Tuesday, 20 February 2018

'Pac-Man' Now Features a Sonic the Hedgehog Crossover

There's an unexpected cameo in the latest update to Pac-Man [Free], and it's Sonic the Hedgehog? Huh? Yes, the blue speedster, most famously known for going fast, is now in a limited-time Dash maze in Pac-Man for iOS and Android. Sonic is trying to collect rings instead of pellets, invisibility power-ups instead of powerup pellets, and friendly woodland creatures instead of fruit, keys, and Galaxians. It's kind of an odd pairing, but it kind of makes sense? Sonic is trying to go fast, and nothing compels him to go faster than being trapped in a maze, hunted down by robots...that then become ghosts. It is disturbing that the creatures that Sonic normally frees are now the items to eat. Hmm. Not everything was going to be a perfect 1:1 pairing, I suppose.

If you want to give Sonic in Pac-Man a shot, the update is available now. If you haven't played Pac-Man on mobile in a while, the game now has a whole free-to-play economy. You can earn or buy tokens to unlock new sets of mazes, which award crowns, which are then used to unlock the Tournaments portion of the game. You can just play classic Pac-Man if you want, with all 256 original levels, and you can pay $2.99 (with a $0.99 special offer) to remove ads permanently. The Sonic Dash mazes are available for free in the Pac-Man app for iOS and Android right now.



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The Remastered Version of 2008 Cult Hit Flash Game 'The Majesty of Colors' Finally Arriving February 28th

Well it has been QUITE a while since we first learned that Future Proof Games would be remastering and re-releasing Gregory Avery-Weir's cult Flash game hit The Majesty of Colors on mobile and desktop platforms back in August of 2016, but never fear as the project is still alive and in fact it even has a release date now. This new version of The Majesty of Colors will arrive on both mobile and desktop platforms at the end of this month on February 28th. The Majesty of Colors is about a strange undersea creature who lives in the depths and darkness of the ocean, but then discovers the "majesty of colors" that exist above the surface and falls hard in love with them. Here's a trailer.

A tap of the screen will control the monster's huge tentacle which can grab and throw things like balloons, fish, and people. During the game you'll make choices from branching paths of options which can lead to a number of different enemies. Will you make nice and protect your newfound human friends? Or will you, either accidentally or on purpose, make enemies with the humans and be forced to protect yourself when they come after you. I mean, you're just a huge sea creature after all, you aren't familiar with proper etiquette for human interactions! The Majesty of Colors was lauded for its interesting concepts when it originally released way back in 2008, and with the coming re-release just over a week from now a whole new generation will be able to experience it too.



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Video: How Overwatch animators managed their workflow

In this 2017 GDC talk, Blizzard's Jesse Davis goes into how the Overwatch team built an animation pipeline and workflow around a new game universe with a new team culture that still matched Blizzard's values. ...



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Guide: Payday 2 FAQ - Everything You Need To Know About The Co-Op Heist Shooter

Guide: Guide: Payday 2 FAQ - Everything You Need To Know About The Co-Op Heist Shooter

Cash out



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Sledgehammer Games co-founders leave for internal roles at Activision

Sledgehammer Games co-founders and directors of Call of Duty: WWII Michael Condrey and Glen Schofield have left the studio to pursue "new executive duties inside Activision."  ...



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Total War: Rome 2's Desert Kingdoms expansion launches next month, brings four new factions

Creative Assembly has announced that Total War: Rome 2 will receive a Desert Kingdoms Culture Pack on March 8th, bringing with it four new playable factions. A free Female Leaders update will be made available to all players on the same day.

The Desert Kingdoms expansion follows on from November's Empire Divided DLC - the first major expansion for Total War: Rome 2 since 2014. Desert Kingdoms' headline feature is, of course, it's four new factions: the Kingdoms of Kush, Saba, Nabatea, and Masaesyli - all native to the deserts of Africa and Arabia.

"While culturally similar, each faction boasts unique new unit rosters which offer different military strengths", says Creative Assembly. Each faction features new building chains and technology trees, and comes with its own unique Faction Traits.

