WEEKLY NEWS UPDATE FOR 23RD FEBRUARY – 1ST MARCH

Headline Of The Week

The film studio Lionsgate (The Hunger Games, The Expendables, Twilight) has this week made a ‘significant financial investment’ in TellTale Games.

As part of the move, Lionsgate boss Jon Feltheimer will join TellTale’s Board Of Directors (where he will also be joined by Unity Technologies CEO John Riccitello) and the developer is now set to test out a ‘supershow’ concept combining a scripted television series and a video game – in much the same way that Remedy is testing the waters with Xbox One exclusive Quantum Break. It is also expected that as a result of the finance deal, TellTale would have the freedom to produce a video game based on an existing Lionsgate IP.

Speaking on the deal, Telltale boss Kevin Bruner said “Our goal is to create products that have a legitimate chance of winning both a Golden Globe and a Game of the Year award” – at this point, I’ll settle for getting the next episode of Tales From The Borderlands out to play….

In Other News

Sony has outlined the release dates for several highly anticipated indie titles such as Titan Souls & Shovel Knight on PS3/PS4 and PS Vita as part of its Spring Fever promotion. PS Plus subscribers will be able to net a 10% saving on each game during its launch week; the promotion schedule is listed below (please note this is for the US Market – European prices and dates have yet to be finalized)

Release Date
(Launch Week)
Title
(Platform)
PS Plus Launch Week Price Regular Price
3/3
(3/3 through 3/9)
HELLDIVERS
(PS4 / PS3 / PS Vita)*
$17.99 $19.99
3/10
(3/10 through 3/16)
Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number
(PS4 / PS3 / PS Vita)*
$13.49 $14.99
3/17
(3/17 through 3/23)
Jamestown+
(PS4)
$10.79 $11.99
3/24
(3/24 through 3/30)
Metal Slug 3
(PS4 / PS3 / PS Vita)*
$13.49 $14.99
3/31
(3/31 through 4/6)
Axiom Verge
(PS4)**
$17.99 $19.99
4/7
(4/7 through 4/13)
Bastion
(PS4)**
$13.49 $14.99
4/14
(4/14 through 4/20)
Titan Souls
(PS4 / PS Vita)*
$8.99 $9.99
4/21
(4/21 through 4/27)
Shovel Knight
(PS4 / PS3 / PS Vita)*
$13.49 $14.99

*Cross Buy title
**Launching later on PS Vita – Cross Buy with PS4

Polyphony Digital has added a B-Spec mode to Gran Turismo 6 as part of Version 1.16; over a year since the game was first released.

Originally introduced on Gran Turismo 4, B-Spec mode allows players to have an AI driver take their place in career events – highly useful for the longer endurance races the game can throw at you. In addition, the update will also add the fictional (and excellent) Mid-Field Raceway from Gran Turismo 2. Players are still waiting to see if the promised course builder will ever actually be released or if it will be a headline feature for the next game in the series, which Polyphony head honcho Kazunori Yamauchi has already revealed is in the works.

Final Symphony, a compilation of arrangements of music from Final Fantasy VI, VII & X performed by the London Symphony Orchestra and recorded with legendary series composer Nobuo Uematsu at Abbey Road Studios, is now available to download.

The album is available on several leading music websites including ITunes

The album is available on several leading music websites including iTunes

The 11 track album (featuring a three movement, 45 minute rendition of themes from VII) was recorded after a two year worldwide concert tour which saw the Symphony Orchestra play video game music live for the first time, and is set to return to London in 2015.

ArenaNet is set to defy normal MMORPG convention by offering a first person camera mode in Guild Wars 2. The set of camera changes which will be available in March allow users to zoom all the way in and can be used at all times while playing the game. Further tweaks will allow changes to Field Of View and Collision Sensitivity, while cameras will now be focused on character height to give a differentiation between the taller and smaller races.

After a couple of months of gradual improvement, Xbox’s Games With Gold promotion has knocked it out of the park for March; Xbox Live Gold members can download the wonderful Rayman Legends for free on Xbox One in March, while Xbox 360 users can pick up the excellent duo of Tomb Raider and Bioshock Infinite during the same time period.

To celebrate the download of over 100 million games via the service, Microsoft is also set to give away even more games in April – four unannounced Xbox 360 games, and two Xbox One titles.

Despite receiving a critical mauling for its relative short length, PS4 exclusive The Order 1886 managed to debut at top spot in the UK Game Sales Charts. The other big release of the week, the PC strategy game Total War: Atilla rode in at 21st, but this doesn’t include download sales made via Steam, Xbox Live or PSN.

Top Ten For Week Ending 21st February 2015 (from GFK/Chart-Track)

1 – The Order 1886 (Ready At Dawn)*

2 – Call Of Duty: Advanced Warfare (Sledgehammer Games)

3 – Evolve (Turtle Rock Studios)

4 – Far Cry 4 (Ubisoft Montreal)

5 – Grand Theft Auto V (Rockstar North)

6 – FIFA 15 (EA Canada)

7 – Minecraft: Xbox Edition (4J Studios)

8 – The Legend Of Zelda: Majora’s Mask 3D (Grezzo/Nintendo)

9 – Minecraft: PlayStation Edition (4J Studios)

10 – Destiny (Bungie)

(* indicates a new entry)

And Finally…

The last time I wrote about the fan made project to create a spiritual successor to Mother 3 was a very long time ago; but a gameplay trailer released on Wednesday for Mother 4 (the name that the project has ambitiously called itself before Nintendo’s lawyers hover over) shows just how dedicated the volunteers behind the project have been.

The trailer at the very least has captured the quirkiness that has been a long standing attraction to Shigesato Itoi’s RPG series (which also includes the cult classic Earthbound – known in Japan as Mother 2), as well as retaining many of the core gameplay elements including gradually decreasing HP meters and rhythm based attacks in combat, as well as some wackily designed enemies. Although the team behind Mother 4 has strenuously made it clear that they are ‘not affiliated, associated, authorised, endorsed by, or in any way officially connected’ to Itoi or Nintendo, they intend to release the final version of the game for free on PC, Mac and Linux during the Summer.

I can’t help but feel that a name change will be required, but as the group is not looking to sell the game for profit it should be allowed to be released by Nintendo – should it come out, a review will surely follow on this site!

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