Gaming

‘Gears’ franchise migrates… North?

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‘Gears’ franchise migrates… North?

Microsoft Studios announced its acquisition of the Gears of War franchise from Epic Studios, its original creators, today. This includes not only upcoming games that will be developed under the studio, but also the previous iterations of the series and all merchandise thereof.

The reigns for the development of future games in the franchise have been handed over to the Vancouver-based subsidiary studio of Microsoft, Black Tusk.

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New MMO from SOE teased in Reddit AMA

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New MMO from SOE teased in Reddit AMA

The MMO world was abuzz on Friday after John Smedley, President of Sony Online Entertainment, teased a new unannounced MMO from the team during an “Ask Me Anything” on the Everquest Next subreddit.

At first, Smedley sent out a heart attack to Star Wars fans after one response seemed to suggest a new game, perhaps even a sequel to the much-missed Star Wars Galaxies.

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‘Resident Evil 4: Ultimate Edition’ Announced

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‘Resident Evil 4: Ultimate Edition’ Announced

Rejoice, those of you who traveled all the way from Raccoon City at the outbreak of the T Virus, to the rural village in Spain ravaged by Las Plagas! News has come at last from those on high at Capcom Studios: an ‘Ultimate Edition’ of Resident Evil 4 is coming soon to PC.

‘Resident Evil 4′ follows agent Leon S. Kennedy into the horrors of the small European town in order to save the president’s daughter, recently kidnapped. As he explores the town, the true story begins to unfold, revealing- among other things- a sinister cult, a new virus and a Napoleonic megalomaniac. The game was originally released in 2005, to critical acclaim across the board- heavily influencing the third-person shooter genre, it was also an incredible cross-platform success, being released for the PC, Nintendo Wii, Sony’s Playstation 3 and Microsoft’s Xbox 360. A common contender in the Game of the Year awards at its release, it remains a fan favorite to this day.

Resident Evil fans can celebrate, then, with Capcom’s news. The ‘Ultimate Edition’ will be both a collection of content for hardcore fans of the fourth installment in the series, and a technological improvement over its original release. The PC release of the edition will see fans receive not only all previously released bonus content and a digital soundtrack with over 60 tracks, but also a digital art book with the game for early purchasers.

On the technological front, the Steam release will include support for Steam cloud save support, achievements, trading cards and global leaderboards- so you can check out exactly how much better you are with that Broken Butterfly than your friends! As well as these new features, the game will also run in HD at a beautiful 60 frames a second, for the first time.

So with the game releasing on Steam on February 28th, and early purchase already available, the only question remaining is- whaddaya buyin?

[State of Play] SteamBox/SteamOS

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[State of Play] SteamBox/SteamOS

The interactive entertainment industry is a funny thing. It’s long since moved past the birthing pangs, or the necessity of justifying its legitimacy to larger entertainment – having eclipsed both Hollywood and professional sports in gross dollars per annum – and it’s a rare youth indeed that wasn’t all different kinds of atwitter about the console war of late 2013. It’s a multi-million dollar industry that can bank on the fact that every single one of its core customers will display a virtually unlimited appetite and little in the way of restraint.

Late 2013 was a very exciting time for the interactive entertainment industry – the annual heavy-hitters like Call of Duty, NBA 2k, and FIFA released to boringly predictable record sales, accompanied by less-annual-but-no-less-predictable Battlefields and Need For Speeds. Real genius reared its nigh-unto-unheard-of head in titles like The Last of Us, Metro: Last Light, and Gone Home. 

Then the Next-Gen consoles released … but as the dust (and plastic baggies and shredded cardboard) cleared, the excitement dwindled and the shine worn off, we are left to wonder the same thing we always wonder this time of year: “Where are all the games I just paid $500 to play?”

Well, kid, they’re not out yet – you knew that was going to happen, and so did I. We all knew that was going to happen, but still we dropped close to half a thousand on that big, shiny Blue-or-Green box. And there’s nothing new till February.

No matter how many times you check, no matter how hard you look or wish or hope, nothing till February. Furthermore, both systems have a relatively lackluster year ahead, with some exceptional standouts like ThiefTitanfall and (maybe, just maybe, hope against hope maybe) Destiny. 

So, at home, bored, staring at a shiny new Next-Gen console? Don’t have anything to look forward to? Thankfully the industry you’ve chosen as your very own opiate to the masses has a tailor-made solution: The SteamBox!

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Review: Broken Age – Act 1

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Review: Broken Age – Act 1

As a kid, the NES was my core gaming platform. Sadly, my parents really didn’t go for the 16-bit console era, but they did have this glorious tower that would become my new gaming platform, and cue the fabled green text of DOS on the PC.

I started with Flight Sims, but they were all LucasArts games, which of course led me to a genre still near and dear to my heart: Point and Click Adventures.

Fast forward about 20 years or so (frak, do I feel old) and the gaming world is experiencing a renaissance. Games are now funded through places like Kickstarter, and we’ve seen a revival of the point and click genre. Sadly though there was something missing from these point and click games, a sense of humor that’s not easily mimicked. I’m of course referring to Tim Schafer, who helped shape my odd style of humor.

That’s when a certain Kickstarter caught my attention, a game called Broken Age which not only promised an old school style Point and Click adventure, but came from Double Fine. Sold and sold, just like everyone else. The Kickstarter was funded almost instantaneously and went above the goal to a tune of 3million dollars.

Now part 1 has been released to the supporters of the Kickstarter. I was lucky enough to take this title for a spin this weekend. How does the game hold up? Is it like old times, does Broken Age break the mold? Or is it simply just a point and click?

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“Final Fantasy Tactics” Creator Launches Kickstarter For New RPG

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“Final Fantasy Tactics” Creator Launches Kickstarter For New RPG

Yasumi Matsuno – creator of the classic video games Final Fantasy Tactics, Tactics Ogre and Vagrant Story - has started a Kickstarter page with the company Playdek to fund a new RPG. Called Unsung Story: Tale of the Guardians, the game is described as a “spiritual successor in a storied line of epic tactical RPGs designed by Yasumi Matsuno.”

Unsung 3

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Online Company Starts Kickstarter Campaign For 3D Printed Miniatures

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Online Company Starts Kickstarter Campaign For 3D Printed Miniatures

Nerd culture may be the current zeitgeist, but there is still one major pastime of nerds everywhere that’s gotten short shrift – tabletop gaming. Just the phrase conjures images of geeks with huge glasses sitting in a dark basement playing Dungeons & Dragons. This is, of course, inaccurate and unfair. Even less known than tabletop gaming is the potential hobby that accompanies it: painting the miniature heroes and monsters used to play the game. In years past players were required to purchase small predesigned minis – usually metal but occasionally plastic. Now, a new company called Hero Forge has started a Kickstarter campaign to produce custom 3D printed miniatures. You choose your race, gender, build, facial expressions, weapons, armor, equipment and hairstyle and Hero Forge will create that mini especially for you with a 3D printer. For imaginative tabletop fans, the possibilities are endless.

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Grab nine great indie games in the Humble Indie Bundle X

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Grab nine great indie games in the Humble Indie Bundle X

Some people collect trading cards. Some people collect stamps. Some people (like this writer) collect video games and the latest Humble Bundle just added nine more to the collection.

If your wallet has recovered from the shock of the Steam sale (mine is still crying) then it may be time to head over to the fine folks at Humble Bundle and pick up the latest Humble Indie Bundle X.

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