E3 2012: The Big Games List

 

The Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) is quickly approaching. Press conferences begin on Monday, June 4thfollowed by the show on June 5th through June 7th, expect a ton of surprises to be revealed during the show.

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2K GAMES
Spec Ops: The Line (360, PS3, PC)
Borderlands 2 (360, PS3, PC)
XCOM: Enemy Unknown (360,PS3, PC)

ATLUS
Persona 4 Arena (360, PS3)
Persona 4 Golden (Vita)

BOHEMIA INTERACTIVE
ArmA III (PC)
Carrier Command: Gaea Mission (360, PS3, PC)

CAPCOM
Resident Evil 6 (360, PS3, PC)
Lost Planet 3 (360, PS3, PC)
DmC (360, PS3)
Street Fighter x Tekken (Vita)

CCP
Dust 514 (PS3)

ELECTRONIC ARTS
Battlefield 3: Armored Kill (360, PS3, PC)
Battlefield 3: Close Quarters (360, PS3, PC)
Crysis 3 (360, PS3, PC)
FIFA Soccer 13 (360, PS3, PC)
Madden NFL 13 (PS3, 360, Wii, Vita)
Medal of Honor Warfighter (360, PS3, PC)
NCAA Football 13 (360, PS3)
NHL 13 (360, PS3)
SimCity (PC)
Outernauts (Facebook)
World Series of Poker (iOS)

HARMONIX
Rock Band Blitz (XBLA, PSN)

LARIAN STUDIOS
Dragon Commander (360, PS3, PC)
Divinity Project

MAJESCO
NBA Baller Beats (360)
Zumba Fitness (360)

NAMCO
Star Trek: The Game (360, PS3, PC)
Tekken Tag Tournament 2 (360, PS3)
Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch (PS3)
Dark Souls: Prepare to Die Edition (PC)
Dragon Ball Z for Kinect (360)
One Piece: Pirate Warriors (PSN)

NINTENDO
Pikmin 3 (Wii U)
Super Mario Wii U (Wii U)

PERFECT WORLD ENTERTAINMENT
Neverwinter (PC)
Raiderz (PC)

SEGA
Aliens: Colonial Marines (360, PS3, PC, Wii U)
Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed (360, 3DS, PC, PS3, Vita)

SNOWBIRD GAME STUDIOS
Eador: Masters of the Broken World (PC)

SONY ONLINE ENTERTAINMENT
PlanetSide 2 (PC)
DC Universe Online (PS3, PC)
Free Realms (PS3, PC)
Star Wars: Clone Wars Adventures (PC)
EverQuest (PC)
EverQuest II (PC)
Vanguard: Saga of Heroes (PC)

SQUARE ENIX
Hitman: Absolution (360, PS3, PC)
Tomb Raider (360, PS3, PC)
Sleeping Dogs (360, PS3, PC)
Quantum Conundrum (360, PS3, PC)
Heroes of Ruin (3DS)
Kingdom Hearts 3D Dream Drop Distance (3DS)
Theatrhythm Final Fantasy (3DS)

TECMO KOEI
Dead or Alive 5 (360, PS3)

THQ 
Darksiders II (360, PS3, PC, Wii U)
Metro Last Light (360, PS3, PC, Wii U)

TRION
Defiance (360, PC, PS3)
End of Nations (PC)
Rift (PC)

UBISOFT
Far Cry 3 (PS3, 360, PC)
Rayman Legends (Wii U)
Assassin’s Creed III (360, PS3, PC, Wii U)
Rocksmith (360, PS3, PC)
ShootMania Storm (PC)

ZEN STUDIOS
Zen Pinball 2 (PS3, Vita)
Marvel Pinball: Avengers Chronicles (360, PS3, Vita)
Marvel Pinball 3D (3DS)

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Source: IGN

Dishonored Release Date and GameTralier Debut…

Emergent assassin has just announced a October 9 north american release date for the promising first person shooter “Dishonored” which will be available to buy October 9 in North America, October 11 in Australia and October 12 in Europe.

