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Here is what has been making news: New Releases, Destiny, Escape Dead Island, Razor Cortex, Call of Duty Endowment, GTA Online, Assassin’s Creed Unity, Pokémon Omega Ruby & Alpha Sapphire, Peggle 2, Comic-Con, BioShock, New Nintendo 3DS, Bayonetta 2.
August 31st – September 6th
Monday, September 1st
Siegecraft Commander will be available for the Xbox one and PC.
The Fantabulous Adventures of Hedgehog Holmes will be available for the iPhone, Android and PC.
Tuesday, September 2nd
The Sims 4 Premium Edition will be available for the PC and MAC.
Warframe will be available for the Xbox One.
Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair will be available for the PS Vita.
Dance Central Spotlight will be available for Xbox One.
Warriors Orochi 3 Ultimate will be available for the Xbox One, PS3, PS4 and PS Vita.
Recycle will be available for the PC.
Runers will be available for the PC.
Stronghold Crusaders 2 will be available for the PC.
Velocity 2X will be available for the PS4 and PS Vita.
Don’t Starve: Giant Edition will be available for the PS Vita.
Mega Man X4 will be available for the PS3 and PS Vita.
Sherlock Holmes: Crimes and Punishments will be available for Xbox 360, Xbox One, PS3, PS4 and PC.
Wednesday, September 3rd
Custom Monsters will be available for the 3DS.
Don’t Starve: Giant Edition will be available (in UK) for the PS Vita.
Velocity 2X will be available (in UK) for the PS4 and PS Vita.
Thursday, September 4th
Train Fever will be available for the PC, MAC and Linux.
Cubemen 2 will be available for the Wii U.
Valient Hearts: The Great War will be available for the iPhone and iPad.
Gaist Crusher God will be available for the 3DS.
Binary Star will be available for the PS Vita.
Friday, September 5th
Dead Rising 3 – Apocalypse Edition will be available for the PC.
Pro Rugby Manager 2015 will be available for the PC.
Dev gives Activision kudos
Jonty Barnes, Bungie’s director of production, believes that Activision not only knows how to sell games, but they also understand the art of actual game production.
In praising Activision, Barnes states that Bungie never had to challenge Activision on any of the ideas they had for their upcoming game, Destiny. “I mean, I think they’re just very smart–they understand the games industry. I’ve worked with a lot of publishers over the years, obviously as it’s my 25th year, and I was certainly impressed with the expertise that they had and the amount of gamers that exist within the organization.”
Barnes went on to explain, “Quite often you can meet some very smart business people, but they don’t really understand the art of games, but I’ve been very impressed with Activision. So… they pay very particular attention because I feel that they really care about what the game is rather than just doing their jobs.”
According to Barnes, Activision was a “great partner” and often helped with the resources and expertise to bring Destiny to a larger audience. “We wanted to make sure we reached as many players as possible, and we had something, as you can imagine now, with Destiny, if you think going back to the early days of our agreement signing with Activision, it was a hugely ambitious project and a huge thing for us to be doing. And they’ve been a great partner and being an ambitious partner to match that so… yeah. I’ve got nothing but great things to say about them.”
Back in 2010, Bungie and Activision signed a decade-long, exclusive publishing deal. The details of the contract were revealed in 2012 and indicate that Bungie plans to release follow-ups to Destiny every other year following its launch next month. There may be some concern for doubt however since the contract also suggests that Destiny would be an Xbox exclusive for its first year. In fact, Destiny will be releasing on all platforms upon launch and Bungie has closely aligned with Sony for Destiny in several ways.
Destiny will launch for the Xbox 360, Xbox One, PS3, and PS4 on September 9th.
Launch date announced
A few days ago Deep Silver announced that the upcoming third-person action game, Escape Dead Island, will be launching on November 18th for the Xbox 360, PS3, and PC.
Escape Dead Island is a bit different from its predecessors, Dead Island and Dead Island: Riptide. The first difference is the game’s price, it will sell for $40. The game also moves away from the realistic visual approach, using cell-shaded graphics.
With regards to the story-line, Escape Dead Island bridges the gap between the original Dead Island and the upcoming Dead Island 2. The game is set on an all new, fictional, island called Narapala.
If you pre-order Escape Dead Island you will gain access to the beta for 2015′s Dead Island 2, although there is no information on when that beta will begin.
New software platform
Razer is a PC hardware company which recently announced a new software platform called Razer Cortex. It is a free service, currently in early access prior to its September launch, which will offer a number of useful features such as managing your save games and even saving you money on games.
While many of Cortex’s features are already available to some extent in other software or websites, Cortex brings them all to one place. It can launch your games, share content, and record video without watermarks or restrictions. Other software that lets you capture game footage tend to restrict time, resolution, or framerate, Cortex does not.