Read more…



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SensorTower Data Says 'Fire Emblem Heroes' Made Over $200 Million More Than 'Super Mario Run'

Analytics firm SensorTower has all but confirmed what anyone following the mobile gaming market should know: Fire Emblem Heroes [Free] made more money than Super Mario Run [Free]. Specifically, SensorTower's data has Fire Emblem Heroes as making $295 million in its first year, more than the $56 million that Super Mario Run made in its first year. For context of how well Fire Emblem Heroes is doing, consider that $295 million translates to about 4.9 million copies of a $60 game. FEH sold about as well as Splatoon 2, and it has the potential to keep building on those numbers as a service title.

Fire Emblem Heroes' success is noteworthy, but especially so in the context of Super Mario Run. Analysts thought the game could see a billion downloads as Mario hit mobile. However, the title's momentum was likely stalled by two key factors: the iOS-exclusive release, and the negative reaction to the free-to-start model. When the Android version released a few months later, the hype had long since subsided, and a pay-once model is less likely to work on that platform due to the larger number of cheap devices and lower-income Android users. Fire Emblem Heroes' simultaneous release and more traditional free-to-play business model combined to make for a more lucrative game despite the gulf between the two licenses' popularity.

Of course, neither of these titles compare to Pokemon GO [Free], which makes sense in another way. Pokemon is easily the stronger brand, and its gameplay was unique. Fire Emblem Heroes' gameplay is based around a gacha RPG model that is incredibly popular in Asia, but less so in western markets. Still, Nintendo's influence helped out a lot, as the title regularly has large spikes in the US grossing charts, and is a comfortable money-maker otherwise.

This also puts into perspective the decision for Mario Kart Tour for mobile to go with the similar free-to-start model. They might need to do work to avoid the same issue that Super Mario Run has: the stiff paywall. Players might hit soft paywalls in most free-to-play games, but the titles still allow the players to keep playing if they want, the player makes the decision when they're done. The Super Mario Run paywall stops the player dead in their tracks.

It's also worth keeping in mind that Nintendo, unlike other free-to-play mobile publishers, has different objectives. They want their titles to complement the licenses. Since Nintendo has its Switch and 3DS business as well, it doesn't need to go all out with its mobile titles, it just needs to help the brand. Arguably, Super Mario Run failed with that. And Fire Emblem Heroes shows that when Nintendo goes more traditional with its second-tier licenses, it can succeed. Yet, Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp [Free] hasn't moved the needle and it has consumable in-app purchases. But maybe that's just the reality of the mobile market: you'll have some hits and some failures. But how Nintendo handles Mario Kart Tour with the lessons its learned from Fire Emblem Heroes and Super Mario Run will be interesting to monitor.



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The Lost Child Is Bringing Cthulhu-Inspired Demons To Switch This Year

News: The Lost Child Is Bringing Cthulhu-Inspired Demons To Switch This Year

A legendary battle arrives this summer



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Video: What's It Like To Play DOOM With Motion Controls, Then?

Video: Video: What's It Like To Play DOOM With Motion Controls, Then?

Alex finds out, using science (kinda)



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After 600 days of being banned, former CS:GO streamer sues Twitch

Former Counter-Strike: Global Offensive streamer James 'Phantoml0rd' Varga is suing Twitch for damages after being banned indefinitely from the platform back in July 2016. ...



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PlayStation 4’s reveal, as remembered by Sucker Punch, Capcom, Square Enix and more

Today marks five years since we stood in the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York City to share a name that would change our lives and hopefully yours: PlayStation 4.

Introducing PS4 was an important moment in PlayStation history, so we reached out to some of the key figures who provided those first crucial details on 20th February, 2013.

Mark Cerny, PS4 lead system architect

Mark Cerny, PS4’s system architect, recalled the excitement of the console’s much-anticipated unveil.

TITLE

“It was a thrill ride of a day, that’s for sure! I’d been working on the console for about five years and had really no idea what the reaction would be – would it be welcomed? Would our event even get any attention? The response was pretty quick, though — by the end of the day, we were on the way to 34 million views of our launch trailer and it was clear that gamers really did appreciate the concept and execution of PlayStation 4.”

Nate Fox, Sucker Punch

Revealing PS4 also meant announcing exceptional new titles that would go on to become fan favourites. Sucker Punch unveiled inFamous: Second Son, one of PS4’s early hits.

