Tag Archives: Minecraft

WEEKLY NEWS UPDATE FOR 15TH – 21ST DECEMBER

Headline Of The Week

News in the video game world tends to slow down on the run up to Christmas, but for one brand soon it will stop completely – ComputerAndVideoGames.com, the online branch of the long running British media brand, will close down next February. The news was revealed on the site by editors past and present, reliving their fondest moments of being in charge of the site.

Future Publishing (who own several other video game media outlets including Total Xbox and Official PlayStation Magazine) will be shuttering the site and adding content to GamesRadar +, which already has side tabs for SFX and Total Film. CVG was first published as a magazine in 1981, but has been at risk since Future publicly announced intention to sell the brand earlier this year – none of the current staff are expected to have their jobs carried over to Games Radar +

As someone who visits the site on a daily basis and has been able to use it for an excellent source of gaming news, I’m very sad to see that the site will be closing – I hope that the current staff find a replacement job that reflects their professional quality.

Continue reading WEEKLY NEWS UPDATE FOR 15TH – 21ST DECEMBER

Bioshock Infinite Delayed Until 2013 & Angry Birds Tops One Billion Sales

Following a very EA-centric post midweek, here’s a more general roundup of the more interesting stories from this week

  • Bioshock: Infinite, the eagerly awaited title from Irrational Games, has been pushed back from its initial October release date to February 26th 2013. When commenting on the disappointing delay, creative director Ken Levine has said that the team is aiming to make the game ‘even more extraordinary’ and that the game will not be shown at big events like E3 and Gamescom this year. This isn’t the first time a big game has been delayed from a Winter release date; the original Bioshock was heavily delayed, and just last year Mass Effect 3 was pushed into next years schedule by Bioware. Thing is though, from the outstanding footage released last year, the game looked almost done – either they have found something significantly game breaking that needs to be fixed, or the rumours that multiplayer is being implemented may well be true.
Wanted – Screw multiplayer, release this game now!
  • It appears that Microsoft may be working on a version of their Internet Explorer web browser for the Xbox 360 dashboard. According to a source placed within Microsoft, the browser will be fine tuned to operate hand in hand with Kinect, although of course it should also be able to operate with a controller for those of us who don’t want to move to voice recognition just yet. Should the rumours come to fruition, it will mean that the Xbox 360 will finally have internet coverage…years after Sony’s PS3 introduced its own web browser.
  • It seems that the best was saved until last with the ‘Arcade Next’ initiative – just four mere weeks ago, Trials Evolution broke sales records on Xbox Live Arcade. Now, those records have been overtaken by the console version of Minecraft, which according to creator Markus ‘Notch’ Persson has recouped the development costs within hours of its release. Some have taken issue with Minecraft’s success however, including the creators of the recently released platformer Fez who have accused Notch of getting preferential treatment from Microsoft. I am downloading the trial game as I speak and will see what the fuss is about at long last; it better be bloody good to replace my high opinion of Trials though…
  • Finally, it’s a special occasion when any item passes 1,000,000,000 sales, and even more so when it’s a game – so praise be for the Angry Birds series which passed that incredible milestone the other day. The bird flinging mobile game has become a public phenomenon since its release, and is the clearest indicator in these times of change in the industry that mobile gaming has firmly set its roots and is here to stay.

Minecraft And Trials Evolution Dated And Priced For Xbox Live Arcade

As part of its ‘Arcade NEXT’ promotion (yeah, I hadn’t heard about this before today either), Microsoft have just released details of four upcoming XBLA titles to be released in April and May. These games also mark a change in policy on Xbox Live, as Arcade games will now feature 400 Gamerscore with 30 achievements to unlock. Below is the marketing jargon for each game to be released.

TRIALS EVOLUTION, April 18 for 1200 Microsoft Points

“Trials Evolution” is on every front, the next dimension of the smash-hit, award-winning “Trials HD.” Bust out of the warehouse into an outdoor world of night and day, curved driving lines, and spectacular scenery. Multiplayer comes alive in your living room or on Xbox LIVE. Build your own tracks with the in-game editor or download those of any other player from the new Track Central. Customize your bike and rider with awesome gear and unique parts, enjoy innovative skill games, try ghost racing, beat your friends’ scores and more! Don’t miss the madness!

BLOODFORGE, April 25 for 1200 Microsoft Points

With a brutal combat system, stunning art style, and a deeply compelling story, “Bloodforge” empowers you to slaughter hordes of demonic soldiers, deformed worshippers, and the gods themselves, using ferocious Rage Kills, devastating Rune attacks, and furious Weapon Combos. Help seal Crom’s fate – and the fate of the rest of the world – in this dark, visceral story of revenge, betrayal, and destiny.

