Friday, September 28, 2012

Halo 4 Goes Gold

Frank O'Conner announced during a press release on September 26th that Halo 4 is officially done and the 2-disc sequel to the acclaimed Halo 3 has gone gold. 300 people made this accomplishment happen over the last several years, and they are quite pleased with their work.

Some of the changes from the original trilogy is the native 720p resolution. Players should be aware however, that the game is not as pretty as the screenshots (but no game ever is). The engine has also changed and includes many improvements over the original. Blur motion changes allows the 30fps visuals to run smoother than previous games. They have kept some select pieces from the old engine, including player feel, since that will allow the transition easier to make for older fans, but mostly it's been a tear down and rebuild project. Lighting and network code were enhanced while graphics and audio were changed to make the most out of the 360's power.

Halo 3 Valhalla
We also got a nice bit of info about the remake of a fan favorite map. Valhalla comes to Halo 4 under the name "Ragnarok". For those not well versed in Norse mythology, Valhalla was the hall of the gods, ruled over by Odin in the realm of Asgard. Ragnarok is the end of the world and many of the Norse gods. See? Video games can be educational. Take that high school guidance counselors! Anyways, enough with the history lesson. Valhalla was a fan favorite map due to the wide open space with a large hill separating the two bases. Vehicles didn't hurt either as there were two banshees and warthogs, as well as several mongooses. A very good CTF map, it was also fun for Team Slayer and Shotty Snipes. If you aren't familiar with the map, grab a cheap copy of Halo 3 and jump online for a bit.

Halo 4 is getting closer and closer. Do you have your ammo loaded? I hope so. The battle resumes November 6th, 2012.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Halo 4 Infection Mode Adds Flood Forms In Place of Zombies

When players originally read "Infection" as a game mode in the Halo series, many theorized we would get to play as The Flood. Obviously, we were merely super soldier zombies with energy swords and gravity hammers. Sometimes we had extra speed, sometimes low gravity. But it all ended the same way. Survivors either held out against the zombie outbreak (which did nothing to our Mjolnir suits apparently, so how the hell did we get infected in the first place?), or they all ended up skewered on a sword. In Halo 4, that has finally changed.

Halo 4 recently had a press embargo lifted, which granted players the information about a new Infection mode called "Flood". In it, 10 players square off. 8 survivors, and 2 alpha zombies. Zombie players will take the appearance of Combat Form Flood creatures. What used to be human, is now part of a collective with an insatiable hunger. Where regular zombie players gave us a little jolt of panic when you were surrounded, the Flood adds an even greater sense of fear. Instead of swords, Flood players use deadly claws to rip past your armor, into the flesh beneath. They also get enhanced vision, but more info will be announced on those specifics at a later date.

Most of us Halo veterans remember the first time we ran into the Flood on Halo:CE. Small hallways, glass containers, blood everywhere along with the guns of fallen comrades, a video that shows the horrific attack of Flood forms. All of it gave me the shivers and I'm certain it did for most players. This will definitely add a new element to the Infection game mode. Shotgunning a charging zombie was nothing compared to the adrenaline rush that Flood forms will give you.

Halo 4 launches November 6th, 2012.

Friday, September 21, 2012

The Weapons of Halo 4

Halo 4 is just weeks away from launch. So far we've covered specialties, enemies, and the start of the campaign. Time to step it up to the heart and soul of an FPS; the weapons.

Many weapons in Halo 4 are returning from the previous games as well as getting 10 all new weapons. The returning weapons should be familiar to players from the past so here's a quick rundown.

