XBox 360 Universe Straight from the source
  • scissors
    February 29th, 2016GamespotUncategorized

    Far Cry Primal in its first week on sale has shot to the top of the UK charts, according to Chart-Track's weekly charts. Plants vs Zombies: Garden Warfare 2 debuted in second place.

    FIFA 16 remained in third as sales fell 38 percent. Call of Duty: Black Ops III dropped three spots to fourth as sales fell 51 percent. Grand Theft Auto V rounds out the top five.

     

    Here are the top 10 best-selling titles for the week:

    1. Far Cry Primal
    2. Plants vs Zombies: Garden Warfare 2
    3. FIFA 16
    4. Call of Duty: Black Ops III
    5. Grand Theft Auto V
    6. LEGO Marvel’s Avengers
    7. Star Wars Battlefront
    8. Fallout 4
    9. Rainbow Six: Siege
    10. Street Fighter V

    Last week's sales can be found here.

    _______________________________________________________________________________________

    A life-long and avid gamer, William D'Angelo was first introduced to VGChartz in 2007. After years of supporting the site, he was brought on in 2010 as a junior analyst, working his way up to lead analyst in 2012. He has expanded his involvement in the gaming community by producing content on his own YouTube channel and Twitch channel dedicated to gaming Let's Plays and tutorials. You can contact the author at wdangelo@vgchartz.com or on Twitter @TrunksWD.

    Full Article - http://www.vgchartz.com/article/263433/far-cry-primal-tops-uk-charts-in-first-week-garden-warfare-2-debuts-in-2nd/

  • scissors
    February 29th, 2016GamespotUncategorized

    Sony has announced all of the games that will be releasing this week on the PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, and PlayStation Vita in the US. 12 games in total will release this week.


    Here is the full list of games:

    • Alekhine’s Gun, PS4 — Digital, Retail
    • Broforce, PS4 — Digital
    • Croixleur Sigma, PS Vita — Digital (Cross Buy with PS4)
    • Gunscape, PS4 — Digital
    • Heavy Rain, PS4 — Digital
    • Ironcast, PS4 — Digital
    • McDroid, PS4 — Digital
    • Mortal Kombat XL, PS4 — Digital, Retail
    • Pirate Solitaire, PS Vita — Digital
    • Royal Defense: Invisible Threat, PS Vita — Digital
    • Screencheat, PS4 — Digital
    • Square Heroes, PS4 — Digital

    _______________________________________________________________________________________

    A life-long and avid gamer, William D'Angelo was first introduced to VGChartz in 2007. After years of supporting the site, he was brought on in 2010 as a junior analyst, working his way up to lead analyst in 2012. He has expanded his involvement in the gaming community by producing content on his own YouTube channel and Twitch channel dedicated to gaming Let's Plays and tutorials. You can contact the author at wdangelo@vgchartz.com or on Twitter @TrunksWD.

    Full Article - http://www.vgchartz.com/article/263432/new-playstation-releases-this-week-heavy-rain-ps4-mortal-kombat-xl/

  • scissors
    February 28th, 2016GamespotUncategorized

    Like many others I couldn’t wait to get my hands on Unravel after its unveiling at E3 last year. It oozed charm with its adorable protagonist and you couldn't help but be endeared by its creator's nervous passion. Now, however, Unravel has released and unfortunately it seems that its cuteness and charm is all it really has going for it.

    Unravel takes you on a journey through Sweden as Yarny, a little red woollen figure that has taken it upon himself to collect memories for a sad, lonely old lady. Throughout its 5-6 hour campaign Unravel has Yarny travelling back to all of this woman's favourite places and in the process tells an emotive story of love and loss.

    The platforming gameplay is a fairly simple affair, with basic physics puzzles taking centre stage. Because he’s made of string, Yarny has the ability to swing across branches, nails, and all manner of objects that you encounter on your travels using... well, himself, which is both cute and stylish. Not only can he swing from hooks but Yarny is also able to create bridges made of yarn that is anchored between two points. These bridges have two uses - firstly as simple bridges that allow you to cross impassable terrain but also as trampolines. 

    Yarny is limited in respect to how far he can move by how much string he has left. This is a superb gameplay mechanic in theory, but in practice it ends up feeling too contrived. Had the length been consistent throughout I’d have enjoyed it more, but as it stands it's used as a tool to arbitrarily restrict the player in certain places. You’ll barely be able to move five metres when completing some puzzles, but in other scenes Yarny will be able to move across an entire field without having to worry about the amount of string he has left.

