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  1. While the recently-named Sonic Forces will be bookending 2017, fans of a more classic, 2D Sonic will be able to get their hands on the upcoming Sonic Mania much sooner. Just... maybe not as soon as you were initially expecting. Sega announced at SXSW 2017 that Sonic Mania will now be releasing sometime in the Summer instead of its original Spring 2017 release date. It's unfortunate for sure, especially considering that many fans are more excited for this one over Sonic Forces due to it being a compilation/remix of levels from the classic 2D Sonic titles, but the good news is the delay isn't too long. Also good news -- Sega announced another classic Sonic stage that would be returning in Sonic Mania: Flying Battery Zone. Fans will likely remember playing the stage from Sonic & Knuckles, along with its catchy theme. Check out footage of the remade Flying Battery Zone below. Hopefully this isn't the last we hear about Sonic Mania for a while. If Sega is following the Super Smash Bros. method of drip-feeding announcements, perhaps it won't be too long before we hear more about the game and its remaining levels. Sonic Mania is coming to PS4, Xbox One, PC, and Nintendo Switch this Summer. Source: Polygon Are you disappointed to hear about Sonic Mania's delay?
  2. Project Sonic 2017 was initially announced last year as the next new 3D Sonic game in the works, but little else was revealed beyond a short trailer that didn't include any gameplay. That is, until yesterday. Sega has now announced that the game's title will be Sonic Forces. The reasoning for the name has yet to be revealed, but it seems to imply that Sonic may team up and unite with other characters to stand against Eggman's latest machinations; we'll have to wait for the official synopsis from Sega to be sure. Also, the first gameplay footage for the game was revealed at SXSW, where it shows Sonic racing through a city that appears to be under siege by Eggman's robots. We'll likely have to wait just a bit longer for Sega to completely spill the [chili] beans on this one, so you can probably expect to hear more at E3 2017 in just a few short months. In the meantime, Sonic Forces is currently slated to launch during Holiday 2017 for PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PC. What do you think of Sonic Forces' name and first footage?
  3. Microsoft has announced the Games With Gold lineup for March and... well... ...it honestly doesn't do anything for me. I'm not interested in the least in any of these games, unfortunately, and unless you're into horror or shooter games, your mileage may vary. Evolve might make for an interesting game night, but didn't they shut the servers for that down? I guess not if it's a GWG game (since that's the only way it can be played, I think?). I think everyone has played Borderlands 2 by now, and I'm not sure what Heavy Weapon is but chances are I won't ever play that one. In any case, sorry for being a Debbie Downer but what do you guys make of this lineup?
  4. You might know Sumo Digital as the developer behind the Sonic and All-Stars Racing series as well as the more recent LittleBigPlanet 3, but these days they're looking toward producing their own IP in addition to the larger AAA work they do with large publishers like SEGA and Sony. Case in point: say hello to their newest project: Snake Pass. It's a physics-based 3D action-puzzle game that puts you in the role of Noodle the Snake, who also has a helping buddy known as Doodle the Hummingbird. Noodle's goal is to reach the top of Haven-Tor, where a mysterious intruder threatens the tranquility of the area. While that might seem a bit Banjo-Kazooie-esque, the gameplay is anything but. Snake Pass is all about making use of each level's landscape in order to scale up and reach different destinations. There is no jumping from platform to platform; you'll need to slither up poles and complete puzzles to get Noodle and Doodle where they need to go. Another reason you should pay attention? David Wise -- the composer on the first three Donkey Kong Country games and Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze -- is working on the soundtrack. Considering that the music is a big reason why that series is so good, Snake Pass is looking to be in great hands. For a preview of what Wise has in the works for the game, check out the snippet here on Soundcloud. Expect to hear more on the game as we get closer to its launch. For now, Snake Pass is targeting an early 2017 release date on Steam, Xbox One, PS4, and Nintendo Switch. Check out the game's latest trailer below! Source: Snakepass.com Are you looking foward to Snake Pass?
