IN THE NEWS
Willem Dafoe joins Ellen Page in BEYOND: Two Souls. Two-time Oscar nominee Willem Dafoe joins Ellen Page in the much anticipated psychological action thriller from Quantic Dream which is coming exclusively to PlayStation 3 on October 8th, 2013. Developed by Quantic Dream, makers of Heavy Rain and helmed once again by visionary director David Cage, BEYOND tells the story of Jodie Holmes, a young woman who’s known since birth that she is different from everyone else. She possesses supernatural powers through her psychic link to an invisible entity she calls Aiden, and this gift has changed her life forever. Willem Dafoe’s Nathan Dawkins is a government scientist who works with Jodie to analyze her powers to ultimately form a compelling bond and together deliver some of the most unique and powerful scenes yet seen in gaming.
Battlefield 3: Endgame. The action-driven, all-out warfare gameplay in Battlefield 3 gets a massive boost starting tomorrow as gamers engage in high-speed combat across four distinct maps in the all-new Battlefield 3: End Game digital expansion pack. Players can race through enemy lines using the new dirt bike, bringing speed and agility to the battlefield, or fight back aerial assaults with the new lightweight AA vehicles. Coordinate lightning fast attacks and defenses or take to the sky and engage in massive dog fights in the return of the two classic Battlefield game modes – Capture the Flag and Air Superiority. Buckle up, it’s time for battle! Rollout is as follows:
PS3 Premium members: March 5th
X360 and PC Premium members: March 12th
PS3 players: March 19th
X360 and PC players: March 26th
2K Sports Announces MLB 2K13 Now Available. 2K Sports today announced that MLB 2K13 is now available in the United States and Canada on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. The release of MLB 2K13 marks the first opportunity for fans to hone their skills with this year’s title in preparation for gaming’s premier skill-based competition, the Perfect Game Challenge.
Having awarded $3 million in total prizes over the last three years, the Perfect Game Challenge continues to evolve, and this year’s contest will feature more ways to win than ever before. Beginning April 1, 2013, players can compete to win up to 30 $25,000 prize pools, one per MLB team, with an overall total of $750,000 in prize money at stake. Once the competition window closes on April 30, 2013, the top four Overall Leaderboard finalists (as determined by 2K Sports’ proprietary algorithm) will compete in a single-elimination tournament during MLB All-Star Week in New York for the final $250,000 grand prize.
Gamers will need to monitor the Perfect Game Challenge leaderboards to ensure they maintain their ranking as new high scores are added. By using pitchers from different MLB teams, there is no limit on how many of the 30 Team Leaderboard $25,000 prizes one player can win.
“With so many new ways to win, the level of competition will reach an all-time high in this year’s Perfect Game Challenge,” said Tampa Bay Rays’ ace pitcher and MLB 2K13 cover athlete David Price. “2K Sports’ contest has a history of changing people’s lives, and 2013 will be no different. You can’t go wrong by choosing me to pitch your perfect game.”
Activision Releases Details 'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows. Activision Publishing, Inc. today announced that Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows, a new, digital download-only video game inspired by Nickelodeon’s new hit animated series, will be available this summer. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows is a third-person brawler game set in New York City, taking gamers through articulated, true-to-life environments filled with action-packed adventures as Leonardo, Donatello, Michelangelo, and Raphael. Featuring an original hyper-realistic 3D-style, gamers can experience four-player online co-op play while stomping out the Foot Clan and unleashing turtle torment on any foe that gets in their way.
With an immersive world, deep character development, and an intuitive, skill-based combat system built around combo-driven action, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows puts ‘Turtle Power’ in players’ hands. Available this Summer on Xbox Live, PSN, and Steam.
Konami Digital announces Castlevania: Lords of Shadow – Mirror of Fate. Konami announced that Castlevania: Lords of Shadow – Mirror of Fate is now available at retail stores in North America and South America exclusively for the Nintendo 3DS system. Initially set 25 years after the events of its predecessor, Castlevania: Lords of Shadow, Castlevania: Lords of Shadow – Mirror of Fate reveals the story of Gabriel's descendants as they battle their own destiny in each era only to discover their true, shocking fate.
Trevor Belmont, a knight of the Brotherhood of Light sets out to avenge the death of his mother at the hands of his own father, who has now returned from years of exile to take up residence in a mysterious castle. What was once Gabriel Belmont now stands a powerful vampire called Dracula. Dracula has declared war upon the Brotherhood and thus the scene is set for a cataclysmic showdown between Father and Son. The game's orchestral score by award winning composer Oscar Araujo is also showcased, adding to the suitably gothic atmosphere in a tale that explores the bonds of family and inescapable destiny.