    Yarny's abilities are novel and fun to use at first, but the gameplay quickly becomes repetitive and fails to evolve. Before long you'll be able to breeze through areas because you instantly know what's needed of you (just look for the glaringly obvious red string that points to a hook spot and you’re golden).

    Unravel is, unfortunately, a puzzle platformer that fails to challenge in any way, and while the controls are silky smooth for the most part, there is an annoying issue that happens when swinging from one hook point to another; Yarny will rise up the yarn rope ever so slightly and this can (and almost certainly will) result in deaths that feel unfair. 

    Fortunately Unravel it does impress in certain other respects, beyond its adorable protagonist. The cut scenes that you're often treated to for solving the game's admittedly basic puzzles, for example, are brilliant and serve as meaningful incentives to continue playing the game long after the gameplay itself has become staid.

    Unravel is also an absolutely stunning game to look at and easily one of the most realistic games I’ve seen recently. It also helps that the campaign manages to take place across multiple seasons, so artistically the development team was really able to go to town, throwing up stunning levels of detail and effects. Walking through a garden where every blade of grass has been lovingly rendered (including particles of dirt all over the place) is an absolute joy and I would pause sporadically to take in the small world as it shuddered in the wind. 

    It’s through the graphics and art style that I feel the vast majority of players will be enticed to the game in the first place. Both serve to really bring Yarny and his world to life, and to be brutally honest if it wasn't for this stunning level of attention to detail I'm not sure I would have been inclined to complete and then review the title, even though it is only a few hours long.

    As excited as I was to finally get my hands on Unravel, I can't help but feel let down. Artistically and graphically it is sublime, and initially at least there are some neat moments to behold, but the rest of the title including, crucially, the gameplay, simply does not hold up to scrutiny. 

    Full Article - http://www.vgchartz.com/article/263431/unravel-pc/

  • scissors
    February 28th, 2016GamespotUncategorized

    Dying Light was a surprise success last year, both critically and commercially. Developers Techland improved tremendously upon the Dead Island formula, tweaking combat, adding parkour, and creating a more serious narrative that proved to be a winning formula. Now, Techland brings us The Following, a full on expansion that began as simple DLC as part of the season pass, but quickly evolved into something “much more”. While this “much more” statement is up for debate, The Following is definitely worth your time and money. 


    The Following picks up directly after the events of the main game. Kyle Crane comes upon a man around the outskirts of the Harran, on the brink of death and rambling about a route out of the city and people who don’t turn after being infected. Intrigued and grasping at hopeful straws, Crane investigates only to discover that the stranger was telling the truth. With the stranger’s story being at least half true, Crane sets out searching for this seemingly immune group of people, but first must gain the trust of the common folk who are clearly keeping secrets.

    While Dying Light definitely had some great plot points (even if it was very cliched at times), The Following creates a more compact and compelling narrative, offering a fulfilling experience fuelled by a great cast of memorable characters. I found it much more interesting than seeing how the double agent turned caring hero cliche played out, as searching for a tribe of people that slowly seem to be more of an immune cult is much more intriguing. 


    Dying Light’s expansion takes place on one very large map that is a good deal larger than Harran itself. However, most of these areas are empty-ish farmlands that are clearly designed with the buggy in mind. Though there are other changes, like enhancements to multiplayer, tweaking of gameplay, and rooting out of glitches, The Following’s focus is the inclusion of the personal vehicle.

    There were of course ATV missions in the main campaign, but the expansion builds upon them, allowing you customize and upgrade your buggy. You will also have to make sure it doesn’t break down or run out of gas. The buggy is definitely a nice addition, as it gives you more options for zombie slaying and further opportunities to loot, with car parts and gasoline coming from other abandoned cars, vans or trucks. Yet, if you want your buggy to be a dependable beast in the field, you’ll have to grind out a good amount of hours.

    Considering the game’s formula, which heavily relies upon looting for items, upgrades and blueprints, having to constantly hop in and out of the buggy many, many times can break the atmosphere. It also doesn’t help that it’s only slightly slower to just spam the grappling hook to get around, and when there’s plenty of loot to be discovered it sometimes doesn’t pay to use the buggy at all, although you will occasionally be forced to. Unless you plan on very minimal looting, the only real benefit of the buggy is to cover long distances of flat farmland, and the constant switching between the buggy and being on foot every few feet for looting purposes becomes overly frustrating. 

    The Following is meant to be played after the main campaign, so you'll most likely have all of your skill trees maxed out, besides the buggy branch. In order to continue to make killing zombies or putting those parkour skills to use worthwhile, Techland has included a Legendary Tree that has a whopping 250 levels to it. Each level continues to boost stats, but at every 25 levels you'll get a cache of some new and interesting weapons and costumes. Some of the weapons are very reminiscent of Techland’s first zombie outing, Dead Island, with interesting combinations of different weaponry and quirky names.