  • Battle Rifle (Three shot burst, scoped, introduced in Halo 2)
  • Assault Rifle (Standard UNSC rifle, primary weapon for marines/Spartans)
  • DMR (Semi-Automatic scoped rifle, introduced in Halo: Reach)
  • Sniper Rifle (2 stage scoped rifle. One shot headshot to most enemies)
  • Magnum (UNSC sidearm, standard issue for marines/Spartans)
  • Rocket launcher (2 shot RPG, capable of simultaneous multi-kills)
  • Shotgun (Short range, if close enough can kill in one shot even through shields)
  • Spartan Laser (Requires charging, can destroy vehicles in one shot)
  • Plasma Pistol (Covenant, charged shot depletes shields, single shot damages shields and health)
  • Needler (Fires crystalline bolts that pierce armor and have a timed detonation)
  • Beam Rifle (Covenant Sniper Rifle)
  • Concussion Rifle (Fires heavy projectiles that can knock a player/enemy into the air)
  • Covenant Carbine (Covenant version of the DMR, Semi-auto)
  • Energy Sword (When locked on, can leap forward a significant distance into a stab)
  • Gravity Hammer (Large hammer-type weapon that causes damage, can launch enemies into the air)
  • Frag Grenades (Shrapnel damage)
  • Plasma Grenades (Can stick to enemies)

Now let's explore the weapons new to the game.

First up is the SAW (Squad Automatic Weapon). It uses a drum magazine and holds 72 rounds. It can be used for sustained firing/suppressive for your team to move up. The concept was first adopted during World War I and World War II. It combines Machine gun power with infantry mobility.

The Rail Gun is the mobile Gauss Cannon. An electromagnetic projectile weapon, it fires a single explosive round at incredible speeds utilizing a linear accelerator. It is a scaled down version of the UNSC M.A.C. (Magnetic Accelerator Cannon) which are positioned on the warships. The only main difference is that instead of using coils to accelerate the projectile, the Rail Gun uses magnetic rails. The projectiles need to be conductive, as the Rail Gun uses electric currents to interact with the magnetic field to accelerate the projectile.

The Sticky Detonator is a unique weapon new to the series. It acts in a way like the grenade launcher from Halo: Reach as it can be timed to detonate. The Detonator fires a magnetically latched explosive round that can be triggered remotely. The best use of this weapon, is to lay it in a heavily traveled area and monitor it from a distance. When an enemy approaches the area, it can be detonated to cripple or kill your opponent.

The Storm Rifle is a modified, and upgraded, covenant Plasma Rifle. Releasing a "Storm" of energy projectiles, it is deadly at close range, but it overheats within about 5 seconds of continuous use. Accurate shots will be the difference between kills or death. Introduced during the Sangheili (Elites) Civil Conflicts, it has been adopted by almost all Elites as the standard infantry weapon. It acts like the Plasma Repeater from Halo: Reach.

The Boltshot is the first Promethean weapon we'll get into. Forerunner tech, this energy pistol works in the same manner as the Covenant Plasma pistol. It can fire bursts of energy, or it can be charged to deliver a blast that almost rivals a close range shotgun. It will be a secondary loadout weapon for both War Games and Spartan Ops. It works on Organic matter, so tech will require more shots.

The Lightrifle is the primary Forerunner weapon used by the Promethean Knights. It fires solid light at an enemy, resulting in devastating damage. With a 15 round magazine, the weapon acts as a combination between the UNSC Battle Rifle and DMR. It fires a 3 round burst when hipfired and shoots a heavy projectile when scoped in. Both squeezes of the trigger costs 3 rounds of ammunition.

The Scattershot, a CQC defensive weapon, is absolute destruction when getting up close and personal. If a shot misses an opponent, the rounds ricochet off hard surfaces. The round may pass the close enemy, but the next guy to come around that corner may get a face full of light. The shells dispersal pattern is what gives the weapon its name. A "scatter" of projectile rounds can leave no trace, as the enemy will literally disintegrate in front of your eyes.

The Binary rifle is the Forerunner equivalent to the UNSC sniper rifle. It has a magazine of two rounds, and can be fired scoped in. It is a one shot, one kill weapon.

An automatic Forerunner weapon was crucial to the war against the Flood. That's where the Suppressor comes in. With charged bolts of light (solid), it pierces and destroys organic matter. Technological matter can withstand it a bit better. It will be a primary weapon loadout in both War Games and Spartan Ops.