  5. Jason Clement

    GWG February lineup inbound -

    Gotta admit, February's Games With Gold lineup is pretty solid, even if people may already own at least two of these games. Lovers in a Dangerous Space Time Project Cars Monkey Island 2 Special Edition: LeChuck's Revenge Star Wars: The Force Unleashed Lovers in a Dangerous Space Time is supposed to be a pretty cool co-op game, so I'm looking forward to checking that one out. Project Cars is something I've been wanting to try for a while, and I'm betting we're pretty close to the sequel coming out. Also, somehow I haven't played The Force Unleashed yet, so I'll probably do that here. What do you guys think of the February lineup?
  6. Remember when Marvel vs Capcom Infinite was announced last month at PSX, and Capcom also announced that Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3 was coming back? The good news is the latter game is coming to a digital and physical storefront near you soon. Both the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One versions of Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3 will be available on their platform's digital storefronts on March 7, with a limited physical release launching in stores the same day. The digital version will be $24.99 while the limited physical version will be $29.99, which also includes an exclusive 10-page comic showcasing a story about the clash between the Capcom and Marvel universes and new cover art from Marvel's Sean Chen and Gerardo Sandoval. It's worth pointing out that the original release for Marvel vs Capcom 3 only lasted on digital storefronts for 3 years or so before disappearing, presumably due to the Marvel license expiring. Since there's no telling how long this current distribution will last, the same thing will likely happen to the PS4 and Xbox One versions eventually, so if you're interested in picking it up, don't wait too long to do so. Source: Siliconera Will you be picking up Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3?
  7. It seems inevitable that Batman will once again throw down with Dictator Superman in the upcoming Injustice sequel, but more interesting than that is a new threat that NetherRealm Studios is cooking up for Batman to tangle with: Brainiac. NetherRealm cinematic director Dominic Ciancolo recently took to the PlayStation Blog to reveal certain details about the plot for Injustice 2, saying that it takes place right after Injustice: Gods Among Us as Batman still finds himself facing threats (even after defeating his world's Superman) such as former members of Superman's regime and a new shadowy group called The Society. Ciancolo also mentioned that the biggest challenge in developing the story was not repeating the narrative from the first game. While the conflict between Batman and Superman is a central plot point, the development team needed something to propel the story forward, which is why they chose Brainiac as the big bad. After all, few others are arguably more dangerous and powerful than the Man of Steel. And speaking of dangerous foes, another Superman villain who will be popping up this time around as a playable character will be Darkseid. The villainous alien dictator appears at the end of the trailer as a pre-order incentive, but it's less clear if he's a part of the actual story or not as well. Injustice 2 is slated for release on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One on May 16. You can check out the latest trailer for the game below. What are your thoughts on Brainiac being the big bad in Injustice 2?
  8. Harrison Lee

    Review: Super Dungeon Bros

    Developer: React Games Publisher: Wired Productions Platform: PS4, XB1, PC Release Date: November 1, 2016 ESRB: E 10+ Gauntlet remains one of the all-time greats in the dungeon-crawling sub-genre, creating a template that numerous games have tried, and failed, to successfully replicate. Super Dungeon Bros, a rock music-themed hack-and-slash dungeon delver, is the latest to try and recapture the magic. While it“s decently put-together, there are too many flubbed notes to make this one more than an afternoon couch co-op session. Super Dungeon Bros takes place across three main environments with vaguely Norse-sounding names (Cryptheim, Bogheim, etc.). Taking control of one of four medieval rock frat bros, players must kill a bunch of monsters and skeletons across several dungeons. The environment is littered with traps and baddies to slay with reckless abandon, though it“s best tackled with friends. Trying to solo Super Dungeon Bros is a painful experience. Scattered throughout the levels are various crates filled with coins and health. Gold coins can be used to upgrade your character of choice after each dungeon, or exchanged for weapons. The health drops are especially useful when soloing, as the difficulty ramps up quickly without warning. With only four lives to spare, plundering each of the dungeons is an exercise in dying frequently. There“s quite a bit of variety as far as armaments are concerned, but loot isn“t enough to save Super Dungeon Bros from its most critical