Project CARS Hands-On Video – NYCC 2014

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At NYCC 2014, Namco had one of their upcoming racers on the floor to demo, Project CARS. From the demo I played (as shown in the video below), I have to say that I wasn’t very impressed with the game unfortunately. The HUD is way too busy, the visuals for the in-car dashboard looks incredibly bland, the visuals outside the vehicle look dramatically less impressive than those we’ve seen in screenshots, and the crash physics replicated those of Gran Turismo (which is odd since the same team who developed Need for Speed Shift, which had awesome crashing physics, is behind this). This could’ve also been an early build of the game being demoed but seeing as how the game is a month away from release, it’s not a great first impression. The one impressive element that I came out with was that the game was running at 1080p at 60 fps on the PS4.

Check out the video below to see the demo in action!

Sony’s Title that Dropped the Ball at their E3 2014 Conference

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E3 2014 has come to an end and throughout the week, I’ve reflected on a lot of what was shown and announced amongst all the main conferences. However, there was one conference that felt a bit off between Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo…and this year, Sony had the conference that felt least polished. Now before everyone chews my head off and curses to the heavens, hear me out.

Sony has normally kicked off every press conference with a killer montage of games their platform contains with very catchy music to accompany it. This year they opted to just jump into a single game, which was Destiny (one of my most anticipated PS4 titles to date). Then they jumped into titles one-by-one for a bit, but with a lack of proper transition, making it feel slightly disjointed. Minor quip aside, Sony did show off some amazing looking titles. The Order: 1886, Destiny, The Last of Us: Remastered, Bloodborne, No Man’s Sky, LittleBigPlanet 3, Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, Batman: Arkham Knight, and of course the showstopper and primary reason anyone should be excited to own a PS4, Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End. The main issue with these list of titles: only a few of them are releasing this year. However, the list is shaping up to make 2015 a very exciting year for games without question. There was one particular omission to the conference that I couldn’t help but be annoyed at: where was DriveClub?

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DriveClub was one of the very first games showcased for the PS4 back at the unveiling on February 2013. Originally touted for release day one with the PS4, as well as having a PS+ edition for it, the game unfortunately slipped through the cracks and was delayed. Over the months, the game was discussed and said to be releasing “soon”, but it wasn’t until recently we saw a trailer with the release date set for October 7th, 2014. The game was delayed for nearly 11 months for polishing purposes and that’s completely understandable. I, for one, am all for a developer taking as much time as they need to ensure a rich experience that’s been fine-tuned and polished.

The reason I was baffled at the lack of the title being presented, or even mentioned on stage during the conference, was that here’s a big title that Sony and Evolution Studios are releasing this Fall and they completely neglected it. If there was ever a time to build excitement for DriveClub, especially a few months from release, their press conference was the place to do it. DriveClub looked stunning back in February of 2013, and anyone who is curious about the title would gladly like to see how the game is shaping up and what to get stoked about. Instead, we’re left with a title that looks amazing, but didn’t get the attention it deserves on stage. Why not show off how the club system works? Yes, we saw an idea of how it’s supposed to work back in February 2013, but let’s see an updated, real-time version of that. How about how some of the tracks look, maybe some of the cars coming to the game…show something.

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While the conference was far from a bust, it annoyed me a bit that one of their main PS4 titles that is actually releasing this year (not 2015 like a majority of the titles) wasn’t even brought up. That’s what lacked in Sony’s conference…games releasing this year and they completely neglected to mention this one key title releasing in 2014. While I’m sure DriveClub will be a strong title for the PS4 (especially with the PS+ edition allowing PS+ users to get a chunk of the game for free), it would’ve been smart to actually showcase the game on-stage and build up some excitement for it.

What do you think? Did you notice the game wasn’t mentioned? Is it a title you’re looking forward to? Sound off in the comments below!

