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Here is what has been making news: New Releases, Skylanders Trap Team, Amazing Spider-Man 2, Watch Dogs 2, Call of Duty Police Report, Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm Revolution, Injustice: Gods Among Us, Epic Games’ New Project, Minecraft PC, PlayStation Plus, Evolve, Bear Simulator, High School Story.
April 27th – May 3rd
Tuesday, April 29th
Daylight will be available for the PS4 and PC.
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 will be available for the Xbox 360, Xbox One, PS3, PS4, 3DS, Wii U and PC.
Gardening Mama 2: Forest Friends will be available for the 3DS.
Legends of Oz: Dorothy’s Return will be available for the 3DS.
Rambo The Video Game will be available for the PS3 and PC.
Darksiders Collection will be available for the Xbox 360, PS3 and PC.
Red Faction Collection will be available for the PS3 and PC.
JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure All Star Battle will be available for the PS3.
Wednesday, April 30th
Infectonator: Survivors will be available for the PC.
Child of Light will be available for the Xbox 360, Xbox One, PS3, PS4, Wii U and PC.
Thursday, May 1st
Rocketsrocketsrockets will be available for the PC.
Hexsweeper will be available for the PC.
Friday, May 2nd
Mario Gold World Tour will be available for the 3DS.
Blood Bath will be available for the Xbox 360 and PS3.
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 will be available (in UK) for the Xbox 360, Xbox One, PS3, PS4, 3DS, Wii U and PC.
Car Mechanic Simulator 2014 will be available (in UK) for the PC.
Dark Souls II will be available for the PC.
Etrian Odyssey Untold: The Millennium Girl will be available (in UK) for the 3DS.
Farming World will be available for the PC.
Kirby: Triple Deluxe will be available for the 3DS.
New toys, new expense
As if we don’t spend enough money on Skylanders games, now we can purchase Traptanium shards to place on our Portal of Power to trap any one of the 40 trappable anti-heroes and force them to fight for us. You will need to match up the right shard element with the right anti-hero associated with that element. So, for example, trapping Chompy Mage will require a life shard. Only one villain will be able to reside in one shard, so capturing more than one of any element will require more than one of that element’s shards.
Oh, besides the shards, you will also need to purchase Trap Masters. These are slightly larger than the usual Skylanders and are equipped with crystal weapons made of Traptanium. Besides playing as the villain, you can use some of the captured villain’s unique powers as special abilities when your are playing with a regular Skylander. Additionally, the Trap Masters do extra damage against trappable foes and can use their Traptanium weapons to unlock new areas. Basically, all of this ensures we want these new characters and spend more money on the game. Most Skylander gamers can easily have already spent upwards of $200 to $300, get ready to open that wallet even wider.
Still, these are some darn cute little characters to have on hand. The cutest is arguably Chopper, a tech-based mini T-Rex who uses a helicopter jetpack to get around and fire missiles at the bad guys. There is also the cutest of skeletal dogs named Funny Bone who will likely get added to the collection of undead puppy fans.
Recently Skylanders has been up against some stiff competition from Disney Infinity and the recent Lego addition to the genre, Traveller’s Tales. Adding this Pokemon-type capture twist to the series is a witty way to try and reignite interest in the Skylander series. So get a second job and open those pocketbooks Skylander fans, you’re gonna need even more cash than before if you want to experience the whole game.
Buy game see movie free
On April 29th, if you purchase The Amazing Spider-Man 2 game, you will also get two free tickets to see the new Spider-man film. Activision and GameStop have teamed together in a promotion they are calling “The Amazing Spider-Man 2 Day.” On that day GameStop customers will also be able to participate in giveaways and check out “exclusive footage from the upcoming film.”
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 will be launching for the Xbox 360, PS3, PS4, 3DS, Wii U, and PC. There were rumors that the game would not be available for the Xbox One, however, we now have word that it will be “coming soon” to the Xbox One.
Sequel is a possibility
Just so you know, there is no official word regarding a future entry of Watch Dogs, however, given the amount of investment and hype the game has generated, there is a strong possibility that Watch Dogs 2 is being developed.
Jonathan Morin, creative director, had teased the possibility of a sequel during a recent interview with Eurogamer. He was sure to assure us that, “Right now there is no such thing as a Watch Dogs 2.” But he did continue by stating, “It’s certainly not going to be the same amount of time if we ever embark on such a journey. A big part of it was defining whatever Watch Dogs is. Once you have that starting point, then what becomes interesting is what players want more of – what comes next? Especially with the delay we have just been really concentrating on getting it [the original Watch Dogs] launched. After that we’ll see where it goes – I think Ubisoft is showing more and more that they’re willing to take the time for it to be right. I think we’re in a pretty good shape. I certainly like the idea of going deeper in the thematics – the hyperconnectivity and hacking in an entire city, controlling a city, monitoring everyone. There’s stuff we discovered by making Watch Dogs that are interesting to pursue. But it’s up to players. [And] for me right now – it’s vacation.”