FABLE HEROES, May 2 for 800 Microsoft Points

“Fable Heroes” is an action-packed, hack-and-slash adventure built for Xbox LIVE Arcade. It delivers a fresh spin on the “Fable” franchise with a unique art style and gameplay that takes playful competition to the next level. Whether on the couch or using Xbox LIVE, up to four players work together to defeat enemies while also competing with one another to collect gold coins and level up. Precious gold collected in Fable Heroes can be imported into the forthcoming Kinect title, Fable: The Journey, providing players with a valuable head start from day one.

MINECRAFT: XBOX 360 EDITION, May 9 for 1600 Microsoft Points

The infinite possibilities in “Minecraft” just got bigger. “Minecraft: Xbox 360 Edition” brings the global phenomenon to console gamers for the first time. The Xbox LIVE Arcade version of the game features an innovative new crafting interface, natural controller movements, a full Tutorial mode to teach the basics and for the first time in “Minecraft,” split-screen multiplayer as well as over Xbox LIVE.

So, Minecraft will be with us in May, and Trials Evolution (which looks properly superb) will be with us much earlier than expected. Cheers Microsoft!

New Xbox Dashboard On 6th December, Possible Expansions For Skyrim Found & Messi Becomes The New Face Of EA Sports

Just a quick news update this week rather than a fleshed out set of bulletins – I’m sorry there hasn’t been much review wise lately, but I’ve been literally inundated with an assignment, and a mixture of Skyrim & Persona 4 being played simultaneously means I wont be getting any games finished in a hurry. I’ll will improve my efforts in mid December hopefully.

And without further ado, the headlines at 9pm:

  • It’s Black Friday! You know, that holiday that no-one in Great Britain actually celebrates….but anyway, Black Friday means deals on games, and this year is hasn’t been as good as last year frankly. Whereas stuff like ‘Splosion Man was going for just 80 MSP last year, this year the deals have been kind of crap. But don’t worry, as ever Steam has had a ridiculous sale this week, and if you are quick you might be able to catch the last few deals before Saturday comes around.
  • Microsoft have been busy this week denying claims in The Sun that Xbox Live has been hacked. To confirm, this does appear to be usual tabloid sensationalist bulls**t, as they are talking about simple phishing scams, and if you are smart with your details (or just use prepaid cards) you won’t be having any problems. On a happier note, we have a confirmed date for the new 360 dashboard update – hook up to Xbox Live on December 6th, and you’ll have the new interface, based on Windows 7 phones, to play with. I don’t really see the need for it, but getting the free stuff like 4OD, Youtube and BBC IPlayer on at long last will be welcome.
  • Ah Skyrim, how you continue to hold secrets for all of us. Some of the keener eyed players may have noticed a road that leads to seemingly nowhere on the bottom left corner of the map, and this week an intrepid PC gamer used no-clip mode to go through the path, and found himself in familiar areas…yep, Bethesda actually included the landmass of Morrowind and Cyrodill, the areas where the third and fourth Elder Scrolss games took place. The landmass is very low detail, but its inclusion in the game suggests there may well be DLC expansions going into the familiar territory – I would personally love to stomp around Cyrodill again as the Dragonborn.
Low detail it may be, but that is undoubtedly the Imperial City from Oblivion...
  • You may well have forgotten that Minecraft was coming to Xbox Live this Winter, but don’t worry – it will not be coming for Winter. Instead, the enormously successful indie project will be now arriving in Spring 2012 for the Xbox 360 on Xbox Live Arcade. To celebrate, the development team behind the game released this very tongue-in-cheek trailer showing the dynamic action of Minecraft. I may well actually get into this one day; it reminds me of the simple joys of having Lego and building stuff as a kid.
  • The Versus Booster Pack is now available for Gears Of War 3. If you are unaware, Epic Games very kindly have made the five maps that came with the recent Horde Command Pack free for everyone to download, although you won’t get the benefits of the Command Pack, such as the achievements and Horde upgrades, via the Booster Pack.
  • Finally, EA Sports have made a new signing, and he just so happens to be the best footballer on the planet – Lionel Messi, former cover star of rival franchise Pro Evolution Soccer, has made the jump for FIFA Street. It’s a shame then as a friend of my pointed out while playing FIFA 12, Messi only has four star skills in that game…I suspect it might get updated come January.

And that’s your lot, I hope you have a pleasant week ahead of you all.

MW3 Earns Metacritic Bashing, Battlefield 4 Announced, Skyrim Gets Released Tonight And More

It’s typical isn’t it? On the week when arguably the two biggest games of the year get released, I suddenly realise I have half a dissertation to hand in…the games industry has never heard of University hand-in season have they? Nevertheless, I’ve suspended my study for an hour to cover some of the big news from the week – and there are some corkers this time.

