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Skylanders SuperChargers adds vehicles to the series this September

Activision has announced Skylanders SuperChargers, the fifth game in the franchise, will be available this September. As rumored earlier this year, SuperChargers will add land, sea, and air vehicles, more than 15 in all, to the Skylanders experience.

Developed by Vicarious Visions, Skylanders SuperChargers will be available on September 20 for the iPad, PS3, PS4, Wii U, Xbox 360, and Xbox One. A “unique Skylanders SuperChargers experience” will also be released for the 3DS and Wii on the same day.

Activision will bring Skylanders SuperChargers to this year’s E3 Expo and the publisher plans to reveal quite a bit more about the game during the big show. For now, an extensive “Everything You Need to Know” guide for the game is available after the break and at the Activision Games Blog. (more…)

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The Strong announces finalists for the World Video Game Hall of Fame’s Class of 2015

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The Strong National Museum of Play and the International Center for the History of Electronic Games have announced the finalists for the inaugural class of the World Video Game Hall of Fame. More than a dozen classic games passed this first test on their way to video game immortality, which were selected from thousands of nominations that poured in from gamers all across the world. Nominations for the Class of 2015 were accepted from February 17 through March 31, but in case you missed out, the Hall of Fame is already accepting games for next year’s class.

This year’s inductees to the World Video Game Hall of Fame will be chosen from the finalist pool by an “international selection committee” made up of journalists, scholars, and other individuals. The inaugural class will be announced on June 4 at 10:30 AM (Eastern Time) during a ceremony at The Strong.

The finalists for the World Video Game Hall of Fame’s Class of 2015 include:

  • Angry Birds
  • Doom
  • FIFA International Soccer
  • The Legend of Zelda
  • Minecraft
  • The Oregon Trail
  • Pac-Man
  • Pokemon Red/Blue
  • Pong
  • The Sims
  • Sonic the Hedgehog
  • Space Invaders
  • Super Mario Bros.
  • Tetris
  • World of Warcraft

“The 15 finalists for the World Video Game Hall of Fame span decades, gaming platforms, and geographies… but what they all have in common is their undeniable impact on popular culture and society in general,” said Jon-Paul Dyson, the Director of the International Center for the History of Electronic Games.

Inductees into the World Video Game Hall of Fame will be selected based on the following criteria: “Icon Status,” “Longevity,” “Geographical Reach,” and “Influence.” All 15 finalists certainly qualify, but I know I’ll be rooting for Tetris.

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Insert Quarter: Should Mega Man Make a Comeback? Maybe We Don’t Need Him…

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

With Shovel Knight, 20XX, and the upcoming Mighty No. 9 giving the gaming populace their fill of homages/spiritual successors to Mega Man, some people have started to wonder if a new game starring the original Blue Bomber is even necessary. GameRadar’s David Roberts is one of those people.

According to Roberts, Capcom is so handcuffed by the Mega Man formula that we might just be better off with the imitators. I’m not sure I agree, but he makes an interesting case:

It’s been nearly five years since Capcom released the last official Mega Man game. Mega Man 10 was just like all the other Mega Man games (Mega Mans?) that came before it; crunchy 8-bit graphics, a series of themed robot bosses, and soul-crushing difficulty. Since then, Capcom has released a fan-made Street Fighter/Mega Man crossover and let the Blue Bomber fight against a stable of Nintendo characters in Super Smash Bros. That’s all Mega Man has to show for the last five years; everything else has been cancelled. And you know what? Maybe that’s for the best.

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

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Dying Light parkours to the top of the best-sellers list for January 2015

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Question… if only one major new title made its way to stores in January, should we be surprised when that game takes the top spot in the monthly sales rankings from the NPD Group? We probably shouldn’t be, and yet, I was still mildly surprised that Techland’s Dying Light was the best-selling game during 2015’s first four-week frame. It was followed by the two biggest titles from 2014… Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare at #2 and Grand Theft Auto V at #3.

Minecraft, coming in at #4, continues to rise even without the holiday shopping season to bolster its sales rank.

Every other title in the top ten seemed to land in roughly the same position it held in December. NBA 2K15 held onto the #5 spot while Super Smash Bros. For Wii U / Super Smash Bros. For 3DS dropped two places to #6. Far Cry 4 was lucky number seven once more while the #8 spot was taken by Madden NFL 15 (which dropped five spots from #3). The final two spots were once again held by Destiny (#9) and FIFA 15 (#10).

