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Xbox Store Today: Halo Wars 2, Zombie Vikings, Shift Happens, more

Today’s Xbox Games Store update includes four heads for the future in one game and to the past for three retro-inspired games.

Fans have been asking for a sequel to Halo Wars for years, and now Microsoft has delivered with the Xbox One release of Halo Wars 2. Fans who purchase the Xbox One edition through the Xbox Games Store will also receive access to the game on Windows 10 thanks to the Xbox Play Anywhere program, but everyone will get a chance to guide their futuristic soldiers with its real-time strategy gameplay.

Also available to download today for the Xbox One is Zombie Vikings, a side-scrolling hack and slash starring the “most fearsome Vikings ever raised from Norse soil.” Up to four players will be able to fight back against a menagerie of monsters as they search for Odin’s missing eye. The Xbox One is also home to a second new side-scroller today with the release of Shift Happens. Players will solve puzzles, collect coins, and go on a “comical yet dramatic” adventure.

Finally today, Xbox One owners will have the chance to download Vaccine, a survival horror game inspired by the genre’s PSone-era beginnings. As part of a special bio-hazard rapid response team, players will have to race against time to find a cure for a deadly disease in a house full of mutated monsters.

That’s all for today, but you can learn more about any of these titles after the break. (more…)

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Psychonauts in the Rhombus of Ruin, Night in the Woods, Berserk, more added to PS Store

It’s a weird, weird world in this week’s PlayStation Store update.

First up, PS4 players will get to return to the world of Psychonauts for the first time in more than a decade in Psychonauts in the Rhombus of Ruin. Only playable with a PlayStation VR headset, Psychonauts in the Rhombus of Ruin will bridge the gap between the original game and its upcoming sequel with Raz’s first mission as a full-fledged member of the Psychonauts.

Also available to download this week for the PS4 is Night in the Woods, a stylish adventure game about the strange things in the woods that go bump in the night. The alphabetical platforming adventures found in Typoman will also offer PS4 owners another unique world to explore this week.

Finally, Koei Tecmo and Omega Team will bring the latest Warriors spinoff, Beserk and the Band of the Hawk, to the PS4 and Vita this week. Based on the Berserk manga by Kentaro Miura, the game follows the Band of the Hawk as they battle giant monsters.

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

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Farom Studio releases first trailer for Lost Region… and it looks a little familar

Yesterday, Farom Studio released the first trailer for Lost Region, their upcoming survival action game. As “Pre-Alpha Footage,” the game is still early in development, but some players might find that it looks a bit… familiar.

We shouldn’t be totally surprised, since Lost Region is also a third-person survival action game, but it looks quite a bit like State of Decay and Rust.

The atmosphere… desolate, wooded, and with a few signs of life here and there… are all signatures of other popular survival action titles. There aren’t any zombies, but these standard elements all make an appearance in the Lost Region trailer

The locale, the buildings, the atmosphere, and the crafting all reminds me very much of State of Decay and Rust. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing. State of Decay is a great game, so great that a sequel is set to arrive on the PC and Xbox One this year. And Rust has a massive Steam following despite being in Early Access for years.

Regardless, the Lost Region trailer looks great. And I still think that it’s a game that we should keep our eyes on. Farom Studio has promised to deliver an amazing and unique experience with the game, and they just might. Because, despite the seeming similarities, Lost Region’s features already sets itself apart.

From a fully explorable environment, to the massive map, coupled with the ability to create clans and choose your own path, Lost Region looks to implement features that gamers will love yet other games are lacking. Considering that this is just the Alpha version of the game, I’m looking forward to see Lost Region evolve into a finished product.

And you can follow along, as Farom Studio also recently launched an IndieGoGo campaign to fund the game. They’re seeking $20,000 and hope to make the Alpha release available to the public in April.

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Microsoft’s “Epic 2017” includes Crackdown 3, Sea of Thieves, Tacoma, Cuphead, and more

We’re nearly to the end of February, but Microsoft thought today was a great day to launch their first major game of 2017, Halo Wars 2. To celebrate, the consolemaker turned the spotlight on their “Epic 2017” in a special episode of This Week on Xbox.

Besides delving deeper into the latest addition to the Halo franchise, Larry “Major Nelson” Hyrb and friends explore Crackdown 3, Phantom Dust, Sea of Thieves, State of Decay 2, and several indie games set to launch this year through the ID@Xbox program.

Microsoft’s Chris Charla also confirmed that ID@Xbox developers will have a major presence at GDC 2017, and Microsoft’s Showcase on the show floor will include more than 20 titles. GDC attendees will get a chance to play Ron Gilbert’s Thimbleweed Park, Fullbright’s Tacoma, Studio MDHR’s Cuphead, and many others when the conference kicks off in San Francisco next week.

Finally, Phil “Head of Xbox” Spencer had a few more words to say about Microsoft’s “Epic 2017” on the Xbox Wire, and he also confirmed that a remake of Voodoo Vince will be available for the PC and Xbox One this Spring.

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Retro-themed brawler Full Metal Furies will be out this year from Cellar Door Games

Cellar Door Games exploded onto the scene in a big way back in 2013 with the release of Rogue Legacy, their roguelike platformer for the PC. In the years since then, they found new fans for Rogue Legacy on the PS3, PS4, Vita, and Xbox One. But they also spent that time working in secret on a new game… Full Metal Furies.

