We will build your DREAMWEB!
(as of 2012-12-04 22:11:25 PST)
(as of 2012-12-04 22:11:25 PST)
Mass Effect 2 by Electronic Arts Playstation 3 Game 014633365610 by Electronic Arts
DescriptionOnce again stepping into the role of the heroic Commander Shepard, gamers command their crew on a suicide mission in space. Players must assemble their squad from amongst the galaxy's most powerful mystics, geniuses, and convicts and lead them on a suicide mission to discover why humans are vanishing from the galaxy. The success of the mission hinges on the squad recruited and their loyalty to the mission. Shepard's future depends on it.
Xbox spokesperson Larry Hryb (known as Major Nelson) described the features on his blog, stating that they will come this month. The update adds a "My Games" list, which automatically organizes games you've bought from the Windows Store. You can manually add other games to it, similar to Steam's games list.
This update also enhances game hubs, which consolidate information about each purchased game. If you own Xbox One games, you can launch streaming sessions from their game hubs. Additionally, this update adds the activity feed and Showcase to Windows, letting you see your friends' activities and share Game DVR clips to it.
Finally, this new preview version of Windows 10 also tweaks and refines the Xbox Avatars app, adding an option to take pictures of your avatar.
Windows 10 officially launches on July 29, and it's free for a year for Windows 7 and 8 users. Microsoft also recently showed off the upcoming Xbox user interface redesign, featuring integration with Microsoft's Cortana voice assistant.
As previously announced, the Eternal Conflict brings with it the Battlefield of Eternity map. It's a two-lane, Diablo III-inspired map where each team fights to protect their Immortal, a giant NPC who attacks the enemy base once the opposing Immortal has been slain. It first became available on the Public Test Realm last week, and is now playable by all.
The other major addition today is the Butcher, a boss character from Diablo III. He's a melee assassin with some unique mechanics, like being able to gather meat from defeated minions and heroes that offer him a damage boost for as long as he's alive. This means the patch notes contain the line, "All meat is lost upon death," making these the best patch notes in recent memory.
At least two more Diablo III characters are also on the way as part of the Eternal Conflict: The Skeleton King and the Monk. We learned about them earlier this month following the release of another Diablo character, the Crusader.
There's a good deal of other new stuff in today's patch. Some of it ties directly into this event, like the addition of Treasure Goblins who reward you with gold to buy new characters, while other aspects are more run-of-the-mill HotS patch changes. These include various visual and audio tweaks, balance adjustments, and shop fixes. The amount of gold earned for reaching certain hero levels has been changed as well; you'll still ultimately earn the same amount, but you'll now get 750 gold earlier than you otherwise would.
Full patch notes can be seen on Blizzard's website.
Blizzard has been coy about nailing down exactly how long the Eternal Conflict will last or how much new content it will bring. A press release today describes it as a "multiweek" event and refers to "three new characters," so the three we know about may be all it has planned for the time being.
Battlefront, due November 17 across console and PC, was also nominated for Best Console Game, Best PC Game, Best Action Game, and Best Online Multiplayer.
Bethesda's post-apocalyptic RPG Fallout 4 and Killzone developer Guerrilla Games' new IP Horizon: Zero Dawn followed with four nominations each.
Looking at nominations by publisher, Electronic Arts and Sony led the way with 11 nods each, followed by Bethesda (seven), and Microsoft and Nintendo with six each.
See below for the full rundown of nominees for the E3 2015 Game Critics Awards. These were decided by a panel of 38 publications, including GameSpot. Winners will be announced on Tuesday, July 7.
Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, XCOM 2, and Ghost Recon: Wildlands were not made playable to judges so they were not in the running.
Now we know why.
Bethesda marketing executive Pete Hines tells GameSpot that the company sees video games as the "best form of entertainment in the world." Retaining the kind of creative control necessary to faithfully adapt Fallout or The Elder Scrolls for the silver screen would be a tall order--it might not even be possible.
"Yeah, for a long time," Hines says after I ask if Bethesda has been approached for Fallout and Elder Scrolls movies. "Generally speaking, we view ourselves as a video game company. We make video games. Movies and TV shows are an entirely different thing."
Hines admitted, however, that Bethesda has a "really good window" into the film and TV markets by way of film icon Jerry Bruckheimer and CBS president Leslie Moonves. They both sit on Bethesda's board of directors, alongside former MGM CEO Harry Sloan and Hollywood legal expert Ernest Dell.
"We have a lot of folks who really know that space really, really well," Hines said.
In fact, their expertise in the areas of film and TV could be exactly the reason why there hasn't been a Fallout or Elder Scrolls movie to date.
"We've gotten a lot of very good advice about, 'There's way more things that can go wrong than can go right with this,'" Hines said about making a video game movie. "The concern is always...do you want the world's view of The Elder Scrolls to be what [director Todd Howard] envisions in Skyrim or do you want it to be some other director who decides to make a movie that looks like Cats?'"
