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Square Enix wants to prepare us for the third and final part of the Final Fantasy XIII trilogy and they are doing it in style. They’ve put together an awesome retrospective video summarizing the first two games in SNES-style 16-bit!

Complete with a chip-tuned version of the FFXIII soundtrack, this video makes me all the more excited for when Claire Farron finally returns in less than two weeks from now.

Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII will be available for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 on February 11th, 2014.

Video game budgets have been skyrocketing ever since Yu Suzuki’s spectacular failure Shenmue saddled Sega to the tune of $70 million. It’s a worrying trend, as oftentimes instead of becoming sure-fire profit or loss products, they become gambits that make or break entire companies, series, or even entire genres.

Grand Theft Auto V embodies the industry’s best and worst excesses in a lengthy, ultra-violent $60 package, in the sense that it currently holds the title of being the most expensively produced videogame in history ($200 million is no chump change to publisher Rockstar), continuing a tradition of open-world crime simulators that it helped build. Coarse language, nudity, and wanton violence are the game’s bread and butter; and while these excesses may seemingly push away a large segment of the game-playing market, it’s clearly an appealing product to the niche that it strives to please.

Grand Theft Auto V (1)

Pappy Issues

Listen, I’m not here to discuss the game’s myopic portrayal of women, alright? I’ve already heard enough drummed-up complaints that the game should somehow shoehorn a “strong female lead” to appeal to the ever-increasing female gaming segment. I will argue the point of it (excuse my French) being a fucking videogame, a static narrative that you, the player, ride along with. The game’s overarching storyline—while in no means “Oscar-worthy”—conveys a gripping set of scenarios that leaves you wondering what the next messed-up scheme the game’s three anti-heroes will work themselves into. Poor me; alienated because I could not identify with the deranged lunatics I’ve been playing as. Perhaps I should go back and play games featuring heroes that I actually identify with; heroes like Squall Leonhart, Samus Aran, and Ninja JaJaMaru-kun. Oh wait.

And unlike in games like Tomb Raider, or heck even GTA IV where the storyline and cutscenes misrepresent the player’s actions and motives right after (the industry has since coined a term for this: ludonarrative dissonance), V believably puts you in the shoes of three types of criminal minds: Franklin, the “thug for hire” who kills and engages in “scores” out of necessity; Michael, the hot-headed  “reformed” criminal that blames all of his problems on everybody except himself; and Trevor, the wildcard sociopath that kills and robs just for the hell of it. Except if you’ve had issues with self-flagellation or never had a strong male role-model, there is barely anything that the gamer can identify with any of these characters. The game’s about feeling like a badass criminal within the context of a realistic depiction of an American city, and that’s something it does very well.

Since I already fell down the rabbit hole I ironically said I was trying to dodge, let me end this mini-rant with this statement, and something that will echo one of my esteemed colleagues’ sentiments: based on how tight the narrative is and how it flows together until the (bitter) end, clearly Rockstar’s writers had a vision on how to take the player along for the ride. Changing that vision in order to pander to a niche that doesn’t represent the game’s target audience only serves to harm the narrative, and is indicative of what’s wrong with media today: everything has to be safe, focus-tested, by the numbers drivel. Hell, if you want to play as a chick, you can do so outside the main storyline anyways when GTA Online comes out.

Grand Theft Auto V (3)

I Wanna Live in Los Santos

Getting back to the point: the game’s hook isn’t its chronicle of events (although Rockstar has done a bang-up job this time); if anything it’s the sense of world-building that Rockstar has carefully spent its budget on that hooks the player in. San Andreas (the game’s twisted version of Los Angeles and its surrounding counties) is a huge place, bursting with life and featuring a truly open and expressive amount of gameplay opportunities. One minute you’re shooting up Grove Street after a deal gone bad, then you’re practicing your swing in a few relaxing rounds of golf the next. Call it schizophrenic, but that’s where the game’s wide appeal comes from: unlike contemporaries such as Saints Row and Sleeping Dogs, the amount of gameplay opportunities is staggering. You can literally play at your own pace for dozens of hours and barely scratch the game’s surface—the glass ceiling almost doesn’t exist.

