prize!
It was almost a year ago (ten months, more accurately) when I sat down with EVE: Valkyrie's developers, and they told me "We're ready to ship when Oculus is ready to ship." At the time, Valkyrie was considered a flagship title for virtual reality, but it's unclear if that's still the case. There are a lot more entrants in the arena now, after all. However, EVE: Valkyrie's developers have their sights set on a more aggressive goal.
"We just extend our ambitions," Valkyrie executive producer Owen O'Brien told me when asked what it's like to stretch out the production schedule an extra year on a title that has been technically ready for quite some time. O'Brien elaborated "A year ago, I don't think I would've stood up and said 'I want to be the best multiplayer game in VR,' but now I feel completely comfortable saying that. So, I think an extra year in the production cycle, it's fine because we're not a huge team. We're working on bleeding edge technology that is still developing. CCP as a company kind of knew what they were getting into. That's something that was to be expected with VR, and we're still very happy to be at the forefront of it."
But, not only does O'Brien want Valkyrie to be a heralded multiplayer title, he wants it to be the pinnacle of VR competition. Thinking about his ultimate goal for Valkyrie several years down the road, he offered "I would love this to be the eSports of VR."
It’s no secret that virtual reality is quickly making its mark on the videogame industry. If that weren't evident before, GDC 2015 kicked the door wide open. That's why, with numerous developers turning their attention to the new technology, it's remarkable that the developers for EVE Online have been at the forefront of VR for years now.
EVE: Valkyrie, the spaceship dog-fighting game, has been pinned by Oculus as a flagship title for whenever the Rift ends up launching. That's coming along nicely, but its origin story is particularly noteworthy. It was created by CCP as a tech demo for convention-goers at Fanfest in 2013. It basically boiled down to a treat for coming out to the show. However, the reaction was so strong and positive that CCP turned it into a fully-realized game – one that obviously caught the attention of Oculus.
CCP is casually trying to recapture that lightning in a bottle. It directed its Atlanta and Shanghai studios to work on VR experiences. The instruction ended there -- no mandate that they do something that fits into the EVE universe. The four demos that the studios collectively came up with are wonderfully experimental and, most importantly, fun. They're all united under the banner of "VR Labs" for now, and CCP stresses that none of them are official games. But, as we've seen in the past, maybe that'll change after this weekend.
Indie developers make some cool as heck games, but they're not always so great at selling them. We want to them work on their pitch game until they're at Bumgarner levels and we want to take advantage of the the horrible, horrible GDC elevators that get gummed up with folks who don't know you're supposed to walk on the left, stand on the right.
Welcome to another Escalator Pitch. We've gone from pitching classics to meta escalator pitches to, hey, an actual game in development. One from storied id co-founder John Romero (Doom, Quake, Daikatana), who is working on Gunman Taco Truck with Brenda Romero and their sons Michael Romero and Donovan Romero-Brathwaite. The latter thought up the idea.
Headline courtesy of Jonathan Holmes, that lovely man.
With Hotline Miami 2 recently released, I realized I am really, really tired of games that belong in its genre. When I say "genre," I refer not to "action games" or "indie games" or even "violent games," but a subtler, more hypocritical classification: I'm referring to videogames that criticize violent videogames and their fans, while still being violent videogames.
Hotline Miami. Far Cry 3. Games that turn a mirror on the player and say, "look at you! Look at how much you love simulated, throwaway violence, you absolute monster! Let me rub your nose in how gross you are...by filling your screen with lovely, lovely violence!"
There are much better ways to deal with violence in videogames, and they don't involve hypocrisy.
"After we finish [Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain], Mr. Kojima and upper management will leave Konami," a source within Kojima Productions told GameSpot today amidst speculation that some real crazy shit is happening at the publisher. "They said their contract ends in December."
There have reportedly been a "fallout" and "power struggles" between Kojima Productions and Konami, which have led to some senior Metal Gear staff, including series creator Hideo Kojima, to be designated "essentially [as] contractors, not permanent employees," according to the source.
Staggering. Just staggering. And there's more: Kojima is no longer listed as an executive of Konami. Kojima Productions Los Angeles is now named "Konami Los Angeles Studios," and its @Kojima_Pro_Live Twitter account has "moved" to @metalgear_en. Lastly, online marketing materials for The Phantom Pain have excised the standard "A Hideo Kojima game" descriptor.
In a statement to press, Konami said it is "shifting [its] production structure to a headquarters-controlled system..." and added that "Konami Digital Entertainment (including Mr. Kojima) will continue to develop and support Metal Gear products."
Atari thought it was "absolutely rubbish," the Jaguar designer told developer Jeff Minter in 1993. The man felt compelled to pull Minter aside at the console's launch party and let him know how little Atari thought of Minter's latest creation, Tempest 2000, a remake of the 1981 arcade classic.
