Ghostbusters: Activision has a NEW Game on the Way!

     With the release date in only about 6 months time, the reboot Ghostbusters film has now got a full onslaught of marketing goodies for all of us nerds and collectors.

Good News Ray, there's a new game staring right at me.
     Over at the Retail Merchandiser Sony has announced a slew of products:
"In the lead off to the movie’s release, Sony Pictures Consumer Products is working to ensure it has items available at every price range, from $9.99 action figures  aimed at children to high-end replica proton packs for adult collectors. Apparel companies such as Hybrid and FAB NY are adapting scenes from the movie into T-shirts and backpacks. IDW is continuing its work on the Ghostbusters comic series while Simon & Schuster is developing a junior novelization and a Guide to Ghostbusting book that will give the franchise a presence in stores like Barnes & Noble."
      But for this post in particular, I was drawn to this next part:
"Ghostbusters is also returning to video games. Already, the Ghostbusters sets are on sale for Lego Dimensions, a toys-to-life game featuring the classic building blocks and a new full-fledged Ghostbusters video game from Activision will release alongside the movie on the Xbox One and PlayStation 4."
     Most recently there's been the Ghostbusters addition to Lego Dimensions, which is standard Lego game playing fun, there's the mundane Ghostbusters: Puzzle Fighter game, the surprisingly entertaining Little Ghostbusters phone game, the interesting and oddly-fun-yet-still-terrible augmented reality game Ghostbusters: Paranormal Blast, and the very under-appreciated Ghostbusters: The Video Game.  That's a game I would very much recommend to any fans of the films, or even of the old 80's cartoon and toys series.  You know what I'd even recommend it to the, like 20 fans of the Extreme Ghostbusters.  I'm not quite sure how they could cram that much 90's into one show, but they managed to do so with a spectacular level of overconfidence.

     Anyways, if this new Activision game is even remotely as good as Ghostbusters: The Video Game, the new game will make a killing.  It would be of great note here that Activision has also got another top notch property game in the works with Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutants in Manhattan, and if their previous game Transformers: Devastation is any indication, the new Ghostbusters will likely be a very good game.  It sounds like Activision has finally started to learn to actually listen to what the fans want.

     Now, for those of us that remember it, we can only hope that they re-release Ecto Cooler Hi-C drinks.  I drank that stuff by the gallon.

    Ghostbusters hits theaters July 22nd, 2016.

     Source [ Retail Mechandiser ] via [ IGN ]


Marvel Hereos 2016: Launches TODAY!!!

     The massive Marvel Heroes update launches today bringing us into the 2016 edition.  With that comes a wealth of new goodies and improvements over it's 2014 and 2015 versions.

     With the update the free-to-play game gets a Secret Invasion level addition, visually updated costumes for Captain America, Black Widow, and Jean Grey to make them fit in more with the tremendous newer models.  Deadpool has received his update gaining new animations, moves, and effects arriving early preparing players for his movie premiere on February 12th.  There's also some new features, leaderboards, Steam Achievements, and finally some MAC support.  To top this all off is the arrival of the 55th playable character Black Cat!

     If you haven't tried this game out, now is definitely the time.  It's free-to-play through either its own client or through Steam.  It's the only game I've made an effort to play at least a half hour a day for the last year.  It's just amazing and it keeps getting better.  Thank you Gazillion.  Marvel Heroes 2016 is a must play for fans of any Marvel properties.

Conan the Barbarian: Funcom Announces "Conan Exiles" & Trailer

     In late December there was a nice little message from Age of Conan developer Funcom, saying they'd be announcing a new Conan game announcement coming in January.  Lo' and it hath arrived!

     Here's the official site's description:

Play alone in single-player mode, or forge alliances and make enemies online on both public and private servers.

Will you dominate the exiled lands or will your enemies sacrifice you on the altar of their god?
You are an exile, one of thousands cast out to fend for themselves in a barbaric wasteland swept by terrible sandstorms and besieged on every side by enemies. Here you must fight to survive, build and dominate.

Hungry, thirsty and alone, your very first battle is that against the harsh environment. Grow crops or hunt animals for food. Harvest resources to build weapons and tools. Build a shelter to survive. Ride across a vast world and explore alone, or band together with other players to build entire settlements and strongholds to withstand fierce invasions.

