Author: John Scalzo

John Scalzo is Warp Zoned's Editor-In-Chief and resident retro gaming expert. You can follow him on Twitter or email him at john AT warpzoned DOT com.

Xbox Store Today: Solar Shifter EX, Star Hammer: The Vanguard Prophecy, Obliteracers, more

It’s time to close out the week with another Xbox Games Store update. Today, Xbox One owners can choose from a quartet of new titles…

First up is Solar Shifter EX, a side-scrolling “bullet hell” shooter where players can use a special jump drive to phase out of trouble. On the other side of the galaxy we’ve got Star Hammer: The Vanguard Prophecy, a tactical space shooter where players control a fleet of unique space vehicles in all-out war.

Also available this week is Obliteracers, an eight-player kart racer for all ages. And finally, Nightmares From the Deep 2: The Siren’s Call is yet another hidden object game, this time focusing on an “ancient conflict” at the Caribbean Naval Museum.

More information on all of these games can be found after the break. (more…)

Posted in News, Xbox One |

Lara Croft Will Return… Art Director for Dead Space joins Crystal Dynamics as Game Director of Tomb Raider franchise

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Ian Milham, who is probably best known to gamers as the Art Director of the Dead Space franchise, will be joining Crystal Dyamics as the new Game Director of the Tomb Raider franchise. He’ll replace Brian Horton, who left Crystal Dynamics for the neighboring offices of Infinity Ward back in January.

“Ian is one of those rare veterans who combines creativity, artistry, and passion into excellence on-screen. It’s a matching type of DNA that Crystal Dynamics has forged itself upon over these last few years,” said Scot Amos, the Co-Head of Crystal Dynamics. “We’re very excited to welcome Ian as the newest top-tier talent joining our studio. His attitude, aptitude, and aspirations for crafting great game experiences are perfectly aligned with who and what Crystal Dynamics is all about.”

Lara Croft probably won’t battle an oozing space monster anytime soon, but Milham isn’t just known for Dead Space’s deranged and distinctive designs. Immediately prior to his employment at Crystal Dynamics, the developer also served as the Creative Director on Battlefield Hardline.

“Adventure games have always been my first love,” said Milham. “When the opportunity came to join Crystal Dynamics, I had to jump on it. This is the home of Lara Croft, who is a legend in action-adventure gaming and a pillar of the industry. I’ve admired Crystal’s work for a while now, as they continue to deliver top notch narrative and spectacle, coupled with deep systems and player choice. I’m very excited about where the studio is headed and I’m eager to be a part of it.”

While Square Enix didn’t officially announce a third game in the rebooted adventures of Lara Croft today, they may as well have. The recruitment of a new Game Director means the publisher has likely given the green light to yet another entry in the franchise, but it’ll probably be quite some time before we hear anything about it.

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

Mortal Kombat XL coming to PC after all… and you can play the Open Beta now

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When NetherRealm Studios released Mortal Kombat XL (and the Kombat Pack 2 expansion) back in March, they skipped the PC even though the original Mortal Kombat X was released for the platform last year. At the time, there were “no plans” to bring the revision to the PC, but that appears to have changed, as an Open Beta for Mortal Kombat XL is currently available to download through Steam.

The “Online Enhanced Beta” will go offline at 1:00 PM (Eastern Time) on Monday, August 29. But until then, players can help NetherRealm “test improved online gameplay” and XL content like Tri-Borg, Bo Rai Cho, Leatherface, and the Xenomorph.

Presumably, the developer wants to iron out all the kinks in the PC version of Mortal Kombat XL, because as of today, no release date was announced for the updated one-on-one fighter.

Posted in News, PC | Tagged

ESRB Rating Summary for Resident Evil 7: Biohazard revealed… and then removed

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For a brief window of time this morning, the Rating Summary for Resident Evil 7: Biohazard could be found on the ESRB’s website. It’s offline now, but the short paragraph did reveal a bit more information about the mysterious game, which Capcom is keeping tightly under wraps.

According to the Rating Summary, Resident Evil 7 will star Ethan, “a man searching for his missing wife.” We first heard Ethan’s name during the recently released Gamescom trailer, and it looks like the character will be knee deep in the dead during his quest:

This is a survival-horror game in which players assume the role of Ethan, a man searching for his missing wife in a derelict mansion. Combat is accompanied by realistic gunfire, screams of pain, and exaggerated blood-splatter effects. As players progress through the story, cutscenes can depict instances of gore and intense acts of violence: a character’s arm dismembered by a chainsaw; a man’s leg taken off at the knee with a shovel; a character impaled through the face with a shovel. Some areas also depict mutilated corpses with exposed organs/viscera. The words “f**k” and “sh*t” are heard in the dialogue.

While this certainly sounds like the Resident Evil we all know and love, Capcom hasn’t even hinted at the level of intense combat that’s supposedly contained within the game. At the very least, fans of Resident Evil 4 should be happy.

But we’ll all find out together when Resident Evil 7: Biohazard is released for the PC, PS4, and Xbox One on January 24, 2017.

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




SteamWorld Collection will package together Dig and Heist on a single disc this October

Image & Form has announced a partnership with Rising Star Games to publish SteamWorld Collection, a disc-based compilation of SteamWorld Dig and SteamWorld Heist, this Fall:

Drill down into a platform, mining adventure game full of secrets, treasure and terrors in SteamWorld Dig, and discover a world of steam-driven robots, inspired by Western and Steampunk themes.

