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Here’s our first look at Kim Wu and The Arbiter in Killer Instinct Season 3

In a fighting game that already features a living skeleton, a dinosaur/human hybrid, and multiple deranged cyborgs, a spunky teenager might have a hard time standing out. But then, Kim Wu isn’t just any spunky teenager. As she says in this brand new Killer Instinct trailer, she’s got “a friggin’ dragon” on her side.

In addition to Kim Wu’s debut, Killer Instinct fans are also now able to peruse the patch notes for the upcoming Season 3 update. Both Kim Wu and the Season 3 update should be available to download in March.

Finally, Iron Galaxy teased one more Season 3 character last night… and it’s The Arbiter from the Halo universe. You can see a teaser starring the crossover character after the break. (more…)

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New Releases: XCOM 2, Gravity Rush Remastered, Megadimension Neptunia VII, More

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Are you ready to save the world soldier? This week’s new release report kicks off with XCOM 2, a PC-exclusive sequel to 2012’s XCOM: Enemy Unknown. Things didn’t go so well for humanity after the end of that game and the aliens took over everything. So it’s up to you, and a merry band of rebels, to ignite a worldwide revolution and take back the Earth. Dismissed!

Also available this week is Gravity Rush Remastered, a PS4 remake of a Vita adventure first released in 2012. Players will take control of Kat, a woman who can manipulate gravity, to save the world from an invading force.

The remainder of this week’s new releases feature a quintet of titles that is each more Japanese than the last…

For example, did you know that Idea Factory has produced six games in their Hyperdimension Neptunia series? The seventh game in the series, Megadimension Neptunia VII, will be released for the PS4 this week. The RPG franchise will actually be making the jump to the PS4 for the first time, and players will be asked to save “Gamindustri” once again.

Nitroplus is a popular producer of visual novels in Japan, and the company recently teamed up with developer Examu and publisher Marvelous to bring their many characters together in a fighting game known as Nitroplus Blasterz: Heroines Infinite Duel. It’ll be released for the PS4 this week.

Similar to the Go-Bots/Transformers split, the Digimon series has always existed as a budget-priced alternative to Pokemon, but the venerable franchise keeps trucking along and that includes the latest entry, Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth. Available next week for the PS4, players attempt to take down a band of hackers in cyberspace with the help of their Digimon companions.

Speaking of popular anime franchises, Bandai Namco will release Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 4 for the PC this week. The latest game starring the foxy ninja (and I mean that literally, the main character is part fox) will also be available for the PS4 and Xbox One next week.

Finally this week, Bandai Namco will also release Tales of Symphonia for the PC. Originally released for the GameCube in 2003, Symphonia will be one of the first games in the Tales series to make its PC debut.

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Kickstart This! Consortium: The Tower, Dragon of Legends, Wandersong

Hello, readers, and welcome back! Let’s blast off in a big way with the first Kickstart This! of 2016. Although January is typically the month people are digging behind the sofa cushions for any spare change, now that payday has passed, a number of smart game developers and studios have recently launched campaigns. By sheer coincidence, all of our choices in this edition come from Canada. First up, we have what is deemed “an immersive sci-fi simulation” with Consortium: The Tower from Interdimensional Games Inc. Next, there’s the Celtic-and-Norse-themed action RPG Dragon of Legends by Thrive Games. Last but not least, there’s whimsical side-scrolling musical adventure Wandersong.

Oh, Canada… (more…)

Posted in Features, Mobile, PC, PS4, Top Story, Xbox One |

Michel Ancel talks about the future of Beyond Good & Evil 2 with Tim Schafer

In his spare time, Double Fine’s Tim Schafer also hosts Devs Play, a webseries where he invites developers to visit the Double Fine office to play their classic games. Michel Ancel, the creator of Rayman, recently closed out the second season with an in-depth discussion of Beyond Good & Evil. Naturally, Schafer (and his co-host, Greg Rice), couldn’t resist asking about Beyond Good & Evil 2.

As usual, Ancel tried to steer the conversation away from the long-in-development sequel, but he did admit that the pressure to live up to the reputation of the first game is substantial (the exchange starts around the 48-minute mark):

Michel Ancel: We did a nice trailer for Beyond Good & Evil 2…

Greg Rice: What can you say about Beyond Good & Evil 2?

Tim Schafer: Yeah, tell us everything we should know about Beyond Good & Evil 2.

Michel Ancel: Um… maybe we could continue playing Beyond Good & Evil 1. That’s the problem, [we have] no choice. [Beyond Good & Evil 2] has to be great. When we started [Beyond Good & Evil] there was not that much pressure. The crazy thing is that [Beyond Good & Evil] was really not that successful and nobody talked about the game. And Miyamoto talked about the game at E3 and wasn’t very happy. […] And now, year after year, more and more people are talking about [Beyond Good & Evil 2].

And towards the very end of the episode (at 1:07), Ancel admits that Beyond Good & Evil 2 is still in the works:

Tim Schafer: You’re still in the headspace of this game because you’re making a sequel right. You’re thinking about [the Beyond Good & Evil] world still.

Michel Ancel: Yeah, but it’s difficult because it’s hard for me to redo the same game two times. I don’t know how you’re going to manage that for Psychonauts 2.

