With the recent controversy over Watch Dogs’ new reveal trailer, which showed less than ideal graphics quality compared to previous showcases of the game, it’s worth remembering the times this has happened before, and why it happens so often in our industry.
Many years ago, a similar controversy unfolded in regards to Killzone 2, a hugely anticipated title that was set to blow Microsoft out of the water by showing off the performance prowess of the PS3. Sony needed to show that it stood firm in the face of Microsoft’s sales gap at the time, proving that it could also produce 1st party games that rivalled Halo in their graphical and technical ability.
Killzone 2 was showed off at E3 2005 in a trailer that proved Sony’s dedication to the gaming industry in one fell swoop. Soon after, journalists and gamers alike cried foul of this trailer, stating that it couldn’t be in-game footage, and had to be pre-rendered. Eventually, Sony came out of the woodwork and explained that the footage they had shown was “done to PS3 spec” and that is was a target render of what they wished the final product to look like. When the game finally released 4 years later in 2009, critics praised the graphics, but many argued that it didn’t live up to the trailer shown all the way back at E3 2005.
I love Donkey Kong Country. I always have. Ever since the first game came out on the SNES in 1994, I have been a strong supporter of the series; I even loved Dixie Kong's Double Trouble, despite its toony aesthetic and childish main character. To this day, I still think the claymation-styled graphics look better than pretty much every game in the series that has been released since, and the soundtracks are all some of the best ever. When Donkey Kong Country Returns came out in 2010 on the Wii I was in heaven. And so it pains me to say that Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze is kind of a disappointment. It's not bad - in fact I'd say overall it's pretty good - but it doesn't really live up to the expectations of the series, despite its gameplay fixes and occasional innovations.
When Donkey Kong Country Returns came out in 2010, I was blown away by just how good it was. It was longer than any of the previous games, the level design was top notch, and it evoked nostalgia while still being good in its own right. There were only a few issues with it, namely its controls, the lack of water levels or any swimming at all, and the fact that one of the new features was that Donkey Kong could blow. To Tropical Freeze's credit, it fixed each and every one of these issues. No longer must you shake a wiimote to roll; nor do you have to blow on anything for any reason; and now there are water levels! Great as these fixes are, they each come with their own fair share of related issues.
While it is wonderful that you don't have to shake your controller, the controls still have a long ways to go before they're as simple and precise as they were on the SNES. The only potential issue with the controls from the very first Donkey Kong Country game was that Y both rolled and picked items up, which could in theory overlap and result in messed up jumps, although in actuality you would never in a position where you would have to roll past a barrel, so it was never be an issue. Instead, you now press left or right and Y to roll, just Y to ground pound, and R or L to pick items up. Sounds simple enough, but it doesn't replicate the precise jumping and rolling found in the original. I went back and played all three SNES games just to be sure, and they did indeed control better in every way; movement was more fluid and rolling considerably more precise. I do not understand how, 20 years later, the controls can actually be worse.
Now that the next generation of gaming is officially underway, the inevitable discussion about graphics has come to the forefront. It seems like no matter where you go, you'll always encounter videos or articles discussing the power discrepancies between the PS4 and Xbox One. The focus is always on the resolution of certain games, but you never hear anybody discuss the most important improvement new hardware offers games: better performance.
This is something that we haven't really seen since the days of the PS2 or the original Xbox, which embraced the new hardware for performance standards. Prettier graphics and higher resolutions are always nice, and when given the choice between the better looking game and the lesser looking game, the choice is immediately obvious, but they're merely cosmetic. With the exception of non action or story driven games, when it comes to a large number of titles, the most important aspect is the gameplay, and if there is one thing that I think all console games should strive to achieve, it's a steady 60 frames per second.
This really needs to be clarified because, amongst gamers, there are a lot of misconceptions and misunderstanding when it comes to frame rates in video games and how important the frame rate is to the gaming experience. I encounter a lot of people who don't seem to understand why I like more powerful hardware despite the fact that I don't care that much about graphics, but it all comes down to the frame rate and the impact it has on gameplay.
Ubisoft has responded to the accusations of fans that their upcoming open world game hacking game Watch Dogs has suffered from a severe visual downgrade since the first gameplay footage was shown at E3 2012. Ubisoft Benelux PR manager Tessa Vilyn publically spoke out on Twitter via a series of tweets stating that it's just not true.