As a simulacrum of the real-life Los Angeles, GTA V‘s game world hits it out of the park. The usual culprits such as the dingy vistas of downtown LA and the hillside homes of the Hollywood hills are given accurate depictions, but even minor details such as an approximation of the Griffith Observatory and the scenic Santa Monica pier are rendered beautifully, with some of the best-looking shaders and lighting effects I’ve seen this generation, quite an important detail if you’re trying to relive sunny Southern California. Unlike the muggy, dingy sights of Liberty City, driving through the expansive areas of San Andreas—even the awful, white-trash rural areas—is a joy. I did have difficulty with the game’s framerate at times, however: speeding past heavily-populated areas often reduced the game into a slideshow, at least on the PlayStation 3 version of the game I played through. This is exactly why I couldn’t get into MercurySteam’s Castlevania games: I gotta have my locked 60 frames per second!

The game’s “switching” mechanic allows you to swap between characters almost at will (except when missions or certain storyline junctures forbid you to), dividing the plot and missions between the three main characters. It also gives a little bit of insight to the characters as oftentimes you’ll switch to them engaging in mundane or borderline-sociopathic activities before you get to take control. It really shines within missions, however as it gives the player the opportunity to cater to his or her strengths as a gamer and complete given tasks accordingly. For instance, you can come in with guns blazing as Michael, switch to Franklin to snipe away at incoming baddies, and pull back to Trevor’s POV to ready a getaway vehicle… provided that he’s not violating the corpse of a deceased prostitute at that moment.

And while I can harp on and on about the game’s open-ended nature, it’s the new addition of heists that reel in the gameplay and gives missions some much-needed structure. Heists are subsets of missions where the player gets to plan and coordinate thefts or assassinations of certain targets with the core player characters, as well as an extended set of accomplices that gain additional abilities as more jobs are pulled off.

The player gets to choose from a branching path of plans that ultimately require the procurement of the correct “tools” for the job, if you will: disguises, weapons, and getaway vehicles, for instance. Once the main mission commences, the heist can go through with varying degrees of success: you can pull the heist off successfully, lose some team members in the process, or fail spectacularly and get popped back to jail. The structure and scale of these heists are laudable in the sense that missions aren’t one-dimensional affairs anymore: you actually have a solid goal in mind with a payoff that far eclipses that of the little favors you do as a glorified gofer.

Grand Theft Auto V (4)

“Don’t Get Smart With Me, Boy”

Satire and subtle social commentary has always been an important hallmark of the GTA series; something that was lost on the initial release of GTA IV, and thankfully brought back in full-swing in this game. While it doesn’t quite knock you over the head with references, I enjoyed GTA V’s intelligent swipes at sensitive topics such as telemetric marketing under the guise of social networking, government snooping, and America’s entitlement problem. Think of it as The Onion to Saints Row IV’s Family Guy. Although the biting commentary has been extant from the series’ inception, it’s one aspect of the game that Rockstar hardly ever gets credit for.

Ultimately, Grand Theft Auto V still succumbs to the same pitfalls that have plagued the series since its move to 3D in 2001. Translation: if you’ve never liked the series, this game probably won’t change your mind. Helicopter and plane missions are still hot garbage, the graphics (although top-notch) will never touch an enclosed narrative like The Last of Us or Uncharted, and the game’s attempts at serious melodrama are hilariously flat. Ultimately these are old complaints, ones that do not mar the game as if you’re picking up a Grand Theft Auto game, chances are you already know what you’re getting into.

I’ll say this: GTA V is fun. And that’s something that Grand Theft Auto lost when it moved to the current-gen era of consoles. Rockstar let the game’s tone and narrative overwhelm the fact that it’s a dumb crime simulator packaged with a dumb (yet oddly engaging) plot. This is an excellent case of a developer trimming down the extra baggage that a series gets after so many iterations, going back to the core of what made the game good in the first place and reinventing it with modern sensibilities and a next-gen coat of polish.

Grand Theft Auto V (5)

The Kickstarter campaign of Keiji Inafune’s latest project Mighty No. 9 (aka his big “up yours” to Capcom for being douche bags in general) has hit its stretch goal of $2.2 million. This means we’re going to see Mighty No. 9 for consoles namely the PS3, Xbox 360, and Wii U. If backers will plunk down another $1.1 million, then we will also see ports for next-gen consoles (PS4 and Xbox One) when it hits $3.3 million.

At this point, Mighty No. 9 is backed by roughly 39,000 people with over $2.2 million so that’s roughly $55 contributed on average. Makes me curious exactly how many people will be buying this game after it is released. You can head over to their Kickstarter page to find out what all the buzz is about and find out more about the game, especially the boss robots.

