Hello one and all; my sincere apologies once again for a lack of blogging output over the last month or so, but I’ve been kind of busy…buying and moving into a house! What you will find below if some of the choicer stories that made the headlines over the past month.
Headlines For 27th April to 3rd May
If you remember a couple of months back, a group of former Rare employees broke off to create their own studio, Playtonic Games, with the intent to create a spiritual successor to Banjo Kazooie. The project was subsequently revealed to be Yooka-Laylee, a colourful platformer featuring a chameleon and it’s bat sidekick in a 3D enviroment packed with good old collectibles.
A Kickstarter campaign was set up to help fund development of the game to the tune of £175,000. They raised that total in less than 45 minutes.
As I write this article now, I’m delighted to say that the figure stands at a whopping £1,480,866 – that amount means that a number of stretch goals were met that will result in the game having a 2-4 player multiplayer mode, an N64 style shader mode and a simultaneous release across PC, PS4, Xbox One and Wii U platforms. While the game is only set to come out in October next year, the incredibly positive feedback towards the project does put a smile across my face – it suggests that the love and enthusiasm for the classic platformer genre isn’t quite dead as feared.
The Xbox One is finally here; and Microsoft decided to reach deep into its coffers to let the world know about it. To celebrate the release in 13 international markets, iconic locations including Times Square, the Sydney Harbor Bridge and Leicester Square in London were taken over by Microsoft with more green lighting, zombie cosplayers and unrecognizable celebrities than you could shake a…£429 console at, I guess. The launch parties even made the national news headlines here in the UK, which is no mean feat for an industry still treated somewhat with indifference by various news corporations.
The quoted figure from Microsoft is that over one million consoles have been sold ‘in under 24 hours’, making it the biggest launch of an Xbox console yet. It marks a pleasantly successful end of a troublesome inception for the Xbox One, and considering the sheer amount of negativity attached to the initial plans for online DRM and the sharing of games I would have thought Microsoft are pretty pleased with the reaction for the console, even if the critical reviews for launch titles including Forza Motorsport 5 and Dead Rising 3 have been largely average.
Well what a change in fortunes – E3 this year has been nothing short of excellent to watch. Whereas the past few conferences have been relatively staid, cautious and sometimes very awkward affairs, 2013 has seen E3 return to what it should be – a true gamers conference. Badly choreographed on stage segments are now seemingly a thing of the past, and while a lot of the content on show was pre-rendered footage rather than actual gameplay, the games themselves came thick and fast with plenty of new and fresh ideas in the mix. Also, with the PS4 and the Xbox One going up against each other head-to-head for the first time, we could anticipate that something special was going to be in the works.
The following report is not a completely in depth take on events (check your friendly neighbourhood gaming website for an intricate breakdown of what happened), but rather the things that I personally took away from the best E3 conference in years. Continue reading E3 2013 – Coverage Of The Conferences→