When strong enough, march forth into battle and wage war against your enemies as you fight to dominate the exiled lands. Sacrifice enemy players on the altars of the gods and shift the balance of power your way. Unleash your fury in savage, fast-paced combat and execute bloody and bone-crushing attacks that will see heads rolling and limbs flying.
     We aren't given much in the way of information on actual gameplay, but the survival tease and hints leave me anxious to re-enter the Hyborean age to join in tales of adventure undreamed of.  To me it sounds like a combination of action, survival, and maybe a bit of world building.  I'm curious as to how much of each we'll be forced to do.  I really don't want to be hunting down berries for hours just to have enough energy to ward off the dark armies of the evil wizard Xaltotun.
     No matter what it is, I am very intrigued, and my excitement is growing even more because rumor has it the new Schwarzenegger The Legend of Conan film's script has recently been completed.

     Early access to Conan Exiles is set to begin summer 2016 and PC launch slightly later, with consoles to follow.

     For more check their official site [ Conan Exiles ]


Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutants in Manhattan: Official Trailer

     After the Platinum Games announcement tweet this morning saying that they'd release a full trailer tomorrow for the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutants in Manhattan game that has been known about for a while, but never officially confirmed, Platinum Games' leak streak was once again topped, and the trailer was leaked.
     In response Activision took the upper hand and simply released the trailer via their youtube channel.  Well played Activision, well played.

     After speculation has been high, this game looks every bit as awesome as I was hoping for.  We may have ourselves a true heir to the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles video game franchise worthy of our time.  I mean the last one I was genuinely impressed with was the Game Boy Advance's TMNT movie tie-in.  I'm not kidding, it was an unbelievably well done game.  All the other versions of the tie-in were terrible, but somehow the GBA version was spectacular.

     Anyways, the only way I could be more excited about this is if it supports 4 player online co-op, and offers more unlockable/playable characters than just the four Turtles themselves.  I want to play as Metal Head, Splinter, Slash, or even as April O'Neil.  We need some options!

     TMNT: Mutants in Manhattan is set to arrive in "Summer 2016."  (Presumably in time for the sequel to the 2014 film, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows, which arrives in theaters June 3rd.)

     For more of my Turtles related posts [ TMNT ]

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Official Platinum Games: Leaked Trailer for the Trailer! (TMNT)

     First we got a ratings leak, then a cover art leak, then we got an achievements leak, then some screenshot leaks, and now we hilariously receive an official Platinum Games' upcoming Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutants in Manhattan trailer leak for a full trailer coming tomorrow... via a leaky pipe.

    Check back tomorrow for the official announcement.  It's about time.

     The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles have needed a proper video game treatment for years, and they may finally be getting one with Platinum's Mutants in Manhattan.

     For more of my Turtles related posts [ TMNT ]


Deadpool Movie: Colossus GIF

     Since I can't write much tonight and it's been a few days since my last post, and because I've returned to my favorite Marvel Heroes 2015 game character, Colossus, I decided to make a small GIF of him from the trailer for the highly anticipated Deadpool film, in which Fox actually appears to have listened to what the fans want to see.

     Not only are they nailing Deadpool's character, it seems they've gotten most of them spot-on, from Colossus to Weasel and so on.  Even the entire marketing campaign is genius- the Valentine's Day poster that makes it look like a romantic dramedy, the absurd and hilarious emoticon billboards that a bunch of people apparently didn't get at first, and the wonderful trailers are all perfectly tailored to this character.  Fox is finally getting it right.

     Now we have to see if they can help Hugh Jackman's last Wolverine film be one worth seeing, I've bitched here on numerous occasions that they need to lose the kiddie gloves, and prove that he is the "best at what he does."  And it isn't angst-ridden moping, it's bloody wetwork that no one else can do.  We want to see that, and Deadpool is the starting point for these films to finally grow up and reach a bigger and better demographic.

     Deadpool hits theaters February 12th.


Disney Infinity 3.0: Marvel Battlegrounds: Local Multiplayer Only & Thoughts

     For as excited as I was for more Disney Infinity 3.0 stuff, this week has been an enormous letdown for news concerning the upcoming Marvel Battlegrounds playset.  First it was announced that the set would only come with a singular figure, Captain America (The First Avenger), and we know there are only currently 3 other figures slated (Ant-Man, Black Panther, and Vision- with no female figures at all) with mere rumor that more are on the way, and now we get the news that the set will be LOCAL MULTIPLAYER ONLY.