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Very good and nice.

Source: Destructoid and Kickstarter

Grand Theft Auto V is this week’s game.

That’s it. Thanks for coming!

Here are this week’s vidyas:

 

Hot Wheels Worlds Best Driver (Wii U/3DS Retail)

We Sing: 80s (Wii U Retail)

Cut the Rope (3DS eShop)

Rage of the Gladiators (3DS eShop)

Star Wars Pinball (3DS eShop)

AiRace Speed (3DS eShop)

 

Grand Theft Auto V (PS3 Retail/PSN)

Hot Wheels World’s Best Driver (PS3 Retail/PSN)

Capcom Fighting Evolution (PS2 Classic)

Saints Row 4 – GATV Pack (PS3 DLC)

Saints Row 4 – Wild West Pack Pack (PS3 DLC)

Real Boxing (PS Vita PSN)

 

Grand Theft Auto V (Retail)

Hot Wheels World’s Best Driver (Retail)

Saints Row 4 – GATV Pack (DLC)

Saints Row 4 – Wild West Pack (DLC)

 

Foul Play (PC Steam)

Borderlands 2 – Ultimate Vault Hunter Upgrade Pack 2 (PC Steam)

Ironclad Tactics (PC/Mac)

Takedown: Red Sabre (PC/Mac)

Urban Trial Freestyle (PC Steam)

Saints Row 4 – GATV Pack (PC Steam DLC)

Saints Row 4 – Wild West Pack (PC Steam DLC)

Despite their questionable business practices, overt reliance on dumbed-down games that look down on the player, and continuous forcing of the Assassin’s Creed series down everyone’s throats (face it guys—the game will never be a classic) its games like Rayman Legends that make me forgive Ubisoft as a company.

Nintendo fans seem to be less-forgiving, however. I can understand: Legends was slated for a late-February release, but pushed back quite a few months as Ubisoft reneged on the game’s status as a Wii U exclusive, citing disappointing sales of their exclusive ZombiU as the primary motivator for this purely business decision. As I was curious to see how Ubisoft managed the port to other platforms without ancillary touchscreens, I requested a PlayStation 3 copy of Rayman Legends from the publisher for this review’s purpose.

Well at least you get to tack on a Mario hat on Rayman. That kinda makes up for the delay, huh Nintendo fans?
Well at least you get to tack on a Mario hat on Rayman. That kinda makes up for the delay, huh Nintendo fans?

To get that bit of trivia out of the way: the PlayStation 3 (and I’m assuming Xbox 360) version of Rayman Legends doesn’t feel like a half-baked port in direct comparison to its lead platform. From what I’ve been seeing, the main difference between the touchscreen-deficient versions of the game is that the CPU controls your fairy frog assistant, Murphy, providing context-sensitive actions that are triggered by button presses when needed. Levels that center on touch-screen puzzles are replaced with QTE-type affairs, which is kind of lame. Otherwise, it’s the same game with the same exact content* presented with the same amount of visual fidelity.

High-Fi and High-Fives

Touching on visual fidelity, Legends has that in spades. It takes the charming, flat-shaded look of Rayman Origins and bumps it up several notches, creating a stylized, colorful 2.5D look that reminds me of mid-90s quazi-CGI drivel such as Clockwork Knight… but in a good way. If you’ve played through its direct predecessor Origins you’d already know that Legends has a ton of variety tucked behind its deceptively simple 2D trappings.

That variety extends to its level design: touting more than 150 levels plus 40 more remixed from Origins, there’s a lot of content to wade through, and I could not pinpoint one single stage that I would consider filler. Apart from the main platforming stages, you’ll also run into “musical” levels—fun rhythm/platforming-based romps that serve to test the player’s ear/hand/eye coordination—as well as time-trial versions of the same stages you’ve already plowed through called “invasion” levels (it’s worth mentioning that the upcoming Vita port won’t include these levels out of the box, but will be patched in later).

Rayman Legends (4)

Whipped Cream and Lums

I realized that I jumped in head-first to the game’s mechanics before even explaining what the game’s about to the uninitiated. Legends is a 2D platformer, but one that relies more on twitch reflexes and speed rather than puzzle solving and exploration (because Baby Jesus knows that the world’s had enough of those “indie” puzzle-platformers). And when I say “speed,” I don’t mean that it’s paced the same way as a 2D Sonic; its pacing is more precise, deliberate, and frankly unforgiving. That’s not to dissuade the platforming wussies out there of course, the game is entirely fair, and gives the player ample time (and chances) to learn from mistakes made and eventually conquer any tricky bits.

