Saturday Video Round Up: May 17 – 23

Saturday is back and so to is a brand new Round Up. Once again, it’s bringing the latest trailers and the biggest gameplay footage for your enjoyment. Kick those feet up, crank the volume and relax as we dive into the biggest videos from the week that was. Here’s a small taste of what’s below the jump.

After taking a year off, the long running franchise, Need for Speed, is making a big comeback this year with Ghost Games back at the helm. While officially announced, we don’t have many details for the upcoming racer but we do have this interesting teaser trailer. Expect more in a few weeks at E3.

After laying dormant for a couple months, out of nowhere Capcom unleashed a brand new trailer revealing the next character for Street Fighter V. The one and only dictator, M. Bison, is the fourth playable character and from the looks of the trailer, he’s packing a few new tricks this time around.

I’ve also got new videos for LEGO Dimensions, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, Batman: Arkham Knight 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…

Continue reading

Posted in Feature, VIdeo Round Up | Tagged , , | 4 Comments

Guest Post: 5 Game Ideas for Nintendo’s New Mobile Division

What’s up everyone, Derek here. Today’s post comes from the mind of C.T. Murphy who’s offering his own predictions on the direction Nintendo should take after announcing their big mobile deal news earlier this year. If you enjoy this post or want to read more on what Murf is thinking up on daily basis, then make sure to head over to his site here. Enjoy!

———————————————————————————-

With Nintendo’s announcement that they plan to make mobile games, imaginations have run wild about the kind of games they will create. Here are a few ideas:

Peach’s Big Escape

As much as I’d love to see Peach get her own console or handheld title, I could settle with a mobile game in the meantime. Instead of Mario’s search for the Princess, how about a game focused on her many attempts to escape Bowser’s clutches? Surely she wasn’t just standing around all day, waiting for her hero to save her!

Peach’s Big Escape would be an endless runner in the same vein as classics like Canabalt or Temple Runner. Peach would run, jump, kick, and use her patented floating dress to try and escape Bowser and the other Koopas.

With a ton of references to classic Mario levels and villains, this would be an excellent way for Nintendo to celebrate one of its most underutilized characters. Peach deserves something, so why not this?

Pokemon Pinball: X & Y

Once upon a time I was a kid who would buy any and everything with the Pokemon label on it, including Pokemon Pinball for the Game Boy Color. Though not perfect, Pokemon Pinball was a fantastic example of Nintendo’s ability to take a simple design, give a thematic link to one of its properties, and put out a solid game.

That’s exactly what Nintendo’s mobile games should be, so I’d love to see a sequel to Pokemon Pinball lead the charge. Think about it: it’s a game that would work perfectly for the general expectations of mobile gaming. Play sessions are short, touch and gyro controls would capture the spirit of pinball accurately, and it could easily be turned into a Free-to-Play game.

As long as that last part doesn’t make the game feel too repetitive or abusive, I think revisiting the X & Y Pokemon setting would be an absolute blast for this.

Fire Emblem: Tower Defense

I am both lucky and unlucky that Fire Emblem Awakening on the 3DS was my introduction to the series. Lucky because it is one of the system’s finest games and one of gaming’s best RPG’s in the last few years; unlucky because the series deserves the same admiration that Nintendo’s other titles get.

While Tower Defense games have been pretty stale as of late, Fire Emblem would be an excellent setting to rebuild the genre. The dialogue and story potential alone interest me, but I think Fire Emblem’s penchant for permanent death could breathe new life into the tired mechanics we have all gotten used to.

Even if it doesn’t revolutionize the genre, a Fire Emblem take on Tower Defense games could be a serviceable start for Nintendo’s new platform.

Bad Pikmin

I never got bit by the Angry Birds craze, but I did love Rovio’s follow-up, Bad Piggies. In it, you take control of the much more mechanically-inclined villains of the Angry Birds series, the pigs, and build crazy contraptions to reach goals.

I would absolutely love to see Captain Olimar at it again, only this time he needs a whole new cast of more crafty Pikmin. Similar to Bad Piggies, your Pikmin would use their expertise to gather parts and construct machines capable of gathering even more resources.

With an overall campaign and stronger story-telling, a Pikmin game in the style of Bad Piggies could distinguish itself, while simultaneously being a unique take on some of Nintendo’s cutest characters. At its heart, it would be a puzzle game that stresses creativity, and that meshes up will with the spirit of Pikmin games.

