Wednesday, 30 April 2014

SURPRISE! Mario Kart Direct!

Another sneaky Direct has appeared.

there isn't much to say other than WATCH IT

Nintendo Annouces This Years E3 Plan By KILLING A Member Of Staff

Yep you read that right. Nintendo has released a video with the guys at Mega64 explaining their plans and apparently... murder.

Last year Nintendo surprised everyone by hosting a Nintendo Direct instead of a normal E3. This year that'll become the Nintendo Digital Event, and will show off games from 2014 "and beyond". So, Hopefully, Zelda. The show will start streaming live from 5pm on Tuesday 10th June.

After the Digital Event, Nintendo Treehouse: Live @ E3, will open, constantly streaming in-depth game demos and interviews throughout E3. And on top of that, Nintendo will be hosting a Smash Bros. Invitational, in which 16 of the world's best Smash Bros. players will compete, while showing off the new Smash Bros. Wii U and 3DS games to the world in the Nokia Theatre and online.

Smash Bro's will also be available to play at Best Buy in the US.

Monday, 28 April 2014

Monday News Lump 28/04

Mondays... BOO! so here's some news stories that don't get their own article. 

E.T. Found in Desert
No not a real alien. nor a prop from the film. They found the mythical cache of the "worst game ever made". Microsoft teamed up Fuel Entertainment to search for the fabled land fill and they did!.
Picture of the first copy dug out the ground. Many copies was still in their plastic wrappers
For those who don't know E.T. was developed in 6 weeks (in those days it took 6 months) as a quick cash in on the movie. What people got was so bad it effectively killed the fragile industry. Instead of trying to sell off the remaining copies, Atari decided to gather up all the remaining copies drive it into the New Mexico desert and bury them. If it wasn't for Nintendo saving the industry with the NES then this story would of been forgotten but till now it lived on as a myth and warning to developers (some devs have copies mounted to the wall as a painful reminder). 

Final Fantasy 15 being created as an "Action Game" 
Considering Square-Enix is in such a dangerous position Sony sold their shares in the company at a massive discount and it's widely believed the next flop could kill not only Final Fantasy but the company it self, It is pretty ballsy to make FF15 (previously Verses 13) an action game, A lot of long time fans have been increasingly turned off by the games and this news will not sit with most of them.

Naughty Dog Losses Another Key Member
Michael Knowland lead artist on Last of Us as left Naughty Dog and follows Uncharted creative director Amy Hennig who left Naughty Dog earlier this year, though has since joined Visceral Games to work on its unannounced Star Wars project. This was followed by the news Justin Richmond, who was working on Uncharted PS4 as game director, also left the studio, in his case to take up a position at League of Legends dev Riot. Art director Nate Wells announced his departure to join Unfinished Swan studio Giant Sparrow last week. Something is clearly going on at Naughty Dog.

Celebrate Monster Hunter's 10th anniversary with ROCK!

This rather fetching Rathalos Flame Sword guitar costs 2.3 million Yen in Japan, which converts to around $22,000 USD and about £13,000 for us in the UK. The above picture is clearly a mock up. Not sure how many Monster Hunter fans who play guitar and have £13K to spare will buy this, But damn it I want one 

Mass Effect Trilogy for Xbox One, PS4 leaked By Retailer

Well looks like the HD re-releases hasn't died with the advent of the new generation of systems as predicted. 

Mass Effect Trilogy new gen systems has been hinted at by Bioware as a way of trying out what works and what doesn't on the new systems so the next Mass Effect wont be hampered by 'growing pains' of the new systems and would help new fan catch up to speed with the story before 4. Now "Zmart" has Mass Effect Trilogy listed for both PS4 and Xbox One with what looks like fairly convincing box art (which itself looks like an updated version from the last gen trilogy)

There is zero details on what the new trilogy actually contains. Dose it have ALL the DLC? Have they gave the games a facelift or is it just upscaled it? Have they added a little more polish to Mass Effect 1?

Abe's Take
I hope they give this the Tomb Raider treatment and on the wild dreams side fixed mass effect 3 to reflect player choices in more than a tick box as the original did. This will be good for people who a) sold their last gen systems, b)Never played the ME series or c) Those wanting to revisit the first game with out their eyes bleeding (Actually mass effect one is holding up kinda... ok)

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

RUMOUR: Smash Bro's 4 Roster Leaked

Another week, another Smash Bro's rumour. This one comes from a supposed leaked screen shot, which no one seems to have...

