Monthly Archives: June 2015

Preorders for Early Launch of Steam Hardware Sold Out

Earlier this month Valve opened preorders for its Steam hardware, with the added bonus that you’d be able to get your purchase a month early. Now, the first wave of preorders has sold out.

Valve today announced that this special preorder window for Alienware Steam Machines, Steam Link, and Steam Controllers is over. If you had jumped on a preorder early, you’ll get your hardware on October 16. Otherwise, you’ll have to wait until November 10. However, the hardware is still available for normal preorders through Steam.

Steam Machines are gaming PCs designed for use in the living room, running SteamOS and coming with a Steam Controller. Several hardware companies are selling them, such as Alienware, Asus, and iBuyPower. You can read more about them here.

Steam Link, on the other hand, lets you stream games from a PC in a different room to a TV. You’ll have to have your own gaming rig to take advantage of a Steam Link, but it costs only $50. If you just want a Steam Controller to connect to your PC, that also costs $50.

Are you going to buy any Steam hardware? Let us know in the comments.

GTA-Inspired Retro City Rampage Being Ported to MS-DOS PCs

Retro City Rampage, the Grand Theft Auto-inspired adventure game from developer Vblank, is being ported to another platform: MS-DOS.

That’s right, the operating system released in 1981 is getting one more game. Announced on Facebook, this port will run on Intel 486 PCs, and it will require 3.7 megabytes of hard drive space and 4 MB of RAM. The developer stated in the post that owners of the PC and Mac versions of the game can pick up the new port for free.

The port will include all the features of the original game, including the open world and all of the game modes. The developer wrote, “[this port] proudly demonstrates once again thathttp://www.gamespot.com/grand-theft-auto-2/ RCR isn’t yet-another-retro-styled game, but something that could’ve actually been released in 1989.”

Vblank has brought the game to numerous different consoles and platforms. So far, you can play Retro City Rampage on PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, Vita, Wii, 3DS, Xbox 360, and PC. Vblank also created a prototype Nintendo Entertainment System port of the game.

ReCore – Interview with Keiji Inafune and Mark Pacini

Watch the ReCore trailer with commentary directly from the game’s creators, Keiji Inafune and Mark Pacini.

What you should know about the latest quest DLC for The Witcher 3

We get an exclusive look at the third side quest DLC for The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. Find out without any spoilers if this excursion is worth your time.

Mass Effect – GameSpot Plays

GameSpot’s interns test out backwards compatibility on the Xbox One with one of their favorite games: Mass Effect.

Sniper Elite Dev Remaking 1998 FPS/RTS Battlezone

Rebellion, developer of the Sniper Elite series, recently revealed the first trailer of its upcoming virtual reality reboot of the classic arcade game, Battlezone. Following fan feedback, the studio just announced that it is also remaking the 1998 Battlezone, a first-person shooter/real-time strategy hybrid, for the PC.

In a post on its website, the developer explained that the decision to remaster the ’98 Battlezone came about after fans continued to ask questions about the newer game. The studio wrote, “Naturally when we made our announcement last week some of you asked, ‘But what about the newer Battlezone games? What are you doing with them?’ Well, we’ve read your comments, articles, emails, and posts and we’ve seen your love for these games–so we wanted to make [this] announcement.”

Not much else is known about this remaster; Rebellion explained that it’s still very much in the early days of development.

The 1998 Battlezone reboot is a mix of a first-person shooter and an RTS, letting players build a base while also fighting other enemies from a first-person perspective. It was very well-received upon release; GameSpot gave the game a 9.4 in our review.

This title is far different than both the original arcade game from 1980 and Rebellion’s other Battlezone remake project. The other remake channels the arcade game, focusing on tank combat and a graphical style evocative of the original. Rebellion is building it for virtual reality headsets on the PC and PlayStation 4.

Dr. Mario: Miracle Cure Review

The Dr. Mario series’ has always provided great puzzling action despite its no-frills design. Conceived during the 8-bit years, when Tetris had recently exploded on the scene, Dr. Mario stood out for its peculiarities. In the first proper 3DS installment in the series, Dr. Mario: Miracle Cure, the formula is tweaked ever so slightly, providing you with something new to try even if you spent far too many hours playing the original version on the NES or the bite-sized chunks that appeared more recently in the NES Remix series.

Despite the adjustments, the core design remains intact. You still move colored pills as they fall into the play area, flipping them around in an effort to line up four or more pill segments and viruses of the same color. Find success, and maladies and medicine disappear, leaving you with more room to maneuver. You win when all the nasty bugs are gone, or you lose if the rising wall reaches the top of the screen.

The “Miracle Cure” part of the game refers to special new power-ups that now appear by default. These drop periodically once you fill up a meter that rests alongside the play area. There are four types. One variety looks like a bomb and vaporizes anything within range once it lands. Another is V-shaped. If you match it with several pills or viruses of the same color, everything on the screen that matches that hue will vanish. A circular capsule with a “C” engraved on it wipes out all its brethren but leaves the viruses in play. Finally, arrow formations eliminate all objects in a horizontal row, a vertical column, or a cross pattern.

