For decades, gamers have been imaging various modifications to the classic Jedi weapon. We've seen double-sided sabers and sabers with handguards, but that's not the end of the craziness. Watch what happens when two force-wielding combatants try to outdo each other with their schwartz.
In what is basically an ad for Loot Crate, Mr.TVCow give us a unique spin on the classic light saber duel.
(Please visit the site to view this media)
If you don't think that games might someday look like real life then this video, which recreates a Paris apartment, might make you rethink that. This might be the most impressive gameplay demo you've ever seen and it has absolutely no action.
We've seen some impressive Unreal Engine demos in the past, and we've seen the tech used to recreate some cool game-related locales, but we haven't seen it used to create something this lifelike before. This demo, called Unreal Paris, was created by CG designer Dereau Benoît. If he doesn't have a game design job already, he should.
Our TakeWe don't think that current PC or console hardware could handle games
that looked like this, but it's only a matter of time before they can, and it's nice to see just how far Unreal's engine can be pushed.
Conan O'Brien has a pretty good set for his TBS show. Even so, the late night host thought that it would be cool if he animated an entire show inside the mega popular indie title. It sounds like Mojang was initially onboard, but pulled out at some point. We have no idea if this is true, but it's an interested story. Go tell your friends.
This isn't Conan's first run in with Minecraft; not only has the late night host played the game, he also commented on Minecraft's $2.5 billion acquisition by Microsoft. Check out the following video, which is funnier than the latter, but not as good as the former.
TT Games has carved a nice place for itself with its Lego games across numerous licenses – we've certainly enjoyed many of them through the years. But will 2015 be the year that killed the golden goose?
This year the company has three Lego titles coming out: Lego Ninjago: Shadow of Ronin, Lego Jurassic World, and Lego Marvel Avengers. That's hot on the heels of Lego Batman 3: Beyond Gotham, which came out at the end of 2014.
Is enough enough already with all these Lego titles, or is that not possible for TT Games and its supply of Lego licenses? If you think that the developer should keep putting them out, what else would you like to see?
This week’s list has a wide variety of rad games so you can tap away and keep boredom at bay. Genres include adventure, arcade, and hack-and-slash, among others. Here’s our top picks of what to pick up and play in the mobile world.
Radiation IslandDeveloper: Atypical GamesPlatform: iOSPrice: $2.99
Radiation Island can in some ways be considered the Dead Island equivalent on mobile. It features an expansive open-world with survival adventure gameplay. After partaking in the failed Philadelphia Experiment, you find yourself stranded on a mysterious island in an alternate dimension. Watch out for zombies, wild animals, and other unfriendly beasts. The game boasts beautiful graphics as you explore this post-apocalyptic open-world, craft items, and uncover hidden treasures. Certain iOS game controllers are supported. Happy zombie hunting.
Fahrenheit: Indigo Prophecy RemasteredDeveloper: Quantic DreamPlatform: iOSPrice: $9.99
This classic Quantic Dream adventure is one of David Cage’s early works from 2005, and it's been remastered for iOS. With a mix of murder mystery and sci-fi (which becomes stranger as the game progresses), it's a unique experience. The story revolves around protagonist Lucas Kane, who stabs a man whilst in an eerie trance-like state at a New York City diner. As the plot develops, you play as both the police force and Lucas, in a “hunt and be hunted” style. From button mashing and responding to QTEs, it’s evident that the gameplay has carried through to Cage’s other titles such as Heavy Rain.
Particle MaceDeveloper: Andy MakesPlatform: iOSPrice: $2.99
Particle Mace is among one of the most standout mentions this week. With its retro-esque arcade theme, it gives off an old-school vibe. Gameplay includes steering your ship clear of enemies, and hitting ‘em as you swing particles in their direction, similar to a mace-wielding motion (hence the name). It’s a simplistic and repetitive game, but it's highly addictive as you attempt to beat your own high scores.
ExilesDeveloper: Crescent Moon GamesPlatform: iOS, AndroidPrice: $4.99 on the App Store and $8.02 on Google Play
A new sci-fi RPG from the makers of Ravensword: Shadowlands hit the App Store this week. Exiles, much like Radiation Island, has incredible graphics and an open-world. Taking place in the distant future, you traverse an apocalyptic, desolated planet where a corrupt regime attempts to enslave a colony with the use of a deadly virus. As an Elite Enforcer, you slowly unravel the mysteries and secrets involving this conspiracy. Fight hostile enemy forces and explore caves, underground temples, and more.
