- Chris Morris at Plugged In14 hrs ago
The Xbox One didn't have a great start, to put it kindly.
Fans and critics savaged the system when the initial feature set was announced. Microsoft reversed course so many times, it gave gamers whiplash. By the time the company had settled on a steady course, Sony's PlayStation 4 had developed a commanding lead in the U.S.
Microsoft has clawed its way back, though, and thanks to a few timely delays, competitive pricing, and some smart maneuvering, 2015 could well be the year that the Xbox One becomes the industry's top-selling console.
The 2015 holiday season was initially setting up to be a doozie. Sony's PS4 exclusive Uncharted 4: A Thief's End has looked fantastic in previews, and the Nintendo faithful can't wait to get their hands on the long-promised high-definition The Legend of Zelda game for the Wii U.
But on March 11, Sony revealed that Uncharted wouldn't be coming out this year. Two weeks later, as well.
- Ben Silverman at Plugged In3 days ago
The Warriors aren’t just coming out to play, they’re coming out to win.
So says NBA 2K15 , at least. Now that the 2014-2015 NBA playoff match-ups are set, the geeky jocks at 2K Sports decided to run the brackets through their excellent NBA game. The simulation plays itself, so as to avoid any pesky human error in making the predictions. The results? Golden State will get its first title since 1975.
It’s not exactly the boldest choice. The Warriors led the the league with a stellar 67-15 record, enjoy the talents of (arguably) its best player in Stephen Curry, and can rely on a seriously deep roster to keep legs fresh during the grinding playoff run. And while Curry and fellow knockdown shooter Klay Thompson are best known for their ridiculous offense, the team also boasts the league’s most efficient defense. That wins championships, according to the cliche.
According to the simulation, though, it was mostly about making buckets.
- Ben Silverman at Plugged In3 days ago
The latest trailer for Star Wars: The Force Awakens hit film fans right in the feels, but they’re not the only ones getting a big new experience in the far away galaxy this year.
EA’s anticipated reboot of the epic multiplayer shooter Star Wars Battlefront finally has a release date: November 17, 2015 for the PC, Xbox One, and PS4. The game is set during the original trilogy and features massive, 40-player shootouts. No Bothans died to bring you this information.
During a short presentation at the Star Wars Celebration in Anaheim, representatives from DICE, the game's developer, showed off Battlefront for the first time since its unveiling at last year’s E3 show. But this time we got a glimpse of the actual gameplay rather than just glamour shots of the fancy environments.
Set on the forest floor of Endor, the hands-off demo showcased the frenetic action that made the original Battlefront games significant hits on the PS2 and Xbox.
- Chris Morris at Plugged In4 days ago
Sony refuses to vacate the top of the video game mountain.
The PS4 remained the industry's best selling video game hardware in March, though, as usual, by exactly how much remains a bit of a mystery. The number watchers at The NPD Group does not report specific sales numbers.
Never one to let the numbers get in the way of a good press release, Microsoft said in a statement it remains pleased with the Xbox One's performance to date, noting that sales for its current system continue to outpace those of the Xbox 360 at this point in its life cycle and that the amount of time Xbox One owners have spent on their systems was up 45 percent compared to a year ago. So, at the very least, people who own Xbox Ones aren't letting them gather dust.
Nintendo, similiarly, accentuated the positive, pointing out that overall sales of its hardware systems were up 60 percent in the first three months of 2015 versus a year ago. 3DS sales are up 80 percent, while Wii U sales are up 20 percent.
So what helped the PS4 rule in March? One word: Bloodborne. The PS4 exclusive was the month's second best selling title, trailing EA's Battlefield Hardline, which was released for five systems.
- Ben Silverman at Plugged In5 days ago
The excellent Mortal Kombat X revels in ripping off limbs, but one real-world fighter thinks the game also ripped off her look.
As reported by Kotaku, UFC strawweight contender Felice Herrig took a not-so-subtle Instagram jab at the new fighting game over character Cassie Cage, who happens to share Herrig’s blond hair, toned physique, and penchant for beating people up:
- Ben Silverman at Plugged In6 days ago
It’s not just about Fatalities.
