XBox 360 Universe Straight from the source
  • scissors
    September 30th, 2017GamespotUncategorized

    It has been nearly one year since Sony launched the PlayStation VR and there are now more than 100 games that are compatible with the virtual reality headset.

    "It’s been almost one year since the launch of PlayStation VR! And in that time, PlayStation and its development partners have built a library of more than 100 games that cut across all genres… and created a few new ones in the process. To celebrate, we’re kicking off a new series of videos, the first of which you can watch above," said Mary Yee, Vice President of the PlayStation Marketing at SIEA.


    "We’re just getting started with this powerful new entertainment medium. This new video series expresses the physical sensations you experience when PS VR transports you to the amazing gaming worlds like Skyrim VR and Gran Turismo Sport."

    Here is a list of what is available on the PlayStation VR:

    Game TitlePublisherRelease
    Dreamworks: Voltron VR Chronicles Digital Domain Interactive September 26, 2017
    DWVR Perziur Slu September 26, 2017
    Light Tracer Oasis Games Limited September 26, 2017
    End Space Orange Bridge Studios Inc September 19, 2017
    Solus Grip Digital S.R.O. September 18, 2017
    Bloody Zombies NDreams Ltd September 13, 2017

     

    VR Karts Viewpoint Games Ltd September 12, 2017
    The Lost Bear Fabrik Games Ltd September 5, 2017
    Don’t Knock Twice Wales Interactive September 5, 2017
    Sparc CCP Games August 29, 2017
    Sneaky Bears War Ducks Ltd August 29, 2017
    Soul Dimension Time of Virtual Reality August 22, 2017
    Paranormal Activity: The Lost Soul VRWerx, LLC August 15, 2017
    Neptune Flux Zoxide Games August 8, 2017
     
    Dino Frontier Uber Entertainment August 1, 2017
    CastleStorm VR Edition Zen Studios August 1, 2017
    Theseus Forge Reply S.R.L. July 26, 2017
    Smashbox Arena Archiact Interactive Ltd July 25, 2017
    Tiny Trax FuturLab Limited July 25, 2017
    Heroes of The Seven Seas Time of Virtual Reality July 25, 2017
    Infinite Minigolf Zen Studios July 25, 2017
    Superhot VR Superhot Sp. z o.o. July 21, 2017
    The Idolm@ster Cinderella Girls Viewing Revolution Bandai Namco Games America Inc. July 18, 2017
    Manifest 99 Project Flight School Inc July 18, 2017
    Archangel Skydance Interactive LLC July 18, 2017
     
    Apollo 11 VR Immersive VR Education Ltd. July 12, 2017
    The Bellows Castle Steps LLC July 11, 2017
    Fantastic Contraption Radial Games Corp. July 11, 2017
    Arizona Sunshine Vertigo Games B.V July 5, 2017
    Spider-Man: Homecoming – VR Experience Sony Pictures Virtual Reality June 30, 2017
    Cavernous Wastes PouncingKitten Games LLC June 27, 2017
    Ancient Amuletor Time of Virtual Reality June 27, 2017
     
    Arizona Sunshine Launch Edition Vertigo Games B.V June 27, 2017
    Chess Ultra Ripstone LTD June 20, 2017
    Air Force Special Ops: Nightfall Sony Interactive Entertainment June 20, 2017
    Race the Sun Flippfly June 13, 2017 (VR Update)
    Special Delivery Meerkat Gaming LLC June 6, 2017
    Tekken 7 Bandai Namco Games America Inc. June 2, 2017
     
    Star Trek: Bridge Crew Ubisoft Entertainment May 30, 2017
    Dick Wilde PlayStack Limited May 16, 2017
    Farpoint Sony Interactive Entertainment May 16, 2017
    Moonshot Galaxy Big Fish Games May 9, 2017
    Polybius Llamasoft Ltd May 9, 2017
    Gnog Ko-Op Mode Inc. May 2, 2017
     