If you have been following Arkane’s Studios Dishonored you’ve notice the hype and popularly surrounding the once mysterious shooter, with the designers Harvey Smith and Raf Colantonio aiming to bring close quarters combat ans sand box magic of Dexus Ex in on game world. With Half-life 2 artist Viktor Antonov providing his talents to city of Dunwall a totalitarian warren influenced by the architecture of old London.

 

Preview – NCAA Football 13

Summers almost here and that means another year of EA’s College football with new gameplay ti wicks and promise of more improvements EA plans to step it up for the new year!

Down Below are a list of some changes and new feature that have been made, for more info checkout the NCAA Football 13 website for trailers and screenshots

Release Date: July 10, 2012
Early Release: Juyl 7, 2012 / Season Ticket
Player: 1-4, Online Multiplayer 1-2
Platforms: Xbox 360, PlayStation  3

GAMEPLAY OVERVIEW

With a new passing system that changes the way quarterbacks and receivers play and respond, combined with a new read and react defensive AI system, NCAA Football 13 delivers greater realism on the virtual gridiron.

TOTAL CONTROL PASSING

Passing is more important than ever in the realm of collegiate football, and NCAA Football 13 has taken great strides to give users unparalleled control over this element of the game. Total Control Passing allows quarterbacks to lead their receivers into open space, and reconfigured passing trajectories to allow QBs to drop their passes in between layers of coverage without leading receivers out of bounds and while also maintaining a realistic throwing velocity.

Receiver Awareness – All those times when you’d complete a pass well before the receiver completed his route? You’re not going to be doing those as much if EA has its way. This year, the icons over receivers will light up when a player is expecting a pass. This doesn’t mean he’s open. This just means the receiver is looking for the ball. Similarly, you can throw when the icon isn’t lit up, but the chances of a catch are lower.

 

 

 

 

 

 

READ & REACT DEFENSE

Passing isn’t the only revamped element of NCAA Football 13; pass coverage has been overhauled as well. Gone are the days of “Psychic DBs” and “Super Linebackers,” as the new Read & React Defensive AI system requires defenders to see the ball before they make a play on it. This means defenders will react in a much more realistic manner, only making plays on the ball when they actually see it in the air. Now well-executed pump fakes or play action plays are more dangerous than ever, and defenders who lose track of the ball will be hard-pressed to contain their offensive counterparts.

DYNASTY OVERVIEW

Studio Updates and ESPN Bottom Line bring you the stories of Saturday, featuring live studio updates from earlier matchups and games in progress. Kirk Herbstreit, Brad Nessler, Erin Andrews and now Rece Davis of ESPN provide authentic and enhanced commentary on all the action. In addition, recruiting now goes deeper than ever with updates to dynamic pitches. For the first time, recruiting grades can change each week based on your performance in Dynasty mode.

STUDIO UPDATES

Studio Updates will occur dynamically throughout each game, keeping fans up-to-date with scores and news from across the country, just like during game days on ESPN. Rece Davis, the newest addition to the commentary team, will provide players with live updates from the studio throughout each Dynasty game

The implementation of the ESPN Bottom Line ticker will keep fans up-to-date throughout the NCAA Football 13 Dynasty experience, with a new simulation process that now evaluates games being played in real time before and during a game. Priority Score Alerts, Final Alerts and Upset Alerts will be displayed just as they do during game day broadcasts.

SCOUTING & RECRUITING IMPROVEMENTS

The new scouting feature provides fans a detailed experience while scouting a new recruiting class. Starting in the pre-season, each coach will have an allotted amount of time to scout players and determine attributes to unlock their overall rating, gaining familiarity and knowledge about their players’ abilities in the regular season.

Recruiting pitches have been updated to include dynamic grades, allowing users to improve their University ratings and sell their school to top prospects through the influence of various actions in Dynasty Mode. Fourteen unique pitches have been created to reflect certain categories in Dynasty and will be updated continuously, including Championship Contender, Coach Prestige, Coach Stability, Conference Prestige, TV Exposure, Pro Potential, Stadium Atmosphere, Playing Style, Program Tradition, Playing Time, Proximity to Home, Academic Prestige, Athletic Facilities and Campus Lifestyle.

