This review recap is brought to you by Daft Punk's Alive 2007, which fueled the incessant copying and pasting efforts needed to put one of these together. I don't feel like I've blinked since I started working on this, but it's worth it!
April was notable in that most of what we covered was smaller-scale and released through digital channels rather than at retail. We had Dead Island Riptide, sure, but there was also the likes of Don't Starveand Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon. Speaking of which, did you notice that video reviews are back? There's going to be plenty more of those on the way.
Which games released in April, if any, decimated your free time?
Not content with taking the Doodle Jump formula and simply placing Sonic in it with Sonic Jump, Sega has tapped a new mobile avenue, the 3D endless runner. Surprisingly, this sub-genre is the one that actually suits Sonic the most -- perhaps more than any IP ever could.
But as you can imagine, with the problematic and pushy nature of in-app-purchasing, Sega's handling of the franchise in general, and some developer's inability to translate quality into the mobile arena, a whole heap of things could go wrong.
What a month! Now that March is well behind us (and we remembered to take a look back to ponder), I feel confident in saying that between BioShock Infiniteand Tomb Raider, and yet another Gears of War, we are well into this year of big-budget gaming.
Take a look at everything we reviewed in March -- there's a lot! What was your jam? What did you miss out on? I still need to grab copies of HarmoKnightand Luigi's Mansion for my 3DS. The poor guy has gotten dusty and now only I'm to blame for it.
What is it that makes fishing such a compelling mechanic to developers? Ridiculous Fishing helps to answer that question. It's takes all of the moment-to-moment experiences associated with fishing (calm, anticipation, surprise, disappointment, pride, shame, epiphany) and turns them all up to appropriately ridiculous levels of intensity. That's why it's the best fishing game.
When the makers of Alien vs. Predator: Evolution saw the negative press and subsequent fallout regarding Aliens: Colonial Marines, they must have laughed. I imagine them bellowing obnoxiously, roaring their gleeful approval that no matter what their game will be like, there's no way it could be considered anywhere near as bad.
Sadly, these hypothetical developers are wholly mistaken. Evolution is ironically titled, as backward and inefficient as it is. It manages to do the seemingly impossible and rival Colonial Marines in its awfulness. Just when Aliens fans thought things could only get better, along comes Angry Mob Games to demonstrate that, no, the franchise isn't done being pissed on yet.
It's been a couple years since Zen Studios first took on the Marvel license and subsequently released expertly crafted tables centered around the biggest characters and story arcs in the comic book giant's vast library. Each table outdid the last, and it seemed like there was no way they could do any better with the next tables. Then they did.
After fifteen tables and no signs of slowing down, the studiohas done a brilliant job with the Marvel license, so what would the next logical step be for the masterminds at Zen? Well, Star Wars Pinball, of course.
All this Grand Theft Auto anniversary talk makes me feel old. It feels like just yesterday I was listening to Michael Jackson, swerving around as Tommy Vercetti, and taking in the sights of Rockstar's faux-Miami setting.
I think a lot of people missed out on Vice City because it came out so soon after Grand Theft Auto III, and that's a shame. Just like Grand Theft Auto III on mobile devices before it, this new anniversary edition honors the franchise's legacy: so long as you're willing to put up with touch controls.
Baldur's Gate will forever be regarded as one of the classic PC RPGs. A lot of people never experienced it back in 1998, and it's not exactly the best-looking game anymore. To complicate things, it can be a pain to get the old game to run on newer machines, even after GOG.com began selling the title.
Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition not only remedies these issues, it also adds a good amount of new content, making it way easier to recommend to someone who previously missed out.
Apple's supply chain has grown so big that we'll never see the 'one more thing' kind of surprise again. For example, they announced this morning that 100 million iPads have been sold to date.
You won't be surprised to hear that Apple announced the iPad Mini at their press conference today in San Jose, California. As expected, it's a shrunk down standard iPad, now sized at 7.9 inches, with the same 1024 x 768 resolution as the original iPad. The Apple A5 chip is doing the heaving lifting inside for this little guy. It weighs just .68 lbs, and is as thick as a pencil. A reduced width bezel makes it holdable with one hand.
It will be available in both white and black, with slate or sliver backs, like the new iPhone 5. It also uses the new Lightning connector, and has the same 10-hour battery life.
The iPad Mini Wifi 16GB model will be priced at $329. 32GB and 64GB are priced at $429 and $529. Pre-orders start this Friday, with the WiFi models shipping November 2.
The 4th generation (non-mini) iPad uses the Apple A6X chipset, doubling the performance for CPU tasks and graphics performance. Wifi performance is now 2 times faster, too. The Retina display returns. Price is exactly the same as always, starting at $499 for 16GB base model.
