Square Enix Archive

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Mensa Academy to train your brain on XBLA

The recent appearance of Mensa Academy (purportedly American Mensa Academy in North America) on the Xbox Live Marketplace seems to indicate the title is finally ready to put your mind to the test on Xbox Live Arcade. Announced early this year, Mensa Academy was subsequently released on a variety of platforms: mobile, PC and Nintendo’s Wii and 3DS over the summer, with publisher Square Enix promising it would bring the title to HD consoles “in the near future.” Though no official word on a release date has been made, it seems Square Enix will finally make good on that promise — or still plans to, anyway.

What exactly is Mensa Academy? Mensa is a worldwide organisation for people with an IQ in the top two percent of the population. Though results vary depending on which test is taken, that equates to an IQ of approximately 130 to 140 — by comparison, average intelligence accumulates around 100. Mensa directly collaborated with the development team regarding the many questions and puzzles designed to challenge the mind and condition the brain, and stands behind the potency of that claim — hence the brand name.

While little information has surfaced regarding the features or content slated for the XBLA adaptation, other console versions contain over a hundred levels of play in a variety of disciplines. In addition, there’s a coaching mode designed to rate your progress and improvement as you make your eventual way to the test, where you’ll be issued a Mensa Academy score. You’ll also be able to challenge up to four players in online co-operative brain battles and see how you size up to the competition thanks to online leaderboards.

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Quantum Conundrum DLC packs dated for August and September

Quantum Conundrum has been released into the wild and we definitely liked it but the end left more to be desired. Fortunately, Airtight Games have been working on DLC since the Steam release alluded to such with their season pass. Square Enix has now given these two DLC packs names and dates for their release in the incoming months on XBLA.

Starting off on August 15, the first pack released is entitled The Desmond Debacle. You’ll enter a new wing of the mansion with puzzles focusing around the drinking bird, Desmond. The second pack being released on September 12 has a much more hilarious title with IKE-aramba! where you find yet again, a new wing of the manor. But this time you’ll be entrusted with saving the professor’s assistant, Ike. Both will retail for $2.99 which translated into MSP would be 240 MSP each. No word yet how long these puzzles will be or if achievements will be tied to them but we’ll keep you updated on anything regarding these upcoming packs. Quantum Conundrum is available now for 1200 MSP.

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Quantum Conundrum review (XBLA)

Quantum Conundrum was developed by Airtight Games and published by Square Enix. It’s was released on July 11, 2012 for 1200 MSP. A copy was provided for review purposes.

There are some people who don’t like visiting their relatives since it wastes your weekend of fun in the sun. Now imagine if that person you’re visiting was your uncle. Uncles are fun right? They sometimes give you candy or money, but this time, he’s gone missing.

In Quantum Conundrum, you play the nephew of Professor Fitz Quadwrangle who’s just learned his uncle is in another dimension. It’s up to you to try and locate him throughout the many rooms in his mansion. Entrusted in you is a glove called the IDS that can switch dimensions. This is the latest from Portal creator Kim Swift and if Portal is a dark comedy, this is a Saturday Morning Cartoon that can appeal to any age demographic.
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Rumor: Crystal Dynamics unannounced IP moved to next-gen

A job listing for Crystal Dynamics has been uncovered and hints that their new IP is being moved to next-gen consoles. Earlier this year a blog post from Square Enix, who now own Crystal Dynamics, stated that

“Not only will our team be eating, sleeping, and breathing Tomb Raider, but we’ll also be hard at work preparing to reveal exciting new intellectual property to the world.”

The as yet unannounced IP was later revealed to be heading to XBLA, however the current listing indicates that the position is calling for new staff to help create

“a cutting edge, original IP for future platforms”

Whether this means next-gen XBLA or that the project has been changed to a retail release remains unclear.

Source: VG247

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Mini Ninjas Adventures out today

Mini Ninjas Adventures was released today for 800MSP as one of those rare Friday XBLA releases. A follow-up to 2009′s Mini Ninjas, players will assume the role of a ninja through the Kinect. Play through 21 levels, using physical and magical attacks to fight powerful enemies and bosses. The launch trailer above shows off some intense action and shows part of the vast arsenal of motion-controlled weapons. We recently had an interview with the game’s Composer and Sound Designer Yarron Katz, who gave us a look into the role sound plays in a downloadable Kinect game. If you like fighting evil samurai with katanas, be sure to try Mini Ninjas Adventures today.

