Get Ready to Die Again – Dark Souls II: Scholar of the First Sin Announced

In a move that has already become a popular choice for game publishers, Dark Souls II is making the jump to ‘next-gen’ next April.

Adding the subtitle, Scholar of the First Sin, Dark Souls II is bringing with it some new features. Included in the new package are balance updates, an expanded story, new NPCs, and the promise of new item descriptions, which is an odd thing to boast about if you ask me. If you’re grabbing the game for your shiny new console or DirectX11 compatible PC, you can also expect higher resolution textures, increased lighting effects, higher online player counts, and enhanced graphics. If you already own the game on last gen systems, this content will be available as a free update, so have no fear.

According to Namco Bandai, Dark Souls II: Scholar of the First Sin will be arriving for PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, and PC on April 17, 2015.

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Assassin’s Creed Unity Thoughts and Impressions

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In case you missed it last week, make sure to read through my “part one” article for Assassin’s Creed Unity where I give my thoughts on Unity’s rough launch. If you want gameplay related opinions, then this post is for you.

Alright, enough with the pre-launch hype and review issues with Unity, lets take a closer look on how the game actually plays, shall we? In the end, gameplay is the most important thing.

First, lets get to some of my favorite things about Unity. For me, the obvious choice is the setting. I absolutely love history so getting to run around 18th century Paris during such a violent time as the French Revolution is a joy. Seeing and being able to interact with such historical figures as Maximilien Robespierre, Napoleon Bonaparte, and Mirabeau among so many others is a wonderful experience. Headlining this all is the superior graphics on display not only with the animations and visuals but the just incredible attention to detail in the city of Paris itself. The major buildings such as the Notre Dame, Pantheon, and Jardin du Luxembourg are incredible to stumble upon, towering over the landscape and crafted with such detail.

Seriously, I could spend an entire article talking about how well developed Paris is, but lets move on as I have a large list of topics to cover. Full post awaits you below the jump…

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No Additional Downloadable Content For Super Smash Bros?!?

Some odd news broke late last week over the downloadable content plans Nintendo has (or doesn’t have) in place for the recently release brawler, Super Smash Bros.

In an interview with Videogamer, series creator, Masahiro Sakurai went on to say that they currently have no plans to introduce premium downloadable content outside of the MewTwo offer next spring. What struck me is that the reasoning is due to potential perception that the company cut content during development to hold it aside as paid content.

“I understand that DLC could add a lot to the appeal of Smash Bros.,” Sakurai said, “and I appreciate that a major part of the excitement for these games come from which characters will appear in the roster, so I think fans could really enjoy DLC that could keep this excitement going. However, I think there might be criticism that we are cutting up content to sell characters one by one, or that we are adding things later that should have been there from the start.”

“Creating a single fighter involves a huge investment, and we’ve already been giving it our all and investing a lot of work in the characters currently available in the game and, I think it’s an incredible package in terms of the sheer amount of content in the game. But it might be that people may not understand and may think that I am not offering enough by just looking at DLC itself.”

I understand where he’s coming from to an extent, I really do. Nintendo’s image with paid content post-release so far is spotless, mainly because paid content is something they’re relatively new at. I’ll admit, I’ve seen my fair share of people fly off the handle with DLC announcements, so to be wary of that makes sense. Where I feel he’s a little off base is in the fact that it’s typically Day One DLC which fall sunder this scrutiny. The fact that MewTwo won’t be available until Spring 2015 tells me a great deal about how it’s being created from scratch and that it wasn’t cut pre-release to hold aside.

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I think for most people DLC is all about timing. Announcing DLC early or releasing it so quicly after the game first releases is where peopel get suspicious. Extra content for Smash Bros is something I believe everyone wants, and announcing it in the same way Nintendo did for Mario Kart 8 would be a massive win for them. Plus, I can’t recall anyone calling out Nintendo over that DLC.

Personally, I’m all for extra content for Smash Bros as to me, this is the absolute definitive version of the game. Why not extend the life of this title even further while continuing to get people excited about it? Plus, you’d more than likely be guaranteeing more sales down the road. Just sayin’ Nintendo, just sayin’.

What’s your take in this news? Do you think Sakurai is worrying over nothing or does he have a point? Would you like to see new content added to Super Smash Bros down the road?

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Saturday Video Round Up: November 16 – 22

The weekend has returned once again and so to has a brand new edition of the Saturday Video Round Up, bringing you the best trailers and gameplay videos from the week that was. There’s a lot to get to so here’s just a small taste of what’s waiting for you below the jump.

This past week was a huge one for new games and as such, I have a massive amount of launch trailers waiting for you below including ones to Dragon Age Inquisition, LittleBigPlanet 3, and Far Cry 4 to name a few.

Ori and the Blind Forest is a game that really speaks to me. Visually it’s absolutely stunning. The team at Moon Games took inspiration from a lot of the great platformers of the past and it really shows in the gameplay. Thankfully, we’ve gotten another look at one of the levels to the game called the Ginso Tree. Make sure to crank that trailer up to 1080p to really see how gorgeous the game is.

I’ve also got new videos for Killer Instinct Season 2, Dying Light, Game of Thrones 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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My Take On The Assassin’s Creed Unity Launch Situation

Editor’s Note: For those expecting impressions of the game, well, I touch on that a bit below, but I’ll have a more detailed look at the title coming soon. 