 

 

 

 

 

 

New updates have also been made to the following:

  • Enhanced Phone Calls
  • Breaking into the Top 10
  • Triple Threat Athletes

SIGHTS AND SOUNDS OVERVIEW

Revel in the pageantry of college football game days with NCAA Football 13. Featuring new team run-outs, mascots and pre-game traditions along with significantly enhanced audio and new trophy presentations, NCAA Football 13 will deliver the passion and excitement of college football to fans across the nation.

SIGHTS

With new trophy presentations, motion blur rendering, progressive lighting and an expanded broadcast presentation, NCAA Football 13 brings a defined sense of realism to light up game days. Pre-game traditions feature several new schools, including.

  •  Purdue Boilermaker run-out
  • Military parachutists for Army, Navy and Air Force
  • Oklahoma State Paddle Fans
  • Texas Cheerleaders
  • USC Song Girls

SOUNDS

The NCAA Football 13  audio team sent audio directors and designers to more than 20 schools across the nation to capture the energy of game days, recording new crowd chants and stadium buzz. Commentary has been improved with genuine dialogue and unscripted banter between Kirk Herbstreit and Brad Nessler, following a new recording process that blurs the line between virtual football commentary and true broadcast presentation.

 

 

Microsoft is planning to launch a $99 Xbox 360 package

Microsoft is planning to launch a $99 Xbox 360 package with a monthly subscription in the US

Sources close to Mircosoft has release some info on Microsoft plan to launch a $99 Xbox 360 Package deal which includes 4GB console with Kinect, it looks like this will happened sometime next week..

The console will require a monthly fee of $15 over a two-year subscription, Xbox Live Gold will be included and maybe other additional stream content form some cable providers.

Customers who sign up for the subscription will also has the two-year warranty Sources also say Microsoft  plans to position the package as a competitor to Apple TV, Roku, and PlayStation 3.

For those buying the bundle now and getting the cheapest two-year Xbox Live Gold option, that’s about $299.00 + $120 = $420 vs. $459 over a duration of two years.

It looks as if Microsoft is trying to pump some life into the Xbox 360 with this deal, But I gotta say it sounds like Microsoft is starting there own rent to own deal.

 

 

Review – The Walking Dead: A New Day Episode 1 – Xbox 360

Walking Dead fans get excited. The first installment of Telltale Games, The Walking Dead 5 part game series is here and it’s good! In case you’ve missed all the news, it’s now available on PC, Mac, Xbox 360 and PS3 for the pittance of $5 per episode.

Background

I played The Walking Dead: A New Day on the Xbox 360 and the game took about 2 to 2 ½ hours to complete. You play as Lee Everett, a convicted murder who, because of the recent zombie outbreak, finds himself injured and trying to survive in a world that no longer makes any sense. Lee soon meets a little girl named Clementine, who has been alone for days and is bad ass enough to have survived on her own. They quickly bond and the adventure begins.

Along your travels you meet a bunch of different characters that are new to The Walking Dead cannon in addition to a couple familiar faces. Slowly, you begin to learn some of your character’s back story and get a feel for the other characters in the game.

Graphics

The game itself has both a mix of the T.V. show and the comic book and strikes a really awesome balance between the two. Since some of the people you run into along the way are characters we already know (and love) there is a familiarity with what is going on and the cel-shaded graphics makes the game look like you are right in the middle of the comic book. I love the graphics, there were times throughout the game that I couldn’t get over how close to the comic it really looked which added to the overall experience of the game. The game, like the show and comic book is very character development heavy, which is why I think that they are both as great and compelling as they are. The game does an excellent job really fleshing out the characters and making you either really like them or really hate them. There is one character in particular, Larry, that you meet along the way who really infuriated me. I kept hoping there would be a time somewhere in the game where I would be able to kick his ass.