Firing several streams of explosive particles, the Incineration Cannon can be a powerful weapon. It mimics the Flamethrower from Halo 3 and the detonations spread upon impact. The streams spread in multiple directions, making it very hard for an enemy to predict how to dodge them.

The Promethean answer to the Frag and Plasma grenades is the Pulse Grenade. Similar to the Energy Drainer from Halo 3, the Pulse grenade projects a sphere of ionized particles that drains enemy shields and explodes once the field collapses.

So there you are. All the weapons of Halo 4. At least, all the weapons that have been confirmed. Maybe we'll get one or two surprises at launch, but who knows.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Nintendo Might Have Plans to Replace Broken Gamepads... For a Fee

Newly released information from Nintendo now states that you can replace a busted Wii U Gamepad for a fee. Most likely the fee is the retail cost of the controller, as well as shipping. The supposed retail price ($180) was reported from Japan, but the actual price may be lower than that, considering Japan has a higher conversion rate.

Nintendo still confirms that individual Gamepads will not be available for sale outside of Japan for a while; however, you could get a replacement if you sent them in. If you are thinking of calling up Nintendo for a second controller, it is doubtful your plan will succeed. More likely, you will need to ship the controller to Nintendo to prove it is broken, and then pay the shipping for the return travel as well as purchasing the new controller. The fee could also add in a few extra costs but there are no details currently available.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Obama Presidential Campaign Ads Will Appear in EA Games

Most players would agree that politics has threatened our way of life for over a decade. US Congressional votes on the "dangers" of video games only end up stirring the gaming population into a frenzy. Politics has no jurisdiction in our community. Video games have been proven time and time again to have no influence over children's development, and they most certainly do not cause people to become violent. Another matter Lawmakers want to change is that there are no laws in America concerning age restrictions on Video Games. A 9 year old can play Resident Evil, Halo, Gears of War, Call of Duty and other mature titles to their hearts content. Many people are deluded thinking that store policy on M rated games (e.g. Gamestop, Best Buy) are actual laws that restrict only 17+ years to buying those titles.

If politics is after gaming so hard (and have been for years), and the opposition is so great, you would assume the President of the United States would stay away from volatile topic in his Campaign. Well, this isn't the case. Obama will soon have campaign advertising running in multiple EA titles, including Madden 2013, casual games on and mobile games such as Battleship and Tetris.

Obama Campaign ad appears in lower left hand corner

Mitt Romney, GOP Presidential candidate, has yet to appear in official video game ads, and has no plans at the moment to do so. EA Games has not restricted his appearance by any means, and says its door are open.

"EA accepts advertising in our games from credible political candidates, similar to a TV, radio or online channel," an EA rep. told GamePolitics. "The ads do not reflect any political policy for EA."
The target audience is young people that may not be paying attention to the overall election, which means this is a strategic position to get his name out. However, players are used to fake advertising and may see it as a joke, or dismiss it altogether. Time will tell, but it looks like the Democratic Committee is throwing a Hail Mary here.

Monday, September 17, 2012

The Enemies of Halo 4

Halo 4 launches in 50 days. Even before we begin, the barriers toward our success are mounting. Creatures more powerful than anything Master Chief has faced before stand in our way, both in survival and rescue of the crew on Infinity (UNSC Ship). In this article we take an in-depth look at the enemies we will be facing.

Prometheans. An elite Forerunner class based on Requiem, their goal is to defend the planet at any cost. Commanded by the Didact, leader of the Prometheans, they were the greatest warriors during the human/Forerunner war (and also during the early Flood wars). Organic Prometheans stood about 13 feet tall (4 Meters) and weighed approximately 1800-2200 lbs (800-1000 Kilos). The ones we face are neither organic, nor robotic. They are technological AI's that are modeled after their creators. Make no mistake, they are Prometheans.