"We think games are the best form of entertainment in the world" -- Hines
Hines said an example of a video game movie done wrong would be 2005's Doom, which starred Karl Urban and Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson. Bethesda had no part in the production of this movie, having acquired Doom developer id Software in 2009.
"You look at the Doom movie, which I've only been able to bring myself to watch part of; well, that's not what I want people thinking of when they see Doom," Hines said. "I want them thinking of what [Doom executive producer Marty Stratton] had up on stage [at E3] and what we want it to look like and feel like."
"We spend so much time and energy having developers make the games represent their brands the way they want," he added.
To then turn that over to someone else, letting go of creative control, could be a disaster, Hines said. Time and again film companies promise total creative control of a project, but, "It has been proven true zero percent of the time," Hines said.
Though Hines may sound pessimistic about the opportunity for a Fallout or Elder Scrolls movie, he stressed that the door is always open, and Bethesda has a "never say never" attitude about it.
"Our energy and focus is on [how] we think games are the best form of entertainment in the world. And we're going to try to keep trying to be the best in that space and not pretend like we're great TV producers and filmmakers," he said.
Bethesda's mentality around video game movies matches up very closely with that of Rockstar Games parent company Take-Two Interactive. President Karl Slatoff said back in 2013 that Take-Two has been approached on numerous occasions for a Grand Theft Auto movie, but has never reached an agreement due to quality concerns.
"If you’re going to invest in a movie--you can make a lot of money on movies--but as a licensor, you've got to look at what the success rate is, what the movie has to do for you to generate substantial economics that are worth taking the risk," he said at the time.
Though Bethesda is not currently moving forward with any video game movies, there are more than dozen such projects currently in the works. Sony is making Uncharted and Last of Us movies, Electronic Arts is pushing forward on a Need for Speed sequel, and Ubisoft has six game movies in the pipeline, led by an Assassin's Creed film starring Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard.
Disclosure: CBS is GameSpot's parent company.
In an interview with Rare Gamer, Rare lead engineer James Thomas was asked about how achievements are handled in the upcoming collection. "So the 360 games are as they currently are on the 360, nothing added or taken away," he explained. "The benefit of this is that you get to use your existing achievements to get a head start in unlocking the bonus content within Rare Replay. … Now some swift maths should then give you a hint as to how much Gamerscore is within the remaining games and it's fair to say we've pushed the boat out on that one and broken normal conventions."
Some may view this as a negative, as re-earning achievements can be part of the fun of playing these games. However, there are other benefits to this arrangement, as Thomas noted that save games stored in the cloud will transfer to the Rare Replay versions of games you've played on 360.
Thomas also had some good news about the version of Conker's Bad Fur Day included with Rare Replay. Rather than offer the Live & Reloaded Xbox remake, which censored numerous parts of the game, Rare Replay offers the original N64 game.
"We did have a good old think about which of the versions we'd prefer to use but as we're trying to tell the story of characters created at Rare we'd prefer to start any tail at the beginning," Thomas said. "We felt that the Xbox version altered a little too much, whereas Banjo and Tooie are both the XBLA versions as we felt that not only did they stick to the original but made them look exceptional at the same time."
This likely means that the game won't offer online multiplayer, though.
Rare Replay was revealed earlier this month at E3 alongside Rare's new game, Sea of Thieves. Replay is due out on August 4 for $30.
The Ike figurine, from the Fire Emblem series, was the very first item bought through Amazon Mexico upon it opening for business, according to CNN Mexico's Twitter account.
Nintendo's Amiibo line of figurines, which have functionality with Wii U and 3DS games, have been popular collector's items and have often proved extremely difficult to find. Users on the Amiibo subreddit report that those hard-to-find Amiibos were available on Amazon Mexico for slightly cheaper prices. They were only able to be shipped within Mexico, however.
In April, a Nintendo executive stated that Amiibo sales have far surpassed Nintendo's expectations. The figurines work with some games on Nintendo's platforms, including Super Smash Bros. and Mario Kart 8. At E3 2015, the company revealed Animal Crossing: Amiibo Festival, a game that requires an Amiibo to play. You can check out all of the Amiibos that have been announced here.
The Splat Fortress mod, created by YouTube user DrLilRobot and a small team of coders and artists, features pretty much everything you'd want in a Splatoon port. Players even have the ability to transform into a squid and swim through the paint they've put down on the ground.
Of course, there mod is rough around the edges. There seems to be only one usable weapon at the moment, and paint spreads in large squares rather than in organic splotches like in the real game. Also, the players all look like Demoman--although, to be fair, there is a sweet squid hat.
Considering this is a user mod created by a small group of fans, though, Splat Fortress is impressive. It's not available to the public yet, but it looks well on its way. And, if you don't own a Wii U, it'll probably be the only way for the foreseeable future that you can try out something resembling Splatoon.