And if you’ve played Origins before it, this indirect sequel metaphorically picks up where the last game left off, by taking the same ethos that it was built off of, and making just enough changes—visually and gameplay-wise—to get away from the notion that this is merely a level-pack, yet still keeping the core pace that hooked players in the first place. Expectations should be kept consistent: for the smart people who picked up the sleeper hit back in 2011, you already know what to expect here: a no-frills platformer that is thankfully light on the forced exploration and exposition that bogs down similar games in its genre (looking right at you, Ducktales).

I should also take some time to mention Rayman’s excellent co-op options: though not as accessible as a New Super Mario Bros. session, if you can get three other players in the room, the game’s frenetic pace and steady stream of jump-scares and fun boss challenges will keep even the most jaded of ex-gamers hooked until the bitter end. I’ve never had people play through more than ten levels of New Super Mario Bros. Wii but I had no problem finishing out a set of stages with a few non-gamer friends over at the office; which I found a little amazing and perplexing, personally.

Rayman Legends

I love when I’m unable to recite a particularly-good game’s storyline  because it underscores the fact that I enjoyed the ride not for the narrative, but for its gameplay merits. That being said, don’t ask me what Rayman Legends’ thumbtacked storyline is all about. All I remember is that I had to rescue a whole bunch of Teensies, or something like that.

It’s truly criminal that—like Rayman Origins before it—a lot of people will probably scoff at Legends’ appearances as a seemingly-outdated 2D platformer, when it’s not. Ubisoft has a real gem here, and quite a rarity: a game that can arguably out-Mario Mario. And even that bold comparison is doing the game a disservice, as I believe it can and should stand on its own as a unique experience that any gamer should experience and cherish. It’s gone multiplatform now, so there’s absolutely no excuse to skip this.

Rayman Legends (2)

Rayman Legends is finally out this week, though you might want to steer out of the way of the PS Vita version of the game as we heard it’s missing some content (until they patch it). Diablo 3 makes its way to consoles as promised, and you can get jiggle with it with Dead or Alive 5 Ultimate *mmphh*, and a new adventure awaits you with the Strawhats in One Piece: Pirate Warriors 2.

Here are this week’s vidyas:

 

Rayman Legends (Wii U Retail)

eShop Releases (TBA)

 

Dead or Alive 5 Ultimate (PS3 Retail/PSN)

Diablo 3 (PS3 Retail/PSN)

Rayman Legends (PS3/Vita Retail/PSN)

Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons (PS3 PSN)

Castle of Illusions (PS3 PSN)

Chaos Code (PS3 PSN)

Hunter’s Trophy 2: America (PS3 PSN)

Kickbeat (PS3/Vita PSN)

One Piece: Pirate Warriors 2 (PS3 PSN)

Stella Deus: The Gate of Eternity (PS2 Classic)

Borderlands 2 – Costume Packs (PS3 DLC)

Borderlands 2 – Ultimate Vault Hunter Upgrade Pack 2 (PS3 DLC)

Grid 2 – Destruction Derby (PS3 DLC)

Metro: Last Light – Tower Pack (PS3 DLC)

Saints Row 4 – Dubstep Gun (Remix) Pack (PS3 DLC)

 

Dead or Alive 5 Ultimate (Retail)

Diablo 3 (Retail)

Rayman Legends (Retail)

Castle of Illusion (XBLA)

Freefall Racers (XBLA)

Borderlands 2 – Costume Packs (DLC)

Borderlands 2 – Ultimate Vault Hunter Upgrade Pack 2 (DLC)

Grid 2 – Destruction Derby (DLC)

Metro: Last Light – Tower Pack (DLC)

Saints Row 4 – Dubstep Gun (Remix) Pack (DLC)

Minecraft – Mass Effect Mash-up (DLC)

 

Borderlands 2 – Costume Packs (PC Steam)

Borderlands 2 – Ultimate Vault Hunter Upgrade Pack 2 (PC Steam)

Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons (PC Steam)

Castle of Illusion Castle of Illusion (PC Steam)

Grid 2 – Destruction Derby (PC Steam)

Huntsman: The Orphanage (PC/Mac)

Metro: Last Light – Tower Pack (PC Steam)

Outlast (PC Steam)