OlliOlli Interview: Vita Exclusivity Garnered It “Extra Coverage”, Developer Working on “Two More Projects”

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Recently, we reviewed Roll 7’s latest indie hit on the PS Vita, OlliOlli (which I scored a 9.5 in our review). Today, Tom Hegarty provided us with an interview about how the game was first conceived, how it became a Vita exclusive, and much more behind the premise of the title.

Marcello: When and how did the idea of OlliOlli come about?

Tom: OlliOlli was initially dreamt up by John, our Creative Director. He was 13 at the time and had two main passions, Gaming and Skateboarding, so you can see how the basic idea was formed! This was all happening in the mid 90’s so the fact the game uses a pixel art and a retro vibe is very much related to the kind of games we played whilst growing up! It took us 15 years to do anything with John’s original idea but we’re glad we did!

Marcello: Roughly how long has the game been in development?

Tom: We started development in Feb 2013, thought we had been toying with the prototype or a few months before that. We actually finished development before xmas but had to sit tight to release at the right point and as part of the Vita Play Promotion in North America.

Marcello: When it came down to figuring out which platform you wanted to bring OlliOlli to, how did you make your decision?

Tom: Our first title, Gets To The Exit, was released on the App Store in July 2012, that experience was great for us in terms of taking a game from start to finish and actually releasing it but we realised that the type of games we want to make, (e.g. difficult ‘hardcore’ games) were not really thriving on the app store, and although the user base is huge, the audience is not there. At that point we made the decisions to move to console or steam and move away from the App stores. Once we met with Sony, it was their initial suggestion to take it to Vita, our concept demo was on iOS and seemed like a very natural move to go to a console handheld.

Marcello: There’s no question the PS Vita is a powerful handheld device. How was your experience developing on Sony’s latest handheld?

Tom: We were slightly underprepared to move from app dev to console dev, there is a wide world of new process and technical knowledge to get your head around. Our biggest challenge was loading the entire game in one go so you, the player, can get instant restarts and no in-game loading time. To do this we had to play with the memory allocation which started to become very tricky towards the end.

Marcello: OlliOlli’s control scheme and mechanics are intricate and immensely rewarding, blending that arcade style of Tony Hawk and authentic realism of SKATE, yet differentiating itself by setting a new bar. Where did the idea of the mechanics come about?

Tom: The main difference in our control scheme is pressing X to land. Although that sounds simple in passing, it determines how well you score in the game: Press X too early and get a sloppy landing, press X at the right time and you get a perfect landing that could be the difference of 200,000 points! That idea came from what it’s like to actually skateboard. Landing is the hardest part; most people can get the board to flip in the air but if you ever watch skateboarders live, it’s rare they land the trick. The X mechanic was designed to give you that feeling they get in skateboarding, you’ve not done the trick until you nail your landing!

Marcello: The game’s art style and soundtrack certainly compliment each other nicely. Can you discuss a bit about the visual and audio design of the game?

Tom: It’s interesting as the art and the music were worked on separately, so we’re happy they blend so well. The music was chosen based on what we listen to in the studio. We originally went with punk/skate music and tried some crazy electronica but the game is so intense and all about flow that we found more jazzy/ambient music fitted better and allowed you to focus on the game. The art style was developed over a year and was initially going to be far simpler, but as we progressed the character got more and more shaded!

Marcello: Now the game is a PlayStation Vita exclusive, but is there any chance of bringing it to another Sony platform like the PS3 and/or PS4?

Tom: For the moment, OlliOlli is a Vita exclusive and we want to concentrate on that for now. I think it’s managed to get extra coverage based on the fact it is a Vita Exclusive.

Marcello: There’s already plenty of content in OlliOlli, yet DLC is a big thing nowadays. Have you considered any future DLC for OlliOlli?

Tom: There is no DLC planned at the moment. We didn’t anticipate there being such a big response and audience to the game so it wasn’t in our initial plans. Never say never though!

Marcello: What’s next for Roll 7 after OlliOlli?

Tom: We’re actually working on our next two projects but I can’t reveal any info about them yet, but do watch this space!

Marcello: Any additional info you’d like to share with the readers?

