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New Releases: Madden NFL 16, Disney Infinity Star Wars, Until Dawn, More

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Do you feel that nip in the air? And surely you’ve noticed that kids are gearing up for “back to school” time. And that can mean only one thing… the Fall gaming rush is upon us! While these tell-tale signs of the Fall are out there, the Summer’s not over quite yet. It’s still pretty warm in most of the United States and a majority of kids get to enjoy a few more weeks of Summer vacation.

And even though it’s still August, I think the Fall gaming rush has officially begun…

Everything begins, as it always does this time of year, with the release of Madden NFL 16 (PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One). The latest entry in EA’s long-running football simulation series features Odell Beckham on the cover and improved passing/receiver controls.

One of this Fall’s biggest “all ages” titles, Disney Infinity: Star Wars, will also be available this week. As the title says, Star Wars characters have been absorbed into the Disney Infinity universe for the first time. If you’ve already got a shelf of Disney’s popular figures, prepare to build a second one. And if you haven’t caught the Disney Infinity bug yet, you’re probably going to need a sturdy shelf to hold all your Star Wars figures.

On the complete opposite end of the age appropriateness spectrum is Sony’s Until Dawn. Available exclusively for the PS4, Until Dawn is one of the first games that attempts to recreate the horror (and excitement) of watching a slasher flick. Until Dawn’s star, Hayden Panettiere, even has plenty of experience running from crazed killers on screens both big (Scream 4) and small (Heroes).

Finally this week, a pair of remasters will give a new generation of players the chance to check out (or revisit) two PS3/Xbox 360 era classics. Dishonored: Definitive Edition brings its stealthy steampunk aesthetic to the PS4 and Xbox One, while Gears of War: Ultimate Edition upgrades the popular Xbox 360 shooter for the Xbox One. Microsoft will also release an Xbox One 500GB + Gears of War: Ultimate Edition Bundle if you haven’t picked up an Xbox One yet.

A complete list of all of this week’s new releases (which also includes the PS3/Vita debut of the SteinsGate visual novel) can be found after the break. (more…)

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Zombi, Volume, The Bridge, Resident Evil Revelations 2 Vita, more added to PS Store

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Zombies are overtaking the PlayStation Store! It’s unlikely this is a stealth tie-in with the premiere of AMC’s Fear the Walking Dead, but three new Zed-themed games are now available through the online storefront:

  • Zombi was one of the Wii U’s most-acclaimed launch titles in 2012 (where it was known as ZombiU) and its now available on the PS4 thanks to Ubisoft. Inventory management with the Wii U GamePad is obviously a thing of the past, but Ubisoft still won’t let players pause the action when they’re rummaging around in their ruck sacks.
  • Curses N Chaos is also available for the PS4 (and the Vita as a Cross-Buy title), but its quite a different type of zombie game. As a side-scrolling arena fighter, players are forced to battle it out with all manner of ghouls (including the walking undead) as an evil Wizard King cackles over his evilness.
  • Finally, Resident Evil Revelations 2 makes the jump to the Vita by giving up its episodic release schedule. The game’s structure still includes distinct chapters, but players will have to pay for the whole thing up front if they want to partake in the further adventures of Claire Redfield.

Also available this week is Volume (PS4), Mike Bithell’s stealthy follow-up to Thomas Was Alone; The Bridge (PS4/PS3/Vita Cross-Buy), a side-scrolling puzzle platformer inspired by M.C. Escher; and Dungeon Travelers 2: The Royal Library & The Monster Seal, a first-person turn-based RPG for the Vita. And if you’re into episodic gaming, Telltale’s Tales From the Borderlands: Escape Plan Bravo brings the series closer to its conclusion on the PS3 and PS4.

More information on all of these games (and a few others) can be found after the break. And a complete list of this week’s new game add-ons can be found at the PlayStation Blog. (more…)

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Sony will host PlayStation Experience 2015 in San Francisco this December

Sony packed the inaugural PlayStation Experience with a ton of announcements and gave attendees of the two-day convention a chance to play dozens of upcoming PS3, PS4, and Vita games for the first time. While many assumed the event would be a one-time thing to celebrate the platform’s 20th anniversary, Sony has other plans. Earlier this week, the consolemaker announced that PlayStation Experience 2015 will be held in San Francisco on December 5 and December 6.

The convention will be held at the Moscone West, a tri-level exhibition hall that’s about a mile from the Bay Bridge. So it’s safe to assume that a huge number of titles will once again be on display this year.

While Sony isn’t ready to talk about which game will be on display, they have begun selling tickets to the event at the official PlayStation Experience website. Two-day passes have been priced at $75 (discounted to $60 if you buy before September 20) while single-day passes are $45 (Saturday) and $40 (Sunday). A “Capcom Cup VIP Package Add-On” is also available for $75 if you’d like front row seats for the finale of the Capcom Pro Tour.

More information about this year’s PlayStation Experience can be found at the PlayStation Blog.

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New Releases: LBX Little Battlers Experience, Dungeon Travelers 2, Madden 16 Bundle, More

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Just three new releases will be available on store shelves this week before we ask if you’re ready for some football.

