Most Recent: Mobile

Hype Fatigue: Why I’m Exhausted With Viral Marketing, Elaborate Advertising Campaigns, and Countdowns

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The machinations of video game marketers absolutely baffle me. Obviously, “video game marketing” is an incredibly broad term that encompasses hundreds of different campaigns a year, all run by different people, and all carried out with different expectations. Whipsawing between a seemingly neverending series of hype events and viral campaigns has started to make my head spin. Following hashtags and decoding secret messages has become de rigueur if you want to come up with all the latest game news. Last week, three publishers launched three very different viral campaigns that made me long for the days of the simple press release/trailer combo platter. But maybe they aren’t to blame, as video game marketing has been growing increasingly insane for years now. (more…)

Posted in 3DS, Mobile, Opinions, PC, PS3, PS4, Top Story, Vita, Wii U, Xbox 360, Xbox One | Tagged , , , , ,

Halo: Spartan Strike was quietly released today for Windows 8, iOS devices

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After discovering a variety of major bugs in Halo: The Master Chief Collection, Microsoft and 343 Industries pushed the release of Halo: Spartan Strike, a twin-stick spinoff, from December 2014 to “early 2015.” Today, the game was quietly released for the PC (via Steam), Windows 8 tablets and PCs, iOS devices (iPod Touch, iPhone, iPad), and Windows Phone 8. Halo: Saprtan Assault, which was originally released in 2013, also makes its iOS debut today as part of the Halo: Spartan Bundle.

Developed by Vanguard Games, Xbox Wire says Spartan Strike takes place during Halo 2 and serves as a training ground for Spartan soldiers:

Halo: Spartan Strike tells a compelling new story in the Halo universe set during the events of Halo 2 on New Mombasa in 2552. As a Spartan supersoldier in a classified ONI simulation, delve into 30 challenging missions while leading UNSC troops through cities and jungles with an all new arsenal of weapons, abilities and vehicles.

Players who advance through Halo: Spartan Strike’s Achievements will be able to unlock an exclusive Emblem, Nameplate, and Avatar in Halo: The Master Chief Collection. So I guess it’s got that going for it.

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Guitar Hero Live brings back franchise as a first-person live-action experience this Fall

Back in February, unnamed insiders said that Activision would relaunch the Guitar Hero franchise this year with “more realistic” graphics. That report has turned out to be accurate… but in the absolute strangest way possible. The next game in the series, Guitar Hero Live, will launch this Fall as a first-person, live-action experience that attempts to put players on stage for real. Shred that perfect solo and the crowd will cheer wildly for you. But if you screw up, you’ll be begging for the fenced-in stage from The Blues Brothers. That’s if your bandmates don’t kill you first.

Guitar Hero Live will also include a constantly changing catalog of songs in GHTV Mode, which overlays a note track on top of hundreds of different music videos. You can get a glimpse at how both modes will work by viewing the game’s debut trailer, which has been embedded above.

Unfortunately, your old guitars will no longer work in Guitar Hero Live. Activision is throwing out the old design and creating a new design featuring two rows of three buttons each. According to Activision, “beginners can feel like a rock star by mastering play with just the bottom three buttons.” Meanwhile, veterans will take on the new challenge of “creating complex chord-like shapes and finger combinations.”

Guitar Hero Live’s tracklist is still being finalized, but a wide variety of bands and singers will make the cut including The Black Keys, Fall Out Boy, My Chemical Romance, Gary Clark, Jr., Green Day, Ed Sheeran, The War on Drugs, The Killers, Skrillex, The Rolling Stones, The Lumineers, Carrie Underwood, and Pierce the Veil and Blitz Kids. More will be announced as we get closer to launch.

Guitar Hero Live is in development for the PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, and Wii U at FreeStyleGames, the same team behind DJ Hero and DJ Hero 2. Somehow, Guitar Hero Live will also be playable on mobile devices and tablets, but details on that version of the game will be announced at a later date.

Posted in Mobile, News, PS3, PS4, Wii U, Xbox 360, Xbox One | Tagged


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Mortal Kombat X now available on iOS App Store; coming to Google Play soon

The mobile version of Mortal Kombat X was quietly added to the iOS App Store last night by NetherRealm Studios. So now you can perform Fatalities on the go if you’ve got an iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch. However, if you’re an Android user, you’ll have to wait to hear Shao Kahn say “Finish Him!” as the Android version is currently “coming soon.”

Mortal Kombat X on mobile devices will feel very familiar to players who’ve previously downloaded Inustice: Gods Among Us, Batman: Arkham Origins, and WWE Immortals. Each fight involves a 3-on-3 battle and each character is represented by a card that can be leveled up and buffed. Players will also be able to link the mobile version of Mortal Kombat X with the PC/console release to unlock special content like costumes in each version.