Combo QueenDeveloper: Tap My Game, Inc.Platform: iOSPrice: $1.99This successful Kickstarter is now available on the App Store, and will eventually be releasing on Android. In this pixelated hack-and-slash, you take control of Queen, a barbaric, psychotic killer. The game features seamless rhythmic gameplay, where you tap the screen to perform timed hits and parries. It also has some RPG elements, such as progressively leveling up Queen with new equipment and combo sets.
GoG and Devolver are teaming up for a mega bundle of video games and independent films. Each of the fifteen items is discounted individually, but if you go all-in, you can save $125.
Of course, saving money is only one part of the equation. The bottom line price on the collection of 15 items is only $13.75.
Included in the bundle are the following:
The deal expires at 5:59 p.m. on Monday, February 2. You can check out the complete descriptions of the films on GoG.com.
Rumors have been swirling for most of this week that AOL would be shutting down a number of its media outlets. On the list was gaming site Joystiq. Today, this news is now official.
Joystiq was founded in 2004 by Weblogs, Inc. That company was acquired by AOL in 2005.
When reports of its demise emerged on AOL-owned TechCrunch, Joystiq boldly covered the rumor with grace and wit. TechCrunch today reports that the Joystiq name will be folded into Engadget as a sub-channel. Some staff members, including news content director Alexander Sliwinski and feature content director Xav de Matos have reported via Twitter that the staff will be let go.
Update: Editor-in-Chief Ludwig Kietzmann shared via Twitter that the site will continue to publish until Tuesday, February 3.
[Source: Alexander Sliwinski on Twitter, Xav de Matos on Twitter, TechCrunch]
Our TakeThe staff of Game Informer would like to thank the Joystiq team for its years of hard work and dedication to this medium we so love. Joystiq has been an important part of so many stories, among them leading the way on the 38 Studios closure.
We wish the absolute best for the entire team. We look forward to working with you when you find new homes, which will no doubt be quickly.
For more personal thoughts, you can read a blog post I wrote recently.
The second of three announced free Pokémon downloads is now available. Don’t worry if you didn’t get Serperior last week, you’ve still got time. But now’s a good opportunity to snatch him.
Emboar joins the lineup and will remain available through November 30. In order to get your own (complete with a hidden ability), you’ll need to use the Mystery Gift option in Omega Ruby or Alpha Sapphire.
Once there, you’ll need to enter a code. Serperior’s is “Pokemon497.” Emboar’s is “Pokemon500.”
One more special download is still to come. You’ll be able to nab Samurott with a code that will be in the next Pokémon Trainer Club email. You can sign up to receive it on the Pokémon website.
Square Enix has announced a pair of collections that bundle together some of the publisher's best games on PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. The collections are thematically tied together, so you're covered whether your tastes lean toward causing mayhem or keeping a low profile.
The first collection is the Ultimate Action Triple Pack. It contains Just Cause 2, Sleeping Dogs, and Tomb Raider. The Ultimate Stealth Triple Pack includes Thief, Hitman: Absolution, and Deus Ex: Human Revolution.
Both bundles will be released on March 31, and priced at $29.99 apiece.
Our TakeEach of these are solid deals, considering the games in the Action Triple Pack have an average GI score of 8.6. The Ultimate Stealth Pack isn't far behind with an average of 8.4.
If you enjoyed the humor in Borderlands 2, you probably have Anthony Burch to thank. The writer behind the Vault Hunters, Tiny Tina, Claptrap, and the rest of the cast in the amusing sequel won’t be writing the next game in the series, though.
Burch announced on Twitter this morning that he will be departing Gearbox. This coincides with a new series announcement from Freddie Wong’s RocketJump (Video Game High School) and Hulu on which Burch will be lead writer.
The eight-episode program is described as a “long-form comedy series” that will follow the filmmaking of RocketJump’s short films. The series is a partnership of Wong’s RocketJump group, Hulu, and Lionsgate.
