Author: Andrew Rainnie - UK Correspondent

In addition to being Warp Zoned's UK Correspondent, Andrew Rainnie is a screenwriter and filmmaker. You can email him at andrew AT warpzoned DOT com or you can, if you're inclined, visit his personal website.

Warpback: What We Played in November 2016

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I don’t think any of us were playing the same games during November! We were all over the map, hitting up our backlogs, playing brand new games, and continuing to play popular games that just won’t quit. Hit the jump to see everything the Warp Zoned staff played last month! (more…)

Posted in Features, Top Story |

Yakuza Kiwami and Yakuza 6: The Song of Life will slice and dice onto the PS4

The 1980s-set prequel Yakuza 0 will be heading to the PlayStation 4 in North America and Europe on January 24th, but a remake to 2005’s Yakuza is also heading for western shores. Titled Yakuza Kiwami (“Yakuza Extreme” in Japanese), the remake will be published by Sega in North America, while its publishing partner Deep Silver will be handing those duties in Europe.

Yakuza Kiwami was originally released in Japan in January 2016, and its more than a simple remaster. The gangster saga has been rebuilt from scratch to output in full HD resolution at a silky smooth 60 frames per second. The combat system has also been retooled to match the more furious pace of the prequel, while some of the more obscure side quests have been better highlighted so that players can actually find them and experience the loose threads that branch from the main story line.

If you’re already familiar with Yakuza, then think of Kiwami as the super-deluxe Blu-ray Edition, with over 30 minutes of new cutscenes that add a critical level of depth to the characters, and also help to tie in with some of the stories unearthed in Yakuza 0.

In addition to all of these features, the eye-patch wearing villain Majima will appear more often, and without warning, fulfilling the game’s extreme label. There are also new street activities to enjoy, including Pocket Circuit car racing, Battle Bug Beauties, and fresh new hostesses.

But Sega also had more Yakuza news up its sleeve at this weekend’s PlayStation Experience. According to the PlayStation Blog, the publisher also confirmed that Yakuza 6: The Song of Life will get a localised version for western gamers. The sequel will hit Japan this week, but players in North America and Europe will have to wait until sometime in 2018 to get hold of the English version.

However, with both Yakuza 0 and Yakuza Kiwami to keep us busy, I think we can be patient.

Posted in News, PS4 | Tagged , ,

N. Sane in the Membrane… Crash Bandicoot Trilogy crashes onto PS4 in 2017

Last seen as a welcome retro distraction in Naughty Dog’s Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End, everyone’s favourite orange marsupial is returning to the PlayStation 4 in Crash Banidicoot N. Sane Trilogy, developed by Vicarious Visions.

The developer, which originally got involved with Crash after working on Crash Bandicoot: The Huge Adventure for the Game Boy Advance in 2002, dubbed the N. Sane trilogy a “Remaster Plus” on the PlayStation Blog. This need for a new moniker is because the original games designed by Naughty Dog are 20 years old, and all the assets used would not directly translate to the new generation of consoles. To that end, Vicarious Visions rebuilt the trilogy collection from scratch, using the original geometry of the levels, but redoing the animation, art, and audio.

The result is a trio of games (Crash Bandicoot, Cortex Strikes Back, and Warped) that feel familiar, but have been completely retooled to almost better resemble a brand new game. The eyebrows are back, but in glorious high definition. There will also be Time Trials in all three games, plus the original will now have a proper save system. Vicarious has even managed to snare the original voice actors, including Jess Harnell and Lex Lang, to record fresh dialogue.

Although they didn’t specify an exact date, Sony confirmed the Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy will drop sometime in 2017.

Posted in News, PS4 | Tagged , , ,

Wipeout series speeds onto PlayStation 4 with the Omega Collection

Sony Liverpool, the studio formerly known as Psygnosis, sadly closed its doors four years ago, but it’s legacy lives on with the Wipeout Omega Collection, which was announced yesterday for the PS4 at the PlayStation Experience.

Blistering sci-fi racers used to be all the rage, with the likes of F-Zero and Extreme-G racing up the charts, but Wipeout is fondly remembered for its breakneck speed, heart-pumping soundtrack, and challenging competitive modes. The collection is comprised of all the tracks and vehicles from three entries in the series – Wipeout HD, the expansion pack Wipeout Fury, and the Vita title Wipeout 2048 – while featuring classic music as well as new hits from hot up-and-coming artists.

