Shovel Knight Will Appear in Yooka-Laylee

Playtonic Games, the new independent studio formed by several former members of Rare, has released a new trailer for their upcoming Kickstarter-funded game, Yooka-Laylee, focusing on the various characters that will be appearing in the game.  This includes major characters like the main antagonist Capital B and Trowzer the Snake (heh heh) who will teach you important techniques.  The one that’s captured the most people’s attention, however, is a special guest character hailing from another crowdfunded game.

Shovel Knight, the titular hero from Yacht Club Games’ sidescrolling action game, will appear in Yooka-Laylee as an NPC.  This isn’t the first time that the hero of shovelry has made a cameo in another game, as he is also making an appearance in SWDTech Games’ detective-based RPG Pixel Noir and will be a party member in Lab Zero’s RPG Indivisible.  The game Shovel Knight had it’s own fair share of cameos with the Battletoads appearing exclusively in the Xbox One version of the game and Kratos from the God of War series in the Playstation 4 version.

Yooka-Laylee is being built as a revival of 3D platformers like Banjo-Kazooie that the team was famous for as a part of Rare.  The Kickstarter campaign raised over £2,000,000 for the development of the game.  It’s set to release on PC, Mac, Linux, Xbox One, Wii U, and Playstation 4 in early 2017.

Overwatch’s First Post-Release Hero Revealed

A founding member of the original Overwatch strike team and mother to Fareeha “Pharah” Amari, Ana Amari has been revealed as the first new hero to be added to Blizzard’s hit first-person shooter Overwatch following its release.  Once the top sniper in the Egyptian military, Ana was believed dead after an encounter with Talon operative Widowmaker.  Despite losing her right eye in the fight, she is prepared to step back into active duty at 60 years young.

Ana is a support sniper whose rifle can heal teammates or deal poison damage to enemies depending on who her shots land on.  She’s also armed with a sleep dart that can knock a single opponent unconscious, but any damage dealt to them will immediately wake them.  It can certainly be useful in conjunction with a high-damage ally to assassinate enemies, but it can also be handy for cancelling certain ultimate abilities, such as McCree’s and Reaper’s.  Next is a biotic grenade that supplements healing for teammates and completely blocks healing for enemies.  Finally, her ultimate ability is Nano Boost which temporarily buffs the attack, defense, and movement speed of a single ally.  You can see all of her abilities in action in the official gameplay reveal trailer.

Ana is available play now in the newly-launched, PC-only Public Test Region, which is the beta-testing segment, and is planned to be added to the full game very soon.  The PTR is also experimenting with various balance changes, such as making self-healing abilities charge ultimates and adjusting the ultimate charging rate for all heroes that will apply to.  The new patch will also buff D.Va, Zenyatta, and McCree.  You can read the full patch notes here.

OverwatchFounders

The new story trailer (featured above) also hints at two more early members of the strike team on the far left and right that could potentially join the playable cast in the future.  We have no solid leads on who either of these characters might be, but it’s possible that they are Liao and Sombra whom have been hinted at multiple times in the past.  Given that Blizzard has gone out of their way to include these characters in the group shot, it’s a safe bet that they have some plans for these characters.

What are your thoughts on Ana’s inclusion to the roster?  What types of heroes do you still want to see added to Overwatch?  Leave a comment below and let us know what you think.

Dhalsim Revealed for Street Fighter V

A new trailer for Street Fighter V was released during the Paris Games Week event that revealed the fifteenth fighter for the game.  Dhalsim, the Indian yoga guru whose been a mainstay of the series since Street Fighter II, has returned for Street Fighter V‘s starting roster.  This isn’t too grand a surprise as he was suggested by a very accurate leak that released months back.

Dhalsim has always been known for long-range combat with his elastic limbs and that certainly remains with his latest incarnation.  He also retains his iconic fireball, teleport, and spinning divekick techniques.  The elderly yogi has learned some new tricks, such as a levitation ability that carries him through the air as his V-Skill, a fire trap that lingers along the ground as his V-Trigger, and an arched fireball that serves as an anti-air.

His new super move takes this arched fireball to a higher level by making it larger and more powerful.  While damaging, his super move can be tricky to land because of its arched movement, so spacing of your opponent will remain a vital aspect of his playstyle.

Dhalsim’s look has changed in the same way as his moveset, keeping familiar aspects while mixing in new touches.  He still wears the raggy, yellow shorts and necklace of skulls that he’s always worn, but now he also sports a white turban and a full beard.  You can check out Dhalsim’s trailer, featuring a new stage set in his hometown, below.