flaw; boredom. You“ve played Super Dungeon Bros before, only with more variety, more loot, and deeper gameplay mechanics in titles like Diablo III. Super Dungeon Bros is competent, but doesn“t offer enough to differentiate itself from the crowd. It“s a shame, because rock-themed games are few and far between these days. Like the rest of the experience, Super Dungeon Bros doesn“t commit enough to its inspirations and feels like a retread of better games. Even the combat is rote, with attacks lacking a weighty crunch and enemies looking all too similar. The bosses provide some much needed enemy variety, but trying to take them on without friends is no fun at all. The environmental traps can also be a nuisance, especially if you get swarmed by the hordes of monsters that will randomly appear without warning. One thing that“s absolutely true about Super Dungeon Bros is that you will die… a lot. If, like me, you don“t handle swarms of bad guys very well, an in-game shopkeep offers some extra lives and health at a significant cost. Whether you actually make it far enough to require this shifty fellow“s services is another matter entirely. Whether you“re killed by enemies or boredom, there“s not enough here to keep players coming back for more punishment. It“s disappointing, because Super Dungeon Bros could have been an enjoyable dungeon-crawling experience. Instead, it“s out-of-tune and in need of some serious polish. Pros + Some decent boss fights and loot + Solid visuals and audio + A competent outing for couch co-op Cons - Doesn“t make use of the rock theme effectively - The bros are kind of annoying - Insane difficulty spikes - Not solo-friendly at all Overall Score: 4.5 (out of 10) Below Average Super Dungeon Bros could have been an enjoyable dungeon-crawling experience. Instead, it“s out-of-tune and in need of some serious polish. Disclosure: This game was reviewed using downloadable PS4 code provided by the publisher
  9. UPDATE Well that didn't take too long. Soon after Kotaku's rumor of Scalebound being cancelled was published, Microsoft officially confirmed the news. No reason was given as to why the decision was made, though the Microsoft representative mentioned they were working hard to "deliver an amazing lineup of games this year," including Halo Wars 2, State of Decay 2, Crackdown 3, and Sea of Thieves. Original Story Scalebound certainly sounded like an ambitious game when it was announced by Microsoft and Platinum Games' Hideki Kamiya at E3 2014, but the title now seems to be in trouble according to Eurogamer and Kotaku. The first mention of the cancellation came from Kotaku, which mentioned that multiple sources close to the project had confirmed to them that Scalebound was indeed being cancelled. Eurogamer's article is a bit more definitive and conclusive, saying that Microsoft and Platinum have officially gone their separate ways on the project after major troubles with the game's engine and overdue deadlines. There hasn't been any official word from Microsoft (the game's publisher) just yet, but a representative from the company did mention they'll release a statement on the game soon. If this development is true, it'll be an unfortunate blow to Platinum Games' reputation, especially over the last year as at least two of the games they recently worked on have had their share of controversy from fans. One was Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutants In Manhattan, which many claim is just not a good game, and the other was Star Fox Zero, which many fans claim the controls kill the experience. Platinum Games' next title, Nier Automata, is scheduled for release on February 23 on PlayStation 4. Source: Kotaku, Eurogamer Are you surprised to hear that Scalebound might be cancelled?
  10. Good news for Mass Effect fans -- the long-gestating Mass Effect: Andromeda now officially has a solid release date: March 21. Andromeda is set 600 years after the first Mass Effect trilogy in the Andromeda Galaxy, with the goal of exploring and discovering new planets for the human race to colonize. Despite being the first new Mass Effect entry in nearly five years, EA has said that it will be a standalone entry instead of being the first of a new trilogy. However, this doesn't mean there won't be future games that take advantage of the same setting. General Manager of Bioware Aaron Flynn remarked on the announcement, saying: "Mass Effect: Andromeda is our most ambitious Mass Effect game to date. We“re telling completely new stories, creating new characters, new planets, new species, and introducing new gameplay systems. And for the first time, we“re bringing Mass Effect to the FrostbiteTM game engine, an incredible engine that“s delivering a tremendous graphical jump from the trilogy to Mass Effect: Andromeda. To deliver on this, we“re taking all the time we can to make sure you“re getting the best possible experience." Mass Effect: Andromeda is slated for release on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC. Source: Bioware | Mass Effect Are you looking forward to Mass Effect: Andromeda's release in March?
