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New Releases: Week of April 20, 2015

Sun, 04/19/2015 - 22:15 — ChunkySoup

 Well, its mid April and that means Playoff season for the NBA and the NHL. Maybe the game industry expected a bit of a lull at this point, or perhaps they predicted a massive crater created by the drop of GTA V on PC last week. Whatever might be happening elsewhere, I can tell you that in the game landscape this week its barren. We are talking crickets chirping, rattlesnake rattlin’, steer skull rotting type of barren. There are no releases for the XBOX platform, so I hoped you picked up Goat Simulator or one of the Games with Gold games as the outlook doesn’t get much better until well into June from the looks of things.

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Shovel Knight
Release Date: April 21st, 2015
Platforms: PS3, PS4, Vita

See video

 If you yearn for 16 bit side scrolling adventure games in the vein of the old Ghosts and Goblins games and own a PlayStation console then Shovel Knight by Yacht Club Games may be right up your alley. Already out on PC/MAC 3DS/WiiU, Shovel Knight digs its way to an April 21st release date for you PS folks. I probably sunk hundreds of dollars worth of quarters into the arcade version of Ghosts and Goblins and I am pretty sure I didn’t make it past the second level. That game was hard. Shovel Knight looks to be just about the same

Dungeons 2
Release Date: April 24th, 2015
Platform: PC

See video

 Dungeons 2 by Realmforge Studios is a god game that should have probably been named Dungeon Keeper 3 or Dungeon Keeper HD or something like that. If you ever played the first Dungeon Keeper game click the link above and tell me I’m wrong...

Other than an Apple Watch game (oh boy that’s exciting...yeesh) and a re-release of Mario Kart DS for the WiiU Virtual Console that is pretty much it. Cue crickets...

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New Releases: Week of April 13, 2014

Tue, 04/14/2015 - 13:53 — loki619

 It’s another slow week in gaming… or is it? Mortal Kombat, Grand Theft Auto, and Donkey Kong all make an appearance in the hope that you will invest your hard-earned gaming dollars in game properties that you’ve already played, once, twice, and maybe three times or more in the past.

Grand Theft Auto V

Release Date: April 14, 2015

Platform: PC

 The game that everyone’s played at least once already is finally out on PC and with it comes 60fps, a movie editor mode, and lots of visual candy to entice people that may have already played this on a console to try it again on their gaming rigs or to entice PC gamers to push their current systems to the limit just to see how much more beautiful the world of Los Santos can be. If anything, this game will be an excuse to upgrade something on your PC.


See video


Mortal Kombat X

Release Date: April 14, 2015

Platforms: PS3, PS4, Xbox One, Xbox 360, Windows

 Break out the first aid kit  and the hot compresses because your thumbs are about to take a beating as your favorite fighters come back with some special moves and new fatalities that only you, the experienced, button masher master, can inflict upon your enemies. Mortal Kombat X hit shelves on 4/14/15..


See video


Donkey Kong 64

Release Date: April 14, 2015

Platform: Wii U

 Okay so technically, this isn’t a new release (then again, neither is GTA V) and is instead,a re-release of an N64 favorite, Donkey Kong 64 (virtual console). This favorite allows you to relive your childhood but if you’re like many of us, that doesn’t really matter because most of us never really outgrew our childhoods… Oh well, go be the Kong and go mess up someone’s day.

See video

New Releases: Week of April 6, 2015

Tue, 04/07/2015 - 08:41 — SarcasmoJones

 The triumphant sounds of Spring can be heard everywhere: birds tweeting in the backyard, the incessant roar of poorly maintained lawn mowers attempting a final cut before their wheezing, premature demise, and my giggling, meth-addicted neighbor crawling around in his open garage at three in the morning: Spring is definitely my fourth favorite season. That being said, we do have a decent showing in the new release department this week. A very mean game is back to school you in academic sin, a mystery dungeon goes portable, and Nintendo shrinks another hit JRPG.


