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  1. Someone ran a poll recently (I think it may have been Kinda Funny) about whether or not you would pay to go to E3 next year based on what this year was like, and it was honestly pretty telling. I believe a good 73% or so said "no," and that was based on a sampling of 1,000 votes at that point. Honestly, I don't blame people for feeling that way. Apparently the ESA (the association that manages E3) didn't properly prepare for the amount of people that were coming, which led to the expo hall being packed to the brim. Both media and paying fans alike had trouble moving to and from different areas, and the latter were pretty much relegated to waiting 2 hours or more to play demos for games, which, if they only went 1 or 2 days, pretty much means they only got to play anywhere from 5-10 games total. That's not to say the show was a total bust in and of itself; just that the experience of it for a paying fan might not be all that's cracked up to be, especially since you can better take in all of the announcements and news right from your home. Anyhow, what would you do? Would you pay to go next year if you could? Or would you wait for certain assurances first (better preparation for the masses of people and the like)?
  2. With E3 coming nearing under a month, we all wonder what to expect and what surprises will come to us. Who's going to have a good conference, average, worst, best. etc. Anything can happen. What are your predictions of what you like to see and what rumors you've heard that might show up at this year's biggest gaming event. _________________________________________________________________________________ Here are some of my thoughts/predictions: I think Square-Enix will show plenty of development footage of Kingdom Hearts and FFVII Remake and I don't expect a release date this year and possibly release late next year or 2018. Sony will definitely show more of the VR stuff, PSNeo, Price Drop, and more gameplay footage from the developed games that will be released this year. If they want to wow us they'd have to make an awesome announcement like getting the Crash Bandicoot rights back and announcing a PS4. I expect a Shenmue III trailer at the end of Sony's conference as surprise or somehwere along the show. Another surprise is teaser to Last of Us 2 I heard that Nintendo isn't doing a conference? Not sure though, but NX isn't showing up this year and the new Zelda game is their main focus. Other than that most of their showing is at their digital event Microsoft doesn't feel like they have much to show, but I think their biggest game to reveal is Gears of War 4. They did show their VR stuff last year and I guess they could show more and possibly a release date. I am definitely looking forward to Kojima's next game since he has his own studio working with Sony and with Norman Reedus I think. There's a lot more to say, but I don't want hog all the info lol. So what are you guys thoughts and predictions?
  3. E3 is upon us, guys! How would you like to win a Mario "Silver Edition" amiibo to celebrate? How about a Pac-Man amiibo? Or perhaps a Charizard amiibo? All three? Watch this video to find out how you can win these little beauties: You have until next Friday (June 26th) Friday, July 3rd to enter each giveaway, so you'd better get your entries in soon. Good luck! Update: I've extended the deadline:
  4. Game Podunk Community E3 Prediction and Discussion Thread That time of year is almost upon us, this year is looking to be chock full of announcements and reveals. Post your predictions and thoughts here! Schedule I'll keep a running list of predictions here if you guys want to compete and see who can get the most correct! GO~ Sony Microsoft Nintendo EA Ubisoft Activision Capcom PREDICTIONS TK -The Last Guardian finally making an appearance (dreams will never die dang it!) -There's bound to be a knight game or a game that has a knight character or knight class -Half Life 3 (unlikely, but surprises can happen at any moment) -Kingdom Hearts 3 previews, footage, trailer, etc. -Final Fantasy XV stuff -Star Ocean V -barrel posting stuff about JRPG games -Jason covering Nintendo -Venom adores Ratchet and Clank -Laddie's favorite moment is gonna be something about Uncharted 4 or Tomb Raider -Chris and Jonathan's bet on Twitter -Jordan is gonna have another amiibo E3 giveaway special -Royzoga excited for a fightning game that could be announced -Super Smash Wii U Character DLC reveal -Splatoon announcements like new maps, weapons, events, etc. More modes please! -I could go on, but want to let others predict as well. . . Ciel will be drunk about a game that excites him and gets hyped. -Ubisoft's conference is gonna be funny with Aisha. mr.me -The Last Guardian gets a release date and gameplay footage -Metroid U -Paper Mario U -New platformer from Sucker Punch(possibly Sly 5) -LA Noire 2 -Quantic Dream's new game -Eternal Darkness U -The return of Kevin Butler Khorne -Dubstep Jared -Project Morpheus gets a price announcement, Sony will go cheap with it in an attempt to get a better foothold on the market. $200/$250 is what I'm guessing. -The Last Guardian will appear because it has to. Everyone who disagrees can shut up and stop trying to kill my dreams! Surprise in the trailer will be Project Morpheus support. No idea how it would work, but that's just a crazy prediction. -The ruse cruise pulls into port, Kojima reveals that he's still developing Silent Hills/PT. A new portion of PT is released for free on the playstation store.
  5. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=et2wyyWXs80 No sound but still, another Shadow Warrior! Get HYPE
  6. Jason Clement

