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They’re BAAAACK! After years of teasers, hints and very little detail, Xbox finally released the first gameplay for the Battletoads remake since they showed us only the logo last year at E3.  That’s right, everyone’s favorite Ninja Turtle knock offs, Pimple, Rash and Zitz are back after 25 years. The EFG team could not be more hyped. Based on the trailer that was released at the Xbox E3 2019 Media Briefing.

The animation and gameplay appears to have plenty of callbacks to the originals. It also has a hand drawn style that reminds us a lot of Earthworm Jim (1994). This will be the three player couch co-op, side scroller that the world needed. There will be plenty of crazy physical comedy and smashing of enemies into a gooey pulp with giant fists, laser eyes and tongue gags.

The trailer also revealed that there will also feature the dreaded jet-ski level… (pause to allow the shaking to stop).  We’re hoping that they will tone down the difficulty so that the average gamer can complete it. Xbox did confirm that one boss from the original, Porkshank, will be front and center and it appears they will most likely bring back other familiar faces.

Quite frankly, the only thing missing from this trailer was a release date in either hard copy or on Xbox Game Pass.  Unfortunately, we are left more excited than ever but ultimately still waiting to find out when we will actually get our hands on it, which is the same place we were last year at this time.

Please be sure to check out all our E3 coverage as we will update you if and when we find out anything new.

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Check out their media briefing on our YouTube Channel!!

Microsoft held their annual Xbox E3 Media Briefing on Sunday June 9th, 2019. The event was an hour and a half long and was widely expected to be a showcase for the next generation of Xbox consoles and to build excited for the brand going into 2020. It fell a little flat in those regards, but there was still plenty of news for parents.

New Xbox is Coming!

Xbox closed their show by sharing some high level details of the next generation Xbox, codenamed Project Scarlett. They stopped short of revealing the official name, the final release date, or the price, but they did share some information about the technical specifications.

Their main focus appeared to be explaining their design philosophies. They explained that they expect the new system to be a significant leap in power over the Xbox One X. They also explained that they will be using a custom SSD (Solid State Drive) that will greatly reduce loading times.

They also revealed that they will be launching the new Xbox alongside HALO Infinite. This will mark the first time that an Xbox has launched with a HALO game since the original Xbox in November 15, 2001.

Xbox Game Pass Ultimate

Xbox Game Pass has been a wild success since it was announced last year. There are now over 250 games available on the service. It was only a matter of time, however, before Microsoft expanded on the service. That expansion is now underway.

First, they announced Xbox Game pass for PC. It’s similar to its counterpart on consoles, but it is focused on PC games. It is in Beta now with a special price of $4.99 (The price will increase to $9.99 when the beta ends).

Second, they announced Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, subscription that combines Xbox Game Pass, Xbox Game Pass for PC, and Xbox Games with Gold for $14.99 per month.

Minecraft Dungeons

Minecraft is one of the biggest games on the planet. It is also, largely, impossible to follow up with a sequel.

Microsoft did, however, announce a spin-off title called Minecraft Dungeons last year. It was fully unveiled at this year’s E3 media briefing. Dungeons is a kid friendly take on a Diablo-esque dungeon crawling action game. It will be coming to Xbox (among other consoles and PC) in Spring 2020.

LEGO in Full Force (Or Full For..za?)

LEGO games were well represented during this year’s briefing. They announced LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga and a LEGO Speed Champions expansion to Forza Horizon’s 4.

RPG Time – The Legend of Wright

Xbox spent one minute and thirteen seconds showing us that Nintendo did not have an iron grip on the arts and crafts art style they used on Yoshi and Kirby. The Legend of Wright uses the same console that makes cars in Forza: Horizon 4 come to life, and uses it to animate the pencil sketches of every kid who grew up in the 90’s. We will be keeping an eye on more information as this game gets closer to its 2020 release.

What do you think? Sound off in the comments and let us know your thoughts!