Gameplay

While there’s not a ton of zombie action (a complaint I hear about all the time in regard to the T.V. show), I think it’s exactly the way it should be. The Walking Dead is about the characters, their coping strategies and if and how they survive through extreme circumstances. These aspects are perfectly captured in the game. The game is dialog and choice heavy, a kind of Choose Your Own Adventure game that is very interactive both in your decisions and with your in-game environment. This format is nice and gives you a good bang for your buck because you can play the game multiple different ways by simply choosing different answers.

Throughout The Walking Dead game you interact with people (and your environment) and are given multiple choices in your conversations. The choices are on a time limit (some seemed longer than others) and the choices you make affect your game play in the future. The characters you interact with remember the things you tell them, so if you lie, you better remember that in future conversations. The choice aspect of the game often times made me feel very tense and anxious, but in a good frantic kind of way. It made me feel like I really needed to think about the answers I was going to give and the choices I was going to make, except I didn’t have much time to think creating situations where I had to make snap decisions.

There were definitely some challenging parts to the game. There are a couple of tasks that you must complete to progress and they proved a little frustrating. After I figured out how to complete them it was a “smack yourself in the head” kind of moment, because they were not actually as difficult as I made them out to be. For the achievement hunters, you get all 8 achievements on the first run through just by completing the story. My only gripe, and it’s a minor one, is that there were a couple of times in the game that the camera angle/control got a little wonky, it didn’t actually affect my game play in any way but it was a little annoying.

Conclusion

It is well worth the $5 and at that price there is no excuse for Walking Dead fans to not get this game. I thoroughly enjoyed it and I can’t wait for the next episode!

Gameplay:★★★★★★★★½☆ 
Story:★★★★★★★★★☆ 
Visuals:★★★★★★★★★½ 
Overall:★★★★★★★★★☆ 

Bethesda’s Skyrim Getting Kinect Support!

Bethesda has recently announced later this month they will release an update which enables Kinect support for the Xbox 360, with Kinect’s support the game will have more than 200 different Voice Commands. The voice recognition will allow players to perform Dragon Shouts, Hotkey Equipping, Follower Commands and all menu’s with just your voice, new special map functions, hotkey options and the ability to organize items in your inventory by name, weight and Value.

With these new updates Bethesda is taking a great game and improving it even more, fans should enjoy these new updates and with Kinect support Bethesda will have more copies flying out of game store shelves.

 

Resident Evil 6 – C-Virus Trailer

Here’s the latest trailer for the highly anticipated Resident Evil 6, this trailer has some interesting parts like Chris and Jake Muller meeting and when Ada Wong captures Jake Muller and tells him he is son of the one and only Albert Wesker the last part of the trailer shows a potential plot twist when Leon and Chris meet up.

 

Capcom cranks out big announcements at Captivate 2012

Capcom gets pretty crazy with their Captivate show, jumping all over the world to announce their latest games and updates to the industry and fans. This year we get 3 goodies to sink our teeth into with some smaller tidbits as well.

