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John Romero “pauses” Blackroom Kickstarter campaign to produce a gameplay demo for potential backers

Even though the Kickstarter campaign for John Romero’s Blackroom was going pretty well, the Doom developer has decided to suspend it for now to work on a gameplay demo for potential backers. Here’s what Romero had to say about pressing Blackroom’s “PAUSE” button:

The team is at work on a demo which demonstrates the kind of gameplay, look and innovative, cool features that make Blackroom truly unique — the things we’ve waited years to put into an FPS and which make us incredibly excited about this game.

There’s a hitch here, a hitch that’s making us do something that’s right for the game, the team, and the community: we’re pressing “PAUSE” on the fundraising campaign for Blackroom to complete this gameplay demo. Simply put, this will take more time than the Kickstarter has left, so we’ve decided to suspend the campaign and launch a new one when the gameplay demo is ready. We believe, however, it is the right choice. We know you do, too. Thanks to your feedback, we know we should have included it at launch.

Romero’s original goal for Blackroom was $700,000, and at the time of its cancellation, backers had pledged $131,052 towards the project. According to Kicktraq, Blackroom was on pace to reach its goal before the cancellation, so Romero, and the rest of Night Work Games, probably do want to do right by their fans.

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Nintendo Download: Xenoblade Chronicles, Mini Mario & Friends, Sega 3D Classics, more

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It’s a big day for the Nintendo eShop and it’s an especially big day for Wii U owners who may have missed out on Xenoblade Chronicles. Originally released as a GameStop exclusive for the Wii in 2012, Xenoblade Chronicles is a JRPG from Monolith Soft that features mechs, mystical weapons, and malevolent gods… basically everything you could ever want from a JRPG. People went so crazy for Xenoblade Chronicles that a group of dedicated fans even embarked on a multi-year campaign to get Nintendo to release it in North America. Which of course lead directly to last year’s launch of Xenoblade Chronicles X.

But if you’re not in the market for a sprawling JRPG today, Nintendo has a few other games ready for release. First up is Mini Mario & Friends: Amiibo Challenge, a free-to-play title now available for the Wii U and the 3DS. As the latest entry in the popular Mario vs Donkey Kong series players will have to tap any Amiibo figure they own to get the Minis marching… and some even have special powers. And speaking of free-to-play games, Bandai Namco is ready to release the full version of Lost Reavers (Wii U), their four-player cooperative treasure hunter.

Finally this week, Sega will bundle together nine games from their “3D Classics” line in the Sega 3D Classics Collection. Just some of the Genesis and Master System favorites included in the package are Sonic The Hedgehog, Altered Beast, Galaxy Force II, Thunder Blade, Fantasy Zone II, Fantasy Zone II W, Power Drift, Puyo Puyo 2, and Maze Walker.

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

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Developers from id Software showcased Doom’s single-player campaign in this 60-minute video

“This isn’t Doom 4. This is actually Doom, straight up, from the beginning.”

The developers at id Software have always said the upcoming Doom reboot was about getting back to their roots. Even when id co-founder John Carmarck was involved with the project, he often discussed his desire to locate “the DNA of Doom.” Yesterday, Creative Director Hugo Martin and Executive Producer Marty Stratton walked us through 60 minutes of Doom’s single-player campaign in a brand new video, and I have to admit, I think they found it.

Players who watch the whole video will be introduced to Doom’s “Glory Kill” system, as well as a massive amount of weaponry and some of the lore that’s sprinkled throughout the game. Naturally, it all ends with a trip to Hell.

Doom will be released for the PC, PS4, and Xbox One on May 13.

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EA announces NHL 17 and they want your help picking a cover athlete

The NHL playoffs are in full swing, but EA Sports is already thinking about next season. The megapublisher recently announced that NHL 17 will be released for the PS4 and Xbox One this Fall and they’re asking fans to once again select the cover athlete. Here’s what the first round of voting looks like:

Jamie Benn (#NHL17Benn) VS Aleksander Barkov (#NHL17Barkov)
Joe Pavelski (#NHL17Pavelski) VS Anze Kopitar (#NHL17Kopitar)
Connor McDavid (#NHL17McDavid) VS Jakub Voracek (#NHL17Voracek)
Victor Hedman (#NHL17Hedman) VS Vladimir Tarasenko (#NHL17Tarasenko)

The contest is now open at NHL.com, or you can cast your vote through Twitter using the hashtags above. Fans can vote as many times as they like, and tweets count double on “Twitter Vote Thursdays.”

In addition to the cover athlete vote, EA also released their “Vision Trailer” for NHL 17, which shows “how the team [at EA Canada] is working directly with fans to build the biggest and most exciting hockey game to date.”

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You’re Out! Nintendo plans to sell their majority stake in the Seattle Mariners

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Back in 1992, the Seattle Mariners were in trouble. While they weren’t quite as bad as the fictional Cleveland Indians team from Major League, Seattle’s dismal performance on the field caused a similar meltdown from their ownership. Mariners owner Jeff Smulyan constantly threatened to relocate the franchise, but he relented in the middle of the season, ultimately selling the team to Nintendo. Hiroshi Yamauchi, Nintendo’s Chairman and President, wasn’t a fan of the sport, but he made sure the team stayed in Seattle to thank the city for their years-long support of Nintendo’s North American headquarters.