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Dark Souls II: Scholar of the First Sin

Platforms: PS4, XB1,PS3, 360

Release Date: April 7


See video


 So the guys at Bandai Namco thought it would be a good idea to bundle Dark Souls 2 and all of its DLC into a special edition and sell it again. Current gen players are now able to get in on the frustration of playing a game that they have no hope of finishing, but with new content, like characters and items, the aforementioned DLC bundle, upgraded graphics and sound, as well as a performance boost and the multiplayer session cap is increased to six players.


Etrian Mystery Dungeon

Platform: 3DS

Release Date: April 7


See video


 Atlus and Spike Chunsoft worked together to bring this turn-based dynamic dungeon crawler to the 3DS.


Xenoblade Chronicles 3D

Platform: 3DS

Release Date: April 10


 I hope that you enjoyed the trailer because Nintendo is now charging for that: you owe Nintendo five dollars. Nintendo’s new practice of killing revenue from "Let's Play" session captures may not last forever, but their practice of shrinking console hits down to a portable size seems to have no end and Xenoblade Chronicles is their latest victim. Enjoy the game, just don’t try to stream it on Twitch.

New Releases: Week of March 30, 2015

Thu, 04/02/2015 - 13:05 — ZenMonken

 Our April Fools prank? Getting our new releases coverage out a few days late. (Sorry)

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MLB 15: The Show

Release Date: March 31st, 2015

Platforms: PS3, PS4, Vita


See video


 The latest entry in Sony’s MLB-branded baseball series, The Show, this year’s model features Matt Vasgersian, Eric Karros, and Steve Lyons as commentators. It’s a sports game, so the biggest changes are just graphics and the roster. It’s got a ton of game modes and… well… you know. It’s baseball.

 

Neverwinter

Release Date: March 31st, 2015

Platform: XB1


See video


 Neverwinter is the spiritual descendant of the first real MMORPG, AOL’s Neverwinter Nights which came out in 1991. It’s set in the fictional land of Faerûn, where most standard Dungeons and Dragons campaigns take place, as well as tons of novels and any game bearing the D&D logo. Neverwinter is a free-to-play MMO and easily the most polished currently available on the Xbox One.

 

Story of Seasons

Release Date: March 31st, 2015

Platform: 3DS


See video


 Story of Seasons is the first US entry in what used to be called the Harvest Moon series of games to be denied that title by former publishers Natsume. It’s what you would expect of a Harvest Moon game - Farming, selling of crops, tending of animals, subtle supernatural elements, inexplicable farm inheritance, etc. - just with a new name.

 

Dead or Alive 5: Last Round

Release Date: March 30th, 2015

Platform: PC (Steam)


See video

 This one’s been around for a bit, but it’s just hitting PCs via Steam this week. DoA5:LR features the 32 character from DoA5: Ultimate with two new characters and over 300 costumes. The game reportedly has increased “softness” for the character models, though one would hope as much of the development team’s focus would go towards gameplay mechanics as Team Ninja’s notorious over-the-top jiggle physics. Bleh.

New Releases: Week of March 23, 2015

Mon, 03/23/2015 - 12:41 — frizzlefry2

 Is everyone recovered from the St. Patrick’s Day ruckus? Good, then let’s talk gaming. Or Spring! Spring, spring, spring! If you’re (un)lucky enough to live in the Northeast, you’re absolutely ready for Spring. Demonstrating her twisted sense of humor, Mother Nature decided to play another sick joke and stick the Northeast with several more inches of snow less than 12 hours into spring. Enough!!! Anyways… New releases this week feature the current trend in next generation gaming: Remasters! Claptrap, Tiny Tina and Mad Moxxi in 1080p running at 60fps? Yes, please! Sneaking around, hunting Sligs and flatulating on command as our favorite Mudokon Abe? You’re damn right!!! Hurling controllers and spitting vitriol at From Software’s latest maddening creation? Wouldn’t have it any other way... 