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Nowhere are the miraculous power-ups featured more prominently than in the game’s new mode, Miracle Cure Laboratory. It presents 50 puzzles that ease players into the game’s design, and you can use the tutorial option if you need more assistance. The available stages are quite fun, particularly because some of them force you to play in ways you otherwise might not try. A few of the challenges are genuinely puzzling, relying on more than just twitch reflexes as you get rid of virus clusters. For example, you might need to stack pills in a column so they reach the same elevation as a series of vertical arrows and then drop a horizontal arrow in place so it eliminates and activates those other arrows. It’s a shame there aren’t more puzzles available, though. Even a middling Dr. Mario player probably won’t require more than 3 or 4 hours to conquer them all, which just doesn’t feel like enough when every other mode borrows so heavily from past house calls.

The game’s title doesn’t make it obvious, but Mario isn’t the only physician on the scene. Luigi also returns for an encore performance, following his 2013 starring turn in Dr. Luigi on Wii U. The lankier brother throws pills that are stuck together in L-shaped formations. Dealing with them requires a different sort of planning because the combos that are a good idea when Mario hands out doses are now practically required. If you can’t think a few steps ahead, you’re in for a bit of trouble. It’s fun for a few rounds, but also exasperating compared to Mario’s more conventional treatment, because a run of unhelpful pills turns into a disaster twice as quickly.

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Outside the Miracle Cure Laboratory mode waits the Custom Clinic, which you can configure as you see fit. Here, you can choose between Mario and Luigi, depending on which pill formations sound the most interesting at the time. Then you can either compete against an AI opponent or a wall of viruses that slowly rises as you place pieces. If you go with the former option, things can get frustrating if you don’t play quickly. When the AI makes a lot of matches in short order, you must deal with handicaps. Blocks suddenly might refuse to turn, or pressing left on the d-pad might make a block move in the opposite direction. Such effects only last a short while, but they make things difficult in a way that extra debris does not. That’s not necessarily an improvement, but at least it’s different.

If you’re looking to enjoy an experience that precisely matches the old NES game, you’re out of luck. The Custom Clinic is as close as you’ll get, but there are some differences. You no longer have the option to start with only a few pills and then advance from stage to stage, which at one time was standard in a number of Nintendo’s puzzle games. If that’s how you want to play, you’re better off turning to Dr. Mario on the Virtual Console.

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Much like Luigi and his wonky capsules, the Virus Buster mode appeared previously in Dr. Luigi. In this mode, the player holds the 3DS sideways and uses a stylus to manipulate pills instead of the d-pad and face buttons. The action’s pace slows substantially here, and it needed to. Flipping and dropping pills with a stylus doesn’t feel nearly as intuitive because it’s easy to accidentally flip a pill when you intended to drag and drop it. That kind of mistake can ruin your whole game if you aren’t allowed at least a split-second to recover. The slower pace also allows multiple pills to eventually start dropping at once. You can move them around in any order you like or even grab falling debris to set up combos on the fly. It’s an interesting switch from the norm, and things get fairly frantic on the higher settings, though Virus Buster doesn’t lend itself to lengthy sessions in the way that classic Dr. Mario modes do.

Multiplayer modes make up for most of the ancillary modes’ shortcomings, at least, and could go a long way toward keeping Miracle Cure in heavy rotation if you have interested friends. You can play locally with a buddy (Download Play is offered in the event he or she hasn’t purchased the game and doesn’t mind you choosing the rules that govern play), or you can battle on the Nintendo Network. In either case, you have your choice of doctor, and Miracle Cures can be disabled if you prefer, though the lack of stage progression keeps this option from allowing a proper replica of the original Dr. Mario. When you play online, rankings are tracked for each different setup, which should keep things competitive if enough people play. Currently, though, the online scene is rather barren.

Considering how long Dr. Mario has been around, the modifications here serve as a pleasant surprise and manage to inject a fresh element into a puzzling experience that is by now a bit long in the tooth. Even without the new content, Dr. Mario: Miracle Cure is a worthwhile addition to the serious puzzle fan’s gaming library. It just doesn’t offer enough that’s new compared to Dr. Luigi to warrant a glowing recommendation if you already invested in that other recent release.

Halo 5: Guardians Dev Clarifies How Microtransactions Work in Multiplayer

During E3 2015, Halo 5: Guardians developer 343 Industries revealed that the upcoming shooter will have microtransactions. These purchases come in the form of REQ Packs, which contain cosmetic items, vehicles, and other gear.

343 already promised that only cosmetic items would be allowed in the game’s Arena multiplayer mode, but some fans questioned the inclusion of gear and vehicle REQ Packs in the Warzone mode. In a community question and answer on the Halo Waypoint website, the developer has clarified that there are systems in place to prevent Warzone from becoming pay-to-win.

When asked about the packs, designer Josh Holmes explained that these items will not be immediately deployable in a multiplayer match. Rather, players have to kill enemies and achieve objectives to gain enough “energy” to use them.