Rayman Legends (PC)

Saints Row 4 – Dubstep Gun (Remix) Pack (PC Steam)

Total War: Rome 2 (PC Steam)

Total War: Rome 2 – Greek States Culture Pack (PC Steam)

Spelunky

Developer: Mossmouth, Bill Software

Publisher: Mossmouth

Available for: PS3 (Aug 2013), PS Vita (Aug 2013), Xbox 360 (2012), PC (2009), Steam (2013)

Reviewed: PS3 and PS Vita version

Spelunky is a game that takes you deep into a deep magical cave filled with treasure and wonders. But don’t let that fairytale premise get to you. If you underestimate this gem of a game from developer Mossmouth, this tough and sometimes controller-hurling platformer will bury you alive.

Randomly generated levels are the backbone mechanic of Spelunky. The genius of it is even though they are all random, every component of the levels seem to work together like clockwork. Unfortunately, they are all working together towards the goal of killing you. They will achieve that goal many times. True story: I died 90 times before I even got a glimpse of the next main area.

Dying in the game can’t be more hardcore. Finger twitched on the jump button while traversing some spikes because of that sneaky spider? It’s all over. When you bite the dust, you start from the beginning of the game (unless you unlock a shortcut), all the money you’ve been saving up for items, including the items you already have, go poof! All gone.

The game will not reward you with tangible power-ups or anything of the like. You use the knowledge you gained to help you on your next foray into the caverns. The aforementioned spikes for example, you will soon learn that walking through them is harmless and will take care that your finger does not stray to the jump button or it’s gonna be spelunker-kebab time. It’s essentially learning from your mistakes and observing how things work so your next try will be more successful but you can’t just memorize everything because of the levels are all random. Genius.

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Rescuing a damsel in distress gives you one more life point for the next level.

You always start with four bombs and four ropes. These help you traverse the levels to suit your needs. Bombs are useful to blast a path to a goal — be it an item/treasure or the exit to the level. The rope enables you to get to hard to reach places or avoid falling to your death. Other items or more of your basic items can be found from crates and pots but the more unique items, like gripping gloves that enables you to climb walls, are sold via a shopkeeper who appears randomly within the levels. There are also other trinkets like stones and bones that you can use in a number of ways like triggering a trap or throwing to kill an enemy when your trusty whip can’t do the job (square button).

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The game’s main trapping is the Adventure mode. This can be played single-player or multiplayer co-op. The PS Vita shines with multiplayer because each player have their own screen and can go wherever they want in the level as opposed to having to stay on the same screen when played on a TV or monitor using multiple controllers. I haven’t tried multiplayer yet so I can’t say anything about it in this review.

Purchasing Spelunky on PSN entitles you to both the PS3 and PS Vita versions (Cross-Buy). The two versions are compatible to play together for multiplayer. I forgot to mention that the multiplayer modes in Spelunky are local only. No online for a game like this is a missed opportunity in my opinion but being able to play this on the go on my PS Vita is a really good trade-off for lack of online.

Spelunky has been available for the PC and from the Xbox Live Marketplace for quite some time now but the PSN version, specifically the PS Vita one is the version to get if you have the system. With how the game plays, you would want to play as much of it as possible to get good at it. And believe me, getting good at it feels awesome.

The Good Stuff:

Challenging gameplay — Game will keep you on your toes all the time. Dying is a learning experience.

Awesome risk-reward system — Trying things out and learning how to tackle various situations is very satisfying. You start every do-over with more knowledge to go further.

Randomly generated levels keeps the game fresh everytime — You can’t just memorize the game so you will have to rely on your experience and skill.

Playing it on anywhere on the PS Vita — Spelunky anywhere. Hellz Yeah.

Cross-Buy and Cross-Play — Buying Spelunky on PSN gets you both PS3 and Vita versions and they can play together. Aww…

The Bad Smelly Pit:

No Online Multiplayer — This is a missed opportunity. You would think being a game that has been out for years now (original PC version was released 2009) and has co-op, they would’ve added online for the 2013 versions. But nooooooooo.

No Big Bosses — I’m not sure if this game needs them, but I love fighting big bosses. So yeah. lol

Things That Could Swing Either Way:

High Difficulty — I love challenging games but believe it or not there are people who don’t! OH MY!

In Closing:

Spelunky‘s challenging gameplay is geared towards the classic core gamer. Try it out if you think you are up to the challenge. Countless hours of fun (and dying) awaits you.

