YouTube has rolled out support for videos at both 720p and 1080p running at 60 frames per second. What does this mean? It means much smoother video replay.
Pulling up this recording of Mario Kart 8, you can see how much smoother it is once you select one of the two higher FPS settings. To be honest, I was surprised at how much better this video looked both on my computer and on my phone. You can see for yourself flipping back and forth between 480p and 720p60. It's a pretty big difference not only in resolution, but smoothness.
I'm sure there will be plenty of gamers out there taking advantage of this feature to show off their skills so bring on the new era of high FPS videos!
In a letter to fans today Techland announced that they will not be releasing their upcoming zombie game Dying Light for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. Techland cites the difficulty of getting the game to run at their standards on last generation hardware as the reason for the change. This means that the game will only be available for PC, PlayStation 4, and the Xbox One.
I guess this comes as no real surprise given how complex the game was and it seems like Techland just didn't want to invest the effort into a version of the game that didn't meet their vision of the game which is totally understandable.
Part of me thinks does that there is a spreadsheet somewhere where the cost to finish the game for last generation consoles is in one cell and in another cell is the projected revenue from the copies of the PS3/Xbox 360 versions of the game but that's just the project manager in me. Either way the game does look really good from what we saw at E3 earlier this year and you'll be able to play the game on January 27, 215.
Just for full disclosure, I haven’t played the NES Remix series yet, so maybe I wasn’t the best option to assess the new compilation coming to Wii U this holiday. That said, from where I stand they have a very strong little collection on their hands and the pack is a good place to jump in if you missed it last year.
The premise is largely unchanged from the original, individual releases: it’s a minigame collection steeped in 8-bit nostalgia, reworking many of the iconic titles for the Nintendo Entertainment System into rapid-fire microgames. The concept is very similar to the long-running WarioWare series, but I found myself warming to NES Remix much faster. WarioWare has always been sprinkled with copious references to Nintendo history, but I personally found it hard to get into because it’s just so bizarre and at times a little crude. With NES Remix, I know these games already; it’s easy for me to get right at home with the mechanics and controls.
Of course it’s not called remix for nothing. If you aren’t familiar with the series, these microgames often mix up the classic NES titles with new challenges, modes, and even crossovers between different games. The game might challenge you to play the first level of Super Mario Bros backwards or in the dark, or you might have to play a classic Donkey Kong board as Link…who can’t jump. Fans have been working this idea for years now, with ROM hacks like Super Mario Crossover or Mushroom Kingdom Fusion, but it’s awesome to see Nintendo finally step up to the plate and put their distinctive stamp on a retro remix collection.
The Remix Pack collects both previous games into one bundle, with a new Championship mode that finally adds the much-requested leaderboards to the first game. I think it’s curious that Nintendo is releasing this game as full retail—it seems perfect to stay in the download-only arena—but then again it could also be a perfect conversation starter too, and might even influence sales of the Wii U this holiday. After all, nostalgia is a powerful force. If your friends, significant other or even parents are visiting for dinner and they see NES Remix Pack on your shelf, who could resist sitting down for a few rounds, and then maybe rushing out to secure it as a stocking stuffer?
Fans of Wayforward Technologies’ Shantae series are nothing if not patient. After the original cult hit on the Game Boy Color in 2002 (Gil Ruta proudly declares that he owns a rare copy mint in the box), fans had to wait an agonizing eight years for Wayforward to release a sequel on DSiWare. While the wait between games is getting shorter, it’s still puzzling that a retro 2D sidescroller series takes so long between installments; Shantae and the Pirate’s Curse just hit the eShop, four whole years after the previous game.
One could forgive Wayforward for the wait because to be fair, the studio is a master of 2D sidescrollers and evocative, expressive sprite art in particular. The Shantae series has always possessed a mildly bawdy, anime-esque pin-up calendar look, but the flirtatious and playfully provocative art style is instantly memorable. That art style is smoother and more refined than ever in Pirate’s Curse; the half-genie hero and her collection of eccentric enemies and allies look the best they have since the first game, and the stereoscopic 3D plays a big role in that.
