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March 6th, 2012
(as of 2013-04-15 19:00:21 PST)
(as of 2013-04-15 19:00:21 PST)
Mass Effect 3 Collector's Edition by Electronic Arts
DescriptionGet the ultimate Mass Effect 3 experience with the N7 Collector’s Edition! This exclusive and limited package includes:Premium metal case featuring commemorative artwork of Commander Shepard. 70-page hardbound art book featuring hundreds of unique and gorgeous illustrations from the BioWare development team. Limited edition Mass Effect comic by Dark Horse Comics, complete with unique cover artwork. Join the ranks of the N7 with the premium fabric N7 patch. Exclusive 4x6 lithographic print featuring a one-of-a-kind piece of artwork. A full collection of in-game content that can’t be found anywhere else!
Mass Effect 3 is a Role-playing Game (RPG) / Third-Person Shooter hybrid set in a Science Fiction universe. Mass Effect 3 is the third game in the popular Mass Effect series, and is rumored to be the final installment. In it players continue the adventures of Commander Shepard utilizing extreme character customization which is the hallmark feature of the series. Additional features include: the ability to import decisions from both of the previous games into the new game, ownership/play of previous games not required, customizable weapons, improved mobility and melee combat, many returning characters (if they were not killed off in previous imported games), an improved cover system that allows for more action, compatibility with the Kinect Sensor for Xbox 360 and more.
Along with the game, the Mass Effect 3 N7 Collector's Edition contains a wealth of exclusive bonus items. See the complete list below.
Join Commander Shepard in the struggle against the Reapers in the conclusion to the Mass Effect trilogy.
Collector's Edition exclusive bonuses.
The Final Chapter in the Mass Effect Trilogy
Not everyone will survive. An ancient alien race, known only as "Reapers," has launched an all-out invasion leaving nothing but a trail of destruction in their wake. Earth has been taken, the galaxy is on the verge of total annihilation, and you are the only one who can stop them. The price of failure is extinction. You are Commander Shepard, a character that you can forge in your own image. You determine how events will play out, which planets to explore, and whom to form alliances with as you rally a force to eliminate the Reaper threat once and for all. How you wage this war is completely up to you: go into combat with guns blazing or use cover to plan a more tactical assault. Utilize your squad to full effect or take a lone wolf approach. Rain death from a distance or go toe-to-toe with enemies using devastating melee attacks. Mass Effect 3 will react to each decision you make as you play through a truly unique experience of your own creation.
Mass Effect 3 N7 Collector's Edition for Xbox 360 Contents
Key Game Features
With $11 billion in total lifetime revenue, the Call of Duty franchise is one of the biggest in all of gaming. But how many copies of the series have been sold to date? Activision clued us in today, announcing via a new infographic that, since the series debuted over a decade ago, it has sold 175 million Call of Duty games.
That comes out to around one copy sold every two minutes, Activision said.
By comparison, Take-Two's Grand Theft Auto series has sold more than 185 million copies.
Other franchises to have sold more than 100 million units include household names such as LEGO, Mario, Pokemon, Need for Speed, Final Fantasy, and FIFA.
Meanwhile, Microsoft has sold 60 million Halo games while Konami has shifted 33 million Metal Gear Solid titles, according to each publisher's latest count.
Going back to the Call of Duty infographic, over 100 billion multiplayer matches have been played so far, while players have chucked more than 300 billion grenades. On top of that, players have earned 579 billion in-game awards, which is more than five times the number of stars in the Milky Way galaxy.
The next Call of Duty game, in development at Black Ops creator Treyarch, will be released later this year. Activision announced the title during an earnings call earlier this year. Little is known about the game, but Activision historically blows the lid off new Call of Duty games in May, so gamers may not have to wait much longer to learn more about it.
Following yesterday's surprise announcement, the first trailer for free-to-play PC Halo game Halo Online has now surfaced. In it, we get a look at the game's graphics, gameplay, and weapons, as well as its extensive customization and monetization systems.