Scribblenauts Collection Now Available. Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment announces the launch of Scribblenauts Collection, a new two-game compilation pack for Nintendo DS, which introduces gamers of all skill levels to the wildly innovative puzzle game series. Available now in North America, Scribblenauts Collection offers Scribblenauts and Super Scribblenauts, the award-winning puzzle games, on a single game cartridge at a great value price.
Scribblenauts Collection offers new players an easy introduction to both popular games which challenges players to “write anything, solve everything,” while also providing experienced fans the ultimate collector’s edition for their Nintendo DS system. Players can conquer more than 340 puzzles, get creative in sandbox-style playgrounds and combine countless objects to create completely new scenarios opening up the game to extensive endless replay. Updated with new controls schemes, players now have four different ways to control Maxwell for an easy-to-play gameplay experience.
New Details on Ninja Gaiden III: Razors Edge. Team NINJA today outlined new details for Ninja Gaiden III: Razors Edge, the latest chapter in the famed action series arriving at retail on April 2nd 2013 for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 . The famed developer revealed that the game will have a full-featured demo available on both platforms before launch and that the full retail Xbox 360 version will support robust SmartGlass functionality for tablets and smartphones, a first for any Team NINJA game. Additionally, Team NINJA announced the new Golden Scarab upgrade feature and fighting details for the female characters Kasumi and Momiji. To premier these new game elements, Team NINJA has released all-new images highlighting the SmartGlass functionality, Golden Scarabs and fighting moves.
Xbox 360 players will be able to expand their NINJA GAIDEN 3: RAZOR’S EDGE experience with immersive SmartGlass “second screen” features on their internet-enabled tablet or smartphone. They can check their updated personal records and achievements and even watch strategy videos based on their current in-game location to get help. Players will also be able to participate in the game’s community by viewing and commenting on gameplay videos which have been uploaded by players around the world—or take a more active role by uploading their own videos from the game.
Regardless of whether they are using SmartGlass features, all players can boost the capability of Ryu Hayabusa, the game’s iconic ultimate Ninja, by discovering Golden Scarabs hidden throughout the game world. These Scarabs can then be used to unlock new Ninpo or weapons. For instance, Piercing Void, a move that creates deadly sharp vacuum blades to slice up nearby enemies, can be unlocked for 20 Scarabs while the sweeping Lunar Staff weapon can be unlocked for 10 Scarabs. The Scarabs are well hidden, though—players will have to search hard for them!
Team NINJA also revealed fresh intel on the fighting moves that Kasumi and Momiji will add to NINJA GAIDEN 3: RAZOR’S EDGE as playable characters. Kasumi, first seen in the DEAD OR ALIVE series, brings a variety of deadly attacks including her renowned Mugen Tenshin attacks that strike with deadly speed even if delivered from midair. She can also unleash the slow but powerful Kunai Tempest, which creates a giant pinwheel shuriken, and Rending Wind, which channels her aura into a powerful beam of energy. Momiji is no slouch, either. She can double-jump in midair with her unique Heavenbreaker to rain down attacks from high overhead, transform dancing leaves into a circle of flames with her Crimson Lotus, and unleash a powerful fireball with her Autumn Flame.
IN STORES THIS WEEK
Tomb Raider (Square Enix) Rated M PS3, Xbox 360
Tomb Raider is an Action-Adventure game that introduces players to the origin of one of the most identifiable video games icons of all-time, Lara Croft. The game features a blend of survival, stealth, melee and ranged combat, and exploration gameplay as a young Lara Croft is forced to push herself past her know limits to survive and unravel the dark history of a forgotten island. In the process she will unlock the adventurer within her. Additional game features include: weapons both familiar and new, upgradable items, a variety of play environments, and human and animal enemies.
When the first ever Tomb Raider game launched in 1996 it was a revolution. Outstanding in terms of graphics, gameplay, and storyline, it changed the way that video games were played and developed forever. Fronting the games assault on the world was the central character, Lara Croft. Lara was also to have an incredible impact, quickly becoming the most recognized and celebrated female action heroine and an icon for the video games industry.
This newest rendition of Tomb Raider explores the intense and gritty origin story of Lara Croft and her ascent from a frightened young woman to the hardened survivor that she would become known as. Armed only with raw instincts and the ability to push beyond the limits of human endurance, Lara must fight to unravel the dark history of a forgotten island to escape its relentless hold.