Enemies will leap onto the stage from the foreground, boss battles have impressive projectile effects that stand out, and even the character portraits displayed during conversations have subtle depth and contour. It’s amazing that a 2D game can have so much texture, especially when the majority of the graphics are intentionally drawn in an affectionately pixelated, 16-bit design. This is one of the few games you’ll want to keep the 3D slider turned all the way on for the entire playthrough.
Pirate’s Curse is not just pretty graphics however, as I got a distinctly Metroid Fusion vibe during my demo, with a healthy amount of Castlevania’s storytelling thrown in for good measure. The game is far more of an adventure this time, with welcome backtracking enabled by unlockable items and abilities replacing the animal transformation mechanic from previous titles. In my demo, I experienced stout but not unfair challenge, making me wish I had more time with the game.
When the first Shantae arrived on the scene, it stood out because outside of Nintendo’s stalwart offerings, 2D platformers were a relative scarcity. Pirate’s Curse, then, represents the current cream of the crop, as the genre is now bursting with indie mediocrity and pale ripoffs of a handful of decent titles. With Limbo, Meat Boy and The Swapper leading the charge, too many platformers are shallow imitators presenting needlessly unfair difficulty just for the sake of being “old school” hard. Even worse are the pretentious, faux-subversive “press X to ponder the meaninglessness of existence” walking tours. Hopefully, Shantae and the Pirate’s Curse can remind gamers of the genre’s roots: stiff but fair difficulty, gorgeous, lovingly crafted art and most importantly a playful, winking sense of humor.
Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare releases this coming Monday if you pre-ordered the game, and Tuesday for everyone else, and of course there will be a season pass available for the game. The season pass will run you $49.99 (ridiculous) and will include four DLC packs, early access to DLC weapons and Atlas Gorge, a bonus multiplayer map which will be available immediately at launch.
I gotta be honest, I do not like the fact that a map is exclusive to this Season Pass. First of all you are going to be splitting the player base on launch day and there is also the fact that we don't know what we are getting with the season pass.
I personally do not but a season pass unless I know everything that I am getting. If it's some description like "get two exclusive add ons" without knowing exactly what is in them, then I won't buy it. I am going to do the same thing with Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare. If I do buy the season pass, it probably won't be until sometime next year when the final DLC pack is announced and I know all that I will be getting.
Halloween is my favorite time of year. The leaves change, the weather is comfortably cool, the holiday is an excuse to eat candy and dress up in silly costumes, and the Nintendo Airstream makes its annual visit to Columbus, Ohio. It’s always fun to see what Nintendo has planned for the winter buying season, and their PR rep Gil Ruta is a pleasure to talk to.
I’ve talked with a lot of PR people over the years and while they all take their job seriously, to most of them it was just that: a job. To Gil it’s a lifelong passion; he’s been with Nintendo for over a decade and he’s a respectable gamer and game collector in his own right, so he always knows what he’s talking about. It’s refreshing to interact with a PR rep who not only knows his products inside and out, but also knows the background, history and context, especially where Nintendo fans are concerned because he is one.
Case in point, Gil was pretty jazzed to show off the new Amiibo figurines that Nintendo has been promoting since E3. I got my hands on four non-functioning prototypes—Mario, Donkey Kong, Princess Peach and Yoshi—and while I couldn’t scan them into Smash Bros yet, it was still awesome to turn them around in my hands. The sculpting is excellent, capturing each character in a signature pose. There’s tons of little details worked into the figures, liked the rippling on Mario’s fireball, DK’s shaggy fur or the embroidery on Peach’s dress. Each one is also mounted on a base proudly displaying the Smash Bros emblem; these are basically the collectable trophies that have been a series mainstay since Melee, made incarnate.