While the best-selling software list was relatively stable (and saw a 5% year-over-year increase in sales), the PS4 reigned supreme on the console charts after a one-month hiatus. This turn of events was most likely due to Microsoft’s temporary suspension of the Xbox One’s $50 discount (it was reinstated on January 18).

If you’re looking for the full top ten from January 2015 in list form, you can find it after the break. (more…)

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CoD: Advanced Warfare goes 2-for-2 as the best-selling game of December 2014

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Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare is on a roll. After being named the best-selling game for all of last year, the NPD Group also confirmed that it was the best-selling game of December as well. Activision’s latest military shooter also took the top spot in November, during its first month of release.

With the holiday shopping season in full swing, December’s sales chart was dominated by big-name franchises including Grand Theft Auto V (#2), Madden NFL 15 (#3), Super Smash Bros. For Wii U / Super Smash Bros. For 3DS, Minecraft (#6).. really, just the entire top ten.

On the hardware side of things, the Xbox One once again was the best-selling console, besting the PS4 for a second month in a row. The console’s $50 price cut is really working for Microsoft and the company has decided to reinstate the discount beginning today, possibly on a permanent basis.

The full top ten for December 2014 can be found after the break. (more…)

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Nintendo adds Super Mario Galaxy 2 to Wii U eShop with more Wii games to follow

goty-supermariogalaxy2The Wii U eShop is about to get a whole lot more interesting as Nintendo has announced that they have begun adding Wii games to their downloadable.

Super Mario Galaxy 2 will be the first Wii game added to the Wii U eShop and it is available to download right now. It will joined shortly by the excellent Punch-Out!! (January 22) and the ultra-rare Metroid Prime Trilogy (January 29). All three titles have been priced at $19.99 apiece, but Nintendo will offer them at a heavy discount ($9.99) during each game’s first week of availability.

All Wii games sold through the Wii U eShop will require a Wii Remote and Nunchuk combo, though games that originally included Wii Classic Controller support will be playable with the Wii U GamePad.

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Insert Quarter: The Rise and Fall of THQ’s Empire

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

Gamers often didn’t know what to make of THQ. The publisher built its empire on the backs of tie-in games based on Nickelodeon and Pixar properties such as SpongeBob SquarePants and The Incredibles. But they also produced intriguing original games such as Saints Row: The Third and Darksiders. They were even the initial driving force behind Evolve, one of 2015’s most anticipated games. But that all changed when the company went bankrupt early last year.

So what happened? Tracey Lien, writing for Polygon, set out to discover the answer by talking to as many former THQ employees as she could including the charismatic (but possibly crazy) Danny Bilson. Her portrait of a publisher in free fall makes you wonder, could anything have been done?

Many blame the company’s fall on the licensed games well drying up. Some pin it on the commercial failure of the company’s uDraw tablet for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. Others point to poor management and too many risky bets.

“There isn’t any one, isolated event that killed the company,” says a former THQ executive who asked to not be named. “This was one of the most successful video game businesses in America. We were a billion dollar company. It was complicated.”

THQ suffered a “death by a million spider bites,” the executive says.

The full article is available for your perusal at Polygon.

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Insert Quarter: Unreleased Games and the People Who Trade Them

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

Unreleased games will always be of interest to gamers. Who among us wouldn’t be interested in Nintendo’s 64DD version of Mother 3 or Free Radical’s late, lamented Star Wars: Battlefront 3. But these games have managed to live on thanks to a shadowy network of collectors and archivists who trade and preserve the neglected pieces of gaming history. Kotaku UK’s Leon Hurley sought out some of these amateur historians to get the complete story on the trading of unreleased games:

You’ve probably seen videos of unannounced or cancelled games. Not necessarily the older retro stuff, but more recent things like Star Wars Battlefront 3 or Stranglehold 2. Did you know there’s a keen, and occasionally zealous, culture of collectors and traders passing these things around?

[…]

There are many levels to all this. Some simply collect and play the games, others code and and hack, extracting fresh info from old files or reinstating missing features. There’s even a community quite happily extracting and modding Halo maps. For others it’s about preserving the often transient world of video game history.

The full article is available at Kotaku UK.

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