The Saints are back in their 4th game: Saint’s Row IV — out this week and that should tide you down before GTAV releases in September. The spin-off The Bureau: XCOM Declassified is also launching this week. It’s an FPS set in XCOM‘s universe. And also, Disney Infinity goes to retail for all major platforms. Anything for you this week?

Here are this week’s vidyas:

 

Disney Infinity Starter Pack (Wii/Wii U/3DS Retail)

Splinter Cell: Blacklist (Wii U Retail)

Super Luigi U (Wii U Retail)

 

The Bureau: XCOM Declassified (PS3 Retail)

Disney Infinity Starter Pack (PS3 Retail)

Saints Row IV (PS3 Retail/PSN)

Splinter Cell: Blacklist (PS3 Retail)

Air Conflicts: Pacific Carriers (PS3 PSN)

Divekick (PS3/Vita PSN)

Kessen III (PS2 Classic)

Naval Ops Commander (PS2 Classic)

Saints Row IV Season Pass (PS3 DLC)

The Walking Dead (Vita Retail)

 

The Bureau: XCOM Declassified  (Retail)

Disney Infinity Starter Pack (Retail)

Saints Row IV (Retail)

Splinter Cell: Blacklist (Retail)

Divekick (XBLA)

Saints Row IV Season Pass (DLC)

 

The Bureau: XCOM Declassified (PC)

Divekick (PC) [Steam]

Hate Plus (PC/Mac) [Steam]

Might & Magic X: Legacy (PC)

Ravaged: Zombie Apocalypse (PC) [Steam]

Saints Row IV (PC)

Saints Row IV Season Pass (PC) [Steam] DLC

Sir, You Are Being Hunted (PC/Mac)

Skullgirls (PC) [Steam]

Splinter Cell: Blacklist (PC)

First sighted as part of Castlevania: Lords of Shadow (The Collection) listing at Play-Asia, it has been confirmed that not only will the HD-fied version of this previously Nintendo 3DS exclusive title be part of that collection, it will also be offered as a stand-alone digital download from the PlayStation Store and Xbox Live Marketplace for the PS3 and Xbox 360, respectively.

The 3DS version was plagued by low frame-rate issues and that’s the main reason I’m still yet to finish it (you can find our official review here). I’m pretty sure this will be the best version to play for the second part in the Mirror of Fate trilogy before Lords of Shadow 2 is released.

Castlevania: Lords of Shadow – Mirror of Fate HD has a release date of October 31st. Perfect for a Halloween playthrough.

MOFHD

Good Nintendo releases this week for a change. Mario and Luigi: Dream Team is officially out (though some local stores already broke streetdate last week) and Ducktales Remastered makes a comeback (multiplatform). Payday 2 is also this week and I’m hearing good things about it. Check it out if you are one of them FPS dorks.

Here are this week’s vidyas:

Angry Birds Trilogy (Wii/Wii U Retail)

Phineas and Ferb: Quest for Cool Stuff (Wii/Wii U/DS/3DS Retail)

Ducktales Remastered (Wii U eShop)

Mario & Luigi: Dream Team (3DS Retail)

Heavy Fire: Black Arms 3D (3DS eShop)

 

Payday 2 (PS3 Retail)

DuckTales Remastered (PS3 PSN)

Mars: War Logs (PS3 PSN)

Thunder Wolves (PS3 PSN)

Dishonored: The Brigmore Witches (PS3 DLC)

A-Men (PS Vita PSN)

BreakQuest: Extra Evolution (PS Vita PSN)

Fruit Ninja (PS Vita PSN)

Open Me! (PS Vita PSN)

 

Payday 2 (Retail)

Phineas and Ferb: Quest for Cool Stuff (Retail)

Charlie Murder (XBLA)

Dishonored: The Brigmore Witches (DLC)

 

Betrayer (PC Steam)

Dishonored: The Brigmore Witches (PC DLC)

DuckTales Remastered (PC Steam)

Europa Universalis 4 (PC/Mac Steam)

Hammerwatch (PC/Mac/Linus Steam)

Payday 2 (PC Steam)

Space Hulk (PC/Mac Steam)

Unholy Heights (PC/Mac)

Worms Clan Wars (PC Steam)

It’s the official release week for Dragon’s Crown (the image above is from the game’s fantastic unlockable gallery)! If you have a PS3 and/or PS Vita then this should be an instabuy for you or else we can’t be friends anymore. Meanwhile, Pikmin 3 arrives for the game-starved Wii U and Tales of Xillia finally sees the western light!