This week’s biggest new game is also, in many ways, its smallest. LBX: Little Battlers Experience was developed by Level-5 and will be published by Nintendo for the 3DS. Based on the popular manga and anime series also created by Level-5, LBX: Little Battlers Experience follows a group of kids who create tiny palm-sized robots that do battle in slightly less-tiny arenas.

Also available this week is Dungeon Travelers 2: The Royal Library & The Monster Seal, a turn-based RPG for the Vita from Atlus. Taking place entirely in a first-person view, players will delve deep into a series of dungeons to battle “monster girls.” Meanwhile, Helldivers: Super Earth Ultimate Edition is a disc-based release of the popular PS4 twin-stick shooter. The “Super Earth Ultimate Edition” will include download codes for the PS3 and Vita versions of the game as well as all 11 expansion packs, the Bonus Weapons pack, and other extra content.

Finally, the Xbox One-exclusive Madden NFL 16 1TB System Bundle will give brand new Xbox One owners the chance to play EA’s yearly football simulation a week earlier than everybody else and a year-long subscription to EA Access. I suppose current Xbox One owners could also partake in this deal, but they’d have to purchase a second Xbox One system to do it…

Actually, I think Microsoft would be completely OK with that.

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When Dinosaurs Ruled the Charts… Lego Jurassic World is best-selling game of July ’15

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July is not typically a very strong month for new game releases, and only a single new title was able to crack the NPD Group’s recounting of the ten best-selling games of the month. But it was Lego Jurassic World, a June release, that sits at the top of the sales food chain this month.

Debuting at #3 in the NPD’s June report, Lego Jurassic World likely got a boost from the tremendous box office support for the film. After nearly nine weeks in theaters, the film has earned more than $636 million. Only Titanic ($658 million) and Avatar ($760 million) have made more money at the domestic box office.

While it’s unlikely that Lego Jurassic World will reach those heights, the game is another hit for WB Games, which had yet another big month in July. Batman: Arkham Knight (#2) and Mortal Kombat X (#8) once again both landed in the top ten.

The only new release to break into the top ten last month was EA’s Rory McIlroy PGA Tour. Before McIlroy, Tiger Woods had been PGA Tour’s pitchman for more than 15 years. As great as Tiger used to be, it looks like EA doesn’t need him to sell their golf game.

Finally this month, GamesIndustry.biz is reporting that overall sales of all game-related items (hardware, software, and accessories) is roughly even with July 2014. Both July 2014 and July 2015 produced around $184 million in total sales.

The complete top ten for July 2015 can be found after the break. (more…)

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Energy Hook is now available through Steam Early Access

Do you ever wish Spider-Man had a jetpack and competed in a futuristic sport based entirely around webswinging? Jamie Fristrom of Happion Labs has had that dream, and he’s using it as the basis of his next game, Energy Hook. However, Fristrom has a little more experience with this idea than most, as he was the original designer behind the webswinging mechanic in 2004’s Spider-Man 2.

After a variety of delays, we won’t have to wait much longer to play it as the developer announced that Energy Hook will be available through Steam Early Access beginning today.

Happion Labs expects to keep Energy Hook in Early Access for about four months and is also developing a version of the game for the PS4 and Vita. Presumably, we’ll learn more about Energy Hook’s full version (and its console launch) at a later date.

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Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture, Gauntlet, Toy Soldiers: War Chest, more added to PS Store

playstationstorelogoSony’s annual PSN Play promotion comes to the end this week with the release of Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture, a game from The Chinese Room that depicts “very British apocalypse.” But there are plenty of other new releases available this week as well, including…

  • Gauntlet: Slayer Edition brings an updated version of Arrowhead’s franchise reboot (and all its co-op monster-slaying) to the PS4 for the first time.
  • Toy Soldiers: War Chest (PS4) is the third game in Signal’s strategic toy-battling franchise and the first to include armies based on G.I. Joe, He-Man: The Masters of the Universe, and Assassin’s Creed II.
  • Goat Simulator, and its unique brand of open world insanity, makes its way to the PS4 and PS3 for the first time.
  • Starbreeze’s Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons also makes the jump to the PS4 this week.
  • Finally, the PS4 ports of Prototype and Prototype 2 are now available separately.

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

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Indie Megabooth announces massive PAX Prime 2015 presence

It’s that time gain! Those beautiful, brilliant minds behind the Indie Megabooth have announced the PAX Prime 2015 lineup, and it certainly IS mega! I see a lot of personal favorites in there, including Armello, Death Road to Canada, Hyper Light Drifter, Mushroom 11, Cinelinx: A Card Game For People Who Love Movies, Pleasant Dreams, Skiptrace, and two games I can’t keep my hands off of: Monikers and Mini Metro! And let’s not forget that this might be your best chance to check out Funomena’s Wattam!

If you’re in Seattle the last weekend in August for PAX Prime, trust me: you do not want to miss the Indie Megabooth. These are traditionally some of the best games on the show floor, and I don’t just say that because my own game (Resistor) has been part of the Tabletop Area. OK, maybe that might sway my opinion a little. But the team behind the IMB carefully curates some of the most amazing games, not just for your enjoyment, but as an installation of the best and brightest developers in indie gaming right now.

Enough of my gushing. Watch the trailer and hit the jump for the full list of developers and games (more than 70 in all)! (more…)

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