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Crash Bandicoot is Coming Back!

Editor’s Note: This article originally appeared on Pixelkin.org. Make sure to check them out when you get the chance!

Sony announced during their E3 2016 press briefing that they are working with Activision to help bring Crash Bandicoot back to the masses.

Crash Bandicoot burst onto the gaming scene back in 1996 with his own 3D platforming game developed by Naughty Dog. He then went on to appear in more than a dozen games over the next 14 years. Crash never reached the same level of popularity as Mario or Sonic, but he was, and continues to be well loved by his fans. That love has inspired a loyal and vocal fanbase to call for his return ever since he vanished from the gaming scene.

Those loyal voices have finally won the day. Crash is coming back! Sony and Activision are raking the first three Crash games (Crash Bandicoot, Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back, and Crash Bandicoot: Warped) from the ground up and releasing them on the PS4. They did not give a firm release date yet, but the three remakes are tentatively scheduled for 2017.

That wasn’t all Sony had in store though. they also announced that Crash would be finding his way into Skylanders Imaginators as one of the Sensei characters. His sky-chi attack will involve using his iconic yo-yo to pull enemies into him with a whirlwind like spin move.

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Horizon: Zero Dawn Has a New Gameplay Demo

Editor’s Note: This article was previously published on Pixelkin.org. Make sure to check them out when you get a chance.

Horizon: Zero Dawn has already been delayed, but that didn’t stop Sony from presenting a new gameplay demo for the game during their E3 2016 Press Conference.

The game was shown off a year ago at E3 2015 and it wowed the crowd with its unique take on a post fall Earth. We were introduced to the young girl Aloy and we had a chance to watch her fight a giant mechanical dinosaur. We had no idea WHY everything was happening, but to see an archer fend off a robot T-rex looked worth the price of admission all on its own.

Fortunately, though, the developers have given us a greater understanding of the story in recent weeks. As we understand it now: Aloy is an outcast. She arrived at a young age with no explanation and was raised by a man in her adopted tribe. Eventually, for reasons we do not know, it is decided that she is no one and they force her to leave. After that she embarks on a quest to find out where she came from and in turn she appears to find out what happened to the world of the “old ones.” (Spoilers: Old ones refers to us.) While on this quest shenanigans ensue. I’ll admit that I am not ready to take the plot seriously yet, but I am very excited to play this game nonetheless.

Sony also gave us a look at a section of gameplay during their E3 2016 press event. The demo was less than ten minutes long, but we saw her navigating a vast open world teeming with life (both mechanical and flesh). She is as agile as ever, but this time around we saw her using a special earpiece to scan nearby enemies for weaknesses and use a special staff she has to help “override” the mechanical creatures she finds. At one point she is even able to turn one of the creatures into a mount. The demo culminates in a battle with a creature called a “corruptor.” The fight is difficult and requires a lot of careful dodging while switching out weapons and different kinds of arrows. The combat was tense and the music and sound design helped maintain the intensity as well.

Horizon: Zero Dawn will be released on February 28, 2017. We will have more news as we get closer to release so keep your eyes on Pixelkin.org as we get closer to release.

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The Last Guardian Finally Has a Release Date!

Editor’s note: This article was previously published on Pixelkin.org. Make sure to head over there when you get a chance!

Sony confirmed the release date for long-awaited game, from Studio Japan, The Last Guardian. The game will be released on October 25, 2016 exclusively for the PS4.

There are few games that have held fans breathless waiting for their release quite like The Last Guardian. Fans fell in love with Team ICO’s previous games (ICO and Shadows of the Colossus) and have been eagerly awaiting the release of the Last Guardian for a decade. The game was originally announced as part of the opening salvo for the Playstation 3, but development issues, staff turnover, and who knows what else kept the game from being released on the console in a timely manner. Eventually it was decided to move the game over to the PlayStation 4.

The story is fascinating and I would give anything to be able to see what was happening in the studio through the development cycle, but I have a feeling that it is a mystery that will be locked away forever.

The Last Guardian is an action platforming game where players take on the role of a little boy who is befriended by a strange creature that looks somewhat like a cross between a bird, a dog, and a goat. The trailer suggests that the key component in the story of the game is the relationship between the boy and his friend as they explore a strange set of ruins.

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Editor’s Note: This article was originally published on Pixelkin.org. Make sure to check them out when you get a chance. 

Ubisoft announced Grow Up, a sequel to the hit platformer Grow Home, at their E3 2016 press event.

Grow Up features, once again, the adventures of the robot BUD as he explores an alien planet full of lush and monstrous plant life. His purpose? To find the pieces of his exploration spaceship MOM that shattered his ship crashes on a moon, and he tumbles to the planet below.