  • Perhaps inevitably, we start with the first launch of the week – Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 3. I don’t need to describe the attention surrounding this game (having already done it previously on the blog and having just taken a glance at every major gaming website going), and I shouldn’t need to tell you that it has sold the proverbial shedload of copies since it got released on Tuesday. As ever, the interesting news comes once people have got their hands on it, and the ravine in opinion has grown even wider this year it seems; critics have been relatively unanimous in their praise for the game hitting an average of 90 on Metacritic (which puts it behind Batman: Arkham City and Gears 3 interestingly enough), but the public opinion is downright hilarious. User reviews have given the game 2.6 out of 10 – now this could be angry trolls raiding the internet, but I have a feeling that some of these negative reviews will be somewhat truthful. Early reports suggest the campaign is once again far too short, and the COD Elite service has had a few technical hiccups. If you have the game (I sure as hell won’t be getting it), what do you make of it?
  • And of the game that did its best to displace COD from its lofty perch, Battlefield 3? Well, despite a few fiasco’s with its launch, EA will be smiling as it shifted five million copies in its first week on sale to become EA’s fastest selling game ever – and when you consider that roster includes stuff like The Sims and FIFA, its one hell of an achievement. Still, it wasn’t enough to stop Black Ops from being at the top of the Xbox Live charts this week, giving yet more evidence to Black Ops exceptional longevity. Oh yeah, Frank Gibeau (President of EA, and therefore one of the most despised men on the internet) also casually dropped a Battlefield 4 mention this week. Imagine the specs required for that bad boy….
  • Have you heard of GTA 5? Its this small game that got a debut trailer last week and sent the world into fits of speculation…all joking aside, even a week after the trailer hit the interwebs and after all the minute detailed analysis of the video, GTA 5 is still very much on everyone’s lips. We know that it will be set in San Andreas, but what people do not know is when the game will get released – Take Two have yet to divulge that information, simply listing it tantalisingly as ‘TBA’. I would personally be gobsmacked if it comes out before December next year at least, but Rockstar have been known to work miracles before. Watch this space for any more news
  • The Legend Of Zelda is having somewhat a news renaissance at the moment – its only a week now until the long awaited Skyward Sword arrives for the Wii, and there have been some intriguing rumours floating about with regards to the future of the franchise on the 3DS. We have had the Ocarina Of Time remade in 3D, and now apparently Shigeru Miyamoto (resident Nintendo genius who created Mario and Zelda) has hinted that Majora’s Mask may also get a 3D remake, and maybe, just maybe, A Link To The Past from the SNES era might also get the treatment. If a remake of Ocarina was printing money, 3D A Link To The Past would be a gold mine – DO IT NOW NINTENDO!!!!!
  • I’m a bit disappointed with Bioware at the moment, in particular over Mass Effect 3. Following a huge mess-up which resulted in early beta gameplay and story spoilers going onto Xbox Live for a brief period, they have now said that as far as multiplayer goes, there will be no LAN option for PC’s and no split screen co-op for consoles. It’s a bit crap really isn’t it?
  • Final bit of console news (for now), and it is to say that the Jak & Daxter HD Collection I mentioned was in the works a while back has been confirmed for PS3 on a German listing site. No news yet on whether it will be an console exclusive, but I would guess it will be as Microsoft hates platformers it seems
  • Now to the bright lands of PC gaming; and not everything is rosy in World Of Warcraft’s garden at the moment. Despite announcing a rise in profits and getting the new Mists Of Pandaria expansion pack ready for players, 800,000 players have recently left the game. It still leaves the total player base at just over 10 million, but it’s a significant drop, with reports saying that a lot of those came from the East of the world, especiallyChina.
  • On the other hand, things keep looking up for Minecraft, which recently got its 4,000,000th paid player added to its rank. The indie game has been a remarkable success, and it’s the all the stranger when you consider its still in beta.
  • And I shall end as I started, with news of a big release. As I write, In twelve and a half hours I will be queuing outside of Gamestation in Lincoln to pick up The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. Hand on heart, I have not looked forward to a game as much as this since GTA Vice City…and that was near a decade ago. My Friday is going to be very busy indeed with work hand-in’s, but I intend to get a very brief editorial done chronicling my first few hours hands on with the game. And if you are one of the lucky people who have got the game a day early, I hate you very much right now.

I’ll finish off by giving a quick update on what I’m playing at the moment. I have just finished a review of Civilization IV, which will going live not soon after this article, and this week I also purchased a brand new copy of Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 4, to see what the fuss is about – thus far I’m loving it. Before the end of the year, I have pledged to play through Final Fantasy 6 again with a bunch of people from the Gaming Society, and then I have playthroughs of Ocarina Of Time, Rogue Galaxy and Tales Of Phantasia planned – along with casual games of FIFA and Gears 3 stuck in there for good measure. Good bye social life, I barely knew you.