    Nintendo Detailing E3 Plans Tomorrow

    Looks like it's that time of year already. Nintendo teased a reveal of what they plan to do for E3 tomorrow. Just as a reminder, this is an announcement of how they intend to dispense the information, not a reveal of any of the announcements they plan to make. Although that Punch-Out!! tease is... quite something. There's almost no way that isn't Reggie underneath that getup; the build and girth pretty much match up. Does this mean they're teasing a new Punch-Out!! game? Nintendo usually doesn't do overt things like this without it meaning something, so we'll see. Also, my money is on them announcing they'll do another E3 Direct presentation like last year. What do you guys think of this?
  7. To the dismay of The Legend of Zelda fans everywhere, Nintendo has announced the delay of the next title in the series for Wii U. That means it will no longer be releasing before the end of 2015. Eiji Aonuma, the producer for The Legend of Zelda for Wii U, gives us a reason for the delay. Basically, he says that his team has discovered "new possibilities" for the game as they "experienced firsthand the freedom of exploration that hasn“t existed in any Zelda game to date." Thus, they would like to explore these new ideas and make this upcoming Zelda game "the best game it can possibly be." Nintendo has also said that The Legend of Zelda for Wii U will not be making an appearance at this year's E3. Are you surprised that The Legend of Zelda for Wii U was delayed? Source:
  8. E3 2014 has officially come and gone, but the hype for the games shown is just beginning. We saw new entries in huge franchises like Halo, Mass Effect, and Super Smash Bros., and we saw a number of new IPs taking form as well, like Bloodborne, Splatoon, and whatever it is that Criterion is working on. Everyone saw different things that excited them the most, so today, for no particular reason, I'd like to share with you some of the things that really caught my eye and got me excited! The following list is in no particular order, but you'll know just by reading which ones I'm looking forward to most. And if you know me, most of it will be Nintendo. Infamous: First Light I'm a little disappointed they didn't call this Infamous: Fetch Quest, but I suppose silly puns don't set the tone for this game very well. Anyway, let me just say that I never get excited about DLC. The vast majority of it is pointless, and often too expensive for my tastes. So it's strange that I'm eagerly awaiting this stand-alone DLC for Second Son, which focuses on Abigail "Fetch" Walker instead of the original protagonist, Delsin Rowe. Fetch was a fun character to be around, and while she explained a bit of her backstory, it wasn't enough to really evoke much feeling. That looks to change with First Light, which will explain how she gained the power to control neon, her capture and imprisonment by the antagonist of the main game, and her subsequent escape. Even if the story doesn't turn out to be interesting, I'm still looking forward to having a reason to get back into the world of Second Son when First Light releases in August. Super Ultra Dead Rising 3 Arcade Remix Hyper Edition EX Plus Alpha I'm going to bodyslam all the zombies. ALL OF THEM. Jeez, try saying that in one breath. Once again, here's a piece of DLC that's caught my interest, even though it's currently on a console I don't own and thus I can't even try it out. But I'm still hoping for the chance to play it anyway because it looks ridiculously over-the-top and is absolutely filled to the brim with Capcom goodness. You can dress up as Mike Haggar and (presumably) perform jumping pile drivers on zombies, or throw on a Chun-Li costume and hit them with the ol' Hundred Rending Legs. To see all the references to Capcom series past and present makes me want to fall in love with the company all over again, despite the fact that they haven't really released or announced anything notable lately. The DLC is available as I type this, for those that are interested, but I'll be hoping it launches alongside the PC version of Dead Rising 3 later this year. Captain Toad's Treasure Tracker We're not responsible if you have SMB2 flashbacks and start throwing turnips at your friends. It's no secret that I absolutely love Super Mario 3D World. I pretty much wouldn't shut up about it for a while (also, if you haven't bought it yet, stop reading and go do that) but what I never really gushed about was the Captain Toad segments of the game. Does that mean I didn't like them? Heck no! I loved the Captain Toad mini-stages in 3D World, and now Nintendo has seen that others did too and decided to give us an entire game full of puzzling goodness. It's clear that they started with the basis of the gameplay from the 3D World version, but there was so much more on display that you'd never see in the originals, showing that Nintendo has put a lot of hard work and care into making this a worthwhile game for WiiU owners and not just a quick cash-in on a popular minigame. Look forward to tracking treasure when the game releases (no word on whether it's a physical release or eShop yet) this holiday season. No Man's Sky The Lorax is probably in there somewhere. Wow. To say No Man's Sky looks impressive is a huge understatement. While not much was revealed about the game beyond the fact that players can travel between randomly-generated planets and explore them, and optionally take parts in dogfights along the way, that's honestly enough for me. I suppose it also helps that these worlds show off strange new life forms and exotic, colorful plants, which is naturally a nice change from the brown and grey of the majority of games. The game shows massive promise, and, while that's usually just a good setup for failure or falling short of expectations, I have confidence that the team at Hello Games can pull it off and make one of the most beautiful, amazing, and immersive titles in recent memory. Look for more on the game in the coming months, because it unfortunately doesn't have a release window as of now. Code Name: S.T.E.A.M. Everyone who looked at this picture just got naturalized as a US citizen. Strike Team Eliminating the Alien Menace. That tells you pretty much everything you need to know, but I suppose I should elaborate a little more. This was a new IP revealed by Nintendo for the 3DS, and it looks brilliant. It's a strategy game being designed by a team at Intelligent Systems, known for their work on the Fire Emblem and Advance Wars series, so you can be sure they know what they're doing. As you might guess from the acronym, the game revolves around steam, so naturally it has quite a lot of steampunk flavor. It also draws from the H.P. Lovecraft mythos, so those elements, combined with the usual Nintendo charm, should make for quite a spectacle. From a gameplay standpoint, it borrows from the strategy RPGs the developer is known for, but also incorporates elements of a third-person shooter. It should be a lot of fun to play, so look for it when it launches sometime in 2015. Batman: Arkham Knight "I'm still not seeing why they delayed my game until next year, Oracle." We've known about Arkham Knight for a little while now, but that doesn't make me any less excited to play it. In fact, seeing it in action at E3 only made me even more anxious to slip back into the Batsuit and lay the beatdown on some thugs. Arkham Knight is being developed again by the original creators at Rocksteady Studios, which is great news for anyone (like me) who was more than a bit underwhelmed by Arkham Origins. The new game also introduces a drivable Batmobile, so you can bet if Batman needs a set of wheels to get around, the size of Gotham has increased quite a bit from previous games. The game also looks great too, which it should, since it's not being developed for last-gen consoles - only PS4, Xbox One, and PC owners will get to play Batman: Arkham Knight when it launches in 2015. Hyrule Warriors Me? Excited for Hyrule Warriors? How could you tell? Kidding aside, it's going to take a lot for me to talk about this game in a coherent manner without bursting into capitalized ramblings on how awesome it's gonna be, but I'll do my best. Hyrule Warriors, if you haven't been paying attention since the game was revealed a couple of months ago, is exactly what it sounds like - a mash-up of the Zelda franchise and the Warriors (Dynasty, Samurai, you know) franchise from Tecmo-Koei. This means massive maps filled to the brim with puny enemies just waiting for a good slashing, which you, as one of a number of Zelda characters, will be all too happy to give. However, it's not just Dynasty Warriors in a Link costume - there are also Zelda elements to be found, such as sub-items you can carry and use in battle, chests which contain yet more sub-items, and even huge bosses to take down by hitting their weak point with whatever sub-item you acquired on that map. Being a huge fan of both franchises, the marriage of the two gameplay styles looks like it will be an amazingly fun experience, and I hope you're all as excited as I am (well, maybe a little less, because I'm insanely excited) to play Hyrule Warriors when it drops on September 26. Super Smash Bros. 3DS/WiiU My entire childhood and then some is in this game. Oh boy, here we go. Remember how I said I could barely talk about Hyrule Warriors without wanting to explode with fanboy delight? Well, go ahead and multiply that by about 1000, because I don't know how long I can wait to play the next entry in the Super Smash Bros. series. The huge lineup of newcomers, the fan favorite returning characters, the inventive and interactive stages, the insane number of items both new and old, the new modes, the...EVERYTHING! Nintendo dropped some megaton announcements at E3 (Pac-Man! character customization and power ups! October 3 for 3DS!!!) and every single one just made me wish I could skip ahead to the day the 3DS version releases, because nothing could possibly excite me more than taking that game home on release day (there's no way I'm buying it online and waiting) and popping it in my 3DS to get down to smashing. And of course, once the WiiU version comes out, I doubt anyone will ever see me again because I'll be too busy playing Smash Bros...you might have to just join me in an online battle to make sure I'm okay. Look forward to smashing your friends on October 3 for the 3DS version and sometime in Winter 2014 for the WiiU version. That's just some of the things I saw that really got me excited, that really made me say "wow, I cannot wait until that game comes out!" Of course, if I listed every single game I'm interested in, you'd never finish reading this. So what about you? What games are on your wishlist and watchlist? What surprise reveals gave you the inexplicable urge to hop up and dance? Sound off in the comments so we can both be excited!
  9. Steve Bitto

