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Sony has announced the lineup of free games being released as part of the PlayStation Plus program for August 2017. The list includes six games: two for the PS4, 2 for the PS3, and 2 for the PSVita. It is worth mentioning though that a lot of the PSVita games are “crossbuy” which means that you can also download then on the PS4.

This month’s lineup of games isn’t terribly good for families. The biggest game on the list is Just Cause 3. It’s a good game, but it is an action game where you explore, destroy a Mediterranean island. That, generally, places it in the “after bedtime” category for most families.

Take a look below for the list of upcoming games!

PlayStation 4

  • Just Cause 3 – M for Mature
  • Assassin’s Creed: Freedom Cry – M for Mature

PlayStation 3

  • Super Motherload – E 10+
  • Snakeball – E for Everyone

Vita

  • Downwell (crossbuy with PS4) – E for Everyone
  • Level 22, PS Vita – E 10+

 

What do you think of this lineup? Sound off in the comments!

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August “Games with Gold” Lineup Announced

The lineup of free games coming to the Games With Gold program for August 2017 has been announced. Its a mixed bag this month. Half of the games are great for families, and the other half… not so much.

Take a look below to see if any of the games are to your liking. Keep in mind that these games are free to anyone with an active Xbox Live Gold subscription that costs $60 per year.

Games

Descriptions

Slime Rancher

Rated E for Everyone

For Beatrix LeBeau, being a rancher can be tough. Especially when she moves a thousand light years away for her job! Add to that, she’s not wrangling cattle, she’s wrangling slimes. A lot of slimes! But there’s money to be made in slime science. Careful though, it’s a risky business when vacpacs and jetpacks are your tools.

Trials Fusion

Rated E 10+


Powered by a top-notch physics system, Trials Fusion is packed with a wide variety of challenging levels encouraging you to pull off countless tricks and stunts. Prepare to show off in ways you never imagined with Trials‘ intuitive and addictive gameplay.

Bayonetta

Rated M for Mature

Stylish, over-the-top finishing moves and epic set pieces push the limits of the action genre in Bayonetta. As a witch with magical powers and deadly weapons, you’ll flow gracefully in battle from one angelic enemy to the next in this critically acclaimed game.

Red Faction: Armageddon

Rated M for Mature

Save Mars from an ancient evil (that you accidentally unleashed) in Red Faction: Armageddon. After a half-century of peace on Mars, the Red Faction resistance is called upon to save Mars from destruction. Survive hordes of enemies with friends in co-op or battle across the red planet in an epic solo campaign.

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4 Family Video Games We Think Are Missing from the SNES Classic

Nintendo announced the SNES Classic  just the other day. Some corners of the internet may be worried that they won’t be able to get one. But, we’ve been too busy admiring the amazing selection of games. It’s not 100% perfect though. Below is our list of five games we wish would have found their way onto the console.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles IV: Turtles in Time

The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles were probably the biggest thing in kids’ media during the SNES era. It only made sense that they would have a bunch of video games. None of those games, however managed to capture the wackiness of the TMNT characters and story the same way as Turtles in Time.

The premise was simple: you control one of the four turtles in an arcade beat’em’up still game where each stage is a different era on time. The far future and the Wild West (aboard a train no less) were just two of the environments you played in.

This might be a longshot considering it is a licensed game, but I really hope it finds its way into the collection.

Chrono Trigger

One of the biggest complaints from Nintendo fans after the announcement is that Chrono Trigger was left out. It is largely considered one of the best RPGs of the SNES era and is well loved by Nintendo fans.

The RPG count on the SNES Classic is pretty high already, so I know that it is a bit of a stretch. But, I would love to have seen them find a way to fit Chrono Trigger into the box.

This game was revolutionary when it came out. It featured a branching story, time travel (that mattered), a team of interesting characters, and more twists and turns than we had seen previously.

Zombies Ate My Neighbors

Zombies Ate My Neighbors is, quietly, one of the most entertaining multiplayer games to grace the 16 bit consoles. The maze-like levels and quirky humor made this game a favorite at our house.

