Resident Evil 7: Biohazard on PlayStation VR Hands-On Preview: A Resident Evil 20th Anniversary Tour Report
Call of Duty: Zombies comic book miniseries will launch in October
Weekly Warp-Up: Final Fantasy XV on the Nintendo NX???
New Retail Releases: Battlefield 1, Civilization VI, Skylanders Imaginators, More
The Big List of Nintendo Switch Games
Pac-Man Championship Edition 2 Review: Ghost Train to Paradise
Xbox Store Today: Battlefield 1, Jackbox Party Pack 3, Slain, more
Voice actor strike reveals unannounced games like Lego Marvel 2, Brothers in Arms, more
Voice actors represented by SAG-AFTRA union go on strike against game developers
Sports! NBA 2K17, Madden 17, FIFA 17, NHL 17 are the best-selling games in September 2016
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Nearly six years after Bandai Namco produced the nearly-perfect Pac-Man Championship Edition DX, the spinoff series returned a few weeks ago with the inexplicably named Pac-Man Championship Edition 2. As the third entry in the Championship Edition series, fans expect to see gorgeous neon-lit mazes and high-speed Dot chomping, and Bandai Namco delivers. But the publisher also added a few new moves to Pac-Man’s repertoire for CE2… along with boss battles. (more…)
After debuting earlier this week with the mega-sized “Early Enlister Edition,” EA and DICE are back with the basic edition of Battlefield 1. Now available to download through the Xbox Games Store for the Xbox One, Battlefield 1 is one of the first games to be set during World War I with an “adventure-filled campaign” and “epic multiplayer battles” on land, sea, air, and horseback.
Also available to download this week is The Jackbox Party Pack 3, yet another collection of party games for the Xbox One from Jackbox Games. This time, players will be able to answer endless questions in “Quiplash 2,” deal with deadly trivia in “Trivia Murder Party,” guess the results to silly survey questions in “Guesspionage,” fight it out with custom t-shirts in “Tee K.O.,” and trick their friends in “Fakin’ It.”
On the other hand, the only people invited to the party in Slain: Back From Hell are the the undead kind. In this new “MetroidVania” for the Xbox One, players will control the fate of Bathoryn, “a doomed hero in a Gothic world, who seeks to liberate six cursed realms from six deadly overlords.”
Finally this week, Horse Racing 2016 brings the “Sport of Kings” to the Xbox One.
More information on all of these games can be found after the break. (more…)
SAG-AFTRA, a union representing voice actors and stunt performers, authorized a strike against game developers that began this morning. As part of the process, the union has published a list of projects that members are no longer allowed to work on, and it includes several unannounced games.
It wasn’t much of a shock to learn that EA Sports is already hard at work on Madden NFL 18 and NHL 18, but listings for Lego Marvel 2 and Brothers in Arms were a bit more surprising (though not unexpected). While WB Games has yet to make any noise about a new Lego Marvel game, Gearbox confirmed the existence of a fourth Brothers in Arms game last year.
A large number of mobile games are also included in the list, as are a few that are denoted only by codenames. For example, Take-Two is working on something called “Alligator,” while EA is developing games under monikers as diverse as “Odin,” “Fearless,” “Scorpion,” and “Timbits.” We may never know what these codenames refer to (they may even belong to game that are have already been released), but one of the union’s major demands is for developers to be more transparent and to use a game’s actual title instead of these types of codenames during the hiring process.
Finally, several highly-anticipated 2017 titles will be affected by the strike including Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8: Final Chapter Prologue, Injustice 2, and Crash Bandicoot Remastered. So hopefully the two sides can reach an equitable agreement soon.
Negotiations between game developers and the voice actors and stunt performers represented by the SAG-AFTRA union began in February 2015, but after more than 18 months of discussions, the two sides appear no closer to an agreement. Because of the impasse, and to protest against a contract they believe is decades out of date, the members of the union went on strike this morning.
“SAG-AFTRA has gone to the negotiations table with serious concerns affecting voiceover and stunt performers,” said Ray Rodriguez, the Chief Contracts Officer for SAG-AFTRA. “It’s time for video game employers to take our concerns seriously and negotiate a modern contract based on actor safety, industry precedent and best practices.”
This strike won’t affect all developers, and currently only applies to games that went into production after February 17, 2015 at Activision, Electronic Arts, Insomniac Games, Take-Two Interactive, and WB Games. However, the strike also extends to several independent vocal production studios that do a lot of contract work with the big publishers.
The game developers are offering an immediate 9% salary hike for all performers, and “additional compensation” depending on the number of recording sessions. However, the union’s demands for better working conditions went unmentioned in a statement from the Chief Negotiator for the game developers.
The SAG-AFTRA union plans to push the game developers for a better deal over the next few weeks, and their first order of business is encouraging all members to join a picket line in front of EA’s headquarters this Monday, October 24.
Football season is in full swing, and the NBA season is getting ready to tip-off this weekend, so it’s a great time to check out this year’s newest sports simulations. Gamers definitely agreed, as four sports titles were at the top of September 2016’s sales report from The NPD Group.
