News Roundup - 10/30/2014

by: Jeremy - - 0 Comments

Activision partners with Klout to market CoD:Advanced Warfare

by: Ben Berry - - 0 Comments

As GN's premier swag hound, it shouldn't be too surprising that I'm a member of the better sampling and "freebie" sites on the web. I've been a Klout member since the social media metric company debuted. So after a few weeks of vacation from all things web, I signed into my email, and found that I had a "perk" (aka social media marketing opportunity with freebies and/or contests as bait) related to Advanced Warfare. Activision is providing Call of Duty:Advanced Warfare coffee mugs as a perk to bring people into a contest that gives Klout members the opportunity to win their way into the prizes from game related gear to a grand prize of a trip to San Francisco. Klout members just have to tweet the link to the AW trailer and are entered each time for doing so.

For fans of the game who are actively involved in social media, it's quite an opportunity. Just tweeting to win, basically. As a game journalist, I am not participating in the "tweet to win" part, but I definitely took them up on the coffee mug while I got just for signing up to find out what they were doing. So if the AW trailer seems to be more heavily present in your tweet stream than other new titles coming out, this could be part of it.

SMITE god reveal trailers for Nox and Orbital Strike Rama

by: Nathan - - 0 Comments

SMITE got a new patch this week, which brought to the game Nox, the goddess of the night and the "Orbital Strike" skin for Rama. 

The Nox reveal trailer can be seen below and features her lore as well as a rundown of all of her abilities in action along with some useful tips for using her in Conquest mode. You can also check out the trailer for "Orbital Strike" Rama which shows off his new skin along with all of the special FX added to his abilities. 

If you are unfamiliar with SMITE, it's a third person MOBA which is free to play and is currently available on PC and will be coming to Xbox One as well in the future. As someone that played a crapload of Super Monday Night Combat, the one thing that attracted me to SMITE was the fact that you controlled all of the action. WASD controls in a third person perspective is what I absolutely love about this game and I would rather control my characters than point and click their way around the battlefield like other MOBA's do. 


Assassin's Creed Unity slips into... WWII?

by: Chapel - - 0 Comments

This is an interesting trailer, to say the least. Entitled "Time Anomaly" it shows the Assassin's Creed Unity character go through an Animus malfunction and get catapulted into what appears to be WWII era Paris.


Surely there can't be that much content set during whatever this is, as I imagine the game would need some extensive time dedicated to making it work. But... maybe. I dunno, man. I'm all mixed up.

Maybe this will get the WWII out of the way so we can focus on the next Assassin's Creed finally being set in Feudal Japan, which is clearly the best setting possible for the game. Ninja's Creed? Come on, everyone wants that game.

Anyway, here's the trailer so you can watch it for yourself. It definitely leaves lots of room for theorizing.

Steam Halloween Sale is live!

by: Rob - - 0 Comments

I'm a sucker for Steam sales, and the 2014 Halloween event just went live earlier today. I rarely buy a game to play straightaway anymore, as I am constantly working through a backlog of previous purchases sitting in my Steam and Origin accounts. Well the time is ripe to add to that backlog!

Up to 80% on some quality titles including many from the horror genre to get your spooky on for the weekend.  The sale runs through November 3rd, 10am Pacific Time. Some personal highlights:

Final amiibo designs look different than the prototype [#whyisthisnews]

by: Jeremy - - 0 Comments

Personally I find it a little ridiculous that some gaming sites and blogs are complaining about the alterations made to the finalized Nintendo amiibo figures that are being released. The figures, which will be hitting stores next month, do look slightly different than the examples shown at industry trade shows earlier this year. Some of the plaint schemes and colors have been slightly altered and a few of the details have been lost as they have moved to final production.

Let's be honest: this is just business 101. How can you compare an individual item that was prepared to be a proof of concept to something that is mass produced by the hundreds of thousands to millions. Of course it is going to change, these figures aren’t going to be as intricately put together as those that have been crafted individually. The final products are put together via machines and via mass production, not single-handedly painted and modeled by dedicated artists and their trained hands. If they were, we would be seeing a much higher price point on them than ~$15.