The Promethean Crawler is a four legged wolf-like creature. Well, if wolves carried laser rifles. They carry a boltsholt (Forerunner energy pistol) that makes them deadly in both CQC and at range. They usually travel in large packs and are designed to work in tandem to take down an opponent from every angle. Crawlers come in a standard variety, sniper variety and Alpha (leader of the pack) variety.

Promethean Watchers are large, flying sentinels that emerge from the armored back of a Promethean Knight. They carry boltshots and can summon Crawlers to the battle. Watchers have a handy ability that heals damaged Knights and can resurrect them when they are defeated. A gravity-displacement beam catches incoming projectiles, including grenades, and flings them back at the enemy. Mainly a battlefield distraction and a frustration, it is a good idea to remove them from the equation first.

The most devastating enemy is the Promethean Knight. Significantly different from their organic creators, Knights are no less deadly. Heavily armored, they are tough to beat in a 1-on-1 let alone with several coming at you. They are heavily armed with Forerunner weaponry. Light rifles and Suppressors are their weapons of choice, however Commanders will also carry Incineration Cannons and Autosentry turrets. They come in four classes. Standard, Lancer (Scout/Marksman class that use Promethean vision to see through cover), Commanders, and Battlewagons (carries Scattershot shotgun, orange patterns on face/body with orange spikes on spine).

Do you have what it takes?
The greatest enemy has yet to be revealed. The original commander of these forces, the Didact, might well be hidden on Requiem. His symbol appears on a console on the UNSC ship, Infinity, and also appears at the end of the trailer with someone saying "I have long dreamt of this day, Reclaimer."

Friday, September 14, 2012

Wii U Exclusive Bayonetta 2 Causing Some Rage

Platinum Games released Bayonetta players outside of Japan in January of 2010 for the Xbox 360 and PS3. It did fairly well for a new title, selling 1.35 million copies since launch, and it also has a sizable following.

Bayonetta is a third-person action title that follows the main character (Bayonetta) after she wakes up 500 years and finds herself in a new world with no memory of her past. It takes place in the fictional European city of Vigrid. Bayonetta is a witch. However, magic spells are not all she employs in battle. She is capable of shape shifting and carries four pistols. The plot of the story mainly focuses on her battling demons and angelic beings as she tries to regain her memories. The story is left unanswered and fans eagerly waited for news of a sequel.

That sequel is now here. The catch? It's a Wii U Exclusive. Platinum Games, which recently entered a partnership with Nintendo, has left the Xbox 360 and PS3 (Which Bayonetta first debuted) behind. This has caused a severe ripple of anger towards the emerging developer as fans grapple with the painful fact that if they want to finish the story, they need to shell out $360-$410 dollars (cost of the console and game).

Do you think the Nintendo partnership was advantageous enough for Platinum Games to make it an exclusive? Is Nintendo pulling the strings behind that curtain?Is it enough incentive to invest in The Wii U? Only time will tell.

Wii U Gamepad Not Sold Separately

The Wii U launches November 18th for the US and November 30th for Europe. It looks pretty good with all the new options, features and small jumps in innovation. However, the launch will be hindered by a certain flaw. There are no launch titles for the Wii U that will feature Co-Op play. This is a bit of a surprise, but not nearly as much as the news on why. The system cannot handle playing with two Gamepads. There won't even be a way to buy a second Wii U Gamepad.

That's right, the Wii U Gamepad is exclusive to the console bundle only. At least until Q1 of 2013. Even if you can afford a second controller ($180 retail), you won't be able to. So what does Nintendo say to do if you break one? They advise buying a Wii U Pro controller (49.99 retail). This limits your gameplay drastically, as there is no tablet function. This removes a lot of the additional options for the console as well, since the tablet controls most of the features for the TVii. It also looks suspiciously like another controller.

How this will affect Q4 sales this year is unknown, but best bet is probably not much.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Wii U Specs, Pricing and Launch Date Revealed

Nintendo announced this morning the specs and pricing for the Wii U during it's presentation. Gamers sat on the edge of their seats waiting for the news, holding their breath for what they wanted to hear. Did it live up to your expectations? Let's go down the list of everything that was announced.

