So far Telltale's Game of Thrones series has had more than its fair share of adventure, intrigue and death – and it's only at the halfway point. Episode 4: Sons of Winter will be out next week to continue the tragic saga of House Forrester. Whether it be Gared's journey beyond The Wall, or Asher's infiltration of Meereen, or Mira's political workings in a very turbulent King's Landing, every member is playing their part to prevent their House's demise. The episode will be out May 27 on Xbox consoles for $4.99, and as always it comes as part of the season pass. Check out the launch trailer after the jump.
UK developer Playtonic, which is primarily comprised of former Rare developers, is currently sitting on more than $2.5 million of Kickstarter investments to spend developing Yooka-Laylee, a spiritual successor to Rare's Banjo-Kazooie series. A portion of that money will go towards funding the development of Yooka and Laylee's move sets, which Playtonic says will make sense for each of the animals.
"As much as I love Banjo, he never did anything that said 'I'm a bear'," Studio and Game Director Gavin Price recently told Official PlayStation Magazine. "He was basically a man in a bear costume!"
That's one area in which Yooka-Laylee will differ from its progenitor. "We wanted them to stand out on their own," Price continued. "The bat's going to be the crazier, cheekier one, and the chameleon's more sensible."
As an example, he mentioned that Yooka will have some of the changing camouflage abilities that real chameleons have. Playtonic is approaching this by making Yooka's textures change depending on what he eats in the game, so eating a large creature in a mountainous area might allow the character to take on the appearance and properties of a rock.
For one month at least, Microsoft got a break from being Sony's punching bag in the console sales race. GamesBeat reports that NPD's April sales numbers show the Xbox One outselling the PlayStation 4 last month for the first time since January.
"As the best-selling console in the U.S. in April, fans set record April sales and engagement for Xbox One last month," Xbox marketing boss Mike Nichols told GamesBeat in response to the April figures. "Xbox One console sales in the U.S. increased 63 percent in April 2015 compared to April 2014, and Xbox Live comparisons showed the number of active global users [Xbox One and Xbox 360] grew 24 percent. We are grateful to our fans for their passion and support and are looking forward to sharing more on the best game lineup in Xbox history at E3."
Last month's sales results mean that Microsoft's next-gen console has outsold Sony's in the United States for half of the first four months of 2015. No doubt as a result of a temporary price cut, the Xbox One also dominated the hardware sales charts during the crucial retail months of November and December in 2014.
The tablet game Badland is making its way to consoles using a redesigned control scheme for console play. Badland: Game of the Year Edition is a side-scrolling action adventure with physics based gameplay that totes stunning graphics and audio. The player controls a flying creature named Clony who is trying to survive dangerous traps, puzzles and obstacles. The clones are out there waiting for Clony to save them.
Badland: Game of the Year Edition features 100 single player levels, 100 co-op levels and 27 multiplayer deathmatch stages with up to four player local cooperative play. Launch will feature a discount price of just under $10 before eventually going back to its normal price of $11.99.
Continue below to check out a trailer of the game.
Schrödinger's Cat and the Raiders of the Lost Quark was developed by Italic Pig and published by Team 17 on Xbox One. It was released on May 12, 2015 for $9.99. A copy was provided for review purposes.
On May 17, 2015, I had a chance meeting with developer Italic Pig over at the XBLA Fans Twitch channel while streaming Schrödinger's Cat and the Raiders of the Lost Quark. For the sake of brevity, let’s just say I happened to learn quite a bit of the making process of Schrödinger's Cat. The message I took away from the impromptu discussion with Italic Pig is that the developer had a vision and set out to create a game around a passion for physics. In Italic Pig's eyes, each portion of the game was designed with a specific purpose to test players in different ways. Most things in the game have a reason for being there, but not every reference or purpose is obvious. Still, the developer believes there is something for everyone here. Do I fully agree with all of the design implementations? No, but I respect the decisions made during the process. Schrödinger's Cat and the Raiders of the Lost Quark took two years to make with an estimated 60-70 percent of the effort coming from Italic Pig alone. Meanwhile, I spent about eight hours across three different days to play through in its entirety. Let's see how it stacks up.
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- 7p – 9p K4rn4ge – Mega Coin Squad (Early look!)