It’s also the first of RocketJump’s shows to premiere off YouTube and Hulu’s third original series in partnership with Lionsgate.
[Source: Anthony Burch on Twitter, Hulu]
Our TakeThis is a tough break for Gearbox, as the writing behind Borderlands is a key part of the allure. It also explains why the company has been recruiting for new writers recently (along with other positions as it ramps up toward Borderlands 3).
It’s not quite February yet, which means it’s not technically time for new Xbox Live Games with Gold titles. However, Microsoft pushed #IDARB for Xbox One through a couple of days early.
The title is a pixelated sports-meets-fighting-meets-platforming game that allows you to customize your characters however you’d like. You can get it now from the Xbox Live Games Store.
You’re also running out of time to grab your January titles. Don’t miss out on The Witcher 2 on Xbox 360 and Worms Battlegrounds on Xbox One before they are gone. Tomorrow is your last chance to grab them.
For the rest of February’s lineup, check out our previous coverage. To learn more about #IDARB, check out our Test Chamber.
Our TakeWe’d love it if you shared your creations with us. We’re sure you’ll come up with some interesting characters.
Conan O’Brien’s Clueless Gamer continues to be an amusing look at the gaming world. This latest episode blows all previous entries out of the water, though.
Conan flew to Arizona to meet up with the New England Patriots’ Rob Gronkowski and the Seattle Seahawks’ Marshawn Lynch. He brought with him a preview build of Mortal Kombat X, and the results couldn’t have been more amazing.
(Please visit the site to view this media)
For those of us who play a number of games, the violence of the X-Ray and Fatality moves in Mortal Kombat X is a slight escalation. For those that might not be as familiar with NetherRealm’s wicked ways, it’s apparently a bit more shocking.
Bryan Vore and I were together when we saw Cassie Cage’s X-Ray move for the first time (you can read about that here). Our reactions weren’t too far off Marshawn Lynch’s.
For more Clueless Gamer, check out Conan playing Super Smash Bros., horror games, WWE 2K14, and Minecraft.
Yesterday, Nintendo launched a pilot program to share revenue with YouTube creators. The initiative covers select games, and passes 60 to 70 percent of ad revenue to those that post approved videos.
Today, YouTube phenomenon PewDiePie (real name Felix Kjellberg) spoke out on the matter. Kjellberg cites Minecraft as a principle reason why developers and publishers should welcome YouTube exposure.
“This is why a tiny one man indie game like Minecraft could grow into a 2.5 billion dollar deal,” he writes. “That’s 2.5 billion… Made possible largely because of YouTube!”
Kjellberg’s 34 million subscribers afford him flexibility, he says. However, smaller channels and those that specialize in Nintendo games will be most impacted.
“I also think this is a slap in the face to the YouTube channels that does focus on Nintendo game exclusively,” he writes. “The people who have helped and showed passion for Nintendo’s community are the ones left in the dirt the most. And finally, when there’s just so many games out there to play. Nintendo games just went to the bottom of that list.”
Kjellberg closes with some unkind words for the house of Mario, but reiterates that there are no winners in this situation. “Everyone loses in this scenario that Nintendo has created,” he writes. “That’s why I’m against it.”
Our TakeWhether you like or loathe Kjellberg, he has enormous reach and unmatched clout. Nintendo would do well to consider his sentiments (though maybe, not the part with the foul language).
Look, Guardians. You must not be buying up the right stock, because Xur's inventory is starting to get stale. It's Xursday, but there isn't much reason to celebrate (unless you are a Hunter).
Starfire Protocol makes yet another return for Warlocks, and Titans that didn't want Mk. 44 Stand Asides last week can not want them all over again this weekend. You can find Xur in the Tower North area.
Here's the full rundown. At least No Land Beyond isn't for sale.
Dragon's Breath (exotic rocket launcher - The Dark Below) - 17 strange coins
Don't Touch Me (Hunter arms, The Dark Below) - 13 strange coins
Starfire Protocol (Warlock chest armor, The Dark Below) - 13 strange coins
As usual, he also has exotic shards (seven strange coins), the Urn of Sacrifice (one strange coin), Sparrow upgrades (twenty-three strange coins), and telemetry for hand cannons, fusion rifles, and rocket launchers (one strange coin). There is no heavy ammo synthesis this week. Xur also has gauntlet engrams, which will cost you 23 motes of light.