    Oasis Games Shooter VR Bundle Oasis Games Limited April 25, 2017
    Symphony of the Machine Stirfier Pty Ltd April 25, 2017
    Statik Tarsier Studios April 24, 2017
    Quiz Night Tonight! Mardonpol Inc April 21, 2017
    Bandit Six: Combined Arms Climax Studios Limited April 19, 2017
    HeroCade Lucid Sight, Inc. April 18, 2017
     
    VR Invaders – Complete Edition My.com B.V. April 18, 2017
    StarBlood Arena Sony Interactive Entertainment April 11, 2017
    Mortal Blitz Skonec Entertainment April 4, 2017
    Fated: The Silent Oath Frima Studio March 28, 2017
    Korix StellarVR Limited March 28, 2017
    Leave the Nest Kaio Interactive LLC March 14, 2017
     
    Darknet Archiact Interactive Ltd March 7, 2017
    Unearthing Mars Winking Skywalker Entertainment Limited March 7, 2017
    Dying: Reborn Oasis Games Limited February 28, 2017
    Psychonauts In The Rhombus Of Ruin Double Fine Productions February 21, 2017
    Mervils: A VR Adventure Vitruvius Technologies Inc. February 21, 2017
    DiRT Rally Plus PlayStation VR Bundle Codemasters Inc. February 17, 2017
     
    Joshua Bell VR Experience Sony Interactive Entertainment February 14, 2017
    VR Ping Pong Merge Games Limited February 7, 2017
    Dexed Ninja Theory Limited January 31, 2017
    Moto Racer 4 Anuman Interactive January 24, 2017
    Resident Evil 7 biohazard Capcom U.S.A., Inc. January 24, 2017
    Eve: Valkyrie CCP Games December 23, 2016
     
    Rollercoaster Dreams Bimboosoft December 20, 2016
    Fruit Ninja VR Halfbrick Studios Pty Ltd. December 20, 2016
    Lethal VR Team17 Software Ltd. December 20, 2016
    Fat City Heavy Iron Studios December 15, 2016
    Starship Disco Solus Games December 15, 2016
    Perfect NDreams LTD December 13, 2016
     
    I Expect You To Die Schell Games LLC December 13, 2016
    Werewolves Within Ubisoft Entertainment December 6, 2016
    Surgeon Simulator: Experience Reality Bossa Studios Limited December 3, 2016
    How We Soar Penny Black Studios Ltd November 29, 2016
    Crystal Rift Psytec Games Ltd November 29, 2016
    Pinball FX2 VR Zen Studios November 29, 2016
     
    NBA 2KVR Experience 2K November 22, 2016
    Gary the Gull Limitless Sky Squadron, LLC November 22, 2016
    HoloBall Treefortress Inc. November 22, 2016
    VirZoom Arcade VirZoom, Inc November 22, 2016
    Proton Pulse Plus ZeroTransform LLC November 22, 2016
    Space Rift – Episode 1 bitComposer Interactive GmbH November 15, 2016
     
    Time Machine VR Minority Inc. November 15, 2016
    Trackmania Turbo Ubisoft Entertainment November 11, 2016 (VR Update)
    Robinson: The Journey Crytek November 8, 2016
    Eagle Flight Ubisoft Entertainment November 8, 2016
    Call Of Duty: Infinite Warfare Jackal Assault VR Experience Activision November 4, 2016
    O! My Genesis VR Xpec Entertainment Inc. November 4, 2016
     
    Carnival Games VR 2K October 28, 2016
    Weeping Doll Oasis Games Limited October 27, 2016
    Windlands Psytec Games Ltd October 25, 2016
    Tethered Secret Sorcery Limited October 25, 2016
    Pixel Gear Oasis Games Limited October 20, 2016
    Sports Bar VR Cherry Pop Games October 18, 2016
    Waddle Home Archiact Interactive Ltd October 13, 2016
    Gunjack CCP Games October 13, 2016
    Rez Infinite Enhance Games October 13, 2016
    Headmaster Frame Interactive Studio LLC October 13, 2016
    Loading Human: Chapter 1 Maximum Games October 13, 2016
     
