Pac-Man Championship Edition DX (iOS) Hands-On/Interview – NYCC 2014

Pac-Man CE DX

At the Namco booth over at NYCC, I had the opportunity to interview Benjamin Acevedo, the producer for the upcoming Pac-Man Championship Edition DX for iOS and Android. During my time checking out the hands-on demo he showcased, he showed that everything fans loved about the console edition released back in 2010 would translate perfectly to iOS. All the original game and audio files are 100% intact, assuring fans won’t get a gimped out version of the game.

While showing the demo, there were some notable additions that add to the quicker pickup-and-play nature of the game while on-the-go. There is an entire world map, filled with specific stipulations that must be completed to advance to the next level. Within those are also Challenge Stages that will provide much more difficult objectives to complete for a level. When the game was running on-screen (displayed on an iPad mini), it looked stunning. The visuals are just as smooth and vibrant as they are on consoles and the swipe controls look incredibly responsive.

The big surprise about the upcoming release was the fact that it’s going to be a free-to-play title for everyone. Pac-Man is approaching his 35th anniversary this March and the folks over at Namco wanted to really get the ball rolling by starting to celebrate the iconic video game character’s history. Naturally, with it being free-to-play, you can expect the fact that you have a set amount of lives to play and once you’re out, you’ll have to wait a bit before you can play again, unless of course you buy the “premium version” which Ben mentioned as an option. You could even use in-game coins to purchase higher capacities for lives and bombs (which were used to clear ghosts away from you if things got out of control). The game will have all the original modes and levels from the console edition, aside from the additions mentioned.

Ben also showed off a fun little Pac-Man title which recently released on iOS called Pac-Man Friends. This puts a fun twist on the Pac-Man formula having you control both Pac-Man and one of his friends simultaneously in a small stage where you must guide them both to safety. The interesting element was that every one of Pac-Man’s friends has a unique ability, whether it be one that’s invisible to ghosts, while another grows bigger after each pellet eaten. Each stage has 3 objectives to aim for, some of which will really challenge players tremendously.

Pac-Man Championship Edition DX is slated for release on the iOS and Android this December, so stay tuned! In the meantime, those who are interested in Pac-Man Friends can check that out on both iOS and Android devices right now. Feel free to also check the video showing off both games below.

NYCC 2013: “Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures” Demo Playthrough

Pac-Man Ghostly Adventures Gameplay 4

At Namco’s booth, they had a playable demo for the upcoming “Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures”, coming to the PS3, Xbox 360 and Wii U on October 29th. Check out the 5+ minutes of gameplay below!

Soul Calibur 2 HD Online Slices Into Comic Con

soulcalibur2_004.nphd

Today, during a San Diego Comic-Con panel, Namco Bandai announced a high-definition re-release of Soul Calibur 2. It will release on Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 this fall. The game will be called “Soul Calibur 2 HD Online”. Soul Calibur 2 HD will feature the original game’s many modes such as Arcade, Survival, VS Battle, Time Attack, Survival, Team Battle, Practice and Weapon Master. Following the big annoucement, Tekken producer Katsuhiro Harada announced that Masaaki Hoshino would serve as producer on the Soul Calibur series going forward. Check out this teaser trailer below.

[Via: Gamespot]

NYCC 2012: Tekken Tag Tournament 2 Wii U Edition Hands-On

While Nintendo had a great showing at their booth at NYCC this year, it was clear that developers were embracing the Wii U as well. Namco was present to show the Wii U edition of Tekken Tag Tournament 2, and we were lucky enough to get out hands on a Game Pad to try it.

Tekken Tag II on the Wii U is presented as an enhanced version of the already-beloved fighting hit, with plenty of Nintendo-themed extras thrown in, such as the Link costume seen above. However, our experience mostly showed off the game’s technical achievements. Tekken Tag 2 looks great on the Wii U, with a constant 60 FPS rate and sharp, beautiful graphics. Namco didn’t stop there, however – they’ve completely embraced the use of the Wii U Game Pad. Specifically, the touch screen served two functions: showing a list of moves and how to perform them (though being in Japanese, we had a hard time following them), and also duplicating the display on the main TV screen. Even on the smaller touch screen, the game looks sharp, and shouldn’t be considered a downgrade except for the staunchest videophiles. The controls are laid out extremely well, with punches assigned to the X and Y buttons and kicks to A and B. Tekken’s combo system is incredibly interesting, involving linking left (Y and B) and right (X and A) strikes together to form chains. Having the triggers and shoulder buttons within easy reach on the Game Pad make modifying these combos very easy.