This week’s upgrade list includes the following:
Sega announced today that it plans to cut a significant number of jobs in an effort to restructure its business. The company will also be departing its San Francisco location to relocate to southern California.
In a notice to investors, the company says it will solicit approximately 300 employees for early retirement, which will include related benefits. Cuts will not be limited to the early retirement offer, however. Other employees and contractors will be impacted.
Sega says that this measure will help it restructure into three business groups. The publisher will be refocusing its gaming business on PC and mobile, though not necessarily to the exclusion of console gaming. Sega now owns Relic and Creative Assembly, giving it a strong position on PCs.
The company projects net sales of ¥370 billion ($3.14 billion), slightly down from the close of fiscal 2014. Net profits are targeted to drop significantly, though. The company expects ¥4 billion ($33.9 million) down from ¥30.7 billion ($260 million) in fiscal year 2014.
Our TakeIt’s important to note that in a news release, Sega says that the full impact of the layoffs won’t be known until they are complete. The 300 voluntary retirement solicitations are just the beginning, but with the closure of the San Francisco office and relocation, the numbers could be significantly higher. Contractors aren’t typically reported in layoff numbers either, though they are mentioned specifically in Sega’s investor note.
As for the prioritization on PC and mobile, it would be a mistake to assume that Sega is getting out of the console business entirely. Nowhere does the company suggest that, instead identifying it as a growth area.
Our thoughts are with those waking up to find out that they may be losing their jobs or asked to move their families.
A new TV spot for the Majora's Mask remake has a cool retro vibe.
The commercial, which was posted by Nintendo's UK branch, definitely takes you back to the old days, right down to the portenteous voiceovers and music. The game releases in the U.S. on February 13 (Friday the 13th).
Our TakeThis definitely brings back memories of watching TV at my mom's house. I think it's a great spot.
The creative game, which aimed to innovate in video game A.I.-conversation, has been shut down by developer North Side.
Bot Colony was the creation of aerospace engineer Eugene Joseph, and was intended to do what has never been done in games - truly free-form conversations with A.I. characters. The game's plot involved a man tasked with investigating what's gone wrong at island filled by worker drone A.I. robots.
The game had previously launched a failed Kickstarter, but had gone into Early Access on Steam. However, apparently sales were incredibly bad, and now Joseph has been forced to permanently shut down development of the game.
In a (somewhat heartbreaking) statement, Joseph details the financial hard times have have hit his company:
I am very sad to announce that we will have to shut down Bot Colony due to lack of sales. Bot Colony sales are so low we can't even cover the cost of the servers running the Natural Language Understanding software - which is $524 per month ( we don't even sell 2 units per day, which would enable us to keep the servers running).
To give you some figures, the NLU technology powering Bot Colony cost around $20M and many years to develop. It is probably one of the best NLU technologies available in the world today. The game itself probably cost another $2M - $3M. On the other hand, the lifetime sales of the game to date are about $10K - not even one day of operating costs for us when we were fully staffed (we worked on it for 7 years). The update that we launched last Friday cost about $460,000 to develop. Incidentally, this update features some really innovative, unique gameplay, and I urge those who bought the game to try it - we worked really hard on it. When we released the update on Friday, we made public a video showing what we had achieved in Episode 3. Unfortunately, all of this only brought in a measly $200 in gross sales (we went up from 793 lifetime units to 814). This was the last straw that led to the decision today to shut the game down - 96 hours after launching the update.
Joseph also says that he's $5 million in debt and will be forced to sell his house of 15 years.
Our TakeThis is a shame on two fronts. Obviously, it's terrible for the people who have lost their jobs and for Joseph himself. Secondly, the game was trying something genuinely innovative. For a hint of what might have been, read this preview by Ben Reeves.
Cockroaches are hard to kill, and some game bugs can be nearly as hearty. A glitch in Destiny that has been stealing your precious heavy ammo will soon be getting squashed, so you won't have to be afraid to use your favorite rocket launcher any longer.
Destiny players tend to lose their heavy ammo when they die, return to orbit or encounter a cutscene, but come February that won't be the case. In a recent Blog post, Destiny detailed the reason why players encounter that bug.