     The official site lists:
"Battle up to 3 opponents in the arena with 4-person local multiplayer"
   Honestly, if Marvel Battlegrounds is supposed to be a "game changer" for the Infinity brand, they really need to up their game- opening up online multiplayer is an absolute must.  To me this feels like they are currently selling us merely the face of a game.  Essentially we are getting a fancy box and no real content or true expansion to the brand.  Infinity is on the 3rd generation and there still isn't multiplayer offerings.  The story modes are meager at best in the playsets, the minigames are mundane, and they really aren't giving players anything new.  Battlegrounds may provide us with a fighting arena, but how many players don't have the option of playing in groups locally?

     Supporters have asked consistently for online play, and we got a broken, or at least rarely functioning, online play with "Flynn's Arcade"- leaving the bitter taste of horrible disappointment in our mouths.  What makes this even more questionable is the lack of a confirmation that their will even be AI opponents to play against.  It's generally assumed that will be the case, but it isn't stated anywhere.  Sadly, this might be the first time I am disgusted with how lacking a new playset appears to be.  Barely any new characters, no online support, and it was mentioned previously there will be no story mode.
     Disney is one of the biggest companies in the world, there is no reason they can't compete with other game companies in the video game arena.  This should be an area where they make the Lego Dimensions and Skylanders toys-to-life games look infantile.  They have the reasources to make something staggeringly big- I'm thinking toys-to-life in an Elder Scrolls sized game world.  instead we've been getting sparse gameplay and some mediocre extras.  Stuff I'd expect for mobile games, but nothing really console sized.
     Disney Infinity, coming from an avid supporter, the game needs a huge overhaul and it needs one quick.  This is a case where just the addition of online multiplayer would do wonders.  I recall Disney being all about imagination, so show us that creativity is truly valued, and give us a game worthy of our investment.

     Disney Infinity 3.0: Marvel Battlegrounds will be available March 15th.

     Source [ Infinity Inquirer ]


Marvel Future Fight: All New, All Different New Year Update Trailer & Thoughts

     I didn't think it was possible, but with every update Netmarble Games has somehow made Marvel Future Fight an even better game than the last one.  The newest update arrived yesterday and brought us a cleaned up main screen and menu system, a slew of new costumes, and a whole lot more fun.

     Seriously, this is the only mobile game that I make daily visits to, and continually toss a few bucks into for cosmetic things like new costumes.  As long as their updates maintain being this great, I'll be more than happy to continue to support them.  If my readers here haven't given it a try, it's a free to play game that I would instantly recommend to fans of either action games or of Marvel properties.  It makes me a bit sad that there aren't any X-men related characters, more than likely due to licensing quibbles between studios- Marvel's stranglehold on eliminating the support for those things they can't make ALL the money off of- but otherwise, Future Fight's roster is huge, and the game play is top notch for a mobile title.  Hopefully I can crank out some let's play type videos with this game soon.

     On a side note: we are about 3 months from the one year anniversary of the game and I can't wait to see what surprises they bring.  I'm crossing my fingers for characters like Squirrel Girl or maybe a Doctor Strange from the upcoming film, as there are already a lot of television and movie tie-in costumes.

     Here's the link to the [ Official Patch Notes ]

Disney Infinity 3.0: Marvel Battlegrounds Playset Release Information & Thoughts

     The announcement of the release date isn't new, as the March 15th leak had happened already, but what is surprising about the Disney Infinity 3.0: Marvel Battlegrounds playset is the fact it only comes with a single figure (Captain America: The First Avenger) instead of the customary 2 or 3.

     What bothers me even more is it's a character that many players already have, albeit with a new skin and potentially some new moves.  One more issue is the fact that there are currently NO female figures for the set.  Where's Scarlet Witch?  Where's Captain Marvel?  Where's Wasp?  This set definitely needs a few female figures to balance out the roster.

     I suppose the good news is that ANY of the Marvel Infinity figures will work with the game, not limiting it to just the 3.0 group which is small to begin with.  It's also been stated that many of the 2.0 Marvel characters have been "retooled" to be of better use in Battlegrounds.  It is also a plus that the price is cheaper at $29.99 than before.  To pad this pack out they are offering a pre-order bonus from "Participating Retailers" (currently only Best Buy and the Disney Store) of any one of your choice of a Disney Infinity Marvel 2.0 figure.

     In addition to the figures listed as being part of the Battlegrounds wave (Ant-Man, Black Panther, and Vision) and the recent Ultron and Hulkbuster Iron Man, Disney is offering the Marvel's Avengers Figure Pack (consisting of Iron Man, Black Widow, and Thor from the 2.0 Playset) for $29.99.  To me this is just an added slap to the face that instead of more new figures, they're once again offering old figures- at least the Captain America will be a little new.

