The Games of September 2015
Kickstart This! Anniversary Interview: Bendik Stang of Snowcastle Games Takes A Turn to Talk About Earthlock: Festival of Magic
Hype Fatigue: Why I'm Exhausted With Viral Marketing, Elaborate Advertising Campaigns, and Countdowns
Nintendo plans to reissue rare Amiibo figures (Little Mac, Villager, Marth, more) this Fall
Shigeru Miyamoto confirms that Pikmin 4 is in development
CoD: Advanced Warfare’s Reckoning Pack is now available on the PC, PS3, PS4
Xbox Store Today: Evolve Free Weekend, Rugby World Cup 2015, Super Toy Cars, more
Daily Scoop: September 4, 2015 – New PSN Plus games are great!
“Interim” patch for PC version of Batman: Arkham Knight is now available
Here’s the first trailer for The Gamechangers, a behind-the-scenes look at the making of GTA
Most Recent: News
Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare owners on the PC, PS3, and PS4 will finally get their chance to try out the game’s final downloadable expansion as the Reckoning Pack is now available on non-Xbox platforms. With the Reckoning Pack, Activision and Sledgehammer Games added four more competitive multiplayer maps to Advanced Warfare:
- Overload: Enjoy the grand view of downtown New Baghdad from this exotic compound, complete with fountains, gardens and decorative plasma lamps. The map’s multiple levels and long perimeter site-lines highlight medium to long-range combat, and firing a shot at the lamps will send enemies flying in a burst of energy.
- Quarantine: Following a deadly viral outbreak, the island has been converted into a biological testing center. This medium sized map’s tight corners dial up the speed and open areas combine to allow for any style of gameplay. Activate the map-based scorestreak to unleash a devastating ship-fired missile strike.
- Fracture: Discover what secrets are locked in the ice in this arctic excavation site. Take refuge behind wind turbines and heavy equipment through large combat areas cradled on the shelf of a glacier. Stay alert as the timed event cracks the ice sheet, sending one lane sinking to the depths.
- Swarm: Reconstruction is underway in Seoul, South Korea, congesting narrow corridors of this small to medium sized map with vehicles and equipment. Take position in war-scarred storefronts that provide plenty of cover over the streets or flank the enemy through close quarter interiors in the center of the map.
The Reckoning Pack also includes “Descent,” the final chapter in the Exo Zombies co-op campaign. John Malkovich’s Oz has risen from the dead to do battle with Bill Paxton, Bruce Campbell, Rose McGowan, and Jon Bernthal as they escape from the Atlas aircraft carrier.
This is the last time PlayStation players will be forced to wait for their Call of Duty add-ons. Beginning this Fall, PS4 and PS3 players will receive access to every downloadable expansion for Call of Duty: Black Ops III a month earlier than their Xbox counterparts.
Evolve didn’t quite land with the blockbuster boom that Turtle Rock had hoped for, but it has sold almost three million copies and a lot of people seem to enjoy it. Publisher 2K Games is hoping to increase that number this weekend with a special “Free Weekend” promotion for the game, which kicks off today at 3:00 PM (Eastern Time), on the Xbox One and PC. Best of all, players will get the chance to battle alien monsters for an extra day as the promotion doesn’t end until Tuesday, September 8 at 3:00 AM.
If you enjoy your time with Evolve, you might also like to know that it’ll receive a temporary price drop next week as part of Microsoft’s Deals With Gold.
Elsewhere on the Xbox Games Store today, owners of Microsoft’s consoles will get the chance to dive into a scrum in Rugby World Cup 2015 on the Xbox One or Xbox 360. Also available on the Xbox 360 is an overhead shooter from Moss known as strong>Caladrius.
And if you’re looking for Xbox One exclusives, today marks the release of Super Toy Cars, a “tabletop arcade combat racing game” featuring penny racers; Broken Sword 5: The Serpent’s Curse, a murder mystery set within a Paris gallery; Quest of Dungeons, a procedurally-generated turn-based roguelike; and Nightmares From the Deep: The Cursed Heart, a “classic adventure game” about undying love.
More information about all of these games can be found after the break. (more…)
As promised, WB Games has finally released an “interim” patch for the PC version of Batman: Arkham Knight. Additional work still needs to be done to get the game up to snuff, but the patch provides major fixes and improvements to the game:
- Reduced frame rate hitches
- Optimizations for system memory and VRAM usage
- Improved performance on all GPUs (requires the latest drivers)
- More Comprehensive In-Game Settings
- Fixed low resolution texture bugs
- Fixed hitches when running on mechanical hard drives (HDD)
More patches for Batman: Arkham Knight are still in the works at developer Rocksteady. The team posted their current to-do list for the next patch, which hopefully should be available soon:
- Adding support for SLI and Crossfire
- Adding support for the latest DLC and Season Pass content
- Adding support for additional updates such as Photo Mode
- Continued improvements and bug fixing for a Windows 7-specific memory issue that occurs on configurations with 8GB of system RAM and some Nvidia GPUs during extended game play
- Continued improvements for Windows 10-specific issues on systems with some AMD GPUs
WB Games suspended sales of Arkham Knight’s PC edition just a few days after the game’s June 23 launch. As of today, the game still isn’t available for purchase through Steam or other digital storefronts. Hopefully, this latest patch works the way its supposed to and that changes in the very near future.