Halo Online runs on a "highly modified" version of Halo 3's engine and has been optimized to run well even on lower-end machines. The game looks pretty great in the trailer above, but of course, we don't know the specs for the PC rig it's running on.
Expected to launch through a closed beta later this spring, Halo Online is in development exclusively for Russia. Microsoft has not ruled out a release for the game in North America, but made no promises.
After taking a look at the game, what do you think? Would you be interested in playing it if it were released in the United States? For me, it would come down to the pricing model. Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!
Microsoft on Thursday announced April's free games for Xbox 360 and Xbox One owners with an Xbox Live Gold membership. The company is going big next month, offering double the number of free games, including titles like Child of Light, Gears of War: Judgment, and Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag.
Below is a breakdown of the free games available to subscribers in April.
Microsoft also announced that, since it launched the Games With Gold promotion, gamers have downloaded more than 100 million free games and achieved over 5 billion Gamerscore.
Square Enix recently released a demo for Final Fantasy XV titled Episode Duscae, for fans who pre-ordered Final Fantasy Type-0 HD, a high-definition remake of 2011's Final Fantasy spin-off game. Both games are directed by Hajime Tabata, who also led development on Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII.
GameSpot sat down with Tabata to discuss why he wanted to feature an all-male party in Final Fantasy XV, the three pillars that comprise the game, and why Square Enix finally decided to give Final Fantasy Type-0 a Western release.
Like Type-0, Final Fantasy XV is thematically centred on war and a part of the Fabula Nova Crystallis series. However, the similarities end there. For starters, Final Fantasy XV's playable cast is much smaller. Main character Noctis is flanked by companions Gladiolus, Ignis, and Prompto to form an all-male party which Tabata felt was key to making it feel more accessible.
"Speaking honestly, an all-male party feels almost more approachable for players. Even the presence of one female in the group will change their behaviour, so that they'll act differently. So to give the most natural feeling, to make them feel sincere and honest, having them all the same gender made sense in that way," Tabata said. The game certainly doesn't shy away from the theme of male intimacy, with the party sharing a tent, protecting each other in battles, and holding no qualms about showing open concern for one another.
For Tabata, the journey will have the cast adopting what he dubs a "boys will be boys" type demeanor. "It was the story we wanted to tell and what we wanted to show players," he explained.
"The world might be ready to see the curtain lifted on what boys do when girls aren't around, when they come out of the tent all prim and proper. That's kind of the idea behind it… we think, male or female player, that everyone will feel a certain connection and bond with the four characters."Hajime Tabata
Back in February, Tabata revealed that development on Final Fantasy XV was 60 percent complete. He followed this up by saying it would not take long to reach 80 percent completion, and that the last 20 percent of the project would "fall into place in a relatively smooth and timely fashion."
While the game is probably closer to 80% completion, the Episode Duscae demo represents the previous, 60% done version.
"To clarify on that 60 percent figure, it's the playable demo that represents the 60 percent, which is what [I] was referring to in February. The main challenge right now is taking all the lessons we learned from making the demo and turning them into something positive to bring to the full game," he said. For Tabata, there are three pillars to Final Fantasy XV which he had in mind.
"In the demo, we were able to focus on one of those pillars and really bring that across to players--you'll be able to see it. But there still remain two pillars that players may not fully appreciate from the demo. As we head towards release of the full game, promotion wise, how we can show this to users what's coming up, and conveying that to our fans, is one of the challenges," he said.
Framing a game based on three pillars is nothing new to Square Enix, as the method was also mentioned by Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn director Naoki Yoshida in an interview. Yoshida listed them as "the great story, the great graphics, and a great game experience."
Still, Tabata remains positive about launching a new journey in the Final Fantasy series. He is confident that bringing the game to the PS4 and Xbox One offers new opportunities to create an immersive experience. "We really think that the feeling of the journey, adventure, and bonding that no other Final Fantasy has been able to do before, we'll be able to achieve that in Final Fantasy XV."