Update: ... Except they do. It's also looks about right.

Well lets get to the part with the details. Apparently there are 9 characters yet to be announced. Ganondorf, MetaKnight, Jigglypuff, Ice Climbers, Mr. Game & Watch, Captain Falcon, Ness, Falco, and Chrom (from Fire Emblem Awakening).

There are some things to note:

  • All these bar Chrom are returning characters from Brawl (though Chrom would take Ike's place who took Roy's place) - which doesn't mean it's fake as smash 4 uses a lot of brawl (e.g. Characters who probably aren't that relavent I.E. lucario, Toon link, Jigglypuff and Sonic and character designs I.E. Link, Zelda and Marth not mirroring Skyward Sword or Fire Emblem: Awakening) 
  • With out further details Ganondorf, Falco and Cpt Falcon would suggest clone characters are returning despite claims of the opposite 
  • MetaKnight and Game & Watch really stick out at me. Smash bros 4 seems to be looking at the professional tournament players with the strict approach to balance, Lack of transformations, Clipping Pit's wings and many final destination variants. Metaknight is widely banned in tournament (and casual) play. Game and watch seemed like a throw away tribute character his return would be odd
  • There is additional rumour of Raiden being in smash bro's 4 (which would logicically include Snake)  this time cause by one of his voice/motion actor Reuben Langdon (Ken Masters, Dante and Raiden) who let slip he (and Raiden) was involved with Smash 4 before dismissing it as confusion with playstation all stars. Though it's worth noting a different actor played the character in that game.

Fatal Frame / Project Zero / Zero Sequel Annouced For Wii U

Well... Wasn't expecting this. 

From Project Zero 2 : Wii Edition
UPDATE: According to Official Nintendo Magazine Nintendo are co-developing the title

A new Project Zero game is heading to Wii U. For those who don't know Project Zero/Fatal Frame/Zero is a Japanese survival horror title where the characters only defence is a camera. It might take a few moments to realise how great this game could be using the Wii U game pad as the camera.

Not much is know about the title at the moment only that it's exclusive, will have a tie in comic and a movie! We don't know if the title will reach western Wii U's but considering A) it's a Tecmo Koei game and they'll port anything  B) the last game did come eventually and C) Nintendo is "helping" the game* it seems likely it'll appear at some-point.

*Nintendo has realised the gap in western games for Wii U/3DS and has been working with it's partners to release Japanese "only" titles over hear titles like Project X Zone, Bravely Default, Monster Hunter and Tomodachi Life are prime example of this new approach

Abe's Take
This is good news as the Wii U needs games desperately and if we do start getting more Japanese on the system over here it could easily give it that "cult" status that Japanese Exclusives brought to the GameCube and PS3. ZombiU showed that the gamepad can be oddly suited to horror titles and I think will serve this game well

Assault on Arkham Trailer

The Arkham games hold the impressive title of not only being a good comic book game but actually some of the last generations best. The DC animated movies have also exceeded expectations for straight to DVD animated films. Now the two meet.

Assault on Arkham is set after Arkham Origins (the lesser of the series) and the original Arkham Asylum. The plot is the sort of thing you'd expect. Joker has planted a "dirty" bomb in Gotham and batman must stop him, however he isn't the only one. The Suicide Squad is out to stop Joker too.

For those who don't follow all of DC comics The Suicide Squad is a team made up of prisoners who are granted their freedom if they survive what ever the government needs them to do. Harley Quinn, Deadshot,  Killer Frost, Black Spider, King Shark and Captain Boomerang make up the team in the upcoming movie.

This should tie well into the games as Kevin Conroy (who at this point is the official voice of Batman) will return as Batman, Troy Baker returns to play Joker. (Baker has handled the role brilliantly since Mark Hammil retired from the character) and SPOILERS a post credits sequence on Arkham Origins hints at Suicide squad appearing SAFE

Abe's Take
I love the Arkham games, I love the DC animated films and so I love this. The above spoiler combined with the teams appearance on Arrow (Halrey Quinn cameo woo!), the Arkham series "apprently" ending with Knight and now this movie perhaps a Suicide Squad game is incoming?

Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate Trailer #2

Man it's been a busy few weeks for us at Game Knights UK and that's entirely because of a sickness... Monster Hunter fever. As if our attempts at finishing Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate has offended Capcom they have released a new trailer for the next game

The trailer is actually for the Japanese release of G (so don't get excited by the 2014 date) an expanded version of 4 but as fans (usually) know the G games come west as a U game. Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate will be hitting us westerners "early 2015"

The trailer shows of a lot of monsters from gen 1 and 2, creatures that was missing from MH Tri/3U, an seemingly new sandy desert level and what appears to be a few new sub-species (different coloured, different element versions of monsters), a dried out corpse of a Tigerex(!?!) and what appears to be an all new wyvern

Abe's Take
Seeing as we've just broke the HR cap on MH3U and are left making our own goals in order to reach the  final end game content. I've been hankering for that just starting out feel again and this trailer couldn't of been more effective. Here's to E3, lets hope we get some details about WHEN we get this  

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Mario Kart 8 Rumour Bomb

Well we're a little more than a month away from Mario Kart 8's release and rumours and "details"  are starting to swirl about the title.

Wii U Bundle

A French gaming blog has "outed" a Mario Kart 8 bundle. The fairly standard looking bundle is "confirmed" for Europe and comes with a black 32GB Wii U, a copy of MK8 and a trial of Wii Karaoke U. This is where the rumour stumbles a little. Karaoke isn't that big in the west and whilst it dose come with Japanese bundles Europe's bundles usually come with Wii Sports Club and/or Wii U Fitness trials. Whilst I am sure there will be a Wii U Mario Kart bundle I doubt this is it.

Mario Kart 8 has 30 characters

This one seems likley and has a convincing photo to go along with it. 
Considering the game features light varients of existing characters (Babies, Bowser Jr, Diddy kong) and the Kooper Kids it's not hard to imagine that MK8 has thrity characters.

Gamepad Racing wheel stand coming westward

The above image is of a real Japanese add on that "lets players use the Wii U gamepad as a real steering wheel". Which seems to add as much function as the Wiimote steering wheel attachments.
the rumour here is that it's coming to the west, which seems unlikely as the Wii add on market was built around tricking mums. I do however think this could be handy for racing games 

Xbox 360 Sales 15/04

This Week there are two sales for Gold users. The Spring Sale rolls on and from the shadows comes Batman's 75th's year of face punching sale

First up is the Spring Sale which covers both full titles and DLC

If you've been wanting to get into borderlands 2 now might be the best time with the full game getting 65% off and the DLC going for "up to" 75% off. The Fallout and Skyrim DLC's are also well worth grabbing at 75% off.

There is also a second sale, this ones a little bit more... Batman. To celebrate Batman's 75th birthday Most of his Xbox activity is on sale 

Batman: Arkham City - 75% off
Batman: Arkham City - Harley Quinn's Revenge - 75% off
Batman: Arkham City Skins Pack - 75% off
Batman: Arkham Asylum - 75% off
Batman: Arkham Asylum - Villains Theme Pack - Free
Batman: Arkham Origins - Season Pass - 50% off
Batman: Arkham Origins - Initiation - 50% off
Batman: Arkham Origins - Infinite Earths Skins Pack - 50% off
Batman: Arkham Origins - New Millennium Skins Pack - 50% off
Batman: Arkham Origins - Deathstroke Challenge Pack - 50% off
Gotham City Imposters - 75% off
LEGO Batman 2 - 66% off
Injustice: Gods Among Us - 50% off
Injustice: Gods Among Us - Season Pass - 50% off

Abe's Take
This is a good selection of games and content on sale (sadly I have all of these that I want all ready) and a fantastic time for someone to jump on the awesome Arkham games. I had intended to put links in this article but for some reason the sale pages only appear on the US site with $ values. The sale is however available via the dashboard

Friday, 11 April 2014

Earthlock: Festival of Magic get funded

A a little Kickstarter title we've been following here, has reached it's funding goal and its first stretch goal and is quickly approaching it's second.

The title first popped up last Christmas last year as a Wii U exclusive but sadly didn't get funded but it came back at a far less cash busy time and added a host of other systems. With 13 hours to go the Norway based developers have reached their funding level and reached their first stretch goal of adding an post end game mega boss. their next stretch goal will add a full orchestrated sound track, Which would be nice.