MLB 13: The Show (Sony) Rated E PS3
MLB 13 The Show allows you to experience the MLB like never before. Its jaw-dropping realism doesn't just capture every detail and mechanic of the sport; it captures the raw emotion of Major League Baseball. Improvements to Diamond Dynasty, Franchise and Road To The Show modes make MLB 13 The Show the most realistic baseball game ever, while the addition of all-new game modes expand gameplay options even further. If it can happen in baseball, you can experience it in The Show. Whether it's the moment you're called up to the majors, a sacrifice fly to left field, or crushing a walk-off homer to win it all, every big, emotional moment in baseball can be yours. And The Show delivers it with such realism, it's like it really happened.
Castlevania Lords of Shadow: Mirror of Fate (Konami) Rated M 3DS
Initially set 25 years after the events of its predecessor, Castlevania: Lords of Shadow, Castlevania: Lords of Shadow – Mirror of Fate reveals the story of Gabriel's descendants as they battle their own destiny in each era only to discover their true, shocking fate. Trevor Belmont, a knight of the Brotherhood of Light sets out to avenge the death of his mother at the hands of his own father, who has now returned from years of exile to take up residence in a mysterious castle. What was once Gabriel Belmont now stands a powerful vampire called Dracula. Dracula has declared war upon the Brotherhood and thus the scene is set for a cataclysmic showdown between Father and Son. The game's orchestral score by award winning composer Oscar Araujo is also showcased, adding to the suitably gothic atmosphere in a tale that explores the bonds of family and inescapable destiny.
Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance (Konami) Rated M PS3, Xbox 360
Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance (and Yeah…no points from me on that unwieldy title) is a quasi-sequel to Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots. Rather than feature usual Metal Gear character Solid Snake MGR:R stars the cyborg ninja Raiden, the katana-wielding ally of Solid Snake. Initially, you control him in his "White" form, which was based on his appearance in Guns of the Patriots, where he is depicted as wearing white armor. At a certain point in the game he switches to the more powerful "Black" cyborg armor variant.
The game takes place four years after the events in Guns of the Patriots as Raiden is working for Maverick Enterprises as a mercenary in order to raise money for his family. He assists in training troops as well as various private security missions guarding VIPs. The protagonist in the game is the rival Desperado Enterprises, a company involved in terrorist attacks. Their leader named Sundowner, kidnaps a man that Raiden was protecting. Raiden tries to rescue the man but is too late and the man is killed while Raiden is defeated by one of Desperado’s top operatives. It is then that Raiden is outfitted with his more powerful black armor so he can seek his revenge against Desperado and its army of robots and cyborgs. Ultimately he will face off against the "Winds of Destruction", i.e. your various bosses with pitched battles that take place in large, open areas.
Besides the main character the other major change is that MGR:R is a pure hack-n-slash action game as opposed to the typical Metal Gear stealth play. The game introduces a cutting system that is used much like your typical shooter. You have an aiming reticle in order to target the weak spots on an opponent, such as gaps in their armor, or on items like pillars you can cut in order to collapse parts of building on enemies. This mode, referred to as “blade mode” also has a time-slowing function like the bullet-time ability of Max Payne. This gives you the opportunity to line up your aiming reticle and map out your attacks for precision hits. This results in some truly fearsome attacks as you chop and dismember limbs and heads in a slow-motion dance of death. Blade mode can also be utilizes as a defensive strategy to deflect incoming missile attacks. This all adds up to being able to pull off a variety stylized multi-hit combos which are enormously satisfying.
Blade mode also garners Raiden much needed energy as well as the ability to take the enemy’s weapons, ammo, and other items. The deft cyborg ninja shows off his other skills with a Ninja Dash that increases his speed and climbing ability which comes in quite handy when setting up your enemies for an ambush attack. There’s also a “Ripper Mode” which can be obtained in the game which is a short term power-up that can be used in conjunction with Blade mode to make you a devastating killing machine.
At the end of each level you will be rewarded with a specific amount of points depending your performance during the level and will receive a grade, with the highest being "S". These points allow you to purchase upgrades for Raiden's equipment.
Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance is a fairly short game at maybe 6 – 8 hours tops but that period is filled with non-stop, button-mashing, combo delivering excitement. The combat and control system is so smooth and natural that you’ll barely have time to notice the game’s weak points. But I will mention them anyway…These include ultimately an ordinary storyline that fails to draw you in. Yes it’s fun to whirl your blades through legions of enemies but it’s even better when there’s a strong story to back-up the action. There’s also some camera issues that can mess with your orientation but overall MGR: R is a fun and addictive diversion to the usual Metal Gear gameplay.