Along with the reveal of Dhalsim, Capcom has announced a number of new details on Street Fighter V through its Capcom-Unity blog.  First and foremost, the release date has been set for February 16th in North America and Europe.

We also have more information on how post-launch characters will be handled.  As has been stated several times, Street Fighter V will not include new characters in large bundles including in rereleases of the game as has been done in the past and will instead adopt a model similar to League of Legends where new characters will be added over time and can be attain either with microtransactions or points earned from playing the game.

Capcom already has six new characters planned to be added post-release with one releasing every two months, and data-mining of the recent PC beta suggests that Guile, Balrog, Juri, Ibuki, Alex, and Urien will be these six.  It’s possible they’ll simply appear as background characters as we already have confirmation that Alex will be in the background of the New York stage.  As for unlocking characters, there will be an in-game currency called Fight Money that can be earned from completing daily goals and leveling up individual characters.  Players will receive a new goal each day that can easily be completed in quick sessions, such as landing a set number of Hadokens.  You can also earn Fight Money by leveling up characters in either single-player or multiplayer game modes.

Are you a fan of Dhalsim’s long-range style?  What are your thoughts on SFV’s business model?  Leave a comment below and let us know what you think.

The King of Fighters XIV Announced for Playstation 4

Fighters XIV

Fighters XIV

During Sony’s conference at this year’s Tokyo Game Show, the next installment in the long-running King of Fighters series was announced as an exclusive for the Playstation 4.  The King of Fighters XIV will be the first entry in the main series to use 3D models for characters as opposed to 2D sprites, but will still play on a 2D plain similar to recent Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat games.  The debut trailer, shown below, shows off series regulars Kyo Kusanagi and Iori Yagami duking it out.  King of Fighters is well-known for bringing characters from across all SNK properties together, so there are plenty of possible fighters to follow from Fatal Fury, Samurai Shodown, and even Metal Slug.  There are currently no details on how this new installment will standout from its predecessors beyond the new visual approach.

Hopefully, The King of Fighters XIV will be a return to form for SNK Playmore as the company has been struggling with releases in recent years.  Once a venerated name in the fighting game community on the level of Capcom, they’ve mostly relied on rereleasing their older titles through various digital services to keep running.  Their last new release was The King of Fighters XIII in 2011, which received mixed to positive reviews.  However, their last attempt to transition a series to 3D was the critically-panned Samurai Shodown Sen.  If handled poorly, The King of Fighters XIV could strike a massive blow to SNK Playmore’s ability to develop more new titles in the future.  Sadly, things aren’t looking too good for The King of Fighters XIV at the moment as the animation quality shown in the trailer is surprisingly poor, especially for a series that has always prided itself on visual flourish.  There’s just something unnatural about how the hits connect.  Hopefully, that’s just a result of working with an early development build, but fans should remain cautious with this new title.  The King of Fighters XIV is set to release in 2016.

Shovel Knight Amiibo Officially Revealed, Featuring the Game Grumps

There have been rumors of a Shovel Knight amiibo figure floating around the internet for some time, but Nintendo, Yacht Club Games, and the Game Grumps (because why not?) have officially revealed an NFC figure for the champion of shovelry.  Scanning the amiibo into a Wii U version of Shovel Knight will unlock an exclusive co-op mode, while scanning it into a 3DS version will unlock exclusive challenge stages.  It will also unlock exclusive customizable gear in both Wii U and 3DS versions of the game.  Sadly, there’s no word on anything like a Legend of Zelda crossover stage in either version to match the God of War and Battletoads levels that were added for free to the Playstation 4 and Xbox One versions of the game respectively.

Naturally, there’s been a great deal of speculation that this sets a precedent for Shovel Knight himself to appear as a DLC fighter in Super Smash Bros, but there’s actually little to support that.  This figure was made specifically for use in Shovel Knight as evidenced by the labeling of the box and that the figure’s base has a different engraving from that used for the Smash line of amiibo as you can see by looking closely at the above picture.  This could be a good sign of his chances at the roster, but it doesn’t guarantee anything.

