, | News
Borderlands_splitscreen

It’s no surprise that 2K is bringing a Borderlands bundle to the Playstation 4 and Xbox One, consisting of Borderlands 2, the Pre-Sequel, and all the downloadable content released for each game to date. But what is a surprise is that the collection will have four-player splitscreen support! Move over, Diablo 3? You’ll even be able to import your characters and badass rank from your PS3 or Xbox 360.

Borderlands: The Handsome Collection comes out on March 24th.

FacebookEmailTwitterGoogle+
, | News

Firaxis and 2K want to take gamers out into the galactic map. They just announced Sid Meier’s Starships, a strategy game set in the Civilization: Beyond Earth universe. The turn-based game puts players in charge of a federation of planets seeking to control the whole galaxy. Game designer Sid Meier explained to Gamespot that the game is a story sequel to last year’s strategy game set on one planet.

What happens after we colonize our new home and eventually build starships to take to the stars? What has become of our long-lost brothers and sisters from the planet Earth?

Since they’re related by story elements, Firaxis promises that there will be in-game connectivity between Starships and Beyond Earth, although they did not specify the extent of that feature. Sid Meier’s Starships is due to launch later this year for PC, iOS, and Mac systems.

FacebookEmailTwitterGoogle+
, | News
coneheads

One of the running gags in NBC’s Parks and Recreation is Cones of Dunshire, an overly complex game invented by Adam Scott’s accountant character Ben Wyatt. Introduced in the ninth episode of the sixth season, the game revolves around taking control of the titular cones, moving pieces, and rolling tons of dice to resolve inscrutable conflicts. Imagine the nightmare version of a bad Reiner Knizia knock-off game and you’re there.

Cough up $500 and you may be able to own Cones of Dunshire for real. Mayfair Games has started a Kickstarter for Cones, which if funded, will bring the joke game to life. Mayfair tested a real version of the game at Gen Con 2014, with proceeds going to charity, but the Kickstarter “deluxe” version will bring the game to your closet shelf where it can sit proudly next to your limited edition Pokemon Monopoly set.

But, of course, it’s all about the cones. Sure, there are some games that have cones, but then there is THIS game. Wrap your head around 48 Cones of Dunshire cones in 4 different colors, Red, Green, Yellow, AND Blue. And who can forget the Start Player Cone? Is it the most important cone in the game? You have to play to find out. Then there is the big one, The Cone of Decision, AKA The Dark Cone. This one is a monster. I mean this thing is a gigantic piece of wood. Please do not use it as a weapon. This giant cone can only be controlled by the Cone Sheath, which slides on snugly.

Keep in mind that the $150 level will only get you a Cones of Dunshire box. You need to pledge at least $500 to get the actual game.

FacebookEmailTwitterGoogle+
, | News
catan

Remember when the Kansas City Royals had an obsession with Clash of Clans? The Green Bay Packers seem to have a similar affinity for Settlers of Catan. The Wall Street Journal reports that the Wisconsin football team has developed a bit of a Catan habit.

For the past two months, it’s been the talk of the locker room. The number of players that have devoted a long night to the game is in the double-digits and – including most of the team’s starting offensive line, among others. And don’t let the words “board game” fool you, this is not Candy Land.

Any player in the locker room will readily admit that it’s a nerdy endeavor. The game’s object is to build settlements on the board using “resource” cards. Think of it as a fantasy version of Monopoly. “At first we’re like, ‘What the hell is this? Brick? Wool? What kind of game is this?'” said starting center Corey Linsley. But that quickly faded. “We are completely addicted to it, we play it whenever we can,” said tight end Justin Perillo.

Bravo, Green Bay for choosing Catan over something like Risk or Sorry!

FacebookEmailTwitterGoogle+
, | Games
Vidar

Death isn’t death in fantasy games because it’s never permanent. Just make sure at least one of your party members survives the battle! Barring that, just reload. It’s particularly a non-issue in fantasy games because you can just cast a resurrection spell. You could never have a murder mystery in a fantasy game, because any ol’ cleric of sufficient level would be able to solve the crime by casting resurrection and going, “So, hey, who killed you?” And what’s the big deal with Aeris dying in Final Fantasy? Didn’t anyone have one of those Phoenix down things? Death in fantasy games isn’t death; it’s a nap.

So I’m glad to see what looks like a retro 2D RPG being built entirely around the concept of death. Vidar — yet more evidence that all the good names for videogames have been taken — is based on the concept that the NPCs who are typically unkillable will die, moving the plot along an intricate web of if/then forks based on who’s alive and who’s dead. Each night in the town of Vidar, a beast comes out of a cave and kills one of the 24 townsfolk. You get a limited amount of time every night to work your way into the beast’s cave. Will you find and slay the beast before the last person dies on the 24th night? And how will the survivors who populate the town and offer you quests affect the storyline, not to mention your progress? Which of the various town events will you trigger?

It reminds me a bit of Guild Wars 2, where the dynamic events can result in all the NPCs in a town being wiped out and the town being lost. But that’s a bad example, since Guild Wars 2 is an MMO. The town is just going to be recovered and the townsfolk resurrected, easy peasy. A better example is the action RPG Din’s Curse, where the monsters in the dungeon can rise up and attack the town, killing vital NPCs and messing up your quests. It also reminds me of Westwood’s Blade Runner game from 1997, where a different suspects were replicants in any given playthrough.

Vidar creator Dean Razavi explains his game’s conceit in his Kickstarer video (note that the Kickstarter funds will go almost entirely to artwork). Power through the relatively generic trailer to hear Razavi explain how Vidar handles death and why it matters. You can also vote for Vidar on Steam Greenlight.