Via Videogamer, Vilyn said "Of course it's not downgraded at all. It's a true next gen game for sure." She continued, "Believe me the game is not downgraded. That would just be a bit rediculous. I saw the game and it looks incredible."
After new gameplay footage was revealed for Watch Dogs in the last week, and a comparison disseminated in gif form, many gamers accused the publisher of false advertising, stating that the game was visually downgraded from the previous gameplay demos that have been shown.
Watch Dogs releases worldwide May 27 for PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, Xbox One, Xbox 360 and PC. The Wii U release date is still unconfirmed.
Japan is best known as the land of the samurai, birthplace of the conveyor belt sushi, a country where used panties can be bought from vending machines, and of course for being the mecca of video games. While one could talk about each of these topics at great length, we're here to talk about video games. Sadly, not all of the best games produced in the country make it over to the West.
The criteria for this list of Japanese games we want to see localised is as follows:
- One game per franchise.
- Must have released in Japan already and came out from 2010 onwards.
inFamous: Second Son is going to be a very fun and interesting game, but how long will it keep you busy? Sucker Punch Co-Founder Chris Zimmerman gave some more details during a livestream on Destructoid.
Zimmerman explained that the game's main story will last about 10-12 hours, depending on how fast you play and how many of the side stories you decide to complete. If you play the game as evil, it may last a little less. Of course this is for each playthrough, and since the story is very different depending on whether you play good or evil, the exact amount of time it takes to complete the game is much larger.
We also learnt more about one of the coolest elements in the game, environmental destruction. Not only are all the black and yellow elements in the game that belong to the DUP destructible, but they’re actually “perma-destructible”. If you take something down, it’ll stay down for the whole playthrough. This will influence the DUP strength and control percentage of each district.
Note: I’ve added the above show notes to the ID3 Lyrics data field. Check your device if this is supported.
We reported just yesterday that Watch Dogs will finally be launching on all consoles, except Wii U, on May 27th. Today a few more details have appeared on what we can expect from Watch Dogs' open world multiplayer mode.
The news comes via Ubisoft creative director Jonathan Morin, who responded to a fan on Twitter asking "Is it true there will be multiplayer open world freeroam (8 players)?"
Morin responded with a simple, "Yes."
Amy Hennig, the creative director of the Uncharted series, left Naughty Dog earlier this week following 10 years of working with the company. This didn't appear to be a standard job departure - according to IGN, Hennig was forced out by The Last of Us’ Neil Druckmann and Bruce Straley, who were making a power play for control of the Uncharted franchise.
Naughty Dog's co-presidents, Evan Wells and Christophe Balestra, have now made an official statement declaring that these accusations are false.
Earlier this week we had to confirm the regrettable news that Amy Hennig has left Naughty Dog. She will be missed and, as we stated before, we appreciate the significant contributions that she has made to Naughty Dog and the industry in general. We wish her the best.
Above is a quick video showing you some of the features of the Twitch broadcasting app for Xbox One and how it is integrated into the system. I’ve been using the app all week to broadcast gameplay, so if you want to see what the quality of the audio and video is, then watch out some of my past broadcasts on my Twitch channel.
Twitch Broadcasting will be available for all Xbox One owners next week. To ensure you can get started right away, here are a few steps you can take now to be sure you are ready to go on the air:
How to Prepare for Twitch Broadcasting
From your computer:
On your console:
Keiji Inafune is best known for his work on the MegaMan series. More recently he launched the extremely successful Mighty No. 9 Kickstarter campaign.
Today, at BitSummit, he announced a new game, Azure Striker Gunvolt, for the 3DS Eshop. Gunvolt is a 2-D side scrolling action game that is very reminiscent to the MegaMan Zero franchise with a hint of Gunstar Heroes. If the official website is anything to go by the game is slated to come out in the US this summer. For more information watch the debut trailer below:
Jack Tretton will step down from his position as Sony Computer Entertainment America's president and chief executive offer as of March 31st, 2014, the company announced today. The decision was a mutual agreement between Tretton and SCEA.
Tretton has been part of SCEA since the company's inception in 1995, seeing the company through the release of all of its PlayStation consoles and growing the PlayStation business in Canada and Latin America.
