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New Releases: Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, Mad Max, More

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This week truly marks the end of an era as Konami plans to release Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain for the PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, and Xbox One. While neither side has officially commented on the matter, this will likely be the last Metal Gear game produced by Hideo Kojima before he leaves the company. His series of political actioners has certainly left a lasting impression with gamers, and even if the franchise continues, he will be missed.

If this news make you angry, perhaps you can turn to Mad Max for advice on how to react. Developed by Avalanche and set to be released for the PC, PS4, and Xbox One, the open roads of the game’s open world seem perfect for Max. And if you can’t get enough of George Miller’s post-apocalyptic hero, don’t forget that Mad Max: Fury Road is available on Blu-ray this week too.

Finally this week, a pair of games are being re-released in new retail editions for the PS4 and Xbox One. Ubisoft’s Far Cry 4: Complete Edition includes the original game and all of its Season Pass content, while Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons brings Starbreeze’s small adventure to retails shelves for the first time.

A complete list of this week’s new releases can be found after the break. (more…)

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Pulling Back the Curtain: The Importance of the Double Fine Adventure Documentary

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Recently, 2 Player Productions wrapped production on Double Fine Adventure, a documentary series that followed the development of Broken Age. It was revolutionary in the gaming scene, being the only documentary to ever follow a studio developing a game from its conceptualization through its release and aftermath. Before it, the average game player had only ever seen brief snippets of development from single-person games or small indie teams. Double Fine was the first developer to pull back that curtain on game development, a feat arguably more important than its rocketing of Kickstarter into the mainstream, and unquestionably having a bigger impact on the industry and the community than Broken Age itself. If we’re being honest, Double Fine completely mismanaged their Kickstarter funds, and Broken Age isn’t great. But by “showing how the sausage gets made,” as studio founder Tim Schafer put it, Double Fine made their campaign more than worth it, and left a long-lasting contribution to the industry.

Until DFA came out, game development was a mystical secret that no one outside the industry could begin to comprehend. So much of it was mysterious that many who wanted to be in the industry viewed it with rose-tinted glasses: a dream job where they could play all day. All we knew about game development beforehand were the two extremes. There were the developers that talked in interviews about how great it was, coming to work and hanging out with cool people, getting to create great games that everybody loves. We also read the headlines about developers losing their jobs, and studios being shut down. That or it was about developers going mad in “crunch time” having to work 80 hour weeks. In fact, Double Fine gives us a good example with the Tim Schafter episode of G4’s Icons, when he took us briefly behind the scenes of production on Psychonauts.

We never knew what it was really like, not until Double Fine showed us. (more…)

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Minecraft: Story Mode will be playable at PAX Prime 2015

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The 2015 PAX Prime expo begins in just a few hours, and if you’re in Seattle waiting to get in, you might be pleased to learn that Telltale Games will have a playable demo of Minecraft: Story Mode at their booth (#3117) this year. According to the developer, this is the first time the game will be playable by anyone outside their office, so this is quite the opportunity for PAX Prime attendees.

A lucky few will also have the chance to acquire an expo-exclusive Minecraft: Story Mode t-shirt. And actually, there will be four different shirt designs, one for each day. Telltale has also said there’s a chance some could collect all four:

[F]rom Saturday onward we’ll have a limited number of the day’s t-shirts reserved each morning for people who visit us wearing one of the previous day’s designs. No need to play the beta again, just wear the shirt! So if you play on the first day and are quick getting to our booth each morning thereafter, you might just manage to collect all four designs.

Minecraft: Story Mode will follow Jesse (Patton Oswalt) and his friends as they attempt to revive the Order of the Stone and save the world from an Ender Dragon. The first episode (of five) is expected to premiere this Fall on the PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, and mobile devices (iOS and Android).

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Rainbow Mika joins Street Fighter V and will be playable at PAX Prime this weekend

Capcom has announced that Rainbow Mika, or R. Mika as she’s more commonly known, is the latest character to be added to Street Fighter V. Not only that, but the wrestler will be included in Street Fighter V’s playable PAX Prime demo, which will available in Capcom’s booth (#3103) this weekend in Seattle. If you’re unfamiliar with R. Mika (her only previous appearance is in Street Fighter Alpha 3), here’s what Capcom had to say about her on the Capcom-Unity blog:

As an aspiring young wrestler, Mika dreamed of one day becoming a star in the ring, much like her idol Zangief. Training under the strict tutelage of her coach, she traveled the world engaging in random matches with street fighters in order to spread her name and popularity. R. Mika’s wrestling prowess will be on full display in Street Fighter V, as she dazzles opponents with a wide variety of high-flying moves. This time around, her wrestling tag-team partner Nadeshiko assists in the fight! By calling Nadeshiko at the right time using R. Mika’s V-Trigger ability, players will be able to set up sneaky attacks and punishing command grab mix-ups that are sure to deliver devastating amounts of damage. Players who enjoy putting on a stunning display of fear-inducing close-combat guessing games will find R. Mika a colorful and rewarding way to play.