Today, Nintendo decided to walk off the field by selling the majority of their stake in the Mariners to the other members of First Avenue Entertainment, the team’s minority ownership group. Famed bowtie enthusiast Howard Lincoln will be replaced as the team’s CEO by John Stanton, though Lincoln will continue to have a seat on the team’s Board of Directors.

“From the first day of our involvement nearly 24 years ago, Nintendo has had two goals for its investment in the Mariners,” said Howard Lincoln. “First, we wanted to assure the permanence of the team in this great city. And on that count, I am proud and gratified that this agreement further solidifies that goal. On the other hand, I’m equally disappointed that we have not been able to host a World Series game for our fans.”

A rather unique entity among Major League Baseball’s 32 owners, Nintendo leveraged their position as a video game producer to develop a series of games starring Ken Griffey Jr., Seattle’s Hall of Fame outfielder, in the 90s. The last game in the series, Ken Griffey Jr.’s Slugfest, was released in 1999 and helped put developer Angel Studios on the map. You might know them better as Rockstar San Diego, the creators of Red Dead Redemption.

The sale of the Mariners likely has something to do with Nintendo’s gloomy financial outlook. But their investment in Seattle baseball will pay off handsomely. The consolemaker reportedly purchased the Mariners for $100 million back in 1992 and the team is worth $1.4 billion today.

Posted in Etcetera, News, Retro |

Xbox Store Today: Hitman Ep 2, Walking Dead Michonne Ep 3, Elite Dangerous Arena, more

Today’s Xbox Games Store update is making it a good time to be a fan of episodic gaming.

Players who wished for more entries in Sierra’s King’s Quest (Xbox One, Xbox 360) series will be able to continue the adventures of King Graham today in the third episode, Once Upon A Climb. A much bloodier type of adventure can be found in IO Interactive’s Hitman (Xbox One), but that’s not going to stop Agent 47 from meeting his target on the fictional Italian coastal town of Sapienza.

Also this week, Telltale’s The Walking Dead: Michonne (Xbox One, Xbox 360) will come to an end with the third episode, What We Deserve. “Michonne tries to protect an innocent family, but Norma and the vengeful Monroe crew are closing in,” reads the episode’s description. Sounds intense.

Elsewhere on the Xbox Games Store, annoying partygoers will meet their doom in Party Hard, a stealth game for the Xbox One where players permanently evict the worst noise polluters. And Elite Dangerous: Arena adds head-to-head dogfighting to the Elite: Dangerous universe as both a standalone expansion or a free add-on for the main game.

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

Posted in News, Xbox 360, Xbox One | Tagged , ,

The Walking Dead Season 3 tease from Robert Kirkman reveals an older Clementine

Robert Kirkman is the creator of the Walking Dead comic book and the guiding hand behind the megafranchise’s expansion into television, novels, and video games. So Telltale Games recently gave him the chance to talk about his thoughts on The Walking Dead: Michonne, which came to a conclusion yesterday.

In the video, Kirkman praises the Telltale team for their fine work, and reveals that several of the game’s plot points came directly from his notes for Michonne’s absence in issue #126. The writer also couldn’t resist teasing The Walking Dead Season 3, and confirmed that fans of the series are in store for another time jump:

“Season 3 of the Telltale series is really exciting to me. The way that the timeline works, Season 3 will actually be getting pretty close to where we are in the comics concurrently,” said Kirkman. “We’ll be checking in on Clementine again, so we’ll be seeing her, seeing where she’s at and what’s going on with her which is going to be great. But also similar to the Michonne series there will probably be some more comic book elements that we’ll be working into it in some interesting ways. I don’t want to spoil too much…”

The first episode of The Walking Dead Season 3 will be released sometime this year.

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Alienation, Hitman: Episode 2, Walking Dead Michonne: Episode 3, more added to PS Store

Sony’s Launch Party promotion reached the end with yesterday’s addition of Alienation to the PlayStation Store. Developed by marquee game developer Housemarque, the PS4 game is a twin-stick shooter where up to four players can try to save Earth from a huge alien invasion.

Also available to download today is Severed from DrinkBox Studios (quasi-related side note… Ecto Cooler is coming back). The Vita game makes extensive use of the handheld’s touchscreen and asks players to solve puzzles, find secrets, and do battle with a host of disturbing monsters. Speaking of disturbing monsters, annoying partygoers have sealed their fate in Party Hard, a stealth game for the PS4 where players permanently evict the worst noise polluters.

There’s also an episodic bounty of riches on the PlayStation Store this week as three titles received new entries. Episode 2 of Hitman (PS4) takes the story to the fictional Italian coastal island of Sapienza, while Sierra’s King’s Quest (PS3, PS4) reaches new heights in its third episode, Once Upon A Climb. And Telltale closes the book on The Walking Dead: Michonne (PS3, PS4) with the third, and final, episode: What We Deserve.

More information on all of these games (and a few other new releases) can be found after the break. And a visit to the PlayStation Blog will reveal this week’s new game add-ons and discounts. (more…)

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