Grow Home’s success was based largely on its quirky animation style and engaging activity loop. You controlled BUD as he explored an island collecting crystals and helping branches of a star plant reach floating land masses. The idea being to help grow the plant high enough so you could get back to your ship. This required tricky platforming and skilled climbing.

The sequel, according to the trailer, looks to be more of the same. The difference here is that the scope has been increased. Instead of exploring a small island you are tasked with exploring an entire planet filled with star plants of various sizes.

The increased scope necessitates the inclusion of some new modes of transportation. BUD comes equipped with a winged jet pack and has the ability to collapse into a ball to help propel himself around the varied environments.

Grow Up is scheduled to be released this August. We will have more news and updates as we get closer to release so keep your eyes on Pixelkin.org for more updates as we get closer.

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Ubisoft Blows Trekkies Minds With Star Trek: Bridge Crew

Editor’s Note: This article was originally published on Pixelkin.org. Make sure to check them out when you get a chance!

Ubisoft has announced a multiplayer virtual reality game called Star Trek: Bridge Crew. Ubisoft was going to be a big part of the virtual reality gold rush. They are always an experimental publisher who is willing to take risks for the sake of big rewards. With that said, I think that a Star Trek licensed VR game might be the closest thing to a sure-fire win as you can get.

If you’ll forgive me making some assumptions; I think it is more than a strong possibility that the majority of early adopters of VR technology will be fans of the Star Trek universe of one level or another. Now, I’m not saying that all of them speak Klingon fluently, but I can imagine a lot of them have dreamt of being on a starship’s bridge. Star Trek: Bridge Crew is designed to give those fans exactly that opportunity.

The game requires multiple players to put on their VR headsets and take a station on the bridge of a starship while they complete missions. They can take up position at Engineering, Security, the Helm, or the Captain’s chair. Each station has different responsibilities and they will need to communicate and cooperate in order to succeed.

The story of the game is straightforward. Players will take on roles aboard the starship U.S.S. Aegis. They will be on a mission to explore a region of uncharted space known as “The Trench.” The goal is to find a new habitable home world for the Vulcan people whose planet has been destroyed. Unfortunately, this region is very near the Klingon Empire who is, as one might predict, less than enthusiastic about this decision. The players will need to chart the region and make smart decisions to complete their mission and make it out in one piece.

Anyone concerned that it might be tough to get three other people together to play this game can take heart though. The game can also be played in single player when you take on the role of captain and deliver orders to an NPC crew.

 

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Nintendo Logo

Nintendo went live on YouTube Live @ E3 on Monday to announce a list of independent games that will be coming to the Wii U and 3DS in the coming months. Here they are.

Jotun Valhalla Edition – Wii U

Jotun was released on PC last year. It is a hand drawn, isometric adventure game where players take on the role of a female viking as she ventures through an abstract landscape and challenging mighty Jotuns to battle.

The game draws significant inspiration from Dark Souls and the other games made by From Software. This inspiration is expressed in the difficulty of the bosses. The Jotuns are punishingly difficult and force you to learn their patterns and practice your execution until you beat them.

Runbow Pocket – New 3DS

Runbow is one of the more popular Nindies in the last few years. It is a simple concept. Runbow is a competitive platformer where players race to a finish line while the background regularly changes color. As the background changes color the multicolored platforms in the foreground disappear when the colors match. This makes each race super chaotic and (in my opinion) fun. Fans have been asking 13AM games for a handheld version of the game since its release. Those wishes are finally being answered. Later this summer Runbow Pocket will release on the New 3DS.

Runbow Deluxe & Runbow Pocket Deluxe – Wii U and New 3DS

Runbow will also be receiving a physical edition in the form of Runbow Deluxe and will be in stores later this year.

Axiom Verge – Wii U

Axiom Verge is an exploration based platforming game that was developed by a one man development team. It carries inspirations from classic NES games like Contra and Metroid and has already been a success on PS4 and PC. The release on Wii U will give players some additional tools like a map openly visible on the game pad, which will definitely help make exploring the vast map.

Severed – Wii U and 3DS

Severed is a first-person role-playing game that was made by Drinkbox Studios (the people behind Guacamelee). The combat is largely touch based so using a stylus on the Wii U or 3DS screen fits perfectly here. The game has already been released on PS4 and Vita to modest success so it makes sense that it would be ported elsewhere.

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There are few things on earth that are more consistent than the annual release of Just Dance. This year will be no different as we will be playing Just Dance 2017 this October.