TITLE

When we reached out to Sucker Punch’s Nate Fox to share his thoughts five years later, he was in a reflective mood. “Everyone participating was so passionate about making games. In the years since then, we’ve all got to play some magnificent stuff made possible by the new hardware. For me it’s all best summed up in the two words – robot dinosaurs.”

Yoshinori Ono, Capcom

Capcom’s Yoshinori Ono also remembers how PS4 opened doors in the development of creative new gaming experiences.

“It made me remember how exciting it is to be on board from the ground floor and create awesome content for a powerful new machine. The people responsible for the design of the PS4 gave us all manner of tools to scratch our creative itches and they were always eager to hear how we thought things could improve. They were very developer-centric in their approach.

“It’s not an overstatement to say that this philosophy is the driving force behind the amount of great content now available on the platform.”

Shinji Hashimoto, Square Enix

Shinji Hashimoto joined us on stage to highlight Square Enix’s Final Fantasy tech demo, which set a new bar for graphic display in gaming. He remembers the nerves he had before jumping on stage. “It was an incredible honour to be invited to speak at the New York announcement! I tend to get a little nervous even with events in Japan, but traveling all the way to New York took it to a whole new level.” That demo foreshadowed the impressive graphics work seen in later Final Fantasy PS4 releases.

Jonathan Blow, game designer, The Witness

PS4’s announce shined a bright light on some standout independent studios too, including a stunning title that left many itching for more: The Witness. Jonathan Blow’s 3D puzzle game was a unique and innovative release for PS4, and he remembers the rapid-fire prep that went into the game’s announcement.

TITLE

“We had just two weeks to put together a trailer that could somehow stand on the same stage as these huge-budget system-seller games — but no area of our game was finished enough! We worked crazily, figuring out what the game would really look like, building those models, and making an in-engine system to render video out at a solid 60fps. It was all worth it!”

Of course, the rest is history. The last five years have been a memorable ride — thanks for joining us on it!

The post PlayStation 4’s reveal, as remembered by Sucker Punch, Capcom, Square Enix and more appeared first on PlayStation.Blog.Europe.



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Shinji Mikami's classic cover shooter Vanquish is now backward compatible on Xbox One

Microsoft has announced that Platinum Games' blistering third-person cover shooter Vanquish is the latest game to receive backward compatibility support on Xbox One, alongside Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light.

Vanquish, for those that haven't yet had the pleasure, released back in 2010, one year after the studio's seminal hack-and-slasher Bayonetta. And while everybody's favourite hair-witch might be the more recognisable franchise these days, Vanquish is no less enjoyable.

Directed by Resident Evil supremo Shinji Mikami, Vanquish offers a rather idiosyncratic take on the third-person cover shooter. It's a game of muted colour palettes, giant stompy robots, and lots and lots of sliding about the place on your knees.

Read more…



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Get a job: Join Jackbox Games as a Gameplay Software Engineer

The Chicago-based studio is on the hunt for a Gameplay Software Engineer with at least one shipped title under their belt to architect and implement gameplay as a member of its team. ...



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Microsoft now lets viewers purchase games through Mixer streams

The streaming platform Mixer has introduced a feature that prompts viewers to purchase the games being played live on stream. ...



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PlayStation 4: 5 Years Ago Today…

Today marks five years since we stood in the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York City to share a name that would change our lives and hopefully yours: PlayStation 4.

Introducing PS4 was an important moment in PlayStation history, so we reached out to some of the key figures who provided those first crucial details on February 20, 2013.

Mark Cerny, PS4’s lead system architect, recalled the excitement of the console’s much-anticipated unveil.

“It was a thrill ride of a day, that’s for sure! I’d been working on the console for about five years and had really no idea what the reaction would be – would it be welcomed? Would our event even get any attention? The response was pretty quick, though — by the end of the day, we were on the way to 34 million views of our launch trailer and it was clear that gamers really did appreciate the concept and execution of PlayStation 4.”

Revealing PS4 also meant announcing exceptional new titles that would go on to become fan favorites. Sucker Punch unveiled inFamous: Second Son, one of PS4’s early hits.