Release date
  • Sunday November 18th, 2012 in North America. 
  • November 30th, 2012 in Europe.
  • Standard (White) includes the Wii Console, Wii U Gamepad, All necessary cables (including HDMI) and will have an 8 GB Internal Storage. Price = $299
  • Deluxe model (Black) includes Wii U console, Wii U GamePad, all necessary cables (including HDMI), and feature 32 GB internal storage. Price = $349. It will include Nintendo Land and is expected to include the new Nintendo Network Premium service, which runs for 2 years and offers gamers 10% off on software and game downloads.
  • 50 launch titles including the new Super Mario Bros, Bayonetta 2 (Exclusive), 007 Legends, Monster Hunter 3, and Epic Mickey 2.
  • 2 GB total system memory, 1 GB used for Operating System.
  • 75W power usage
  • Blu-Ray based
 Nintendo TVii
  • TV/DVR service for all consoles
  • Browse shows & TV channels, then activate DVR feature to record
  • Browse TV shows and movies and then select which service to play them (e.g. Netflix/Amazon Prime)
  • Live Sports Scoreboards
  • Gamepad can function as a remote and can tweet pictures and notes.
While I am curious about the limited launch titles (including no news about a Smash Brothers remake) it doesn't surprise me too much. The Storage space is confusing however. At $349 to get 32 GB of storage, it seems a bit pricey considering for $50 more you can get a current Xbox 360 with 10X the storage space. However, it stands to reason that the console needs to be that pricey in order to bring up profit margins, which Nintendo has been seeing less of in recent years.

Gamestop is taking pre-orders now for the Wii U. So if you want to ensure yourself a system, get on down to your local store. $50 for pre-order, $25 if a Powerup member.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Hey Look! A New Pokemon Game! Oh Wait, it's just Zynga. Again.

Zynga has had a few articles in the news this year about possible copyright infringement. Games that closely resemble other games. Most notable is the fight Nimblebit had over Zynga's "Dream Heights" basically copy & pasting their Tiny Towers indie game. EA is also currently suing Zynga over claims that "The Ville" is a clone of Sims Social.
Well, it looks like they might have landed in hot water again. Montopia is a free game on the Android/iOS Marketplaces. A "battle-Monster" RPG, the game has players "collect them all" in order to build teams to fight other players. Sounds suspiciously like another title, Pokemon. "Gotta catch 'em all" is the iconic tag line of Pokemon and the series is based on capturing unique creatures with special elemental/physical/psychic abilities to battle opponents and their Pokemon. Montopia's creatures operate around the Elements of Fire, Water and Wood (might as well just say "Grass" with all the similarities)

A few differences include "fusing" monsters to increase ability effectiveness and to breed new monsters. Players get monsters from Treasure Chests instead of the long grass. And in-game cash can be purchased with REAL cash. How Nintendo will take to this Zynga game, we'll have to wait and see.

Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance Cancelled in Japan for Xbox 360

Konami recently announced it is cancelling the Xbox 360 version of MGR: Revengeance in Japan for "various reasons". Specifics have yet to be announced, however. Playstation 3 will not see this cancellation, so the best guess at why it is limited to the 360 is the low sales numbers that have plagued the Japanese market.

Launches for the US, Europe, and other areas are unaffected and will be released on time in February.

Major Nelson Unboxes the Halo 4 LE Controller

Halo 4 comes out in under two months. But accessories come out next month. Specifically the Halo 4 LE controller. Now, don't be confused between the Console controllers and the LE controllers. They are drastically different. Major Nelson provides us with an unboxing video below.

Halo 4 LE Controller

Wii U Launch Date and Price to be Revealed Tomorrow 9/13/12

For all you Nintendo fans, tomorrow will be an exciting day. Nintendo has announced that the Wii U price and release date will be revealed during Thursday's (September 13th) Direct presentation. Nintendo announced on their twitter feed that it would be revealed at 4 PM Japanese time (3 AM EST, 8 AM GMT).

