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Insert Quarter: A Brief History of Platinum Games

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Insert Quarter is our showcase for some of the best and most interesting writing about video games on the Internet.

Platinum Games plans to release Star Fox Zero, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutants in Manhattan, and Nier: Automata in 2016. That’s a lot of games for one studio to handle, but after celebrating their tenth anniversary this year, they’ve clearly earned our trust.

Eurogamer’s Rich Stanton goes a step further and makes the case that Platinum Games might be the best Japanese developer working today. He believes the company’s unbroken string of classics (including MadWorld, Vanquish, Bayonetta, and The Wonderful 101) is nearly unmatched and that their fierce independent streak will always produce interesting results. You gotta admit, it’s kind of hard to argue with him:

[I]n recent years, Platinum Games has positioned itself as a standard-bearer for the Japanese industry, adopting the slogan: “Taking on the World as the Representative of Japan.” President and CEO Tatsuya Minami unpacked this, in a post to celebrate 10 years of Platinum Games. “Japan used to lead the worldwide video game industry, but we can’t help but feel that it has lost some of its vitality in recent years. Yet we are using this state of affairs to motivate and inspire ourselves […] We will keep up our fighting stance.”

The full article is available for your perusal at the Eurogamer.

Posted in DS, Insert Quarter, PC, PS3, PS4, Wii, Wii U, Xbox 360, Xbox One |

Nominate your favorite game for the World Video Game Hall of Fame’s Class of 2016

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The International Center for the History of Electronic Games (ICHEG) at The Strong Museum is once again seeking nominations for its World Video Game Hall of Fame. The Class of 2016 will be announced on May 5, but the museum will solicit suggestions from the general public until February 29. Anyone interested in nominating their favorite game should visit the Hall of Fame’s website, and they should also keep the selection criteria in mind:

  • Icon Status: The game is widely recognized and remembered.
  • Longevity: The game is more than a passing fad and has enjoyed popularity over time.
  • Geographical Reach: The game meets the above criteria across international boundaries.
  • Influence: The game has exerted significant influence on the design and development of other games, on other forms of entertainment, or on popular culture and society in general. A game may be inducted on the basis of this criterion without necessarily having met all of the first three.

Six games were selected for induction in 2015 (Doom, Pac-Man, Pong, Super Mario Bros., Tetris, and World of Warcraft), and a similar number of titles will likely make the cut in May. That means nine games from last year’s shortlist failed to be inducted (Angry Birds, FIFA International Soccer, The Legend of Zelda, Minecraft, The Oregon Trail, Pokemon Red/Blue, The Sims, Sonic the Hedgehog, and Space Invaders), but they’ll likely be at the top of the suggestion pool again this year.

This year’s finalists will be chosen by an internal advisory committee from the ICHEG, and will be revealed to the public on March 29. The new class of inductees to the World Video Game Hall of Fame will be selected by an international selection committee made up of journalists, scholars, and other individuals familiar with the history of video games and their role in society.

Posted in 3DS, DS, Mobile, News, PC, PS2, PS3, PS4, PSP, Retro, Vita, Wii, Wii U, Xbox 360, Xbox One |

Skylanders SuperChargers figures of Bowser and Donkey Kong now being sold individually

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Amiibo hunters had to empty their wallets earlier this Fall when Activision partnered with Nintendo to package hybrid Skylanders/Amiibo figures of Donkey Kong and Bowser figures in the 3DS, Wii, and Wii U Starter Packs for Skylanders SuperChargers. Dedicated completionists were forced to purchase four copies of the game’s Starter Pack to obtain Hammer Slam Bowser, Turbo Charge Donkey Kong, and “Dark Edition” variants of each.

However, if you held out this long, it looks like Activision is getting ready to release the standard edition of each figure in much cheaper individual Dual Packs as readers of Nintendo Everything have found both figures on store shelves in recent days. Priced at $24.99 apiece, Hammer Slam Bowser is packaged with his Clown Cruiser vehicle, while Turbo Charge Donkey Kong rides into stores with his Barrel Blaster vehicle.

Online retailers have yet to begin selling these individual Dual Packs, but Nintendo Everything believes they’ll be widely available next week.

UPDATE: According to GameStop, the Hammer Slam Bowser and Turbo Charge Donkey Kong figures will be widely available in stores on or before January 9.

Posted in 3DS, News, Wii, Wii U | Tagged ,

CoD: Black Ops III, Fallout 4, SW: Battlefront lead November 2015’s best-selling games

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Not surprisingly, a trio of shooters took the top three spots in the NPD Group’s recounting of November 2015’s best-selling games.

Call of Duty: Black Ops III scored another big win for Activision (and the Black Ops sub-series) with its claim on the top spot. It was followed by Fallout 4 at #2 and Star Wars: Battlefront at #3. With shooters holding on to the top of the list, sports games looked in for the next four places… Madden NFL 16 (#4), NBA 2K16 (#5), FIFA 16 (#6), and Need For Speed (#7). What? I’m sure someone, somewhere, thinks of illegal street racing as a sport.

The final three spots in the NPD’s November 2015 list include repeat appearances from Halo 5: Guardians (#8) and Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate (#9), along with a strong Black Firday-assisted performance from Just Dance 2016 (#10).

Speaking to GamesIndustry.biz, NPD’s Liam Callahan confirmed that the PS4 and Xbox One are having a monster Fall: “After 25 months, the combined sales for the PS4 and the Xbox One are 47% higher than the combined sales for 25 months of PS3 and Xbox 360 hardware sales.”

You can find the NPD’s November 2015 top ten in handy list format after the break. (more…)

Posted in News, PC, PS3, PS4, Wii, Wii U, Xbox 360, Xbox One | Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,




New Releases: WRC 5, Let’s Sing 2016

wrc5-letssing2016The Fall gaming rush is coming to an end. Just two new titles will be available on store shelves this week and neither is likely to set the world on fire.