Zelda’s Hyrule

Though we all know Princess Zelda is royalty, we rarely see her lead or do anything related to running Hyrule. How about Nintendo do their own variation of a city building game and put The Legend of Zelda’s own Zelda at the helm?

Imagine Hyrule after Ganon’s defeat. It’s in disorder, disarray, and disrepair. While Link is off with further adventures, someone has to repair Hyrule. In Zelda’s Hyrule, you do just that, as you rebuild the kingdom, fulfill the wishes of your people, and make sure there are adequate defenses from the remaining forces of evil still plaguing the realm.

Something like a blend of Majesty, SimCity, and Farmville, I think this would be yet another opportunity for Nintendo to use some of their well-known but never featured characters. Like Princess Peach, Princess Zelda is due for her own game, and a brand new platform gives Nintendo the incentive to branch out past their traditional games.

What sort of mobile games are you hoping Nintendo will make? Which characters do you feel need their own games?

Posted in Feature, Other | Tagged , , , , | 9 Comments

Screenshot Safari: Celebrimbor Says Hi! #NBI2015Safari

It’s time for another Screenshot Safari post! Not sure what a screenshot safari is? Head on over to my first post to get an understanding on what’s going on and also how to get involved!

The theme this week is Selfie.

When Shadow of Mordor was first announced, it looked like a game I would enjoy. Appearing to mix the mechanics of Assassin’s Creed and Batman: Arkham Asylum, Mordor ultimately proved to me that it was something so much more. The Nemesis System is a revolutionary mechanic, one that when you first hear about, you think that it sounds great on paper but won’t pan out exactly in the game. Boy was I wrong. Creating dynamic and unique Uruks for lead character(s) Celebrimbor and Talion to hunt, each time you played the game, it felt new and fresh. Not only that, the game proves to be great at giving players a new story to tell their friends.

Shadow of Mordor: Celebrimbor Coming Down

Game: Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor

So for my selfie photo, I used the game’s Photo Mode to capture this relatively frightening picture of Celebrimbor as he’s about to land on the ground from a tall height. Being a wraith that has been bound with the ranger Talion, Celebrimbor is able to enhance Talion’s already formidable skillset with additional moves and abilities. When performing these moves, he takes over which is why he’s visible here and not Talion. I just happened to time things right and captured the good wraith just at the right moment.

Good luck sleeping tonight!

Posted in Feature, Other | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

Kickstarter Success and Corporate Mindset

It’s amazing how out of touch “big” companies can be these days with what they believe consumers like us want. The proof is in the pudding as they say.

Take a look at two recent Kickstarters which are bringing back classic style games and have found stunning success on the first day of the campaign. They’ve been so overwhelmingly successful that the teams are actually running out of stretch goals to add. Better yet? Both campaigns call upon genres that have since been “abandoned” by the bigger companies due to the mindset that consumers don’t want those types of experiences anymore. Apparently, that sort of thinking is dead wrong.

Yooka Laylee
When paired with Nintendo, Rare was pumping out hits left and right. With franchises like Banjo-Kazooie and Donkey Kong 64 leading the way for 3-D platformers back in the day, the genre has fallen on hard times as of late. A handful of former developers at Rare have formed a new studio known as Playtonic Games. Their big plan? Single handedly revive the entire 3-D platformer genre with their new game, Yooka-Laylee, which harkens back to the old Banjo days. After launching their Kickstarter on May 1, the company has seen unparalleled success and financial windfall from a very strong force of people who want to see this genre revived. It’s pretty clear that people are excited to see what this new studio can do. It’s off to a fantastic start.

For more on this game: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/playtonic/yooka-laylee-a-3d-platformer-rare-vival

yooka-laylee

Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night
Koji Igarashi, better known as the father of the Metroidvania style game during his time working on all of those classic Castlevania games at Konami, recently took to Kickstarter to raise funds for a new game he has been working on since leaving Konami. In his video, he explains that he was told this style of game wouldn’t work and that no one cared about this genre anymore. With his Kickstarter blowing past it’s half a million dollar goal in less than a day after going live, I think fans have proven that theory to be incorrect. Currently, Iga’s team is having trouble keeping up with the demand as stretch goal, after stretch goal have been defeated one by one. With a healthy amount of time left on the Kickstarter, it’ll be interesting to see where the madness ends.

