Last week, ESPN President John Skipper said eSports aren't real sports. (Just don't tell him that ESPN3 streamed The International Dota 2 championship back in July.) Destiny became the most preordered new IP of all time. And GOG.com just turned six—happy birthday, Good Old Games.
[Because I'm posting this so late, here's what we played last weekend.]
Nathaniel Cohen, staff writer, @seven_hells
I've only managed to view two Destiny trailers—the teaser from, like, two-plus years ago and that fancy live-action one with the Led Zeppelin song. Nevertheless, I'll be playing it all week unless it's terrible. You see, I don't know. I barely know what it's about. I don't even get that "wizard that came from the moon" joke. All I know is Bungie and that the casting reminds me of Mass Effect. I've had a chaotic 18 months. Let's see if my gut is still as on point as it used to be.
Sean Colleli, staff writer, @scolleli
I've been digging through my old GameCube library and was feeling nostalgic, so I started replaying Samurai Jack: Shadow of Aku. It's really not a bad little game. Genndy Tartakovsky should make a movie, end the story, and give Jack (and his millions of fans) some closure for Pete's sake. I also sharpened up my Master Sword and jumped into Hyrule Warriors, and having never played a Dynasty Warriors game, it's an interesting experience so far. Stay tuned for my full review.
Charles Husemann, editor-in-chief, @chusemann
This past weekend was all about lowering the Wizard count on the moon and hopefully helping the rest of the guardians in Destiny take back our sector of space. I won't lie, Destiny doesn't do a lot of big new things, but it does have such a high level of polish that you don't see too often nowadays. The plot is probably a bit cut and dried for most people, but given all of the crap going on in the world it's nice to be able to focus on at least one black-and-white scenario to distract you from the outside world. It's classic Bungie storytelling, full of you becoming the hero that we all need to save the universe. I might get in a few rounds of MechWarrior Online for old times sake, but for now, Destiny is going to be getting a lot of my precious free time.
Randy Kalista, staff writer, @RandyKalista
Thank you, Hatoful Boyfriend, for showing me both how stellar and lazy Japanese otome visual novels can be. And thank you, Warlock: Master of the Arcane, for proving how hard it is to copy-paste the Civilization V model into a high fantasy setting. Also thank you, poor budgeting skills, for making it so I don't have a PlayStation 4 or Destiny this week; it'd been awhile since I'd cried bitter tears.
Jeff Kintner, staff writer, @JKTerrezas
Honestly, there's a new season of Trailer Park Boys on Netflix. I doubt I'll be doing much outside of that this week. If I do play a game, it'll be something I don't have to pay much attention to so I can watch Ricky, Julian, and Bubbles fail to con their way out of a paper bag with minimal distraction. I just got Heroes of Might and Magic for $3.00 off GOG.com, and I know that game backwards and forwards, so that might fit the bill.
Release dates are the kind of thing that usually get moved back and not up and it looks like the team at Techland have done the near impossible and moved up the release date for Dying Light.
Instead of releasing in February (against a murderer rows of other AAA titles) the game will now launch on January 27th. Travis and I really enjoyed our time with the game at E3 this year as the game mixes up the zombie game genre a bit with a fresh take on open worlds and different types of game play depending on the time of day. Be sure to check out this interview to get more info on what you can expect from the game.
Back in February, our own Randy said that, per Firefly Studios, Stronghold Crusaders 2 was going to be "done when it's done" and that meant Summer 2014.
Well here we are on the cusp of fall but still technically summer and Stronghold Crusaders 2 has gone gold. It will be out on Steam on September 23. Not technically summer, but it's close enough that we wont hold it against them.
In the meantime, check out the final dev diary and meet the Wolf.
Thankfully, we will get a week to breathe a little bit after Destiny took the world’s money last week. There are quite a few options this week, but most of them are digital, which will save you a little money in the long run. The PlayStation Network, in particular, is getting a nice influx with titles like Anomaly 2, Murasaki Baby, and the updated Kickbeat.
What’s on your list for this week?
Chivalry: Medieval Warfare, which has until now been exclusively PC is now being brought to PS3/Xbox 360 by Activision. Published originally as an indie game, and with around 2 million copies sold, it's garnered generally very favorable reviews with a focus on the combat mechanics being superb. No date has been set for release other than "later this year", but it's going to be 12 player action, which hopefully will translate to a fun downloadable title to pass some of the cold winter months.
When I first encountered Band Saga, I thought "Oh, an indie rhythm game. Cool." But then I watched the trailer. About twenty seconds in I was all "Wait...what?" and soon after that my tune changed to "WHAT. WHAT IS GOING ON. THIS IS AWESOME!"
Band Saga is an action adventure musical. Not the South Pacific kind of musical-it's a roguelike where the levels, enemies, and items are generated by music. As you play, you'll unlock more sounds and figure out how to modify the soundtrack to work the level generation in your favor.
The story follows a pair of friends looking to start a band, go on tour and become famous- intergalactic shenanigans ensue. If you like what you see in the trailer below, you really should check out their Kickstarter campaign. As of this writing, they've received a little over $9,000 of their $29,000 goal, with sixteen days left on the clock. Not quite halfway there, but not yet halfway through the funding period either.
If you like what you hear, you can stream the full album through their bandcamp page, and if you purchase it, you also get the 22 page comic that serves as a prequel for Band Saga. I just finished listening to it, it's good stuff. And it has some pretty sweet collaborations, including Disasterpeace (Fez, The Floor is Jelly), and Stemage (Metroid Metal).
Well it took another half a billion, but Microsoft is confirming that they are buying Mojang for $2.5 Billion dollars. That's an insane amount of money. Mojang has also confirmed the purchase (with a short FAQ) on their site. Mojang is confirming that Notch along with the two other founders of the company are leaving to do their own projects.
Not much else is said, but Microsoft is saying they will continue to have Minecraft on all current platforms. But, who knows how long support will last for non-Microsoft platforms. Let's hope they don't change that.
Gearbox has released a new developer diary for Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel which does a deep dive into all of the characters you're going to be playing in the game when it's released on October 14th.
Unlike the previous games this cast of characters is a bit more on the motley side which makes sense as they are working with Handsome Jack. Gearbox is doing some interesting things with this iteration of the Borderlands franchise as they have added a whip and a shield to the game. Sure it's their own twist but these kids of things are usually difficult to get right. I do have a bit of faith in Gearbox in this case as they tend to really do a good job with their own IP's and the previous games where so spot on. I guess we'll find out next month when the game is available.
One of the first games I had for my Apple //e was Lode Runner, a game where you tried to collect gold and avoid capture by guards who were constantly chasing you. The hook of the game was that you could dig holes in the ground in places to incapacitate the guards or to access other parts of the level. The graphics were pretty basic and while it wasn't a super complex game but it was a lot of fun. Lode Runner was also one of the first games to include a level editor to extend gameplay past what was shipped in the box.
I bring this up because the game's creator Douglas E Smith passed away over the weekend. The game has been remade more than a few times and the core concepts can be seen in a lot of modern day games.