The developer’s goal is, and has been, to make the whole world dance, and releasing the ever popular dance title across every platform imaginable certainly helps with that. The game will be released on the following (giant) list of consoles:

  • Wii
  • Wii U
  • Nintendo NX
  • Xbox 360
  • Xbox One
  • Playstation 3
  • Playstation 4
  • PC download (For the first time ever)

The game will launch with six different game modes including the newly designed Just Dance Machine. This is a mode that is exclusive to current generation consoles and will challenge players to dance in various international dancing styles. The other modes include Sweat + Playlists, Just Dance Quest, Just Dance TV, and the World Dance Floor.

The first tracks announced as part of the release are as follows:

  • “Sorry” – Justin Bieber
  • “DADDY” – Psy Ft. CL of 2NE1
  • “Cheap Thrills” – Sia Ft. Sean Paul
  • “Lean On” – Major Lazer Ft. MØ & DJ Snake
  • “Worth It” – Fifth Harmony Ft. Kid Ink
  • “Don’t Stop Me Now” – Queen
  • “PoPiPo” – Hatsune Miku
  • “Radical” – Dyro & Dannic
  • “El Tiki” – Maluma
  • “September” – Equinox Stars
  • “What Is Love” – Ultraclub 90

We will have more information here on Pixelkin.org as we get closer to the release.

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Prepare to Set Sail on a Sea of Thieves

Editor’s Note: This article was originally published on Pixelkin.org. Make sure to check them out when you get a chance!

There are few eras in human history viewed with more misplaced and fantastical nostalgia than the age of sail. People the world over just love the idea of pirates. And that love has taken shape in the soon to be released Sea of Thieves. It is being developed for Xbox One and Windows 10 PC by Rare.

Sea of Thieves is a game where players take on the roles of pirates and go on piratey missions looking for treasure on the high seas. The game features ship to ship combat and plenty of islands to explore. The goal of the game is for players to build their own unique pirate story as they explore the world, team up with other players and complete missions and objectives.

We don’t have a lot of hard details just yet, but the game looks to have a framework similar to Destiny and the Division. These are persistent online worlds that you navigate with your character completing missions, taking on challenges and trying to grow your specific character. The difference here is obviously all in the setting. This is not set in a far future dystopia or a post pandemic New York. Instead, Sea of Thieves is full of lush, bright colors and is set in what looks like an analog to the Caribbean.

We don’t have a firm release date yet, but your eyes on Pixelkin.org for more info as time passes.

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The Square Enix team brought Final Fantasy XV onto the Xbox E3 2016 media briefing stage. They didn’t just come to say hello though. They brought a giant gameplay demo that featured a battle with the Eidolon Titan.

The demo was over almost before it started, but it featured Noctis, the main character, caught in a three way battle between Titan and a number of imperial soldiers. We had never really seen the speed of combat before so it was interesting to see.

Noctis is an agile combatant, and is able to switch between multiple weapons during combat. This demo forced the player to deal with unequal forces competing to be the side to take him down. This meant he had to navigate and avoid the larger (and slower) titan while dealing damage to and eliminating the smaller foes.

The demo started with Noctis being alone, but the player only needed to survive a little while until Noctis’s friends arrive. That was when the demo really came to life. All four of the heroes work together to deal damage to the Titan and heal each other with items and spells. The best part of the demo was listening to the four friends bro out and throw context appropriate wise cracks at each other throughout the combat. Final Fantasy XV will launch on September 30th and is easily my most anticipated game of the year. Keep your eyes on Pixelkin.org for further  updates as the release comes closer.

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Tekken_7_Logo

I have to say. Tekken 7, the most recent entry in the storied 3D fighting game franchise, was shown at the Microsoft E3 2016 Media Briefing and it was really weird.

It was weird for two reasons:

  1. Tekken has never been associated with the Xbox brand.
  2. The trailer heavily features the STREET FIGHTER character Akuma.

Yeah. I know that they made Street Fighter X Tekken, but I don’t think I’ll ever get used to it.

The trailer that Bandai Namco showed off began as a deep and gorgeous cinematic trailer transformed into a standard Tekken match. I had thought this was just on-stage E3 trickery, but once the dust settled the presenters announced that the entire thing was, in fact, a gameplay demo.

Tekken 7 is, somehow, going to focus heavily on its story. It will do so by using a storytelling system that will seamlessly combine storytelling segments and one on one battles.

Microsoft and Bandai Namco  also stated that the game will include enhanced fighting mechanics and a “slew” of new characters to the game before its release in early 2017. I am not certain how many characters would equal a “slew,” but the character rosters were always one of the high points of the Tekken franchise.

Keep your eyes on Pixelkin.org for more updates as the release date gets closer!

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