     John Vignocchi put out a statement about the release:
Marvel Battlegrounds is a four-player, arcade-style brawler that allows you to battle with up to three friends locally. You get to play in 12 levels across eight all-new arenas, including Knowhere and Wakanda. You’ll also be able to battle as any playable Disney Infinity (2.0 Edition): Marvel Super Heroes figure, making Marvel Battlegrounds the Play Set with the largest selection of playable characters.

You guys know that the Disney Infinity team is always listening to your feedback, and we make changes along the way based on what we hear from the community. Your feedback has led to one significant change in our Play Set configuration. We heard from you that you want more choice in how you expand your Disney Infinity collections, especially with the Play Sets. With this in mind, the Marvel Battlegrounds Play Set Pack will come with the Play Set piece and one figure (Captain America – The First Avenger). Now it’s up to you to decide which other Marvel Super Heroes and Super Villains you want to fight with in Marvel Battlegrounds from a selection of 25 characters and with more to join the roster soon!
     All right, not to sound too nit picky here, but there will be 26* total figures available for Marvel, and 28 if you count the Black suit Spider-Man (which is getting a single release after the PS Vita pack exclusive) and the new version of Cap as separate, so there's already more figures than they've mentioned.  So I want to know will there actually be more on the way that we've yet to see?  Especially because this round of Marvel figures is so sparse.  They always say there's some more to join coming, but what does that really mean?
     We want more individual figures, I mean if Battlegrounds is supposed to be such a game changer for Disney Infinity where's all the supporting figures like the Winter Soldier, Scarlet Witch, Wasp, or Captain Marvel?  And no, we don't want more duplicates or repaints.  Because I'm sure someone will suggest a War Machine that'll be essentially Iron Man with a gun, unless he's drastically different, it could rightfully be a costume disc.
     When it comese down to it, I'm wondering when we'll start getting major Marvel characters like Luke Cage, Daredevil, and Jessica Jones.  Where's our the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. or Agent Carter?  When will we get Squirrel Girl or Ghost Rider now that we've got his chain and bike as power discs?  I can understand the IP rights feud keeping out the mutant population, but seriously, where's all the rest of the Marvel Universe.  If battlegrounds is going to be this big thing, show us by giving us a huge selection of NEW figures to go with it.
     I don't know if I want to wait until Disney Infinity 4.0 for a Doctor Strange.

     Source [ Infinity Inquirer ] [ Inf. Inq. 2 ]

*Iron Man, Black Widow, Thor, Hulk, Hawkeye, Cap, Loki, Falcon
Iron Fist, Nick Fury, Spider-Man, Nova, Venom, Green Goblin
Star Lord, Gamora, Drax, Rocket Raccoon, Groot, Yondu, Ronan
Ultron, Hulkbuster
Ant-Man, Black Panther, Vision

Wonder Woman: First Footage & Thoughts

     Hot on the heels of DC Comics' amazing new Suicide Squad "Worst Heroes Ever" trailer, the CW had Kevin Smith on to talk about the upcoming Wonder Woman film yesterday and we get to see some of the film in action.  As Gadot (Diana "Wonder Woman" Prince herself) says, "We're going to see her coming of age, an entire history."

     So it sounds and looks like we'll be seeing yetanother origin story movie.  Similar to Marvel's Captain America, this one seems set to Nazi crushing World War 2 era and some flashbacks to a much older time.

     I think it looks pretty damn good.  Zack Snyder's influence on the dark and muted colors appears to be a little heavy handed, but what footage there is, is decent.  I'll remain cautiously optimistic in the mean time.  I was hoping for a much bulkier Amazonian warrior, someone that looks like they are right out of the WW2 era like, and apologies for the 2nd Marvel reference in this post, but something more like Agent Carter- a woman with some meat.
     That might sound crude, but I've written about it time and time again.  I think Gadot still looks far too slim for the role, and while she might be super strong and an Amazonian fighter, she also should look like the part.  The physique should reflect the activity and lifestyle.  No one would believe a super scrawny 150 pound Superman, because sometimes image does matter, so why do we still have a stick-figure thin Wonder Woman?

     Despite the qualms, Wonder Woman looks good enough to give me hope for more female led super hero films.

     Wonder Woman is set to hit theaters on June 23rd, 2017.

Suicide Squad: Worst Heroes Ever Trailer

     The newest trailer for Suicide Squad has dropped, and it looks great.  Filled with crime, crazy, and Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody" it's the first DC Comics property trailer I've been truly hopeful for in a very long time.