Five years later, Sucker Punch’s Nate Fox is in a reflective mood. “Everyone participating was so passionate about making games. In the years since then, we’ve all got to play some magnificent stuff made possible by the new hardware. For me it’s all best summed up in the two words — robot dinosaurs.

On that note, Guerrilla Games Managing Director Hermen Hulst recalled the “amazing opportunity and crazy challenge” of showcasing Killzone Shadowfall during PS4’s unveil. Onstage, that sequence was then uploaded to Facebook in one of the first demonstrations of PS4’s media sharing capabilities.

“While standing onstage at the Hammerstein Ballroom in NYC that day, all I could think was: ‘Please, please, don’t crash!’ Well, it didn’t.”

“Back then, we wanted to show that the PS4 was the real deal. Laser-focused on gamers, with perfectly balanced hardware specs for developers…. that winning combination has led to a generation of incredible titles.”

Capcom’s Yoshinori Ono also remembered how PS4 opened doors in the development of creative new gaming experiences. “It made me remember how exciting it is to be on board from the ground floor and create awesome content for a powerful new machine.

“The people responsible for the design of the PS4 gave us all manner of tools to scratch our creative itches and they were always eager to hear how we thought things could improve. They were very developer-centric in their approach. It’s not an overstatement to say that this philosophy is the driving force behind the amount of great content now available on the platform.”

Shinji Hashimoto joined us on stage to highlight Square Enix’s Final Fantasy tech demo, which set a new bar for graphic display in gaming. He remembers the nerves he had before jumping on stage. “It was an incredible honor to be invited to speak at the New York announcement! I tend to get a little nervous even with events in Japan, but traveling all the way to New York took it to a whole new level.” That demo foreshadowed the impressive graphics work seen in later Final Fantasy PS4 releases.

PS4’s announce shined a bright light on some standout independent studios too, including a stunning title that left many itching for more: The Witness. Jonathan Blow’s 3D puzzle game was a unique and innovative release for PS4, and he remembers the rapid-fire prep that went into the game’s announcement.

“We had just two weeks to put together a trailer that could somehow stand on the same stage as these huge-budget system-seller games — but no area of our game was finished enough! We worked crazily, figuring out what the game would really look like, building those models, and making an in-engine system to render video out at a solid 60fps. It was all worth it!”

Of course, the rest is history. The last five years have been a memorable ride — thanks for joining us on it!



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SwitchArcade Roundup: 'Rocket League', 'Old Man's Journey', 'At Sundown', and More

Welcome to another edition of the SwitchArcade Roundup, where we've got news on Rocket League, Old Man's Journey, Switch game sales, and more! This promises to be a busy release week, mostly backloaded on Thursday and Friday, but Tuesday is full of some interesting news to dive into, and some more sales on the store to check out. Without further ado, let's see what's new and interesting.

Rocket League is getting a DC Super Heroes DLC on March 5th. This includes two new cars: the '89 Batmobile and The Dark Knight Rises Tumbler, along with some additional decals, player banners, and wheels, including some of the Collector's Edition DLC. This will be available on the Switch for the first time, and this DLC hits all platforms on March 5th.

Remember iFun4All's Crap of Defense, which the developers referred to as the worst game ever because of its crude paper graphics? The series went legitimate with a Wii release in 2011 as Paper Wars: Cannon Fodder, and now it gets a Switch release as Paper Wars: Cannon Fodder Devastated on March 1st. This game will have you trying to wipe out hordes of paper troops as you deploy ever more sophisticated firepower. Not that the game's visuals ever get more sophisticated, they all still look crude. Still, the original game was pretty fun, though will it stand up to 2018 standards?

Versus Evil is bringing its multiplayer arena shooter At Sundown to the Switch later this year to go alongside its PS4, XB1, and PC release. Expected to release in the spring, players will use stealth and various weaponry to try and get the leg up on their opponents to be the last man standing. This kind of local multiplayer title seems ideal for the Switch with its portability and the Switch having two controllers included, so this might be the ideal platform to play the game on. I hope other titles like Samurai Gunn and TowerFall are also in the works for the Switch...