    Deep Down Gameplay on Display at E3

    Deep Down, the mysterious free-to-play PS4 exclusive, was on display at Sony's booth this past week at E3. Although still only announced for Japan, the gameplay trailer was dubbed in English and shared on both the US and EU Playstation Blogs. This only furthering speculation that the game will be announced for Western territories. On the PS Blog, Yoshinori Ono of Capcom made clear that he understood fan's eagerness to get more "concrete" details on Deep Down but that release date information was not yet available. As far as what is holding the project up he said, "The development team continues to work hard engaging in intense trial and error methodology in order to find the best way to utilize PS4′s potential when it comes to online games." If they are indeed planning on releasing Deep Down in the West, this seemed like a missed opportunity. Perhaps with Bloodborne already on the E3 ticket they figured they could save it for the Tokyo Game Show when they may have a solid release date. Regardless, the game looks impressive and would be a good addition to the Playstation 4's exclusive US lineup. Keep it with Game Podunk for more on Deep Down. What do you think about Sony's attempt to push free-to-play games? Source: Playstation Blog
  10. Marcus Estrada

    E3 2014: Hands-On With Story of Seasons

    So, in case you missed it, there were some very strange things happening in Harvest Moon land lately. XSEED Games gained the rights to publish the next known Harvest Moon game but under a new name - Story of Seasons. Natsume“s Japanese team got to work creating a brand new game and will brand it as Harvest Moon: The Lost Valley. Our impressions were decidedly perplexed on that game, but Story of Seasons is the old Harvest Moon gameplay fans know and love. In the E3 demo players are guided through a brief tutorial of the game“s functions. First, players are told to harvest some crops. After doing this, or giving up, they can move on to the next task. You quickly learn how to brush animals, although only animals with fur can be brushed. That means chickens are out of the equation. After a little bit of farm prep, you get to check out character customization. Now, the demo only let players choose the boy, but both a boy and girl lead character will be available, as is expected in modern Harvest Moon games. In any case, every bit of clothing was unlocked which led to lots of fashionable (or not) choices. You could customize everything from the farmer“s hair to glasses, clothes, and the like. Even though farming and mingling with NPCs is the main appeal of the series there is always fun to be had getting dressed up. Unfortunately, there was very little else to the demo. After all, how much do you really need to play to realize this is another great 3DS farming sim? The name might be different but Story of Seasons is the next “real” title in the long line of Harvest Moon. However, after playing The Lost Valley, I did recognize some issues inherent in the existing franchise. For one, you still have to finagle a lot with inventory. For example, at one point I sheared an alpaca. To do this I first had to equip the clippers from a menu. Once equipped, my character lined up with the alpaca and got cutting. Then I had to unequip the clippers to pick up the fur. If I wanted to go and milk a cow or shear another animal then the correct item would need to be equipped again. It“s weird how Natsume were able to suddenly target and address this issue with their new game but Harvest Moon proper continues down this path. Story of Seasons is coming to 3DS later this year.
  11. "Great stories are timeless and they'll last forever." In the past, Bioware has created detailed universes for gamers to explore, experience and enjoy. Today during EA's E3 presentation they continued that legacy by revealing the next entry in their Mass Effect franchise and announcing a completely new IP. In Mass Effect, players will experience the universe as they never have before. The developers at Bioware Montreal are aiming to give fans what they want which is something fresh and new. They want to take players to the galaxies they haven't seen before. One developer summed up the game simply by saying, "New places, new characters, new people to fall in love with." There will be some familiarity however as N7 Armor and a Krogan warrior can be spotted in the trailer. In addition to their work on Dragon Age and Mass Effect, Bioware announced that they are developing a new IP. Under the roof of Bioware Edmonton, it is being built new from the ground up. "It's a chance to have clean sheet-design," said one designer, "Start from the most fundamental principles you can have." Not much else was shown on the new game as it is in the early stages of development. Check out the full Bioware E3 trailer below. For more on this and everything out of E3 stay locked on Game Podunk. Excited for more Mass Effect?
  12. Oh Microsoft, what will become of you? Having decided to do brief research it has occurred to me that a handful of games and information have since been leaked. As such, it is important at the outset to understand the direction this list is under. I will instead utilize this space to focus on what we know about Microsoft's press conference and what I predict (e.g. games, ideas, attitude, etc). While this is a predictions list in some sense, I am expecting to strike out on some—although I am hoping for the best. Further, each prediction will be annexed with a exposition that is roughly, for the sake of brevity, one paragraph in length. And without further adieu, here are GP's predictions for Microsoft's press conference. Halo 5: Guardians It's no surprise to Halo fans that the latest title has been delayed—after all, regardless of who is working on them there tends to be a three year gap between each subsequent release. Despite its new 2015 release window, Microsoft needs Halo to be at the fore of every gamer's thought. As a result, its appearance is inevitable, but I believe we can expect to see—or at least hear about—an emphasis on the game's multiplayer. Gears of War: Lazarus By way of the leak back in May, Lazarus is one of the many titles rumored to be revealed at Microsoft's E3. Rumor or not, it certainly makes sense for both Microsoft and the Xbox One. The original Gears is the fifth best-selling Xbox 360 title. Its successor, Gears of War 2, was the seventh best selling video game of 2009. Gears of War 3 sold over three million copies within its first week—higher than the previous two games—and helped the franchise, according to Microsoft, earn over one billion dollars worldwide. Money, money, and more money. As the possibly controversial name implies, the game is rumored to reboot the series as a means of effectively restoring the Gears series on the Xbox One. Sunset Overdrive Admittedly, I forgot this game existed until I sat down and did some research for this article. It's an open world third-person shooter developed by the team at Insomniac Games. Per usual new IP tradition the game will feature agile combat that promotes wallrunning, zip-lines, and other parkour influenced shenanigans in a world that heeds verticality. If last year's E3 trailer is anything to go by, the game's aesthetic mirrors that of, dare I say, Serious Sam in both its presentation and violence. Forza Horizon 2 No one asked for it, or even expected it, but Horizon 2 is very much a thing. Two different teams will be developing and releasing the title on both the Xbox 360 and Xbox One respectively. The game will take place in Europe and is once again music-centric. Further, Horizon 2 will finally introduce the long awaited weather system into the Forza franchise . I look forward to rally racing in the rain, provided of course this is not also an option in Forza 6... because I would rather be doing it there... Fable Legends Considering how fun, but disappointing the last two entries have been, I am weary of growing excited over yet another Fable game and yet here I am swooning. Details on the game are relatively scarce, but it is a co-operative focused action-RPG. To be fair, what else does one need to know? Gamers can take control using the Kinect, but Lionhead is focusing on controller-based gameplay. With the Kinect one will be able to utilize voice commands when he or she takes control of a villain with the aim of conquering one of the game's hero through the use of ordering minions around. A beta is set to launch this year and I would not be surprised if a date is given at E3. Identification: The Three (3) C's of Marketing I often compare the state of Microsoft and the Xbox One to my High School years—lost, identity searching, and fumbling about between different clicks and personalities. As a result, I feel somewhat sympathetic toward them. Last year's E3 was a disaster for Microsoft and over the course of past year, like good little boys and girls, they have done their best—by means of reversing and re-reversing statements made during E3 2013—to clean up