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February 24, 2018

New details announced for The Curse of the Pharaohs DLC for Assassin's Creed Origins

Ubisoft has released more details on the upcoming DLC for Assassin's Creed Origins, The Curse of the Pharaohs and it looks good.

In this DLC, we see Bayek head out to find a mysterious artifact in Thebes, where he immediately runs into much more than he bargained for. Instead of the mortal and deceitful Order of the Ancients, he finds undead pharaohs materializing in the streets and slaughtering civilians. The Pharaoh's Curse, as the locals call it, likely has something to do with all the grave robbers treating the Valley of the Kings like a strip mine for antiquities, forcing Bayek to hunt down key artifacts linked to each pharaoh in order to put them to rest.

Curse of the Pharaohs' map is a vast new territory filled with surprises. There's Thebes, a massive city that boasts famous sights like the temples of Karnak and Luxor. Across the Nile, you'll find the Valley of the Kings, pitted with the plundered tombs of Egyptian royalty. And as he works to quell the spirits of each restless pharaoh, Bayek finds his way into their individual afterlives, which exist as big, self-contained open worlds connected to portals in their tombs. The Egyptian underworld is dazzling and strange, with exotic loot, majestic barges that float across fields of reeds, and mythical creatures that stand sentry against the living. Keep a careful eye out, or you might have a run-in with the Anubis-like guards that patrol the landscape – or worse, the camel-sized scorpions that make hippos and crocodiles look like stuffed animals.

You can read more about the DLC over on the Ubisoft site.

Zasalamel & Ivy join the roster in Soul Calibur 6

Bandai Namco has announced that Ivy and Zasalamel are joining the roster of SoulCalibur 6, which is set to release on PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC in 2018.

Sword Art Online Fatal Bullet is out now

Bandai Namco have announced that the next entry in the Sword Art Online saga, Fatal Bullet is out now for PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC via Steam.

Become the hero of Gun Gale Online in the latest game of the SAO franchise in Fatal Bullet. Step into the versatile landscapes and environments of Gun Gale Online with unique and realistic designs resembling something out of a sci-fi movie and numerous other weapons and fighting styles to choose from. Interact with characters from the Sword Art Online original novels, anime and previous games as you navigate a world that is vastly personalized and visually enhanced. 

Play as the protagonist, battle against opponents using new weapons and further customize gameplay by creating skills and abilities. Full dive into Sword Art Online: Fatal Bullet!

Pac-Man Championship Edition 2 Plus is out now for Switch

Bandai Namco have announced that Pac-Man has landed on Nintendo Switch with the release of  Pac-Man Championship Edition 2 PLUS.

Players will experience the critically-acclaimed retro arcade game reimagined with brilliant neon visuals and eye-popping, high-resolution 3D graphics on Nintendo’s hybrid console. The game includes Pac-Man Championship Edition 2, which was previously released in 2016, and will also have an exclusive two player co-op mode called Pac-Man Championship Edition 2 PLUS -2P for twice the fun!

The Pac-Man Championship Edition 2 PLUS 2P mode gives players an opportunity to team up and play on a single Nintendo Switch, with each player controlling their Pac-Man character on a single Joy-Con™. When one player gets caught by a ghost, the other player can come to the rescue. Players can also work together and use special co-op maneuvers to weave through the mazes and chomp their way to exciting boss battles.

Update for Super Mario Odyssey is out now

Nintendo has announced that the free update for Super Mario Odyssey is out now, letting players compete in a game of hide and seek and more.

Once players download the free update and complete the main story, Balloon World will become available, and players just have to find Luigi in each Kingdom and speak with him to get started. In “Hide It” mode, players have a limited amount of time to hide a balloon, while in “Find It” mode, players have the same period of time to locate balloons hidden by other players from around the world.

Whether players are hiding balloons or finding them, their Rank will go up based on their score. While playing Balloon World, the atmosphere will change for each kingdom: for example, players will see it rain in New Donk City during the day and watch the sun set in Tostarena.

In addition new filters have been added for the games snapshot mode, letting you create some very zany shots.

Finally, new costumes have been added to the game as well, letting you deck Mario out in the perfect outfit for the occasion.

February 23, 2018

The Resistance comes to Xbox One and PC next month

Activision has announced that the first DLC pack, The Resistance for Call of Duty WWII will land on PC and Xbox One on March 2nd, having been released on PlayStation 4 for a few weeks now.

In The Resistance DLC pack, players will fight in iconic World War II locations, from Paris to Prague, all centred around historic uprisings in three new Multiplayer maps and an all-new high-octane War Mode map.

• Valkyrie – Located in the Masurian Woods, East Prussia, this map was inspired by The Wolf’s Lair – The Fuhrers Eastern-front headquarters during Operation Barbarossa – the Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union.  This is a medium-sized map with multiple overwatch positions and mounted machine guns.

