Ubisoft Archive

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XBLA Fans’ 2014 Game of the Year awards

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It’s January, which means it’s time for XBLA Fans to take a look back at the best and brightest games of the last year.

2014 was a transitional year for the Xbox brand. It was Xbox One’s first full year on the market, and it bore witness to Microsoft going all-in on its complete reversal of the console’s strategy and public image. Redmond distanced its next-gen console from being some sort of multimedia wonderbox as much as possible and did its best to focus on the games. Despite a litany of exciting ID@Xbox game announcements, the program got off to a bit of a slow start, though. Ports and re-releases dominated much of 2014’s ID@Xbox release calendar, and last-gen Xbox Live Arcade releases on Xbox 360 were used to buoy Microsoft’s greater indie library.

If you paid as much attention to ID@Xbox as as XBLA Fans did, though, then you know there were some standout stars even if there was not a terribly high quantity of them. We’ve played the games and cast our votes, and how we present you with our 2014 Game of the Year awards. Don’t like our picks? Fair enough. Head to the comments and make your case for why yours are better.

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XBLA Marketplace sees multiple game delistings before year end

XBLA Fans Newsbits

Happy Holidays and a Happy New Year to everyone!

Unfortunately, it also comes that time when games may disappear from the marketplace for any number of reasons and is usually assumed as licenses expiring.

On December 30, 2014, Eastern Standard Time, the following games were removed from the Xbox Live Arcade Marketplace:

1. WRC Powerslide. Original release date: March 8, 2013.
This game wasn’t out for very long and never saw a XBLA sale. It was also a member of the games in that event in September of 2013 involving foreign countries.

2. Marvel vs. Capcom Origins. Original release date: September 26, 2012.
This game was announced for removal at the end of the year by Capcom ahead of time. While it is sad to see it go, at least it wasn’t a surprise.

3. Battle: Los Angeles. Original release date: March 11, 2011.
This game was a movie tie-in released around the same time the movie was released with very little fanfare. It has been around for some time and has gone away as quietly as its arrival.

There are more delisted games from December 30, 2014 below. Continue to find out.

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Tetris Ultimate review (Xbox One)

Tetris Ultimate was developed by SoMA Play Inc. and published by Ubisoft on Xbox One. It was released on December 17, 2014 for $9.99. A copy was provided by Ubisoft for review purposes.

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I’m a huge Tetris fan. Ever since summer camp and the original Game Boy version (1989), I’ve probably played 20 or more different renditions of the classic puzzler across every system I’ve ever owned. So when the opportunity came to try out a brand new version, Tetris Ultimate, for the new next-generation Xbox One, of course I jumped at it.

You probably already know the basics, but just in case you didn’t, Tetris has you dropping different-shaped blocks into a playing field in attempts to create and clear lines of blocks. It’s simple, fun and addictive. So how does Tetris Ultimate add to the formula?

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Risk and Tetris Ultimate available now

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As first posted by Major Nelson both Risk, develop by ZOE Mode, and Tetris Ultimate, develop by SoMa Play Inc, are available now on the Xbox One. With both being published by Ubisoft this could account for the change in release dates as both of these titles previously had others; Risk’s being December 23, 2014 and Tetris Ultimate’s being December 17, 2014. Continue on for launch trailers for both titles.

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Toy Soldiers: War Chest coming in early 2015

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Almost every kid has played with, or at least seen, the iconic little green army men known simply as toy soldiers. Almost every parent has stepped on one of these little guys as well. In developing Toy Soldiers and Toy Soldiers: Cold War, Signal Studio, along with publisher Microsoft Game Studios, brought those toy soldiers out of the physical toy box and onto the virtual battlefield where those childhood memories could be relived. With those games they also had two of the highest-rated arcade games of the previous generation.

Now, in partnership with publisher Ubisoft, Signal Studios is making the game it always wanted in Toy Soldiers: War Chest, which it plans to release in early 2015.

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Toy Soldiers: War Chest coming from Signal Studios and Ubisoft

The next game in the Toy Soldiers franchise is in development for Xbox One and is being published by Ubisoft instead of Microsoft, which published the previous games in the series, developer Signal Studios announced today. Toy Soldiers: War Chest will arrive in early 2015 and will feature “four diverse armies.”

