The Hype Train Rolls On: 50 Things You Need To Know About Super Smash Bros

If one thing is very clear, Nintendo is all in with Super Smash Bros. Seeing this as a legitimate opportunity to not only steal the spotlight from other AAA games/platforms, but to actually move hardware as well, Nintendo poured even more hype over a frothy and very excitable crowd yesterday with their latest Nintendo Direct.

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As you can probably imagine, yesterday’s Direct focused squarely on Super Smash Bros detailing an absurd 50 things you need to know about the title. Considering the 3DS version is already out and Nintendo has detailed this game at length in the past, it’s still amazing to learn that there’s just still so much we don’t know about this game. The trailer focused on a lot of exclusive WiiU features and additions.

While I’m not going to pour over every single item, here’s some of the bigger announcements from yesterday’s Direct. As a bonus, I’ve also added the video so you can hear Mr. Announcer Man detail each aspect of the game if you want. Enjoy!

Major News
1. MewTwo returns to both the 3DS and WiiU titles as free DLC if you own both the WiiU and 3DS versions of the game. I’d assume Nintendo would eventually offer him as paid DLC, but no announcements on that.

2. Bowser Jr got his own trailer and he was also joined by the Koopalings as well. It wasn’t explained well, but I’d assume they act as his costume swaps or something to that effect.

3. Do you enjoy chaos? Smash for WiiU now allows more than 4 players to battle in the same match. The peak of the action caps out at 8 players which, I can’t even fathom how insane that would be. Obviously, to support the match size, only the large maps will be selectable and the 8 players are locked into local multiplayer, not online.

4. Stage Builder has been confirmed.

5. Masterpeice Mode lets you play demo sized chunks of classic Nintendo titleslike Kid Icarus, Kirby’s Dream Land and others based on the character roster.

6. So many modes! Master Orders, Crazy Orders, Target Blast, Stadium Mode, All-Star Mode, Event Mode, Special Smash Mode and Smash Tour to name a few.

7. New exclusive stages in the WiiU version with some existing ones being altered to fit better on the WiiU.

8. 40 fighters available to fight with more to be unlocked or grabbed via DLC.

Want all of the juicy details? Let the world’s most excited announcer explain everything to you:

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The End of an Era: Jade Raymond Departs Ubisoft

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In a surprising announcement earlier this week, Ubisoft revealed that Ubisoft Toronto studio head, Jade Raymond, is leaving the company after ten years of service at the company. Alex Parizeau, another founding member of the Toronto studio, will be taking over the role she’s leaving behind.

Jade originally produced the original Assassin’s Creed, has been the executive producer on games like Watch_Dogs and Assassin’s Creed II, and most recently helped found the Ubisoft Toronto studio which released Splinter Cell Blacklist last year. Currently the studio is assisting with a couple of major releases in Assassin’s Creed Unity and Far Cry 4. Make no mistake, she was an important part of Ubisoft. One thing that we don’t know is what’s next for Jade as she hasn’t publicly said anything yet.

“I’ve spent 10 extraordinary years at Ubisoft, and I am proud to have been part of many of the best teams in the industry making truly remarkable games,” said Raymond in a press release. “This is one of the hardest decisions of my career, but the Toronto studio is strong and on a solid path. I’m confident that now is a good time for me to transition leadership of the studio to Alex and to pursue my other ambitions and new opportunities. Stay tuned for more on what’s next for me, but for now, I’d like to thank Ubisoft for its partnership through the years, and I wish them the very best in all their next endeavors.”

On a personal level, I have nothing but respect and admiration for Jade and was thrilled to actually meet her in person last year up in Toronto. During her time at Ubisoft she’s helped create and develop some of my favorite franchises like Splinter Cell and Assassin’s Creed. She even put the very first Assassin’s Creed on the map for me as she was it’s sort of public face during it’s development lifecycle. For me, seeing a game that managed to blend open world action with the Crusades timeline really intrigued me considering that history is something I love. In my eyes, it managed to marry the best of both worlds.

So thank you Jade for your contribution to the industry while at Ubisoft. I wish you all the best and can’t wait to see what is next for you.

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PlayStation’s Road To Greatness Tour – Hands-On Impressions

Sony began a nationwide “Road to Greatness” tour earlier this year which was essentially a way for the company to promote the PlayStation 4 and all of it’s upcoming titles. The best thing about this tour is that it gave people the opportunity to go hands-on with the console and some unreleased games. This tour actually set out for stops that are not as high profile or feature major industry events like PAX or E3.

