Despite the less-than-stellar reception it's received in the press, Call of Duty: Ghosts remains one of the most anticipated launch titles in the Xbox One line-up. Not because the game itself, so much as the power of its bran...
For some reason, Crimson Dragon feels like the weirdest Xbox One launch title. Maybe that can be attributed to the spiritual Panzer Dragoon sequel's tumultuous development (from 360 Kinect exclusive to budget, $20 Xbox One game).
I didn't get try out any of those carry-over Kinect functionality that's been talked about, like the ability to barrel role by leaning my body -- news that would make the early Mario Kart-playing me "woah" in amazement. Thankfully, the controller worked just fine.
Well, except for the really lazy, floaty reticule. I don't know if ii's supposed to be that dragons are unwieldy means of transport or what.
We learned the sad news this week that PopCap'sPeggle 2 won't make launch day. But it's still "launch window" and it's still awesome in the way that only Peggle should be, so I wanted to share with you my thoughts on the near-final version I played last week.
Sports, television, videogames. NBA Live 14 is the Xbox One trifecta. The NBA Live series has long been dormant, finally reviving itself on Xbox One and PlayStation 4 this month.
The key word I kept hearing was "relevancy," which is appropriate. It's something the series needs to regain. EA's ambitions, however, are not to just make a basketball that can compete with 2K at a fundamental level.
Leveraging a partnership with Synergy Sports, NBA Live boasts a constantly evolving game that will reflect the real life NBA season with hours of actual games being played. Really living up to the Live name, I guess.
I won't spend as much time on Dead Rising 3 as I did with some of the other Xbox One pre-launch previews as we've covered it a fair bit in the past. We first saw it at E3 and thought that it looked and sounded rough. But our Tokyo Game Show preview from a few months later had us feeling better about it. I was most relieved to see that Dead Rising 3 embraced the spirit of the first game at gamescom. It's absolutely bonkers and makes no apologies for that.
I feel even better about it now that I've spent a fair bit of time playing it last week.
People keep asking me about Ryse: Son of Rome. I think everyone has questions because we've heard so many conflicting things about the Xbox One launch title since its announcement. Is it a string of quick time events? How does it use Kinect? How's the combat?
I spent hours with Ryse, playing from its beginning through five levels, putting it fully through its paces. Knowing that some of you are on the fence on this one, I'm glad I can now give a clearer picture this week as we're just days away from the Xbox One launch.
Stats run sports. Yes, we have heartwarming stories of moxie and upsets and unexpected onside kicks right after the Super Bowl halftime show and they make for great narratives, but numbers are invaluable at easily quantifying what used to take a wicked good eye and more memory than is worth expending.
Anecdotes say Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo is a choke artist who can't finish games. Numbers show that from 2008 to 2012, the number of game winning drives or fourth quarter comebacks he orchestrated increased each year, including five of the Cowboys' eight wins in 2012.
One the failings of Madden has been an inability to convey information and to teach football. Madden 25 took some steps to address this with the Skills Trainer, while CoachGlass goes a step further, actually working in-game to allow you to make informed decisions with an intuitive interface.
Forza Motorsport 5 has been on my Xbox One launch list since its announcement; I knew this was a game I had to have from the beginning. I've played it several times over the past years at trade shows and other events, but every instance was little more than a few laps around a course.
Honestly, outside of showing off the fancy new visual muscle and some of the new Xbox One controller perks, none of these showings did the game any justice. Even as a racing fan, these hands-on experiences were a bit of a bummer.
Microsoft made it all better last week by giving us hours to spend with the game. I was able to start from the very beginning of the game, working my way up, just as you'd do on the first day you bring a new racer home. While Forza 5 was already at the top of my to-buy list, this lengthy run with the game made me want it even more.
I recently got to play a solid few hours of Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag and was able to do whatever I wanted, outside of the select core missions Ubisoft wanted to specifically show off. There was a lot to do, but I wanted to focus specifically the open ocean world and how you'll be interacting with it here.
Why? Because it was easily my favorite new feature for the Assassin's Creed series due to it being something fresh and different. Plus I liked ramming my big ship into tiny little ships because I'm the best pirate ever.
Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag will of course bring back the ever growing multiplayer versus mode, and like always, we can expect plenty of new content. New maps and characters are a given, but the biggest surprise with this iteration is Game Lab, a feature that lets you create your own modes.
You're able to take any of the six existing game modes and make it your own. There's up to 200 parameters you can change, everything from a match's time limit, turning off stuns, enforcing melee kills only, etc. From here players can share these custom modes with others, and if a mode gains a lot of popularity then Ubisoft will add it to the public playlist for all to enjoy.
There's a ton of different things that players can alter, even going as far as making the versus mode near identical to Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood's multiplayer mode that fans are still playing to this day.
Strider was…well, it wasn't a big deal at Tokyo Game Show 2013. It could be found at a couple of places on the show floor, but you had to look for it. But I didn't need any fanfare or huge signage to want to try it out. I mean, who doesn't like Strider? Or at least the idea of Strider.
The franchise games and their spiritual successors have been all over the map (though I really dug Moon Diver). This one, while still a side-scrolling slasher, also comes from a different area of the map. Double Helix's Strider moves like a ninja, but he moves and fights even faster than the fastest ninja ever dreamed. Shinobi would look like a turtle in comparison.
Did you use the Xbox? Remember that interface? Are you laughing? It was pretty bad, as was the first Xbox 360 one. Blades gave way to a mess of boxes, bringing us to the point we're at now. I'm sure you'll agree we're not at a good place now when it comes to Xbox 360's UI.
From what I've seen of the Xbox One interface, it seems that Microsoft has been listening to our gripes. I'd almost call the new one elegant. It's certainly clean and well-thought-out, and not unlike something you'd see on a mobile device.
Upcoming Xbox One title D4 was designed for use with Microsoft's Kinect sensor. Game director Hidetaka "Swery65" Suehiro made it a point to stress this during our Tokyo Game Show meeting. D4 can be played with a controller, but his personal preference is that you play it with Kinect.
When we saw all of the weird things you can do with your hands in D4, this makes perfect sense. D4 looks fun to play with Kinect controls.
The first showing of Dead Rising 3 looked good, but it also looked pretty serious. I feel in love with the franchise for its weirdness, so that first showing at E3 had me concerned. But from what I've seen at Tokyo Game Show this week, I'm no longer worried. Now I know that Dead Rising 3 is about as crazy as it gets.
First, you need to watch this trailer for Valiant Hearts: The Great War before reading anything about it.
This isn't your typical war game, as Valiant Hearts is going beyond the disconnected action tropes of "good versus evi...
Yeah, you read that headline right. Trust me, I was having a hard time wrapping my head around it too, but sure enough, a Japanese-style role-playing game from Ubisoft. Even stranger, Child of Light is by writer Jeffrey Yohalem and creative director Pat Plourde, two of the main people behind Far Cry 3.
Child of Light is a 2D action JRPG made on the UbiArt Framework engine, the same engine that's made that last two wonderful-looking Rayman games. The team is looking to make a love letter for JRPG fans, those that fondly remember the golden age of Squaresoft, with influences from Final Fantasy to Grandia.