But the one thing that Razor is promoting the most is the software’s deal finder. Cortex will track prices for digital PC games across several retailers such as Steam, Amazon, GOG, and others, then show you the cheapest place to purchase the game you want.
Another feature that Razor is proud of in Cortex is the “game booster.” This feature appears to be similar to what both AMD and Nvidia have released, basically helping games run better by streamlining and optimizing a number of things like visual settings, tracking drivers, and even defragmenting hard drives.
The save game manager, mentioned above, lets you save both game settings and game saves to the cloud. There is no limit on the number of files you can upload. We don’t have a full list of the supported games yet, however Razer’s website suggests at least, BioShock Infinite, Batman: Arkham City, Dark Souls II, Far Cry 3, and Dead Island: Riptide.
If you are interested in signing up for early access to Cortex before its launch on September 10th, you can do so at the official site.
Xbox 360 theme offered
Have you gotten yours yet? I got mine! An epic-looking Xbox 360 theme of George Washington holding a gun and bald eagle with an American flag backdrop.
The Call of Duty Endowment has partnered with Microsoft to bring us the chance to buy the theme and help military veterans find jobs. The theme is yours with a donation to the Call of Duty Endowment for anywhere from $1 to $20, it’s your choice. You can get it through the Xbox Marketplace.
For those who are not aware, as many are not, The Call of Duty Endowment is a non-profit organization created by Bobby Kotick, CEO of Activision Blizzard, and is committed toward helping find jobs for our military veterans. The endowment was established in 2009 and has helped over 5,400 veterans find jobs.
Dan Goldenberg, executive director of Call of Duty Endowment, explained, “Thanks to Microsoft and Xbox, we have an incredible opportunity to not only raise money for the Endowment, but also to engage millions of gamers in the cause of giving veterans access to high quality careers. This campaign is going to help put veterans to work.”
Well done Activision! And I love my new Xbox 360 theme, get yours today!
Update exceeds storage
The Updates past 1.16 for Grand Theft Auto Online are going to require more storage space than your PlayStation system can hold. This, according to a Rockstar support page.
Because the GTA Online and GTA V’s Story Mode operate from the same install, if you want to keep playing the story mode, but don’t want to upgrade your hard drive, you will have to play the game without connecting to the PlayStation Network.
You can replace your PS3 storage by using an officially licensed kit or a standard 2.5″ SATA hard drive. If you want more information about how to do an upgrade you should consult Sony’s official support page.
Assassin’s Creed Unity won’t be available as soon as we had hoped. According to Ubisoft, the launch date for the game has been moved back to November 11th in the U.S. and November 13th in the U.K..
The reason for the delay is said to be to allow the publisher a couple extra weeks to help make sure that the “quality of the game meets fans’ – and the team’s – lofty expectations.” Vincent Pontbriand, Ubisoft’s senior producer, stated, “As we got close to the finish, we realized we were near the target but still needed a bit more time to hone some of the details to make sure Assassin’s Creed Unity is exceptional. We sincerely appreciate players’ commitment to the game and their patience. It’s just a couple more weeks. And it’s going to be worth it.”
We sure hope so!
Pre-order goodies announced
Attention Pokemon fans, Nintendo has announced that they will be releasing the limited edition steelbook versions of Pokemon Omega Ruby and Pokemon Alpha Sapphire, as well as their other pre-order goodies. Currently the announcement was just for the U.K., however other regions should be getting access to the steelbook at some point.
Pre-ordering either Omega Ruby or Alpha Sapphire will get you a Legendary figurine keyring. If you pre-order Omega Ruby your figurine will be of Primal Groudon and if you pre-order Alpha Sapphire you will get a figurine of Primal Kyogre.
About three months ago these remakes of Ruby and Sapphire were announced, both games are due to launch on November 21st for the 3DS.
Coming to PS4
On October 19th the puzzle game from PopCap Games, Peggle 2, will be arriving for the PS4. According to EA, the game is in its final stages of development.
Like the original Peggle, this sequel mixes pinball with other puzzle game elements and lets you use several characters throughout the game.
Last year Peggle 2 was originally released as an Xbox exclusive for both the Xbox 360 and Xbox One. Critics offered good reviews of the game, recognizing its cheerful, vivid graphics and its improvement over the original. The one drawback noted was that its multiplayer mode is a bit weak.
Could be leaving San Diego
After the city opted not to expand its convention center, rumors began flying about San Diego Comic-Con moving from its traditional San Diego location.
The Hollywood Reporter recently reported on the court ruling regarding the planned expansion. Despite the fact that the expansion was considered as an incentive for Comic-Con organizers to stay in San Diego, the court ruled against it. What’s more, the city council made the decision not to appeal the court ruling.
