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Weekly Warp-Up: Black Friday 2014 Approaches
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Recent Articles: Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary
Well kiddies, it’s about that time… time to bid a fond farewell to the seventh generation of our favorite hobby. And what a generation it was! Lasting longer than any console cycle before it, this generation brought more than just some amazing titles. The console has become an all-in-one entertainment hub, as opposed to being “just a gaming system.” From apps like Netflix and Hulu Plus to the advent of motion control and the renaissance of indie games, there hasn’t been a better time to be a gamer. We have come so far in these past eight years, and the future looks brighter than ever.
As we play our Wii Us, and eagerly anticipate Microsoft and Sony’s consoles with bated breath, I feel it’s prudent to take a look back at this generation and discuss some of my favorite video games. Titles that left a lasting impression on us. Titles that will forever live in our collective memories as some of the most enjoyable experiences we’ve ever had.
Since there are so many amazing games, I’ve decided to list my favorites based on genre. In this article, I’m going to go with a new genre that emerged this generation: HD remakes. Love ‘em or hate ‘em, HD remakes helped older gamers relive fond memories, and gave a beautiful history lesson to people who recently discovered this hobby. Here are my favorite HD remakes of this generation. (more…)
Ladies and gentlemen, the biggest week of new releases has finally arrived. More games are released in the third week of November than at any other time of the year and, once again, the publishers have come through with an amazing array of titles including:
- The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, the first Zelda game created exclusively for the Wii.
- Assassin’s Creed: Revelations (PC, PS3, Xbox 360), the conclusion to the Ezio trilogy.
- Saints Row: The Third (PC, PS3, Xbox 360), the wildest open world crime game, ever.
- Need For Speed: The Run (3DS, PC, PS3, Wii, Xbox 360), a game about an illicit cross-country road race, which is just how we like our cross-country road races and our racing games.
- Rayman Origins (PS3, Wii, Xbox 360), the return of Rayman and there’s not a rabbid in sight.
- Jurassic Park (Xbox 360), Telltale’s take on one of the greatest films of all-time. Hold on to your butts.
- Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games (Wii), more multi-sport shenanigans with Mario, Sonic, and all their friends.
- Cooking Mama 4: Kitchen Magic, Cooking Mama brings her culinary skills to the 3DS for the first time.
- Shinobi, Sega’s favorite ninja also comes to the 3DS for the first time.
- Ace Combat: Assault Horizon Legacy, Namco Bandai’s fight sim comes to the 3DS for the first time as well.
- Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3 (PS3, Xbox 360), the ultimate crossover fighting game.
And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Check out the full list of the rest of this week’s new releases, which numbers close to 70 games, after the break. (more…)
We always knew that Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary was going to be more than a straight port. Yesterday, at the New York Comic-Con, the development team at 343 Industries detailed the game’s new Kinect functionality.
Like Mass Effect 3, Kinect users will be able to use voice commands in-game. For example, yelling “Grenade!” will chuck out a grenade while yelling “Reload!” will reload your current weapon.
The Kinect add-on will also enable an Analyze Mode within Halo Anniversary. Yelling “Analyze” will scan the surrounding area and add any enemies encountered into a database dubbed The Library. That’s neat and all, but games have been doing the beastiary thing for decades now. Why is this a Kinect-only thing?
While there wasn’t a new trailer, the Halo 4 panel at PAX Prime has revealed a bit more about the Master Chief’s next adventure.
Developer 343 Industries is referring to the three-part story that’ll begin with Halo 4 as The Reclaimer Trilogy. According to Creative Director Josh Holmes, the game will look deeper at the Master Chief than ever before: “It’s a little bit about getting closer to that character than we have in past games.” Part of this character study will involve John-117’s relationship with Cortana, his AI companion.
But Franchise Director Frank O’Connor assured those in attendance that discovering more about the Master Chief’s character won’t be the only exploration players experience in Halo 4. He confirmed that the game will feature more glimpses into the Forerunner civilization, including buildings and technology that “[aren’t] completely dead.”
Finally, O’Connor passed along some bad news, confirming that there won’t be any Halo 4 multiplayer beta access codes included with Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary.
Halo Fest has been host to some announcements about Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary already. According to Major Nelson, 343 Industries announced three new maps, all of which are playable at Halo Fest. The maps are “Timberland,” “Prisoner,” and “Installation 04.” Also playable are several fan favorite maps, including “Damnation” and “Beaver Creek.”
The game will also be available in stereoscopic 3D, for those gamers fortunate and rich enough to own a 3D television. For those of you at Halo Fest, you can check it out in action this very weekend. For anyone who doesn’t already know, Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary will be available November 15 for the Xbox 360.
It seems that Halo: Combat Evolved went on vacation to silicon valley to have some plastic surgery. A little nip here… a little tuck there… and erase some of those stretch marks to make Halo look better than ever.
The game may look different, but underneath that brand new dress of lens flare, particle physics, and HD textures beats the heart of a classic. The gameplay remains unchanged and it looks stellar. A fun feature even lets you toggle between the new game engine and the old so you can get your nostalgic kicks as you tear through the Covenant with nothing but a pistol.
To see just how close to the original the team at 343 Industries is getting, take a gander at the new “Campaign” trailer released at Comic-Con. Now you can go back to where it all began… and teabag people in HD.
Halo fans worrying about the handling of the upcoming Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary remake can rest a bit easier. Microsoft and 343 Industries are teaming with Pyramind Studios to recreate the original score, note for note. The Skywalker Symphony Orchestra and Chanticleer vocal ensemble will also collaborate to recreate the orchestral pieces and famed Halo monk-like singing.
“It was a huge undertaking to transcribe, orchestrate, and produce every note from the original game soundtrack files” said Paul Lipson, Pyramind Studios COO/Audio Director. “Our team approached every aspect of the music with an immense amount of skill and care, keeping the core Halo sound while updating the production to today’s highest standards.”
Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary releases for Xbox 360 on November 15, 2011.
Phil Spencer, the head of Microsoft Game Studios, sat down with GameSpot AU at E3 2011 and confirmed that Kinect support will be included in Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary:
“Obviously, as a first-party, we believe that Kinect will be important to all genres of games. Be it racing games like Forza, combat games like Ryse and even games like Halo: Anniversary has Kinect integration,” Spencer said.
With confirmation out of the way, now comes the fun part… speculation on just how Kinect support will work in Halo Anniversary. We’ll have all Summer to think about it as Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary is scheduled for a November 15 release on the Xbox 360.