It doesn’t hurt that this game is devilishly challenging at times because of the limited ammunition available to players in most stages. This makes teamwork and communication critical to finishing this one even if it looks like it should be a throwaway game thanks to its hilarious animations.

Clay Fighter

Ok. Confession time. I didn’t put this one on my definitive wish list because it slipped my mind. I was too busy picking the highlights of the generation to remember a game that was near and dear to my heart as a kid. My brother and I would play this game for HOURS on end laughing at the hilarious character animations.

Sure. Clay Fighter wasn’t the most technically sound fighting game at the time, but I credit this game with showing me that Fighting games were about more than Ryu and Chun Li. It really opened my eyes and helped me to enjoy other fighting games for what they are as opposed to putting my blinders on and only playing Street Fighter II.


What about you? Is there a game you wished made the cut? Sound off in the comments!

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Nintendo Has Announced the Super Nintendo Entertainment System Classic Edition

Nintendo has officially announced the Super Nintendo Entertainment System Classic Edition. This isn’t a terribly surprising move considering the wild success that its predecessor, the NES Classic, enjoyed.

People have been speculating about the SNES Classic since the day the NES Classic was announced. We even got into the action when we published our definitive SNES Classic wish list a few months back.

The Super Nintendo is widely considered to be one of the best consoles of all time. It was originally released in 1991 (or as our kids call it… ancient history). Nintendo had healthy competition from Sega at the time so they were especially motivated to release quality games, and boy did they ever. The SNES is home to some of the very best games ever made.

Nintendo cherry picked that library to help fill the SNES Classic with an impressive roster. The included games are:

  • Contra III: The Alien Wars*
  • Donkey Kong Country**
  • EarthBound
  • Final Fantasy III
  • F-ZERO
  • Kirby Super Star*
  • Kirby’s Dream Course**
  • The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past
  • Mega Man X
  • Secret of Mana*
  • Star Fox
  • Star Fox 2
  • Street Fighter II Turbo: Hyper Fighting*
  • Super Castlevania IV
  • Super Ghouls ’n Ghosts
  • Super Mario Kart*
  • Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars
  • Super Mario World**
  • Super Metroid
  • Super Punch-Out!!
  • Yoshi’s Island

(Editor’s note: Games marked with a “*” allow for simultaneous multiplayer. Games marked with a “**” allow for alternating multiplayer.)

That is an amazing list of games with a lot of variety, but the biggest surprise out of all of them is Star Fox 2. This is a game that was announced back during the Super Nintendo era, but never released officially until now.

The miniature console, which fans have begun calling the SNES Mini, will match the shape of its older relative, but not the size. This diminutive console is scheduled to launch on September 29th and will retail for $79.99. As of now there are very few retailers offering pre-orders, but that could change in the coming weeks.

 

 

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The SNES Classic was announced yesterday. Nintendo sent out a press release, blasted social media, and created a huge amount of buzz in minutes. Unfortunately, buzz on the internet carries negativity with it. Specifically, people across the web were voicing their concern about being able to find one.

You can’t really blame people though. Nintendo botched the release of the NES Classic. They misjudged how popular the device would be and just plain didn’t make enough of them. This made it incredibly difficult for fans to get their hands on one. Scalpers, a constant problem for everyone, bought them up in droves only to sell them for double and sometimes triple the price. Eventually, Nintendo discontinued the device and frustrated even more people. Those fans came out of the woodwork today and were very vocal about how they didn’t think Nintendo would make enough.

I might get accused of being an irrational fan boy here, but I think there is actually reason to be optimistic about this. In fact, I think that there three reasons.

Change in Attitude

This is a new Nintendo we are dealing with. I know that Nintendo has historically been very quick to limit the supply of their consoles to the market. They do it in an effort to increase sales. But, they have just emerged from one of the company’s darkest hours. The Wii U was a commercial failure, and, while it did not put them even close to shutting down, it has put their back against the ropes. They have just started building momentum.

If we are going to assume they are smart enough to artificially produce demand for their items, then we have to also assume that they are smart enough to know that they shouldn’t do anything to hurt their momentum right now.