Here are this week’s vidyas:

Disney Planes (Wii/Wii U/DS/3DS Retail)

Pikmin 3 (Wii U Retail)

Cloudberry Kingdom (Wii U eShop)

Mario & Luigi: Dream Team (3DS Retail)

SteamWorld Dig (3DS eShop)

Dragon’s Crown (PS3/PS Vita Retail/PSN)

Tales of Xillia (PS3 Retail)

Ibb and Obb (PS3 PSN)

The Red Star (PS2 Classics)

Superfrog HD (PS3/PS Vita PSN)

Little Acorns (PS Vita PSN)

Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons (XBLA)

Saints Row 4: Inauguration Station (Demo)

Divinity: Dragon Commander (PC) [Steam]

Guacamelee! (PC) [Steam]

Guncraft (PC) [Steam]

Papers, Please (PC/Mac) [Steam]

Saints Row 4: Inauguration Station (PC) [Steam]

The Sims 3: Dragon Valley (PC/Mac)

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No AAA release this week, which is fine for me as I would like to finish some of my currents before I add new ones into the pot. Cloudberry Kingdom‘s frantic random level gameplay sounds like a good side-game distraction from my backlog grinding.

Skulls of the Shogun gets a PC release this week, coming out of Xbox Live Arcade’s exclusivity thing. It’s a good game that is worth checking out

Here are this week’s vidyas:

*No New Retail Releases. eShop content TBA*

Terraria: Collector’s Edition (PS3 Retail)

Cloudberry Kingdom (PS3 PSN)

The Last Bounty Hunter (PS3 PSN)

Narco Terror (PS3 PSN)

Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 – Vengeance (PS3 DLC)

PixelJunk Monsters: Ultimate HD (Vita PSN)

Puzzle By Nikoli V Slitherlink (Vita PSN)

 

Terraria: Collector’s Edition (Retail)

Cloudberry Kingdom (XBLA)

Narco Terror (XBLA)

 

Awesomenauts – Gnabot (PC/Mac) [Download]

Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 – Vengeance (PC) [Steam]

CastleStorm (PC) [Steam]

Cities in Motion 2 – Trekking Trolleys (PC/Mac) [Download]

Cities in Motion 2 – Wending Waterbuses (PC/Mac) [Download]

Cloudberry Kingdom (PC) [Download]

Farm Frenzy 4 (PC) [Download]

Realms of Arkania: Blade of Destiny (PC/Mac) [Steam]

Rise of the Triad (PC) [Steam]

Skulls of the Shogun (PC) [Steam]

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During PAX Australia BioWare producer Cameron Lee let out that saves from Dragon Age and Dragon Age 2 will be used in the third installment of the series, Dragon Age: Inquisition.

No specific details on how it will be used were povided, mentioning “past decisions will matter” and “it will absolutely come across. It’s safe to assume that decisions that you were a part of from the previous games will have a significant effect on DA:I‘s world.

Unlike its futuristic sister franchise Mass Effect, the Dragon Age series is centered on a different protagonist every game so it will be interesting how they will incorporate the Grey Warden and Hawke’s story into the third character’s world.

The game will release on both current gen and next-gen consoles but I don’t know if we will be able to import our saves between them (PS3 to PS4, Xbox360 to XboxOne), but I sure hope so!

Did you impregnate her? The third game needs to know!

Source: Gamespot

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We reported the announcement of Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Z (not to be confused with the Brad Pitt movie) a few weeks and now developer Studio ARTDINK dropped some screenshots of the multiplayer brawler based on Akira Toriyama’s insanely famous franchise.

The game is being demo’d at the San Diego Comic Con right now and it’s garnering very positive impressions, citing fluid movement and animation that is very faithful to the source material. It features 4 vs. 4 player competitive battles and 4 player co-op ala Monster Huntercomplete with huge enemies requiring combined effort to kill.

Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Z is coming ‘Holiday 2013’ for the PlayStation 3, PlayStation Vita, and Xbox 360.

 

Capcom just announced in the San Diego Comic Convention the return of their elite ninja agent Strider Hiryu in a brand new Strider game in development for Playstation 3, Xbox 360, PC, and next generation consoles Playstation 4 and Xbox One (still no love for the Wii U here I see) and is scheduled for release in 2014.