In development for the PC and Xbox One, Full Metal Furies is a retro-themed brawler for up to four players and an RPG-like leveling system. With its unique character classes, Cellar Door believes that Full Metal Furies is “Not Your Typical Brawler,” and they set out to prove it in a new post on Xbox Wire:

  • Tired of button mashing? The game features four unique character classes with their own skills and attacks. Engage from afar as the Sniper, slam up close as the Fighter, or prep turrets in people’s faces with the Engineer.
  • Say goodbye to wonky hit detection. FMF uses complex attack logic to ensure obtuse depth perception is a thing of the past.
  • No more cannon fodder. Fragile Artillerists will stay away and call air strikes from afar, while heavy-duty Minitaurs will charge at you and get up-close and personal. Every enemy is a threat.

    Full Metal Furies is being designed from the ground up for co-op play, but players will also be able to tackle the adventure solo if they so choose. Using a “Quick-Swap System,” players will be able to switch off between two characters as they play… which becomes doubly important because certain enemies can only be damaged by attacks from specific classes.

    To further foster cooperation amongst all your friends, Cellar Door Games will release Full Metal Furies as an Xbox Play Anywhere with Cross Play support on Windows 10 PCs and the Xbox One sometime this year.

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    Bandai Namco will release a Free Update and DB Super Pack 2 for Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2 next week

    Mark your calendars, because Bandai Namco will release a Free Update for Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2 on February 27. The Free Update will contain the following content:

    • New Costumes: Zangya and Bido
    • Andriod 15’s Clothes and Metal Cooler Suit
    • 2 New Expert Missions: Broly and Janemba
    • 5 New Attacks
    • New Rules for the Tenkaichi Tournament
    • Character Tenkaichi: All players will have to fight with the same one character, such as Goku Tenkaichi, Yamcha Tenakichi, or Pan Tenkaichi.
    • Group Tenkaichi: For example, in the GT Cup, players can only choose GT characters.
    • Tenkaichi Tournament Jersey

    All of these updates sound great, but it doesn’t stop there. The next day, February 28, players will have the option to purchase the DB Super Pack 2 expansion, which delivers both new content and updates. Here’s what players have to look forward to in the expansion:

    • New Universe 6 Saga Story Chapter
    • 2 New Playable Characters: Champa and Vados
    • 1 New Stage (U6 vs U7 Tournament Stage)
    • 8 New Attacks
    • 3 New Costumes
    • 1 New Vehicle (Sayian Space Pod)
    • Super Soles and Emotes

    Besides all of the new content mentioned above, DB Super Pack 2 will also usher in a few modifications to existing moves. Some of these modifications players might find helpful, while others may be a little frustrating. Here’s what’s changing, and how:

    • Kaioken Assult will have its Ki requirement decreased from the current 500 to 200. To balance the change, players Kaioken Assult will inflict less damage. If players use Z Vanish during Kaioken Assult attacks, players will recover from their immobile state faster.
    • Ki Explosion will also see a KI requirement decrease, from 200 to 100. The damage will also decrease, as well as the time allowed to perform consecutive Ki Explosion attacks. Players will also be able to recover from their immobile state more quickly by releasing a button.
    • Mighty Explosion Wave will now cause more damage.
    • Cross Arm Dive will allow players to become invincible after the skill is used, and will permit players to move forward, backward, right and left during a jump. And players will also be able to move more quickly when falling to the ground.
    • Go-Go Gum will see a decrease to the time that the move binds the opponent.

    These are just a few of the move updates that players will see, and you can check out the rest at Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2’s official website. So far, there’s been no word on a price or installation requirements for DB Super Pack 2. But considering that DB Super Pack 1 is currently available to download for $7.99, we should probably expect a similar price for the upcoming expansion.

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    Square Enix tapes Tales producer Hideo Baba to develop Project Prelude Rune

    Square Enix will collaborate with Hideo Baba, one of the driving forces behind Bandai Namco’s Tales series beginning with 2006’s Tales of Destiny, to establish Studio Istolia. Wholly owned by Square Enix, Studio Istolia is hard at work on their first game, an RPG currently known as Project Prelude Rune:

    The project aims to build a new RPG with a new fantasy: unfolding across a vast land teeming with life. Nurtured by the earth, the many peoples of this land dare to dream, fighting for what is just—and this is their tale.

    For now, that’s all Square Enix and Studio Istolia were willing to share about Project Prelude Rune. However, they did reveal that “Istolia” is derived from the Greek for “Story,” adding, “The aim of the studio is to provide unforgettable stories that will inspire players in their own lives, and bring new game experiences to everyone around the world.”

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    Chroma Squad will be available for PS4 and Xbox One this May

    Bandai Namco has announced that Chroma Squad, a tactical RPG inspired by Power Rangers that’s currently available through Steam, will be released for the PS4 and Xbox One in May.

    Developed by Brazilian-based Behold Studios, Chroma Squad features “five high-flying stunt actors who decide to quit their day jobs and create their own Power Rangers TV show.” But somewhere along the way, they stumble into a real alien invasion and make it their job to save the Earth.

    Bandai Namco had previously announced that Chroma Squad was also in development for the Vita, but the portable rendition of the game was officially canceled by the publisher today.

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