Every element has been remastered to look stunning in HDR and 4K on the PS4 Pro, with the game targeting an ultra-smooth 60FPS. According to the PlayStation Blog, the game will also feature 26 tracks and 46 unique ship models, as well as nine styles of play. Players can choose Single Race, Time Trial, Speed Lap, Zone, and Tournament from the original game, with added modes from Fury like Zone Battle, Eliminator, and Detonator. The much-loved Career Mode from 2048 will also make a welcome return.

Although a date was not specified, get ready to race sometime in 2017!

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PaRappa the Rapper, LocoRoco, and Patapon remasters coming to PS4

Not content with remastering the Wipeout series for 4K and HDR gaming, Sony also announced during the PlayStation Experience that a trio of classic musical games would be getting the remaster treatment. Hip-hop pooch PaRappa the Rapper, the colourful characters of LocoRoco, and the marching armies of Patapon are all getting updated to HD on the PS4 (and 4K on the PS4 Pro).

Not only will the games be remastered in terms of graphics, but the controls will be retooled specifically for the DualShock 4, so players will be able to better feel the musical beats. LocoRoco will also incorporate motion gestures from the controller to make it easier to control the vibrant worlds.

Although Sony seems to be trying to out-do Nintendo with the amount of remasters it is pumping out, these three games, that were so original and possibly ahead of their time, will be a welcome addition to the current console generation.

[Source: PlayStation Blog]

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Marvel Vs Capcom series returns with “Infinite” possibilities

It’s been rumoured for a while now, but Marvel and Capcom unveiled their fourth collaboration at this year’s PlayStation Experience. The new Marvel Vs Capcom title drops the number at the end and replaces it with a subtitle, Marvel Vs Capcom: Infinite. Marvel fans will have already guessed that the title comes from the legendary Infinity Stones, the MacGuffins at the centre of Marvel’s Infinity War, which is due to start filming next year.

The game features a slew of characters that will be seen on screen, including Iron Man and the newly announced Captain Marvel. They take on Capcom legends such as Street Fighter’s Ryu or Mega Man X, both of whom are old hat at the fighting game, having been playable characters in Super Smash Bros for Nintendo’s Wii U and 3DS.

Capcom teased other characters, more of whom will be revealed throughout 2017 before the game debuts at the tail end of the year. The developer shared several single player modes, including Arcade, Training, and Missions, on the Capcom-Unity blog, plus a cinematic Story Mode where the heroes will battle against a mysterious new villain, all rendered by the immersive Unreal 4 Engine technology.

There will also be dynamic online and multiplayer features, including online lobbies and spectator modes. Players will also be able to take part in ranked games, or casual ones that do not affect their leader board status. The six Infinity Stones – power, space, time, reality, soul, and mind – will influence the game and force players to change their strategies, based on the power that they, or their opponent, wields.

Finally, Capcom confirmed that Marvel Vs Capcom: Infinite is also in development for the PC and Xbox One.

Posted in News, PC, PS4, Xbox One | Tagged ,

Kickstart This! Ariel

If you didn’t notice, there hasn’t been a new Kickstart This! in over a month, mostly because John works us all far too hard (joke), but largely because the column was becoming a bit hum-drum. Kickstarter has started to feel less like a creative space for games that could not find life with a traditional publisher, and more like a graveyard for great ideas poorly sold, or a junkyard for half-baked ideas that had not been given time to mature.

I had heard Kickstarter was also going to be updating the crowdfunding platform in a “major” way. This turned out to be more than a lick of paint, which, as an aside, the site has received – it runs a lot smoother and the and the options are much clearer now.

The big change turned out to be Kickstarter Live, which launched on the 1st of November. It allows creators to host a live broadcast, and to field questions from potential backers in the comments section. The benefits of this should not be underplayed. Audience engagement is one of the toughest nuts to crack when raising funds via crowdfunding. While project updates offer people news, being able to interact with backers on the same platform, instead of hosting an AMA on Reddit or a Facebook Live broadcast, especially in the early days of a campaign, means that you can rally your troops and harness that momentum more easily.

kickstarterhomepageSpeaking of rallying the troops, the world has change quite a bit over the last few weeks, and Kickstarter is no different. With a wave of protests and a renewed sense of charity sweeping the globe in response to recent world events, Kickstarter temporarily changed their front page in support.

And in honor of Kickstarter’s expansion into Mexico, we’re looking at Ariel, a video game developed south of the border, this week. (more…)

Posted in Features, PC, PS4, Top Story |

The Games of November 2016

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October is over, and it’s almost time for the mad holiday rush! We here at Warp Zoned are still planning on trying as many games as we can. At the top of our gaming lists for this November are Pokemon Sun and Moon and Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare, but we are into so much more than that. Hit the jump to see all the games we’re excited to try this month! (more…)

Posted in Features, Top Story |