One of the latest games in SNK’s batch of arcade-to-Minis ports is Vanguard II, a space shooter from 1984. The original Vanguard received a fair bit of recognition in its heyday, but Vanguard II was not as fortunate. It’s certainly understandable – this sequel ditches nearly everything that made the original what it was. Altering the formula of the original for the sake of ingenuity is fine, but this follow-up just feels like a step backwards from the solid gameplay once offered.
Yesterday, Jeb of Mojang fame tweeted a link to download version 1.9 of Minecraft but the client did not update itself accordingly. This pre-release is said to contain some NPC's that apparently do nothing as of yet and a decent overhaul of the Nether, the Mincraftian equivalent to hell.
The new Snow Man seems like a nice guy
The Nether is getting a facelift including new mobs, new blocks generated structures such as ruins and more. The new creatures added are Magma Cubes which are just Nether skins for slimes, Blazes are humanoid monsters that float in the air and throw fireballs, and Snow Golems are craft-able companions who will follow you around and annoy the mobs around you.
The additions made are obviously more preparations for making Minecraft more of a game with some kind purpose or goals and the team at Mojang seem to speeding up process of releasing updates before the game's release in November.
There is still no word on when this release will be become official.
The Game of Thrones franchise is the hotness right now and soon the obligatory licensed milk-the-franchise game is launching. A Game of Thrones: Genesis looks like a generic budget RTS from what we can see from the trailer, which isn't all that good to honest. It doesn't really capitalise on the franchise at all but the developer, Cyanide Studio, promises an experience that is true to the A Song of Ice and Fire world, so we'll give it the benefit of the doubt for now.
Finally. It took some waiting, but Nintendo and the eShop has finally thrown up a 3D Classics game worth paying for. Twinbee is by no means a work of art, but unlike the other vertically scrolling shooter, Xevious, which had the same 3D treatment earlier this year, this one is actually fun.
For starters, this game manages to address all the problems that plagued Xevious. Most importantly, the bullets and enemy sprites are nice and big. This time around you can see what is shooting at you, and you will be able to dodge the enemy bullet, because you’ll see it coming.
Shin Megami Tensei Persona 2: Innocent Sin is a remake of a PlayStation title of the same name. Never originally seeing a release outside of Japan, we all knew it was destined for a translation someday. That day is finally upon us, but the best part of Persona 2: Innocent Sin is that the game lends itself to the PSP hardware and offers more than the “fresh coat of paint, same game” approach many developers are taking today.
It’s not really the publisher Chillingo’s fault, but this is just embarrassing now. It’s fine if Nintendo wants to claim its games should be more expensive than stuff on the iPhone or iPad because it’s all about quality. People seem to buy that.
It’s not kosher in the slightest for Nintendo to charge seven times as much for an inferior version of an iPhone game. How this got priced at $7.50 is a breathtaking case study in price gouging.
Love or hate the games, Ubisoft has a great sense of humour with the Rabbids, and this newest YouTube video is no different.
In celebration of the Rugby World Cup (now eclipsed only by the FIFA World Cup, Olympics and Tour de France for global popularity), Ubisoft's put together a brief and very funny video of the Rabbids doing their thing.
Check it out below, and if you are a fan of Rugby, don't forget we have a competition going to win some copies of the game. Just join up on our forums, and let us know in this thread who you think is going to win in New Zealand!
RE4 is, without a doubt, one of the most celebrated titles in the long running series. Now the game that 'saved' the franchise returns on XBLA (and the PSN) to stir up some evil of the high-definition kind.
Cricket Captain 2011 has been a real surprise. For a sport with such a small international market, it comes close enough to the better soccer management games out there to hold its head high.
Firstly, though, it checks the most important box – it uses real names. For a game that involves managing a dream team and building it carefully over seasons, it’s critical that the names on the screen are the same names that pop up in the real sport. That authenticity extends right down to the lesser cricking nations such as Zimbabwe and Bangladesh, so credit where credit is due to the developers for being able to pull that off.
The games industry has gone HD-remake crazy of late, with all kinds of PS2 classics being updated to take advantage of the vastly superior PS3 hardware. It’s good for everyone, newcomers get to enjoy improved versions of the games they read about on gaming sites, and those who have fond memories of the various Team Ico, Prince of Persia and Silent Hill games get to re-experience them.
But there are a lot of PlayStation and PS2 games that have been all-but forgotten to history. Fans remember them, but is it likely they’ll get remakes or HD versions? Probably not.
Still, we can dream. Here’s 10 games from the PlayStation/ PS2 eras we feel deserve HD versions.
It was inevitable that the classic games we used to play as children would be brought over to the new formats available to us today, namely the iOS platform. Z The Game is essentially a direct port of the original PC version simply called Z, but needed to be renamed because iTunes won't allow apps to be named by single letters. This real-time strategy game from the Bitmap Brothers was never really considered the best of its time, but it did have a lot of character. It was quirky and different, but most importantly, it was hell of a lot of fun. So how does it translate into the world of touch-screen mobile gaming?
Steam users, here's your chance to get some of the best indie games for a reduced price. The “Mid-Week Madness Deal” brings two different bundles that consist of five games each, so there should be something for everyone. Both packs are priced at $9.99 USD and feature critically acclaimed titles like World of Goo.