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Bloodborne

Release Date: March 24th, 2015
Platform: PS4

See video


 Featuring many of the same action RPG elements of Demon’s Souls and Dark Souls, From Software’s Bloodborne immerses the player in Yharnam fighting its’ bestial denizens while searching for an elusive medical cure all. New features include the addition of guns and melee weapons capable of transforming into a weapon appropriate for your specific combat situation: a short bladed weapon effective in close quarter combat can be transformed into a long bladed weapon for appropriate longer range melee combat. Players can also dual wield-using their gun in one hand while carrying a bladed weapon with the other. 


Borderlands: The Handsome Collection

Release Date: March 24th, 2015
Platforms: PS4, Xbox One

See video


 Borderlands on next generation systems!!! Borderlands: The Handsome Collection includes both Borderlands 2, Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel and ALL associated content. Skins, additional playable characters and DLC are all included in this handsome new collection. The collection runs at 1080p and 60fps and includes a new four player couch co-op mode. Four player couch co-op drops the framerate to 30fps. I played couch co-op at Gearbox’s Borderlands Couch Party at PaxEast and the drop in framerate wasn’t noticeable. Additionally, previous generation save files are transferrable platform family to platform family so uploading your maxed out Mechromancer shouldn’t be a problem. All this content should easily satiate Gearbox fans until Battleborn releases!


Infinite Crisis

Release Date: March 26th, 2015
Platform: PC

See video


 Turbine’s MOBA, based on the DC comic of the same name, gets its long awaited PC release. Battle your friends in this free to play game (read microtransactions!) as your favorite Superhero or villain across Infinite Crisis’ many destructive environments. Teams battle as squads to destroy enemy turrets and drones and complete in game objectives all in an effort to capture or destroy the opposing teams power core. Control or destroy the opposing teams power core to lead your squad to victory. 


Lego Ninjago: Shadow of Ronin

Release Date: March 27th, 2015
Platforms: 3DS, PS Vita

See video


 Kai, Zane, Cole, Jay, and Lloyd must defend Ninjago from Ronin and his army of dark samurai in the sequel to Lego Ninjago: Nindroids. After Ronin steals their memories with the Obsidian Glaive, the five ninjas forget how to use their elemental powers. Our heroes must race to find their Obsidian weapons, regain their memories and their powers before Ronin finishes his plan and unleashes evil upon Ninjago.

 

Life is Strange: Episode 2-Out of Time

Release Date: March 24th, 2015
Platforms: PC, PS4, PS3, Xbox One, Xbox 360

See video


 Follow the adventures of Maxine Caulfield in Square Enix’s episodic graphic adventure. Maxine discovers her unique ability to rewind time and alter future events. Altering future events, however, is not without its peril. Changes made by Maxine in the present, no matter how small, may lead to big and scary consequences in the future. Life is Strange features five episodes in total with a new episode delivered every seven weeks.


Metal Slug 3

Release Date: March 24th, 2015
Platforms: PS4, PS Vita

See video


 Metal Slug 3 is a PSN port from the original Metal Slug 3 (2000). Run and gun your way through endless enemies making your way to the final boss battle that awaits. Along the way you’ll find weapon upgrades, Metal Slug tanks and POWs, who when freed, provide random items and weapons. POW’s also provide you with a score bonus when you complete the level. Metal Slug 3 was the first in the Metal Slug series to feature branching paths. Each path leads to the same boss battle, but they’ll differ in terms of difficulty, length, weapon availability and POW numbers. 


Oddworld: New ‘n’ Tasty!

Release Date: March 27th, 2015
Platform: Xbox One

See video


 Oddworld: New ‘n’ Tasty! was developed by Just Add Water as a “ground up remake” of Oddworld Inhabitants classic Oddworld: Abe’s Oddysee. Gameplay is still centered around 2D side scrolling puzzle-platforming rendered with a 3D physics engine. The result is 2.5D gameplay-2D gameplay with 3D visuals. Follow Abe in his quest to free his enslaved Mudokon friends from the zulags of RuptureFarms and the evil Sligs and Glukkons that control them. Abe has a trick or two up his sleeve, either directing his Mudokon friends to do his bidding or possessing and controlling Sligs. Oddworld: New ‘n’ Tasty! is a remake of one of the the classic puzzle platformers in gaming history. If you missed the Oddworld: Abe’s Oddysee original release, this is your chance to play a true classic updated for the next generation.