I don’t think that the final versions that have been shown don't look that bad at all. Yes, I will agree they look a little bit less quality than the examples shown before, but that is just how things go in the real world.

Nintendo Airstream 2014: Captain Toad Treasure Tracker

by: Sean Colleli - - 0 Comments

When Nintendo announced Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker at E3, it felt like an afterthought to me. Granted, the Captain Toad puzzle levels were an ingenious way to break up the much faster, time-based gameplay in Super Mario 3D World. But an entire game based on them? I was pretty skeptical. Getting the game in my hands, however, made things fall into place. It’s clear that Nintendo only scratched the surface of these spatial puzzles in 3D World, and a full game can develop the idea into something deep enough to rival some of the biggest names in the genre today.

In Treasure Tracker, you take control of a solitary Toad explorer and guide him through relatively small floating stages packed with moving walls, obstacles and enemies. However, Captain Toad is a lot more fragile than his 3D World brother. This Toad can’t jump on bad guys and must run away or outmaneuver them; it’s been quite a while since I’ve been scared by a simple Goomba! His sprinting speed is barely faster than his normal walking pace, and like all classic Mario characters, he dies in only a couple of hits. Inside the levels he can grab stacks of coins for an extra life (or solitary 1-ups themselves), red super mushrooms to get bigger and gain an extra hit point, and special gems that are hidden ingeniously in secret rooms and passages.

This is all pretty typical for a Mario game but it’s the levels themselves that make this game stand out. They are Escher-like in their complexity and deviousness; to see the solution you’ll have to rotate the camera around the stage, which is usually a rough square shape or other simple geometric solid. Sections of the level will shift, however, and you often have to move large portions by tapping the GamePad screen; you can also stun enemies this way. It’s not unusual to come upon a series of door sections that will send you back and forth across the level, and it’s up to you to determine the correct positioning to reach the star at the end of the stage. Anyone who played 3D World will at least be familiar with the concept, but it’s been drastically expanded here.

The regular puzzle levels are supplemented with on-rails minecart sections where you shoot turnips at enemies, and of course boss fight levels. The bosses are typically avoided, however, and dispatched by manipulating the environment. In the boss level I played, I had to dodge the fire breath from a giant dragon and the falling lava inside a volcano, hiding behind moving cover panels as I made my way up the level’s structure. Making it to the top not only earned me a star, but dropped a huge stone pillar onto the dragon’s head. The whole thing was done in the expected cute Super Mario style (complete with a giant bandaged welt on the defeated dragon’s noggin) but I’d be lying if I said the experience wasn’t nerve-wracking.

From what I played, Treasure Tracker is a very smartly designed puzzler, with elements reminiscent of Pushmo and even a game with long puzzle heritage, Chuck’s Challenge 3D. Still, the whole time I was playing the demo’s four challenging stages, I couldn’t stop thinking that this game would be even better on the 3DS. I know it sounds strange, but Treasure Tracker plays a lot of the same perspective tricks as the most creative environments in Super Mario 3D Land. I’m definitely looking forward to Treasure Tracker on Wii U, but as a clever puzzle game with short, mind-bending levels, I feel it has an even stronger future as a portable series. If it’s successful, I have no doubt that Captain Toad will have many further adventures on a variety of Nintendo hardware.

As it stands, Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker is stacking up to be a solid secondary release for Wii U. Thankfully it’s not Nintendo’s flagship holiday title—that honor goes to Smash Bros. But at a budget MSRP of $39.99, I can see Captain Toad as a tempting impulse buy for anyone picking up Smash or finally pulling the trigger on a Wii U console this December. 

News Roundup - 10/29/2014

by: Jeremy - - 0 Comments

60FPS support on YouTube means nicer looking game videos

by: John - - 0 Comments

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!

Dying Light now next generation only

by: Chuck - - 0 Comments

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.

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