"Working at SCEA for the past 19 years has been the most rewarding experience of my career," said Tretton in the press release. "Although I will deeply miss the talented team at SCEA and the passion demonstrated every day by our fans, I'm very excited about starting the next chapter of my career. I want to thank the employees, partners and customers for their tireless commitment to the PlayStation brand and, of course, to our fans who have pushed us to new heights of innovation and entertainment over the past two decades. I leave PlayStation in a position of considerable strength and the future will only get brighter for PlayStation Nation."
Some games don’t go away from public memory no matter how much time has passed. Developers of these games hope that the reason for this is because of the game's charm and gameplay. Shaq-Fu for the SNES and Genesis on the other hand is remembered for its mediocre gameplay and super cheesy story. The big man Shaq has decided to undo that mistake. Today Shaq and Big Deez Productions have announced Shaq-Fu: A Legend Reborn.
The two have turned to Indiegogo in the hopes of raising a grand total of $450,000 (it's at $17,000 at the time of writing). This new game is a beat ’em up that they describe as “Streets of Rage meets Street Fighter meets Devil May Cry”. The game has multiple stretch goals including mobile, handheld, current and last generation console ports of the game.
Shaq-Fu: A Legend Reborn will cost $30 when released, but will only cost $15 if you back it during the Indiegogo Campaign. You can catch a teaser of the gameplay below:
We’re primarily looking for gamers who are interested in writing news or general article and opinion pieces for us. We also have a couple of positions available on the review team. Check out our requirements below and if you meet the criteria feel free to send in an application.
Requirements (General Articles & News Writers):
- A strong interest in video games and the gaming industry
- Good English
- Commitment & plenty of spare time
Requirements (Review Team):
- Good English
- Ability to write to a deadline
- Sufficient time to complete games soon after or slightly before they release
- Critical thinker & strict scorer
- Own at least one of the following platforms: PS4, Xbox One, Wii U, Gaming PC, 3DS, PSV
The studio that built Disgaea has stepped outside of its comfort zone to bring fans The Witch and the Hundred Knight. It's an action oriented RPG with a notably darker tone than any of NIS's previous work and there isn't a single instance of grid based movement or an explosive penguin to be seen. While I always appreciate companies making new intellectual properties and trying something different, sometimes it doesn't quite hit the same quality of their previous work; such is the case with The Witch and the Hundred Knight.
Even though Disgaea titles often cast you as the villain it's usually done in a tongue in cheek way. The Witch and the Hundred Knight, on the other hand, is a totally different story. You play as Hundred Knight, a familiar of the Swamp Witch Metallia. While you yourself have no real personality or morals to speak of, Metallia is a genuinely terrible person right from the get go. Later on you learn that she's not quite the big breasted Hitler she's made out to be in the first few moments of the game, but it's tough to overlook her turning an enemy into a mouse and then setting horny male mice on her. Even when Metallia becomes a slightly better person there's no shortage of dark themes to be had, with characters dying left and right and sad stories of hopelessly one-sided love or abandonment abound. It plays for laughs every now and then but the narrative definitely leans on the side of sobriety, which is a stark departure from most of NIS's previous work.
The presentation as a whole is slightly sketchy. The character portraits during conversations are nicely drawn, although their animations could certainly use work, but the rest of the game is presented from a somewhat isometric viewpoint that leaves many of the environments and enemies looking bland. The voice acting is also spotty, with quite a few story sequences not featuring any voice work at all. What voice acting is there is enjoyable enough, though, and none of the characters really grate.
The legacy of Looking Glass Studios looms over the video game industry. The System Shock franchise evolved into BioShock, led by Ken Levine and Irrational Games to great critical acclaim. After a fumbling second entry, Deus Ex found itself back in form when Eidos Montreal rebooted the franchise with Deus Ex: Human Revolution, also garnering praise upon release. Now, with Thief, reboot of the franchise that helped mold the stealth genre into what it is today, Eidos Montreal finds itself again faced with the task of retooling a Looking Glass Studios creation for the modern age. But does Thief maintain the series’ level of quality?