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EA Play is here and rolled out the latest edition of FIFA 20 to PS4 and Xbox 1, unfortunately the rollout was long on description but very very short on actual gameplay.  However, the headline and really for soccer fans is the introduction of Volta Football. In essence this is backyard and pickup soccer where the pitch is anywhere and everywhere, from a cage in downtown London to a rooftop in Tokyo.

From a gameplay perspective Volta appears to be in addition to the year over year standard league modes that we have come to expect with this series.  This will allow you to play 3v3, 4v4, or 5v5 games with various other options, such a with or without goalies or co-ed. That last detail was one of the highlights from the release.  You will now be able to create male and female characters and outfit them as you see fit.

EA also spoke glowingly about the changes that they have made to the actual gameplay system to pull the focus from more automated and team based play to a focus on one on one interactions, offense to defense.  In essence they appear to be moving even more toward making FIFA a true simulation.

While all this sounds like it is great news for all the FIFA fans out there, I am concerned that the additional complications they are adding to the interface may put the game out of reach for the casual fan.  However, I do have hope, as outside of the EA Play presentation, it was announced that there will be a version of FIFA 20 available on the Switch. There currently aren’t not any details out there on what this means, but I am hopeful that it is a paired down version of the game that may keep it simple. Ultimately though we really need more visuals and gameplay information in order to make a real determination on what FIFA 20 is all about.

Please be sure to check out all our E3 coverage as we will update you if and when we find out anything new.

What do you think? Sound off in the comments and let us know your thoughts!

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Playtonic Games got out ahead of the insanity that is E3 2019 and revealed their next game on Friday June 7th. Yooka-Laylee and the Impossible Lair is coming to Steam, Nintendo Switch, PS4, and Xbox One and it looks to be a delight.

Playtonic’s first game, Yooka-Laylee, struggled to reach expectations. They launched on Kickstarter and it set the world on fire, but that came with high expectations. People wanted Yooka-Laylee to be the second coming of Banjo-Kazooie. That just didn’t happen. One of the biggest complaints about the original game was about the camera. Some players even reported getting motion sick.

Faulty camera issues can doom a 3D platformer so it makes sense that Playtonic would abandon that path in the sequel. Impossible Lair is a “2D-Platforming-Adventure-Hybrid” that combines 2.5D platforming with gameplay segments that are top-down and have a heavy puzzle focus.

The trailer is embedded below. Take a look and let us know in the comments if this looks like a game you would want to play!

What do you think? Sound off in the comments and let us know your thoughts!

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One of the games that caught my eye last year at E3 was a side-scrolling action game at the XSEED booth called Sakuna: Of Rice and Ruin. I could not have been more excited to see it again this year.

Sakuna: Of Rice and Ruin is an action game where players take on the role of the Harvest Goddess Sakuna who has been banished alongside a small group of humans to a dangerous island. She has to use farming tool weapons and a celestial scarf to battle fierce monsters and claim territory. She then plants, harvests, and polishes rice for the humans to eat. She is a Harvest Goddess so this is actually how she increased her power.

Last year, I played one of the side-scrolling combat levels and loved it. The action was swift. The enemies were interesting. I also really enjoyed how mobile I was able to be once I learned to use the celestial scarf as a grappling hook. I was able to fling myself all over the screen to get a combat advantage against the different enemies.

This year, I was able to play around with the rice farming system. I was terrible at it, but I did manage to grow a reasonably good crop of rice during my demo. It was actually pretty meditative and I know that it would be easier to learn and master if I weren’t standing uncomfortably in a booth.

Sakuna: Of Rice and Ruin is being developed for the PlayStation 4 and is set to release this Winter.

What do you think? Sound off in the comments and let us know your thoughts!

Check out all of our E3 2018 coverage here!