It's been four years since Final Fantasy Type-0 first launched for the PlayStation Portable in Japan, so why bring the game to the Western market now? According to Tabata, a number of pieces fell into place that made the launch of a remastered version possible.
"Soon after the Japanese version was completed the market for the PSP kind of switched over. We did want to bring it over but it wasn't an option at that point," Tabata said. The market change he referred to was likely the Japanese launch of the PlayStation Vita in 2011, the same year Type-0 was released in the country. In response to the lack of a Western release, fans in the West formed "a large movement" in the hopes of seeing a launch of the game, but Tabata said the idea of a remake only really took hold while the team was making Final Fantasy XV.
"We were underway with FFXV development and got some knowledge of the [PS4 and Xbox One] hardware and realised it was our chance to release Type-0 with a HD remaster," he said.
Type-0 adopts a different, grittier tone than other Final Fantasy games as of late, telling the story of a class of students forced to experience the horrors of war. The opening scene in Type-0 features a lot of blood and death, setting a darker tone than what is usually expected from games in the Final Fantasy series.
"It's definitely a more mature experience than the Final Fantasy games that you see now," Tabata explained, and added that he was "curious how it'll be received by the fans." For him, the theme spawned from the idea that the player would fight beside characters who were born into "a cruel world" that was torn by conflict.
"That was kind of the departure point for the project, and it demanded a more mature treatment. We didn't want it to feel as though there was a wall on the screen and the player was just controlling the characters in the world, but that the player was in the world. To achieve that immersion, it had to take on a more mature tone," Tabata said.
The playable cast spans fourteen characters, a number that had originally been thirteen when the game was still titled Agito-13. According to Tabata, the inspiration for such a large cast came from the traditional Japanese war dramas that were popular and featured several characters.
"The idea was that if you had thirteen characters, each one capable of being the lead, that you would have made a game filled with personality by having that many lead characters present," he explained. Having more characters makes them no less important, though, with Tabata insistent that the game's story was themed around the "fragility of life."
"I'm wondering how the [players] will receive it," he said. Regardless, the Tabata was happy to be able to bring the game to the Western audience at last. "It's really fulfilling to meet the fan wishes," he said.
Warner Bros. and Maxim Russia have teamed up for the latest Mortal Kombat X trailer. Released today, the video offers a new look at the fighting game, and confirms that Liu Kang will return as a playable fighter.
The trailer also spotlights Kung Lao and Kung Jin. In addition, it offers some new details about Mortal Kombat X's story.
According to the description, it reveals that "Raiden's champions of Earthrealm from the past have risen from the dead, under the control of the sinister former Elder God, Shinnok."
The Mortal Kombat X release date is April 14 for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC. The Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 editions, however, have been delayed.
Check out GameSpot's roundup here for a full list of Mortal Kombat X's confirmed (and rumored) characters. For a closer look at the game's roster, check out the image gallery below.
Language learning software company Rosetta Stone has launched its latest product, but it might not be what you expect. The company has released a free Rosetta Stone Xbox One app called "Discover Languages" that aims to help people learn English or Spanish from the comfort of their couch.
"Playing video games is great cognitive exercise; it helps improve your focus, memory, and ability to multitask," the company said on its blog.
How does it work? The app leverages what Rosetta Stone calls "immersive simulation." Basically, you'll virtually travel to a variety of locations and talk with the characters you find there. This gives you the feeling of real-world interaction, but in a venue where you probably won't be embarrassed if you screw up.
The Xbox One Rosetta Stone app also comes with study recommendations, cultural tips, phrase books, and games to help you hone your skills.
Would you be interested in trying something like this out? Let us know in the comments below!
Screen size is the primary factor dictating which features do and don't work across handhelds and console-based games. It's this, amid all of its splendid and eventual intrigue that the classic RPG Xenoblade Chronicles 3D has either failed to understand or simply not tackled for fear of altering what made its original incarnation so great. While it remains the remarkable game that it was when it was first released on the Wii in 2011, the reduced screen size Xenoblade Chronicles 3D has been squeezed on to does sour the experience.
