Most Recent: News

Harmonix will officially release Rock Band 4 for the PS4, Xbox One in 2015

Keep holding those lighters aloft, Harmonix has officially announced that the Rock Band franchise will play an encore on the PS4 and Xbox One sometime this year. The developer will partner with Mad Catz to produce an all-new range of plastic instruments for Rock Band 4, though Harmonix wants your old controllers to work with the new game. Not only that, but many of the downloadable tracks you’ve accumulated over the years (more than 2,000 in total) will work with Rock Band 4 as well. Harmonix is currently hard at work finalizing which tracks will be forward compatible for Rock Band 4, but rest assured, the game will have an extensive soundtrack of new songs as well.

“With Rock Band 4, we’re doubling down on the energy and excitement of playing music live with your friends,” said Harmonix CEO Steve Janiak. “Focusing on the core experience that our fans have told us they love allows us to evolve established gameplay in meaningful ways that we can’t wait to share with everyone later this year.”

To get long-time Rock Band fans ready to rock once more, Harmonix has added Frank Turner’s “I Still Believe” to the Rock Band Music Store today as a free download for Rock Band 3 and Rock Band Blitz. And if you’re attending this weekend’s PAX East expo, you can pre-order an exclusive Penny Arcade-themed guitar in person at Harmonix’s booth (#4224).

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Outer Wilds wins “Seumas McNally Grand Prize” at 2015 IGF Awards

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Outer Wilds, the first-person space exploration game from Team Outer Wilds, took home the “Seumas McNally Grand Prize” during last night’s Independent Games Festival Awards presentation. The game also won the “Excellence In Design” award.

Other winners last night include Patrick Smith’s Metamorphabet (“Excellence In Visual Art”), Inkle Studios’ 80 Days (“Excellence In Narrative”), SuperChop Games’ Ephemerid: A Musical Adventure (“Excellence In Audio”), and Nathalie Lawhead’s Tetrageddon Games (the “Nuovo Award”). 11 Bit Studios’ This War of Mine was given the “Audience Award” while a team from the University of Southern California won the “Student Showcase” with Close Your.

You can find the complete list of winners in handy list format after the break. (more…)

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Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor wins “Game of the Year” at 2015 GDC Awards

gdcawardsMonolith’s Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor won “Game of the Year” at this year’s Game Developers Choice Awards, but it looks like Monument Valley took home the most hardware. The mobile game, which recently had a memorable cameo in the third season of House of Cards, won all three awards it was nominated for including “Best Handheld/Mobile Game,” “Best Visual Art,” and the “Innovation Award.”

Other winners at night’s ceremony include The Banner Saga (a “Best Debut” award for Stoic Studio), Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft (“Best Design”), Kentucky Route Zero: Episode 3 (“Best Narrative”), Alien: Isolation (“Best Audio”), and Destiny (“Best Technology”). The “Audience Award” was given to Elite: Dangerous.

The full list of winners can be found in handy list format after the break. (more…)

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Nintendo Download: Mario vs Donkey Kong: Tipping Stars, OlliOlli, more

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Nintendo tries its had at a Cross-Buy program this week with two titles that are available on both the 3DS and Wii U with a single purchase.

Purchasing Nintendo’s Mario vs Donkey Kong: Tipping Stars on the 3DS will entitle you to the Wii U version (and vice versa) while the same deal is in place for Roll7’s OlliOlli. Tipping Stars is the latest Mario vs Donkey Kong game, where the plumber in the red overalls must contain a marching army of “Mini” toy Marios. In the wake of Amiibo fever, this series was just begging for a return. And OlliOlli is a side-scrolling skateboarding game that first found success on PlayStation platforms last year. It’s jump to the 3DS and Wii U will surely tweak memories of Skate or Die in long-time Nintendo fans.

It’s unknown if Nintendo plans to continue their Cross-Buy program beyond these two games. But I’ve got my fingers crossed that any future expansion will include the Virtual Console.

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

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Shovel Knight will dig into the Xbox One in April with the Battletoads

Shovel Knight won’t just be debuting on PlayStation platforms this April. The paladin who wields a gardening instrument of justice will also make his way to the Xbox One next month. And he’s not coming alone.

Microsoft and Yacht Club Games have confirmed that the Xbox One (and Windows 10) version of Shovel Knight will include a cameo appearance from the Battletoads. Zitz, Pimple, and Rash have taken a hiatus from the game world for too long, and it’s great to see them back in the spotlight. It’s unknown how they’ll feature in the game, but if it’s anything like Kratos’ planned cameo, they challenge Shovel Knight to a miniboss fight.