Tom: We’d like to thank everyone who has supported us over the last few weeks by either buying the game, tweeting screenshots etc, OlliOlli wouldn’t be what it is without the people who play it so we’re just super hyped that people are enjoying it!

Marcello: Thank you so much again for your time Tom. We look forward to seeing what’s in store for the future of OlliOlli and the team over at Roll 7.

The Walking Dead Game Season 2 Coming This Month

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Telltale games has stated that the highly anticipated The Walking Dead Game: Season 2’s first episode will be launching this month! To everybody’s surprise, most were expecting this title to release sometime in 2014. Walking Dead Season 2 will pick up right where the 400 Days DLC left off, which was a bridge between Season 1 and Season 2. It has now been confirmed that Clementine will be the main star and protagonist of the game. Some time has passed and Clementine will be more mature and resilient than in Season 1, according to a developer. The episodes will be releasing for iOS, Mac, PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, X1, and more platforms in the future as well. For more Walking Dead news, stay tuned!

(Source – IGN)

Nintendo’s Thanksgiving Deals

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Thanksgiving will be arriving this Thursday, November 28th, and it marks a perfect time for Nintendo to start promoting their hardware aggressively. Nintendo of America has stated its official 3DS and Wii U sale offers for the upcoming holiday and Black Friday. For the 3DS, you will have the new Cobalt Blue standard 3DS Luigi’s Mansion bundle, launching on 11/28 for $169.99. In addition, there are also two retailer-specific offers. Walmart will be selling a 2DS for just $99.96 and Target will be selling a 3DS XL for just $149.99 on 11/29. Lastly, the Wii U will see Nintendo Land bundled with a custom Luigi Wii Remote Plus for $59.99 on 12/2.

(Source – NintendoLife)

Great Deal For Gamers on Black Friday

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Target has posted a sneak preview for its big Black Friday deals. Headlining the weekend for video game savings from November 28th to November 30th are two console deals: a 4GB Xbox 360 S bundle, which includes Kinect Sports Season Two and Kinect Adventures, for $190 and a 250GB PS3 system with The Last of Us and Batman: Arkham Origins for $200. In theory, you can purchase both an Xbox 360 with a Kinect plus games and a PS3 with games all for a cheaper total than the cost of a PS4 or X1. Current-gen games have also had their prices slashed. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 and Max Payne 3 are both marked down to $10; Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 and Splinter Cell: Blacklist are $25; and Battlefield 4, Batman: Arkham Origins and Madden NFL 25 are $35.

Target is giving out gift cards too. For those who purchase a copy of Assassin’s Creed 4, it will grant you a $20 gift card. while purchasing a copy of Call of Duty: Ghosts or Mario and Luigi: Dream Team will grant you a $10 card. Whether you are in the market to snag a current gen console just some games, Target seems to have you covered this Black Friday.

(Source – Target)

GTA V Patch 1.06 Detailed

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Rockstar Games has released the game’s latest patch update, fixing bugs and exploits in the online component of Grand Theft Auto 5.

“Today’s GTA Online title update, which brings the multiplayer mode to version 1.06, includes ‘Beach Bum’ as well as a host of fixes for bugs and exploits.”

Here’s the full list:

  • Fixed an issue where the game would delete your personal Vehicle if you have another player in it when you add a Tracker and Insurance.
  • Fixed an issue where players could become stuck on the aerial view when entering GTA Online with cloud servers down and having just launched a minigame.
  • Fixed an issue where the mission ‘Damaged Goods’ would start even though it had previously been completed.
  • Fixed an issue where under rare circumstances players couldn’t claim back their personal vehicle in GTA Online.
  • Fixed an issue where under rare circumstances players were able to get the Declasse Sheriff SUV into Los Santos Customs and respray it causing the menus to malfunction.
  • Fixed an issue where in rare circumstances players would lose all personal vehicles after being idle kicked and unable to rejoin an online session.
  • Fixed an issue where players could occasionally get stuck after killing a pedestrian with a golf ball.
  • Corrected an exploit where players would retain their personal vehicle after selling it at Los Santos Customs mod shop by transitioning back and forth between Story Mode and Online.
  • Corrected an exploit where players could keep repeatedly selling a Bati 801 to Los Santos Customs.
  • Corrected an exploit where players were able to duplicate vehicles by accepting a Mission while leaving a high-end garage.
  • Corrected an exploit where a player could start a Team Deathmatch with all players on the same team.
  • Players are no longer able to delete their GTA Online character while the Rockstar cloud servers are unavailable.

