Most Recent: PS3

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…)

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Battlefield Hardline pulls off a heist to become best-selling game of March 2015

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Hey, have you heard of this Bloodborne game? I hear its pretty popular and that Sony’s got a bonafide hit on their hands. It even sold more than a million copies. For all the acclaim Bloodborne has received and all the copies it surely has sold, the game was topped in last month’s NPD rankings by Battlefield Hardline. Developed by Visceral Games, Battlefield Hardline is a cops-and-robbers spin on the Battlefield series and it, not Bloodborne, managed to become the best-selling game of March 2015.

That said, nearly every game of note managed to crash the top ten last month including Mario Party 10 (#4), MLB 15: The Show (#6), Borderlands: The Handsome Collection (#9), and Final Fantasy Type-0 HD (#10). Nintendo’s Code Name: STEAM was the only other March release that seemed like it might have enough juice to reach the top ten, but it was pushed out by Grand Theft Auto V (#3), Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare (#5), and other returning heavy hitters.

The NPD Group (via Game Informer) used this new release drought to explain why March 2015’s game sales were down 6% from the same month a year ago. NPD’s Liam Callahan was also quick to point out that March 2014 saw the release of two very well-received games in TitanFall and InFamous: Second Son. Callahan also confirmed that the PS4 outsold the Xbox One for another month.

March 2015’s top ten best-selling titles can be found after the break. (more…)

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Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare Ascendance Pack comes to PC, PS3, PS4 on April 30

Randall Higgins, KillCameraman, is back in a new Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare trailer that confirms the Ascendance Pack will be available for PC, PS3, and PS4 players on April 30. Like the previous DLC pack, the Ascendance Pack will include a new weapon (the OHM LMG/Shotgun), a new Exo Zombies episode (Infection), and four new multiplayer maps:

Perplex: Venture to the streets of Sydney and battle through a five-story modular apartment complex. With elevated vantages and tight corridors, Perplex is small-to-medium sized map that fits variety of play styles. Construction drones will shake things up, however, as they shift apartment modules and create new strategic pathways.

Site 244: An alien craft has crash-landed beneath Mt. Rushmore, USA, making for an awesome medium-to-large sized three-lane map littered with extraterrestrial debris. Gain a competitive edge by earning the map-based scorestreak to open an alien spore that enhances your perks and exo abilities.

Climate: Settle in to your dome away from home in Climate… a lush climate-controlled biodome. With a circular layout with a central island structure for teams to fight for control of, Climate keeps the pace of the action high. The tides can turn, however, when the rivers begin to rage and become a treacherous obstacle.

Chop Shop: Discover the seedy underbelly of the unauthorized exoekeleton trade in Chop Shop, a medium-sized industrial complex with a devastating map-based scorestreak: the Advanced Repulsion Turret.

As always, the Ascendance Pack will be available to download separately ($14.99) or as part of the Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare Season Pass ($49.99).

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First Tales of Zestiria English-language trailer points to a Fall 2015 release

Bandai Namco has released the first English-language trailer for Tales of Zestiria. In addition to introducing the world to the four main characters, we also now know the game will be released exclusively for the PS3 in Fall 2015.

The latest game in the long-running action RPG series will star Sorey, Alisha, Lailah, and Mikleo as they attempt to vanquish the “source of all malevolence” to help reunite humanity and the Seraphim. There’s also a magic sword and a Lady of the Lake and teenage angst… oh so much angst. But that’s to be expected when your game stars a headstrong youth (Sorey), his best friend (Mikleo), and a Princess (Alisha) who are on a quest to use Excalibur to kill Satan so angels can return to Earth.

In addition to the English-language vocals you can hear in the trailer embedded above, Tales of Zestiria will also offer an option to use the original Japanese language track with subtitles.

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NHL 15 predicts the Anaheim Ducks will hoist the Stanley Cup this year

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EA Sports is playing Kreskin once again as they’ve plugged this year’s playoff contenders into NHL 15‘s simulation engine to predict the 2014-2015 Stanley Cup champion. As of right now, the publisher is prognosticating that the Anaheim Ducks will win in a seven-game series against the New York Rangers. And not only will the series go the full seven games, but it won’t be decided until late in the third period when the game-winning goal will be made by Anaheim’s Corey Perry. If this prediction comes true, it would be New York’s second straight loss in the Stanley Cup finals.

It should be noted that this prediction is at odds with EA’s full season prediction from October. Six months ago, the publisher said that the Los Angeles Kings would skate away with the Cup in a six-game victory over the Boston Bruins.

Will either prediction come true? I don’t know, but the NHL 14 playoff prediction missed the mark in wild fashion. According to the game, the Boston Bruins were supposed to emerge victorious over the San Jose Sharks. There’s just one problem. Two, actually. The Bruins were knocked out in the second round while the Sharks were sunk in the first. The full season simulation was no better. It predicted the St. Louis Blues would win the Stanley Cup over the Pittsburgh Penguins. As you might have guessed, neither advanced past the second round.

Think you can do better than NHL 15? EA Sports is encouraging fans to participate in the NHL’s Bracket Challenge to find out. I think there’s a real possibility I could build a better bracket by picking at random.

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Star Ocean: Integrity and Faithlessness trailer recaps the series (in Japanese)

Yesterday, Square Enix released the first Japanese trailer for Tri-Ace’s Star Ocean: Integrity and Faithlessness. Most of the trailer is in Japanese and serves as a refresher course on the franchise, focusing on the events of the previous four games. But we did learn that the fifth Star Ocean game takes place several hundred years after Star Ocean: The Second Story and several hundred before Star Ocean: Till the End of Time. So that’s something, I guess.

Star Ocean: Integrity and Faithlessness is in development for the PS3 and PS4. An official release date hasn’t been announced, nor has Square Enix said if the game will be available in North America.

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PS Store Today: Mortal Kombat X, Titan Souls, We Are Doomed, more

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After an almost excruciating four-year wait, NetherRealm Studios has finally released Mortal Kombat X for the PS4. The game’s story picks up right where 2011’s Mortal Kombat left off, and players will be able to take it 25 years into the future with new kombatants, new Fatalities, and the all-new weekly Faction War. Say it with me… It Has Begun!

This week’s Spring Fever entry is Titan Souls, a mash-up of the top-down gameplay made famous by The Legend of Zelda and the boss-heavy theatrics of Shadow of the Colossus. Titan Souls can be downloaded as a PS4/PS Vita Cross-Buy title. Also available this week is We Are Doomed, a mesmerizing twin-stick shooter for the PS4 from Vertex Pop.

While all these games might tickle your nostalgia bone, for something truly classic, I suggest this week’s addition to the PS2 Classics storefront: Gradius V. Developed by Treasure, it is one of the finest side-scrolling shooters ever commissioned and deserves a place in your PS3 library. Though you will have to wait three days, as its scheduled to be released on April 17.

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

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Take a gander at the new Guitar Hero Live controller

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I guess this morning’s announcement of Guitar Hero Live was just the opening act as Activision has now given us an even better look at the game’s brand new guitar controller.

Owing to the more realistic tone and first-person viewpoint, Guitar Hero Live’s guitar controller will use a simple two-tone color scheme. The new button setup will be included on the neck while the familiar Strum Bar and Whammy Bar will be part of the body. A Hero Power button will activate one of several Hero Powers, though a simple tilt of the guitar will also do that. Finally, GHTV button will launch GHTV Mode. More images can be found at the official Guitar Hero website.

Guitar Hero Live will be released for the PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, and Wii U this Fall.

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