Assassin's Creed LogoI’ve been not-so-secretly hoping for the French Revolution era to come up for Assassin’s Creed since the franchise started. Tackling settings like Rome, Constantinople, Jerusalem, and Venice to name a few continually gave me hope that Ubisoft would eventually call upon Revolutionary France to host one of their games. So when Assassin’s Creed Unity was finally revealed earlier this year, I felt like a kid on Christmas day. Finally, my time had come and the chance to interact with historical figures like Robespierre, Napoleon, and a ton of other characters was on it’s way. I was one hundred percent on board from the start.

Fast forward to launch day and I was ready to rush out to grab my copy. I work a normal 8-5 job so for me, I’m not able to pick up games until my lunch break which can sometimes make the wait that much more excruciating. I wasn’t too interested in reviews but I find that it satisfies my cravings for information so I do read them if available. Oddly enough, the reviews never came even though the game was available. I found that the embargo was not up until noon and strangely enough journalists on Twitter started hinting that a certain franchise had significant issues. Once the reviews hit, I was stunned to see all of the negativity, technical issues, and overall mediocre review scores for Unity. Needless to say I was a bit crushed.

As an aside, I don’t find the review embargo date all that controversial or indicative of Ubisoft trying to hide a subpar product twelve hours after it was released. Ubisoft generally sets their review embargos to be hours after a game is available. Think back for a minute. When Rayman Legends was re-released for next-gen systems, it carried the same embargo time of 9am PST. Looking at the scores, that game currently sits at a 90/100. Child of Light, which received a lot of critical praise also carried a 9am PST review time. I could go on, but as you can see, Ubisoft (like Activision) have a tendency to hold reviewers off until midday (EST) of launch day. Unity’s embargo didn’t strike me as controversy worthy but I think it was fueled by the fact that the game released with a lot of technical issues. If it had released stable and glitch free, I doubt people would have raised such a stink.

Did Ubisoft “weaponize” their review embargo like some people have mentioned? Again, no, I don’t think that was the intention. Should Ubisoft re-evaluate their embargo dates to make a little more sense in terms of a game’s launch? Yes, I really don’t see the issue with taking a look at changing how that’s done. Thankfully, Far Cry 4 did not follow this same path as reviews hit days before the game launched officially.

After feeling pretty conflicted and not wanting to endure a potential Assassin’s Creed III situation again, I went back and forth on whether or not to bother with it. While I may be limited on money and time these days, I still went ahead and picked up my copy willing to endure the technical issues knowing that Ubisoft would patch the game and figuring my love for the franchise would smooth over other blemishes.

Here’s the odd thing. Expecting the game to be just an absolute mess after what I had seen around the internet hours earlier, I found quite the opposite to be true. The game was not only playable, but I found myself enjoying the main character, and I found the setting to be stunning. The only bug I ran into was a massively long load screen at the game’s menu, but other than a few slight frame rate drops now and again, I had zero issues.

The same continues to ring true today as I’m about halfway through the game currently and so far, I’ve had no real issues even before the second patch Ubisoft released. I’ve heard a lot of reports about the PS4 and PC versions of the game being a lot rougher around the edges so maybe that’s the big difference. Either way, the internet outrage that this game sparked last Tuesday seems pretty unwarranted to the level it reached. Sure, the game has a few issues, but overall I’ve had a great experience with Unity and completely disagree with some of the reviews out there. Just goes to show you that sometimes you just have to think for yourself. Reviews are just someone’s opinion about the game anyway, they’re in no way meant to be taken as the absolute law of the land. I’m glad I went ahead and picked it up, Unity has a lot of great things going for it.

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Quick Hit Game Impressions or What I’ve Been Playing Lately

There’s just been so much game content releasing these past few weeks that it’s been a little overwhelming in trying to keep on top of everything. November alone has seen a ton of releases just in the past couple of weeks. I’ve been playing Assassin’s Creed Unity lately and while I do have some thoughts on it, I want to devote an entire post to it because there’s a lot of things to say about it. Couple all of that with a life full of work and family on top and you have the recipe for ‘no time to write’ long articles. It’s been kind of bugging me lately to be honest.

So while I may not have time at the moment to write well thought out and massive posts for each of the games below, I did want to celebrate them and show them some praise. Will I ever give these games their own review/impression piece? I don’t know, maybe, but at the very least I did have a few thoughts that I wanted to share with you all for some of these bigger games of the fall season. So here’s my way of taking out a bunch of birds with one stone or how ever the phrase goes.

You can find my complete thoughts on a number of games below the jump…

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Visit Battlefield 4 One Last Time With Final Stand DLC

For those of you still fighting the good fight in Battlefield 4, you may be pleasantly surprised to hear that the game’s last DLC pack, Final Stand, is hitting your console of choice very soon.

EA and DICE revealed over the weekend that Premium members will be able to download Final Stand on November 18 with non-premium members to follow two weeks later on December 2. Final Stand launches with four additional maps including Operation Whiteout, which features a blizzard that rolls through during a match. Hammerhead features combat in a submarine base with Hanger 21 taking place during the night at a secret military base. Finally, Giants of Karelia mixes the snow theme up for a dense woodland battle amongst lush vegetation.

That’s all well and good, but what else does this pack come with? Taking a page out of Battlefield 2142, players will also get access to a number of futuristic gadgets, vehicles, and weapons. You know, things like machine gun equipped drones, hover tanks, kinectic energy firing railguns, and even snowmobiles. Okay, so maybe the last one isn’t super advanced, but it’s still a nice addition.

If words on a screen are not enough for you, here is the Final Stand reveal trailer showing off the four maps described above.

 

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