What this does set a precedent for is Nintendo to license out the amiibo brand to other third-party developers that they work closely with.  Shovel Knight is the first non-Nintendo-owned game to have its own amiibo line.  While we’ve seen other third-party amiibo with Sonic the Hedgehog, Mega Man, Pac-Man, and the promised Ryu amiibo, all of those are tied to the Super Smash Bros line rather than representing their own franchises.  There are the two Skylanders: SuperChargers figures of Bowser and Donkey Kong that double as amiibo, but that’s only for the two characters in the cast based on Nintendo characters and doesn’t extend to any of Activision’s own characters.  We may see more companies release NFC figures under the amiibo banner in the future.  The most likely candidates, given their recent history with Nintendo, would likely be Sega, Bandai Namco, Capcom, Activision, Square Enix, and Tecmo Koei.  Are you planning to pick up a Shovel Knight amiibo?  What other games do you want to see receive their own amiibo support?  Leave a comment below and let us know what you think.

Never Alone: Foxtales Announced

E-Line Media has announced a new expansion for their Alaskan adventure game Never Alone (Kisima Ingitchuna), the new story driven expansion is called Foxtales.

In Never Alone: Foxtails Spring has come to the Arctic as Nuna and Fox climb aboard their umiaq (a sealskin canoe) and take to the waters of the coasts, rivers and lakes of Northwest Alaska. They’ll travel across open seas, swim through the ruins of a sunken village and paddle up the Noatak River on a mission to rescue a new friend.

Foxtales will feature three all new levels full of environments to explore, puzzles to solve and enemies to face. And just like in the original game the dlc was developed in partnership with an Alaska Native community, Foxtales will also contain five new unlockable Cultural Insight videos that include the family of Willie Panik Goodwin, Sr., whose telling of “The Two Coastal Brothers” inspired the game.

 

 

Never Alone: Foxtales will be available on the Xbox One, PS4 and Steam (PC and Mac) on July 28, 2015. E-Line Media did not say if or when the new content will be available to the Wii U and Nvidia Shield versions.

Check Out The Latest Rodea The Sky Soldier Gameplay Trailer

The Sky Soldier

The Sky Soldier

NIS America, subsidiary of Nippon Ichi Software, Inc., has released a new gameplay trailer for the upcoming Wii U/3DS game Rodea: The Sky Soldier.

The game takes place in Garuda, a kingdom that lies in the sky, 1,000 years after an Emperor by the name of Geardo of the Naga Empire sent an army of machine soldiers to invade. Princess Cecilia and Rodea, a machine soldier who promised to protect Garuda, defeated Emperor Geardo’s assault and saved their kingdom.

In the present timeline a young female inventor named Ion discovers Rodea, abandoned and in need of repairs, in the heart of a scorching desert. Upon completing her repairs Rodea boots back up is stunned to find himself in the future and learns that the Naga Empire is no more and that Garuda has known peace for 1,000 years.

Soon the forces of Naga emerges once again to wage war against Garuda. Remembering the promise he made 1,000 years ago, Rodea takes to the skies to defend Garuda from the Naga Empire once again.

Rodea the Sky Soldier is set to release in North America on October 13, 2015 and Europe on October 16, 2015 for the Wii U and Nintendo 3DS. First print copies of the Wii U version will also come packaged with the Wii version of the game.

Deus Ex: Mankind Divided Extended Gameplay Trailer Launched

Mankind Divided

Square Enix and Eidos Montréal has released an extended 25 minute gameplay demo for Deus Ex: Mankind Divided. The demo was originally shown behind closed doors at this year’s E3, but the video is now available to the public.

The E3 demo offers an extensive dive into the dark world of Deus Ex, revealing multiple new features, characters, augmentations and weapons in the game, alongside commentary from Executive Audio Director Steve Szczepkowski. It showcases various stealth and action options that Adam Jensen can utilize in his mission to unravel a vast worldwide conspiracy.

The 25 minute gameplay demo can be viewed below. Deus Ex is planned to launch in early 2016 on Xbox One, PS4 and PC.

Following the outcry, the Deus Ex developers have officially announced their cancellation of the service.  Instead, all customers who pre-order the game or purchase the Day 1 edition will receive all of the promised pre-order perks with the exception of the early release, which has been revoked entirely.  The removal of the early release makes sense as many feared that internet trolls would use their early access to post spoilers for those who didn’t opt into pre-ordering.  What are your thoughts on Augment Your Pre-Order being cancelled?  Has it affected your desire to pick up Deus Ex: Mankind Divided in any way?  Leave a comment below and let us know what you think.

What do you think about the upcoming game in the Deus Ex series?

RollerCoaster Tycoon World Trailer Looks… Awful

RollerCoaster

Atari released the first trailer for its upcoming fourth installment of RollerCoaster Tycoon for PC, which is being developed by Area 52 Games. Although the game was released for mobile last year, under the name RollerCoaster Tycoon 4 Mobile, it brought Atari heavy criticism for its overuse of microtransactions. So Atari promised a PC version of the game, but also reassured players that the PC version would be “completely different” from the mobile version.

