Saturday Video Round Up: August 24 – 30

Next up in the Video Game conferences is the Penny Arcade Expo (PAX) Prime in Seattle Washington. So right off the bat, that should tell you this week is going to be a little more active with new video content. Lets have a quick look at what waits for you below the jump, shall we?

It’s starting to look more and more like the recent character roster leak for Super Smash Bros is real. Yesterday Nintendo released a brand new trailer showing off Shulk from Xenoblade as the newest fighter to join the highly anticipated title. If you’re curious to see how he plays, the video is waiting for you below.

In a sort of surprise move, BioWare revealed that Dragon Age: Inquisition will indeed have a multiplayer component. Taking a bit of inspiration from Mass Effect 3, Inquisition offers a co-operative mode separate from the main campaign. Players take on randomized dungeons using their custom characters seeking loot and treasure will working together to survive to the very end. Unlike Mass Effect, this mode is completely separate from the single player campaign.  If you need some visuals to help sort out this mode, you better believe there’s a trailer below.

I’ve also got new videos for Titan Souls, Metro Redux, Dying Light 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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Assassin’s Creed Unity Slinks Back Into The Shadows Until November

Surprising news from Ubisoft hit yesterday as they announced that the highly anticipated next gen Assassin’s Creed title, Unity, is leaving it’s October 28 release date for a couple weeks. November 11 is the new target date in the US (Nov 13 in EU) which actually coincides with the other AC title releasing this year as well, Assassin’s Creed Rogue.

So what happened exactly? The team at Ubisoft Montreal wanted to take an extra couple of weeks to really put the polish and detail into the title to really make it standout.

“This being a fully next-gen game, it requires a lot of work, a lot of production, and a lot of learning. It’s always hard to be precise and to quantify exactly how much work is involved. So as we get close to the finish we often realize we’re near the target but we’re not quite there yet,” Ubisoft Senior Producer Vincent Pontbriand says in a post via UbiBlog. “We honestly appreciate [the fans] commitment to the game and their patience. It’s just a couple more weeks. And it’s going to be worth it.”

Honestly, I have no issues with this delay as we all remember what happened when Assassin’s Creed 3 released riddled with bugs and glitches. That’s a situation no one wants to repeat especially with Unity being their first true entry on next gen. Making a good first impression is incredibly important for a franchise that is pretty much the heart of the company at this point.

I find it fascinating how stripped down October has become recently when we were all just complaining about a month or two ago at the huge amount of releases. We’ve seen games like Evolve and Battlefield Hardline jump ship entirely into 2015, others like Dragon Age Inquisition and now Assassin’s Creed Unity step into November, and in rare form, Shadow of Mordor make the leap forward into September. Even with all these departures, there’s still plenty coming in October that’ll keep you busy, so have no fear.

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Nintendo Unleashes A Couple Surprise Announcements

With the current situation that Nintendo finds themselves in, it appears the company is more willing to bend their former hard line rules in an effort to evolve and appeal to a broader base. Frankly, this is great news for fans as policies that are standard on other platforms are now starting to trickle their way into Nintendo products. Nintendo dropped a couple of surprise announcements in relation to a few of their major franchises earlier this week so lets have a look in case you missed it.

The first big announcement came as a sort of surprise to everyone. The Pokemon Company has teamed up with Namco Bandai to create a sort of Pokemon fighting game called Pokken. The lead designers on Tekken (Harada) and Soul Calibur (Hoshino) are heading up this project which promises to hit arcades next year. Now for the bad news. It’s currently slated as a Japanese only release and there’s been no word on it coming to the US at all. So your dreams of seeing Hitmonchan fight Hitmonlee will have to wait for the time being.

While Nintendo has never been good with DLC, it appears they’re trying to change that with thier popular cart racer, Mario Kart 8. In an effort to support the game long term, they’ve announced a fairly interesting DLC policy which frankly turns the game into Super Smash Kart. Yes, that’s right, characters and items outside of the Mario universe are being added to the game. The first DLC pack is coming in November and adds Cat Peach, Tanooki Mario, and Link from the Legend of Zelda to the roster. Not only that you’ll be getting four new carts (including the Blue Falcon from F-Zero), and eight new courses (including Wario’s Gold Mine from the Wii game). Coming in the Spring of 2015, the Villager and Isabelle from Animal Crossing join Dry Bowser as the three new characters in addition to another four new vehicles and eight courses. Each pack will sell for $7.99 USD individually.

But that’s not all!

If all of that sounds great, you’ll want to pick up the bundle which contains everything above including eight new colors for Yoshi and also Shy Guy which can be used immediately. This bundle pack sells for $11.99 USD.

I have to hand it to Nintendo here, this is certainly a nice change of pace from some games which only offer a handful of maps for 15 bucks, right? Hopefully this is a trend that they continue to pursue.

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Amazon Scoops Up Twitch For A Cool $970 Million

In case you missed it yesterday, big news broke that Amazon purchased Twitch for a lofty $970 million dollars in cash. Yes, Amazon, not Google. It seems Twitch had many suitors and even though the rumored Google deal was all but done, it seems that Amazon swooped in at the last minute to snatch them away at the last minute. Part of me can see the executives at Google flipping tables over this news.