     We get glimpses of a powerful baddie that is still unnamed, the team's members in action, and more scenes of the Joker.  This looks like it may live up to it's comic book counterpart's namesake and that many of the members will be dead before the end of the movie.

     Comic book movies are finally growing up.

     Suicide Squad hits theaters August 5th.


Death Road to Canada: NEW Live Action Trailer Arrives

     As a long time fan of Wayward Souls and Mage Gauntlet, I have been super excited for Rocketcat's upcoming title Death Road to Canada since it's announcement over two years ago.  Now as we inch closer to the game's release the game gets a very silly live action trailer.

Death Road to Canada is a post-apocalyptic comedy/survival road trip where every game is randomly generated. You must get your car full of death-prone jerks from Florida to the safety of Canada.
     The game consists of randomly generated levels combined with text-based road events and zombie mob evading.  It's said there can be up to 500 actives zombies at a time, putting careless players in between a zombie rock and an undead hard place when attempting to not get trapped by walls of shambling zombies.
     The threat of the slow moving flesh-eaters is very real, and it looks to be both a frightening and hilarious experience for players.

     Death Road to Canada is set to release on PC in the first 3rd of this year, with an iOS port to follow hopefully not long after.  Sadly, no word yet if it'll be ported to Android devices.  In the mean time, fans should be grateful for the truly massive update to Wayward Souls.

     Sources [ Death Road to Canada ] [ Official Touch Arcade Forum ]


Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutants in Manhattan: Platinum Games' TMNT Screenshots

     First we got a ratings leak, then a cover art leak, then we got an achievements leak, now we finally get some actual screenshots leaked for Platinum Games' upcoming Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutants in Manhattan.  The game still hasn't even been officially announced by either Activision or Platinum, but I can officially say it looks amazing.

     This looks to be the exact type of game I have been waiting for- a cel-shaded open world brawl-filled possible multiplayer funfest.  If this game is anything near as good as Transformers: Devastation, it'll be something that might renew our hopes for the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles game franchise.

     This is probably the best looking, and yet completely unconfirmed game I've seen ever.

     For more of my Turtles related posts [ TMNT ]

     Sources [ Pure Xbox ] via [ Destructoid ]


Disney Infinity 3.0: Marvel Battlegrounds NEW Pics & Release Date

     Yesterday Amazon had listed for pre-order both the Nick and Judy Zootopia figures with a date of March 1st, and they also had the Marvel Battlegrounds playset and power disc pack listed as March 15th.  The downside is all their new Disney Infinity 3.0 listings have been taken down.

     The playset listing's info:
Evil forces scheme for world conquest as they pit Marvel’s greatest Super Heroes against each other! It’s an all out brawl in Marvel Battlegrounds! • Engage in 4-player combat and battle in 12 levels across 8 epic new arenas! • Customize your game with up to 6 Round Marvel Power Discs per match • Select Super Heroes and Villains from your ENTIRE collection of Marvel characters in Disney Infinity • Smash through floors, walls and tear down the environment as you battle to defeat your opponents • 28 characters to collect and more to come! Use Captain America’s shield to attack from a distance and increase the power of close quarters combat.
     In addition some of the mock-ups for the single figures have begun surfacing.  There's Black Panther, Ant-Man, VIsion, and Symbiote suit Spider-Man (for single release, as the only other ways to play him were with the costume disc or the Vita pack exclusive).  We've known about these from the leak back in October, so it really isn't news.  What is cool, however, is the tight lid they've kept about who the 2nd character for the playset will be.  So far there's only Captain America's new costume The First Avenger.  I hope it'll be Winter Soldier or Scarlet Witch.

     The, the power disc set for Marvel comes with what appears to be the Winter Casket from the Thor film, a symbol of the Nova core, a Darkhawk laser, and what I think is really cool- Ghost Rider's motorcycle.  So we'll have his chain whip and bike, but actual Ghost Rider figure?  Perhaps he'll be an unannounced surprise. 

     On a side note, art for Baloo from the Jungle Book has also been released and can be seen at this link [ Infinity Inq. Twitter ].  This new figure makes me wonder if the previously mentioned unannounced playset with be for the Jungle Book as a film tie-in of sorts.

     Source [ Infinity Inquirer ]


LEGO Marvel's Avengers: Ant-Man & Civil War DLC Packs

     It was recently announced the TT Games upcoming LEGO Marvel's Avengers was going to be receiving 2 DLC packs, adding 2 more films to the 6 film roster the main game was made of (in addition to the massive Marvel Universe related content also there).