  11. Last we've heard of Yooka-Laylee was that it was being delayed to 2017, but wipe that frown off your face because Playtonic Games has finally announced a firm release date for the game: April 11, 2017! However, on a somewhat down note, Playtonic Games also revealed that they've run into unexpected technical issues with the Wii U version, so they're cancelling that version and will instead put the game out on Nintendo Switch. No release date for the Switch version has been announced yet, so it's likely it will come later on after the game releases on other platforms. Still, there's a lot to look forward to here. Playtonic Games revealed a trailer for a brand new world called Captial Cashino, a casino-themed level that looks pretty neat. Also, anyone who pre-orders Yooka-Laylee on PS4, Xbox One, or PC will receive an instant unlock of the Toybox mode, which is a self-contained sandbox mode that serves as a preview for what to expect in the main game. In any case, you won't have to wait too much longer for the spiritual successor to Banjo-Kazooie; after all, five months isn't that long of a time! Source: Playtonic Games Are you excited to hear that Yooka-Laylee finally has a release date? And what are your thoughts on the Wii U version being cancelled?
  12. If you've been clamoring to replay your old Xbox 360 copies of Mass Effect 2 and 3 but don't want to dust off and hook up your Xbox 360 to play them, I have good news for you. Xbox's Larry Hryb confirmed today that in light of N7 Day, Mass Effect 2 and 3 are now officially backward compatible on Xbox One. Of course, the original Mass Effect has been backward compatible for some time now. Of note here is the fact that, unlike the first Mass Effect, the latter two games are backward compatible with the disc only, meaning that you won't be able to buy them on Xbox One digitally (at least not yet). In any case, it's nice to have the whole trilogy available on the current-gen platform, especially ahead of 2017's upcoming Mass Effect Andromeda. Source: Major Nelson (via Twitter) Will you be replaying Mass Effect trilogy on Xbox One because of the backward compatibility now?
  13. Jason Clement

    Cuphead now delayed to 2017

    There have already been a few high profile games delayed into 2017 this Fall, from Mass Effect Andromeda to Horizon Zero Dawn and even Gravity Rush 2 (as of last week), and unfortunately, one more game is getting added to that list now. Cuphead, one of the Xbox One's most anticipated upcoming releases, has now been pushed to a 2017 release. While developer StudioMDHR originally wanted to release the game 80 years after 1936 (which would put it squarely in 2016), they cite wanting to make the best game possible for the reason of the delay. This hasn't been the first delay for Cuphead since its announcement back at E3 2014, but it isn't difficult to see why such a game can't be rushed. Unlike most games today, Cuphead features hand-drawn animation, and the 1930's cartoon style would only seem to make it more complex given that it's not used often these days. At any rate, 2017 is right around the corner so you'll hopefully be playing Cuphead in no time. Source: IGN (via Engadget) Are you surprised and/or disappointed to hear that Cuphead has been delayed again?
  14. Uh, so MajorNelson tweeted out the Games With Gold lineup for October today, and it's... well... take a look for yourself below. The Escapists is supposed to be alright, and I think I Am Alive may be decent, but otherwise this looks to be one of GWG's weakest lineups yet.