V-Skill: Mic Performance
R. Mika pulls out her trusty microphone and gives a heart-pumping monologue to the crowd. The longer the buttons are held down, the more powerful her normal and special throws become! During her monologue state, she is able to absorb one hit from the opponent and can also cancel the speech at any time by letting go of the buttons, causing her to fling the mic at the opponent.

V-Trigger: Nadeshiko (3 Variations)
Now this is wrestling! Depending on the direction held during the V-Trigger activation, R. Mika’s faithful tag-team partner will deliver a surprising, high flying attack at the opponent from different angles: neutral (body splash from above), hold back (dropkick from the front), hold forward (dropkick from behind). The different variations keep opponents guessing and afraid to hit buttons, perfectly setting up R. Mika’s damaging command throws.

Street Fighter V will be released for the PC and PS4 in Spring 2016.

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Shovel Knight: Plague of Shadows release date is “imminent”

Yacht Club Games has announced that Shovel Knight: Plague of Shadows, their free expansion to Shovel Knight, will be available to download very soon.

According to the latest Kickstarter update, development was completed on August 5 and Plague of Shadows is now going through the submission process with Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo. So while a final release date is still up in the air, Yacht Club is confident that the expansion’s launch can be considered “imminent.” To celebrate, they’ve released a brand new trailer for the expansion, which gives us a glimpse at some of the new areas and the wide array of potions that Plague Knight has access to.

However, if you’d prefer to hobnob with the development team on the eve of their next triumph, you can. Yacht Club Games is planning to attend Nintendo’s pre-PAX Prime party, Nindies@Night. If you’re in the Seattle area this Thursday, be sure to stop by the EMP Museum at 8:00 PM (Pacific Time) to give Shovel Knight’s Challenge Mode a whirl.

Yacht Club Games will also have a booth at PAX Prime proper as well, so you can test out Shovel Knight: Plague of Shadows in Seattle all weekend long.

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Hyper Light Drifter gets a new trailer as Spring 2016 release date is confirmed

First, the bad news… Hyper Light Drifter won’t be released before the end of the year as originally planned. Instead, Heart Machine announced today that their dreamy action RPG will be released for the PC in Spring 2016 with a console release to follow “as quickly as possible” after that.

So what’s the good news? Well, the developer did release a beautiful new trailer for the game, which has been embedded above. They’ve also confirmed that a playable demo of Hyper Light Drifter will be available in the Indie Megabooth at this weekend’s PAX Prime expo.

It’s always disappointing when a game is delayed, but you can read more about Heart Machine’s reasons behind the decision in the latest Kickstarter update from Lead Developer Alex Preston.

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PS Store Today: Madden NFL 16, Until Dawn, Mega Man Legacy Collection, more

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Are you ready to run screaming into the woods, terrified for your life because some horrible creature is chasing you? Don’t worry, I’m sure you can bring your PS4 with you. And I don’t think blood will harm the disc drive. Thankfully, if that does happen, you can still play Sony’s slasher simulator, Until Dawn, as its available to download from the PlayStation Store today.

It’s joined this week by the release of…

  • Madden NFL 16 (PS3, PS4), EA’s latest pigskin package.
  • Mega Man Legacy Collection (PS4), a Capcom-published compilation of the first six Mega Man games.
  • Dishonored: Definitive Edition (PS4), a new-gen remake of the well-liked stealth game.
  • SteinsGate (PS3, Vita), a console/handheld rendition of the groundbreaking visual novel.
  • One Piece: Pirate Warriors 3 (PS3, PS4, Vita), the latest game based on the popular anime from Bandai Namco.

More information on all of these games (and a few other new releases) can be found after the break. And don’t forget to visit the PlayStation Blog for a complete rundown of this week’s new game add-ons and discounts. (more…)

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Mega Man Legacy Collection Review: A Potent Mixture of Retro Perfection

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The Mega Man series is built on patterns. Every time out, a robotic warrior clad in blue battles eight “Robot Masters” in an order chosen by the player. As he pushes through the game, Mega Man acquires an arsenal of new weapons from the vanquished Robot Masters. And after defeating all of them, he challenges the evil Dr. Wily in a fiendishly hard multi-leveled fortress. After delivering the final blow (usually with the game’s worst weapon), Mega Man rides off into the sunset, ready to return if the world needs him again.

I know these patterns. I first learned them in 1987 with the release of Mega Man for the NES, and I received a refresher course roughly every year thereafter thanks to the five sequels that followed. Through trial and error (and believe me, there were many, many trials), I eventually learned how to traverse each game’s set of levels with near flawless accuracy.

After ignoring the series for several years, Capcom decided to compile the first six entries into the recently released Mega Man Legacy Collection. I still know the patterns, but even two decades removed from their original release, the games included in the Mega Man Legacy Collection hold up in a way that few do. (more…)

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