    The Assembly NDreams Ltd October 13, 2016
    Ace Banana Oasis Games Limited October 13, 2016
    Catlateral Damage Fire Hose Games October 13, 2016 (VR Update)
    Job Simulator Owlchemy Labs, Inc. October 13, 2016
    The Brookhaven Experiment Phosphor Games October 13, 2016
    Battlezone Rebellion October 13, 2016
    Hatsune Miku: VR Future Live Sega of America Inc. October 13, 2016
    RIGS Mechanized Combat League Sony Interactive Entertainment October 13, 2016
    Here They Lie Sony Interactive Entertainment October 13, 2016
    Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes Steel Crate Games, Inc. October 13, 2016
    Volume: Coda Bithell Games October 13, 2016
    World War Toons Beta Studio Roqovan, Inc. October 13, 2016
    Rise of the Tomb Raider: 20 Year Celebration Square Enix Co. Ltd. October 11, 2016
    Batman: Arkham VR Warner Bros. Interactive October 11, 2016
    EVE: Valkyrie CCP Games October 10, 2016
    Thumper Drool LLC October 10, 2016
    Harmonix Music VR Harmonix Music Systems, Inc October 10, 2016
    100ft Robot Golf No Goblin LLC October 10, 2016
     
    SuperHyperCube Polytron Corporation October 10, 2016
    The Playroom VR Sony Interactive Entertainment October 10, 2016
    Until Dawn: Rush of Blood Sony Interactive Entertainment October 10, 2016
    PlayStation VR Worlds Sony Interactive Entertainment October 10, 2016
    Tumble VR Sony Interactive Entertainment October 10, 2016
    Hustle Kings VR Sony Interactive Entertainment October 10, 2016
    Super Stardust Ultra VR Sony Interactive Entertainment October 10, 2016
    Wayward Sky Uber Entertainment October 10, 2016

     

    Driveclub VR Sony Interactive Entertainment September 21, 2016
    Nebulous Namazu Studios August 30, 2016
    Hatsune Miku: Project Diva X Sega of America Inc. August 30, 2016
    Bound Sony Interactive Entertainment August 16, 2016
    VEV: Viva Ex Vivo‎ Truant Pixel, LLC May 17, 2016

    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/269638/playstation-vr-surpasses-100-games/

  • scissors
    September 30th, 2017GamespotUncategorized

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

     

    Here is the full list of games:

    • Batman: The Enemy Within, PS4 — Retail
    • Battle Chasers: Nightwar, PS4 — Digital, Retail
    • Battle Garegga Rev.2016, PS4 — Digital
    • Detention, PS4 — Digital
    • Dragon’s Dogma: Dark Arisen, PS4 — Digital, Retail
    • Expand, PS4 — Digital
    • The Hunter: Call of the Wild, PS4 — Digital, Retail
    • Jydge, PS4 — Digital
    • Mystik Belle, PS4 — Digital
    • Save the Ninja Clan, PS Vita — Digita
    • Twin Robots, PS4, PS Vita — Digital (Cross Buy)
    • WRC 7, PS4 — Digital, Retail

    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/269637/new-playstation-releases-this-weekbatman-the-enemy-within-dragons-dogma-dark-arisen/

  • scissors
    September 30th, 2017GamespotUncategorized

    Square Enix has released a set of screenshots and concept art of Left Alive

    Left Alive will launch for the PlayStation 4 and Windows PC via Steam in 2018.

    View the rest of the screenshots below:

     

    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/269636/more-left-alive-screenshots-and-concept-art-released/

  • scissors
    September 30th, 2017GamespotUncategorized

    Publisher Aksys Games announced School Girl/Zombie Hunter will launch for the PlayStation 4 on November 17 in North America.


    Here is an overview of the game:

    Set in the Onechanbara universe and taking place at the prestigious “Kirisaku High School” (known for its balanced curriculum of sports and academics), this is a story of survival: five students cut off from the outside world and surrounded by a seemingly endless flood of ravening zombie hordes.

    Working together and on their own, each of the five characters has their own trials, tribulations, and triumphs as they all strive for common goals: find the source of the undead infestation, annihilate them with overpowering weaponry and fashionable undergarments, and put an end to this crisis.