And don’t worry, mobile players will be able to take part in Mortal Kombat X’s Faction Wars when the PC/PS4/Xbox One edition launches on April 14. A Challenge Mode will also be available soon, but players can join daily events and battle opponents in an multiplayer mode right now.

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Mortal Kombat X TV spot goes back to the past to ask “Who’s Next?”

Fight! Fight! Fight! Fight! Fight! Fight! Fight! Fight! Fight! Fight!

With just a few weeks to go until Mortal Kombat X‘s April 14th launch, NetherRealm Studios has unveiled the game’s full-length television commercial. It’s mostly comprised of footage we’ve seen before, but it’s interesting to see NetherRealm ask “Who’s Next?” by traveling back to the past.

First, you’ll notice that the soundtrack blares to life courtesy of System of a Down’s 2001 hit, “Chop Suey.” But what you might not notice is that the Mortal Kombat X spot is also a modern riff on the very first commercial used to sell the series. The crowd, the urban setting, even some of the camerawork, can all be linked back to the infamous “Mortal Monday” commercial that was used to promote the console release of Mortal Kombat in 1993.

Mortal Kombat X will be available for the PC, PS4, and Xbox One on April 14. A mobile version for iOS and Android will also be released next month, and a version for PS3 and Xbox 360 owners will be available in the Summer.

Posted in Mobile, News, PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One | Tagged

RBI Baseball 15 will be released for PS4, Xbox One on March 31

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Polygon is reporting that MLB Advanced Media’s RBI Baseball 15 will be released for the PS4 and Xbox One on March 31. That means the retro-styled sports game will be going head-to-head with Sony’s MLB 15: The Show, which will also launch on the last day of this month.

Last year’s game, RBI Baseball 14, was a stripped-down sports game that kept things simple. A little too simple, we thought at the time. While still not a modern simulation, RBI 15 will add in several features absent from RBI 14 including full team rosters, stat tracking, and online multiplayer.

RBI Baseball 15 is also in development for the PC and mobile platforms, but MLB Advanced Media wasn’t ready to reveal a release date for those versions just yet.

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


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Game of Thrones: Episode 3 will be available starting tomorrow

Well isn’t this a nice Monday morning surprise? Telltale Games has announced the third episode of their Game of Thrones adaptation, The Sword in the Darkness, will be released for all seven platforms this week:

  • March 24 - PC, PS3, PS4
  • March 25 - Xbox 360, Xbox One
  • March 26 - iOS, Android

A new trailer for The Sword in the Darkness has been embedded above and here’s what players can expect as they reach the halfway point of Telltale’s take on George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire saga:

Asher, the exile, heads to Mereen in search of an army to take on the Whitehills. Meanwhile, far across land and sea in Westeros, Mira must deal with the lethal politics of King’s Landing. Her family’s safety is paramount and she will do anything to protect them, but nothing is given freely, and her choice of allies may soon come to haunt her. To the north, in Ironrath, the Whitehill occupation continues. Gryff Whitehill, fourth-born son, is out to prove himself, and brutality and violence grows daily, pushing the Forresters to make far-reaching decisions. Finally, at the Wall, Gared learns that he must head north if he is to help his house survive. But fate is cruel, forcing choices that will change his path forever.

Telltale has been releasing new episodes in their Game of Thrones about two months apart, so expect Episode 4 to launch sometime in late May/early June.

Posted in Mobile, News, PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One | Tagged

Nintendo President reveals more about company’s move into mobile gaming

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Gamers the world over are still in a state of shock after Nintendo announced they would start developing mobile games. Especially since the “how” of this historic news is still a big question mark. Thankfully, Time Magazine approached Nintendo’s President, Satoru Iwata, to ask the big questions about the company’s mobile push.

According to Iwata, Nintendo is not outsourcing development of their planned mobile titles to DeNA. The consolemaker themselves will develop the games while DeNA offers assistance with the “service side of things.” Iwata also said that famed developer Shigeru Miyamoto may work on mobile titles in the future, but for now, his time is being spent working on a trio of previously-announced Wii U games (Star Fox, Project Guard, Project Giant Robot) that are scheduled to launch in 2015.

Finally, any discussion of the mobile game market will include the big question… Premium or Free-To-Play? According to Iwata, Nintendo is not committing to either scheme and will chose each game’s pricing scheme on a title-by-title basis: “[F]or each title, we will discuss with DeNA and decide the most appropriate payment method. So, specifically to your question, both can be options, and if a new Nintendo-like invention comes of it, then all the better.”

For more insight into Nintendo’s mobile partnership with DeNA, I recommend reading the rest of the Time Magazine interview.

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