“Deployment of REQ items is limited by the REQ Level and Energy systems that govern the Warzone experience,” Holmes wrote. “Each REQ item costs a certain amount of Energy to deploy. Everybody starts at REQ Level 1 at the beginning of each match and you gain levels based on your actions in the game.”

He continued: “Capturing bases, killing AI, taking out AI Bosses and killing enemy players will help you level up within the match. The more powerful the REQ, the more energy you need to deploy it–so, for example, you can spend two energy points to deploy a Warthog or save up until you reach REQ Level 5 and spend all of your energy to deploy a more powerful Banshee. Energy replenishes at a set rate over time, and you gain a bonus energy point every time you level up.”

He also clarified the different tiers of REQ Packs available to purchase. “Players will be able to redeem Requisition Points for three different tiers of REQ Packs in the game: Bronze, Silver and Gold. We also offer Premium tier packs as part of the [special editions] of the game. Each level of REQ Pack determines the quality of the REQs inside. For example, a Gold REQ Pack has a chance of including Legendary requisitions, while a Bronze REQ Pack does not.”

Halo 5: Guardians launches on October 27 for the Xbox One. You can read our E3 impressions of Halo 5 here. You can also read about the Halo 5 special edition and the Halo HoloLens demo.

Mortal Kombat X Leak Reveals Predator Gameplay and More

Ahead of Predator’s release in July for Mortal Kombat X, new gameplay footage and screenshots of the fighter have emerged by way of an extensive leak.

Xbox user Sonicdude20th has uploaded a series of videos showing off Predator and Carl Weathers Jax taking on a series of challengers. These videos–which highlight finishing moves, variations, and more–may get pulled, so watch them here while you can.

Reddit user grassisalwayspurpler has compiled some screengrabs for Predator and Carl Weathers Jax, among others. Take a closer look at these images in the gallery at the bottom of this post.

Predator will mark the third DLC character to be released for the game following Jason Voorhees and Tanya. All three characters were previously confirmed to be coming as DLC along with Tremor. So far, they’ve each been made available as their own individual purchases as well as in the $30 Kombat Pack.

If you want to try Predator without paying, you just have to be patient–like regular characters, DLC fighters may be featured in the game’s challenge tower, allowing everyone a chance to fight as them.

Via: Eventhubs

Bethesda Exec: Fallout Shelter Needed to Come on the Heels of Fallout 4 Reveal

Fallout developer Bethesda announced and released Fallout Shelter for iOS during its E3 2015 press conference. The mobile installment in the Fallout series quickly rose to the top of the App Store charts and held the number three spot for revenue for several days.

But Bethesda was uncertain about how Fallout Shelter would do. According to a new interview from GamesIndustry with Bethesda Marketing VP Pete Hines, the studio had to wait on the huge announcement of Fallout 4 before talking about Fallout Shelter. Even then, Bethesda was uncertain about how its new foray into mobile gaming would do.

“If we tried to do this last year without announcing what Bethesda Game Studios was doing [Fallout 4] and said, ‘Oh we’re doing a game and it’s on mobile and it’s called Fallout Shelter,’ we’d probably get lynched, right?” Hines said. “There would be pitchforks at the gate. ‘That’s not the Fallout we asked for, you bastards!’ But doing it this way, they’re like, ‘I’m getting what I want and oh, by the way, while I wait here’s this other free thing that’s fun to play.'”

Bethesda is known for its big console and PC RPGs like Fallout and the Elder Scrolls series. It has not spent much time in the past working in the mobile space, and so Hines described how the studio didn’t really know what to expect from the launch of Fallout Shelter.

Hines stated, “To be honest, I’m not sure what we expected. It’s not like we’re a pretty well-known iOS and iPhone developer where we’ve been down this road before and it’s going to go like this. But it seemed like it ought to be pretty popular, the whole idea of, ‘This thing exists and you can go play it today.’ On the back of all the Fallout 4 stuff, we thought it would do well, but we weren’t sure how well. Suffice to say, we’re pretty pleased right now with how well it’s doing.”

But the studio isn’t content to just allow the game to exist as it is now. Hines went on to reveal that Bethesda has plans for Fallout Shelter, including the possibility of adding new content to the game. He also said that the developer probably won’t begin massive advertising campaigns for Fallout Shelter, although fans should expect some marketing in the future.

“We’re going to at some point do some marketing around it,” he explained. “At this point we’ve essentially done none. And we do have plans for supporting it going forward in the way of content, ideas we have and things we want to try… This is not meant to be a Game of War, Clash of Clans, or Boom Beach competitor. It’s trying to do something different and I don’t know whether or not I see us doing Fallout Shelter TV commercials for it. But that’s something we’ve talked about, and we tend to never rule anything out even if we say, well that’s not something we’re going to do right now.”

Fallout Shelter launched amid a bunch of new reveals about Fallout 4 during Bethesda’s press conference. Fallout 4 will be released on November 10 for PC, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4. Fallout Shelter is currently only available for iOS devices, but Bethesda is planning on putting it on Android devices soon.