Pillars of Eternity

Release Date: March 26th, 2015
Platforms: PC, OS X, Linux

See video


 Pillars of Eternity is an entirely crowd funded fantasy RPG developed by Obsidian Entertainment. Similar to Baldur’s Gate, the game will feature party based tactical gameplay, a fixed isometric view and 2D pre-rendered backgrounds. Main characters will be customizable based on class, race, sub-race, sex, culture, traits, skills and appearance. Your party can consist of up to six players-all of which are recruited during your adventures through the world. Obsidian revealed that both the plot and setting of the Pillars of Eternity to be original IP.


Slender: The Arrival

Release Date: March 24th (PS4) & 25th (XBox One), 2015
Platforms: PS4, Xbox One

See video


 Slender: The Arrival, a survival horror game based on The Slender Man from the Something Awful forums and developed by Blue Isle Studios, is the sequel to Slender: The Eight Pages. Follow Lauren as she seeks to solve her friend Kate’s disappearance. Armed with only a flashlight, she uses clues found in the environment to piece together Kate’s trail all while being followed and tormented by the Slender Man. Blue Isle Studios included several neat game mechanics: the Slender Man’s behavior changes chapter to chapter: an interesting mechanic to keep players uncomfortable and on edge,and looking directly at the Slender Man results in in both audio and video distortion further ramping up the scare.  

PAX East 2015 in Pictures

Thu, 03/19/2015 - 22:30 — ErinAS

 I love PAX but after 3 days of sensory overload my brain has trouble forming sentences. While I write up some of the cool stuff I saw, here’s my PAX in pictures.  Also while I was putting this together Google+ made me a story from my backed up photos.  So you can also check this link to see if the cloud is better at my job than I am! :p

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 The Boston Convention and Exhibition Center (or the BCEC as the locals call  it) totally looks like some sort of weird spacecraft. Mike & Jerry joked in one of the Penny Arcade panels we were just going to take off and have space PAX forever.

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 I guess there were some mail merge issues with the press passes this year so I’m cosplaying as Aaron Ibrahimi. Whenever I leave my name in voice mail people think I’m Aaron maybe I talk wrong on the internet too...

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The best benefit of a media badge is an hour of exclusive access to the floor on Friday before it’s filled with throngs of people. I spent my time checking out indies, but the big guys like Arenanet had a sweet lush green setup showing off the Guild Wars 2 Heart of Thorns Expansion.

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The guys from NEO Scavenger asked me if I liked trash as the lure to their booth. Then they proceeded to describe their game and I told them I hate resource management and survival tactics even more than I hate trash. But they were super nice with an awesome booth and if you don’t hate those things you should check out the game!

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Security is so tight at PAX this year they called in the Space Marines for bag checks!

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I think that’s where they were recruiting the door help?

20150306_091521.jpg          I would play the frak out of Birdoshock!

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Not just Booker & Elizabeth Bioshock cosplay this year.  We’ve got Luteces and full on barber shop quartet.

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20150306_102033.jpg     And for the Borderlands fans these ladies should win cosplay awards!

20150306_161309.jpg          I think this game was called Ninja Turtles vs. Ghostbusters slumber party?

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Pretty sure they were playing Primus’ Pork Soda...

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Nothing good ever comes out of alliances between Germany and Japan…

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The stills from Just Cause 3 look awesome and there were lots of Michael Bay ‘splosions! comparisons at the panel. No game play footage polished enough to show off yet though so fingers crossed they can hit their holiday 2015 release target.