A developer talking passionately about its game, a journalist receiving answers to questions without fail, and nothing in between keeping either side from doing what they set out to do. This is how it should be, but it rarely ever is these days.
Games have become more than entertainment. They are now multimillion dollar investments that can sink a company with 1,000+ employees or propel a humble one to graze the Fortune 500. Marketing, press representation, media tours, exclusive deals, sponsorships, trade show booths, partners, podcasts, blogs, downloadable content schedules, and social media presence have become part of the song and dance that is bringing a game to market in 2012.
But, over there -- way over there -- is a small studio called Stoic that is making a game like it’s 1999 again.
Super Hexagon is a game that makes your eyeballs feel like they're being forcibly twisted against your will while still in their sockets. It is a game that makes your brain feel like it's being torn up and stitched back together by a drunken doctor in a back alley. It will even, at times, make you question whether you're enjoying the experience or it's simply the pulsating visuals sending you subliminal messages that trick you into revelry.
You will feel your mind bend as you replay levels over and over, experiencing both bliss that you've increased your record by a mere second, and anger that your reaction speed failed to save you from a crushing death. Best of all, you will come away from each play session feeling sharper, and more energized than you did before loading up Super Hexagon.
While many "hardcore" gamers continue to look down on mobile gaming, there are a number of studios who view it as a legitimate gaming platform, capable of the kind of "AAA" experiences we're used to. Phosphor Games is one of the front-runners, with the great Dark Meadow proving that it has the right stuff and can craft a memorable experience out of humble tools.
Phosphor's next iOS title, Horn, is coming to an iDevice near you soon. Before the launch of the studio's ambitious mobile project, we got to chat with director Chip Sineni about his game, the current state of mobile gaming, and whether or not those confounded touch controls really are as bad as people say.
Microsoft has today announced Xbox Smart Glass, a new bit of tech that will "transform the devices you already own and love." Smart Glass is, essentially, a feature that allows all your entertainment systems to communicate and and work together to enhance the way you watch films, listen to music, and play games.
Working with your Xbox 360, iOS, and Android devices, Smart Glass is designed to immerse the user in their entertainment. This can range from starting to watch a movie on a smartphone and then having the 360 resume it at home, to more interesting gimmicks such as watching Game of Thrones on the 360 while having your tablet sync up and portray a map of the series' world, giving you detailed information on the show you're watching as it happens.
In games, you could spot an interesting object while having a round of Halo, and information about that object can beam straight to your handheld device. It was also revealed that you can use a portable gadget to select plays in Madden. Naturally, this can open up some interesting new ways to enjoy a game.
Smart Glass sounds pretty interesting, and has certainly livened up an otherwise dreary conference. Very interested to see how it turns out.
Apple's unnamed new iPad was unveiled today in San Francisco at a morning press event. As expected, this new iPad will sport a Retina display with a resolution of 2048 x 1536, coming in at 264ppi, the highest in a mobile device yet. The size and shape haven't changed much, with the whole kit coming in at 1.4 lbs, and the battery still pumping out 10 hours.
Under the hood it comes with a A5X processor and quad-core graphics that are supposed to spit out four times the performance of the Tegra 3. On the connectivity front, Apple's latest tablet has an 4G LTE radio. The camera has been upgraded to 5MP, with autofocus features and and 1080p video.
Game developers are already hard at work scaling up their current games to use that shiny new screen and crazy resolution. Porn is going to be nuts on this thing.
Pricing for the March 16 release of iPad 3 is as follows: 16GB for $500, 32GB for $599, 64GB for $699. Add $130 for 4G. Pre-orders start today.
As we revealed last month, Namco Bandai is using its new ShiftyLook website to release comics based on "dormant" IPs. It was also hinted at, but some of these dormant IPs are being brought back as games as well! The next comics we can expect are going to be based on Alien Confidential and Rocket Fox, with accompanying mobile games too.
The Alien Confidential: Black & White comic series by Cryptozoic Entertainment will launch on March 9 while the social mobile game will be out sometime this Spring. The Rocket Fox comic by UDON Entertainment will be out later this month with the mobile platforming game out this April.
You'll be able to get your hands-on with Rocket Fox at WonderCon 2012 in Anaheim, California and again at the Namco Bandai Games Presents ShiftyLook x Destructoid Party at Pax East 2012. Until then, check out the exclusive screens and video below to see Rocket Fox in action.
Hero Academy is my new digital crack but it currently only has a tutorial consisting of screenshots and text, and no way to try out a game against an AI opponent. This might make some players a bit wary of trying it out for the first time against a random stranger, if you don't have a friend with whom you can ease into the game.
After suffering a number of defeats in a bunch of games that ranged from half a day to week-long bouts, I've learned some of the basics and general strategies the hard way. In order to help you get started and better prepared to jump into a match, here are some tips and tricks for Hero Academy.