Unlike Deus Ex: Human Revolution, which served as a prequel to the 2000 original, Thief is a full reboot of the franchise, starting afresh with a new story conducive to newcomers. Certain things remain, however, such as still starring Garrett, a master thief who prides himself on his skills and his moral neutrality, and who still resides in a steampunk metropolis known only as The City. But after a job gone wrong leaves his partner dead and himself in a year-long coma, Garrett awakens to a dying city, where a mysterious disease known as “the gloom” has been slowly killing off its population. The mystery set-up is initially intriguing, but the plot quickly loses any semblance of interest, failing to provide much context for, well, anything really that happens throughout its roughly ten hours of play. I’m actually somewhat convinced that the central mysteries around which the plot wraps itself are never even resolved. I suppose I could check a wiki, but then again that just means the story didn't do its job right.
Despite its nonsensical story, at least the core gameplay fares better. Fans worried that Thief would fall prey to the perils of modern game design can mostly rest easy. Rather than focus on explosive set-pieces and scripted moments, Thief relies on the slow, methodical stealth that has defined the series. Combat is frowned upon, as more than one enemy will easily overwhelm Garrett head on. Instead, the majority of game time sees Garrett cast in shadow, sometimes inches away from guards none the wiser. Unfortunately, oftentimes this has more to do with spotty AI than proper abundance of darkness. Opponent AI generally ranges from predictably boring to frustratingly inconsistent, but it never really adds up to something even remotely believable. Guards will repeat their patrol patterns ad nauseam, and generally seem to care little when discovering one of their comrades has been dispatched. Every now and then, dumbly implemented “triple-A action game” moments come in to check marks in boxes, such as lame chases or poorly implemented boss fights, but for the most part Thief is all about remaining unseen and unheard.
It’s unfortunate Thief’s enemy AI doesn’t put your tools to the test, since the tools the game gives you are actually pretty neat. Garrett is a master of staying hidden in the shadows, but a new “swoop” ability allows Garrett to move from point to point quickly, useful for creeping from one shadow to the next or for getting out of a sticky situation. It does tend to minimize the challenge in certain areas of the game, but the increased mobility just makes you feel cool, especially compared to the often cumbersome movement present in the original Thief games. Garrett’s selection of different arrow-based gadgets return from previous games, making him feel right at home alongside Green Arrow and Hawkeye with a variety of explosive arrows, fire-dousing water arrows, and rope arrows for opening new areas for traversal.
The tools at Garrett’s disposal make for great stealth, but the game’s claustrophobic game design works against it. Levels are largely linear, with not much room to experiment with the game’s mechanics. Sure, there are a handful of different paths to go through a level, but they’re almost always clearly marked and the end result remains the same. For example, rope arrows can only be used in specific points where the developer wants you to use them, but even then there is likely a vent nearby that will get you to the exact same location. As a result, much less of the game is spent discovering new ways to use the mechanics and more selecting from a small set of options intended by the developers. Surprisingly, many areas in the main story missions are sparsely populated, with large chunks of the game spent simply walking through semi-interactive wallpaper instead of sneaking. As a result, too much of the game is, frankly, boring, with an overall lack of challenge or things of interest to really do.
This falter in level design is only compounded in The City, the hub world that connects the various missions. For lack of a better term, the only way to really describe traversing The City is “unbearably awful.” The City is divided into separate districts, each divided by long and frequent load times. Most of the time, these load times take the form of uninteresting loading screens, but the game sometimes chooses to hide these load times through various other means, such as prying open a window, or crawling through cramped debris, both requiring you to mash a button to proceed. It seems an initially clever way to both hide load times and highlight the claustrophobia of the city, but they are so frequent that the novelty wears thinner than game reviewers’ attempts to inject clever metaphors into their writing. Even The City itself is a disaster to traverse through, with Garrett’s free-running-esque abilities helping little with small, cluttered design that doesn’t adequately show you what can and can’t be climbed. The incredibly obtuse map provided by the game does even less, with objective markers often leading you into frustrating dead ends.
The City acts as the connective tissue between the game’s eight main chapters, though it also holds characters that will give you various side missions. Funnily enough, these missions are for the most part more interesting than the main story missions, focusing on challenging you to come up with creative ways to steal loot rather than leading you through linear pathways. These side missions are fun and add a lot of value to an already fairly lengthy game, it’s just a shame that they aren’t bigger in scope (they're usually confined to a single area).
Guacamelee!, the Metroidvania game with its own luchador twist has made its way onto various platforms since its initial release. The game is getting ported once more, but this time to consoles that have yet to get a taste of this spicy game.
