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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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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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    Get a quick glimpse at Tom Savini’s “Custom Jason” in Friday the 13th: The Game

    Friday the 13th: The Game will feature several incarnations of Jason Voorhees (including “Burlap Sack Jason” from Part 2, “Original Hockey Mask Jason” from Part 3, and “Zombie Jason” from Jason Lives), but fans who pre-order the game will also receive access to a “Custom Jason” created by special effects wizard Tom Savini.

    The trailer for Savini’s “Custom Jason” doesn’t reveal much about the character’s redesign, but the glowing eyes are fairly terrifying. As is the way his tattered costume seems show a ridgeline of spikes across his shoulders and the claw-like design of his hands. The master at work, ladies and gentlemen.

    Savini is best known as the make-up artist behind the original Friday the 13th, as well as Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter. As one of the most in-demand names in the business in the 70s and 80s, he also contributed gory make-up effects to Dawn of the Dead, Day of the Dead, Creepshow, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2, and many others.

    If you’re interested in playing as Savini’s “Custom Jason” in Friday the 13th: The Game, you’ll need to pre-order it now from the game’s official website.

    Friday the 13th: The Game will be released for the PC, PS4, and Xbox One sometime in the Winter/Spring portion of the 2017 calendar. But if you can’t wait that long, developers from Gun Media and Illfonic will host a panel at this year’s PAX East convention that’ll contain “brutal kills, massive reveals, and an in-depth Q/A session.”

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    Tokyo Tattoo Girls will arrive on PS Vita and Steam in 2017

    At their 2017 Press Event this weekend, NIS America announced that Tokyo Tattoo Girls will make its way to the PC (via Steam) and PS Vita in both North America and Europe. In addition to confirming the game’s western release, the publisher also provided us with a little information about its story, plus a trailer and some screenshots.

    After a calamity befalls Tokyo, some of the city’s survivors find themselves with powerful abilities bestowed on them by colorful tattoos. The city is cordoned off from the world, its inhabitants isolated. To create peace, the city has been divided into 23 wards, each controlled by a powerful group known as “Kumi.” Together, these Kumi form the “Union.” It’s rumored that escape from the devastated city is possible, but only for the person who manages to defeat all 23 Kumi…

    Tattoos are, as indicated by the title, a key feature in Tokyo Tattoo Girls. So much so that Japanese tattoo artist Koji Tanaka was tasked with designing unique, but traditionally-inspired, art for the game. In the game, players will choose a companion, and power them up with special abilities by giving them new tattoos. And in order to beat the game and escape the city, players must conquer all 23 of Tokyo’s wards by defeating the Union located there. With 23 wards, making up 23 levels, that should provide players with an ample amount of gameplay.

    Tokyo Tattoo Girls will be released for the PC and PS Vita sometime in 2017. You can find the first four screenshots after the break. (more…)

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    Bethesda’s Todd Howard said the developer has SEVEN projects in the works

    Bethesda has always been one of the busiest studios in the business. In addition to producing multiple games at the same time, Bethesda is well known for producing each sprawling entry in the Elder Scrolls and Fallout franchises. But they’ve taken things up a notch with their current workload.

    Speaking to IGN, Director Todd Howard has confirmed the company is currently working on seven different projects, though some of these games have been discussed before.

    Howard specifically cited the upcoming Switch launch of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim and Fallout 4 VR as two projects that were previously announced. The developer was extremely excited about Fallout 4 VR, adding that the game is playable “start to finish in VR” and is shaping up nicely:

    “There’s no content that we removed or changed [for VR],” Howard explained, noting that the current work being done on it is related to how players actually interact with the experience.

    “It’s interface work, it’s other things,” he said. “There are issues with locomotion, how you traverse that much space, and we’re hoping to support as many modes as possible… It’s not done yet, there’s work to do, but the parts that are there, I’m biased but it’s pretty incredible.”

    Betehsda’s Director also reiterated the company is working on another mobile title that “would follow in the successful footsteps of Fallout Shelter,” though he didn’t say if it would be an original title or based on an existing franchise.

    The seventh project remained a mystery, but with a final flourish, Howard told IGN that Bethesda’s two “big and crazy” projects announced during the 2016 DICE Summit are still in development, as is The Elder Scrolls VI, which was first mentioned at E3 2016 as being “a very long way off.”

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