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I thought toys to life games were dead. Disney Infinite was … finite. Skylanders has run aground. LEGO Dimensions fell flat. Even the copy-cats have faded into obscurity. But, it looks like Ubisoft is trying to resurrect the oft-maligned genre with Starlink: Battle for Atlas.

I approached Starlink with apprehension. I’ve been burned before and I didn’t want to fall for it again. But, I couldn’t help myself. It was just too good. Put simply, Starlink: Battle for Atlas is the best Star Fox game I have ever played. The E3 2018 demo that I played took me down to a desolate planet and gave me the freedom to fly all over the place to complete challenges and fight massive bosses. The last boss I fought was a giant rock spider monster that had multiple phases and required some tricky flying to defeat. It took a few attempts, but I was really into it.

The toys to life mechanic is pretty straightforward. You select a pilot, a ship, a pair of wings, and a pair of weapons. Each of those components has an impact on the final ship and how you play. Each pilot has a different special ability. The ships have different armor components. The wings help with speed. The weapons all function differently, but many of them interact with each other. During my demo I used a Vortex Cannon (which just sounds awesome all on its own) and a flamethrower. The Vortex Cannon created these awesome looking vortexes wherever they struck a target (or the ground) and if I hit them with the flamethrower they turned into flame vortexes!

Even more interesting, the toys to life features are largely optional. If you aren’t interested in buying the physical toys the pilots, ships, and components can be purchased digitally. I feel like this is a pretty reasonable compromise for people who were burned by having to find a way to store all of their toys to life figures during the initial craze.

Starlink: Battle for Altas will be released October 16, 2018  on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PC.


What do you think? Sound off in the comments and let us know your thoughts!

Make sure to check out all of our other E3 2018 coverage here!

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Mega Man has evolved a bunch of times since he first debuted in 1987. Each evolution has caused widespread panic amongst diehard Mega Man fans. Some of those concerns have been more justified than others, but I am happy to report that Mega Man 11 is amazing and fans of the series should start counting down the seconds until it launches on October 2nd.

I knew that playing Mega Man 11 while I was at E3 was going to be one of my highest priorities and I reached out to several Mega Man fans for the inside scoop on what they were worried about. The common theme was that the new anime-inspired art style would change the way that Mega Man runs and jumps. They depend a lot on muscle memory that has been built up over the last 30 years to pull off all of their tricks and strategies. Fortunately, all is well in the year 20xx. Mega Man moves and jumps just like he always has. He is also the same relative size compared to most of the enemies and obstacles that he normally is. Everyone will have to adjust to the new game, but I doubt it will take true Mega Man experts long to get there.

Don’t expect a carbon copy of a 30-year-old game formula though. Mega Man 11 celebrates what made the original games great while making some welcome changes.

The first, and most striking, change is the aesthetic. Mega Man has come crashing into the modern era with an anime-inspired, 2.5D art style that looks hand drawn. It looks gorgeous in motion and is a welcome change from the 8-bit pixel art used in previous games in the series. I loved every frame of animation during my demo and it was just Stone Man. His level was visually simple and didn’t have a lot of color to it. The other levels will likely be wonders to behold.

The second big change is the gear system. Mega Man has the ability to literally shift gears. Pressing either the left or right bumper will either increase your attack power or slow down time. Both gears can run out of power though, so you have to carefully balance those powers while traversing the levels and fighting bosses.

There are so many reasons to be excited, but I am over the moon because it sounds like Capcom is finally paying attention to Mega Man again. This is a big deal because previously they had ignored the franchise for so long that the original creator had to make Mighty No. 9 (and that didn’t go very well).

Mega Man 11 will release on October 2, 2018 for the Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Steam.


Pre-order the Gamestop Exclusive Switch Amiibo Edition here!

What do you think? Sound off in the comments and let us know your thoughts!

Check out the rest of our E3  coverage here!

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Spyro is coming back this Fall and you won’t have to buy a single toy to play as him! The Spyro Reignited Trilogy is coming out on September 21st, 2018. I went hands-on with the remastered games while we were at E3 and came away very impressed.