2K’s NBA 2K17 was #1, and it was followed by three from EA Sports: Madden NFL 17 (#2), FIFA 17 (#3), and NHL 17 (#4). Shooters dominated the rest of the list with BioShock: The Collection rounding out the Top 5, and Destiny: The Collection (#6), Overwatch (#8), and Call of Duty: Black Ops III (#10) all in the Top 10.
Believe it or not, Minecraft failed to find a place in the Top 10 for the first time in nearly a year. Perhaps this is why hardware, software, and accessory sales totaled $838.2 million last month, which is down from September 2015’s $1.09 billion tally. But the NPD is pinning the blame on the PS4 Slim and Xbox One S.
“Spending on software, hardware, and accessories declined by 23% compared to this time last year,” NPD Analyst Sam Naji told GamesIndustry.biz. “The release of the PS4 Slim and the second month of the Xbox One S was not enough to stimulate total hardware spending and this month’s new software releases could not compete with last year’s stronger slate of new games.”
The full Top 10 from September 2016 can be found after the break. (more…)
Microsoft has announced (via the Xbox Wire) that Frank West will find a few extra toys under the Christmas tree this year thanks to the Dead Rising 4 Season Pass. Priced at $24.99, the Season Pass will include three downloadable content expansions which will be available sometime after its launch on December 6.
The highlight of the collection is clearly Super Ultra Dead Rising 4 Mini Golf, which reconfigures the town of Willamette (and the Willamette Memorial Megaplex Mall) into a zombie-filled golf course. However, if you’d prefer to extend the story, the Frank Rising expansion forces a freshly-infected Frank West to search for a cure in a time-limited version of the campaign after he’s bitten by a zombie. Finally, the Stocking Stuffer Holiday Pack is your standard issue “bonus content” pack and will include an assortment of “festive” weapons, vehicles, and costumes.
More information about each expansion can be found right here:
- Stocking Stuffer Holiday Pack: Frank West is home for the holidays and he’s got a naughty list the size of Willamette, Colorado. Tear up the streets with festive weapons, zombies, vehicles, costumes, and more.
- Super Ultra Dead Rising 4 Mini Golf: You’ve mastered the outbreak – now it’s time to master the green, with eighteen holes of pure wanton destruction you can play with up to three friends online. Flip zombies the birdie where bloodthirsty, over the top zombie mayhem is par for the course. The world of Super Ultra Dead Rising 4 Mini Golf is extreme and the fairways are the town of Willamette, Colorado, including the iconic Willamette Memorial Megaplex Mall. Use Frank West’s favorite weapons as your set of golf clubs. With an oversized golf ball, drive down the fairways, reaching for the green to nail the perfect putt. Watch your score as you do not want to bogey in this zombie filled eighteen-hole golf course. Mini golf is made crazier with the zombie horde as obstructions and hazards. Dead Rising Fore!
- Dead Rising 4: Frank Rising: In this DLC, Frank West is freshly infected and needs to find a cure before he becomes a zombie and is lost forever. While searching for a cure, Frank discovers that everything is not the same as it was; zombies are getting smarter, people cannot be trusted and paramilitary forces are plotting to wipe out Willamette. Frank has a limited time before he reverts to the full zombie state and the city is wiped out. Frank will have to get to the truth first… or die trying.
The Season Pass content can also be obtained as part of the Dead Rising 4 Deluxe Edition ($79.99), which will be available exclusively as a digital download. And don’t forget, if you opt for a digital download of Dead Rising 4, you’ll receive the game on both the Xbox One and Windows 10 PC thanks to the Xbox Play Anywhere program.
I understand that the big Nintendo Switch unveiling blew away everyone’s expectations, but don’t forget that Rockstar Games also unveiled the first Red Dead Redemption 2 trailer this morning. The trailer is incredibly beautiful, showing life in the old west in greater detail than ever before, but there’s not much new information to glean from its short running time.
Developed by the creators of Grand Theft Auto V and Red Dead Redemption, Red Dead Redemption 2 is an epic tale of life in America’s unforgiving heartland. The game’s vast and atmospheric world will also provide the foundation for a brand new online multiplayer experience.
Red Dead Redemption 2 will be released for the PS4 and Xbox One in Fall 2017.
Xbox Store Today: Battlefield 1 Early Enlister Edition, Batman Return to Arkham, Rock Band 4 Rivals, more
We’ve got re-releases, expansions, and one of the first games to ever focus on The Great War in today’s Xbox Games Store update.
Rather than return to the well-trod battlefields of World War I, EA and DICE turned back the clock even further for Battlefield 1. The “Early Enlister Edition” is now available to download on the Xbox One, and it includes the full World War I shooter, as well as an assortment of bonus content.
Also available this week is Batman: Return to Arkham, which travels back to the beginnings of Rocksteady’s critically-acclaimed trilogy and adds in “fully remastered and updated visuals” and all the previously-released downloadable content.
Finally this week, Rock Band 4 will expand thanks to the release of the brand new Rivals expansion. Players will be able to tackle a campaign mode for the first time in “Rockudrama,” and they’ll battle it out with others online in “Rivals Mode.”
More information on all of these games (and a few other new releases) can be found after the break. (more…)