    Key Features:

    • Crush the Dead – Choose one of five heroines and deal out devastating levels of carnage to waves of zombies using a vast array of weapons, explosives, traps, and frilly underwear!. With enemies ranging from the fast and squishy to the strong and lumbering, you’ll need your wits (and a full array of heavy weaponry) to survive!
    • Tactical Fashion – Use various bits of clothing to lure, confuse, and destroy your enemies. Leave your uniform behind in order to execute a quick escape or drop your unmentionables on the ground to draw enemies together for a devastating ambush.
    • Squad Up With Friends – School Girl/Zombie Hunter’s online multiplayer modes allow for up to FIVE people to join together to take on the zombie hoards. Remember: the family that slays (zombies) together stays together!
    • A Horde of Single Player Content – In addition to a story mode, there are a plethora of different missions available to test your skills, nerves, and attachment to your clothes! Choose from Annihilation, Reach the Goal, Base Defense, Time Endurance, Cover Snipe, or Boss Defeat.

    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/269635/school-girlzombie-hunter-coming-to-north-america-in-november/

  • scissors
    September 29th, 2017GamespotUncategorized

    Welcome to the first edition of an entirely new article series simply titled Forgotten Gems. As the name implies, this series will focus on genuinely great games that for one reason or another have been largely forgotten in the years after their release. In each instalment I will cover the story behind one game, why it failed to achieve the kind of commercial or critical success it deserved, and why it should be remembered today as a genuinely great game.

    Before we get started, a few rules are necessary. First, the game has to be at least 10 years old at the time of writing. Second, although there are no limits to how critically or commercially successful the game was upon release to be considered forgotten or overlooked today, naturally games that failed to achieve notable commercial success are more likely to be seen as such. Third, the term forgotten should naturally not be taken literally - these are simply games that the majority of people have not played or even heard of, but it's still certainly possible that you'll have come across some of the games in these articles.

    Finally, all of this is just my personal opinion. Every game I cover in these articles has been chosen because I feel like it deserves more exposure and attention. If you disagree with my assessment of a certain game, that is perfectly fine, but I'd still encourage you to share your thoughts on the game in the comments section. With that out of the way, let's get started.

     

    Freespace 2 – Volition's First Masterpiece

     

    Volition is today best known as the developer of the Red Faction and Saints Row franchises, and is often seen as one of the premier western video game developers, but back in the late 90s the company's greatest claim to fame was a duo of space-combat simulator games on PC. The first of these was Descent: Freespace – The Great War, which was released in 1998, and the second was its exceptional sequel which came out the following year. The latter is the game I'm covering in this article - Freespace 2.

    Freespace 2 takes place 32 years after the events of Descent: Freespace. The war against the mysterious alien race known as the Shivans decimated almost the entire human and Vasudan races, and forced the two to form a shaky alliance in order to have a chance of survival. After the final battle in the first game, where the Shivans' most powerful warship was destroyed, humanity's only path to Earth was also lost. Immediately after their loss the Shivans disappeared without an explanation.

     

    By the beginning of Freespace 2 the Terran-Vasudan alliance has remained intact. However, a splinter group within the human fleet calling itself the Neo-Terran Front despises the alliance and has incited a rebellion to end it. This has led to a continued war effort between the two forces, while the possible threat of a new Shivan invasion constantly looms over the horizon.

    After the success of the first Freespace, the sequel was quickly put into production with an extremely tight schedule mandated by Interplay, as they wanted to capitalize on the brand as quickly as possible. As a result Freespace 2 was fast-tracked to completion in less than a year, and was even finished ahead of the planned schedule.

    The good news was that upon release the game received glowing reviews from virtually every outlet. It also received numerous game of the year awards at the end of the year and was even listed amongst the greatest games of all time by some outlets. Unfortunately, this didn't translate to good sales; within its first six months of availability Freespace 2 sold just 26,000 copies.

     

    Why Was Freespace 2 Forgotten?