 [岩田]こんばんは、任天堂の岩田です。明日13日木曜日の16時より、「Wii U発売に関するプレゼンテーション」をインターネットで放映いたします。Wii U本体の価格や発売日などの情報を発表させていただきます。#NintendoDirectJP

For those who can't read Japanese, the translated version states:

Good evening, it's Iwata from Nintendo. Tomorrow at 4pm [Japanese time] we'll broadcast online the Wii U's sale information. We'll tell you when the Wii U will launch and how much for.

 So, be on the lookout for tomorrow's news. I'm sure it won't be hard to miss.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Borderlands 2 Free Character for Premium Members

Borderlands 2 is coming in hot! It launches in one week on September 18th. But what's a game launch without a little incentive? Borderlands 2 will have a DLC character out on October 16th. Her name is Gaige. And she is a Mechromancer.

Mechromancers control, well, mechs. Gaige specifically can call for the aid of D374-TP (A.K.A. "Deathtrap"). Gaige's skill tree features player challenge level variances. So this makes her the easiest character and hardest character to play. Wait, does that even make sense? Well, it must because it's on Gearbox's site.

Anyways, she will available for download on October 16th for a mere $9.99 or 800 MSP. However, if you pre-order Borderlands 2 now, it will be free. Yep, free. As in, your money's no good here (later it will be, so buy the season pass). Enjoy using those bad boy mechs with the bad girl of Pandora.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Early Pokemon Buyers Can Get Genesect

Pokemon Black and White Ver. 2 launch fairly soon. While many players will be getting it at launch, here's an extra incentive for those slowpokes (cwatididthar?) who don't plan on getting it for a while.

Nintendo announced that buyers outside of Japan can now earn the mythical Pokemon Genesect during a limited time promotion. Merely purchasing the game between October 7th and November 12th can get you this bad-ass Pokemon.

Connecting to the Nintendo Wi-Fi network nets you Genesect. For those unfamiliar with him, Genesect was restored from a 300 Million year-old fossil. A bug/steel type, it has the ability to match it's power levels based on the foe it is currently facing. Modified by Team Plasma, it also has been granted a new signature move, Techno Blast. Genesect is the only Pokemon who knows that move, so expect it to be extremely useful.

Pokemon Black/White Ver. 2 launches October 7th, 2012

Guild Wars 2 Accounts Being Hacked for Gold

Do you play Guild Wars 2? If so, this information may be vital to the survival of your account.

The increasingly popular Dragon Slaying RTS game has had its ups and downs, but the newest problem may be too much for anyone player to handle. Accounts are being hacked at an alarming rate. Over 11,000 have been cracked already according to ArenaNet.

"Hackers have lists of email addresses and passwords stolen from other games and web sites, and collected through spyware, and are systematically testing Guild Wars 2 looking for matching accounts." The Guild Wars 2 wiki recently stated. "To protect yourself, use a strong, unique password for Guild Wars 2 that you've never used anywhere else!"

 Further statements include explanations on how to to get support for a banned account.
When accounts are hacked and then used for botting or spamming ads for gold sales, we ban the accounts until we can return them to their rightful owner. If you login and see the message, "this account has been permanently banned for a violation of the User Agreement," and if you're not a gold seller, it's likely that your account was hacked. Please contact customer support using the instructions below.

If you see email authentication messages in your inbox asking you to approve a login that you didn't initiate and from someplace you don't recognize, that's a sign that a hacker knows your account name and password, and is only being prevented by the email authentication feature from accessing your account. You should immediately change your password to a new, unique password that you've never used anywhere else.

ArenaNet has provided an email verification process to stem the flow of hackers who know your username and password. This should help until they can fix all of the issues. So if you want to keep your gold, your gems, and your loot, make sure you check out that wiki for current news.