- 9p – 1a Cain141 – Smite
- 12p – 3p Zero Jehuty – Lifeless Planet or Wolfenstein: The Old Blood
- 4p – 7p K4rn4ge – Day of Knights (Rogue Legacy and Shovel Knight)
- 7p – 10p Cain141 – Mega Coin Squad (New game!)
- 10p – 1a PamdemoniumXOXO – Game TBA
- 7a – 9a RazorPriest – Neverwinter and/or Happy Wars
- 5p – 7p K4rn4ge – Throwback Thursday (XBLA Xbox 360 games)
- 7p – 11p Cain141 – New release or extended XBLA Throwback Thursday Block
- 11p – 1a The Snapple Cap – Game TBA
Welcome to part one of a multi-part series in which I plan to document my time with Smite to show how I grow as a player in the beta, which should help show new players what to expect. I went into Smite with hundreds of hours of League of Legends logged and even more time spent watching professional matches, plusan occasional dabble in Dota 2. One might think that my modest amount of time spent in the genre might translate over into Smite, but I can say without a doubt, it didn’t give me a leg up over the competition, as evidenced by how poorly my first handful of games went.
The game starts with a simple enough tutorial, but, like most MOBAs, it barely even scratches the surface before it sends players on their merry way. The only mode available to players when they first start is called Arena, and that’s where I spent the entirety of my first day.
Arena is shaped like the Colosseum, with jungle camps along the side that provide buffs to players. It’s an excellent place to start, because it avoids the deeper intricacies of a standard match and allows players to focus on finding a god or immortal that fits their play style and novoices to feel good about themselves. Everything seemed to be working well when I first got into a match: the store was easy to navigate; I could decipher what was going on with little problems; and I felt adequately prepared to get started.
Of course I was dead wrong, I finished my first game with a 1/11/11 (kills/deaths/assists) score line as Ares and felt lost. It felt as though I was missing everything, and even though I had these great combos in my head I just couldn’t seem to pull them off. All my skillshots always “just” missed, and I couldn’t seem to land a single auto attack, regardless of if it was melee or ranged. After two more games where I did as bad if not worse than the first, I decided it was time to turn to everyone’s greatest resource: the internet.
There was once a time we now call the “Good Old Days.” In those days, instant classics spewed forth from every developer’s spicket at such a torrid pace that there was nary an excuse to ever emerge from your parents’ basement and absorb so much as a single UV ray.
Ah yes, they were glorious, those days, weren’t they? Every game was a masterpiece of innovation and craftsmanship, and there wasn’t a single rushed sequel or licensed shovelware release in sight. Replay values were always near infinite, color palettes were consistently varied and vibrant and every single game featured stellar multiplayer and single-player modes.
There’s just one problem with the Good Old Days – they weren’t really that perfect. Certainly it was exciting to grow up during the days of gaming’s so-called Golden Age – sometime between the late ‘70s and mid ‘90s, depending on whom you ask. Everything was new and exciting back then, but not everything was necessarily better. There were good games and bad, just like today. One thing that was almost universally true, though, is that every game was much harder than modern games are. But that doesn’t mean today’s developers should rush to emulate that difficulty – at least not without providing some conceits.
Slice Zombies for Kinect was developed and published by MADE on Xbox One. It was released on May 7, 2015 for $9.99. A copy was provided by MADE for review purposes.
"I don't want to play this anymore." Those are the words of disillusion I started to utter within 30 minutes of playing Slice Zombies for Kinect. This is a painful reminder that for every game that tries to raise the bar from its contemporaries, others are happy to coast along as a sub-par, unoriginal effort. It’s not fun to rate a game poorly, but what else can you do for one that aims to be nothing special?
If you've ever played Fruit Ninja Kinect's classic mode on any platform, you’ve seen most of what Slice Zombies game has to offer. For the rest of us who have not, the one game mode available in this title features players slicing up zombies. Shocking, I know. The player is given three lives (a fourth is available as an upgrade), and each time a bomb is sliced or a zombie is missed, a life is taken away. When all lives run out, the current game ends. Once the round is over, the player is given the option to play again or to go to the shop to buy upgrades earned from playing. In the store, you can buy power-ups to make the experience easier as well as view the modifiers that make the game slightly more challenging. Unfortunately, that’s all there is to the game. For the sake of this review, I decided to play longer, but after an hour I couldn't take it anymore. It's the same thing over and over. No more, please.