     

    By the time Volition had completed Freespace 2, its parent company Interplay was in great financial difficulties, and unlike with the first Freespace which had been marketed quite extensively before release, the sequel was released with barely any effort spent to build hype for it. Add to this the fact that, although Volition had great interest in creating expansions and add-ons for the game, Interplay simply told them to stop any development of further content for the title, and Freespace 2 was doomed to fail even before its release.

    Freespace 2 was also given much less focus than another Interplay published title that came out just a few months prior, namely Descent 3, which was in general given much greater attention by the publisher, both prior and after its launch. This drastically overshadowed Volition's title and forced it into a position where it was nearly impossible to succeed.

     

    Soon after, in 2000, Volition was bought by THQ, while the rights to the Freespace franchise remained with Interplay, effectively putting the franchise to rest for good as Interplay had very little interest in continuing working on it. Making things even more unfortunate was the fact that Freespace 2 ends on a cliffhanger - one which will likely forever go unresolved.

    Ultimately, Freespace 2 was sadly pushed out in record time by a publisher who had no intention of giving it a chance at retail. Volition created a game I still consider the best they've ever made, only to be forced to watch it crash and burn completely out of their control. Volition has since moved on to other projects, while Interplay has done nothing with the IP they still hold the rights to. The blame for this particular failure can be laid squarely on Interplay for their mishandling of every aspect of the game's release and the IP in general.

     

    What Makes Freespace 2 Still Worth Remembering?

    To this day I consider Freespace 2 among the finest examples of storytelling in video games. It succeeds in creating an atmosphere of near constant uncertainty, as the player is essentially just one small part of a vast conflict spanning dozens of star systems. The missions truly feel like a part of a massive conflict where anything can happen without warning, as the three factions constantly struggle to shift the balance of power in their favour. The scale of the war inspires awe, as you hear news from other battles taking place in other star systems and suddenly see giant warships jump in front of you from subspace without a moment's notice.

    The game succeeds by being constantly unpredictable, forcing players to adapt to sudden changes during missions. Freespace 2 is an example of a title where the only certainty is that nothing is certain. During any mission the original plan can suddenly go completely wrong when the game throws something new at the player without a warning. There are even branching storylines, depending on whether the player succeeds in certain tasks or not. A failure to protect a flagship can mean that later missions will have to be undertaken without its presence, for example.

     

    In addition, within the overarching story that focuses on the massive conflict, the game still manages to create some genuinely interesting characters to anchor the game's plot around, most notably the leader of the Neo-Terran Front, Admiral Aken Bosch, who over the course of the game becomes an almost mythical figure through his actions and the log entries you're shown. They create an image of a supremely talented and intelligent person who feels betrayed by the creation of the alliance between humanity and the Vasudans. He is the catalyst for most of the game's events, and drives the entire conflict forward through his actions.

    The gameplay is, still, almost 20 years later, near peerless within its genre. Just the normal gameplay with the player piloting a ship and fighting against enemy fleets feels extremely satisfying, but what elevates it even further is everything going on around the player during all of this. Freespace 2 features some of the most impressive space battles in video game history, as massive capital ships tear each other to pieces with beam cannons that split the battlefield in half. There were moments where I found myself just staring at two gigantic warships fighting, while dozens of fighters and bombers try to outmanoeuvre their opponents around them.

     

    Graphically, Freespace 2 has naturally aged a fair bit over the years, but thanks to the efforts of the game's loyal fans there are now numerous free and easily accessible mods which update the visuals considerably. The soundtrack, on the other hand, has more than held up and includes some beautifully haunting tracks that suit the mood and atmosphere of the game perfectly.

    The space combat simulator as a genre went largely extinct for many years at the turn of the millennium and Freespace 2 was for a long time one of its last true great masterpieces. It is one of the few games that, for me at least, never loses its impact no matter how many years pass. If you're even slightly interested in this type of game, give Freespace 2, and its predecessor as well, a chance. It is the best game in its genre even today as far as I'm concerned, and fortunately is very easily, and cheaply, available these days on both Steam and GoG (although I recommend the latter as the Steam version has some issues preventing the game from working sometimes).