  15. Harrison Lee

    Review: Strike Vector EX

    Developer: Ragequit Corporation Publisher: Ragequit Corporation Platform: PS4, Xbox One, PC Release Date: August 30, 2016 ESRB: M for Mature This review is based on the PS4 version of the game The selection of combat flight games is relatively limited these days. The once-thriving genre has dwindled to a scant selection, many of which aren“t very good. Strike Vector EX is a new entry, but calling it a flight game would be a bit misleading. It sits somewhere between Ace Combat with VTOLs and a frantic, arena-based FPS. If that combo sounds strange, don“t be alarmed. Strike Vector EX is a lot more familiar than it might sound. The game immediately starts off with a serious-toned intro movie. The cutscenes (including the intro) feature some nice animated art, but the voice-acting is incredibly cheesy. The intro tries to deliver some semblance of a storyline, yet fails to establish any firm characters or factions. Past the beginning, the game mostly does away with plot. As soon as the hard rock soundtrack kicks in and the bullets begin to fly, you know what you“re in for. Strike Vector“s campaign is brief, fun, campy, and self-aware. It never overstays its welcome and serves as a smooth introduction to the online component. Missions consist of dogfights, escort segments, aerial one-on-one duels, and more. It“s never too taxing and offers a good afternoon“s worth of action. During the campaign, you“ll be able to swap loadouts and test out a variety of special abilities for your titular Vector. Finding the right loadout, like a plasma cannon with an area-of-effect healing shield, can mean the difference between victory or defeat. The Vectors are remarkably fun to control, transforming into high-speed aircraft or VTOLs with the press of a button. Dodging missiles and pulling hard braking maneuvers to get the jump on an opponent never gets old. It also helps that the controls give you a great deal of finesse when maneuvering through the arenas. Verticality and building-based cover points become important once you start taking on human opponents. The loadout and customization options also allow you to modify your Vector to whatever role and look you please. Whether you fancy close-range combat or long-distance shooting, the choices are limited to your imagination. The online combat is suitably thrilling, translating the pace of an arena shooter to the sky. The modes on offer are straightforward, but the unpredictable nature of Vector combat and the customization options should keep players coming back. The console scene has lacked a fun flight combat game for years. With the dormancy of the Ace Combat franchise, Strike Vector EX provides a welcome respite from the norm. If you“re hoping for a visually-resplendent experience, Strike Vector probably won“t wow you. I personally loved the sense of speed and particle effects on display, but many of the aerial arenas lack a certain amount of detail. They certainly don“t look bad or anything. That said, I would have appreciated a bit more life in the background. These are, after all, supposed to be floating cities in the sky. Some civilian traffic or signs of other people would have been welcome. Strike Vector has finally found its way onto consoles with this “redux” version, and it“s about bloody time. The PC release was a minor cult hit, and I can imagine a thriving competitive scene emerging for those who take the plunge. Strike Vector EX successfully marries FPS sensibilities with high-flying hijinks. If you“ve been deprived of entertaining aerial action, look no further than this gem of a title. Strap in pilots, because we“re bound for a little turbulence. Pros + Brief, entertaining campaign + Great controls and handling + Diverse multiplayer and customization options Cons - Campaign might be too brief for some - Combat arenas are a bit lifeless Overall Score: 8.5 (out of 10) Great If you“ve been deprived of entertaining aerial action, look no further than this gem of a title. Disclosure: This game was reviewed using downloadable code provided by the publisher
  16. A new trailer was revealed for the upcoming 2D platformer Monster Boy and the Cursed Kingdom this week at Gamescom, showing off the titular hero's animal transformations and abilities. Monster Boy will be able to transform into five different creatures, each with their own unique skills and abilities that will help unlock more of the world as you progress through the game. Also noticeable is the game's incredibly crisp 2.5D visuals; definitely one of the highlights of the game so far. You might remember that this title actually began development as Flying Hamster II: Knight of the Golden Seed, but the project changed into Monster Boy and the Cursed Kingdom when developer Game Atelier brought on publisher FDG Entertainment. In any case, Monster Boy and the Cursed Kingdom is set for release on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Steam. A release date still has yet to be announced at this point. Are you looking forward to Monster Boy?