The world of Umbra is "locked" and doesn't rotate. one side lives in darkness the other blinding light

The game itself is a non-linear JRPG with Harvest Moon style "ammo" harvesting. Here is the teams own feature list from their Kickstarter page

  • Rich, non-linear story 
  • Turn-based combat (No Active Time Battle) 
  • Combat pairs (Allows more variations to your battle team) 
  • Grow your own ammunition (Organic crafting) 
  • Build and improve your home base 
  • Environmental Puzzles 
  • Gorgeous overworld with a retro feel 
  • No random encounters (Monsters visible at all times) 
  • Play as Male or Female protagonist (You can switch at any time)

Thanks to a misunderstanding in the office this is now a thing 

Abe's Take
Festival of Magic has been a game I have been eager to get hold of for some time. At first it was because the Wii U is in a dire need of RPGS but soon I found myself just wanting the game. in fact in fear of this promising title failing a second time, I helped fund this.

Thursday, 10 April 2014

SURPRISE Nintendo Direct

Well that was sneaky. Nintendo ninja delivered a new Direct video today, Announcing Tomodachi Life will be heading to the west.

What is Tomodachi Life? well it's a little hard to explain it's a little like a mixture of Animal Crossing and the Sims with a massive heap of lunatic Anime Soap Opera weirdness. However that would do the game a disservice, watching the direct should help you understand the weirdness.

The game uses the same sort of vocaliod tech that power Hatsune Miku the Japanese virtual pop star, which allows the game "speak" text, in practice what this means is that things like your name and catch phrases will be included in the audio.

The game hits 6th of June in both eShop and Retail.

Abe's Take
I've know of the Tomodachi games but have nether really seen them. So it's never really been on my radar but after seeing the bizare antics I now NEED this game.

Monday, 7 April 2014

Nintendo Trademarks S.T.E.A.M.

Right i'm sure this might get confusing as people talk about this and people over hearing it will have all sorts of questions. 

Nintendo has filled for a new trademark in America. S.T.E.A.M. or Strike Team Eliminating the Alien Menace as it is also know as has no additional infomation or even a logo. Nintendo as previously trademarked Eternal Darkness and Zii but those was holding on to and protecting their IP's. This doesn't seem like that kind of trademarking, There isn't a S.T.E.A.M. game to our knowledge and is awfully precise of a title to be "just covering bases" so keep an eye out!

Abe's Take
well rumours have all ready begun to swirl. A new "mature" IP from Miyamoto? A third party Japanese Exclusive? the name dose scream wacky far more than gritty. I suspect this might be a free-to-play game for the 3DS or maybe Wii U

EA's New UFC Gets MMA's Father

Guest characters aren't all that rare these days, no year passes with out someone's face popping up somewhere unexpected (worst public toilet ever!) so you'll understand  why this guest is news worthy

Mr Lee REALLY 'likes' punching people

Yes Bruce Lee, father of Mixed Martial Arts will be playable in next UFC title. Whilst Mr Lee will available as a Pre-order bonus but unlike other pre-order DLC he isn't exclusive, he will be available to everyone who finishes the game.

Mr Lee's daughter and Chairperson of the Bruce Lee Foundation, Sharon Lee, said "“I am so excited about this opportunity to bring my father back to video games. I’m thrilled that fans can now interact with him in a new way. The EA Sports UFC development team has been incredible to work with, and they've done a great job capturing the look and feel of my father. I think people will love getting a chance to fulfill a fight fantasy by playing Bruce Lee in the new UFC game.”

Abe's Take
It's great to see the respect being shown to Bruce Lee who for all intense and purpose invented MMA and all that followed. Though i feel sorry for the guy who had to model his shorts...                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    

Sunday, 6 April 2014

The Power Of Xbox One's Azure Cloud

During Its May reveal and its E3 show Microsfot talked a lot about the Power of the cloud and how it could improve games by off loading to the cloud. But a reversal in their online DRM meant that only online only games like Titanfall could really benefit from the  real time processing boost. 

But now we can see the power of the could... On a PC tech demo that show caused during Microsoft's BUILD conference last week.

The demo is running on the same specs on both machines, the power of the cloud is clearly... powerful, with the cloud version barely taking a hit to the frame rate whilst the other normal PC runs like my PC running Space Engineers (WOO! PC fail!). Time will tell how this will be used on the now offline One , perhaps the likes of Sunset overdrive and Fable: Legends will show off the Azure Cloud.

Abe's Take
After seeing this you can see why Microsoft was so insistent on having an "Always On" system and it's shame something as useful as this has to be relegated to "online only" games such as Titanfall and the upcoming Sunset Overdrive.