     The two films will be Captain America: Civil War and Ant-Man.  The Civil War pack will be available at the main game's launch on January 26th, and includes 9 characters that are also able to be used in the main game.  There will be Captain America, Iron Man (in the Mark 46 armor), Black Panther, Winter Soldier, Falcon, War Machine, Scarlet Witch, Crossbones, and Agent 13.

     The second DLC, the one I am personally very excited for, is the Ant-Man level pack.  This contains 11 new characters including both Scott Lang and Hank Pym as Ant-Man, Ant-Thony the flying ant, Cassie Lang, Darren Cross, Scott Lang, Hank Pym, Hope Van Dyne, Luis, Janet Van Dyne as The Wasp, and Yellowjacket.

     At the end of the announcement of this being a Playstation timed exclusive deal, there was a little tidbit extra about a season pass and its contents:
"Keep an eye out for the season pass content that we’ll be bringing your way featuring classic comic content as well as content from Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D."
     Source [ Playstation Blog ]


11.22.63: First Full Trailer

     Hulu has released the new full trailer for its Stephen King adaptation of the book 11.22.63, and it is appears it'll be the best adaptation of any of his works into cinematic form.

     If you haven't read the massive tome, I highly recommend it.  It is truly a love story surrounded by intrigue, mystery, and time travel.  In short, a masterpiece, and Hulu seems to have nailed the right feel for the show.

     11.22.63 begins on Hulu President's Day (Feb. 15th) 2016.


TMNT: Portal Power: Launch Trailer

     Nickelodeon's wonderful Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles television show has received yet another mobile game, out today for iOS and Android devices today, called TMNT: Portal Power.

Help the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles travel through portals and fight evil in this action-packed street fighting game. Play as all four Ninja Turtles at once as you punch, kick, power-up and portal your way through outrageous dimensions to stop Shredder and the Kraang from unleashing another diabolical plot.
     Portal Power is a tap-and-swipe brawler reminiscent of the awesome old-school TMNT brawlers from the 80's, with a notable homage of dimension-hopping to the pinnacle of all the TMNT games, Turtles in Time.  The game looks to play very similar to the official Bay and Liebesman Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie tie-in, Brothers Unite, that came out in 2014.  Which is a very good thing, as that was a very good pocket brawler.

     The downside is the game costs $5.99, AND offers IAPs.

     The game can be bought here [ iOS ] [ Android ]

     For more of my Turtles related posts [ TMNT ]


The Oculus Rift: My Thoughts & Pre-orders Start Today!

     Last summer I attended 2D Con (aka Digital Destruction) here in Minnesota and was lucky enough to try out the Oculus Rift.  It's pretty damned amazing.  Which makes me very glad to know that pre-orders start today.

     I got to watch a short video of a roller coaster ride through a living room from the perspective of someone or something that was really small.  After that, I played Dangerous Elite on the system.  Let me tell you, flying a 3D space craft is quite disorienting without major planetary bodies to anchor yourself to, and it feels a little easy to get spun around and feel lost.  Even though the graphics might not be the best yet, and the programs run less smoothly than they could, it still fully achieves the simulation effect for the user- and that is the most important thing for virtual reality.

     But that fact is a testament to how effective the device is at simulating the 3D effects.  It gives the feeling of motion through visuals and sound.  Though the rig I played on seemed a bit sluggish, as technology improves the systems should get quite a bit better for the upcoming 3D games, and I really look forward to seeing what people can do with it and how they can push the boundaries of it's uses.  I'm looking at you Hideo Kojima!

     I want to see creative and innovative uses, things that wow me while maintaining a fun factor.  Because virtual reality is still early on, it's very exciting to see what will be coming of it in the next few years.  This is going to be a literal game changer for everyone.  Can you imagine how epic a fully 3D Elder Scrolls, Fallout, or Borderlands game could be?  There's infinite potential with this type of technology.

     The Rift is currently priced at $599.00 (USD) and will begin shipping on March 28th, with a few select retailers in "limited locations" having them in store in April.

     The specs to run this beast:
  • graphics card: NVIDIA GTX 970 / AMD R9 290 equivalent or greater
  • processor: Intel i5-4590 equivalent or greater
  • memory: 8GB+ RAM
  • output: Compatible HDMI 1.3 video output
  • input: 3x USB 3.0 ports plus 1x USB 2.0 port
  • operating system: Windows 7 SP1 64 bit or newer
     If you are unsure if your system can handle these specs they've provided an Oculus Compatibility Tool to make sure if it'll work or not for you.

