2012 – a year that promised much, and will no doubt go down in the textbooks as one of the most interesting years of modern times. The Olympics offered a summer of sporting enjoyment in Britain, a Korean man dancing like a horse became the most popular thing the internet has ever churned out, and the world didn’t end as predicted by ancient calendars running out. Each point to their own a notable landmark I guess.
And so what of the world of videogames? It was an enviable task set for this year by the exploits of 2011; a year where games reached levels of exceptional quality in some cases. 2012 was a horrifically clichéd year in that some things were very good, and some things very poor. Below is my run through the year; I’ve broken away from looking specifically at the big three companies in detail to allow some more room for analysis, and to keep the points a bit shorter for reading purposes. Continue reading Dazcooke’s Video Game Land Review Of 2012
Been a bit busy this week with Graduation from university amongst other things, so here’s a quick update of what’s going on:
- Japanese gaming magazine Famitsu this week revealed the next installment of Capcom’s highly popular Phoenix Wright series, in the form of Ace Attorney 5. The game, which will see Mr Wright take the main role once again after a few games on the sidelines, will be released on the 3DS and has been confirmed for a Western release; although there are no details on when that might be. In further Ace Attorney news, the crossover title Layton vs. Ace Attorney may well be out before the end of the year if an advert on the back of the magazine is to be believed.
- Are you a fan of Trials: Evolution? If so, then there is extra reason to be happy as Ubisoft have announced a new DLC add-on called ‘Origin of Pain’ which will feature around 30 new tracks, additional skill games and new items to deck your rider out with. The add on will cost 400 MS Points when it is released later this year. And if you are a fan of the series but have wished for it to return to its PC roots, then there is extra bonus news for you! Trials: Evolution Gold Edition will feature all original content optimised for PC, and will even include Trials HD to sweeten the deal. Expect Gold Edition early in 2013.
- The major announcement to come out of the 25th Anniversary event for the Final Fantasy series (apart from a sweet looking collectors edition of all the games with special artwork) was Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII, the third and last entry into the ‘Lightning saga’. The game will be offering a new slant on gameplay, in that everyone’s favourite shoved-down-your-throat heroine has only 13 days to save the world with a countdown ever present on screen to remind you of your task, which can be changed by events in game…which sounds horribly like the mechanics used in The Legend Of Zelda: Majora’s Mask. The game will also feature more customisation than previous games in the series, and will be more action than RPG orientated.
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.
- 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.
TRIALS EVOLUTION (2012) – REDLYNX
When Microsoft announced their ‘Arcade Next’ imitative a few weeks ago, you would have been forgiven for thinking that Minecraft would be the star of the show – after all, its been a while coming and if its success on PC is anything to go by it will sell like hotcakes. I for one couldn’t give a damn when the announcement was made, because it was Trials Evolution, the sequel to the ever popular Trials HD, which caught my eye. Since its release last Wednesday it has been smashing sales records on Xbox Live, achieving the highest grossing sales ever on the day of release for an Arcade game. I suspect like myself many will be pleased with their purchase. Continue reading A Revolution For Arcade Games – Trials Evolution Review
The heavyweights are starting to make their presence felt now. Not long after a shift forward in the release date for Resident Evil 6 and the reveal of Crysis 3, we have more pleasant news this week.
First of all, Halo 4 has an official release date of November 6th 2012, meaning we will be taking the role of Master Chief once more in the month where Call Of Duty usually lands as well. And now, the next God Of War game has also been confirmed by Sony after a leak on the internet yesterday (seriously, you would think these leaks are getting planned nowadays with the sheer amount of them). Called God Of War: Ascension, a teaser trailer yesterday showed the protagonist Kratos looking to break free of chains, with the voiceover suggesting it will be a prequel to the original God Of War.
Finally, you need to buy Trials: Evolution – it’s fantastic. Nab it now for 1200 points on Xbox Live.
P.S Keep your eyes out for some more reviews in the near future.
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!