What’s interesting with this deal is that Twitch basically remains as they were before. They keep their independence, brand, employees, office, basically everything. And no, the recent audio policy changes was not due to Twitch. Things may change down the road, but for now, everything is the same as it was last week. It’s almost like Amazon purchased the company to get a cut of the profits and that’s it. What has been confirmed is that Twitch will gain access to better hardware and infrastructure so you may see things improve from a connectivity standpoint. It’ll be interesting to see how this relationship plays out over the years. If you want to get the scoop from Twitch CEO Emmett Shear, head over to the Twitch blog for more.

So what happened with Google? Well, rumors are speculating that Google backed out of the deal over antitrust concerns considering that they already own YouTube. Some may have seen the two services as being too similar creating a legal headache that Google just didn’t want to risk. Google has been no stranger to antitrust complaints here in the US and in Europe which apparently was enough to cause them to walk away.

So how do you guys feel? Is this a better deal than the one with Google or are you still worried about the future of the platform? Let me know in the comments.

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A New Look At Dante’s Inferno

It’s been a while since we’ve spoken about Dante’s Inferno, having released all the way back in 2010. It was a action hack and slash style game put out by Visceral Games and EA and managed to create a few controversies prior to it’s release which may have helped overshadow the actual game itself. Regardless though, the title was well received and also well made while having left a certain impact on some folks.

One of those folks includes Naughty Dog’s Senior Cinematics Animator, Tal Peleg, who just wrapped up his own little Dante’s Inferno side project just a couple weeks ago. He enjoyed the game so much that he decided to create his own trailer for what a sequel may look like considering that we haven’t heard a peep from EA about a new project in this world. Incredibly, he’s been working on this for around 2 years just in his spare time. Dante’s Redemption is an action packed short CG film featuring Dante fighting through Hell’s beasts and a final battle with Death itself to save his love, Beatrice.

I watched the video and honestly I was stunned by how great it looks especially from someone who doesn’t work at Visceral or EA. Granted, Peleg has a load of experience working with cinematics and is extremely good at it (Uncharted, Last of Us, etc), but the fact that he nails the look and feel of Dante’s Inferno is quite impressive. If you want to know more about his project, make sure to check out it’s Facebook page here or have a read through of this interview over at Dual Shockers with Peleg as he shares some behind the scenes details.

Now that you’re all caught up, here’s the official trailer:

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Saturday Video Round Up: August 17 – 23

After the assault of videos from last week due to Gamescom over in Germany, as you can imagine, things have slowed down a bit. But there’s still a lot of great content so don’t close your browser just yet! Here’s a small taste of what’s waiting for you below the jump.

In an effort to send your hype meter soaring into the stars, Bungie has released a pair of videos for the upcoming MMO style shooter, Destiny. The first details what Venus is going to be like in the game with all of it’s lush vegetation and autonomous robot looking creatures which want to end your life. If you’re looking for more than make sure to watch the launch trailer for the game which just looks amazing. Nothing else need be said here.

Forza Horizon 2 continues to look visually stunning and this week Microsoft and Playground Games are detailing all of the new social features to the racer. There’s a lot under the hood…no pun intended. Okay, well some puns were intended here.

I’ve also got new videos for Super Time Force Ultra, Hyrule Warriors, Trials Fusion, 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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Sucker Punch Hit With Layoffs Days Before ‘First Light’ Releases

If you’ve been visiting my site since the beginning (thank you!), you may already know that I’m a huge fan of Sucker Punch and inFAMOUS. There’s just something about being a super human and being able to run around a huge city doing what you want. We’re less than a week away from their latest game, inFAMOUS First Light, a standalone DLC pack featuring Abigail ‘Fetch’ Walker, which is why the news from earlier this week caught me off guard.

SecondSon1

It was initially reported on Wednesday and then confirmed by Sony that Sucker Punch Productions suffered a round of layoffs at the studio. It’s odd because not only is Sucker Punch so highly regarded by critics and gamers alike, it’s also a place that you never hear situations like this happen to. It’s unconfirmed just how many people were let go, but from what it sounds like, the cuts were deeper than expected affecting even some of the core team.

I’ve heard a lot of rationale from people trying to make sense of the layoffs. Everything from “it’s what companies do after completing work on games” to “it just didn’t sell as well as they hoped.” Honestly, I can’t see either being the true factor in this. Second Son launched all the way back in March so if the layoffs were related to the completion of a project, you’d have expected to hear this news back in April or May. I can’t really see First Light being the reason as it’s not a full game and isn’t nearly as big as Second Son. The only way I could see this being the case is if they shifted a group to work on First Light while the core team moved on to their next title. It’s possible but with how long the dev cycle is for Sucker Punch, it doesn’t seem like they traditionally create multiple development teams like Naughty Dog, for example.

In terms of Second Son sales performance, from what I’ve read over these months, both Sony and Sucker Punch seemed pleased by how the game sold. The game received a warm reception upon release and Sony even bragged about the game surpassing 1 million units sold after nine days at retail. Unless the sales completely dropped off a cliff after that (which it may have surprisingly), I can’t see this as being a major reason either.

Regardless of why it happened, I want to wish everyone who was affected all the best. You guys make great games and I have no doubts you’ll land on your feet very quickly.

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