The Spyro Reignited Collection is a package that includes fully remade versions of Spyro the Dragon, Spyro 2: Ripto’s Rage! and Spyro: Year of the Dragon. Toys for Bob, the company behind Skylanders, has lovingly remade these games from the ground up without any of the original assets or source code. They originally reached out to Insomniac Games, the original game designers, for some of that data, but it had all been lost in an office move. This was a pretty significant pain point for the Toys for Bob team because they wanted to make sure the game was as authentic as possible. They solved that problem by creating a software development tool that they affectionately referred to as “Spyro-scope.” This tool ran alongside an emulated version of each of the original games and kept track of things like speed, jump height, etc.

I was able to play the available levels twice and I couldn’t help but smile throughout. I never played the original games, so I don’t have any emotional attachment to them. I expected my time with the games to be fine, but I was caught off guard by how pleasant the game was. Everything on the screen was soft shapes awash in bright colors. It all got me very excited to play these games for the first time with my kids this fall.

The Reignited Trilogy will be coming to PlayStation 4 and Xbox One on September 21st. They wouldn’t talk about a Nintendo Switch version yet, but I would be stunned if it didn’t find its way there at some point.


What do you think? Sound off in the comments and let us know your thoughts!

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Nintendo announced a new Super Smash Brothers game a few months ago, but they didn’t reveal many details. That’s no longer an issue thanks to a 25-minute presentation that was a part of the Nintendo E3 2018 Direct. video. The new Smash Bros. game is called Super Smash Bros. Ultimate and will be released on December 7th, 2018.

The Full Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Reveal Video

The Features

Everyone is Here!

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate will include every character that has ever been a part of a Smash Bros game. That will even include guest characters like Solid Snake that fans thought were lost to time. I know that my oldest son loves to play as Ryu and Cloud from Smash Bros. Wii U and I had told him not to get his hopes up. I felt the hype explosion from our house all the way in LA.

New Fighters: Inkings and Ridley

The past isn’t the only thing being celebrated. Nintendo is also including two new characters. First, they announced the inklings from Splatoon. This is a relatively complex character that does more damage when standing in ink that they have already laid down on the map. The second character is the long-requested Ridley from Metroid. Ridley is a weird dragon/dinosaur/space pirate (No. None of that is made up.)

Echo Fighters: Daisy and Dark Pit

There are some characters in Smash that are very similar. Rather than create (and balance) entire move-sets for similar characters, Nintendo has implemented what are called  Echo Fighters. They are characters that will have the same moves as another character on the roster, but those moves will behave differently. Two examples are Daisy (who is an echo fighter for Peach) and Dark Pit (an Echo fighter for Pit).

Gamecube Controllers

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate will be compatible with Gamecube controllers. It will use the same adaptors that were used for Super Smash Bros Wii U as well. This will be a big hit with Super Smash Bros. Melee enthusiasts.

Dozens of Character Changes

They made dozens of character changes to help balance characters and make them more interesting. Gamespot did a great roundup of the changes and listed them here.

Pre-Orders Are Available!


The Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Roster

1. Mario

2. Donkey Kong

3 Link

4. Samus

5. Yoshi

6. Kirby

7. Fox

8. Pikachu

9. Luigi

10. Ness

11. Captain Falcon

12. Jigglypuff

13. Peach

13ε. Daisy

14. Bowser

15. Ice Climbers

16. Sheik

17. Zelda

18. Dr. Mario

19. Pichu

20. Falco

21. Marth

21ε. Lucina

22. Young Link

23. Ganondorf

24. Mewtwo

25. Roy

26. Mr. Game & Watch

27. Meta Knight

28. Pit

28ε. Dark Pit

29. Zero Suit Samus

30. Wario

31. Snake

32. Ike

33. Squirtle (Pokémon Trainer)

34. Ivysaur (Pokémon Trainer)

35. Charizard (Pokémon Trainer)

36. Diddy Kong

37. Lucas

38. Sonic

39. King Dedede

40. Olimar

41. Lucario

42. R.O.B.

43. Toon Lnk

44. Wolf

45. Villager

46. Mega Man

47. Wii Fit Trainer

48. Rosalina and Luma

49. Little Mac

50. Greninja

51. Mii Fighter – Brawler

52. Mii Fighter – Swordfighter

53. Mii Fighter – Gunner

54. Palutena

55. Pac-Man

56. Robin

57. Shulk

58. Bowser Jr.

59. Duck Hunt

60. Ryu

61. Cloud

62. Corrin

63. Bayonetta

64. Inkling

65. Ridley

What do you think? Sound off in the comments and let us know your thoughts!

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Sony invested a lot of money in their PlayStation VR platform before it was launched, but it hasn’t exactly set the world on fire. The headset has underperformed against modest sales expectations and many people in the industry suspected that it would be absent at E3 this year. I know I wouldn’t have been surprised if it wasn’t there either. We were all wrong though. Sony had a massive booth at the show this year that had a TON of games in it. Below is a list of games that the EFG Staff enjoyed.

Editor’s Note: VR Games are not encouraged for younger gamers. The PSVR platform is specifically recommended for gamers age 13+.

The PSVR Games


Astro Bot: Rescue Mission

Developer: Sony Japan Studios

Platform: PSVR

Release date:Fall 2018


We got an opportunity to play this rather unique platformer utilizing the PS4 dualshock controller and the VR headset.  Moving Astro Bot around the environment to rescue is tiny robot friends was very similar to most other platformers and it took me a little while to realize what I was missing by not just simply turning my head to look around.  They made sure to use every inch of space in order to make you look around to find the correct way to get access the spots where they hide your goals. So really if you are a platform junkie with a soft spot for cute robots this might very well be the one for you.

 

Ghost Giant

Developer: Zoink

Platform: PSVR Exclusive

Release Date: TBD


This is a beautiful puzzle game coming to PSVR, you play a literal giant ghost who has been sent to help and protect a lonely, bullied boy named Louis. You interact with the world using a series of levers, knobs, and picking things up and moving them to solve problems and assist Louis. Get used to looking at everything and everywhere to find your solution.

 

Beat Saber

Developer: Hyperbolic Magnetism

Platform: PSVR, Oculus, HTC VIBE, Windows Mixed Reality

Release Date: TBD on PSVR, Out everywhere else

 

 

SPT: Space Pirate Trainer

Platform: Steam, Oculus, HTC Vive, Windows Mixed Reality and PSVR

Developer: I-lllusions Game and Media Development

Release Date: Currently Commercially Available (Arcade licenses only)

Do you want to be Starlord?  In 2018 you can with SPT, seriously, it is Galaga in VR and the enemies shoot back at you.  Space pistols for everyone!!!!!

 

Creed: Rise to Glory

Platform: PSVR

Developer: Survious

Release Date: 2018

Guess what, boxing makes you tired, and so will Creed on PSVR.  The gameplay was solid and fluid and really did force you to use the whole virtual experience.  Just be careful of the cords as the last thing you want to do is rip the audio plugs out while trying not to get knocked to the canvas.

 

This one is VR. Just Not PSVR

HAVER (Hyper Arena VR)

Developer: Hyperbook Studio

Platform: Steam

Release Date: TBD

Tron… It’s Tron and it is just as zany and wacky as one would think a game that ostensibly looks and feels like playing in the first Tron movie.  Our team really enjoyed the dynamic movement and the speed that you could play at once you are used to the environment and controls. I mean really who does not want to hit their friend in the head by bouncing a laser-powered disk off the floor into their face.

 

What do you think? Sound off in the comments and let us know your thoughts!

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