  17. So, I'm sure we all expected Konami to keep milking the Metal Gear name even with Kojima out on his own, but...I'm not sure anyone was expecting this: According to Konami, it will be a "stealth/action co-op survival" game set just after the events of MGSV: Ground Zeroes, will take place in an alternate dimension, and will feature something akin to zombies. Yep. So anyway, how do you all feel about this new Metal Gear game? Does it look like something you'd enjoy playing, or are you already writing it off as a desperate cash grab for Konami to make money off the series name without delivering anything remotely resembling what you'd expect from Metal Gear? Or are you just going to wait and see how you feel when there's more information about the game? Obviously Metal Gear was never going to be quite the same without Kojima at the helm, but this...seems like a pretty radical shift. I mean, yeah, Metal Gear has had online multiplayer/co-op components before, but not an entire game that revolves around just that. I can't honestly say this sounds like something I'd enjoy playing, and only a small part of it is due to the fact that I'd be expecting an actual Metal Gear-style experience from something that...probably won't be very Metal Gear-ish at all. I'll still follow along with it and see where it goes, though.
  18. For those who weren't watching the Sonic 25th Anniversary party last night and somehow didn't catch the news elsewhere, we're getting a new 2D Sonic game in the form of Sonic Mania, and...IT LOOKS FANTASTIC!! From what they talked about, it basically has remixed/reimagined levels from the original Genesis trilogy along with brand new levels. More importantly, it actually looks like a Genesis Sonic game, and I don't mean the graphics. The brief looks at the stage design and physics all point to this being the real Sonic the Hedgehog 4, because it looks like it will play and feel like a classic 2D Sonic game and not a cheap imitation. I'm super excited to play the game when it comes out in Spring 2017, but what about the rest of you? Looking forward to what could be the best Sonic game in years? Not interested because you've been burned by Sonic too many times? Or just don't care either way? Speed down to that reply box to let me know what you think.
  19. Hyper Light Drifter, the highly anticipated indie game that was Kickstarted by Heart Machine, is finally getting news on its long-awaited console ports. The good news? Not only is it coming to PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, but it is indeed still coming to Wii U and Vita as originally planned. There was initially some trepidation as to whether or not the Wii U port would actually happen. Around February, Heart Machine mentioned that the source of the trouble revolved around internal contractual issues between the platform holder (presumably Nintendo) and the engine developer (Game Maker). However, it appears things have been worked out as Heart Machine has mentioned that they are finalizing details on the Wii U port and would have more details on it next month. In any case, the PS4 and Xbox One versions look to be the first ports to make it out the door; they'll announce more details next month. And finally, the Vita version is still on its way as well, but Heart Machine noted that it has been a challenge to get Hyper Light Drifter optimized on the device due to its limited specs; therefore, it will be a Fall release at the very earliest. Source: Kickstarter Are you looking forward to playing Hyper Light Drifter on consoles (and Vita)?
  20. We've known about Dead Rising 4 for a while now, and it was slated to be one of the biggest exclusives that Microsoft had in its upcoming lineup. However, news has surfaced from E3 2016 regarding that exclusivity, and a representative from Capcom has confirmed that the game is not a lifetime exclusive, but rather a timed one. If this all sounds too familiar to you, it's because the same thing happened with Rise of the Tomb Raider, which was also a one-year timed exclusive for Xbox One starting late last year. The upcoming PlayStation 4 version will be coming out in Holiday 2016. Dead Rising 4 is currently scheduled for release on December 6 on Xbox One, with a PlayStation 4 release targeted for December 2017. Source: Twitter What are your thoughts on Dead Rising 4's timed exclusivity? Are you surprised? Disappointed? Relieved?