Speculation is now that San Diego Comic-Con will favor either Los Angeles or Anaheim, however, David Glanzer, Comic-Con International Director of Marketing and Public Relations, states that nothing has been decided just yet.
Glanzer told The Hollywood Reporter that, “Any decision to remain in San Diego has always been based on a variety of issues, including hotel room rates, available meeting space and other concerns, none of which necessarily override the other.” He added that Comic-Con is “grateful that the mayor, city officials, hoteliers and convention center staff have worked to help mitigate our space concerns and are happy that we have a continuous dialogue with those entities. We hope there will be a solution that allows Comic-Con to stay in San Diego for years to come.”
Comic-Con has been in San Diego for over 30 years and moved to the convention center in 1991. They brought about $180 million to the city in 2011, so keeping Comi-Con in San Diego seems to be in the city’s best interest. Additionally, with all the history surrounding the convention it would be surprising to see it move out of San Diego. Yet, there is precedence set for such a move. Back in 2012 WonderCon left California Bay, where it made its home since 1987, in favor of Anaheim, so there is a chance Comic-Con will do the same.
Now available for iPhone and iPad
The acclaimed first-person shooter, BioShock, has made its way from Xbox, PlayStation and PC to a whole new platform. 2K Games recently announced that the iOS version of BioShock is now available for $15 through iTunes.
This isn’t a watered down version of the game, BioShock for iOS brings you the “full experience” of the original game and includes touch controls and Bluetooth game controller support. 2K describes BioShock for iOS as a “true AAA gaming experience.”
The game is compatible with iPhone 5S, 5C, and iPhone 5 as well as with iPad Air, iPad Mini 2 and iPad 4. It also features Game Center support.
Said to be better all around
When Nintendo makes a new piece of hardware, it typically doesn’t make its way outside of Japan for a while. The same is true for what Nintendo is calling the New 3DS, according to a Nintendo of America representative.
The representative stated about the new 3DS models, “Different territories make their own business decisions regarding individual products and timing. We have no plans to launch these products in the Americas this year.”
The New 3DS model was announced recently during a Japanese Nintendo Direct video briefing. At the moment the new models are only planned for marketing in Japan and will launch there on October 11th. The New 3DS sports an added directional button and built-in NFC support as well as an analogue “nub” positioned over the A, B, X, Y buttons. There are also new shoulder buttons, ZR and ZL, located next to the original L and R buttons.
Internally, the New 3DS features a stronger CPU allowing faster download and browsing times. The built-in NFC support is for Nintendo’s upcoming amiibo toy line (similar concept as Skylanders and Disney Infinity). Nintendo plans to sell an NFC adapter for their existing models. It also boasts a new and improved 3D system which doesn’t require you to twist and turn your head or the unit to find the optimal 3D viewing position.
Additionally, there is a filter placed on the unit’s web browser which restricts which sites you can browse on the New 3DS. If you want to get rid of the filter so you can use the browser as you please, you will have to pay about ¥30, or $29 USD. The filter is intended to be a parental control feature, never mind that any kid can use any number of other devices to access the internet. In reality, if enough people choose to eliminate the filter, Nintendo could stand to gain a nice bit of profit.
Overall, the New Nintendo 3DS is designed to attract more hardcore gamers. It wasn’t long ago when Shigeru Miyamoto, Nintendo’s renowned developer, stated “In the days of DS and Wii, Nintendo tried its best to expand the gaming population. Fortunately, because of the spread of smart devices, people take games for granted now. It’s a good thing for us, because we do not have to worry about making games something that are relevant to general people’s daily lives.”
You will be able to customize your New 3DS using custom covers which the units are designed to support. The selling price is currently set at ¥16,000, about $154 USD, for the New 3DS and for ¥18,800, about $180 USD, for the New 3DS XL.
The one primary problem I see with this New 3DS is the fact that it is neither forward or backward compatible. It will only play games developed for it, nothing like the original 3DS which can play NDS and 2DS games as well as 3DS games and visa-versa. Because of this, it’s selling point will have to be the games it offers, and that has been an issue for Nintendo in the past. Historically, it has taken a long time to build up a decent library for new systems and both the system and gamers have suffered for it. Has Nintendo learned any lessons from the past? We hope so.
Coming to Wii U
The sequel to Platinum Games’ Xbox 360 and PS3 2010 title, Bayonette 2, will be launching on October 24th exclusively for the Wii U. You can get a digital copy of the original Bayonetta if you purchase the disc-base version of Bayonette 2 through retail stores. Nintendo adds that you will also get “some Nintendo cosplay options for the powerful heroine” in the package.
The game has several features that you won’t find in the original, including a new snake transformation which allows Bayonetta to move better in underwater passages. There will also be mechs, how cool is that!