Watch Dogs is expected to launch on May 27th for the Xbox 360, Xbox One, PS3, PS4, PC and later the Wii U.
Sour loser causes serious problems
An online match of Call of Duty ended with the victory of Rafael Castillo, who was then shortly after visited by a SWAT team of 70 officers. The Nassau County SWAT team, backed by regular officers, responded to a call which claimed that the 17-year-old gamer had killed his mother and brother and was planning to “go on a rampage.”
As it turned out, Castillo’s mother was alive and well in the kitchen and the young man had no intent to go on a rampage of any kind, other than within his favorite game. Castillo was a victim of what has become known as “Swatting,” calling in a fake report of something so serious that it requires special operations forces to deal with it.
Jose Castillo, Rafael’s brother, stated, “I thought there was a fire at my house. I ran up and saw my mom running out, I didn’t know what was going on. Then one of the police officers said somebody called and said that the mother and brother of somebody in this house was killed. I said, ‘How is that possible if she’s right there and I’m right here?’”
Rafael was inside the house, still playing his game with his headphones on so had no idea about the ruckus that was taking place outside his home. Jose explained, “He didn’t realize anything was going on, he couldn’t hear anything. I told him that there’s a bunch of cops outside that are looking for you.” It took police 20 minutes to contact him and finally confirm that it was all a hoax One officer stated, “It was probably just an evil little kid. It sucked up a lot of resources, caused traffic problems. It turned out to be a hoax.”
After all of the commotion subsided, police confiscated Castillo’s computer (doesn’t that violate his digital privacy in oh so many ways?). Presumably the purpose was to aid police in trying to track down the caller.
At the time of this writing, the sour loser had not yet been caught. I’m having difficulty wrapping my head around sending a SWAT team on a wild goose chase, a paramilitary squad, armed with automatic weapons who go in hot and heavy and have a way of shooting at anyone who twitches in the wrong way. This is beyond stupid! If you can’t handle losing a game, you simply should avoid playing. What is really concerning is that this happens often enough that is has been given a name!
Recently Bandai Namco revealed their next game in the Ultimate Ninja Storm series that will be launching this September, Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm Revolution. This is the fifth installment in the series and tells the story of Shisui Uchiha and Itachi Uchiha and includes the new Ninja World Tournament mode. There will be over 100 playable characters in the game.
There will also be two special editions of the game, the Day One Rivals Edition which includes exclusive costumes for Naruto and Sasuke. The Samurai Edition includes a Naruto samurai statue, metal case and exclusive costumes from the Rivals Edition.
iOS gets multiplayer
The first birthday of the iOS version of Injustice: Gods Among Us is being celebrated with a multiplayer update. With the update you will be able to create and customize your own team of heroes and villains in order to battle other players’ teams. Multiplayer points are granted to the winner of the match and at the end of each week’s Leaderboard Season.
You will also be able to see completed multiplayer battles via Match Replay in effort to help develop strategies for coming battles. Additionally, within the update is gear that can upgrade your character stats and performance based upon your leaderboard ranking.
Teasing the next big game
Epic Games, the folks who brought us Gears of War, is currently working on a game which Tim Sweeney, founder, says will push the envelope for graphical fidelity. He stated, that the game is in pre-production and won’t be formally announced for some time yet, adding, “It’s going to push next generation graphics as you’d always expect Epic to do.”
In addition to that tease, Sweeney hinted that Epic is also working on a mobile title, however, he didn’t give up any information regarding the project. There are three games in current development by Epic at the moment, Fortnite, a PC exclusive game, the mystery mobile game and the high-end graphics game. According to Sweeney, “There’s a lot [of games] on the way and a large number of them haven’t been announced.”
Sweeney also spoke about the game industry, stating that he believes the industry is shifting away from triple-A games due to how expensive they are to make. “The industry’s changing. This generation it seems like there are about a third of the number of triple-A titles in development across the industry as there was last time around–and each one seems to have about three times the budget of the previous generation. I think we’re heading towards a future where triple-A is the minority.”
Update expanding world and customizations
If you haven’t played Minecraft yet, you wouldn’t get the extent of the amount of creative freedom you have within the game. That creative freedom and customization will soon be expanding in the PC version of the game with the upcoming 1.8 update. The update includes new customization options for the game’s terrain generator.
The update will give players new options when they create a new world. There are 16 sliders that can dictate the type of terrain, enable or disable things such as lava oceans and water lakes. There are seven presets created by Mojang which you can try or you can find those which other players have created and shared.
Floating islands will be making a comeback in this update as well. With the presets you can do such things as turn every inch of land into one huge mountain, submerge the whole world under water, or scatter those floating islands throughout your world.
According to a Twitter post by developer Jens Bergensten, the best guess for the release of the 1.8 update is sometime in May. Let’s hope this update makes its way to the platform versions of Minecraft as well.