The paint apps are very well done, which is a relief because that’s usually where these kinds of products fall down. There wasn’t any bleeding or sloppy overspill and the colors are just right. I’m looking forward to getting the Samus figure and seeing how the metallic finish looks on her armor. Each figure weighs about the same as a Skylander of Disney Infinity figurine, and while both Disney and Activision have a head start on their lines you wouldn’t know it from the overall quality of the Amiibos.
I’ve said this before but up until now I’ve been pretty disinterested in the toy-to-game crossover. It’s been many years since I was a toy-crazy little kid and in any case, I have very little nostalgia invested in the relentlessly marketed Disney mascots and even less for the never-ending parade of new Skylanders. While I appreciate the passion that Toys for Bob and Vicarious Visions have for the Skylanders, the new Trap Team gimmick seems particularly greedy.
I fully admit to a strong bias towards Nintendo. I’ve loved these characters for a long time so I’m naturally more inclined to buy the figures. That said, there also seems to be a lot more value here. I don’t have to buy a glowy, plasticy portal that clutters up my already crowded entertainment center and makes my friends question my social maturity. Instead, I can just scan straight to the GamePad or, eventually, the New 3DS. Even better, the figures are fully compatible between software. Each new Skylanders or Disney Infinity game seems like little more than an excuse to sell more toys with new gimmicks, but that Yoshi figure will work just as well with Mario Kart 8 as it does with the new Smash Bros.
I have no illusions; I expect Nintendo to release exclusive figures for new games, and I shudder to think about how exploitative the inevitable Pokemon Amiibo will be. But for now, at least, it seems like they aren’t trying to break the bank, and at $12.99 each, the Amiibo are at least priced competitively. A final word of warning, however. Gil mentioned that current preorders suggest that Amiibo might be pretty scarce this holiday. If you want to get in on the ground floor, it might be a good idea to get those orders in now.
This week's entry of in forms in Fifa 15 FUT is lead by a great group of strikers, of which Karim Benzema of Real Madrid leads the way with an 86 rated in form. Accompanying him up top are Gonzalo Higuaín, the Argentinian hero of the world cup semi final with an 85 overall, and two nice entries at CAM from forwards. Samuel Eto'o of Everton for a 2 goal performance over the weekend and Alexis Sanchez of Arsenal, which will make a great CAM or ST addition to any BPL team. See the full roster below.
Substitutes & Reserves
As outlined on the PlayStagion Blog, YouTube has finally made its way to the PlayStation 4. The official application launched alongside the firmware update that hit the system yesterday. For the most part this doesn't sound like a big deal; so what, you can search of you YouTube videos and your PS4? It just so happens that with the app also brings another functionality to your system that many users have been wanting since the system launched.
With the launch of the application you can now directly upload recorded gameplay videos from your system to your YouTube account(s). You are no longer confined to Facebook and Twitter sharing and you don’t have to worry about the lengthy process of copying them over to a USB drive any more, it can all be done, either as raw or edited footage, right from the system’s share menu. Exported videos to the service can be done with resolutions of up to 1080p and feature full, 5.1 digital sound.
Last week the PlayStation Blog, posted a video interview with Peter Cesario, Producer of Geometry Wars 3: Dimensions about bring the franchise to Sony’s platforms. In addition to some great insight on the game, the interview also gives us the best look at the game that we have seen yet.
As we have pointed out before, rather than being an Xbox exclusive is going to come to a variety of platforms. Being a huge fan of the series, this makes me very, very excited. The game is looking better than ever and the new focus and features really have me hopeful for how this one is going to turn out.
While the exact lunch date is still unannounced, the game is expected to lunch sometime in November. Until then, check out how great it is looking below:
EA Sport's FIFA Soccer 15 is the best the franchise has been since I don't even know. It's definitely the best it's been since I got back into the franchise with FIFA 12 after ignoring sports games for several years.
And while Ultimate Team is not my favorite mode (because I hate card packs. I flippin' HATE card packs!), I've played it enough to know why it's basically the most popular mode in the game.
Today's silly Ultimate Team trailer challenges gamers to put their game where their mouth is. Do you think Messi would make a better fullback than false 9? Go for it.
Find out more here.