    This feature has been added to all versions of Dying Light, not just the expansion, and it offers players a chance to enhance Kyle Crane. While it definitely injects even more replayability into the game, the rewards seem a bit lackluster since you'll most likely already be in possession of some of the most useful and powerful weapons that can be crafted or found. 


    One of the other big improvements comes to the Be the Zombie mode (Dying Light’s competitive multiplayer). Given how easy it was to take out a zombie player in the 3v1 mode previously, major balancing has been made in favor of the undead. Survivors can't simply win by just taking the zombie out anymore; they will have to destroy at least one Hive - where super zombies dwell - in order to win. Survivor equipment has also been nerfed a bit, with the grappling hook having a longer recharge time as well as other tweaks to give the zombie player more of a fighting chance. 

    The Following is the type of DLC/expansion that should be industry standard. Its additions to story and gameplay, as well as the tweaking of bugs and glitches from the main game, combine to form a truly entertaining expansion. While the buggy's inclusion and the Legendary skill tree may have needed a bit more forethought, The Following still provides well over 10 hours' worth of zombie slaying, “hardcore parkour” fun. If you were lucky enough to grab the season pass before the price hike, Dying Light: The Following is a steal at $20, but even at the current price of $30 it's still worth the price of admission if you're hankering for some zombie action. 

    Full Article - http://www.vgchartz.com/article/263430/dying-light-the-following-ps4/

  • scissors
    February 26th, 2016GamespotUncategorized

    The JRPG Bravely Second: End Layer is available today on the Nintendo 3DS in Europe. 

    View the launch trailer below:

     The game first released in Japan in April 2015 and it will release in North America on April 15th.

    _______________________________________________________________________________________

    A life-long and avid gamer, William D'Angelo was first introduced to VGChartz in 2007. After years of supporting the site, he was brought on in 2010 as a junior analyst, working his way up to lead analyst in 2012. He has expanded his involvement in the gaming community by producing content on his own YouTube channel and Twitch channel dedicated to gaming Let's Plays and tutorials. You can contact the author at wdangelo@vgchartz.com or on Twitter @TrunksWD.

    Full Article - http://www.vgchartz.com/article/263429/bravely-second-end-layer-out-now-in-europe/

  • scissors
    February 26th, 2016GamespotUncategorized

    Bethesda has announced in a new blog post the new Doom game will run at 60pfs and 1080p on all platforms.

    "We want players to wonder how Doom and idTech 6 games can be so visually stunning at 60 frames-per-second at 1080p on all platforms, when other titles cannot even achieve a similar look at 30 frames-per-second," said lead project programmer Billy Khan. "Our goal is to be the best-looking game at 1080p at 60fps."


    Doom releases on the PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Windows PC worldwide on Friday, May 13th.

    _______________________________________________________________________________________

    A life-long and avid gamer, William D'Angelo was first introduced to VGChartz in 2007. After years of supporting the site, he was brought on in 2010 as a junior analyst, working his way up to lead analyst in 2012. He has expanded his involvement in the gaming community by producing content on his own YouTube channel and Twitch channel dedicated to gaming Let's Plays and tutorials. You can contact the author at wdangelo@vgchartz.com or on Twitter @TrunksWD.

    Full Article - http://www.vgchartz.com/article/263428/doom-to-run-at-1080p60fps-on-all-platforms/

  • scissors
    February 26th, 2016GamespotUncategorized

    Nintendo has released the opening cinematic for Pokkén Tournament.

    View it below:

    Pokkén Tournament releases for the Wii U in North America and Europe on March 18.

    _______________________________________________________________________________________

    A life-long and avid gamer, William D'Angelo was first introduced to VGChartz in 2007. After years of supporting the site, he was brought on in 2010 as a junior analyst, working his way up to lead analyst in 2012. He has expanded his involvement in the gaming community by producing content on his own YouTube channel and Twitch channel dedicated to gaming Let's Plays and tutorials. You can contact the author at wdangelo@vgchartz.com or on Twitter @TrunksWD.

    Full Article - http://www.vgchartz.com/article/263427/pokken-tournament-opening-cinematic-released/

  • scissors
    February 26th, 2016GamespotUncategorized

    Nintendo and the Pokémon Company have confirmed the leak from yesterday, Pokémon Sun and Pokémon Moon are in development at the Nintendo Pokémon Direct this morning.

    The games will be released worldwide for the Nintendo 3DS in Holiday 2016.