     

    Freespace 2 is a true forgotten gem; a title that received excellent reviews upon release, but for reasons out of the dev team's control failed to attract a significant audience despite this critical praise. Freespace 2 should be remembered alongside other classics released around the turn of the millennium, but instead it has remained a humble favourite for the few people who were lucky enough to encounter it 18 years ago on store shelves.

     

    Are there any games you think should get more recognition? Leave a suggestion in the comments and it might get covered in one of these articles. Also, feel free to share feedback on the article series in general.

    Full Article - http://www.vgchartz.com/article/269631/forgotten-gems-1-freespace-2/

  • scissors
    September 29th, 2017GamespotUncategorized

    Sony's eighth generation home console, the PlayStation 4, has surpassed 25 million units sold in Europe, according to our estimates. You can view the sales figure at the VGChartz Germany Weekly Chart.

    The PlayStation 4 reached the milestone for the week ending July 29, 2017. The console sold 70,161 units to bring its lifetime sales to 25,063,097 units. There have also been 177,680,361 games sold for the PlayStation 4 at retail in Europe.

     

    Breaking down the sales by region console has sold an estimated 4,586,648 units in the UK, 4,500,813 units in Germany, and 3,500,665 units in France. 

    Looking at the software sales for the PlayStation 4 in Europe: four games have sold more than five million units; 19 games have sold more than two million units; and 45 games have sold more than one million units.

     

    FIFA 17 is the top selling PlayStation 4 game at retail in Europe with an estimated 8.18 million units sold. Grand Theft Auto V has sold 8.17 million units and Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 has sold 6.17 million units. 

    FIFA 16 has sold 6.16 million units, followed by FIFA 15 with sales of 4.33 million units. Battlefield 1 has sold 3.75 million units, Star Wars Battlefront has sold 3.67 million units and Fallout 4 has sold 3.62 million units. 

    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/269630/ps4-sales-top-an-estimated-25-million-units-in-europe/

  • scissors
    September 29th, 2017GamespotUncategorized

    Knack II is such an oddity in the PlayStation landscape. With big-budget visceral action games like God of War, Spider-Man, and Days Gone on the horizon, a colorful platform-brawler with a cartoon mascot seems out of place — archaic even. Yet here we are, with the sequel no one asked for. Overall, Knack II is competent enough. It's polished, it's substantial, it's fine in small doses. It just never transcends mediocrity. Knack II fails to capitalize on its most provocative gameplay dynamic — shrinking and expanding in size — and relies on a lot of recycled level designs and tired puzzles to pad out its running time.

    Those who skipped the first Knack, which launched alongside PS4 in November 2013, will have no problem following the sequel's story. The world of men is once again under threat from goblin forces, this time from the long-forgotten High Goblins and their army of robotic warriors. Players will join Lucas and his best friend Knack, a sentient being created from ancient relics, as they jet from location to location trying to halt the mechanical menace in its tracks.

    The story in Knack II is forgettable at best and amateurish at worst. The characters are dull and unfunny, the situations hopelessly hackneyed, and the "twists" eminently predictable. The dialog is especially bad. This is the kind of game where the villain says, without a drip of irony, "today the capital, tomorrow the world!" 

    Luckily, the game's mechanics and gameplay loops are more satisfying than its narrative. Knack II is two-thirds a brawler and one-third a 3D platform game, and in both areas it delivers serviceable products. Combat is simple, but fun, and there are enough environmental puzzles to keep players' neurons firing. The problem is that Knack II contains enough ideas for a six-hour game and it lasts as many as 12 on a first play-through.

    For the first few chapters of the game, things run smoothly. Knack has a handful of basic punches, kicks, and dodge moves, which he can use to defeat goblins, robots, and other hostile creatures. A handy shield can be deployed with perfect timing to deflect enemy projectiles. Again, it's simple but fun. Enemies come in different shapes and sizes, and take on enough new offensive and defensive postures throughout the game to keep players involved. Puzzles, too, are engaging. They include challenges like moving blocks into position, exploiting Knack's ability to absorb different elemental powers, and shrinking down to miniature size to move past road blocks.

