Nintendo are to create a port of The Legend Of Zelda: Majora’s Mask for the 3DS. The original N64 title was released in 2000, and was hailed as one of the darker instalments in the long running franchise (with a child Link having to relive three days over and over again in order to prevent a creepy looking moon from crashing into the world) – now it will follow in the footsteps of bigger brother Ocarina Of Time in coming to Nintendo’s handheld platform with improved visuals and streamlined controls, set for release in Spring 2015.
Casey Hudson, the executive producer at Bioware (who has overseen much loved titles including the Mass Effect series and Star Wars: Knights Of The Old Republic), is to leave the company after sixteen years of service. Hudson had most recently been involved in a new IP that BioWare have been developing, which is set to be revealed in the coming week at GamesCom in Cologne. In a pre-prepared statement, Hudson had the following to say:
‘After what already feels like a lifetime of extraordinary experiences, I have decided to hit the reset button and move on from BioWare…I’ll take a much needed break, get perspective on what I really want to do with the next phase of my life, and eventually, take on a new set of challenges.’
In additional developer news, there has been yet another high profile exodus from Naughty Dog – Jacob Minkoff & Taylor Kurosaki (lead game designer on Uncharted 3 and narrative design lead respectively) have both left to join Call Of Duty developers Infinity Ward. Continue reading WEEKLY NEWS UPDATE FOR 4TH – 10TH AUGUST→
STAR WARS: KNIGHTS OF THE OLD REPUBLIC (2003) – BIOWARE
Given the immense popularity of the Star Wars franchise, it is perhaps inevitable that over the years there have been many games looking to cash in on the stories of a galaxy far, far away. Trouble is though, the balance of hits and misses when it comes to Star Wars games veers worryingly towards the latter. After very strong origins with the Star Wars arcade game replicating the Trench Run from A New Hope, the quality of tie-in games has generally plummeted, perhaps reaching the bottom of the barrel when Vader and Palpatine had a dance off to Deadmau5 in Star Wars Kinect. When the hits do arrive however they tend to be excellent, and for many fans three games stand apart from the rest; the Lego Star Wars series, Battlefront, and the subject of this review – Knights Of The Old Republic (KOTOR). Continue reading Space, Blasters, Meatbags And Lightsabers – Star Wars: Knights Of The Old Republic Review→
I apologise for starting a review so bluntly, but it seems that whenever I have witnessed Mass Effect 3 being mentioned in conversation, it is the finale that is the immediate point of contention. Rarely has the conclusion of a game been so poorly received; Bioware were only just cleared of a ridiculous court case that claimed that the game broke advertising rules by not giving players a satisfying ending based on their playing history with the franchise. The thing is though, it’s really quite sad – because ending aside, Mass Effect 3 is an excellent game and has much to praise. Continue reading Beyond The Finale, There’s A Game In There – Mass Effect 3 Review→
It’s typical. I decide to delay the news for one day, and then EA amongst others drop multiple bombs at the GamesCom conference in Germany. Oh well, means I’ve got more to write about – and believe me, this stuff is sehr gut (very good, as the Germans would say). Let’s crack on:
The most pertinent thing to discuss is Battlefield 3, and how it has played a massive trump card today. After announcing the addition of co-op gameplay (which seem to be missions separate from the main storyline retaining all the features of normal gameplay) and demonstrating a mission live to the GamesCom audience, they showed off some frankly unbelievable multiplayer footage: the amount of stuff going on in the video is crazy, featuring your standard gun and run action, but with plenty of tanks and other vehicles to keep you occupied.