Like most modern-day renditions of classic games, Strider stays true to its roots and promises you the same old fast-paced and fluid action the original Strider games were known for before Strider Hiryu became a jobber in Capcom’s cross over fighting games. Check out the first trailer below:

 

Strider is being developed by Double Helix Games in conjunction with Capcom and is scheduled for digital release in early 2014.

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Capcom is at it again.

Super Street Fighter 4 added new characters to vanilla SF4, then SSF4: Arcade Edtion added some tweaks and a couple more characters, and now they announced a new update officially named Ultra Street Fighter 4.

Great (lol).

Anyways, this new update will add new stages and 5 new characters to the mix. The people from Metro City; Poison, Hugo, Elena, and Rolento will be joining the gang, freshly copy-pasted from the travesty that was Street Fighter X Tekken. The fifth character is still a secret though, and Capcom says it’s “a character who has not appeared on a Street Fighter game ever”. With the Final Fight theme of the new characters, I’m betting it’s Mayor Haggar.

USF4 will also include balancing changes stemmed from fan feedback. I suppose that’s a good thing, eh?

Ultra Street Fighter 4 will be available “Early 2014” for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. It’s $15 to update to it if you already have SSF4, and $40 to get a standalone copy.

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Rockstar (we cool kids type it as R*) dropped the first official trailer of their much-awaited and much-delayed Grand Theft Auto V.

The almost 5-minute video is a showcase of features and mechanics of the game, narrated by a sexy female voice.

So watch and listen!

Grand Theft Auto V is coming September 17, 2013 for the PlayStation 3 and XBOX 360.

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I don’t know about you guys, but I’m buying Metal Gear Solid: The Legacy Collection and I will win. Fifty dollars for a many Metal Gears… I love me some of that!

This week also sees the release of Civilization V: Brave New World and I know a few people who want this game really bad.

Here are this week’s vidyas:

*No New Retail Releases. eShop content TBA*

 

Metal Gear Solid: The Legacy Collection (PS3 Retail)

NCAA Football 14 (PS3 Retail/PSN)

Binary Domain (PS3 PSN)

Castle Shikigami 2 (PS2 Classic)

Dynasty Tactics 2 (PS2 Classic)

History: Legends of War: Patton (PS3/Vita PSN)

Lego Legends of Chima: Laval’s Journey (PS3 PSN)

Aabs Animals (Vita PSN)

Coconut Dodge Revitalised (Vita PSN)

Total Recoil (Vita PSN)

Dark (Retail)
NCAA Football 14 (Retail)
*XBLM Releases TBA*

Civilization V: Brave New World (PC/Mac)

Shadow Warrior Classic Redux (PC) [Steam]

Toki Tori 2+ (PC/Mac) [Steam]

That’s right, we have a release date for SUDA51’s next over-the-top action and fan service game Killer is Dead (it’s August 27, 2013 if you didn’t read the title). If graphic violence, outright crazy story lines, fast-paced action, and bodacious cartoon babes aren’t enough to hook you to get a copy at launch, XSEED Games has included the following bonuses for all launch copies:

  • An 80-page hardcover art book of Killer is Dead

    KID_LaunchEdition_Image
    This is a preview of the game box art and bonus art book.
  • A Killer is Dead soundtrack CD containing 25 tracks
  • The ‘Smooth Operator’ DLC pack containing the following:
    • Bonus in-game goods ‘Gigolo Glasses,’ an alternate costume for Vivienne and Mika
    • A bonus ‘Gigolo Mission’ with Betty
    • An additional episode with the vampiric Sebastian

You play the role of Mondo Zappa, a new recruit of an “execution agency” which targets criminals. Mondo’s weapon of choice is a Katana but also has a bionic left arm which can be modified with different attachments. Between cutting your way through bad guys and facing the final boss of the stage you can engage in gigolo missions where the goal is not to kill anything but to please the ladies to receive presents and rewards from them if you’re a smooth operator.  For preview on the action game play of Killer is Dead, you can view the trailer above but if you’re all about the fan service this trailer will give you a glimpse of what to expect:

 

For more details on Killer is Dead, check out the game’s official site at:  http://www.loveandkill.com.

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Killer is Dead was developed jointly by KADOKAWA GAMES and Goichi Suda (aka SUDA51) and his GRASSHOPPER MANUFACTURE studio and published by XSEED Games under Marvelous USA, Inc.