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The reason we’re all here, live from the Make a Strip Panel. Here’s the comic that came out of this.

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But are they free range, organic chocobos?

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Spring in Boston. Pay no attention to the 2 feet of snow around the perimeter that will be here till June…

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That’s not a LAN party. THIS is a LAN party!

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Some of my favorite SWAG from the show.

Favs From the Floor at PAX

Wed, 03/18/2015 - 22:11 — ErinAS

 Here’s a rundown of some of my favs from the floor. As usual I stuck to indies since the crush of people in the AAA lines make me stabby.

Move or Die

See video

 Lured in by the super cute art I tried this one hands on with the devs at the press hour and it was tons of fun. Move or Die is a party game with rapid fire levels and changing goals played with friends on the couch or online. It will definitely start some friendly feuds as a party game.The devs from Those Awesome Guys LLC in Romania were probably letting me win, but the game had that “omg just one more level” appeal. I really had to tear myself away to go see other stuff before the unwashed masses descended upon the floor. I’ll give this one my game of show.

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The Phantom PI & Kitty Disastrous
 Tim & Kathy from Rocket 5 Studios are pretty much my favorite people to visit at PAX.  They’re super nice and their booth is always awesomely decorated complete with handmade pins. This year they were showing off their comedy puzzle adventure game, The Phantom PI, which is already available on iOS, and just got greenlit on Steam so I’ll finally get to play it. They also had a build of a new title they just started working on called Kitty Disastrous, which is a puzzle platformer love story between a cat and ferret. I got a few minutes hands on before I had to run off to the keynote and it looks like its going to be lots of fun!

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Mayan Death Robots
 These guys sent me a press inquiry before PAX asking if I wanted to see their game that was based on Scorched Earth with a monkey robot as their mascot. Considering how many hours of my childhood were spent playing Scorched Earth and the fact that my friends have a contest going to see if anyone can count how many monkey things are in my house (spoiler they have determined I own infinity monkeys. I wish they’d get on writing me the next Shakespeare so I can retire) I had to find them on the floor! I only had a few minutes for some hands on play but I am really looking forward to having some free time to check out the beta build and hope to get a proper review up at some point.


See video

The Swindle
 I should confess that I really went to Size Five’s booth to see if I could persuade them to make a third Ben There, Dan That game. Dan Marshall proved he is truly a time gentleman and scholar (I heard sure they made him a full professor when he visited Harvard post PAX) and humored me while I sucked at trying to play his new game, The Swindle. I loved the art style, but stealth is one of my least favorite game mechanics. If you do enjoy stealth then definitely check it out when it hits Steam and consoles later this year.


See video

 In researching this article (cuz proper journalist fact check their work)  I found that Size Five also made a game called Privates which I need to figure out a way of importing a copy of to the US. I wish we had this game when I took health in high school! This one needs a NSFW warning in the US but in the UK it won a BAFTA. No SRSLY it did!


See video


Nelly Cootalot: The Fowl Fleet & Ghost Control Inc.
A point and click adventure with pirates and puns?! Shut up and take my money!

 This sequel to the freeware original Nelly Cootalot Spoonbeaks Ahoy was kickstarted in 2013 and coming soon. I am looking forward to playing both of these titles!
In same booth, publisher Application Systems London was also showing off Ghost Control Inc. Looks kinda like turn based pixel graphics Ghostbusters.


See video

YIIK
 This booth was always too busy every time I walked by to get some hands on time but it looked pretty cool from standing around watching other people play. The best way to describe it from afar is hipster RPG, since the protagonist wears flannel, has a beard and glasses and his weapon of choice is vinyl records. Keytars are also involved (I’m kind of hoping for a theremin in later levels).