after themselves. As a result it would appear as if Microsoft has no idea what the Xbox One is. Subsequently, I have no idea what the Xbox One is. Does anyone? Is it an inclusive media machine or is it a gaming hub—is it both, can it be? If their regular, almost laughable, flipfloppery proves anything, it is that Microsoft knows that this year they must be clear, concise, and consistent. If not for the sake of appealing to gamers—their market—then I expect them to abide by these rules so that the worries of their stockholders are subdued. Crackdown 3 The original Crackdown was released in 2007 and by the end of the year sold one and a half (1.5) million copies worldwide—I mean how else was anyone going to get into the Halo 3 beta? Brilliant marketing aside, the game was incredibly enjoyable and received favorable reviews. Its sequel was released in 2010 and while sales are harder to disclose, it too was welcomed and enjoyed. It would seem appropriate for Microsoft to bring the game to the Xbox One for a variety of reasons. Open world games are becoming as prolific as the FPS—OK, so this is maybe an overstatement. At any rate, Crackdown was/is the ultimate open world game because it promoted the use of superpowers and co-operative play. While this prediction is perhaps more along the lines of wishful thinking, I believe now—and not later, for various reasons perhaps to be divulged at a later date—is the perfect time to announce a new Crackdown title. Indie Games (& Project Spark) It is no secret that Microsoft and Xbox in general have had issues in the past with indie game developers. However, all that has supposedly been pushed aside with the Xbox One. I expect to see more information about Project Spark—a program that essentially lets players become developers and create their own indie titles. I also would not be surprised if Microsoft showed off Below, Gunscape, and Wulverblade as part of an upcoming indie game montage to further cement the new ideologies of the company. Rare Microsoft has within their possession one of the most adamantly adored development teams. If recollection serves, this relationship is somewhat obscure and involves some odd, poorly explained, use of the Kinect. I am not sure whose idea this union was, but I suspect that to—like all things Microsoft E3 2013—be undone. It is such that I predict we see a new IP from Rare, or in the least some sort of HD remake of a classic. Who knows, maybe it will have some Kinect-based voice commands and optional motion controls. It would most certainly be amusing to, while playing a potentially new Conker game, shout profanity and perform obscenities in the direction of my television. At any rate, Microsoft has a unique team on their hands; a team that in the long run will convince non-Xbox gamers to buy the One. It only makes sense for them to put them forward and into the fray. What predictions do you have for Microsoft's conference? Let us know in the comments below!
  13. The next chapter in the Battlefield franchise has been officially announced and it isn't what you might expect. Officially titled Battlefield: Hardline it focuses on, "the war on crime and the battle between cops and criminals." Steve Papoutsis, Vice President and General Manager at Visceral Games, revealed on EA's blog that the game will be releasing this fall and brings "new twists and turns to the foundation of Battlefield multiplayer." He went on to invite fans to see the game in action at its premiere June 9 at Noon PDT when it will be shown at E3. A trailer for Hardline leaked earlier today but was quickly taken down. Keep it with Game Podunk for more updates on Battlefield: Hardline as E3 approaches. Source: EA Blog Excited for Battlefield's new direction?
  14. From Software and Sony Japan Studio may be working on a project for the Playstation 4. Screenshots leaked on NeoGAF show a previously unannounced game tentatively titled Project Beast. The screens are dark and somewhat blurry but display a cemetery and other Gothic settings. Outside of a beastly dog looking creature not much more can be seen in the photos. The individual who leaked the screenshots also mentioned shotgun wielding and "a huge pyromancy fireball". More information on Project Beast is expected to come at Sony's E3 press conference, that is, if the rumors are true. It is also unclear if Kadokawa's recent acquisition of From Software could influence the future of the project. Game Podunk will bring you the latest from the pre-E3 rumor mill over the next few weeks. Could this be connected to Demon's Souls which is a Sony owned IP? Source: NeoGAF
  15. After the hate storm that was E3, Microsoft caved into the consumer“s demands and switched the DRM policies. Now we can trade our games without restrictions just like before! The status quo stays! It“s been one month since E3 and the DRM switch. What exactly will this effect have on the gaming industry? Just handing over the game Things will stay the same (for the most part). This is the obvious result, and exactly what the customers wanted. But that means that things aren“t changing at all, and isn“t that what happens almost every new generation? As I had talked about before, this generation is not providing anything substantially new. This past generation (Wii, Xbox 360, PS3) provided an online community for each system, and that was the substantial new piece of growth. My hope and speculation is that indie game developers are given a chance, like what Sony and the PS4 is doing, and can really show how creative games can get, as the expectations for these AAA games tend to be high, and they can“t always deliver. Indie games may be experimental in nature, or too short for someone to want to buy it and commit to said buy. However, indie games may actually be the “new innovation†that we all are looking for. Journey has received rave reviews in how few actions you can make. It has been announced that Sony is giving Indie developers a chance with the Playstation 4. The OUYA was released last month, and it“s basically an Android console. That“s a completely digital market already. Another reason why things will stay the same is that consoles are slower to adapt. This is because a game console is a set product, and the games made for consoles are mostly set products, unlike the potentially ever-expanding MMO games. Computers can be upgraded with parts in order to handle better graphics, or increase RAM. There is also the modding community when it comes to the consoles, but not everyone does this. There is DLC around, and that can make a game last much longer, but not every game will get DLC. In other words, most console games are expected to last only so long. 2. The inevitability of all digital is only delayed There is also the case of same day digital releases. While the price is the same as grabbing a hard disc, that still doesn“t change the fact that there is a digital release. While some see digital as an inevitable event, some fear this as well. Once everything goes digital, much like in the mobile market, it becomes harder to trade, borrow, or lend games. The Xbox One“s original plan was that one could share copies of their games by allowing only a certain number of people to access the account. It“s possible that Microsoft“s plan with the Xbox One could have been what it sees as something that will happen in the console market one day. With everything eventually going digital (just look at the PC market and Steam), and consoles acting more and more like computers, won“t there be more protection attached to games or accounts? Again, the hindrance to consoles and handheld markets is that they lack the flexibility of computers, and a new console does not get released every few years. A console is generally deemed to last at least 7 years, and changing rules and policies halfway into a machine“s lifespan probably isn“t the best option. So Microsoft answered to the fans callings and threats. I can say that I“m relieved about being able to let my friends borrow a hard copy if they want to. Do you think that one day consoles will follow the mobile game route? I think it is an inevitable event, but I can at least say that hard copies will be around for a little while longer.