PSTruck

Considering that the tour was in a town that I could reasonably get to without much fuss this past weekend, I decided to head on over and check things out. Situated on a skate park, Sony brought a big semi truck which actually expanded out like a RV would. Including a DJ playing music, contests with prizes like a Vita, and free food/water, the main show was inside the big semi. Upon getting inside, I was greeted with more rows of kiosks than I figured. From Singstar, to NBA 2K15, to highly anticipated titles like The Order 1886, you had free reign to get your game on.

While I didn’t have time to try my hand at everything, I did manage to go hands (or eyes) on a number of titles. Below I’ve included my thoughts and impressions from everything I played and saw first hand.

LittleBigPlanet 3
I’m not sure what I can say about this one. It’s distinctively LittleBigPlanet, a platformer with cute characters, a world created from household materials like fabric, wood and stone, and controls that still feel good if not just a tad bit floaty. It’s very much LittleBigPlanet and if you’ve played one before, there’s absolutely no reason why you won’t like this one as well. It’s so cute, you’ll be crying rainbows for weeks.

DriveClub
It’s been a downright terrible launch for DriveClub, but even with the massive server issues, Sony gave the game a lot of kiosks in the truck. Running a single player only demo, the game featured three tracks to race on with only three cars to pick from. Upon getting behind the wheel, the first thing you notice is how great the game looks. The colors are vibrant, the cars are really well modeled, and the landscape is lush and impressively built. Control wise, DriveClub is more forgiving landing more towards the arcade style of racing. The thing that really bummed me out about DriveClub however is that it was penalizing me for driving aggressively, taking points away for hitting the landscape or bumping the other cars. I’m not sure DriveClub knows what it wants to be between an arcade style racer hell bent on fun, or a more serious simulation style racer. There’s no denying that the game looks great, but from what I played, the core aspect of racing didn’t grab me like I was hoping.

An artist was painting this mural during the day's events.

An artist was painting this mural during the day’s events.

OlliOlli 2: Welcome to Olliwood
Surprised to see this one stashed away in the back, I was immediately surprised to see how upgraded this title looked. The first game had a very distinct art style, relying on more pixel block graphics. OlliOlli 2 however, looks way smoother and features an almost hand drawn art style. The gameplay remains as rock solid as it was in the first game, and I wasn’t at all ashamed to faceplant all over the place. It’s still as addictive and frustrating as ever, but now with improved graphics and animations.

Bloodborne
One of the titles I didn’t actually get to go hands on with due to there being only one kiosk and a time crunch, Bloodborne was none-the-less wildly impressive.This one was the game that really stood out to me, and keep in mind that this is coming from someone who’s not really a “Souls” player. Basically, Bloodborne looks like a victorian era Demon’s Souls with much faster gameplay. The combat alone moves at a quicker pace and the representative told the crowd that unlike a traditional “Souls” game, Bloodborne actually rewards the player for being more aggressive. The world is as detailed as it is hauntingly beautiful, and the enemies reminded me of scarecrows holding torches like they were going to riot. The tone is very much Demon’s Souls, but the combat and pacing makes it feel and look new. This is definitely one to watch for.

The Order 1886
Another title I didn’t actually get to go hands on with due to time restrictions, but I did watch a demo being played by someone else. Graphically speaking, it’s a knockout. The characters are modeled so well and the animations are also striking. The clothing sways realistically and characters show great emotion through facial expressions. Where the game kind of tripped up a bit in my opinion is in the combat. It looks to be a basic third person cover based shooter without any new hooks or frills. Granted, it was just a short demo, but I didn’t see anything that really made it stand out during these combat situations. I really don’t want to be saying that it has stunning visuals, an impressive setting, creative weapons but simplistic combat when this comes out early next year but as of right now, that looks to be the case. I really hope I’m proven wrong because I love the theme of the game, but so far, it’s exactly what you think it’s going to be based on the trailers they released. I really hope Ready at Dawn has some tricks up their sleeves.

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Photo Mode Comes to Super Smash Bros WiiU and other Smash Rumors

If you’ve been here for a little bit or are following me on Twitter, you may know that I’m a bit addicted to Photo Mode in games most notably on the PlayStation 4 (coming soon to Xbox One). As it turns out, this mode is now also making it’s way over to Super Smash Bros on the WiiU.

Revealed by the game’s director, Masahiro Sakurai on the game’s MiiVerse page, you’ll be able to take character trophies and pose them in the game’s Photo Studio mode. Based on the screenshot in the MiiVerse post, it looks like you’ll have a lot of creative freedom to make some interesting and humorous photos. The picture uploaded by Sakurai show’s Zael from ‘The Last Story’ taking a Superspicy Curry item from Master Hand.