For more on this game: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/iga/bloodstained-ritual-of-the-night?ref=nav_search

Bloodstained Concept

—————————————————————–

To be fair, the two examples above come from talented and experienced game designers who already have a well documented legacy in the industry. Still, I can’t help but feel that isn’t the reason why these Kickstarters have flown past all expectations. Based on the numbers alone, there’s a hunger and a craving for these types of games. With the success these two campaigns have had, hopefully the big boys will finally get in tune with what fans want rather than dismissing certain games entirely.

Posted in Opinion | Tagged , | 2 Comments

Saturday Video Round Up: May 10 – 16

The Round Up has once again returned, bringing with it the latest trailers and the biggest gameplay footage. Kick those feet up, crank the volume and relax as we dive into the biggest videos from the week that was. Here’s just a small sample of what awaits you below.

Instead of giving us a tease like they usually do, Ubisoft opened the vault and showed off quite a bit of the newly named Assassin’s Creed Syndicate, opting to not wait for E3. I’ve got a pair of trailers for you below dealing with the game as the first introduces us to one of it’s main characters, Jacob Frye, and all of his tricks of the trade. The second is a more traditional trailer, giving you a good look at the Victorian era London that players will be able to run around in. It’s a solid start for the new Assassin’s Creed developer, Ubisoft Quebec.

The day many fans have been waiting for is finally upon us at The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt releases next week. To celebrate, CD Projekt RED released a gorgeous CG trailer showing Geralt of Rivia squaring off against some sort of humanoid looking creature. It’s a fantastic looking trailer.

I’ve also got new videos for Rainbow Six Siege, ARK: Survival Evolved, SMITE 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…

Continue reading

Posted in Feature, VIdeo Round Up | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Screenshot Safari: Jumping The Rooftops of Seattle #NBI2015Safari

Recently, I was more or less challenged by my blogging buddy C.T. Murphy to take part in a challenge he had whipped up this month. The task was to publish a post detailing a screenshot I had taken from a game related to a particular theme and why I loved the image.

Considering that I’m someone who’s already posted a couple of digital photo albums filled with screenshots I had taken from games, this was going to be way too easy. Except that, it wasn’t. The screenshots I had taken were all meaningful in some way to me, so trying to pick and choose between them proved to be more difficult than I had originally anticipated.

Want to participate? Head over to Murf’s blog and read about the challenge. It’s running now till the end of the month so there’s still a bit of time to get in on the action!

Anyway, here’s my entry for the Screenshot Safari challenge.

I’ve gone with the “Landscape” theme and frankly, it was tough. Between inFamous Second Son and Driveclub, I had a lot of fantastic shots I could have used here but ultimately, I went with one of the first screenshots I had ever taken.

SecondSon1

Game: inFamous Second Son

Second Son was a game that first introduced the world to a dedicated Photo Mode on the PlayStation 4. As the game already featured incredible visuals, being able to pause the action on the screen and add effects or features to the still photo proved to be wildly addicting for me. The screenshot above doesn’t feature any fancy tricks outside of playing with the game’s camera. Maybe that’s part of why I like it so much, it’s a natural photo of the game, undoctored by effects.

There’s a natural beauty to it as protagonist Delsin Rowe uses the ‘neon’ variation of his powers to propel himself across Seattle rooftops. With a gorgeous lake and mountain view in the background, this is a place I’d love to visit.

Posted in Feature, Other | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments

E3 2015 Predictions and Thoughts: Third Party Titles

Instead of doing a traditional and more general E3 prediction post as I’ve done in years past, I figured it’d be more fun to take a deep dive in various topics this time. Rather than making a post for every third party, consider this my round up post. Click here to see the previous entries in this feature.

E3 2015

So you’re not officially with Nintendo, Microsoft, or Sony. Welcome to your home!

For everything not related to the big three, I’ve gone ahead and created this makeshift catch all category for figuring out what the likes of the rest of the industry may be up to this year at the annual Electronics Entertainment Expo. Below you’ll be hearing from the likes of major companies such as Ubisoft, Bethesda, EA, Activision and anyone else that I was able to remember.

There’s probably way too many games to cover in this already broad category so if I don’t mention your favorite franchise or upcoming game, no hard feelings. There’s simply way too many games to write about here.

With that said, here’s a few of my thoughts on what might be at the show this year.

Continue reading

Posted in Feature, Opinion | Tagged , , , | 9 Comments