See video

Just Cause 3

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 So, technically I saw this on a panel not the floor and its not an indie, but damn it looks like fun. The third installment of the franchise from Avalanche Studios will have Rico going back to his roots to take down the dictator ruling his homeland with an iron fist.  The game play isn’t polished enough yet to show off but the screenshots look great and there are certainly all sorts of cool things to blow up and grapple from. The panel had lots of comparison to Michael Bay (“No in the good Michael Bay way we swear”...said no one ever) and the one thing he actually does right: ‘splosions!’. No word on if the voice acting will be just as terrible (in the best possible way) as Just Cause 2 was.

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PAX Panel: Reboot our Roots-Bringing our Favorite Genres Back to Life

Tue, 03/17/2015 - 19:21 — ErinAS

 Point & Click Adventure games are my all time favorite type of video game, and this year they were out in force at PAX East. They keynote featured the founders of Telltale Games for story time, there were panels about them, and several new ones I’d never heard of on the floor.  In the panels small indies kept giving me cards to check out their games, probably since I was rocking my “Look behind you there’s a 3-headed monkey” t-shirt (which I actually got someone to do when they asked me what my shirt was). Here’s a rundown of some of the studios on my favorite panel this year at PAX Reboot our Roots: Bringing our Favorite Genres Back to Life.


          No really this time!

 The Reboot our Roots panel I attended Sunday afternoon featured excellent indie devs still making point  & click adventure games. It was hosted by Ken Gagne Editor of Juiced.GS (the only Apple GS magazine still in print) and featured Katie Hallahan PR Director & Designer for Phoenix Online Studios, Steve Alexander Co-founder, of Infamous Quests, and Dave Gilbert, Founder of  Wadjet Eye Games. This was my favorite panel at PAX this year since it was basically all people who grew up on the same games I did now making new ones.

20150308_132601.jpg     Left to right: Dave Gilbert, Steve Alexander, Katie Hallahan, and Ken Gagne

Juiced GS
 The Apple IIGS was where I played all my Sierra favorites like King’s Quest, Goblins, and Gold Rush so it was cool to see there is still a print magazine devoted to that era (or actually technically before the IIGS).  The articles are actually print only but you can check out more about the magazine over at their website. That’s a hardcore fan base to still sustain a print magazine 20+ years after the system was “obsolete.”

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Infamous Quests

 Steve Alexander was the comedian of the panel kicking things off early telling everyone he learned two things from Apple II games: “typing and swearing.” He and his studio have created a spiritual successor to the Sierra Quest for Glory series with Quest for Infamy. He didn’t get too much into the details of the game, but it definitely involves the ability to pee on things. One of the mechanics he mentioned he liked from games growing up was multiple ways to solve puzzles with potentially different outcomes.  I somehow missed this series in my youth, so now I’ll have to find time to check out the original as well as the updated title.

See video

Phoenix Online Studios

 Segueing to the next panelist, Phoenix Online published Quest for Infamy and Katie Hallahan was representing the studio. Phoenix started off trying to make a new King’s Quest game and, with the help of vocal fans to navigate around legal and license troubles, they were finally able to release The Silver Lining as long as they didn’t profit from it. From there they evolved to making their own games and helping others with publishing. One of their titles I have played is Cognition, which is an excellent FBI thriller set in Boston. They have also been collaborating with Sierra alum Jane Jansen and helped her remaster her Gabriel Knight game as well as bring an all new title: Moebius. Phoenix Online uses an episodic method to deliver their games, and Hallahan mentioned that has been great for getting user feedback and being able to iterate on game mechanics and story between episodes.


See video

Wadjet Eye Games

 Dave Gilbert of Wadjet Eye games is also both a publisher and creator of adventure games. I can’t recall the exact quote but he said something along the lines of his goal is to bring back adventure games the way you remember them as opposed to how they actually were. I.e. warts and all with impossible puzzles and pixel hunting. He’s done a great job at that and has a prolific number of titles under his belt. His games have strong focus on storytelling and he gave the audience advice that yes you can actually beta test stories and get feedback on what’s working and what’s not. Just before PAX I played through a great game Wadjet Eye published called Primordia . Its got an excellent story and I especially liked that, while the subject matter is ominous and serious, there is a lot of humor in the dialog.  It also has a lot of video game nerd Easter egg jokes hidden in the items you can explore in the game. I’d say it’s is my favorite new point and click adventure game since Telltale moved to their new style.