“No…! You mustn’t let that curry lure you in…!!” writes Sakurai.

Okay, so this may not quite be like what we’ve been getting with other games and their photo modes, but it’s still an interesting mode that lets players flex their creativity. I’m all for that.

In other Smash bros news, Amazon may have also (accidentally) revealed a couple of new modes in this highly anticipated brawler. According to the posting, it appears that players will also be able to create their own stages and scenarios, along with playing a brand new board game style mode. With Master and Crazy Hand representing the new modes in the Amazon leak, it appears this may not be a rumor at all as this MiiVerse screenshot tease may indicate. There’s no official word from Nintendo yet, but with the game’s release date about a month away, we may get answers sooner than later.

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Saturday Video Round Up: October 12 – 18

Hey, would you look at that? Saturday has once again graced us with it’s presence and managed to conjure up a brand new edition of the Video Round Up as well. As I do every Saturday morning, I’ve gathered the best video based content from the past week and conveniently placed it all below for your viewing pleasure. Here’s a small taste at what’s waiting for you below the jump.

If you’re a fan of MOBA games, then this week’s Video Round Up is for you as there’s a trio of videos waiting for you! First up is a new character reveal for League of Legends. I actually didn’t realize it was a League of Legends trailer until the end as the character is quite different from what they normally push out at Riot. Blizzard’s upcoming Heroes of the Storm introduces us to a brand new character and Diablo 3 veteran, Azmodan, and all of his destructive capabilities.

We’re getting closer to what I’m referring to as “Assassin’s Creed day” as both Unity and Rogue release on November 11 here in North America. Both games are represented this week with new trailers that shed more light on their content. Rogue delivers a heavy story focused trailer showing main character, Shay Cormac’s life as an assassin’s and a little bit of what pushed him ultimately to join the Templar cause. Unity on the other hand gives us a deeper look at the major characters in the game including the people who bring them to life through voice and motion capture.

I’ve also got new videos for Halo: The Master Chief Collection, Hyrule Warriors, The Evil Within and so much more after the break, so come check out this week’s batch of trailers!

The full list of videos await you after the jump…

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PlayStation 4’s 2.0 Firmware Update Continues To Grow With More Details

It’s been a few months since we’ve last heard about the big PlayStation 4 2.0 Update, and for those of you that may be wondering what’s going on, Sony finally revealed more information and details about what this update is going to bring. Buckle up, it’s getting to be pretty large.

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Originally containing major pieces like YouTube support, Share Play, and Themes, the PlayStation team has actually been tweaking and adding more and more over the past few months. So what else is new? A lot actually. Here’s the full breakdown of the newly announced updates contained in this firmware.

  • In addition to being able to set custom themes on your dashboard, this update will also allow you to change the background color from blue to one of seven new colors: red, green, purple, blue, grey, pink, and gold.
  • A new “People you may know” feature is being added, containing a list of people your current friends play with often.
  • The USB Music Player will allow you to play music during gameplay from a USB drive you’ve plugged into the console. Supported file types: MP3, MP4, M4A, 3GP.
  • If you’re a PlayStation Camera user, new voice commands are being added including ones for people who like to broadcast.
  • USB Storage options are now available for players who like to backup their saves to external devices.
  • “Add To Library” gives players the option to store the free monthly PlayStation Plus games rather than download them directly using up hard drive space.
  • The Live Broadcasting section is receiving a face lift with a new featured channel, friend’s channels, the ability to archive streams, and a new filter for sorting through available broadcasts.
  • The Content Area and Library sections are getting cleaned up a bit and redesigned to help players quickly find exactly what they’re looking for with filters and sorting methods.

No word yet on a release date for this update but from what I’m hearing, more details will be revealed soon.

So what about you? Do you like how Microsoft updates the Xbox One with more quick hitting monthly updates, or do you like Sony’s approach where they take their time but unleash a huge wave of updates? Let me know in the comments below.

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Watch_Dogs Bad Blood DLC Review – A Second Chance

Watch-Dogs-TBone

It’s been a solid five months since Ubisoft released the open world game, Watch_Dogs, upon the masses and in an effort to update the series a little, its story based DLC, Bad Blood, looks to mix up some things in the main game. While still set in Chicago, Bad Blood seeks to refresh player expectations with new areas and enemies to battle against while still using your phone to manipulate the surrounding area. Introducing a new protagonist, a new story-line, and new activities to do, does Bad Blood hack its way into your heart, or should it be left by the roadside?

Editor’s Note: I’ve done my absolute best to avoid spoilers but certain things I discuss below may delve into spoilerish territory if you’ve yet to play the game fully. Reader beware.

Full review after the jump…

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