But the game’s first trailer almost seems to show that was a lie. The graphics shown look slightly worse than those of RollerCoaster Tycoon 3, which was released way back in 2004. So why in the world does a game created more than ten years later look not only no better, but actually worse? Well, the theory is that RollerCoaster Tycoon World is actually completely the same as the mobile version – at least, the graphics are. From the trailer, the graphics look like those of a substandard mobile game, not of a 2015 PC game.

It’s particularly disappointing to see the RollerCoaster Tycoon series produce what looks to be another failure. It may not look like it now, but past RollerCoaster Tycoon games have received a lot of positive reviews. The first three games were well received, with the first and second both scoring more than 8/10 on IGN when they were released. Some attribute the series’ downfall to the departure of developer Chris Sawyer, who worked on the first two games and on the third as a consultant. But the series didn’t hit it lowest point until last year, with the release of the abysmal mobile version.

Although Area 52 Games are behind this latest RollerCoaster Tycoon, it may be unfair to rush to judge them. They may be under-staffed, under-equipped, or stuck with difficult time constraints. Atari have yet to comment on the lackluster graphics shown in the trailer, but they might want to think of an explanation soon. Right now, it just looks like a half-hearted, lazy attempt to milk whatever extra cash they can from a franchise they’ve run into the ground.

Telltale’s Game Of Thrones Gets First Teaser, Slew Of Details

Game Of Thrones

It seems like decades since we’ve heard anything on Telltale’s Game Of Thrones series. Luckily our collective luck has changed, as Telltale has graciously released the first teaser for Game of Thrones, and a nice bit of info to boot, so no more rumors and leaked screenshots – this is the real thing!

Sharpen your blades and steady your shields, for this teaser is quite a doozy. Sit back, relax, grab a cup of ale… or Mountain Dew, it doesn’t really matter and enjoy the first Game of Thrones video game teaser from Telltale below!

Here is the official press release in its entirety.

Today we can announce that some cast members of the series will reprise their roles in the game. While players will control five members of House Forrester in their story, the series will have them interacting with fan favorite characters throughout the season, including Tyrion Lannister performed by Peter Dinklage, Cersei Lannister performed by Lena Heady, Margaery Tyrell performed by Natalie Dormer, and Ramsay Snow performed by Iwan Rheon. Additional cast members will appear in later episodes.

The game series is based on the world, characters and events seen in HBO’s TV show, which in turn is based on George R. R. Martin’s books (A Song of Ice and Fire).The events in the game series begin towards the end of Season Three of the series, and end right before the beginning of Season Five. Players will visit familiar locations such as King’s Landing and The Wall, as well as unfamiliar locations such as Ironrath, the home of House Forrester.

House Forrester is a noble house from the Wolfswood in the north of Westeros. Bannermen to House Glover, they have always offered unswerving loyalty to the ruling great house of the North – the Starks. The Forresters are seated at Ironrath, an imposing stronghold surrounded by towering ironwood trees. Built over fifteen hundred years ago by Cedric Forrester and his triplet sons, Ironrath is a testament to the strength and endurance of Ironwood. The Forrester house words are ‘Iron from Ice’, which echoes their belief that – like the ironwood itself – the adverse conditions and unforgiving landscape of the North only makes them stronger.

game of thrones 1

The game will be played from five different points of view. Each is a member of House Forrester; either a direct family member, or a person in service to the House. Scattered across Westeros and Essos, each will play their part in seeking to save House Forrester from destruction.

Playing as five characters not only reflects the epic scope of Game of Thrones, but is also something that the player needs to be mindful of. This is because the actions of one character can ripple out to affect the rest of House Forrester. Multiply the actions of one character by five, and you’re truly playing the Game of Thrones… where you win, or you die.

Additional details on the series and its upcoming premiere episode, ‘Iron From Ice’ are forthcoming. Stay tuned to the Telltale Games Blog, twitter, and Facebook pages for more information as the premiere approaches, the first of six episodes, which will be arriving for download soon on PC/Mac, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, Xbox One, Xbox 360, and iOS, with additional platforms to be announced.

Well, that sums it up nicely. Official cast members returning for their beloved voice – except you Ramsay, you’re despicable – is quite a nice touch. It’s also interesting to see an entirely new perspective on the incredibly well established land of Westeros. Telltale is quite brave for attempting to add their own story to such an interwoven tale.