13 Year Old Girl Steals Car to Visit XBL Boyfriend

Love, (or rather "Puppy Love") can be an extremely powerful emotion. Puppy Love even more so. Puppy Love is considered to be infatuation while a young teenager, making judgment on their actions very difficult to control or predict.

This is certainly the case with Beth Robinson. Beth is 13 and a gamer on Xbox Live. She met and became friends with a 12 year old boy, Dylan, and they soon became infatuated with each other. When Beth's dad decided he didn't approve of his daughter gaming and "chatting" with an unknown boy over the internet, Beth went a little crazy.

Stealing her brother's car, and her mother's ATM card, Beth made the trek to Dylan's house. Another problem? Beth lives in Houston while Dylan lives in Hodgenville, Kentucky. Beth made it to Nashville before being stopped by police who had been alerted to watch for the teenager. For someone who isn't licensed to drive (and I'm betting her parents won't be getting her a permit for many years to come), making a 13 hour trek is impressive.

Beth has since been reunited with her family, and it looks as if no harm has been done. Although I'm pretty sure she's grounded until she turns 18 and there won't be any XBL in her immediate future.

Ah Xbox. Where chatting with other players can be an emotional experience. In fact, me and my wife met on XBL. However, we were 20 years old. Hopefully there won't be more of these incidents to come, but we all know that's not the case.

Stop the Presses! Dawnguard May Come to the PS3 Afterall.

Sony and Bethesda are hard at work trying to get Dawnguard to the PS3 after Bethesda cast doubts that it would ever make it to the console giant. An embarrassment to both Sony and Bethesda, this issue has caused major amounts of grief to both companies from fans.

Considering DLC is a large amount of revenue earned by developers, cutting out 1/3 of the potential business doesn't seem like a smart move. Hopefully this won't be a thorn in players' sides for too much longer.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Zelda Coming to the Wii U in 2014?

With Nintendo going all out for the Wii U, one would expect major titles to return. Mario. Smash Brothers. Metroid. All of these games stand out for Nintendo. But there's a major title that has yet to be announced. Well, officially that is. Wii U Daily has the full story. For a few snippets, continue reading.

According to a Wii U Daily source, a new Zelda game is slated for a 2014 release. The development started back in 2010, so with a possible 4 years of development time, this should be an extremely satisfying title for Zelda fans.

The game will play along the lines of Skyward Sword, which Nintendo feels was a "sweet spot" for the series, and has hundreds of people working on it. As the biggest project Nintendo has ever done (both in money and manpower) the game still had to be delayed from their original 2013 release date.

Dungeons will be gigantic, requiring hours to complete, and while there is no multiplayer system, players can leave tips to help their friends with dungeons. Hopefully this will prove to be the Zelda game many are hoping for on the new Wii U console.

Halo 4 Armor Customizations & PAX Gameplay

Halo has always been large on customizing your Spartan to your own personality. Halo 1 and 2 were mainly limited to colors unfortunately, but that was still fun, especially watching some RvB machinima. Halo 3 stepped it up with additions like armor customizations. You could add different helmets that would limit sniper attraction, or increase intimidation by having reach high levels. Halo Reach added hundreds of combinations in your armor (even right down to the knee caps!) for you to design your ultimate warrior. And now Halo 4 has ramped it up once more. With a over dozen visor colors directly out of the gate, more emblems than we've seen before, and even a new Player Card stance change, this blows the past games out of the Drop Pod.

Take a look at these customizations and enjoy some PAX Prime gameplay featuring a Forerunner Energy Pistol, Forerunner shotgun, and the Wetwork character's Promethean Vision.

If you want to see more Armor Customization, check out this next PAX Prime video.


Halo 4 launches November 6th, 2012 on Xbox 360.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

GOW Judgment FFA: What We Know so Far

Gears of War: Judgment was at PAX Prime this weekend. A lot of gamers got their hands on the Free For All gametype to give it a thorough test. The purpose of which is to obviously work out the kinks. But another thing we got out of it, was a good amount of info. I should mention these are rough builds of the gametype. Nothing will be finalized until the game launches or at Epic's say so.