  21. Comcept's and Armature Studio's ReCore was definitely one of the more interesting Xbox One exclusives announced last year during Microsoft's E3 press conference, and now the game is primed and ready for release on September 13. Microsoft released a new trailer for the game at their E3 2016 press conference, showcasing the game's blend of third-person shooter gameplay with platforming elements. ReCore's story follows a young woman named Joule Adam journeying through the desert of Far Eden with her animal-like, robotic companions. Also interesting to hear -- ReCore will be $40 instead of the usual $60 MSRP, but there will also be a $180 Collector's Edition which will include a large, hand-painted statue, exclusive steelbook, a lithograph, and a decoder dial. Check out the E3 trailer for the game below. Source: Game Informer Are you looking forward to ReCore?
  22. Today Warner Bros. finally confirmed the existence of an upcoming, remastered collection of Rocksteady's first two Batman games: Batman: Arkham Asylum and Batman: Arkham City. The final title for the collection is Batman: Return to Arkham. In addition to the remastered visuals, the collection will contain all of the DLC released for both games. What about Batman: Arkham Origins, though? Warner Bros. hasn't commented on it, making the game's exclusion seem rather strange. Batman: Return to Arkham is set for release on July 26 on PS4 and Xbox One. Will you be picking up Batman: Return to Arkham when it releases?
  23. Jason Clement

    Review: Blast 'Em Bunnies

    Developer: Nnooo Publisher: Nnooo Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, 3DS, PS Vita Release Date: March 8, 2016 ESRB: E 10+ This review is based on the PS4 version of the game It's a warm, sunny day. You're peacefully taking a nap out on the lawn when, suddenly, a band of evil bunnies encroaches on your territory (like they're inclined to). What do you do? Whatever any reasonable bunny would do: blast them into oblivion with various fruits and vegetables at them! Blast 'em Bunnies is an arcade-style shooting gallery game where you play as Bang Bang, a bunny looking out to defend his burrow from other evil bunnies. And while there really isn't a story to the game beyond that, the achievements reveal that all 32 of his babies were stolen by them as well (what a bunch of jerks!). However, you'll have the opportunity to get them back one by one through different playthroughs. The setup for the gameplay as simple -- as Bang Bang, you'll fend off waves of evil bunnies, collect the money they drop, and try to survive as long as you can by blasting them with your vegetable/fruit-based turret as they march toward your fixed location. However, the environment spans 360 degrees all around you, so the evil bunnies can come from any angle. Fortunately, the game alerts you as to the direction they're approaching in, and they usually only come from one direction at a time in the earlier difficulties. While the core game is pretty much just one mode where you're blasting waves of bunnies until you're eventually overwhelmed, there is a system of progression in place that's similar to Jet Pack Joyride's, where you're given a set of four random missions (out of many) to meet in various playthroughs. Complete them and you'll get even more money and then other missions will rotate in. In turn, you'll spend that money on new vegetable-based weapons and upgrades. There's a wide array of upgrades as well, ranging from four different weapon types that have completely different feels to them (i.e. rifles that shoot carrots and the like; mortars that launch heavier produce; machine guns that fire seeds; and lasers that shoot, uh... vegetable-based lasers?) to ammunition that have different added effects (pumpkins do heavier damage but are slow, watermelon seeds fire fast but do light damage and such) to additional hearts and more. Additionally, there are plenty of medals to unlock that have various tasks assigned to them outside of the four random main missions, such as destroying x amount of certain bunnie types, surviving x amount of time, gathering certain amounts of money, and more; definitely enough to keep you entertained and busy for a while. The variation of evil bunny types add a bit of strategy to the gameplay, ranging from various levels of big, slow, bruisers to quick and nimble bunnies that run in a staggered formation (making them harder to hit) to flying bunnies and even mortar bunnies that will launch turnips at you from the background, and more. Visually, the game looks great with its colorful 3D venue and cast of eclectic evil bunnies, and the music is an appropriately Western-themed tempo, and it's rather catchy. If there's one thing I didn't care for, it's that the base game only provides one arena: The Farm. There are more areas and costume packs as well, but you'll have to pay for them. However, that's the tradeoff for having the game's price as only $5. So is the base game worth it then? Even with just