Timing

The NES Classic released during November. It was right in the middle of the Holiday shopping season and perilously close to the end of their fiscal year (which is the end of March each year). Nintendo has already confirmed in a statement to Polygon that they are committed to producing the device throughout the remainder of 2017 and that they will be producing a higher volume of units as well.

I don’t think that means they will be flooding the market with them, but the fact that they will be releasing more of them is a big deal. The fact that there is also more time before the end of the fiscal year also means that Nintendo could continue production into 2018 to help pad their numbers.

Money

I have said this before, and I stand by it. I believe that Nintendo discontinued the NES classic because they realized, too late, that they were undercharging for the device. Scalpers were charging double, and sometimes triple, the cost of the NES Classic on Ebay and people were paying! There is no chance that Nintendo didn’t see that and consider charging more.

There is no way they could have raised the price on the original unit without making their fans angry. Nintendo fans are sensitive as it is, so raising the price would lead to riots. The only viable option being to sunset the offending product and replace it with one that is similarly inexpensive to make that they could charge more for.

The SNES Classic fits that bill perfectly. It is likely being made with some of the same hardware. The form factor (size and shape) are very similar as well. The software, with the exception of Star Fox 2, was all released more than 25 years ago. This means that software development costs would have been very low too.  But, the value is made clear when you compare an $80 SNES Mini to a $300 Earthbound cartridge on Ebay.

Nintendo has to know that the SNES Classic  could be the product of the year. All they have to do is get out of its way.

 

 

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World of Nintendo on the 2017 Summer of Play Tour Announced

Nintendo has announced their Summer of Play tour for 2017. They will be bringing the Nintendo Switch and Nintendo 3DS family of systems all over the country. They’ll be setting up a veritable wonderland of Nintendo greatness for families to experience.

The tour will serve as a great opportunity for Nintendo fans to get their hands on the red hot Nintendo Switch. This will be great for building interest for the system as its critical first Holiday season.

 

The Summer of Play tour will visit the following locations:

June 9-11
Irvine, California
Irvine Spectrum Center

 

June 16-18
Pleasanton, California
Alameda County Fair

 

June 23-25
Bloomington, Minnesota
Mall of America®

 

June 30-July 2
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Henry Maier Festival Park (Summerfest Grounds)

 

July 7-9
Chicago
Navy Pier

 

July 14-16
Glendale, Arizona
Arrowhead Towne Center

 

July 20-23
San Diego
Marriott Marquis San Diego Marina (San Diego Comic-Con)

 

July 28-30
Arlington, Texas
The Parks Mall at Arlington

 

Aug. 4-6
Miami, Florida
Aventura Mall

 

Aug. 11-13
Bethlehem, Pennsylvania
Musikfest

 

Aug. 18-20
New York
DUMBO Waterfront

 

Aug. 25-27
King of Prussia, Pennsylvania
King of Prussia Mall

 

Sept. 2-4
Baltimore
Harborplace
Nintendo Switch games scheduled to appear on the tour include:

  • The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
  • Mario Kart 8 Deluxe
  • 1-2-Switch
  • Snipperclips – Cut it out, together!
  • ARMS
  • Splatoon 2
  • Super Bomberman R
  • Ultra Street Fighter II: The Final Challengers
  • Minecraft: Nintendo Switch Edition
Nintendo 3DS games scheduled to appear on the tour include:
  • Pokémon Sun
  • Pokémon Moon
  • Super Mario Maker for Nintendo 3DS
  • Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS
  • Hey! PIKMIN
  • Miitopia
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Blizzard Announces Overwatch One Year Anniversary Celebration!

It is hard to imagine, but Overwatch is still less than a year old. That all changes next week though. Blizzard has announced that they will be celebrating their new baby’s first birthday with a massive anniversary celebration that will run from May 23rd through June 12th.