  16. Note: The majority of the article (black text) was written by me, Leah. The blue text is written by Marcus Estrada, who added his own thoughts on the game's demo as well. Of the many Mario spin-offs, the Mario Kart series is probably one of the most popular ones. It“s a pretty old one, too, with over 20 years under its belt. With the latest iteration, Mario Kart 8, making its way onto Wii U, friendships will continue to be broken as Blue Shells fly. Even though the demo featured at Nintendo“s booth didn“t allow multiplayer, I still decided to give Mario Kart 8 a shot. I never got a chance to play Mario Kart 7 even though I really would like to. That means I haven“t played a Mario Kart game since the Wii version came out. After figuring out how the controls on the Wii U GamePad worked, I chose Bowser as my character and got ready to race. I'm worse off than Leah, having not played a home version of Mario Kart since the one on Nintendo 64. Without much of that baggage on me I found the new game quite a bit of fun. Perhaps it isn't that different from previous games but unfortunately I can't offer that knowledge. Hardcore Mario Kart fans should be able to tell easily though, so that's what matters. On the subject of controls, Mario Kart 8 obviously makes use of the GamePad“s gyroscope, which means that the GamePad can act as a steering wheel. It sounds fun, but I found it too difficult to control. Thankfully, the option to steer using the analog sticks still exists. Simply tap the appropriate icon on the touch screen whenever you want to switch between the two control schemes! Anyway, back to how Mario Kart 8 plays. From what I experienced in the demo, it“s still classic Mario Kart. Items still work the same, drifting still works the same, and so forth. Gliders and underwater driving from Mario Kart 7 also make their return, as do motorcycles from Mario Kart Wii. On top of these returning features, Mario Kart 8 also introduces some new elements, of course. Mario Kart 8 looks great. Again, it may not be the best visuals that the Wii U will ever offer, but it still looks lovely! The worlds are absolutely bursting with color, the characters all look perfect, and tracks also look nicely detailed. Despite not having "realistic" graphics, it manages to show off its great visuals. One of the new features that Mario Kart 8 is focusing on is anti-gravity. This attempt at keeping the series “fresh†allows players to experience tracks in a new light. At first, it“s pretty cool driving upside-down and sideways throughout the game. You“ll soon realize how gimmicky and pointless it is, though. Hopefully I“m proven wrong once the full game releases. Maybe driving on walls and the ceiling is gimmicky but it's also really cool. To me it seemed to extend the track in a way that could lead to far more interesting races. I did not recall seeing the NPCs drive on the walls when it was unnecessary, but surely real players will. It makes me wonder if that will be a way to escape various items or if they will follow the player despite shifting from floor to wall or ceiling. Despite that, I had fun playing the Mario Kart 8 demo. I“m not sure that I“ll get the game right at launch, but I“m still interested in how it will fare critically and what characters will be added in as racers.
  17. It has been more than a week since the E3 conference where the biggest news on the lips and minds of the gaming world was the Playstation 4 and Xbox One and their upcoming salvos for the next-gen console war. In a first for the company, Nintendo decided not to hold a conference like its two rivals, focusing more on a purist approach via pre-recorded off-site video streamed showcases of their new and old game series and showing off their heavy hitting titles at select Best Buy stores. Nintendo and their new series of “Nintendo Direct” showings were their answer to what they felt was the overt pomp and majesty that gaming events have become: light shows, jumbo screens, fast-talking announcers, and celebrity guests. Countless amounts of money and time are put into these showcases and from Nintendo“s point of view, were a waste of their money and time. By way of the Nintendo Direct events, they wanted to remove the bloated middleman that was the flashy showbiz style of E3 and focus on the gameplay and nothing else with their sparse aesthetic. However, this Spartan media campaign I believe has done far more harm than good for the big N. With their absence from the E3 conference stage – while a solid strategic move to avoid the chance of being upstaged by Sony and Microsoft, essentially removed even the possibility of holding their own spotlight during the events. What appeared to be Nintendo“s folly was they sold themselves and their productions far too short. The games and system features they had were quite impressive and an exciting mixture of old series (the new Super Mario), new gems (Bayonetta 2, Wonderful 101), and the announcement of long awaited legends (Smash Brothers). In addition to all the news of Pokemon X and Y, new playable characters for Smash Brothers, and other networking specs for the Wii U and 3DS, they had more than enough to display on the big stage. And if they were so confident in their philosophies of letting the games speak for themselves, they should have placed enough trust to put it up against the Playstation 4 and Xbox One. While they tried so valiantly to let the games do the talking, their absence spoke much louder. What Nintendo failed to realize was gaming and the entire world of it has vastly changed. As the games become more complex and the production values rival that of many theatrical films, the glitz, pomp, and showmanship that is E3 fits right in with the movie galas for the latest movie by Spike Lee or Joss Whedon. The spectacle has become just as much a part of the experience as the games themselves. By not showing the games off live on stage, they lost some of that magic that can only come about with living eyes and ears. There is no way that a Nintendo Direct live cast can recreate the madcap roar that the new Battlefront game made. An isolated video of Mega Man fighting Mario cannot record the cacophony of applause and cheers that the Sony conference received when they announced the Playstation 4 can play used games. A single trailer being shown in the vacuum of a silent studio cannot and will not match the fervor of live audience of gaming journalists and attendee watching with slacked jaws as an entire building comes crashing down before them during the Battlefield 4 multiplayer demo. Without that human factor, without that showmanship and glitz that solidifies the experience and the sense of wonder, Nintendo came off looking listless and cold in comparison - which is why it was no surprise that so many people felt underwhelmed by Nintendo and so much more fervor was placed on Playstation 4 and the Xbox One respectively. While it is still far too early to count Nintendo out of the game already, E3 was truly a sign that something must change or grow within Nintendo if they wish to not be left by the wayside. If the Wii U and Nintendo honestly want to stay as a contender in the coming console war, they have to start showing up on the battlefield.
  18. HOLD IT! We“re not quite done with previews from E3 yet. Next up is the latest installation in the Ace Attorney series. In Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Duel Destinies, famed lawyer Phoenix Wright returns after being unfairly disbarred and he“s better than ever. It“s also the first entry in the series to appear on the 3DS – a sort of fresh start for Phoenix and those who are going to be playing the game. Being a passionate fan of Ace Attorney games, I eagerly tried out the demo that Capcom had out in their courthouse-themed area. The demo is centered on a courthouse explosion case. Phoenix and his new assistant, Athena Cykes, defend a girl that is accused of causing the explosion (she is also a friend of Athena“s). Even though Phoenix has years of practice under his belt, this is his first trial in a very long time – he“s obviously very flustered! Athena offers a tutorial if you happen to be a newbie or need some refreshing (it“s been a long time for us Ace Attorney fans, too!). I declined, however, and jumped right into the trial. Starting off, you“re introduced to the basic Ace Attorney mechanics: listening to the witness“s testimony, pressing for more information if necessary, finding contradictions, and presenting evidence. Not much has changed in this instance. After a while, Athena introduces you to the new system called the “Mood Matrix.†With this, you“re able to pinpoint contradictory emotions that a witness is feeling while they present their testimony. Once you do that, you can press the witness for even more details regarding the contradictory emotion. On top of the Mood Matrix system, the “Pysche-Lock†system and “Perceive System†will also make a return (though they are not present in this demo). The localization is as good as ever. It still has top-notch writing and humor. I even found myself giggling a couple of times. I“m also really looking forward to the rest of the plot in Duel Destinies. One thing that might have annoyed some was the change from 2D to 3D graphics. It“s evident in trailers and screenshots that it really tries to mimic the old style, but how well does it look in person? Well, let me tell you – it is super sleek and gorgeous. With the 3D turned on, it“s even better. The 3DS“s capabilities also offer even more depth to investigating and environments, such as the courtroom. The Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Duel Destinies demo was very fun. I wish I could have played the whole game right then and there! Alas, we all have to wait a little while longer. But I feel that the wait will be very much worth it.
  19. Marcus Estrada