Despite the adjustments, the core design remains intact. You still move colored pills as they fall into the play area, flipping them around in an effort to line up four or more pill segments and viruses of the same color. Find success, and maladies and medicine disappear, leaving you with more room to maneuver. You win when all the nasty bugs are gone, or you lose if the rising wall reaches the top of the screen.
The "Miracle Cure" part of the game refers to special new power-ups that now appear by default. These drop periodically once you fill up a meter that rests alongside the play area. There are four types. One variety looks like a bomb and vaporizes anything within range once it lands. Another is V-shaped. If you match it with several pills or viruses of the same color, everything on the screen that matches that hue will vanish. A circular capsule with a “C” engraved on it wipes out all its brethren but leaves the viruses in play. Finally, arrow formations eliminate all objects in a horizontal row, a vertical column, or a cross pattern.
Nowhere are the miraculous power-ups featured more prominently than in the game's new mode, Miracle Cure Laboratory. It presents 50 puzzles that ease players into the game's design, and you can use the tutorial option if you need more assistance. The available stages are quite fun, particularly because some of them force you to play in ways you otherwise might not try. A few of the challenges are genuinely puzzling, relying on more than just twitch reflexes as you get rid of virus clusters. For example, you might need to stack pills in a column so they reach the same elevation as a series of vertical arrows and then drop a horizontal arrow in place so it eliminates and activates those other arrows. It's a shame there aren't more puzzles available, though. Even a middling Dr. Mario player probably won't require more than 3 or 4 hours to conquer them all, which just doesn't feel like enough when every other mode borrows so heavily from past house calls.
The game's title doesn't make it obvious, but Mario isn't the only physician on the scene. Luigi also returns for an encore performance, following his 2013 starring turn in Dr. Luigi on Wii U. The lankier brother throws pills that are stuck together in L-shaped formations. Dealing with them requires a different sort of planning because the combos that are a good idea when Mario hands out doses are now practically required. If you can’t think a few steps ahead, you're in for a bit of trouble. It's fun for a few rounds, but also exasperating compared to Mario's more conventional treatment, because a run of unhelpful pills turns into a disaster twice as quickly.
Outside the Miracle Cure Laboratory mode waits the Custom Clinic, which you can configure as you see fit. Here, you can choose between Mario and Luigi, depending on which pill formations sound the most interesting at the time. Then you can either compete against an AI opponent or a wall of viruses that slowly rises as you place pieces. If you go with the former option, things can get frustrating if you don’t play quickly. When the AI makes a lot of matches in short order, you must deal with handicaps. Blocks suddenly might refuse to turn, or pressing left on the d-pad might make a block move in the opposite direction. Such effects only last a short while, but they make things difficult in a way that extra debris does not. That's not necessarily an improvement, but at least it's different.
If you're looking to enjoy an experience that precisely matches the old NES game, you're out of luck. The Custom Clinic is as close as you'll get, but there are some differences. You no longer have the option to start with only a few pills and then advance from stage to stage, which at one time was standard in a number of Nintendo's puzzle games. If that's how you want to play, you're better off turning to Dr. Mario on the Virtual Console.
Much like Luigi and his wonky capsules, the Virus Buster mode appeared previously in Dr. Luigi. In this mode, the player holds the 3DS sideways and uses a stylus to manipulate pills instead of the d-pad and face buttons. The action's pace slows substantially here, and it needed to. Flipping and dropping pills with a stylus doesn't feel nearly as intuitive because it's easy to accidentally flip a pill when you intended to drag and drop it. That kind of mistake can ruin your whole game if you aren't allowed at least a split-second to recover. The slower pace also allows multiple pills to eventually start dropping at once. You can move them around in any order you like or even grab falling debris to set up combos on the fly. It's an interesting switch from the norm, and things get fairly frantic on the higher settings, though Virus Buster doesn't lend itself to lengthy sessions in the way that classic Dr. Mario modes do.
Multiplayer modes make up for most of the ancillary modes' shortcomings, at least, and could go a long way toward keeping Miracle Cure in heavy rotation if you have interested friends. You can play locally with a buddy (Download Play is offered in the event he or she hasn't purchased the game and doesn't mind you choosing the rules that govern play), or you can battle on the Nintendo Network. In either case, you have your choice of doctor, and Miracle Cures can be disabled if you prefer, though the lack of stage progression keeps this option from allowing a proper replica of the original Dr. Mario. When you play online, rankings are tracked for each different setup, which should keep things competitive if enough people play. Currently, though, the online scene is rather barren.
Considering how long Dr. Mario has been around, the modifications here serve as a pleasant surprise and manage to inject a fresh element into a puzzling experience that is by now a bit long in the tooth. Even without the new content, Dr. Mario: Miracle Cure is a worthwhile addition to the serious puzzle fan's gaming library. It just doesn't offer enough that's new compared to Dr. Luigi to warrant a glowing recommendation if you already invested in that other recent release.