Minter still finished the game, which went on to enjoy a good bit of success, so much so that the developer has continued to tinker with the formula for over two decades. Just last year, Minter's studio Llamasoft released a spiritual successor called TxKon PlayStation Vita. It garnered a fair amount of critical acclaim, but sales were modest -- something Minter hoped to improve upon by casting a wider net on PlayStation 4, PC, Android, and various VR platforms.
It's unlikely to ever happen, though. Minter says the other versions of TxK will "never see the light of day," thanks to Atari (or at least the wolf in sheep's clothing now parading around as the once-beloved company). Threats of legal action have the multiplatform release dead in the water.
Where were you when that debut trailer for StarCraft II popped up online? It made its announcement all the way back in 2007 at the Blizzard Worldwide Invitational in South Korea. Much has changed since then. With the release of two StarCraft II titles so far, Blizzard has been trying to keep things interesting for the series in the face of evolving tastes and new games.
But one thing sure hasn't changed in the time since its debut all those years ago. People are still very much into the series, and with the final expansion rearing its head, the developers at Blizzard want players to get some hands-on time with the legendary real-time strategy title before its official release. Which, of course, hasn't quite been revealed yet.
During GDC, I got the opportunity to speak with Blizzard about its plans for the future of StarCraft, and how the upcoming expansion plans to tie everything up in dramatic and epic fashion.
Though it's slowly opening up, the videogame industry is still pretty closed to anyone over a certain age. Most console games are firmly targeted people aged 10-to-30, and that's the way its been for a long time. This is part of why so few videogame console developers have managed to stick around for more than 20 years. People grow up, and as they move forward, the game brands and consoles that they once loved often look childish and obsolete to them. Meanwhile, new generations growing into a love of the medium often see the consoles producers that the older generation enjoyed as passé, or worse, for "old people."
That's part of why it's such a miracle that Nintendo has been able to remain so popular for so long. It's been 32 years since the NES first exploded on the market, and since that time, we've seen multiple generations of gamers grow into Nintendo, grow out of them, get nostalgic for them, get sick of that nostalgia, and then fall in love with them all over again. Regardless of how often you play Nintendo games now, almost everyone has strong feelings about them. Here's a sample of a roundtable discussion among Destructoid staff about Nintendo recent announcements of a new game console, partnering with DeNA for smartphone games and services, and a lot more.
Bladestorm: Nightmare is not a Dynasty Warriors game.
That bit of information might be good or bad news, depending which side of the fence one falls on with regard to Tecmo Koei's long-running brawler series.
At the same time, though, the game does manage to capture just enough of the essence of Dynasty Warriors to drive away those who dislike it, while disappointing those who come in hoping for a more conventional entry into the franchise.
Which is a shame, as despite being an almost eight-year-old design, Bladestorm still has a few tricks its more popular cousins could stand to crib.
Jackbox Games has been busy. In addition to reviving the You Don't Know Jack franchise for modern consoles, it's also built an intriguing online infrastructure from the ground up. As an innovative way to solve the "controller problem" for fairly new platforms, Xbox One and PS4 owners can use their mobile devices (or anything that has internet access) to tap in and play with seven other people.
It's a really cool concept, and now Jackbox is poised to integrate it with Twitch for a full-on virtual party. Since the company is launching a Kickstarter for a brand new game that uses the same tech, I decided to reach out and pick CEO Mike Bilder's brain a bit.
[Ed. Note: Super fake console photo added for emotional trauma. It's an old gag by GreenStar Studios.]
Earlier today we reported on the news that Nintendo is partnering up with DeNA to bring Nintendo franchises to smart phones. During the announcement, Satoru Iwata was eager to reassure core Nintendo fans that while the company is moving into smart phone development, this does not mark the end of them as a dedicated gaming hardware manufacturer.
While this is not something directly relating to the collaboration that we have announced today, here is one thing I would like to mention to avoid any misunderstandings.
Nintendo has decided to deploy its video game business on smart devices but it is not because we have lost passion or vision for the business of dedicated video game systems. On the contrary, now that we have decided how we will make use of smart devices, we have come to hold an even stronger passion and vision for the dedicated video game system business than ever before. Nintendo has made this decision because we have concluded that the approach of making use of smart devices is a rational way for us to encourage even more people around the world to recognize the great value of the wonderful game software available on our dedicated game systems.
As proof that Nintendo maintains strong enthusiasm for the dedicated game system business, let me confirm that Nintendo is currently developing a dedicated game platform with a brand-new concept under the development codename "NX." It is too early to elaborate on the details of this project, but we hope to share more information with you next year.
It's currently unclear what kind of hardware the NX will be, but the general consensus is that the hardware is likely to replace the Wii U, in one form or another. So, expect a reveal at E3 2016?