     Personally, I won't be able to afford the hefty price tag for the Oculus, but it's amazing to see the list of games coming out for it.  Although I think their estimates might be a little exaggerated- but then again, they say there'll be more than 100 titles.  I'll certainly be saving up for one of these bad boys for a while.

     To pre-order [ Oculus Rift ]

Power Man & Iron Fist #1: Heroes for Hire Reunited!

     Hot on the heels of the Jessica Jones Netflix series, featuring fan-favorite bullet-proof skinned Luke Cage, is a new comic book series featuring old pals Luke "Power Man" Cage and Danny "Iron Fist" Rand.

     The Heroes for Hire return for the greatest comics action-bromance possible- in a tale full of crime, goons, magic, and a whole lot of punching.

     The series is written by David Walker, featuring the spectacular art Sanford Greene.  This is definitely a book to watch for!

     Power Man and Iron Fist #1 hits shelves Feb. 17th.

     Source [ Comic Book Resources ]


Wayward Souls: Getting a MASSIVE Update!

     While we wait for the release of Rocketcat Games' upcoming Death Road to Canada, they've announced massive updates to Five Card Quest and Wayward Souls.  As Wayward Souls is one of the best games out there, the update will give it another amazing boost and hopefully revitalize all of us players.  They've submitted the update and are just waiting for Apple's approval for a mid-to-late January release (pending approval).

     Wayward Souls update:
"New pet system! You have a 15% chance per floor of finding one of 29 different pets. 
Most provide different stat bonuses, but some can even attack. 
Testing out a new animation system using the pets. If it goes well, we're going to expand all the animations for the mobile versions so everything's animation is smoother with more frames. 
Tweaks and fixes. 
Some new rare content added."
     The pets will allow for special abilities and boosts, such as adding to critical hit chances, finding more coins, or even assisting by attacking enemies.  As for the kinds of pets we'll be getting, Kepa Auwae has posted some useful information on the official Touch Arcade forums about them and the tiers you can find them in by rarity:
Tier 1 (first pet you find is always from tier 1) - Wyren Pup, Auburn Piglet, Fenner Cat, Amber Slug, Cave Newt, Fairy, Brown Rat, Little Ghost 
Tier 2 - Slime Spawn, Dustpup, Black Cat, White Rooster, Sprite, Golden Hog, Fire Salamander, Sparkling Fairy, Albino Rat, Bogslug, Bloodsoul, Mine bat, Silken Spider, Cave Crab
Tier 3 (super rare) - Gnomey, RocketCat, Demonskull, Sonic the Hedgehog, Duck, Chatterpile, Tiny Eye
     In addition to the awesome pets and animation update, we'll also be getting a new character update a bit later alongside of the PC release.  The Paladin (the character you play in the prologue), who is so overpowered compared to the others, he'll be getting his own game mode to play in.  That update will be large enough to warrant a price hike to the game, so if you haven't already bought it, you might want to do so quickly.

     Update: I emailed Rocketcat and they've responded that the updates will be coming to Android devices as well.

     Sources [ Rocketcat Facebook ] [ Touch Arcade ]

TMNT: Out of the Shadows: Bay Movie Krang (Kraang) Toys Leaked

     The upcoming sequel to the Michael Bay produced Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie, subtitled Out of the Shadows, looks to be including the famed Dimension X villain Krang (or Kraang for the newer fans), as well as at least a small version of the Technodrome!  These leaks are brought to us via leaked toy catalog.

     It's good to see Krang has ditched the bright red wrestler's speedo for a more mechanical look.

     Also included in the catalog are a Stealth Disguise Leonardo, a Wingsuit Raphael, and Michelangelo in a Pirate costume. 

     And as a little addition to the visual look, Rolling Stone magazine had an interview with Michael Bay posted yesterday with a wonderful little treat about his thoughts on Krang's appearance:
Pablo Helman shows Bay the latest version of Krang, a new-to-the-movies villain who is, essentially, a disembodied brain inside a giant robot. "So we've eliminated the tentacles," Helman explains. "Is it too monster-ish?" 
"He could have some tentacles," says Bay. "I just don't want them coming out of the side. He looks like a stupid octopus."
     That's a pretty accurate description.  Hilarious and accurate.