  • Lost Planet 3
    • The extreme and unpredictable conditions that characterized the Lost Planet® series return, harsher than ever before in Lost Planet 3. Players take on the role of Jim, a utility rig pilot who has left Earth to take on a hazardous but lucrative contract on E.D.N. III. Delivering a diverse range of gameplay, including third-person on-foot battles and intense first-person utility rig action, players will need to brave the uncharted terrain, hostile climate and threat of indigenous Akrid creatures. With a number of multiplayer modes and a compelling single player experience, Lost Planet 3 will delve deeper into the Lost Planet universe, uncovering hidden truths when it releases in early 2013.
  • Resident Evil 6
    • Captivate represented the first opportunity for media to see the highly anticipated Resident Evil 6 in action, with the game’s development team showcasing one of Leon S. Kennedy’s missions. Full of tension, the action has Leon and partner Helena Harper searching for an escape route from the Ivy University campus, the site of the most recent bioterrorist outbreak and the zombies that now stalk its hallways and grounds.
    • Resident Evil 6 will also see a global release date of October 2, 2012 on Xbox 360 and PS3 with a PC version arriving later
  • Street Fighter X Tekken
    • Announced and showcased during Captivate was the Cross-Platform Play for the PS Vita system version of Street Fighter X Tekken which allows owners of the PS Vita system version to compete against owners of the PS3™ version anywhere in the world, via Wi-Fi or 3G. Other features confirmed for the PS Vita system version of Street Fighter X Tekken were the introduction of touch controls, local and Wi-Fi multiplayer plus Near functionality alongside all the content from the home console version.
  • Other news
    • Steel Battalion™ Heavy Armor, a collaboration between Capcom and From Software and an Xbox 360 exclusive,introduced a brand new online four player Cooperative Multiplayer Mode available on the Xbox LIVE® online entertainment network when the title releases on June 19 in North America and from June 22 across Europe. Attending media were invited to work together, using the innovative mix of Kinect™ for Xbox 360 and regular controller play, and defeat the enemy’s Vertical Tanks.

Review – Street Fighter x Tekken – Xbox 360

The wait is over, today Street Fighter x Tekken is here for fighting game fans to sink into, the epic battle uses SF4 style visuals with a complete overhaul to incorporate tag battles, refined gameplay and a gem system to twist up the gameplay. We did a hard crash course in Street Fighter x Tekken to figure out all the changes for the mechanics and how well a Tekken influence worked in this fireball controlled world.

Control

The 6 button fighting style is back, players that got used to the simplified mechanics of UMVC3 will face a bit of shock as the game balance goes heavily into the technical realm. Players will have to balance their own control system that works best for them, unfortunately while the 360 controller works well for so many other things, it struggles with something this deep. If you’ve been on the fence about an arcade stick, now is the time to make that jump into the world if you’re going to make this your full-time game. For those that push onward with the standard controller, expect a lot of thumb wear and tear until you break it in with a lot of matches.

Gameplay

Traditional brawler? Not a problem. Combo / tutorial player? They’ve got you covered too. It doesn’t matter exactly how you plan to play SFxT offline as long as you’re able to land and chain attacks together, the design allows anyone to improve gradually as they experiment and the AI doesn’t overpower right out of the gate.

One of the first shifts in fighting is the speed of the attacks, while some may have felt Street Fighter IV a bit slow or clunky it’s very much not the case here. Jabs and short attacks are quick and unforgiving, anyone with enough practice can tie these attacks into unforgiving chains that change the balance of a fight in a simple moment. One can go from a few shorts and hurricane kick into a team super attack that leaves the opponent either dead or wishing they were. To some extent this gets even worse when bringing in Tekken characters mid-attack as many of them tend to juggle opponents with less effort.

The Gem system is a foundation for Street Fighter x Tekken, the assist gems are always active in the game and allow players to coordinate pairings that help fill the gaps in their style.

Basic Gems

  • Attack (Red)
  • Defense (Yellow)
  • Speed (Green)
  • Vitality (Orange)
  • Cross Gauge (Blue)

There’s also the option of going without them and instead just using Boost Gems, the difference is the assists come with penalties on attack power, speed or other areas to help compensate for the gains allowed per match. Boost gems have limited activity periods and boost up to 30% for 10-30 seconds of activity in a match. Unfortunately the conditions for using them are pretty harsh, going from activating during a block, pulling off special moves or connecting to other attacks. It also goes both ways for those using the gems to boost defense, requiring things such as the opponent using Pandora to activate a level 3 defense.

Capcom was so nice to provide samples of the system in action

Default combinations

  • Super easy input – easier attack execution
  • Immense power level 1 – 10% damage boost
  • Iron wall level 2 – 20% damage reduction
Advanced combinations
  • Onslaught level 1 – 10% cross gauge boost
  • Divine speed level 1 – 10% speed increase
  • Immense power level 1 – 10% damage increase

The catch of course is trading up your own attacks or having a limited use of the perks like x amount of times you can use Iron Wall. There’s a lot more depth than one would have thought, it’s a matter of balance and sacrifice to get the job done and hoping that your opponent doesn’t play the same tactics as you.