The new-generation version of Shovel Knight is currently playable at this week’s Game Developers Conference in San Francisco and will also be available at this weekend’s PAX East expo in Boston.

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MS opens up Windows 10 Store to ID@Xbox program with 17 games including Shovel Knight/Battletoads crossover

Microsoft wants to make Windows 10 a platform for gaming, and to do that, they plan to open the Windows 10 Store up to independent game developers through their ID@Xbox program. The first batch of ID@Xbox games through the Windows 10 Store will include 17 titles. Some of these games are currently available (or will be available soon) for the PC through Steam or other download services, but many of them will be brand new to the platform when Windows 10 launches later this year.

However, the biggest news to come out of this announcement is that the Battletoads will return in one of these ID@Xbox games. Zitz, Pimple, and Rash won’t be starring in their own adventure (yet), but they will provide assistance to Yacht Club’s Shovel Knight when his eponymous game appears on the Windows 10 Store. The Behemoth confirmed that their next project, Game 4, will also appear on the Windows 10 platform, putting an end to its previously announced Xbox One exclusivity.

Many ID@Xbox titles on Windows 10 will provide cross-platform multiplayer with their Xbox One counterpart (if they have an Xbox One counterpart) and the developers interviewed in the Microsoft-produced video above seem very happy with the ease of the development environment.

The rest of the games that comprise ID@Xbox’s “tip of the iceberg” on Windows 10 can be found after the break. (more…)

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Wolfenstein: The Old Blood is a standalone prequel to New Order and it’ll be out this May

Wolfenstein: The New Order was one of 2014’s most interesting surprises. MachineGames brought the franchise back from the brink of obscurity and completely knocked it out of the park. So I’m quite pleased that the developer (and publisher Bethesda Softworks) have announced a standalone prequel known as Wolfenstein: The Old Blood.

The Old Blood will take players back to the waning days of World War II and one of B.J. Blazkowicz’s final missions. The famed Nazi fighter will have to venture back to Castle Wolfenstein in search of a missing map in this digital download for the PC, PS4, and Xbox One (which has been priced at $19.99). You can read more about Blazkowicz’s mission here or watch the debut trailer above, which excellently apes the style used by movie trailers in the post-war period.

The year is 1946 and the Nazis are on the brink of winning World War II. In an effort to turn the tide in the Allies’ favor, B.J. Blazkowicz must embark on an epic, two-part mission deep within Bavaria. Part one of Wolfenstein: The Old Blood – “Rudi Jäger and the Den of Wolves” – pits B.J. Blazkowicz against a maniacal prison warden as he breaks into Castle Wolfenstein in an attempt to steal the coordinates to General Deathshead’s compound. In part two – “The Dark Secrets of Helga Von Schabbs” – our hero’s search for the coordinates leads him to the city of Wulfburg where an obsessed Nazi archaeologist is exhuming mysterious artifacts that threaten to unleash a dark and ancient power.

Wolfenstein: The Old Blood will be available on May 5, but if you’re attending PAX East this weekend, Bethesda’s Pete Hines and Matt Grandstaff will host a gameplay walkthrough at the Twitch booth. If you’re not attenting PAX East, you can still view a livestream of the event at Twitch.TV/twitch on both Friday, March 6 and Saturday, March 7 at 10:30 AM (Eastern Time).

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Xbox Store Today: ScreamRide, Resident Evil Revelations 2: Episode 2, Shiftlings

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Are you ready to scream your head off this week? I hope so, as Microsoft and Frontier Developments have added ScreamRide to the Xbox Games Store on both the Xbox One and Xbox 360. This coaster creator comes from the same team responsible for RollerCoaster Tycoon and Thrillville, so there’s definitely going to be more to ScreamRide than a bored teenager pulling a lever and asking you to keep your arms and legs inside the car at all time.

Also available this week is the Xbox One and Xbox 360 launch of “Contemplation,” the second episode from Resident Evil Revelations 2. Capcom has plans to complete this chapter of the Resident Evil saga in a timely manner as the remaining two episodes should launch next week and the week after, respectively.

Finally this week, Sierra will add the Xbox One game Shiftlings to the Xbox Games Store. Shiftlings is a colorful platformer that stars a pair of space janitors who are attempting to fix all the broken gadgetry in the universe.

More information on all of this week’s new releases can be found after the break. (more…)

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