Family sharing, One time disc use, Cloud enhanced games and a less buggy OS at launch dose paint quite a different picture of the Xbox One

Monday News Lump 7/4

Monday's suck as usual and as usual a lot of news outlets horde their weekend news till Monday.

Microsoft looking into 360 emulation on Xbox One
This has been an hot topic since before the New Gen systems was even announced. Microsoft had looked into streaming 360 games much like the upcoming PlayStation Now service but ran in to trouble making it work in Europe or rural America (Sony has ran into the same issues but is carrying on with Now anyway).
Frank Savage, Partner Development Lead at Microsoft on the Xbox One's use of Windows was asked if there was any plans for 360 on One "There are, but we're not done thinking them through yet, unfortunately. It turns out to be hard to emulate the PowerPC stuff on the X86 stuff. So there's nothing to announce, but I would love to see it myself."

RUMOUR: Deus Ex Multiplayer
Edios Montreal is looking to hire a programmer with Multiplayer experience for a Deus Ex Universe project.
It's unknown if this is for a Multiplayer focused game or for a multiplayer mode for the next core Deus Ex title

DOOM beta for Next Gen only
Buying a copy of Wolfenstien: New Order will also net you Beta access to the next Doom title but only for the new systems an PC. Buying the 360 version will net you the Xbox One beta and same goes with PS3. I would take this as Doom being New Gen exclusive.

Evolve will be content rich
The house that Left 4 Dead built's next title will apparently dwarf L4D interns of content and playability. Multiple classes, multiple class variants, multiple planets, randomly selected wild life and multiple main monsters should produce a lot of replayabilty. Like L4D the environment and wild life combinations will be procedurally generated giving multiple play thoughts a different flavour.

Brutal Legend 2 may happen
But would require $30,000,000 to produce it, Though Tim Schafer says it's not likely to happen as he wants to work on new idea's first. Schafer also suggested the game would feature better RTS elements or scrap them entirely.

Minecraft Xbox info/One chatter
It seems the Xbox One version release date is "soon" and entirely up to the developers, this should hopeful reduce the need for a bug fixing patch. The 360 edition has reached 12 million sales and is approaching the PC sales. Those hoping for larger worlds to come to the 360 version will be upset as the developers have said larger worlds requires use of the 360's Hard drive and they can't guarantee players will have it.

Nintendo Owns Japan... In software
The numbers are in for the annual software sales and 9 titles are Nintendo with the 3DS doing the heavy lifting.

Pokemon X/Y (3DS): 4,328,008
Monster Hunter 4 (3DS): 3,429,862
Tomodachi Collection Shin Seikatsu (3DS): 1,635,099
Puzzle and Dragons (3DS): 1,358,548
Animal Crossing New Leaf (3DS): 774,152
Dragon Quest Monsters 2 (3DS): 710,303
Grand Theft Auto V (PS3): 699,182
Wii Party U (Wii U): 697,042
Yokai Watch (3DS): 652,803
New Super Mario Bros U (Wii U): 622,502

Also... DAMN look at MH4's sales 3,429,862 in Japan alone and i'm sure MH4G will probably match that so all the sales of MH4U (the western version) is just a bonus for Capcom

Nintendo Direct Tomorrow

It feels like forever since the last Nintendo Direct but that's probably down to there being only 2 so far this year. It's not a surprise that there is a new Direct so close to Mario Kart 8's launch but what is a surprise is that Tuesday's Direct is actually for Smash Bros 

Tuesday's Nintendo Direct will air at 11PM UK time again. Not so sure why they are running so late now, I suspect it's so it the three regions UK, US and JPN all get their directs all at once.
The Direct will focus on both 3DS/Wii U versions of Smash Bros. You can watch the live stream Here on Tuesday.

What should we expect in the Direct? no one knows right now but here some guess'.

  • Release date: this seems likely but will probably something like November.
  • Character Reveals: I'm expecting two to three reveals and maybe one surprise character
  • Multi-player details: I suspect we'll learn about the game's online systems
  • Cross functions: I suspect Nintendo will finally outline how the 2 versions will work together. We all ready know that their wont be a traditional cross play as each version has it's own level lists.
  • less likely are; announcing the N64 and GC versions coming to eShop as neither system is ready yet though would be a good way of announcing them.
guess we'll see soon enough