Street fighter x Tekken still gets even deeper, cross rush, juggling, super charge attacks, ex moves, cross canceling, switch cancels, super arts and of course Pandora. Most of those are familiar to some level but Pandora takes attacks to a new level, it’s a 10 second boost of monstrous power when one of your characters falls to 1/4 strength or lower. The sacrifice is giving up that character for the rest of the round when you channel their energy into your partner, it’s a huge assist but it requires extra thought in the event your opponent still has high health gauges and you’re sure you wont need that partner again.

Story

The clash is on for possession of the Pandora, the mythical object holding untold power to the one who controls it, two rival groups set off to capture it for their own desires and a world battle erupts. Unfortunately the story falls relatively dead after that and the closing scene depending on the skill and characters leaves something to be desired. With something this huge it would be great to have a deeper investment after going through the work to develop such a great introduction anyway, unfortunately there are some really odd ending scripts that include even Zangief being turned Metro… They really went an odd route and I’m not sure if very many of these scripted closures will satisfy the fans or just leave them with blank faces for the next month.

Online play

We were able to get Street Fighter x Tekken online for a few matches, unfortunately one of the most prominent issues we noticed came from network lag, often the sound and attacks dropped out of the match turning some fights into quite a mess for either side. While we were able to get some normal matches it was a bit difficult to believe these matches could be enjoyable when playing cross-country or trying your luck overseas. In a France / Japan pair-up we  really saw how bad the impact could be but of course took into account we were sending signals across the world.

If our early impressions are any indicator of the competition online it would be best to get practicing on your best moves asap if you plan to run online. If you’re out for a casual run you might be hard pressed to get one as many are already knee-deep in running the same power moves over and over as you see in most other fighting games now. We understand there’s a demographic that thrives on this but at one point it becomes a battle of memorization vs tactics and anytime we disrupted their chains they fell apart until they could start it again.

Visuals

Graphically Street Fighter x Tekken is wonderful, the translation of Tekken figures over to the SF realm is done with care even if Law’s self grooming makes him look like he’s an extra from Sabotage from the Beastie Boys. It’s hard to be disappointed by the overall looks though, also by some details on character selection it appears there will be the option to pick different base outfits entirely if you’re not satisfied with the original offerings from the team, no doubt those will end up as DLC though.

Character customization is a bit of a step back after using the KOF XIII engine, going from total control of outfit design to 4 starting colors is a bit of a sweep back. We’ve heard this should be expanded though and allow for a full color gamut to be available. Just the lack of such items in the initial play hurt the impact of the feature, hopefully colors don’t turn into another marketing aspect of the game or if it does, it’s a one time thing as I have a ton of color choices I’d love to be able to execute.

Overall

Street Fighter x Tekken is breath of fresh air to the genre, just as everyone reached the peak of what they could deliver in Street Fighter IV, the big reset hits and everyone starts again. Everyone has their balances in the game, Street Fighter characters have power moves but Tekken characters are able to combine power and longer chains and level the playing field. Gems play a crucial role in helping new players get comfortable with the game and also with power players extending their abilities for the crucial moments. As a raw fighter it’s a solid entry, the features and expected DLC do leave a sour taste though as there are some basics that just don’t make sense to hold out on.

With such a clean mix of fighting and technical abilities it’s a shame the net code is buggy right now, those who pair up with closer matches may find themselves able to avoid the lag but anyone extending a bit too far will notice the glitch moves and sound sync issues when fighting it out with anyone.

Special thanks to Tech2k and Franks for pulling the all nighter with me on this one.

Gameplay:★★★★★★★★★½ 
Story:★★★★★★☆☆☆☆ 
Features:★★★★★★★★☆☆ 
Visuals:★★★★★★★★★½ 
Overall:★★★★★★★★½☆