Sony recently revealed a preview of the PlayStation Plus free games for subscribers this coming May. April’s free offerings will be replaced, so if you haven’t downloaded this month’s freebees, best do so soon.
For the PS3, Plus subscribers will be able to download Puppeteer, ProEvolution Soccer 2014 (U.S. only), Skullgirls Encore (U.S. only), and Payday 2 ( E.U. only).
For the PS Vita, Plus subscribers will be able to download Limbo (U.S. only), Surge Deluxe (U.S. only, Muramasa Rebirth (E.U. only), Muramasa: The Demon Blade, and Everybody’s Golf (E.U. only).
Finally, for the PS4 Plus subscribers will be able to download Stick it to the Man. This game will be available later this month in Europe and in early May for North American gamers.
Happy gaming PlayStation Plus subscribers!
A few days ago 2K Games released a sweet interactive gameplay trailer for their new multiplayer shooter, Evolve. As you view the trailer you can switch between six different channels, allowing you to see how an entire Evolve match plays out.
The Evolve – 4v1 interactive trailer can be viewed on the game’s YouTube channel.
Evolve launches later this year. The game was acquired by 2K Games for $10.8 million during the THQ bankruptcy auction last year.
Surprisingly, the Kickstarter campaign for Bear Simulator was a huge success. The original target amount for the game was $29,500, but when the crowdfunding effort target date was met the game had generated $100,571 of pledged funding from 3,871 people.
John Farjay, the game’s creator, initially thought the campaign would be hard pressed to meet their original target amount. At the close of the campaign he stated, ”Okay, so funding finished and it was a tiny bit more than expected.”
Farjay said that the extra funds will be used to beef up features that require more money such as sound effects. He also plans to hire extra help and purchase better equipment for the game. He does caution folks that simply because Bear Simulator raised over $100,000 doesn’t mean it will end up being a triple-A experience. “Another thing which was brought up a few times earlier is to keep your expectations sane. This won’t be an AAA game. Really aiming for it to be a simple exploration game where you’re a bear.”
While Farjay stated that he has some “awesome ideas” for a multiplayer mode, he did warn that it could be a long time before such a mode would be available. Currently there are only plans for a PC version of the game, but that does not mean that it won’t make its way to other platforms at some point.
The game that saved a life
While games like Call of Duty and Titanfall are grabbing headlines, sometimes the smaller games can generate unexpected surprises, making a real impact on a life. Just such a game was recently highlighted as a life saver, Pixelberry Studios’ High School Story, when the development team was contacted by a young suicidal player.
Oliver Miao, co-founder of the studio, explained, “We have kind of an in-game chat system for people usually asking questions either about the game or telling us about problems that we’re having with the game, but this girl told us that she was trying to kill herself. She said that it was because of our game that she was still there.”
High School Story is a mobile title for iOS and Android and lets gamers customize a character and explore the high school environment, go on quests, updating the school, and following the stories of other students. The team received the call from the young girl when they were working on a cyberbullying storyline for one of the characters named Hope.
Miao exclaimed, “We were very, very shocked and surprised. We were also scared because we didn’t know how to best respond so we actually called the suicide prevention hotline ourselves to get advice.” The hotline directed Pixelberry staff to advise the girl to seek professional help and provided them with resources in the girl’s area.
They did as the helpline advised but they also maintained contact with the girl. “We didn’t want her to feel like we were just pushing her away to someone else because obviously she felt like she could relate to us because of our game. We let her know that we cared about her and that we were there to listen anything she had to say but that we really thought she should get help.”
Miao went on to state “We exchanged messages with her for about a week where we learned more about her. It was getting kind of scarier and scarier for us. Fortunately at the end of the week she told us that she was finally getting professional help. She actually mentioned in her message, she said that it was because of our game that she was still there. We felt so much relief and at the same time, we realized how powerful the game really can be in affecting its players.”
Even before this incident Pixelberry felt that introducing a bullying storyline was important. Many of the team had firsthand experience with bullying and then their experience with the young girl made them more determined to tackle the issue.
The studio partnered with Cybersmile who advised them through the development process. When the storyline was released, both Pixelberry and Cybersmile tracked player reactions “We saw in comments and reviews from players the story line really resonated with them, especially because it was something that they could relate to. Whether they’d been bullied themselves, if they hadn’t been bullied themselves then they had friends who often had been bullied. They really appreciated the fact that we were tackling an issue that was personal to them.”
Cybersmile shared with the staff at Pixelberry that over a hundred of the game’s players reach out to them weekly. “In terms of Cybersmile themselves, they have been tracking the number of the players who reach out to them and mention High School Story. They said that every week over a hundred players are reaching out to them because of our game. Those are often players who are either being bullied or self-hurting or thinking about suicide. We were floored that we could have so many people starting to talk to Cybersmile because of our game. ”
As a way to return to the Cybersmile charity, Pixelberry introduced a Stop Cyberbullying! bundle to the game which as raised over $200,000 for the charity thus far.