    E3 2013: Hands-On With TorqueL

    Something I“ve always found interesting about video games is how they have graduated from complex titles utilizing only a few buttons to games that now use full gamepads or a great deal of keyboard buttons. All the same, many games do not have the same level of difficulty as those which were born in gaming“s heydey. I say all this because TorqueL is the kind of game that is incredibly difficult by utilizing only four buttons and an analog stick. With such simplicity it is easy to believe a game will be a breeze, but the titles of gaming's past reveal that this is often far from the truth. Thankfully, the difficulty present here is fun rather than the kind that will make players tear their hair out in frustrated anguish. In the game, you are a little man with a top hat wedged inside a cube. You“re presented with levels that have various obstacles in them. On the first of the demo, there was lava in the middle of the area, as well as some floating cubes. All that I had to do was make it from the bottom of the screen to the exit on the top. Simple enough, until realizing that TorqueL doesn“t utilize normal platforming mechanics. The cube the player resides in has four different colored sides. Each side color corresponds to one of the colors on the Xbox 360 gamepad. Although it's possible to use a keyboard, it makes more sense to use a 360 controller due to the colors. You can roll left or right in the cube but the only way to get to the goal is to make use of the square faces. By pressing one of the face buttons on the 360 controller a long rectangle pushes out from the side. For example, if you have the box sitting still with the red face facing downward, pressing the red B button causes the box to be propelled up via an extruded face. If you can understand what I“m saying then it should be easy to recognize the great deal of mechanical fun and trouble this introduces into games. If you want to safely fly over a lava pit you have to build up speed by rolling then press the proper face button to get lifted off the ground in the right direction. Although I am pretty familiar with the 360 controller, I often found myself blanking on which button was the right color when the cube was barreling around on the ground or in the air. With such a simple concept, I found myself struggling but laughing over my sheer ineptitude to barely progress on the level. It“s games where the control is so simple and exact that can pull you in. It definitely did so for me which is why it really deserves some more attention. As it stands right now, the game is not done, but the ideas behind it are already solid. The only thing that could be improved so far is the graphics but that“s a small complaint as you hardly need fancy graphics for this kind of thing. The game is still being actively developed and is sitting on Steam Greenlight if you“re interested in upvoting it. Those who want a taste for what I played at E3 can now access it via Playism. If you“ve got some free time (and a 360 controller you can use on PC) then definitely give TorqueL a spin.
  20. Marcus Estrada