Have some delicious gaming news (relatively) hot off the press
The big news for the week has been from Nintendo, who have announced big price cuts for its 3DS, the handheld console which was released earlier this year. On August 12th, the price in the US will drop from $249 to $169.99, while EU countries and the UK will get price cuts of ‘approximately one third’. This move comes after quite disappointing hardware sales of just 0.7 million units in the past three months, and 4.53 million units overall since its release in Japan in February, despite positive reviews for titles such as Ocarina Of Time 3DS. There have also been a recent spate of delays from 3DS games, including Metal Gear Solid 3DS, which have affected confidence in gamers looking to purchase a 3DS. Nintendo did rally back however, by telling everyone who has already bought a 3DS that they will be rewarded for their early support by getting 20 free games (10 NES titles including Super Mario Bros and The Legend Of Zelda, and 10 Game Boy Advance titles including Yoshi’s Island and Mario Kart: Super Circuit) if they connect to the Nintendo eShop before August 11th, and by announcing the release dates for two big 3DS titles; Super Mario 3D Land which will arrive in November, and Mario Kart 7 (previously called Mario Kart 3DS) which will be a December release. It’s certainly a bold move by Nintendo to cut prices so early in the console’s life span, clearly the 3DS hasn’t caught on as they would have hoped (compared to the DS which sold like hotcakes) and they have taken early evasive action. One wonders if the 3DS will be simply swamped out over the upcoming period of massive releases for home consoles though. Keep an eye on Nintendo’s balance sheets to see if it works out for them.
Bioware have made some incredibly bold claims over the past week at Comic Con with regards to their upcoming MMORPG, Star Wars: The Old Republic. During an open panel, it was claimed that the game will still be going strong in 2025 (that’s over a decade away by the way), and that there will be over 500 world by that point; to put that into context there will be 19 main worlds when you get the game. Genuine aspiration or bullshit claims? I think the latter to be honest. It still hasn’t stopped people pre-ordering it by the shedload however, and it will no doubt be a challenger to World Of Warcraft in the short term at least. You can watch this video to see all the eight classes in action in game.
Resident Evil 4 HD and Resident Evil: Code Veronica X HD have been given release dates and prices: they will be available in both digital and disc form on the 20th and 27th of September respectively, and will cost 1600 MSP on Xbox Live and £15.99 on PSN.
In order to build up hype for Batman: Arkham City (as if it needed any), some viral videos have been released over the last few days. They involve Professor Hugo Strange interviewing several of the Dark Knight’s enemies, including The Penguin, The Riddler and The Joker (in a similar way to the patient tapes you could find in Arkham Asylum). Not much in the way of plot has been revealed by these tapes, but one can at least appreciate the quality voice acting, even if Penguin’s cockney accent is a bit strange to hear for the first time.
As a reward to all its fans, Rockstar Games have announced that the excellent Red Dead Redemption will be getting another DLC pack in September; called ‘Myths and Mavericks’, it will involve new locations for multiplayer matches and reset the Undead Overrun multiplayer settings. Best of all, its free. Cheers Rockstar.
Finally (no catchphrase intended), anyone who pre-orders WWE ’12, THQ’s upcoming wrestling game, will get The Rock as a bonus character. The Rock has been a regular character in every Smackdown vs Raw game, and one would assume he will become standard DLC once the game is released.
Tonight I will finally get round to posting up my review of Crash Team Racing, and I will get round to reviewing Metal Gear Solid 3: Subsistence some time this week. Cheers for reading.
Monday 6th June 2011 marked the start of the biggest gaming event of the year, where the games industry descended on Los Angeles for E3 2011. Four conferences went ahead yesterday, from Microsoft, EA, Ubisoft and Sony. Below, is my coverage of the event, and my opinions on the stuff that came up. Strap yourself in, there’s a lot to cover here. Continue reading E3 2011: Summary Of Microsoft, EA, Ubisoft And Sony’s Conferences→
As a fan of the Star Wars universe, it follows on that I have a great deal of respect for Bioware. In 2003 they gave the world Star Wars: Knights Of The Old Republic, one of the most highly acclaimed games of the decade, and they are currently working on a new MMORPG, Star Wars: The Old Republic. Both of these games give ample room to expand the canon of the Star Wars universe, and it was handled very well. When Bioware revealed that they were going to have their own crack at a space opera, fans became very excited. The result of this was Mass Effect, a game released in 2007 on the Xbox 360 only. Using some of the dynamics from Knights Of The Old Republic (such as having full control of one character and issuing orders to team-mates) and blending it with a original storyline, Bioware created a game that received very good reviews. I picked it up for £10 when I got my Xbox a year after the game’s release, and after going through Gears Of War I decided to give it a go to see if the reviews were justified. Continue reading Space, Guns, Romance And Elevators – Mass Effect Review→