Our demo consisted mostly of an Arcade Mode demo, and unfortunately didn’t show off any of the included extras with the Wii U edition of the game. However, the character roster is expansive, and the combat feels solid. Any fan of the PS3 and Xbox 360 versions of the game, or even the past games in the series, will find no issue with the Wii U edition. Some of the planned included features include character costumes of prominent Nintendo characters (such as the Mario Bros. Link, Captain Falcon and many more), a Mushroom Battle mode where players can collect Mushrooms to increase in size and power, while avoiding Poison Mushrooms that do the opposite, and the return of Tekken Ball, a game mode not unlike Volleyball where fighters strike a ball in a tug-of-war struggle. The Wii U edition will also include all DLC characters and stages released for PS3 and Xbox 360 by the Wii U edition’s release.

Tekken Tag Tournament 2: Wii U Edition is slated to be a day-one release game, going on sale on November 18th.

Check out our gameplay footage straight from New York Comic Con’s showroom floor below, and stay tuned to Gamers Xtreme for even more NYCC coverage!

Nintendo Busts Down the Doors – 3DS LL, Smash Bros., and More!

Some major announcements are coming out of the Nintendo Direct conference streamed at 12 PM Japan time. Firstly, Nintendo tore the tarp down off a new iteration of the 3DS, called the 3DS XL here in the West (pictured above). The most noticeable improvement is that the top and bottom screens will be 90% bigger than those on the original 3DS. The unit also appears to have a new matte finish, replacing the glossy fingerprint-magnet design of the classic 3DS. The battery also promises to last a bit longer than the 3DS, adding about an hour of play time to 3D games and about two hours to non-3D and original DS games. The 3DS XL will be available in North America on August 19 for $199.99, and will come in three color combinations: all black, black and blue, and black and red.

In further news, a new Super Smash Bros. game is in the pipe, and it’s being developed by Namco Bandai. Headed by Masahiro Sakurai and with assistance of his studio, Sora, the game will also be developed with the help of Namco’s Masaya Kobayashi. It’s likely the next title will have a wildly different style than the previous games in the series, but only time will tell.

Soul Calibur V – Ezio Announcement Trailer; Collector’s Edition Announced

Ezio Auditore joins the Soul Calibur V cast, releasing January 31, 2012. Check out the trailer showcasing Ezio as well as the press announcement of the Collector’s Edition below!

London, UK – 21 October 2011 – Leading video game publishers and developers NAMCO BANDAI Games Europe and Ubisoft® today announced that Ezio Auditore from the critically acclaimed Assassin’s Creed® series will be a playable guest character in SOULCALIBUR TM V for PlayStation®3 and Xbox 360®.  This monumental collaboration will let players control Ezio and his wide range of assassination tools including a Roman Longsword, Stiletto, Crossbow, Hidden gun and his trademark Hidden blade. 

SOULCALIBUR V delivers exhilarating 3D fighting mechanics, breathtaking visuals, and new characters alongside expanded online and character creation modes.  In addition, Dampierre from SOULCALIBUR: Broken Destiny will be available as an exclusive pre-order bonus playable character, and a feature-packed Collector’s Edition is coming to retailers across Europe.  SOULCALIBUR V is poised to become the preeminent fighting game experience on its release in Europe on February 3rd 2012.

“The entrance of Assassin’s Creed into the Soulcalibur universe is an historic meeting of two of the most revered and influential game series,” said Olivier Comte, Senior Vice President at NAMCO BANDAI Partners.  “Ezio has captured the imaginations of millions of fans around the world, and it will be very exciting to see how his lightning fast moves stand up to the mighty swordplay of Soulcalibur’s finest.”

 “We are thrilled to see Ezio enter the world of Soulcalibur, as we believe the values of both brands fit together” said Geoffroy Sardin, EMEA Chief Marketing and Sales Officer at Ubisoft. “We think that this partnership will bring a great new gameplay experience to both Soulcalibur and Assassin’s Creed fans”.

Packed in a specially designed ‘book’ box, the Collector’s Edition ofSOULCALIBUR V will include a high quality art book, original soundtrack CD, the making-of DVD, a DLC card for the Black Knight and Paladin armor sets, plus original artwork and letter on reproduction parchment paper signed by the team at Project Soul.  Fans who pre-order SOULCALIBUR V at participating retailers will exclusively receive Dampierre from SOULCALIBUR: Broken Destiny as a playable character on day one.

Developed by the legendary Project Soul team, SOULCALIBUR V picks up 17 years after the events of SOULCALIBURTM IV with new heroes and returning warriors clashing in an epic showdown between good and evil. The tale of Patroklos, son of Sophitia Alexandra, unfolds as his family’s destiny intertwines with the Soul swords. With the series’ revolutionary 8-way run, allowing for true 3D movement during matches, refined battle systems, and stunning graphics, SOULCALIBUR V will be the top game of 2012 for anyone looking for a knock-down, drag-out fight.”