Guacamelee: Super Turbo Championship Edition is coming out for Xbox 360, Xbox One, Wii U, and PS4. The game will include everything that was in the Gold Edition, along with bonus extras including new bosses and more character abilities. The release date has yet to be announced.
Welcome to the VGChartz Gap charts. The charts will be updated monthly and each article will focus on a different gap chart. The charts include comparisons between the 7th generation and 8th generation, as well as comparing the 8th generation consoles. All sales are worldwide, unless otherwise stated.
PlayStation Vita Vs. PSP Global:
Gap change in latest month: 587,222 - PSP
Gap change over last 12 months: 6,361,255 - PSP
Total Lead: 12,864,282 – PSP
PlayStation Vita Total Sales: 7,486,918
PSP Total Sales: 20,351,200
In the latest month of sales for the PlayStation Vita it has fallen another 587,222 units further behind its predecessor the PSP. In the last year the gap has grown 6,361,255 in favor of the PSP. The PSP currently leads by 12,864,282 in the first 26 months. The gap is expected to continue to grow in the next month.
Both handhelds launched in December in Japan, the PSP in December 2004 and the Vita in December 2011. The Vita has sold 7,486,918 units in its first 26 months on sale, while the PSP has sold 20,351,200 units.
A life-long and avid gamer, William D'Angelo was first introduced to VGChartz in 2007. After years of supporting the site, he was brought on in 2010 as a junior analyst, working his way up to lead analyst in 2012. He has expanded his involvement in the gaming community by producing content on his own YouTube channel dedicated to gaming Let's Plays and tutorials. Outside, in the real world, he has a passion for the outdoors which includes everything from hiking to having received his B.A. in Environmental Studies. You can contact the author at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Amy Hennig, the creative director and writer behind all three previous Uncharted games has left Naughty Dog after 10 years with the studio according to IGN. Hennig was in the process of developing Uncharted 4 when she left.
IGN's sources claim that Hennig was forced out in an internal conflict by The Last of Us lead designer Neil Druckmann and game director Bruce Staley. They will apparently take over development of Uncharted 4. Naughty Dog did not confirm the circumstances involved in her departure.
Amy Hennig was one of the few prominent women in the industry. She was named one of the ten most powerful women in gaming by Fortune, and her work has been instrumental to the success of Naughty Dog. She is also the winner of two Writers Guild of America awards for her work on the previous two Uncharted titles. It likely will not be long before such a prominent industry talent is snatched up again.
The latest entry in the Batman: Arkham series of games has just been revealed by Game Informer. Batman: Arkham Knight is Rocksteady's third Batman: Arkham game, following their work on Asylum and City, and has been announced for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC. It is the final game in the Arkham series.
Popular characters return, including Scarecrow, Penguin, and Harley Quinn, but the game's setting is an all-new section of Gotham city which is expected to be far larger than the world found in Arkham City.
The cover of GI also prominently features the Batmobile, which is confirmed to be playable in the game. The debut trailer for the game has also been released, and can be viewed below:
It looks like a sequel to the critically-acclaimed stealth action/adventure game Dishonored could be in the works.
An off-screen photo slide was posted on All Games Beta earlier, attributed to an anonymous tip. It's very little to go on, but it wouldn't be a surprise to hear that such a game is in the works given the success of the original.
The timing of this particular leak is very auspicious, following hot on the heels of critical panning of Eidos Montreal's Thief reboot.
In my early gaming days, the SNES and PlayStation iterations of Final Fantasy were the pinnacle of role playing greatness. While Tidus, Yuna, and the rest of the PS2 crew holds a special place in my heart, there was nothing like making not one, but three PSOne motors burn out due to marathons collecting materia, junctioning spells, treasure hunting with chocobos, juggling classes, and watching a sadistic clown take over the world. It was tough watching the transition of the series as it became a shell of its former self, yet there's a light at the end of the tunnel. Even if it doesn't quite share the name, Bravely Default embodies the Final Fantasy series tremendously well, modernizing the traditional turn-based gameplay and managing to feel much more like Final Fantasy than any of the past five or six numbered console releases in the process.