See video

20150308_133925.jpgFollow these folks on twitter

 If you are a point and click adventure fan I highly recommend checking out anything by these studios. Its a labor of love that goes all the way back to their childhoods for many of these folks.

PAX East 2015 Keynote: Story Time With Kevin Bruner and Dan Connors

Sun, 03/15/2015 - 18:01 — ErinAS

 I’m starting to think Penny Arcade picks their PAX East keynote speakers just for me as two years in a row it's been heads of my favorite studios. Last year was Alex Rigopulos of Harmonix and this year was their first tag team story time with co-founders of Telltale Games Kevin Bruner and Dan Connors. You can check it out for yourself over on Twitch if you are interested.


 For those of you unfamiliar with Telltale they are the studio that started out bringing back my childhood, rebooting franchises like Monkey Island and Sam & Max. Based off that success they are currently entrusted with making the games for popular multi-media franchises like The Walking Dead, Fables, and Game of Thrones.

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 The keynote gave the crowd an overview of the start and evolution to date of Telltale. I didn’t realize Connors was born in Lynn, Massachusetts  (“Lynn, Lynn city of sin” which he gets no matter where in the country he goes and tells people he was born). They both shared embarrassing photos from their childhood and anecdotes of how they made it to LucasArts, where they met and first started collaborating. Connors started in QA with little PC experience and had a good first day story about trying to start up the DOS version of Day of the Tentacle. It's not as funny in print but it involved confusion around cd . DOT.  Breuner had tales of making interactive movies with friends and being surrounded by a lot of creative people from different disciplines as he grew in  his career.

 The first game they worked on together was Lucas Art’s 1998’s recently remastered and re-released (by Double Fine) Grim Fandango. They also did a few Star Wars titles while there. They were working on Sam & Max Freelance Police (they showed the trailer) when it got cancelled and that was sort of the final catalyst when they decided to leave Lucas and go it alone.

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 The first game Telltale released was Telltale Texas Hold’em, which was sort of comedy poker. The team learned lots about making a game from scratch and that the target demographic for poker games didn’t really overlap with their love of jokes and cute cartoon characters. But iterating quickly and learning from mistakes helped get them the momentum they needed for bigger and better things.

 Their next title was a point and click adventure based on the Bone comic series and then they got the license to make the CSI games based on the CBS series. They never got the rights to finish and release Sam & Max Freelance Police from Lucas but they were able to get the OK to use the franchise and make their own episodic tales of the dynamic canine and lagomorph duo.  After that success they  kept rolling with point and click adventure games adventure games with new and classic characters.

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Sam & Max, Puzzle Agent, Hector Badge of Carnage, Wallace & Gromit, Strong Bad's Cool Game for Attractive People, Monkey Island

 I highly recommend all of the games represented on this slide. I didn’t even like Homestar Runner until I played Strong Bad’s Cool Game for Attractive People. Now, that is my number one game I’d like them to make a sequel to. I was really hoping that would be their big panel reveal, since Homestar Runner just resurrected itself back from the dead,  but alas that was not to be.

 More recently Telltale has pulled away from old school point and click adventures and gone to more of a "gut-wrenching choices" mechanic in titles.  I like these games, but also wish they’d keep throwing in some traditional point and click stuff into the mix once in a while. Sadly, no announcement there either.  They talked about having a big license deal with Lionsgate films, so I’m guessing with that we’re not getting any old skool style soon.  

 While I am a little disappointed they aren’t making my favorite types of  games right now, it was nice to see that they are enjoying evolving types of gameplay and story telling and keeping to the core company mission. They had a picture of the actual slide from their business plan pitch 10+ years ago complete in wonderful powerpoint aesthetic.  