     No other details about the games were released. 

    _______________________________________________________________________________________

    A life-long and avid gamer, William D'Angelo was first introduced to VGChartz in 2007. After years of supporting the site, he was brought on in 2010 as a junior analyst, working his way up to lead analyst in 2012. He has expanded his involvement in the gaming community by producing content on his own YouTube channel and Twitch channel dedicated to gaming Let's Plays and tutorials. You can contact the author at wdangelo@vgchartz.com or on Twitter @TrunksWD.

    Full Article - http://www.vgchartz.com/article/263426/pokemon-sun-and-moon-launches-holiday-2016-for-the-3ds/

  • scissors
    February 26th, 2016GamespotUncategorized

    This is a recurring point of debate in the video game community and it's one that has most recently raised its head again thanks to the launch of Firewatch, a beautiful adventure title (or 'walking simulator') that's generally been very well received despite its short run-time. The game's brevity has led to a large number of purchasers seeking refunds after completing the title.

    It’s no secret that Firewatch only lasts a few hours and can actually be completed in time to still claim a Steam refund, if you're so inclined. But that's not exactly all that surprising - this sub-genre of adventure titles generally plays host to short games due to their reliance on a very tight narrative which, if artificially extended, risks overstaying its welcome.

    Take, for example, this discussion thread on Steam, which began as follows:

    “So this game was 18$. I purchased it because i enjoyed games like this. And I enjoyed this game. Alot. Like, way more than a healthy amount. But it was 2-3 hours. I feel like there could of been more, and im thinking of refunding. But here is my problem: I loved this game. It was a unique game with awesome narration and storytelling. I like the developers. I mean seriously, have you seen how active they are on theese forums? What other dev is that connected to their community? I want to support the developers, but there was so much more i could of got with my 18$. Should i refund, or hold on to it?”

    It prompted Ben Kuchera from Polygon to pen a piece arguing that gamers shouldn't be entitled to refunds for games they've completed. He basically argues that narrative games like this should be as concise as possible, so that their stories are faithfully told and so that developers aren't incentivised to make poorer experiences, or to avoid the genre (and single player) altogether.

    I agree with Ben, to a point; as a developer if I spend a year working on a game that can nonetheless be completed in 10 minutes then of course I still want to be paid, assuming the short experience it does provide is good. But there is of course another side to the story: the customer's side. 

    About seven years ago I was a poor student. I could barely afford food, let alone games. Whenever I did have enough spare cash to purchase a game I would do so knowing that I would get value out of my purchase. Mediocre was fine, so long as I was able to spend countless hours entertaining myself in another world. 

    Being that stretched for money really forces you to look for value in everything. At the time I was also working in a model store (a dedicated store for plastic war models), and I just couldn’t understand why anybody would purchase a single model for say £1,000 when it had such limited use. This, at the time, seemed crazy to me.

    Everything becomes a calculation when you barely have enough money to live. £40 spent on a game divided by the 100 hours you can potentially spend enjoying it means it'd only cost me 40p an hour! That’s a bargain. Whereas a film for example would be terrible value for money: £8 divided by two hours translates to £4 an hour, which is terrible value. As narrow and limited as this perspective is, it's often how your brain works when you only have a few quid to your name.

    When gaming is your biggest love and hobby - the thing you use to fill the void between the next shift or class - you don’t so much need great experiences, just good value ones. If you were to purchase a game that is only four hours long and has limited replayability, like Firewatch, then it feels like a waste, even if it's high quality while it lasts, because you can only purchase a game every few months and have nothing to tide yourself over with in-between.

    Games mean different things to different people. To some, like Ben, they’re experiences to be had and anything that's less-than-incredible is a chore to play through. For others, they’re a distraction from the grind of everyday life or the go-to form of entertainment in-between sparse game purchases; complete one in a few hours and you have nothing to tide you over until you can afford one again.

    Those who write about video games in a professional capacity often lose sight of this. For them gaming often becomes that drudge that most day jobs quickly turn into for everyone else. They start to write not for wider gamers, but for themselves, their fellow writers, and developers. Their opinions come from positions of privilege and so average becomes bad, great becomes average, and anything that's not fantastic is a bit of a grind to work through so the shorter and sweeter it is the better.

    I say all of this because I've felt it slowly happen to me too. As my own circumstances have improved I've drifted away from seeking lengthy, high value games and towards high quality experiences. Game length is now my least sought after feature. But just because the term value for money has now morphed into something entirely different for me personally that doesn't mean I should forget my roots and the circumstances of a large percentage of gamers out there for whom game length is an important factor.