The event will kick off on May 23rd with the digital release of the Overwatch: Game of the Year Edition. It will launch simultaneously on PS4, Xbox One, and PC and will include the following:

  • 10 Bonus Loot Boxes
  • Blackwatch Reyes and Strike-Commander Morrison skins
  • Tracer in Heroes of the Storm
  • Baby Winston Pet in World of Warcraft
  • Mercy’s Wings in Diablo III
  • In-game portraits of Tracer, Reaper, Pharah, Winston, Bastion, and Soldier: 76 in StarCraft II
  • A Hearthstone card back

They haven’t made any official announcements yet, but generally celebrations in online games like this include special events and skins. I expect we will hear all about that shortly.

Blizzard also announced that May 26th – May 29th (Memorial Day Weekend in the States) will be a free weekend to give people a chance to try out the experience. Any progression earned by a player will carry over into the full game should they choose to buy it after the weekend is over.

 

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Square Enix to Release Star Ocean: Till the End of Time Digitally for the PS4

Star Ocean: Till the End of Time is being released as a digital exclusive for the PS4 on May 23rd. This game is part of a long running RPG series with a blend of Sci-Fi and Fantasy themes wrapped around an action based combat system. This game is rated T for Teen for animated blood and some mild violence but is otherwise family friendly to play around younger gamers. This is about as intense as most Avengers or Star Wars movies for sake of comparison.

Star Ocean: Till the End of Time was an RPG where you could get very deep into the weeds with crafting mechanics and mini games, but the combat system features three computer controlled characters while you controlled a character with two buttons that can be assigned various attacks for a simple and fun experience.

 

Star Ocean: Till the End of Time is a game a remember well even though it came out more well more than a decade ago. Laser aiming devices and shotgun blasts were used alongside magical dimension doors. Space ship captains fought side by side with court wizards and quirky animal sidekicks. This game takes an escalating story that spans galaxies and adds a final mid game twist that redefined the perspective of the entire series before and after it.

Square Enix is adding additional features to Star Ocean: Till the End of Time like adding trophy support, the ability to share screenshots and video, along with remote play. A word of caution to trophy seekers is that this game has some optional content that is incredibly difficult and will either having you pull out your hair or pull out a game guide. Expect some cameos and references from other Tri-Ace/Square Enix titles in the deeper parts of the game as reward for those willing to complete the grind.

What do you think? Is this a game you’ll


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LEGO Marvel Superheroes 2 Announced!

LEGO Marvel Super Heroes 2 has been officially been announced!

The LEGO brand gets a new game every year, so an announcement like this was bound to happen sooner or later. This time we will be venturing back into the Marvel universe. Take a look at the teaser trailer below.

The full trailer will be released on May 23rd, 2017 so we’ll have to wait till then for more details. But, we can tell a few things from the marketing materials that have been released to far.

The story will span multiple time period and multiple realities. This will allow the developers to include some very deep cut super heroes like a wild west version of Captain America and Spider Gwen. The villain this time around will be Kang the Conqueror. He is a time traveling villain who is perfect for this sort of story because of his time and reality bending technology.

We can tell some of the characters that will be in the game already thanks to the cover art and the teaser.

The heroes announced so far are:

  • Rocket Raccoon
  • Baby Groot
  • Spider Gwen
  • Spider Man 2099
  • Doctor Strange
  • Captain Marvel
  • Black Panther
  • The Hulk (in Planet Hulk armor)
  • Wild West Captain America

We will obviously see more characters as we get closer to the release date on November 14th of this year. It will launch on PS4, Xbox One, and PC. A Switch version will launch later in the year.

 

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2K Games Announces Shaq and the NBA 2K18 Legend Edition Cover Athlete

2K Games has announced that Shaq is the Legend edition cover athlete for their upcoming NBA basketball sim NBA 2K18. Shaq was one of the most dominant forces in NBA during his long career and he really never went away after he retired. He sits on the panel for TNT’s Inside the NBA program and will likely be a fixture in and around the NBA for the rest of his days.

Big Aristotle (as some call him) is not gracing the cover of NBA2k18 after an 11 year absence. This time, though, he is limited to the special editions. The cover athlete for the main game will be announced as a later date (likely after the NBA Finals are complete).

The special editions will allow players to get into the action on September 15th of this year. The standard version of NBA 2K18 comes to Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC on September 19.

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