"The basic flaw here is an ordering problem," says sandbox engineer Jon Cable. "Our inventory system creates your weapons when your characters spawn. When that happens, it tries to restore the same fraction of ammo that you had when you died. The bug occurred because the weapon is created before capacity modifiers from armor perks are applied, so the persisted fraction yields fewer rounds."
Later on, in the post, Jon explained how the developer would be fixing the problem, "In the end, I came up with a surgical change that fixes the main issue and minimizes the chances that a new problem would be introduced. I do not think I can overstate the complexity of these systems – it took me several tries to come up with a fix that did not cause other problems."
This all sounds pretty technical, but it's good to know that heavy ammo won't be quite as much of a limited resources in the near future.
Our TakeThis is a little inside baseball, but it's an interesting peek into the development process for those of us who don't make games for a living.
For those of us that still delight in venturing out to arcades, Star Wars Battle Pod is the current holy grail. This 1,200 pound machine features a huge domed screen, rumble, immersive sound, and even jets of air for added sensory input.
We’ve shown you some of the video before, but now you can hear from those that had a hand in bringing it to life. Star Wars Battle Pod is a collaboration of LucasFilm, Disney Interactive Japan, and Bandai Namco, which developed the technology for another game.
We’re still waiting to hear from Bandai Namco about where interested gamers can find the Battle Pod machines. If we here, we’ll share with you. In the meantime, if you happen to find one, let us know (and take some pictures).
Another fighter will return in April when Mortal Kombat X hits store shelves. In addition to the announcement of Reptile earlier this week, Ermac returns to manipulate souls and torture his foes.
Ermac’s three styles are Master of Souls, Mystic, and Spectral. As usual, he picks up different moves depending on which you choose.
Included are what NetherRealm calls a “Wow-Out,” during which Ermac disappears entirely. He can also teleport, fire soul balls, and even hover and fly around the screen.
A new stage was also introduced on today's live stream. The Destroyed City is clearly on Earth, but NetherRealm won’t say where (or who destroyed it). The story takes place 25 years in the future, and we’ll find out just who wrecked this pristine piece of Americana as we learn more about the single-player mode.
Mortal Kombat X will be out on April 14 for Xbox One, Xbox 360, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, and PC.
Our TakeErmac looks like an extremely technical character, regardless of which form you choose. Mastering his abilities will take time, but with the potential to disappear and confound an opponent, it will be worth the effort.
Update: Frogmind has issued a press release indicating that Badland: Game of the Year Edition is also coming to Xbox One, Xbox 360, Wii U, Vita, PC, Mac, and Linux.
Developer Frogmind has announced that a Game of the Year Edition of Badland is coming to Playstation 3, Playstation 4, and Vita this spring.
The new version of the game will feature additional content such as a total of 200 levels, half of those in single-player and the rest in co-op. Local multiplayer will also include multiple deathmatch stages for up to four players. Badland's visuals will be enhanced from the original to full HD. The game will be compatible with cross buy and cross saves between consoles and the Vita.
This award-winning, side-scrolling action adventure has innovative physics-based gameplay, with a similar art style to World of Goo and Limbo. It was originally released on mobile devices, and has a growing audience of 20 million players.
Check out the Game of the Year Edition trailer below. Read our review here.
[Source: Playstation Blog]
Our Take:It’s exciting to see such a popular and innovative game such as Badland being released on consoles. Considering it is such an atmospheric game, I’m sure it will look stunning on the Playstation 4.
Right now, you can purchase a physical copy of Metroid Prime Trilogy for Wii on eBay. You’ll spend anywhere between $35 for the standard version and $90 for the collector’s edition. That would be silly, though.
Today, Nintendo has released an updated, digital version of the compilation. This re-release can be played natively on the Wii U (rather than booting into the Wii menu). Note that this release emulates the original, so you'll need a Wii Remote and Nunchuck to play (sorry, no gamepad support).
Oh, and it will only cost you $10 for the first week. The price goes up to $19.99 at 9 a.m. Pacific / 12 p.m. Eastern on February 5, though.
For more on Metroid Prime Trilogy, check out our review of the title’s release on Wii in 2009.