    Not all games have to be long. One of the strengths of our industry is its ability to cater to an absolutely massive number of different tastes and preferences. But to characterise a large chunk of the gaming community's concerns about game length as being pure, unadulterated over-entitlement and privilege is simplistic.

    Full Article - http://www.vgchartz.com/article/263425/a-games-length-and-its-value-for-money/

  • scissors
    February 26th, 2016GamespotUncategorized

    This is a recurring point of debate in the video game community and it's one that has most recently raised its head again thanks to the launch of Firewatch, a beautiful adventure title (or 'walking simulator') that's generally been very well received despite its short run-time. The game's brevity has led to a large number of purchasers seeking refunds after completing the title.

    It’s no secret that Firewatch only lasts a few hours and can actually be completed in time to still claim a Steam refund, if you're so inclined. But that's not exactly all that surprising - this sub-genre of adventure titles generally plays host to short games due to their reliance on a very tight narrative which, if artificially extended, risks overstaying its welcome.

    Take, for example, this discussion thread on Steam, which began as follows:

    “So this game was 18$. I purchased it because i enjoyed games like this. And I enjoyed this game. Alot. Like, way more than a healthy amount. But it was 2-3 hours. I feel like there could of been more, and im thinking of refunding. But here is my problem: I loved this game. It was a unique game with awesome narration and storytelling. I like the developers. I mean seriously, have you seen how active they are on theese forums? What other dev is that connected to their community? I want to support the developers, but there was so much more i could of got with my 18$. Should i refund, or hold on to it?”

    It prompted Ben Kuchera from Polygon to pen a piece arguing that gamers shouldn't be entitled to refunds for games they've completed. He basically argues that narrative games like this should be as concise as possible, so that their stories are faithfully told and so that developers aren't incentivised to make poorer experiences, or to avoid the genre (and single player) altogether.

    I agree with Ben, to a point; as a developer if I spend a year working on a game that can nonetheless be completed in 10 minutes then of course I still want to be paid, assuming the short experience it does provide is good. But there is of course another side to the story: the customer's side. 

    About seven years ago I was a poor student. I could barely afford food, let alone games. Whenever I did have enough spare cash to purchase a game I would do so knowing that I would get value out of my purchase. Mediocre was fine, so long as I was able to spend countless hours entertaining myself in another world. 

    Being that stretched for money really forces you to look for value in everything. At the time I was also working in a model store (a dedicated store for plastic war models), and I just couldn’t understand why anybody would purchase a single model for say £1,000 when it had such limited use. This, at the time, seemed crazy to me.

    Everything becomes a calculation when you barely have enough money to live. £40 spent on a game divided by the 100 hours you can potentially spend enjoying it means it'd only cost me 40p an hour! That’s a bargain. Whereas a film for example would be terrible value for money: £8 divided by two hours translates to £4 an hour, which is terrible value. As narrow and limited as this perspective is, it's often how your brain works when you only have a few quid to your name.

    When gaming is your biggest love and hobby - the thing you use to fill the void between the next shift or class - you don’t so much need great experiences, just good value ones. If you were to purchase a game that is only four hours long and has limited replayability, like Firewatch, then it feels like a waste, even if it's high quality while it lasts, because you can only purchase a game every few months and have nothing to tide yourself over with in-between.

    Games mean different things to different people. To some, like Ben, they’re experiences to be had and anything that's less-than-incredible is a chore to play through. For others, they’re a distraction from the grind of everyday life or the go-to form of entertainment in-between sparse game purchases; complete one in a few hours and you have nothing to tide you over until you can afford one again.

    Those who write about video games in a professional capacity often lose sight of this. For them gaming often becomes that drudge that most day jobs quickly turn into for everyone else. They start to write not for wider gamers, but for themselves, their fellow writers, and developers. Their opinions come from positions of privilege and so average becomes bad, great becomes average, and anything that's not fantastic is a bit of a grind to work through so the shorter and sweeter it is the better.

    I say all of this because I've felt it slowly happen to me too. As my own circumstances have improved I've drifted away from seeking lengthy, high value games and towards high quality experiences. Game length is now my least sought after feature. But just because the term value for money has now morphed into something entirely different for me personally that doesn't mean I should forget my roots and the circumstances of a large percentage of gamers out there for whom game length is an important factor.

    Not all games have to be long. One of the strengths of our industry is its ability to cater to an absolutely massive number of different tastes and preferences. But to characterise a large chunk of the gaming community's concerns about game length as being pure, unadulterated over-entitlement and privilege is simplistic.

    Full Article - http://www.vgchartz.com/article/263425/a-games-length-and-its-value-for-money/

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