    E3 2013: Hands-On With Saints Row IV

    For a long time, it seemed that Grand Theft Auto was the main series people went to for sandbox style exploration and intense levels of possible violence. Of course, there are other games that exist with expansive worlds to explore (and possibly wreak havoc in) but GTA stands as the best known. When Saints Row first came out, many took it as an obvious copycat of the GTA formula. Although the game wasn“t great it did manage to carve out a new identity for itself. It wasn“t trying to be serious in any way, but to mock the establishment of GTA. Saints Row 2 worked to further tailor this image and by Saints Row 3 we had a perfectly capable and hilarious franchise. How does Saints Row IV fare? From what I tried of the demo at E3, it is shaping up to be the most incredibly asinine versions of Saints Row yet - and that“s a good thing. The game started me off with little pretense. Thanks to the ad campaign around the game I was aware that I“m playing as the President, but nothing in the game really alerted me to that. Instead, I was popped out into the middle of a city, given slight explanation of buttons, and then free to wreak havoc for ten minutes. The first thing I realized was that I could fly. For reasons that must make sense in context, the President has powers that grant him the ability to jump really high, run super fast, and glide around high in the air. It seemed that the main character was overpowered just with these functions, but it“s possible the demo had these abilities maxed out or something. Either way, after bouncing around off buildings onto unassuming people, I decided to check out the weaponry. There are some “normal” weapons in the President“s stash, but also a handful of wacky weapons. First, I made use of the dubstep gun because, honestly, how can anyone ignore it? The results were as funny as expected, wherein the gun blasts dubstep music at its targets as they crumple to the ground. Other weapons included what looked like a water gun with lasers, a black hole gun, and lightsaber lookalike. Beyond using some incredibly strange weaponry, I was also able to hijack cars and motorcycles to head toward glowing markers. These areas featured a handful of side quests, although the ones I visited weren“t particularly interesting. One was based around matching objects that the game requested. For example, there was a human-shaped silhouette which I had to fill with a distraught citizen. The event was timed and pretty dull. The same could be said of a race I entered which had the President running at full speed down busy streets. With that said, the full Saints Row IV is obviously going to have far more to show for itself than these two minigames, including a story. I feel that the story is what will really set this game apart as the wackiest yet, and since I didn“t get to experience it in the demo I“m really missing out. So far though the game looks great, controls well, and has a nice set of weapons and abilities. Fans of the series won“t be disappointed by what IV brings to the table.
  21. Marcus Estrada

    E3 2013: Hands-On With Game & Wario

    The WarioWare franchise has been one of my favorite Nintendo character spin-off games out there. Of course, the whole thing began to change once WarioWare D.I.Y. came out. Instead of granting players another bunch of microgames, they decided to let us make our own. Although the concept is interesting, it wasn“t what I wanted from WarioWare. We may never get back to that classic style of play though if Game & Wario is a sign of things to come. Your enjoyment of Game & Wario may also be dependent on whether or not you feel similarly wistful for the original games. It's a little too early to call it right now, but here are descriptions and opinions on two of the sixteen included games in the upcoming collection. In Game & Wario, players are tasked with only a handful of minigames. These are far longer than any of the microgames of the series“ past and, for the most part, far less quirky. Each minigame has multiple levels to play through as well as a listing for high scores. Nintendo only had a few minigames playable at E3, so I played two. First was a game titled "Kung Fu," where you must play as Young Cricket to try and reach the Master to snag his meal. All you do in the game is move the character and he jumps whenever he touches the ground automatically. What makes this difficult is that he is forced to traverse pretty dangerous territory. Falling into water or lava ends your run pretty abruptly. What makes this game interesting is that sometimes you“ll do better by looking at the TV screen and other times it is best to use the GamePad screen. On occasion, you“ll actually need to look at both to safely navigate. The GamePad shows a top down perspective which is useful for landing on small platforms while the TV showcases the world in third person. At one point during the demonstration, I had to dodge columns of lava shown on the TV screen while also jumping across very small platforms. The simple concept of using two screens to navigate proved to be quite difficult at that point, but also fun, and encouraged “backseat gaming” as well to keep me aware of incoming lava. Although some may dislike it, I found it fun to ask for the aid of others in such an instance. The next minigame, Gamer, felt more like a classic WarioWare title. Playing as 9-Volt or 18-Volt, I was meant to play WarioWare microgames on the GamePad until my mother popped into my room. At that point, you“re supposed to act like you“re sleeping instead of gaming. Just the premise is funny enough but the execution was excellent. While playing microgames on the GamePad, you can hear when mother is approaching from outside the hall, outside your window, or whatever else weird location she may appear from. However, just staring at the GamePad screen won“t let you know when she“s about to peer into the room - you have to look up at the TV to be sure. When she does appear, it“s often quite frightening/hilarious! It was also fun to see some classic WarioWare games brought back for this mode. I found myself often getting caught up in the microgames, just as 9-Volt would, before being spotted. What makes the game more interesting is that you can't simply hide every time you hear a creak, either. If the player uses the hide function too much then they'll actually just end up falling asleep! Overall, the game is quite comedic as well as an interesting use of the two screens. Of the two modes, I only really found one compelling enough to want to play again. Of course, there are sixteen modes in all but it“s tough to say if they will skew more towards entertaining or something akin to tech demos. For the most part, it appears that Game & Wario has lost much of its series“ charm and I really hope that appraisal is off the mark. Here is a video of the first stage of Kung Fu:
  22. Marcus Estrada