You’d be forgiven for thinking that’s all there is to Mortal Kombat X . The latest in a fighting game series best known for its gruesome kills turns the Disgust-o-Dial up so high, your eardrums just burst and blood is shooting out of your head like the fountains at the Bellagio.
You’re going to wince while playing this game. You’re going to instinctively grab at whatever body part one insane fighter tore off another just to reassure yourself that you’re okay. You’re going to make all kinds of awful sounds and faces and pretend as best you can in front of your family that you’re not secretly loving every second of this demented horror show.
Because you are. Mortal Kombat X doesn’t hide its gleeful gore, but it doesn’t use it to mask an inferior game, either. This is a beautifully built, miles-deep brawler that somehow works for both new players and vets of the fighting game scene. It’s confident, fast, fun, and yes, absolutely, gratuitously, gloriously violent. It’s just what it should be.
- Ben Silverman at Plugged In6 days ago
The 2015 battle of the video game bands is booked.
On Tuesday, Activision pulled back the curtain on the worst-kept secret in gaming: After a five-year hiatus, Guitar Hero is staging a comeback. The new effort is called Guitar Hero Live , and it’s due out this fall.
The announcement effectively revives the music game rivalry that once dominated consoles, as developer Harmonix recently revealed that Rock Band 4 is also coming before the year is up.
But while we know only a few tidbits about the new Rock Band , Activision and new developer FreeStyleGames (they made the DJ Hero games) have already given press hands-on time with Guitar Hero Live . In general, it’s the same sort of game that it’s always been — you bang away on a plastic guitar to notes flying down the screen — but it’s got a few new tricks up its sleeve. Here’s what we know so far:
Hope you have room in the house for another plastic instrument.
- Gordon Cameron at Plugged In7 days ago
Happy National Scrabble Day!
Yes, believe it or not, this is a thing. April 13 is officially the day we celebrate the classic vocabulary-building board game that has been kicking off passionate arguments about spelling for nearly 80 years. Why today? Because according to legend, American architect Alfred Butts created the enduring game on April 13, 1938.
This year’s rumination is brought to you by the letter Q. In Scrabble, Q is kind of like a Wonder Twin – powerful when teamed with its sidekick, but otherwise, not much use.
That sidekick, of course, is the letter U. Paired up properly, Q and its vowel pal can quite happily conjugate quizzical quotations till the quails come home, and latch onto triple-word-score spaces for outrageous point totals.
- Chris Morris at Plugged In7 days ago
While the debate surrounding the impact of violent video games roars on, evidence is piling up that nonviolent games can be incredibly beneficial.
The latest research comes from the University of Freiburg in Germany, which found that story-based games could be beneficial for people with autism by satisfying their need for socialization.
Published in the journal Social and Personality Psychology Science , the study had austistic players spend 20 minutes playing one of two games: Against the Wall (best described as an endless climber game) or , an award-winning interactive adventure game with a story that unfolds as players explore its world.
Once finished, they took a test to identify the emotions behind facial expressions and completed a survey describing their level of immersion and need-satisfaction.
- Russ Frushtick at Plugged In7 days ago
There's a reason why video game boss fights tend to stink.
A boss fight is a massive time sink for developers. Crafting a lengthy fight against a huge, complicated opponent isn’t easy, and worse, it rarely connects to the rest of the game. Boss fights are often separate islands of gameplay, repetitive or frustrating chokepoints that distract from the fun of the core adventure.
But what if the core adventure is its boss fights? It’s been done before, most famously in the 2005 PS2 masterpiece Shadow of the Colossus , and it’s been done again in the staggering cool Titan Souls .
Developed by a three-person team called Acid Nerve, Titan Souls features a sparse, 8-bit world and a pretty wimpy hero equipped with a bow and a single arrow. Toting this meager loadout, you're tasked with eliminating 15 big, bad, magic-infused titans.
That's basically it. Outside of a few rudimentary puzzles, Titan Souls mostly has you wandering from boss fight to boss fight. On paper it doesn't sound all that compelling, but in practice it's one of the most densely satisfying gameplay experiences I've had so far this year.