one arena to play in, you'll get quite a bit out of the gameplay, especially if you try to complete the game's missions and trophies/achievements. It definitely doesn't reinvent the wheel as far as shooting gallery games go, but nevertheless Blast 'Em Bunnies is pretty fun and can be pretty addictive as long as you're not expecting a huge campaign to dive into. Pros + Fun, addictive shooting gallery gameplay in short bursts + System of progression is well done, lots of weapon upgrades + Nice, cartoony visuals Cons - Core game only contains one level, additional areas need to be purchased - Might only hold your attention in short bursts Overall Score: 7.5 (out of 10) Good Blast 'Em Bunnies is a fun and addictive shooting-gallery game that's best played in shorter bursts. Disclosure: This game was reviewed using downloadable code provided by the publisher
  24. We currently live in an age where Video Games have become a transcendent form of multimedia. From the days of Home Pong back in 1975 to the Playstation 4, Video Games have become integrated into the entertainment industry. The reason for this is because of the amount of creativity game designers have exhibited with their vast worlds and wonderful landscapes. But even more so, it is because of the stories being told by video games evolving beyond anything most motion pictures could ever tell. But if this is the case, why does it seem we like we are living in an era of remasters and re-releases? Allow me to digress for a moment by saying that there is nothing wrong with remasters and re-releases. A lot of the games that have recently received the Next Gen treatment look absolutely stunning in comparison to their original versions. Also, reliving the wonders of games like Shadow Complex (which recently received a remastered version) reminds you of just how amazing they were during your first play through. I would never knock the prospect of replaying so many stories and reliving memories from gaming's past via a new piece of hardware. Still, it seems as if these practices are becoming a creative crutch. Shadow Complex Remastered (Screenshot Courtesy of videogamer.com) Let's take a moment to look back to the seventh generation of gaming consoles. Original stories were vast ocean of possibilities despite if they were coming from new IPs or already existing ones. We saw the Master Chief end his campaign against the Covenant. We dove deep into the reaches of insanity by exploring the mind of Alan Wake. We became morally conflicted as we traveled across the galaxy in the universe of Mass Effect. There was so much originality oozing from game studios! Now, we are receiving an influx of remasters and stereotypical military shooters. After E3 2014, Shigeru Miyamoto (the creator of Nintendo's mascot, Mario) spoke out about the mind-numbing amount of bloody shooters which dominated the press conferences that year. "To some, it might have seemed as though there wasn't a wide variety of software at E3, and as though many people followed the same direction to make their video games. I believe this is a revelation of creative immaturity on our part as creators in the video game industry." Mario Creator, Shigeru Miyamoto (Courtesy of wiiudaily.com) Was Miyamoto correct? Is the lack of creativity attributed to creative immaturity? It is true that despite the home console market being eight generations in, video games is still a very young industry as a whole. But given some of the strong showings of 2015, one could argue that this couldn't possibly be the case. The Witcher 3: WIld Hunt, which received several Game of the Year awards, had one of the most compelling stories of this current console generation. Clearly, developers are capable of giving us new and engaging plots to sink our teeth into. So, what's stopping them? In an article from theguardian.com, Holly Nielson said something that rings true to the current state of the industry from my personal opinion. "Creativity begins with how we feel and how we see and present ourselves as people. This industry isn“t just dressing identically, it draws its inspiration from the same music, movies and books. This homogeneity leads to staid ideas." This begs me to ask the question, has the gaming industry stopped feeling as a whole? What happened to games which made you invoke a certain emotion? What happened to worlds and plots which prompted you to become emotionally invested in the characters? Has the industry stopped caring about the creative aspects of the industry? I don't think that's the case. I feel like this might be a horrible case of writer's block. Besides, there are plenty of games coming this year that will test the limits of the imagination. The gaming industry as a whole must, in lamens terms, get their sugar together. We are soon to enter the four year of the current console generation. It's time to give us the glorious worlds and plots that engulfed us during the previous generation. It can be done. They just need,..a little imagination.