The patch also comes with tuning changes to tweak the way GTA Online plays, including rebalancing of rewards:

  • The Bad Sport penalty for destroying personal vehicles has been reduced significantly.
  • Players will no longer receive a Bad Sport penalty when they are in a non-moving tank and other players crash a vehicle into them.
  • The GTA$ and RP rewards for Races, Deathmatches and Parachuting are now based on the average time they take to complete.
  • Players now receive GTA$ and RP rewards when failing a cooperative Job or being a member of the losing team during a Versus Mission, depending on how long the Job / Mission lasts.
  • Players now receive a bonus GTA$ multiplier for Missions when played at the higher difficulty levels (Normal = 1.25, Hard = 1.5).
  • In Team Deathmatch, all players on a team now receive the same GTA$ and RP rewards, with the winning team getting roughly 4-5x what the losing team receives.
  • Removed some instances of debris in specific Races, including the cardboard from the ‘Down the Drain’ Race.
  • Deliveries from Pegasus have been reduced from $1,000 to $200.
  • The cost of removing a wanted level by calling Lester has now been scaled based on the amount of stars you have — at a cost of $200 per star.
  • Restricted cars and vehicles that have been added to player garages through exploits have been removed. This includes tanks, helicopters and police vehicles.
  • The following vehicles have been added to the southernsanandreassuperautos.com website in-game: BF Dune Buggy, Canis Bodhi, Karin Rebel, Maibatsu Sanchez 2, Vapid Sadler, Vapid Sandking SWB.
  • To eliminate any remaining vehicle loss issues, an additional automatic cloud save will occur when purchasing a vehicle or vehicle modification.

(Source – Rockstar Games)

Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition Spotted

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A strong rumor has been circulating that Tomb Raider is getting a next-gen edition with all of its downloadable content included. Aptly named “The Definitive Edition” was spotted at an online retailer, listing all of its features included. As of now, it was seen to be listed for PlayStation 4 and one mystery system, most likely being the X1. Aside from the DLC, gamers who pre-order it will receive a special packaging with an art book.

It goes without saying that this title for the PC, PS3, and Xbox 360 looked amazing, and one can only imagine what it will look like on a next gen platform. The listing has the launch date as sometime in winter of 2014. Stay tuned for more news on the next gen Tomb Raider.

(Source – http://www.shacknews.com/article/82075/tomb-raider-definitive-edition-listed-for-next-gen“>Shacknews)

PlayStation 4 Unboxing Video: “Greatness Delivered”

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Greatness has now arrived in North America with the PS4 on shelves! Check out Glacier928 unbox Sony’s latest beast of a console!

Nintendo Combining eShop Credits Across Consoles, and Bringing MiiVerse to New Venues

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Yesterday, Nintendo gamers received a welcome update that combines eShop credit across the 3DS and Wii U systems, but this came with another great piece of information. The Miiverse will finally be coming to the 3DS and 2DS. Miiverse originally launched with the Wii U last year, and a website version was released shortly after. Smartphone apps are currently in the works as well. A Nintendo spokesman had this to say:

“A December system update will allow users to register their Nintendo Network ID for Wii U on their Nintendo 3DS systems and combine Nintendo eShop account balances…this system update will also mark the beginning of Miiverse support on Nintendo 3DS. With a Nintendo Network ID, users will be able to connect with other players around the world to share their experiences and game tips through Miiverse on Nintendo 3DS.”

(Source – NintendoLife)