    These size-based puzzles are some of the best in the game. In fact, whenever Knack II asks players to manipulate Knack's size — with a press of the R1 button Knack sheds the modular ancient relics that make up his hulking form — the game shines. Only in his smallest form can Knack find hidden treasure chests spirited away across the game's 15 chapters. Weirdly, though, opportunities for shape-shifting are limited mostly to scripted or linear segments. Weirder still, they're virtually non-existent in combat scenarios.

    This marks a huge missed opportunity. Think of Ant-Man, the Marvel superhero who fights by dancing about the battlefield in microscopic form, only to return to normal human size at the moment of attack, landing blows with the full force of his body weight. Knack II could have leveraged its most interesting mechanic into combat, but it doesn't. Think also of boss battles in Minish Cap or Drill Dozer, or even Sony's own God of War II, where the player character has to take down a giant enemy from the inside. These opportunities are largely absent from Knack II, although the game flirts with the idea in chapter 13, when a tiny Knack scales a titanic robot, a la Shadow of the Colossus.

    Missed opportunities aside, Knack II simply overstays its welcome. The game has a lot of filler. The same combat experiences pop up again and again, and puzzles mastered chapters earlier repeat in the game's second half. In two unique instances, Knack spends an entire chapter climbing to the top of a city or installation, only to be thrown from it and tasked with climbing it again. Most egregiously, chapter 13-2 is an exact replica of chapter 1-1.

    If you as a player don't mind the repetition, Knack II actually offers quite a breadth of content. The game's 15 chapters take about 12 hours to beat. There are lots of hidden treasure chests with power-up parts to find, and a bunch of chapter-specific medals to unlock. Once finished, a new game+ option opens up. Moreover, the entire game can be played with a friend in couch-co-op. 

    Maybe a Knack III would elevate the series, but as of right now Knack stands as one of the most aggressively average and forgettable Sony first-party franchises. It works as a suitable Skylanders or LEGO substitute, acceptable for families and local co-op aficionados, but never manages to separate itself from the pack. Credit goes to Sony Japan Studio for building in to the game a lot of content, both in-game and post-game, but there isn't enough meat here to justify the running time. Knack II banks on simple, reliable ideas that are fine in tiny bites but tiring in large doses. Its most engaging mechanic — Knack's ability to expand and contract — is unfortunately underused, or limited to scripted moments. 

    Full Article - http://www.vgchartz.com/article/269472/knack-ii-ps4/

  • scissors
    September 29th, 2017GamespotUncategorized

    It's rare for a game to capture the essence of martial arts combat.  The fluidity, precision, and spirit are often challenging to convincingly portray.  Indie developer Sloclap is the latest to attempt this feat and largely succeeds at showing off the complexity of martial arts combat.  Of course, there's more to a successful martial arts game than authenticity.  Fortunately, Sloclap understands this and has successfully created a challenging and deep game in Absolver that blends parts of other games to forge its own identity.  However, hampering issues keep it from being a remarkable title.

    Although Sloclap is an indie developer made up of former Ubisoft members, amongst others, the presentation of Absolver maintains a high quality through most of the experience.  The open world of the ruined Adal Empire is beautifully realized.  Players will journey through shattered towns, fallen buildings, murky swamps, and more on their quest to become an Absolver.  The interconnected environments all have unique visuals with an interesting style that really helps engage the player.  My only gripe with the environments is that I wish there were more to see and explore.

     

    A key drawback for the visuals in Absolver are the character models themselves.  What's there is well done but after a few encounters with common enemies and players, they seem to blend together with little to differentiate them.  You can equip different pieces of armour but as of now options are limited and they all share the same dull colours.  Sloclap has promised to help alleviate this in future updates but as of now character models are repetitive.  One part of the visuals that stands out are the fight animations.  They are fluid and smooth and clearly prove the developers took care in ensuring they were authentic.  
     
    Much like the visuals, Absolver’s sound design is strong but more variety would help.  The sounds of combat are particularly praiseworthy, providing satisfying feedback to your actions.  Music seldom plays but when it does it is evocative and effectively draws players into the world of the fallen Adal Empire.
     