Bravely Default borrows from the pages of the Final Fantasy series' past with a plot that centers around the four crystals, world catastrophes, and a deep and varied cast of characters brimming with personality. With corruption filling the land due to the four elemental crystals succumbing to darkness, Luxendarc is plagued by a series of disasters that ultimately brings together our four heroes - Tiz, a young adult who just witnessed the disappearance of his brother and entire village into a chasm; Agnès, the vestal (or guardian) of the Wind Crystal who is traveling the world in search of a reason for the chaos; Ringabel, a man in possession of a mysterious journal detailing the group's future escapades; and Edea, the daughter of a ruthless leader of a group seemingly set upon ushering chaos into Luxendarc.
While it might seem like standard JRPG fare, many well-scripted and surprise twists await those who see the game through to its true ending, which itself involves multiple realities and saving the crystals from their fate no less than four times. Having to save the crystals four times to watch the true ending unfold feels a bit redundant, but the pay-off is worthwhile, and a large number of side quests and numerous opportunities for character development through a party chat system help to keep the adventure interesting.
Bravely Default features all the classic mechanics of its spiritual brethren, complete with overworld, random encounters, shops to buy items, equipment, and spells from, and many different towns and dungeons to explore. Numerous options also allow you to tailor the gameplay to your own tastes; the difficulty can be changed at any point, battles can be sped up and, perhaps most importantly, the amount of random encounters you’ll face can be adjusted, making it much easier to grind out a couple of levels if need be by raising encounters to double the rate, or travel around much faster when lost or back-tracking by eliminating them altogether. While grinding is generally unnecessary unless you’re playing on hard mode or you’re skipping a majority of the sub-quests (which I don’t recommend, since the rewards are better jobs), being able to customize how many random encounters the party fights is a great addition, and one that could become a staple of the genre in the years to come.
Also receiving the modernization treatment is the combat system. Rather than simply dishing out commands turn after turn, your party also has the option to Default, or defend, as well as use the Brave command, which will allow you to act up to four times per turn. Defaulting also raises how many times you can act per turn (Battle Points), with each action using at least one Battle Point, and other more powerful attacks or abilities using two or even three BP. Combat becomes much more strategic as you have complete control over how many times party members can act each turn.
Many of the game's boss battles require you to Default in order to build up some BP, while also defending against otherwise insta-kill attacks. If you rely too heavily on the Brave command, you’ll be forced to wait to act until your BP has gotten out of the negative and back to zero, with only one BP recovering at the end of each turn. While it makes boss battles more strategic and more challenging, it also allows you to blow through random encounters, as you’ll most likely be able to allow each party member to pump up their commands to the max and clean up in battle on the first turn without having to worry about not being able to act.
You can also have any character leap into battle at any time by using the Bravely Second command, which allows you to make up to four commands using SP (SP is gained by leaving the system in sleep or bought using real money). There always comes a point where random encounters start to feel boring and tedious, and boss fights a bit easy in many JRPGs, but Bravely Default avoids becoming dull because of the Brave and Default commands. Even using Bravely Second is satisfying and can be the crucial factor in a huge battle. And unlike many other games that feature micro-transactions, it’s never shoved down your throat and SP can easily be gained by simply leaving the 3DS in sleep mode.
Bravely Default features a job system, much like the series it draws inspiration from, but as with the rest of the game this feature has been modernized and is now highly customizable. Many of the stereotypical jobs are featured (Knights, Black, White, Time and Red Mages, Ninjas, and Summoners), while some jobs have been rebranded (the Dragoon is now a Valkyrie and the Bard is a Performer), and others still are brand new (the Pirate and Vampire are two of the most interesting additions).
Each job has 14 abilities that can be both active and passive, with a new ability granted at each job level. Some abilities simply allow for the use of higher level magic, while others let you deal direct damage, such as the Pirate’s Torrent that sends out a tidal wave which causes massive damage. More passive abilities give boosts to HP or MP, or allow a party member to convert their status ailment to BP. Rather than being limited to just one set of abilities, you’ll be able to choose a sub-job as well, giving you access to that job’s active abilities. Finding the right combination of jobs is key, as bolstering your jobs with effective sub-classes will give you an edge in battle against the game’s bosses, and is especially useful during the more challenging sub-quests that will give you access to better jobs.