The tower defence genre is one that usually receives the most amateur of support. Because it’s relatively easy to program, and not as intense on the art and music departments, finding high quality examples of the genre is sometimes difficult.
There’s some to be sure – games like Mikado Defenders, Vector TD or Fieldrunners, for instance. One in particular stands out above the others though, and remains the essential tower defence game, and that is Final Fantasy Crystal Defenders.
Yes, this is a very old game, but we felt that it was important we had one for a game that has a strong argument for being the very best in the genre.
From the Swedish developer Fatshark, Hamilton’s Great Adventure takes an entirely different direction compared to their previous titles, Lead and Gold and Bionic Commando Rearmed 2. It’s a puzzle game where you take charge as the adventurer Hamilton along with his parrot companion Sasha and have to navigate tile-based mazes with a number of traps and enemies.
So while I was in Japan, I did a tour of the Panasonic showcase building. It's a big building, with four floors all dedicated to showcasing the newest and most exciting Panasonic technologies - both available now and stuff for the future.
What was really interesting was that of the four floors, all the technology was 100 per cent Panasonic, except for one half of one floor. Where I saw this fellow:
In a game where the philosophy is not “why” but rather “why not” some people are going to take it to the extreme. Sailing the far uncharted waters of the ocean of “screw it, we’ll do it anyway” are the members of the Redstone Development Foundation (RDF), and they’re manning the helm far over the distant horizon of sanity.
The group here seeks to utilise the in-game primitive electronic system known as Redstone and push it to far beyond what it was meant for. Rather than using it for the intended purpose of wiring simple traps and alarms, the RDF has decided instead to replicate all the digital electronics known to man.
Yet more news for the local development community here in Australia: EA's Visceral Melbourne has announced it will close.
MCV Pacific broke the news, quoting an EA spokesperson as saying "With no active project in development at that location, we’ve decided to close the Visceral Melbourne office. They are talented individuals and may find other roles elsewhere in EA, if they choose."
Remaining studios held by publishers in Australia are few and far between. There's 2K Marin (Canberra studio), Sega Studios Australia (Brisbane) and fellow EA developers Firemint and Iron Monkey.
Other high-profile closures recently included two THQ studios, Pandemic, Krome and Auran.
There's obviously a couple of small indie studios around, but the Australian Government really, really needs to start to protect the industry before it's completely gone. Rising costs associated with the strong Australian dollar, as well as a lack of federal funding is making it very difficult to justify keeping the studios open through global financial difficulties.
Time management games are dime a dozen, but there’s still room for good ones to make a splash. I must admit, I was greatly looking forward to Farm Frenzy 3, having been a big fan of the original (the PSP minis version, especially). As a time waster, the Farm Frenzy games have always done a good job of offering a lot of content, some reasonable challenge, and cute visuals and music.
I can’t say I am as blown away by this game as I should have been, even by casual game standards. But it is indeed a competent package, and it should keep the franchise ticking over for a while yet.
What would it be like if Nintendo developed games for the App Store and Android Market? We may never know, but the developers over at Orange Pixel were inspired by internet talk and decided to find out for themselves. Their latest release has been constructed with heavy influence from Nintendo's Game Boy. Titled Stardash, the game will deliver retro side-scrolling action in grey and black, complete with classic sound effects.
So I’ve just arrived back from a short trip to Japan, but a short trip that included some time in Akihabara, otherwise known as the Mecca for all things gaming, anime, manga and adult entertainment.
And, while the American gaming market might well be worth more money than the Japanese market in terms of sheer numbers, there’s one thing to remember: Akihabara has a heartbeat and a soul that no where else in America can replicate.
It's quite a big week for digital downloads on the PlayStation Network; games like Persona 2 and Resident Evil 4 are releasing, but Square Enix fans are in for a treat as well. The PlayStation Blog announced that two of the finest RPGs of the 1990s will be available this week - Final Fantasy VI and Chrono Trigger.
As new games become more sophisticated and complex, older games have to keep re-inventing themselves with new challenges and goals to provide competition. bejeweled-style games have been around for some time now, so they face this challenge of being made to re-invent themselves as well. Here is where Jewels Deluxe comes in. A free download for Android, this game gives you the traditional bejeweled experience along with new takes on the classic.
If you’ve been casually browsing the eShop, it may not be immediately apparent that only two or three new experiences have been released for it. So what else is on the shop? Over 300 DSiWare titles, Virtual Console games, and a handful of 3D Classics all help to create the illusion that the eShop is a place full of hustle and bustle. As such, it would be lovely to see some new or more recent titles make the jump over to Nintendo’s latest download service – here are a few of my personal picks.
Square Enix's Yasunori Kitase announced today at the Play LIVE event held by Sony that the latest Final Fantasy game will feature extraneous content for players to purchase. The original Final Fantasy XIII had no such content, so perhaps this will be a change for the better.
The upcoming cross-over fighting game Street Fighter X Tekken will offer both free and paid downloadable add-ons, but perhaps more interesting is that all of the content will be cross-platform for Sony device owners. Those who own both a PlayStation 3 and a PlayStation Vita won't be charged twice for the same content - certainly good news for those who buy the same game on multiple platforms.