     For more of my Turtles related posts [ TMNT ]

     Sources [ ToyArk ] [ Rolling Stone ]



TMNT: Platinum Games' Mutants in Manhattan: Achievement List

     There's a ton of leaked info for the upcoming, and still officially unannounced Teenage Mutant Ninja TurtlesMutants in Manhattan by Platinum Games coming out in rapid succession.  First there was the initial leak, then the cover art, now we get an entire achievement list!

     What is so huge about this leaked achievements list, is it gives a monstrous amount of potential spoilers, and more important- hints as to what the game actually will be like.  I won't post the list in case you readers want to avoid spoilers, so click either the link above or the source link below to read them if you like.

     To be frank, the list is super exciting as there's online multiplayer (with things that might be PvP team-based modes), 3 story mode difficulties, boss battles, secret bosses, actual stealth mechanics, and what sounds very much like a proper open world city area for us to roam and fight in.  There is so much potential here and it sounds amazing.  The TMNT have needed a revitalization in video game form for years, and it's great to see we may finally be getting it.

     If Platinum Games' work on Transformers: Devastation is any indication of what their Turtles game could be like, it looks to be a very bright future for our green brothers.

     For more of my Turtles related posts [ TMNT ]

     Sources [ XBOX Achievements ] via [ Lifelower ]

Oraia Rift: Oracle of Oraia: iOS Review (iPad Mini)

     I recall first hearing about Oraia Rift back in August of 2015, and got a hold of a copy shortly after.  Although I must applaud Compassgames' effort because getting into the industry and making games is hard for indies, and for such a small team they put in a decent job.  I think it was just one person, which is impressive in itself.  That being said, the game isn't good.

     Some sites had been saying that Oraia Rift was very much like The Legend of Zelda series and as far as I can tell it only has minor similarities, such as going on quests, finding spells to unlock new areas, and a few secrets laying around.
     You play as one of a handful of characters on a truly vague and generic quest with few accurate details about what exactly you are doing other than pushing Rift Dwellers out of the world and back to where they came from.  Same old save the world storyline as pretty much every other game ever.  There's also a whole bunch of nothing filling the strange world(s) you are travelling through.  Seriously, the game feels very empty and open, and the map-less level design compounds the problem greatly.  Getting lost is easy when everything looks the same.  A few scattered NPCs wander back and forth with little to say, a lonely vendor with minuscule upgrades (1 per vendor), and enemies that spawn randomly to hit you pretty hard if you don't constantly backtrack to break jars to refill health and mana.

     The overall game is very sparse and the action is quite clumsy.  To kill even the most menial enemy, you have to button-mash for too long, as they are insanely durable, and the stuns placed by spells knock them so far away that by the time you get over to them to attack, they've already recovered and retaliate.  There's enough hacking at enemies to get tedious instantly, the spells can have long delays in activating, and the characters get caught on ground geometry and stopped from moving with a very high frequency, and the camera is frustrating as hell to use.  The game boils down to a tolerance of the monotony of constantly trekking back and forth across the world on fetch quests and relies on the shallow and boring combat gameplay to fill in bits here or there.  Oh, yeah, and there's some simple puzzles to solve to access new things like opening doors with a wind spell, or lighting torches with a fireball to open a gate.

     Because I don't want the review to sound too harsh, I have to list some of the good things.  I really enjoyed the washed out art style.  And I really like some of the monster designs, specifically the turtle guys and the water temple sentinels (both can be seen in my screen captures).  The great designs are at least a good sign for the future games Compassgames goes on to make.  It is pretty easy to tell which zone you are in just by the overall color scheme.  So you might be lost in a level, but at least you'll know which level you are in.

     I played Oraia Rift and keep returning to it to see if there's been any progress since it released.  Honestly, there's been a lot of small things changed, including the addition of a roll button- separated from the attack/talk/open/etc button- as well as moving the 4 spells from the bottom to 2 on each side of the screen which is far more helpful than I thought it would be.  The game has been steadily getting better and better, but it still isn't quite good enough for me to recommend it to anyone.
     Despite these changes the game is still sub par.  There is a lot of work that needs to be done, and plenty of improvements could be made, to make it worthwhile.  This might have been a great 3-4 hour game, but it was stretched out to 10 hours and it kills any enjoyment that may have been had.  Keeping the game short would've helped players tolerate or overlook the flaws.

     Oraia Rift feels like what it really is- the learning experience of someone who was focused more on the process of making games than the homage to Playstation 1 games it could have been.  Which I think is actually good, because Compassgames' next game looks to be far superior already, and it appears they've learned a lot.  I look forward to seeing a much tighter, better playing game experience from this developer.