Beyond Good & Evil 2 was first revealed during Ubisoft’s Ubidays event in 2008. Ancel has spoken about the game a handful of times since then, but it looks like we’ve still got a very long wait ahead of us… if it ever comes out at all.

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TitanFall 2 gets a Late 2016/Early 2017 release date; Battlefield 5, Mass Effect Andromeda still on track for 2016

EAlogoEven though it has yet to be officially announced, EA is confident that TitanFall 2 will be released during the late 2016/early 2017 period. CEO Andrew Wilson delivered the good news during the company’s quarterly financial call yesterday, while also ticking off tentative release dates for Battlefield 5 (Fall 2016) and Mass Effect: Andromeda (late 2016/early 2017):

An all-new Battlefield game from DICE will arrive in time for the holidays, we’re excited to have a new TitanFall experience coming from our friends at Respawn and of course, Mass Effect: Andromeda from the team at BioWare will launch later in the fiscal year.

Wilson would go on to say that the next TitanFall is shaping up nicely, and that he can’t wait to talk about it “in the months ahead”:

Again, it’s a little early to start talking about the details of TitanFall in this juncture, and that wasn’t the purpose of raising it. What I would say, having seen the game, is it’s looking fantastic. Our relationship with Respawn is extremely strong; we have great faith in that entire team to build a spectacular game and are really looking forward to sharing more details in the months ahead.

While it’s possible we might learn more about all three of these titles this Spring, we’ll likely have to wait until this year’s E3 Expo. Though EA recently said they’re skipping this year’s E3 Expo and will instead hold their own event, EA Play 2016, in the days just before the convention.

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EA ships 13 million copies of Star Wars: Battlefront; Visceral’s Star Wars game might be “a few years out”

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Star Wars: Battlefront was an extremely popular present this holiday season. Yesterday, EA revealed exactly how popular it was during their latest quarterly financial report.

Chief Financial Officer Blake Jorgensen announced that EA has shipped more than 13 million copies of Star Wars: Battlefront to stores since it was released in November. And that number includes the more than one million copies of the game that were bundled with a brand new PS4.

Since Battlefront made a boatload of money for the video game megapublisher, it seems reasonable to assume they’d rush another Star Wars game into stores as quickly as possible. But you would be wrong. Near the end of the report, Jorgensen admitted that the company’s next Star Wars game, which is currently in development at Visceral Games and Motive Studios under the supervision of Amy Hennig and Jade Raymond, is likely still a few years away:

[W]e are obviously announcing that we are investing in some action-based SKUs by bringing people like Jade Raymond and Amy Hennig into our organization to help build those. And those are obviously a few years out in our SKU plan.

Very little is known about Visceral and Motive’s Star Wars game, though it’s widely believed to focus on a young Han Solo. Which is quite the coincidence when you think about it, because Disney plans to release a young Han Solo film in 2018. Or, if you prefer, “a few years” from now.

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Insomniac will partner with GameStop to release Song of the Deep this Summer

Insomniac Games is going under the sea for their next game. Song of the Deep is a Metroidvania-style side-scroller that takes place entirely underwater as the young Merryn attempts to save her father from the briny deep. Insomniac isn’t exactly known for side-scrollers, but Song of the Deep is the passion project of Chief Creative Officer Brian Hastings, so come hell or high water, it’s full steam ahead for the developer:

Merryn waits all night for her father to return from his fishing voyage. He never does. After a vivid dream showing her father trapped under the sea, Merryn is determined to save him. This unlikely heroine builds a small submarine from spare parts and sets off to rescue him. Along the way, she’ll make friends, discover lost civilizations and ruins, and upgrade her submarine to explore even deeper. The terrain and monsters of the deep are daunting, but Merryn’s courage, intelligence, and love for her father will help her overcome adversity.

In another amazing first, Insomniac has partnered with GameStop to publish Song of the Deep on the PC, PS4, and Xbox One this Summer. GameStop’s 6,900 retail locations will be the exclusive home of Song of the Deep’s disc release… though the game will also be available through the PlayStation Store, Xbox Games Store, and Steam.

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2K will continue making WWE games for many more years

wwe2k2K Games and the WWE have announced that they’ve reached an agreement to extend 2K’s contract to make games based on the WWE’s patented brand of professional wrestling. The two companies have yet to officially announce that WWE 2K17 will be released this Fall, but it seems like a good bet in the aftermath of this new multi-year deal.

“2K’s partnership with WWE over the past three years has resulted in a successful and important addition to the Company’s portfolio of profitable franchises,” said David Ismailer, 2K’s Chief Operating Officer. “We are thrilled with the positive momentum of the WWE 2K series, including generating year-over-year growth, as well as the success of WWE SuperCard. We are very pleased to extend our partnership with WWE and look forward to many more years of collaboration.”

“2K’s leadership in authenticity, quality and overall brand dedication has been a perfect complement for WWE,” said Casey Collins, the WWE’s Executive Vice President of Consumer Products. “Our continued partnership ensures WWE remains at the forefront of global video game brands as we continue innovating and publishing our offerings on multiple platforms.”

The most recent game in the franchise, last year’s WWE 2K16, was co-developed by Visual Concepts and Yuke’s. While WWE 2K17 still isn’t official, the publisher did say the two teams will continue to co-develop all future entries in the WWE 2K series.

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