New Releases

Old Man's Journey

2017's gorgeous and heartbreaking "visual narrative" with light puzzle-solving makes its way to Nintendo Switch. You play as the eponymous old man as he goes on a globe-trotting adventure, exploring vignettes from his past. I don't want to get too much into the story since its emotional impact is best appreciated when you don't know much about the story coming in. Check out our five-star review of the iOS version, and make sure you don't play the ending in public, it is a tearjerker. This one's rolling out in different regions at different times - if you don't have it in your region as of publication, preorder and be patient.

POOL

Exactly what it says on the tin. You can play against AI or another player in a game of billiards. This one is a couple bucks more than the similar Pool BILLIARD, which has Joy-Con controls and a similar feature set. I'm sure this is a decent game of pool, but I see this title and wonder why something like Cosmic Star Heroine is having difficulty showing up on the Switch.

Puzzle Puppers

Here come some stretchy doggos in an isometric puzzler. You have to get these dogs to their food bowls, stretching them out and using underground tunnels to get all the dogs in their proper places without blocking anyone else's path. For extra challenge, try to collect all the bonus hams. There are 80 levels, and the most stretchy dogs this side of Nitrome's Silly Sausage games. This one will only run you 5 bucks.

Sales

FIFA 18

($35.99 from $59.99 until February 27th) Been curious about EA's long-running soccer franchise? The Switch version is a good starting point, especially at this discounted price. The mobile FIFAs are basically just Ultimate Team at this point, so if you want to just play some normal soccer on the go, this is the game you'll have to do it with. The game is missing story mode The Journey and online play, but you can't play the console versions on the toilet, now can you?

forma.8

($5.99 from $9.99 until February 28th) The Switch is racking up the intriguing Metroidvanias, and forma.8 brings a great atmosphere to it, along with the unique dynamic of being able to float everywhere. There are still abilities to pick up that lock you out of other parts of the game, but it makes the combat and exploration feel quite different from platforming Metroidvanias. This one's on pretty much every platform including mobile, but there is a demo here if you're curious to try it out before buying.

Serial Cleaner

($7.49 from $14.99 until March 5th) I like to imagine this as like the follow-up to Party Hard. Once the killer's rampage is over, you're the guy who goes in and makes sure the killer can get away with it. Though, as you're a cleaner for the mob in this one, I imagine the killings are more thought out than "I hate loud noises." The style and the stealth aspects of this one make it an intriguing title to check out.

We want to hear your thoughts and feedback on Switch coverage here on TouchArcade! Commment below or tweet us with your thoughts!



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Kingdom Come: Deliverance Review: The Past Comes At You Fast

Dota 2 Update - February 20th, 2018

* Fixed a bug where purchasing items with a dead courier selected would put the items onto the courier instead of into your stash
* Adjusted various old Windranger sets to fit the updated WindRunner model
* Adjusted how Bristleback's Quill Spray is hidden by the fog of war; each quill now checks fog of war individually, rather than using one check for the whole effect.

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Don't Miss: The making of the original SNES Harvest Moon

Yasuhiro Wada discusses creating the original Harvest Moon for the Super Nintendo, sharing his inspiration for its design and the collapse that almost ended its development, in this free lecture from GDC 2012. ...



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The Batmobile comes to Rocket League next month as part of the DC Super Heroes DLC pack

Rocket League will be getting an official DC Super Heroes DLC pack on March 5th, developer Psyonix has announced. It includes two premium Batman-themed Battle-Cars, and a variety of cosmetics inspired by DC Super Heroes.

It's Batmobile all the way as far as the Battle-Cars goes, with the new DLC pack containing two versions of Batman's iconic ride. There's the Dark Knight Rises Tumbler variant, as well as the classic 1989 Batmobile from the Jack Nicholson-starring movie. You can see them both whizzing about the place in the trailer below.

Additionally, the DC Super Heroes DLC pack features 21 super-hero-themed items, which look a little something like this:

Read more…



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Get useful game dev insight from Google, Facebook, and more at GDC 2018

GDC 2018 organizers highlight some cutting-edge sponsored dev days from experts at prominent organizations like Google, Facebook, Allegorithmic, and The Khronos Group! ...



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Add-on dev Flight Sim Labs under fire for using malware as DRM

The add-on dev has received a fair bit of criticism after eagle-eyed Reddit users discovered a malicious program embedded in one of its downloadable Flight Simulator X planes. ...



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