    E3 2013: Hands-On With Killer is Dead

    Suda 51 is a name that became known in the West primarily after the release of the stylish and gory Killer7 on GameCube and PS2. The cel-shaded graphics were used to great effect in the geopolitical thriller and made an impression on many, including myself. Ever since then, I“ve been happy to play other Grasshopper Manufacture games but have never felt the way I did as with that first foray into Suda-ness. Killer is Dead doesn“t bring back that old feeling, but it seems far more like his older style than other, more recent diversions, such as the No More Heroes series. In the game, you play as Mondo Zappa, an assassin, who spends most of the game slicing things up. Despite his handsome appearance, he also seems to be rather hit or miss with wooing women. The demo I played was specifically tailored to give a good taste of one chapter in Killer is Dead. Starting off on the level, I am immediately surrounded by enemies and must kill them all with my katana. This works very smoothly and there didn“t seem to be any issue with simple button mashing. Of course, you can also dodge which I found very useful as well. Enemies seem to always make you aware of their incoming strikes, making it easy to duck away at the last moment. I was also able to harness some special abilities which took the form of Zappa either performing extra gory kills or professional wrestling moves. Yes, Suda“s love for suited men and wrestling moves are still present. Fights as a whole were very frantic and at times were hard to comprehend. This has often been the case with his more recent work though, where blood and gore complicate the visuals beyond recognition. Of course, even when they're impossible to discern, the graphics are still incredibly stylish. A slight bit of the story was shown as well, which focused around some sort of monstrosity that murdered a young woman for her “perfect” ears. This seems like a very Suda style storytelling device and one which many Western players appeared confounded by. It“s definitely weird, of course, and the rest of the story is probably far stranger. Of course, without context we can only speculate as to how odd it is. After that, I fought a boss who was pretty easy enough to take down without fear of death. My experience on PS3 was just fine, but the 360 dev kit situated next to me was not. People who played that version were forced to deal with color bars on the screen, crashes, and moments where the game would simply not restart. I“m not sure why the 360 version is in such a poor state right now, but owners of both systems may be wary about where they purchase in case all these problems aren“t cleared up before release. Playing Killer is Dead was fun, even if it tired my hands out from the copious swordplay required. This is a good thing, though, considering the recent Lollipop Chainsaw almost felt like a step backward in regards to modern, speedy attack controls. Judging from the story showcased, it“s safe to say that Killer is Dead will satisfy a specific audience when it launches this August.
  23. The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker is definitely one of the best games I“ve ever played. When an HD version for the Wii U was announced, I was ecstatic. Not only is it the perfect excuse to replay Wind Waker for the thousandth time, but it“s also a chance to experience the game in a new light. While I wandered around Nintendo“s booth during E3, I definitely made some time to try out the Wind Waker HD demo that was provided. In this Wind Waker HD demo, there were two playable modes: Island Stroll and Boss Battle. Island Stroll is basically the beginning of Wind Waker, where you“re given tutorials and attain your sword. You“re also given some weapons like the bow to mess around with. This mode is pretty much a way to show off Wind Waker HD“s updated graphics and new control scheme. I tried out and will be focusing on the Boss Battle mode. This mode features the battle against the Helmaroc King at Forbidden Fortress. I know how this battle works like the back of my hand, but the Wii U GamePad made it into a very different experience. If you“re quick enough and you aren“t slowed down by bokoblins, you can make it to the top to start the battle without having to use your grappling hook. Unfortunately, a bad jump caused me to fall all the way back down to the bottom. When I had to whip out my grappling hook, I realized I had to aim by moving the GamePad around. It was very awkward to accomplish perfectly, though, and I missed more than half the time. On the other hand, Link is now able to move in any direction without having to stop his swinging completely. In any case, I eventually did make it to the top. Thus, my showdown with the mighty Helmaroc King commenced. The battle remained largely the same, and I cracked open his protective headgear in no time and proceeded to slay the bird. I also had a chance to really appreciate how smooth and beautiful the new graphics looked (though I still have some problems with how much of the bloom effect is used). Another thing about Wind Waker HD to delve into is how the GamePad is taken advantage of. Similar to Ocarina of Time 3D, the GamePad“s screen contains everything from the main menu – weapon selection, the map, and so forth. This will make things a lot easier, especially with selecting weapons. Personally, I was very pleased with my time playing the Wind Waker HD demo and can“t wait for October to come so I can once again dive into Wind Waker“s world.
  24. Marcus Estrada

    E3 2013: Bayonetta 2 Preview

    If there was one game nobody would expect to come to the Wii U it was most certainly Bayonetta. Of course, gamers were rightly shocked to hear that a sequel was coming to that very device. Now that we“re aware of it, the multiplayer mode, and most importantly, Bayonetta“s new hairdo, we must appraise whether or not the game is as good as the original. I can“t pretend to know everything about Bayonetta 2 just yet, but giving the demo a spin at Nintendo“s E3 booth help gave me an idea of where it“s going. So far, the game has all the hallmarks of the first, still gorgeous graphics, and a new play mode possible only on Wii U. Here“s my thoughts on the upcoming title. If you were worried that Bayonetta has been toned down for her Nintendo debut then you“d be dead wrong. The game still includes plenty to be seen during Bayonetta“s transformations as well as incredibly unorthodox camera angles. Even with her new poncho made of hair, you“re still treated to lovely visuals such as when the poncho fans out to act as wings for Bayonetta to fly around with. The original game was downright gorgeous and included many flourishes like these. All of this design savvy appears intact and even amplified at parts, which sometimes makes it even harder to see what“s going on. Of course, that sometimes proved an issue in the original game too. However, even if you never know how to actually play, it“s likely you“ll be able to pull off kick-ass combos all the same. Those who abhor mashing controller buttons may choose to play through the game using the new GamePad mode. The entire game can be played in this way using only touch screen functionality. Bayonetta 2 appears on both the TV and GamePad screen and you tap on enemies, user interface icons, or paths to make Bayonetta fight, use a special weapon/item, or move about the level. It ends up being an incredibly simple way to play the game. All you really ever need to do is press on a character to have her wail away at enemies. Combos are much easier to pull off, and especially so if you choose the easiest difficulty. The only problem with this mode seems to be that it can be hard to see the enemies considering the screen is not terribly large. Your hand will also cover up boss enemy HP if you“re right-handed or items if you“re left-handed. The mode is very, very easy although Nintendo didn“t allow players to choose a higher difficulty setting than “easy”. Hopefully there will be harder difficulties available on the GamePad mode to make it a truly interesting mode for big fans of the series and not just new players. For the most part, though, it seems most should simply gravitate to standard controls for Bayonetta 2.
  25. We all knew that Nintendo would have to announce a new Super Smash Bros. game at some time but when would it be? E3 2013 proved the perfect opportunity as today's Nintendo Direct closed with a trailer and footage of the game. In fact, there are two Super Smash Bros. games coming - one for Wii U and one for 3DS. This will be the first time SSB has been on a Nintendo portable. Presumably, both will be out at the same time. Although not every character could be shown just yet, we did see a few series staples such as Mario, Bowser, and Pikachu, but also saw two newcomers join the fight. They are the boy Villager from Animal Crossing and Mega Man! More characters will be rolled out in the future sometime before the games launch in 2014.