The sense of scale generated by the game's imposingly large environments has been retained, as has the wider visual flair and depth of battles. Similarly, character models when viewed up close are surprisingly expressive given the limited colors and lines used to draw them. However, it's the little details that have suffered from the transition from the large to small screen.
Icons indicating the availability of a new quest or the presence of a shopkeeper, for instance, alongside the directional area pointing you to your next objective are far from clear and easy to miss amongst the extensive buffet of other imagery typically filling the screen. The latter can be especially confusing at times, forcing you to slow down your exploration efforts in order to perform constant references of the full map.
Everything feels a little cramped and, as a result, messy. Simple visual cues that should be easily digestible at a glance take too long to figure out, reducing the simplicity of interaction that allowed the Wii original to stretch its wings and present its more complex nuances with precision and clarity.
The New 3DS' 3D effect doesn't help either, further complicating the issue of space by overloading the visual impact. It's most noticeable when trying to identify enemies at a distant that are painted a similar shade to their environment. While the 3D is gorgeous during cut-scenes and moments not requiring much (or any) interaction, it gets in the way when the action picks up. Having to constantly turn it on and off is a minor problem given the New 3DS' positioning of the 3D slider, but it remains a nuisance.
That's New 3DS with a capital 'n' by design, because Xenoblade Chronicles 3DS only works on Nintendo's latest handheld iteration. Yes, if you have an older model you will have to pull out your wallet and part with your cash. It's the first game to require the new model by default and, as such, much is riding on its success--particularly the overriding consumer view of the hardware.
It's a shame, then, that more care hasn't been given to the macro details; if it wasn't for those it would be tempting to award this experience something approaching top marks. In all other areas this is an RPG that delivers the same extraordinary experience it did four years ago. Such was the originality of its ideas back then that today it makes the majority of its younger genre peers look positively archaic by comparison.
The real-time combat system shines especially bright, offering a deceptively easy to learn set of rules that are continually enriched and diversified as you're drawn further into the plot and up the character levels. For instance, attacking from behind can cause extra damage, while attacking from the side can lower physical defense. Later you can chain character-specific moves between all three characters, adding more depth to already intricate combat. By opening the door to new tactical avenues so frequently, and providing a wide range of enemies to test them against, there's rarely an area or period of play in which battles feel stale or repetitive.
Considering the length of the game, some 70 hours or more, this should be considered a towering achievement. It's a shame that the visual restrictions do inhibit some of the combat's appeal in comparison to the Wii edition, but it's worth sticking with it to explore and appreciate the varied action during skirmishes. It's also worth checking out Xenoblade's many side quests, which--thanks to some deep subplots and character exploration--are far more interesting than the run-of-the-mill fetch quests you'd find in lesser RPGs.
Similar time and effort has gone into the narrative, a tale of giant titans and warring colonies that's rich and energetically presented thanks to a skilfully orchestrated English-language localization effort. While the voiceover work is most certainly pointed towards the sillier and more childlike end of the acting spectrum, the charm with which it has been carried out makes it difficult not to enjoy.
The style of acting provides an accurate barometer for the wider experience as whole; Xenoblade Chronicles is so unlike what most other Japanese RPGs have attempted over the past decade or so. Dialogue and character reactions rarely fall foul of the stifling conventional cliches that can plague even the most revered games in this genre, mirroring the degree to which you're pleasantly surprised by the scale of the world and the combat. Xenoblade might have been crammed into a smaller space, but that has certainly not diminished the well-rounded and varied characterization of its cast.
While it's an inferior proposition to its initial release in 2011, Xenoblade Chronicles 3D remains superior to the majority of RPGs. The move to 3DS has harmed the act of playing, but if you can look past the clunky signage and questionable 3D then you'll find a game that remains an amazing high point for the genre, one that'll absorb you right up to its glorious finale.