    Absolver’s presentation supports a game that is an interesting blend of genres which easily stands out in today’s market.  At its core, it's an action RPG that focuses on melee combat.  As such, fighting through the interconnected areas actually reminded me a bit of the Souls series.  Overcoming opponents requires awareness of your surroundings and responding to their actions accurately.  You need to know when to go on the offense and when to play more defensively.

     

    Like other RPGs, when enough enemies are defeated, you’ll gain experience to level up and enhance your stats.  However, to learn new moves you actually have to block or dodge moves enemies use on you enough times to unlock them.  Once you've learned these moves, you can deploy them like you would in a card game with a Combat Deck.  With the right combination of move sets matched up to one of four stances, you can chain together more effective combos.  The system here is very robust and allows for a high degree of customization.
     
    Of course, experimenting with the Combat Deck would be little fun if Absolver's actual combat was lacking.  Fortunately, Sloclap clearly dedicated a lot on this particular part of the game.  Beginners can have fun mashing the two main attack buttons but the combat is deep enough that once you start understanding the intricacies of deploying proper move sets to unleash devastating combos, you can get so much more out of it.  Add in different move sets for weapons, abilities to unlock, various fighting styles, as well as a blocking, dodging and feinting system and you have all the makings of a complex and deep fighting game.
     
    Utilizing all of these complex systems through the short campaign is often necessary, particularly against tougher bosses.  There is a story which is told indirectly, but it is generally forgettable and lasts about 6 to 8 hours. It really only serves as an introduction to the game.  You can choose to tackle the campaign with other players cooperatively or against them through a seamless multiplayer which adds an element of unpredictability.  When you’re done with the campaign, you do have the ability to open your own fight school which other players can join, enabling them to use your Combat Deck.  Overall, though, there is actually very little to do on your own or even cooperatively.

     

    Fortunately, dueling against other players is often exciting and gives you a good sense of progression.  Even after many hours of PvP battles, there’s bound to be something you can learn and help you improve thanks to the depth of the systems.  A drawback for this mode is that the servers were inconsistent early after launch.  This has somewhat settled but there’s clearly still work to do.  Unfortunately, as of now, only 1 vs. 1 battles are available.  Sloclap has promised plenty of free post-launch content for Absolver, including a 3 vs. 3 mode, ranked matches, and a spectator mode, along with new moves and martial arts styles which will give players much more to do.
     
    Even though I wish there was more to do, particularly in the PvE modes, I enjoyed my time with Absolver.  The combat systems are deep and mesh together well, ensuring you can spend hours creating your perfect Combat Deck and learning from your encounters.  Environments are gorgeous, engaging, and really portray a fallen empire effectively.  However, the character models do need more variety and the sound design could be stronger.  Overall, though, Absolver’s core systems are very strong and I am eagerly looking forward to revisiting the Adal Empire when Sloclap drops new content.

    Full Article - http://www.vgchartz.com/article/269619/absolver-pc/

  • scissors
    September 29th, 2017GamespotUncategorized

    Nintendo announced it will shut down the Wii Shop Channel for the original Wii on January 31, 2019. Users will also no longer be able to add Wii Points to their account starting on March 27, 2018. 

     

    Nintendo did add that users can still re-download WiiWare and Virtual Console titles that have already been purchased and can transfer the games from the Wii to the Wii U. However, that service will shut down sometime in the future. The games will still be playable as long as they are not deleted.

    Thanks Gematsu.

    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/269629/wii-shop-channel-to-shut-down-on-january-31-2019/

  • scissors
    September 29th, 2017GamespotUncategorized

    Electronic Arts and DICE have released a new trailer for Star Wars Battlefront II titled Single Player Story Scene.

    View it below:

    "Iden Versio faces the reality of the Emperor's demise and receives her first assignment in this cutscene from Star Wars™ Battlefront™ II's thrilling single-player campaign."

    Star Wars Battlefront II will launch for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Windows PC on November 17.

    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/269628/star-wars-battlefront-ii-gets-single-player-story-scene-trailer/

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