SteamWorld Heist on the other hand offers turn-based strategy with a twist: manually aim the guns of your robots, allowing for insane skill shots and bullet-bouncing action. Board, loot and shoot your way through enemy spaceships and upgrade your recruits with unique abilities, weapons and, of course, stylish hats!

The SteamWorld Collection will be released for the PS4 and Wii U this October.

Posted in News, PS4, Wii U | Tagged ,

Nintendo Download: Super Mario 64 DS, a trio of Street Fighter games, Phoenix Wright Ace Attorney: Spirit of Justice demo, more

Welcome to this week’s Nintendo eShop update, where Wii U owners can now download the handheld remake of Mario’s first foray into the 3D space, Super Mario 64 DS. I’ve never thought about it before, but the Virtual Console can get weird sometimes.

Speaking of weird, 3DS owners will be able to download a Demo Version of Phoenix Wright Ace Attorney: Spirit of Justice beginning today. The game, which will be available exclusively through the 3DS eShop on September 8, features a section from the game’s first courtroom clash between Phoenix Wright and his new adversary, Royal Priestess Rayfa.

Capcom is tripling down on the 3DS eShop with a trio of Street Fighter games that were originally released for the Super NES back in the go-go 90s.

First up is Street Fighter II Turbo: Hyper Fighting, the first update to the original Street Fighter II. Capcom exponentially increased the speed of the game and fans were finally able to play as M. Bison and the other bosses. Next, we’ve got Super Street Fighter II: The New Challengers, the final update to Street Fighter II on the Super NES, and the game that added Cammy to the franchise. Finally, the Super NES adaptation of the second game in the “Alpha” prequel series, Street Fighter Alpha 2, comes to the Virtual Console this week.

More information on all of these games (and a few other new releases) can be found after the break. (more…)

Posted in 3DS, News, Wii U | Tagged

Nintendo eShop’s Nindies Summer Jam kicks off on September 1

The Nindies are coming! The Nindies are coming!

Nintendo has announced that they’re ending this Summer with a bang… or more specifically, a Jam. The Nindies Summer Jam will kick off on September 1 and that means that Nintendo fans will find a new “Nindie” game on the eShop for the 3DS or Wii U (or sometimes both) every Thursday. All Nindie Summer Jam titles will receive a 10% discount during their first week of availability, and you can find the full lineup right here:

September 1
Axiom Verge (Wii U)

In this retro-style action-platform-exploration game, use the Wii U GamePad as your map, a way to easily swap between weapons or for Off-TV Play. A failed scientist dies in an accident, only to awaken in a mysterious, alien world. Where is he? How did he get here? And why do the fundamental laws of reality appear broken? Life. Afterlife. Real. Virtual. Dream. Nightmare. It’s a thin line. It’s Axiom Verge.

September 8
Jotun: Valhalla Edition (Wii U)

Jotun is a hand-drawn action-exploration game set in Norse mythology. In Jotun, you play Thora, a Norse warrior who died an inglorious death and must prove herself to the Gods to enter Valhalla. Jotun: Valhalla Edition features Valhalla Mode, a boss rush mode with even fiercer versions of the already challenging jotun. Exclusive to the Wii U version, the map is always displayed on the GamePad and God Powers can be activated using the touch screen. Impress the Gods!

September 15
Noitu Love: Devolution (3DS and Wii U)

The year is 2288. The city is protected by an organization called “The Peacekeepers League” and everything is swell except that it’s under attack by a robot army lead by professor Darnacus Damnation! Or is it… ?

September 22
Severed (Wii U)

Take control of a one-armed warrior named Sasha, who wields a living sword on her journey through a nightmare world in search of her family. Features include Cross-Buy between Wii U and Nintendo 3DS, Wii U Off-TV Play, in-game Achievements, HD graphical optimizations.

September 30
Azure Striker Gunvolt 2 (3DS)

Azure Striker Gunvolt 2 is a 2D action-platforming game in the style of the Japanese classics of yesteryear. The great controls, crisp graphics, unique play mechanics and epic boss battles from the first installment are all here, along with a host of new features.

“Our Nindie partners have been hard at work creating amazing content for Nintendo fans,” said Nintendo of America’s Damon Baker. “The Nindies Summer Jam promotion not only makes it easy for fans to check out all the latest and greatest indie games on Nintendo eShop, but to also learn more about the developers that have worked so hard to create them.”

Nintendo also plans to add more than a dozen other Nindies to the Nintendo eShop throughout the Fall. That schedule is available after the break. (more…)

Posted in 3DS, News, Wii U | Tagged ,

Closed Beta for The Behemoth’s Pit People will begin on September 15

Behold! The Behemoth has unveiled a brand new trailer for Pit People, and just like the game, it’s narrated by the mellifluous Will Stamper.

Have you soaked it all in? I hope so, because you might also be interested to learn that Pit People’s Closed Beta will begin on September 8. Xbox One players will get a full week, until September 15, to test out The Behemoth’s somewhat bizarre strategy game. A second Closed Beta, this one for PC players, will held at a later date.

And don’t worry, if you haven’t registered for a chance to join the Closed Beta, there’s still time. Head over to the PitPeople.com/beta and sign up today.

Pit People will be released for the PC and Xbox One before the end of the year.

Posted in News, PC, Xbox One | Tagged