The Kaiser-led German Empire forces will return to the series complete with new troops, weapons and turrets. Making its first appearance in Toy Soldiers will be Starbright’s army of unicorn steeds, pixies, flying Pegasus and laser-shooting teddy bears. Signal will not reveal what the other two armies are until closer to War Chest‘s launch.

Since Toy Soldiers is moving away from Microsoft and into Ubisoft’s hands, this sequel will be available on the PlayStation 4 in addition to the Xbox One. Signal founder D.R. Albright III called the developer’s partnership with Ubisoft “an opportunity to create the Toy Soldiers game we had always envisioned.”

War Chest is being billed as “the most expansive” game in the franchise. Additional turrets, turret upgrades, barrages, new game modes and an expanded multiplayer and cooperative mode are all planned for the release. Each of the game’s armies will also have unique arsenal and vehicle sets, which Signal promises will keep the gameplay diversified.

“Toy Soldiers is a unique blend of tower defense and strategy,” said Ubisoft Vice President of Digital Publishing Chris Early,” and Toy Soldiers: War Chest makes the toy box eternal, letting gamers face off against rival toys and friends to determine which army will reign victorious.”

Source: Signal Studios

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Valiant Hearts: The Great War review (Xbox One)

Valiant Hearts: The Great War was developed by Ubisoft Montpellier and published by Ubisoft. It was released on June 25, 2014 on Xbox 360 and Xbox One for $14.99. An Xbox One copy was provided for review purposes.

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All Quiet on the Western Front aside, popular media has largely ignored World War I over the years. It’s that other world war that happened before World War II and didn’t get a Steven Spielberg movie inspiring the video game industry to make oodles of games about it. With 2014 being the 100-year anniversary of the war’s start, Ubisoft Montpellier thought it was the perfect time to step in and make a game about the brutality of trench warfare. Well, that’s half-true, at least. Valiant Hearts: The Great War is as much about this incredibly violent and semi-forgotten war as it is about those who fought it and what it took from them.

First-hand stories like those taken from Audio Director Yoan Fanise’s great-grandfather’s letters from the front helped the team add an air of authenticity to Valiant Hearts‘ campaign, which follows the war-time experiences of five characters of differing nationalities. The puzzle-adventure game’s comic book art style can feel incongruous during the game’s more somber moments, and some of the sillier game-y elements further highlight the disparity between the austere story and its lighthearted presentation. Somehow, though, Ubisoft fuses it all together into an experience that will make you feel the horrible pains of those consumed by this “great” war, and the friendships that somehow develop through it.

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Tetris Ultimate brings the classic to Xbox One

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Every console is better with Tetris, so Ubisoft is bringing the timeless classic to Xbox One in the form of Tetris Ultimate. The next-gen version will let up to four local players stack bricks in six different modes. Standard modes like Marathon and Endless maintain the classic’s legacy, while additional modes like Sprint and Power-up Battle mix up the formula.

Tetris Ultimate is set to release this summer. With a next-gen sheen running in 1080p and 60 framers per second, multicolored blocks never looked so good. See the screenshots below for a taste.

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Valiant Hearts: The Great War – developer diaries emerge

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Valiant Hearts: The Great War Trailer and release date

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The team at Ubisoft that created Rayman Origins and Rayman Legends is creating a sidescrolling adventure puzzle game. Valiant Hearts: The Great War tells the story of five characters and how they are brought together by the events of World War I.  Between Karl the German soldier, Anna the Belgian veterinarian, and a playable dog, players will experience the first World War from a variety of perspectives.

The trailer (below) is much more story-driven than one might expect from the Rayman developers. The art-style seems to point towards a stylized news-strip comic reminiscent of the period, and the haunting piano melody that bookends the trailer is both absolutely beautiful and at once memorable. This is one to watch as time draws ever closer to E3. Valiant Hearts: The Great War launches on June 25 for both Xbox 360 and Xbox One.

Source:  UbiBlog

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