First up is WRC 5 from Bigben Interactive. Set to be released for the PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, and Xbox One, WRC 5 is billed as “the only rally game this year” on consoles. The developer also promises a “new physics and rendering system,” as well as an “entirely overhauled Career Mode.”

Also available this week is Let’s Sing 2016 for the PS4 and Wii. Published by Maximum Games, Let’s Sing 2016 is yet another karaoke game that features 35 hit songs from some of today’s biggest artists including Laday Gaga, John Legend, Avicii, Sam Smith, Sia, Ariana Grande, Lorde, and Meghan Trainor.

That’s it for this week’s retail releases, but more details on this week’s digital releases will be available in a few days.

Posted in News, PS3, PS4, Wii, Xbox 360, Xbox One |

New Releases: Halo 5: Guardians, WWE 2K16, Minecraft: Story Mode, More

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After last week’s soft launch, Microsoft is finally ready to unleash the highly-anticipated Halo 5: Guardians onto the Xbox One audience. Microsoft has been building towards the return of the Master Chief ever since the platform’s launch back in 2013. Will it live up to the hype? I don’t know, but it’ll certainly move a few Xbox One bundles this holiday season.

For players looking for an edge in Halo 5 (or any action-heavy Xbox One game), Microsoft will also release the Xbox One Elite Controller this week. Featuring a slew of swappable components and the powerful Xbox Accessories app to help customize the controller, Microsoft is hoping to establish the Elite Controller as the input option of choice for hardcore gamers.

If you prefer your battle royales to be a bit more Earth-based, you might be interested to know that 2K Games will release WWE 2K16 for the PS4, Xbox One, PS3, and Xbox 360 this week. Starring “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, the latest WWE game includes the biggest roster of wrestlers ever, as well as a redesigned Create-A-Wrestler mode.

Rounding out this week’s new releases is a trio of re-releases including the debut of Divinity: Original Sin – Enhanced Edition on the PS4 and Xbox One. It’s joined by the coming apocalypse of Darksiders II: Deathinitive Edition (PS4, Xbox One) and the dirt track racing of MX vs ATV: Supercross Encore (PC, PS4).

Finally this week, Telltale Games is offering a “Season Pass Disc” for Minecraft: Story Mode on the PS4, Xbox One, PS3, and Xbox 360. Players who purchase the Season Pass will receive the first episode of the game on the disc, along with downloadable access to all subsequent episodes as they’re released.

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

Posted in 3DS, News, PC, PS3, PS4, Wii, Wii U, Xbox 360, Xbox One | Tagged , , ,

New Releases: Guitar Hero Live, Assassin’s Creed Syndicate, Zelda: Tri Force Heroes, More

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Are you ready to rock? I said… are you… Ready. To. Rock? Activision is certainly ready to rock as they’ve brought back the Guitar Hero franchise this week with the release of Guitar Hero Live . Scheduled for launch on the PS3, PS4, Wii U, Xbox 360, and Xbox One in a Standard Edition and Two Guitar Bundle, Guitar Hero Live will include more than 100 songs on the disc and an ever-changing lineup of artists available through its GHTV mode.

But Guitar Hero Live isn’t the only arena act looking to put on an encore this week. New entries in four of gaming’s biggest franchises will soon be available in stores:

  • Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate (PS4 and Xbox One) brings the Templars-versus-Assassins saga to Victorian England. And you better believe that Jack the Ripper is involved (though not until the downloadable expansion).
  • The Legend of Zelda: Tri Force Heroes is yet another multiplayer Zelda game, this time for the 3DS.
  • Tales of Zestiria is the latest Tales game from Bandai Namco and the first to appear simultaneously on the PC, PS3, and PS4.
  • Just Dance 2016 (PS3, PS4, Wii, Wii U, Xbox 360, Xbox One) and Just Dance: Disney Party 2 (Wii, Wii U, Xbox 360, Xbox One) will have you beboppin’ and scattin’ all over your living room one more time.

Finally this week, Microsoft is releasing Halo 5: Guardians a week early if you’re willing to pay extra for it (sort of). The Limited Collector’s Edition includes a digital download of the game, but it won’t unlock until next Tuesday, October 27. You can also spring for the 1 TB Xbox One + Halo 5: Guardians Limited Edition Bundle, which features a Halo-themed Xbox One system, along with a digital download of Halo 5 that won’t unlock until next Tuesday.

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

Posted in 3DS, News, PC, PS3, PS4, Vita, Wii, Wii U, Xbox 360, Xbox One | Tagged , , , , ,

Ubisoft will release Just Dance: Disney Party 2 on October 20… here’s the complete tracklist

The Disney Channel loves creating song-and-dance shows for today’s tweens. In addition to having a popular television show, Disney’s musical aspirations also gives them the chance to create a ton of licensed tie-in merchandise. Just look no further than Ubisoft’s Just Dance: Disney Party 2.

Just Dance: Disney Party 2 is scheduled for an October 20 release on the Wii, Wii U, Xbox 360, and Xbox One. It’ll feature 24 songs from the Disney Channel’s lineup of shows and movies such as Descendants, Violetta, Girl Meets World, and more.

“Some of our most passionate fans are also avid fans of the Disney Channel, so we wanted to deliver a tracklist that fuses Just Dance with Disney Channel music,” said Tony Key, Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing at Ubisoft. “With Just Dance: Disney Party 2, our development team worked closely with Disney to create gameplay that is true to the shows and movies our fans love to watch on TV.”

The complete tracklist for Just Dance: Disney Party 2 can be found after the break. (more…)

Posted in News, Wii, Wii U, Xbox 360, Xbox One |