[Source: WB Games Community Forums]
Here’s the first trailer for The Gamechangers, a behind-the-scenes look at the making of GTA
Embedded above is the first trailer for The Gamechangers, a made-for-TV movie that’s set to depict Rockstar’s rise and the development of Grand Theft Auto III, Vice City, and San Andreas. Starring Daniel Radcliffe as Sam Houser, the movie will also showcase the developer’s legal battle with the dreaded, and now disbarred, Jack Thompson (played here by Bill Paxton). Scheduled to air in the UK on BBC Two on September 15, the film’s plot description seems to play a bit fast and loose with the truth:
[T]he game’s violent gameplay leads to fierce opposition: from parents worried about its impact on children; from politicians, fearful of its influence; and, above all, from campaigners fighting to prevent the game being played by minors.
At the vanguard of this crusade is the formidable Christian lawyer Jack Thompson, a man determined to do whatever he can to stop the relentless rise of the game and its influence on children. The Gamechangers tells the story of how British game designers pushed boundaries into uncharted territory, of how those fighting GTA became consumed by a battle which overwhelmed their lives, and how the subsequent fallout threatened to bring down leading players on both sides.
While I suppose that all of that is technically accurate, it gives Thompson a much bigger role than he had in the real-life tale. However, I’ve got my fingers crossed that the film ends with Harry Potter yelling “Game over, man!” at Hudson after his courtroom defeat.
A small handful of new games are now available through the Nintendo eShop as part of this week’s Nintendo Download and fans of retro games will definitely want to pay attention as most of this week’s new releases have a throwback aesthetic. Though, to be fair, some of them are just old:
- Available on the Wii U for the first time, the Gunman Clive HD Collection combines the two 3DS side-scrolling shooters into a single package of bandit, robot, and dinosaur hunting.
- Vs. Excitebike added splitscreen multiplayer to the Excitebike franchise when it originally launched on the Famicom Disk System in Japan. Never before released in the US, Vs. Excitebike is now available for the Wii U.
- Mario Golf was originally released for the Nintendo 64 and was the first Mario Golf game developed by Camelot. Fans have always loved the first game in the series and its now available to download on the Wii U.
- Finally this week, Jeff Foxworthy brings his throwback comedy to the 3DS with a portable adaptation of Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader? Look at that… everything fits the theme this week.
More information on all of these games can be found after the break. (more…)
Creative Director Ed Boon, and the rest of NetherRealm Studios, have been teasing a second Kombat Pack of downloadable characters for a while now. And after filling our Summer with Jason Voorhees, Tanya, The Predator, and Tremor, they’re finally making good on their promise.
Officially announced today, though still shrouded in shadow, the second Kombat Pack will include four new characters, a number of new costumes for existing characters, and a new Arena. The content will be released in the first half of 2016, though publisher WB Games didn’t say if it would appear all at once or over the course of a few months. We’ve got plenty of time to play “Guess the Silhouette” thanks to the teaser image above, but the one on the left is clearly a ninja (Rain? Smoke?) and I’d wager my soul that the one on the right is Baraka.
Mortal Kombat X was released for the PC, PS4, and Xbox One back in April. Believe it or not, it’s currently the best-selling game of the year, and I’m pretty sure that WB Games is assuming some new blood will keep it selling right into 2016.
Unless you have an objection, Capcom has announced that Ace Attorney 6 is in development for the 3DS. The game will be playable at this year’s Tokyo Game Show and the publisher has already gone ahead and confirmed that a North American release is in the works:
You heard Wright! Ace Attorney 6 (working title), announced in Japan today, is also in development for the west!
— Ace Attorney (@aceattorneygame) September 1, 2015
Ace Attorney 6 will be the first game released in the franchise’s “main series” since Phoenix Wright Ace Attorney: Dual Destinies in 2011. However, that doesn’t mean the Ace Attorney crew has been idle all this time. A crossover game, Professor Layton vs Phoenix Wright Ace Attorney, was released for the 3DS last year. More recently, The Great Ace Attorney, a spinoff set in the 19th century, was released exclusively in Japan just a few weeks ago. Even though the main character hobnobs with Sherlock Holmes and helps the famous detective solve a case, an American release for The Great Ace Attorney has yet to be announced.
The 2015 Tokyo Game Show kicks off in two weeks, so expect to hear more about Ace Attorney 6 then.
As Summer transforms into Fall, Activision has released a ton of new information and gameplay footage about Transformers: Devastation, the Platinum-developed brawler that’ll be available for the PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, and Xbox One on October 6.
Let’s start with a pair of pre-order bonus packs, which the publisher announced recently. All players who pre-order the game will receive a trio of Character Skins (Nemesis Prime, Red Alert, and Goldfire) alongside several side several powerful weapons:
- Dark Star Sabre: A fearsome sword which radiates waves of dark energy with every swing.
- Photon Disruptor: A cannon for huge damage at short range.
- Golden Hunter: Twin blaster pistols, which causes enemies to drop credits when attacked.
I have no idea if these weapons are on display in Devastation’s latest gameplay trailer, but it has been embedded above for your viewing pleasure… especially if you’re interested in the combo-heavy combat that Platinum is preparing for the game. Finally, a behind-the-scenes interview with Peter Cullen (the one-and-only voice of Optimus Prime) is available after the break. Only an unfeeling Decepticon can ignore the pride he feels for the character, even after portraying him for three decades. (more…)