The weapons system also boasts some unique elements. Each of the nine different weapons has three different special abilities. Specials are gained by performing certain actions when a given weapon is equipped (so getting the sword’s specials will require you to use the Brave command a set amount of times, for example, while the staff’s specials are obtained by healing characters enough times). Specials not only damage enemies a great deal or heal the party, they also grant other buffs, like percentage increases to physical and magical attacks, defense, speed, or accuracy. If performed in the same turn as other party members, the buffs will be even more beneficial and will last longer. Each special can also be customized four different ways, depending on the type of attack, with different options for damaging or healing specials. They’re a nice addition to the already glowing combat system, providing fresh and powerful ways to help you throughout the game.
After 16 days, over 1.1 million players, and more than 122 million commands, Twitch Plays Pokemon managed to defeat Blue and as such finish Pokemon Red as well. Twitch Plays Pokemon, a stream where the protagonist is controlled entirely by inputting button commands (such as "Up", "A", etc.) into Twitch Chat, has now started Pokemon Crystal.
The stream has been a major success, with over 37 million views on the page so far. Naturally, the popularity of the stream made it a target for internet trolls, who tried to release all Pokemon as well as only enter certain commands, which slowed progress. Fortunately, the stream managed to battle through this, and will be hoping to avoid the same problems with Pokemon Crystal.
It's definitely been an interesting journey, and although it's been frustrating at times, it was a truly impressive achievement from all involved. Although Crystal has just started, I'm not yet sure if it will be quite as successful or as intriguing as the original, but it will be interesting to see.
The Lego Movie Videogame is a game based on a film based on a set of toys, making it just a hair away from being as conceptually ridiculous as Street Fighter: The Movie the game, which of course was a game based on a movie based on a game. Normally, movie-based games do not inspire much confidence, but Lego established itself as a strong brand in videogames long before it made its much-acclaimed jump to the silver screen, so I expected it to be enjoyable nonetheless. The PlayStation Vita version of the game is fun and well put together but missing a lot of the bells and whistles of its consoles brethren.
The story centers on Emmett, an ordinary Lego figure living in the city of Bricksburg. One day he gets caught up in a plot involving a prophecy about a Master Builder known as The Special who will be able to thwart the evil President Business in his attempt to stifle all creativity in the Lego Universe. The narrative is intentionally simplistic and childish for good reason. The story satirizes and mocks many movie clichés in an uplifting and joyous manner, so it’s hard not to get caught up in the infectiousness of it all even for a more mature player. It helps too that a lot famous characters from pop culture make an appearance in Lego form, the most prominent being Batman.
During gameplay the player has a top-down and angled view on the action. I am tempted to call The Lego Movie Videogame a platformer in the vein of most of its predecessors but that is complicated by the fact that the game actually features no jumping. It is a full bodied action game/beat-em-up that pares the gameplay down to its most essential and exciting bits. Levels range from a few seconds to a few minutes in length. Normally I would deem such a set-up as poor and demeaning, but it has a great sense of pacing and feels considerably less padded than most licensed games feel inclined to be. You are moved from one epic set piece to the next with a pluck and daring that makes the game feel considerably more epic than you would think it has any right to be, based on its source material. I can say with confidence that I was rarely bored.
Combat is a simple button mashing affair with melee attacks assigned to the square button by default. You will also smash and grab everything in your sight that appears destructible to reap valuable studs or re-purpose into something useful for your progression. You can also cycle through a group of three predetermined characters, each with their own special abilities that come in handy at different points throughout the level.
Hello and welcome to gamrReview’s Kickstarter Picks for March! I would like to begin by honoring a few games that didn’t make the list for March, but deserve your attention almost as much as our actual picks:
Shrug Island: “A hand-drawn adventure game about hope in the mysterious, organic world of the Shrugs.”
Galactic Princess: “Dive into an epic adventure through deep space. Find the princess to restore peace, and rule the universe.”
Super Chibi Knight: “A single-player RPG adventure crafted by a 33 year-old father and his 8 year-old daughter!”
Nintendo's Wi-Fi Connection service is set to be axed worldwide on 20th May of this year.
What this basically means is that various online services across Nintendo's legacy platforms (the Nintendo DS, Nintendo DSi, and Wii) will no longer be available from that date onwards, including online play, online leaderboards, matchmaking features, and certain social features.
Some online features will still be available on those platforms, however, including:
This does not affect the Nintendo 3DS, Nintendo 2DS, or Wii U, as these platforms all use the 'Nintendo Network', not the Wi-Fi Connection platform. However Wii games that are accessed via Wii Mode on the Wii U will be affected.