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 They are doing a great job telling stories with their games, and I do play their games instead of watching TV. The choice style ones I find are a little light on the interactive side sometimes though and I feel like I AM watching TV with occasional annoying button pressing to keep the action going. I do like the episodic setup they have though that breaks up the game into smaller bites and sometimes leaves cliff hangers.  Although I confess a lot of times I’ll wait till all the episodes are released to play so I don’t get left hanging. In their talk they talked about the ‘water cooler effect’ of older adventure games and having to talk through solutions to puzzle with friends and family.  They are hoping the choice and statistics mechanics and the new style brings some of that fun back.

While there were no new game announcements they did have a surprise for everyone at the keynote where they gave a free copy of all their games on Steam (except CSI because Ubisoft owns the publishing rights). I own most of them already but there are a few I haven’t played and I had totally forgotten they did a Law & Order one so will definitely have to check that out. And I guess maybe a game will finally drag me kicking and screaming into Game of Thrones.

New Releases: Week of March 16, 2015

Sun, 03/15/2015 - 17:16 — ChunkySoup

 Saint Patrick’s Day is on a Tuesday this week. I know that won’t stop some people, depending on how Irish they are or or pretend to be. If you fall into that category and either already booked Wednesday off or are pre-planning a sick day I applaud your dedication. Me, well I’ll be on a couple planes back from Kansas City. It’ll be a pretty tame March 17th for Chunky.

 That being said this week in new releases is anything but tame (betcha didn’t see that segue comin’!). We have a big release, a re-release and lots of other types of releases that are sure to appeal to someone somewhere.  Let’s dig in!

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Battlefield Hardline
Release Date: March 17th, 2015
Platforms: PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360,Xbox One


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 It’s cops and robbers time in Battlefield Hardline. I really hope Dice and EA learned their lessons from the launch debacle of Battlefield 4. This game looks like it could be extremely fun as it brings the shooter genre back to modern day and throws in that time worn, yet still successful, cop drama formula.


BladeStorm: Nightmare
Release Date: March 17th, 2015
Platforms:  PS3, PS4,Xbox One


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Bladestorm:Nightmare is, from what I can tell, a Japanese-style strategy action game where you  can control squads in your army during the Hundred Years War. You can explode things (and people), there are Dragons and other types of things that are historically inaccurate. However this is a video game so does it matter when you have explosions and Dragons? I didn’t think so.

Final Fantasy Type-0 HD
Release Date: March 17th, 2015
Platforms: PS4,Xbox One


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 Final Fantasy Type-0 HD is a remake of the PSP game from 2011 but, as the name suggests, now in HD! (echo, echo echo...) If you are a fan of Final Fantasy then I don’t need to explain this one, or if you already played it. However, now Final Fantasy Type-0 HD is available on Xbox One! (echo, echo, echo...)

Tales from the Borderlands: Ep 2- Atlas Mugged
Release Date: March 17th, 2015
Platforms: PC, PS3, PS4,iOS, Android, Xbox 360, Xbox One

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 Tales from the Borderlands is Telltale Games take on the world and characters based on Borderlands series from Gearbox. In typical Telltale fashion, they created a side story and adventure-ized it. If you are a fan of Borderlands you might want to give this game a try.

Resident Evil: Revelations 2-Episode 4
Release Date: March 17th, 2015
Platforms: PC, Xbox 360, Xbox One

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 This is the season finale in Resident Evil: Revelations 2. If you played the other three episodes then I guess episode 4 wraps things up. If, like me, you haven’t then I don’t have a flipping clue what is going on in that trailer other than it’s supposed to be suspenseful.

Mario Party 10
Release Date: March 20th, 2015
Platform: WiiU


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 Oh no, Bowser crashed the Mario Party! Nintendo wants you to bring all your amiibo’s over from SSMB to help defeat him or play as him in the Bowser Party mini-games in Mario Party 10! Ok, show of hands here. Who is willing to shell out $50 for this? Seriously Nintendo this should be $20 at the most.

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