Our TakeRe-releasing games is a double-edged sword. Do it too often, and your audience will hammer you for being unoriginal. But do it like this, when it’s a game that’s hard to come by at a reasonable price? That’s how you make friends. I hope more of these start rolling out on a regular basis.
Your time is running out to nab January’s PlayStation Plus games. But as your scurrying off to PSN to make sure you’ve done that, why not press play and see what’s in store for February.
Next month sees a mix of indie gems peppered with some bigger names. On PlayStation 4, it’s Supergiant’s Transistor and new release Apotheon.
For PlayStation 3, you’ve got last year’s Thief reboot and the Japanese beat-em-up Yakuza 4. Finally, Vita owners get Rogue Legacy (also cross-buy for PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 3) and new release Kick & Fennick.
These titles will be available starting on February 3 when the PlayStation Store is refreshed. For January’s lineup, visit our previous coverage.
[Source: PlayStation Blog]
Our TakeWhile this month is lighter on the big names, it’s easy to vouch for Transistor and Rogue Legacy. Apotheon has an attractive art style, and I’m interested to see if Kick & Fennick is worth my time.
I’ve been interested in the Yakuza series for some time, so I’m delighted to see that included. As for Thief, it’s worth trying it out to see if it’s for you, but you’re probably better off playing on a current-gen console or PC.
Valve has shared new statistics on the Steam Workshop program. According to the publisher and platform holder, over $57 million have been paid out to creators of items for Valve games.
That sum was earned by over 1,500 community members in more than 75 countries. Up until now, supported titles were limited to the publisher’s own games. Cosmetic items for Team Fortress 2, Dota 2, and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive have been quite popular since the Workshop launch in 2011.
Now, Valve is adding the first games from other developers to the monetization program. Dungeon Defenders: Eternity and Chivalry: Medieval Warfare are now part of the curated workshop initiative.
The company says it anticipates adding more curated workshops in the future. Monetized community content isn’t strictly limited to Steam, either. Sony Online Entertainment has a Player Studio that has been extremely lucrative for vetted creators.
When we spoke with former Planetside 2 senior art director Tramell Isaac in 2013, he told us that players were walking away with thousands in shared revenue from their creations. You can read that interview here.
Our TakeAs companies expand their business model into new types of free-to-play (like Planetside and Dota 2), we’re going to see more opportunities for community members to earn. Not only does this take pressure off the art and development teams to create new cosmetic options, but it keeps players engaged and builds a tighter knit community.
Provided these contributions continue to be vetted and polished with help from staff, there is huge potential for user-generated content. We’ll see how this works in a console environment once Planetside 2 launches on PlayStation 4.
Nintendo has piloted a new “Creators” program that will allow YouTube users to earn some of the advertising money featuring the publisher’s content (confirmed to be in the works in May 2014). There are rules, of course, and you’ll need to wait quite a while to see payouts on money from your content.
Nintendo says that YouTube users can earn 70 percent for registered channels or 60 percent for individual videos. In other words, you’d be licensing Nintendo’s content for 30 or 40 percent of the ad revenue. And the company says it can "arbitrarily" change these rates at any time.
Additionally, payouts can take up to two months via Paypal. In other words, Nintendo doesn’t pay you until it is paid by YouTube advertisers.
Nintendo has an extensive, but not complete, list of its software eligible for this program available. Missing from the list are major titles like Bayonetta 2, Hyrule Warriors, and Super Smash Bros. for Wii U.
The publisher also asserts that its previous rules regarding collecting monetization were part of YouTube’s terms of service. “In the past, advertising proceeds that could be received for videos that included Nintendo-copyrighted content (such as gameplay videos) went to Nintendo, according to YouTube rules,” the company writes.
For more on Nintendo’s past YouTube monetization policies, you can read our previous coverage.
[Source: Nintendo (1), (2) via Polygon]
Our TakeThere is still much wrong with Nintendo’s approach here. First, I call into question the company’s assertion that its decision to monetize YouTube videos featuring its content is an edict from the video service.
As we’ve discussed numerous times, publishers and developers have no problem letting YouTube users monetize content. And, in those cases where there are some boundaries (like Ubisoft and Microsoft have set up), the money doesn’t go to the publisher first.
This is still not a good deal for YouTube content creators. This will likely alienate big name creators who make their living from commentary and Let’s Play videos.