  • Ten players confirmed.
  • Character skins are not confirmed but multiple videos show Gears 3 characters and Judgment characters. Gears 3 characters are possibly placeholders.

  • Frag grenades now can stick opponents to "reward players who have good accuracy."
  • You spawn with a medium-damage Frag in FFA.
  • Grenade wall plants are disabled.
  • Tagging can still be done to players by holding LB and pressing B.
  • Grenades can be aimed by holding LB.
  • Ink grenade no longer stuns.
  • Ink grenades have larger AoE (Area of Effect) and DPS (Damage/second). Can be used as deterrents for halls, weapon pickups, doorways. Cannot be rolled or run through without doing DBNO (Down But Not Out).
  • Grenade counter next to weapon ammo in your HUD.
  • Grenades glow to more accurately outline them
  • Frag grenade damage has been lowered.

Loadouts & Weapon Swaps
  • When spawning, you can choose between Lancer and Hammerburst for a primary, Snub for secondary.
  • In order to pick up a different secondary, you must switch to your Snub pistol and change out that weapon. Otherwise you will change out your Primary weapon.
  • Weapon pickups have a faster animation than previous Gears installments.

  • Power Weapon.
  • One shot headshot, but if you aim for the body, it takes 3 shots to kill.

  • All rifles (Lancer, Hammerburst, Retro lancer) have the same damage settings as Gears 3.
  • Retro Lancer is confirmed to be returning. Retro Charge is confirmed to return. Retro is a pickup weapon in FFA.
  • Failed Retro charge appears to do less damage than Gears 3.

  • Sawed-off is confirmed to be returning. Damage setting is unknown. Pickup Weapon in FFA.
  • Gnasher is returning. Damage setting unknown. Pickup weapon in FFA.

  • Weapon skins are returning. Flaming Lancer, Immulsion Hammerburst spotted in PAX videos.
  • Decals & Skins not confined to weapons.

Weapon Control Changes
  • Tap "Y" to switch between primary/secondary weapons. Faster animation.
  • Hold "Y" to switch to pistol.
  • Tap "LB" to throw grenades. Overhand throw.
  • Hold "LB" to aim grenades. Underhand throw.
  • Hold "LB" and press "B" to tag grenades to players.
  • Tac-Com is now toggled through the D-Pad.
  • Press forward and "A" to mantle cover and also mantle kick.

Alternate Weapon Controls
  • "X" to run and dive.
  • "A" to take cover.
  • Hold "RB" to pickup weapons.
  • Tap "RB" to reload (takes priority over weapon pickup).
  • Down on D-Pad for Tac-Com. 

  • Cross-hairs are permanent when hip firing or hard aiming.
  • Hip fire cross-hairs fade, but still turn red when on an enemy.
  • Hard aim cross-hairs turn to full brightness.

Height Drops
  • You can roll or run off high ledges, up to "Two Stories" according to developers.
  • Slight fall damage when taking this course of action.
  • You can chainsaw/shoot enemies while falling.

  • Smoke is emitted when the chainsaw is revved.
  • Time between revving and being immune to stun has been increased from Gears 3 levels.

Health Regenerator
  • Pickup/Active effect.
  • Gives the player bursts of health to give a battle advantage.
  • Cannot survive one shot kills (Chainsaw, Retro charge, headshot, Gnasher gib, etc.)

  • Maps are designed for individual modes.
  • Gondola and Library are the two maps showcased.
  • Maps for FFA are more height based.

  • Spawn time is reduced.
  • Spawn protection time is reduced.

  • Stopping power is removed.
  • Retro and DBS will be altered.
  • Mantle kick is under review for consistency.
  • No active reload bonus.
 So there you have it! FFA looks to be a fast paced and very entertaining game mode. I hope everyone can enjoy it when the game launches March 19th, 2013. Below are videos from PAX for your enjoyment.