FacebookEmailTwitterGoogle+
, | Game reviews
Trails_Fusion

Trials Fusion, like the Trials games before it, is 100% accessible up to a certain point. Using its extremely simple “vocabulary” of only four verbs — lean forward or backward, accelerate or brake — you drive a motorcycle along 2D trails, trying to set the best time with the fewest wipeouts. Along the way, you can bail as many times as you want and you can take as long as you need to reach the end. But eventually, you’ll reach the end and you’ll finish the level and you’ll be free to move along to the next bit. You can try again to improve your performance and maybe beat your friends’ times. That, after all, is a big part of the Trials series. But these games aren’t going to throw any impassible trials or brick walls in your way.

Up to a certain point.

After the jump, reaching the end of the trial. Continue reading →

FacebookEmailTwitterGoogle+
, | Features
Overlooked_2014

Okay, this category might be a bit of a stretch, but I like to end the yearly lists on a positive note. So this is a list of smaller games that deserve more recognition. But I’m not sure there’s a good metric for sufficient recognition, so consider this me just going, ‘Hey, have you heard of these games? If not, check them out because they’re really good!’

Plus, I didn’t get around to writing up full reviews for most of them, so this will have to do instead.

After the jump, ten games you probably overlooked in 2014. Continue reading →

FacebookEmailTwitterGoogle+
, | News
tingley

Nintendo announced a Majora’s Mask DLC for Hyrule Warriors that will include Tingle as a playable character. The company revealed the DLC during their latest Nintendo Direct event. Young Link will also be part of the package, but who cares about that? This is Tingle we’re talking about. The most badass Rupee-obsessed guy in the franchise. Tingle will use a sack of money to batter enemies and a balloon to push baddies away. He’s going to be a great addition to a quite surprising game. Whose house is this? Tingle’s house.

FacebookEmailTwitterGoogle+
, | Features
diablo-iii-console

Overrated is a loaded term. It looks good in a headline. It’s often used for no purpose other than to goad a reaction. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t useful. When I call a game overrated, I don’t mean it’s bad, that the reviews were wrong, that the people who liked it were dopes, or even that I didn’t like it. It just means I’m surprised more people weren’t more critical, that the conversation wasn’t more often about ways the game could have been better.

After the jump, the ten most overrated games of 2014. Continue reading →

FacebookEmailTwitterGoogle+
, | News
pctrevor_full

Rockstar has announced a delay for the launch date of Grand Theft Auto V for PC. Instead of January 27th (which seemed suspicious with nary a word over the 2014 holidays) the open-world shooter will be launching on March 24th. The good news is that for those with the systems to support it, the game will feature 1080p with a silky-smooth 60fps with up to 4K resolution and support for triple monitor configurations.

Minimum specifications:
Windows 8.1 64 Bit, Windows 8 64 Bit, Windows 7 64 Bit Service Pack 1, Windows Vista 64 Bit Service Pack 2
Processor: Intel Core 2 Quad CPU Q6600 @ 2.40GHz (4 CPUs) / AMD Phenom 9850 Quad-Core Processor (4 CPUs) @ 2.5GHz
4GB RAM
NVIDIA 9800 GT 1GB / AMD HD 4870 1GB (DX 10, 10.1, 11)
65GB HDD space
DVD Drive

Recommended specifications:
Windows 8.1 64 Bit, Windows 8 64 Bit, Windows 7 64 Bit Service Pack 1
Processor: Intel Core i5 3470 @ 3.2GHZ (4 CPUs) / AMD X8 FX-8350 @ 4GHZ (8 CPUs)
8GB RAM
NVIDIA GTX 660 2GB / AMD HD7870 2GB
65GB HDD space
DVD Drive

GTA Online for PC will launch alongside the singleplayer game. The long-awaited Heists mode will launch on consoles in the coming weeks, and will be available for the PC version afterwards.

FacebookEmailTwitterGoogle+
, | News
gtgtgt

Last night at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Ford unveiled their new Ford GT sports car. At the same time, Microsoft and Turn 10 Studios announced Forza Motorsport 6 with the new Ford GT as the cover car. That’s synergy! Other than the Ford GT being on the packaging for the game, there’s not much to say at this point about the next Forza. Ford’s performance line of cars will be featured in Forza 6, including the GT, the Shelby GT350 Mustang, and the F-150 Raptor, but other than that, it’s anybody’s guess. We’ll assume there will be roads upon which you can drive, and some kind of Kinect integration that no one will ever use.

Microsoft will show off more of Forza Motorsport 6 at E3 in June.

FacebookEmailTwitterGoogle+
, | Features
Elite_Dangerous_2014

So if the most disappointing category is a list of games that should have been better than they were, the most surprising category is the opposite. These are games that were better than they should have been. Just as disappointing is about falling short of expectations, these surprising games exceeded expectations and, in some cases, were among the best games of the year.

After the jump, the ten most surprising games of 2014. Continue reading →

FacebookEmailTwitterGoogle+
, | News
rockin

Harmonix ended its weekly release of DLC music tracks for Rock Band games on April 2013 with Don McLean’s American Pie. Although the developer left the possibility open for future DLC, would-be rockers have had to be content with the library of more than 4,000 songs for almost two years. That’s a lot of power chords, but eventually your picker gets tired of the same sets. Hopefully you still have your plastic guitars around because Harmonix is releasing three new songs for Rock Band 3.

Arctic Monkeys – “R U Mine?”
Avenged Sevenfold – “Shepherd Of Fire”
Foo Fighters – “Something From Nothing”

Each track will be $1.99 USD and will work on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 versions of Rock Band 3.

FacebookEmailTwitterGoogle+