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Kinecting with audio: An interview with Mini Ninjas Adventures Sound Designer

Mini Ninjas Adventures, the Kinect focused XBLA follow-up to IO Interactive’s family friendly action-adventure, should be hitting the marketplace this week. To get some insight into the games production, specifically the audio, I recently spoke with the games Composer and Sound Designer, Yarron Katz.

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Quantum Conundrum switching dimensions on July 11

We’re all a little bummed that PC players get to play Portal creator Kim Swift’s new title Quantum Conundrum today, but if you want to switch dimensions sooner, you won’t have to wait long. Jim Reilly of Game Informer confirmed on Twitter (which Square Enix confirmed in a press release) that it’ll see its release on July 11 for 1200 MSP. Already getting rave reviews from the PC version, it’s a shame we’ll have to wait three weeks for it but if you haven’t read our PAX East preview, you’ll know it’s something to watch out for, we even awarded a Best of E3 Award for it!. Let the long wait for this first-person puzzler almost be over!

Source: Twitter via Game Informer

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Mini Ninjas Adventures slicing up XBLA June 29

Square Enix’s Mini Ninjas Adventures will be available on June 29 for 800 Microsoft Points, two days later than its unexpected Marketplace listing previously indicated. The action title, made “specifically for Kinect,” contains 21 levels and a series of bosses that must be overcome with physical and magical attacks.

“We’ve created a completely new Xbox Live Arcade game, using the extremely charming Mini Ninjas brand,” said Sarah Hoeksma, VP Brand, Square Enix Europe, “which we feel delivers fun family gaming to the living room.”

The series made its debut with the IO Interactive-developed Mini Ninjas in 2009, a retail release. Although Side-kick Ltd. is the developer attached to the project, a statement made by its founder seemed to imply that IO has played some sort of unspecified role in the game’s creation. “We are thrilled to be working with Square Enix and IO Interactive,” said Asaf Sela, founder and creative director of Side-kick. However, a representative from Square has informed XBLA Fans that IO is just the property-holder rather than a co-developer.

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Mini Ninjas Adventures sneaks onto the Xbox Marketplace

An Xbox Marketplace listing has revealed that Mini Ninjas Adventures is on the way to XBLA from publisher Square Enix and developer Side Kick. The previously unannounced game mysteriously turned up on the website without any sort of formal announcement from Square, Side Kick or Microsoft. If the listing is accurate, and regular readers know that such is not always the case, Mini Ninjas will be landing on Arcade June 27.

Side Kick’s action-adventure title will feature 21 levels of “intense ninja action.” The Kinect-controlled game is a followup to 2009′s Mini Ninjas, developed by IO Interactive and released by Eidos — now owned by Square Enix — which was developed for 360, PS3, Wii, DS and Windows before eventually making its way over to Mac.

Just a few weeks ago, Mini Ninjas: Hiro’s Adventure turned up on that prolific spoiler of unannounced games, the Australian Classification Board. It does not appear that this is the same project, however, since IO is listed as the developer attached to Hiro’s Adventure, not Side Kick. With E3 now one week away, it’s far from out of the realm of possibility that more news will be forthcoming during the show about one or both titles.

Source: Microsoft

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Carmegeddon: Reincarnation is now a Kickstarter project

Nearly one year ago Stainless Games announced that it was reviving the vehicular-combat Carmageddon franchise it created back in the late 1990s with the Square Enix-published Carmageddon: Reincarnation. Then nothing happened for a while. Well, not publicly it didn’t, at least.

In reality, a lot was happening behind the scenes at the Isle of Wight-based developer. After dropping “well over a third of a million dollars getting the rights back,” Stainless began prototype and design work on the revival. The hundreds of thousands the dev spent on the investment reportedly “rerepresents all of [its] profits from our other work,” but the team thinks it’s “worth it.” Yet it wasn’t enough. It wasn’t nearly enough, actually. And so the studio has announced its intentions to have the public fund the remaining $400,000 USD or more through Kickstarter. As of this writing, over $135,000 USD has already been funneled into Stainless’ coffers by nearly 4,000 individuals who want to see the Reincarnation completed and released.

“We want to spend the money doing what we do best: making video games,” says Stainless Executive Director Neil Barnden in a new promotional video that could pass as a low-budget version of a late ’90s video-game commercial.

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