• Anthropoid – Based in Prague, Czechoslovakia, this map is inspired by Operation Anthropoid – the famous assassination attempt on a high-ranking German officer during World War II.  This map is divided by a river, with long-flanking paths that can be used by snipers for ranged attacks.

• Occupation – In this remake of a classic Call of Duty® map, players battle through the streets and shops of German-occupied Paris during WWII.  Nearby homes and storefronts lend defensive positions for ambush and recovery.

• Operation Intercept – Outside of St Lo, France, the next War Mode experience, developed in partnership with Raven Software, leads you on an urban rescue mission to save Resistance fighters being transported by train.  The first objective on the Allied side is freeing the fighters, followed by the destruction of key communication equipment, and ends with stopping a train.

The Resistance DLC pack also features the newest horror-filled chapter in the co-operative Nazi Zombies saga, The Darkest Shore.  Only days after the horrific disaster of Mittelburg, the crew has received intel that suggests Doktor Straub is on an island just north of Germany.   Blanketed in fog, this island is surrounded by enemy air and sea power – and crawling with the Undead.  Marie, Drostan, Olivia and Jefferson will need to battle all this and more to uncover the mysteries hidden within.

Zuntata releases their music onto Spotify

You might not know the name, but you will know their work, Zuntata is the name of the in-house band for Taito Games and today is a special occasion as over 3,000 tracks from the games they have worked on, are now on Spotify.

Zuntata is the team behind the creation of game sounds within Taito, and just celebrated their 30th anniversary in 2017. Mainly focusing on arcade, home console, and mobile game music and sound effects, Zuntata has created sounds for multiple games including the Darius series, The Ninja Warriors, Arkanoid, the Ray series, and Puzzle Bobble, better know to some as Bust-A-Move.

If you want to try and track down a classic song from your gaming history, jump on over to the official list and see what you can find.

I spy something as Orwell: Ignorance is Strength is released today

The second season of the suspense thriller Orwell begins today with the release of Ignorance is Strength: Episode One: Thesis. Players will be able to embark on a new journey as they step into the shoes of a government operative in The Office, not related to the tv show at all.

Episode One: Thesis opens with a political crisis threatening to plunge The Nation and its neighbour, Parges, into violent civil unrest. An officer of the Pargesian military has gone missing and the only clue is a phone call between the missing officer and Raban Vhart, a controversial Pargesian blogger now living in The Nation. With tensions rising between and within the two countries, you must investigate both the disappearance and Vhart in an attempt to diffuse the situation.

The remaining episodes are expected to launch every two weeks until done, so Friday March 9th and Friday March 23rd, as long as no unforeseen delays happen.

The game is playable on PC, Mac and Linux machines and available via Steam, GOG and Humble.

Paint the track red or any other colour in Trailblazers

What would happen if you took the chaotic paint action of Splatoon and mixed it with the racing and boost mechanics of Fast RMX, well wonder no more as Rising Star Games and Supergonk have announced Trailblazers.

Trailblazers is a co-op racing title, where players will paint the track, and if you boost on your color, and work as a team, you might win! Racing in teams of up to three-versus-three, players paint the track as they race, capturing key areas to dynamically change the racing line, then boosting on their team’s color. 

Racers who drive with flair and style will also amass skill points to blaze their way to victory! Players can experience the blistering high-speed action with up to six players online, or locally via split-screen for up to four local players with additional online or CPU-controlled challengers.

“The Supergonk team is proud to announce Trailblazers; our vision of true co-op racing designed from the ground-up with team play at its core,” said Ben Ward, founder of Supergonk. “The brand new paint/boost mechanics introduce a fresh layer of second-to-second strategic thinking which can’t be found in other racing titles. As huge racing game fans, we feel that the genre often hasn’t been as innovative as we’d like. Our aim with Trailblazers is clear: to create a brand new IP to reinvigorate the genre and build an unexpected new racer that we ourselves want to play.”

“We are thrilled to have worked alongside Supergonk to help realise their vision,” said Martin Defries, President of Rising Star Games. “The game is superb, the ambition high, and the opportunity vast. We are keen to show the gaming community across the world just how great this game is.”
Loaded with multiplayer thrills and a series of single-player challenges across an extended campaign mode, Trailblazers is an audio-visual onslaught of retro-futuristic style and attitude. The game takes place in a lavishly designed world from the creative mind of BAFTA award-winning artist Will Milton. 

Players race through expansive and stunning scenic tracks set across locations ranging from mountain tops to lush forests and arid desert valleys. Aural soundscapes are provided via the officially licensed soundtrack featuring leaders of the Future Funk genre, including Get On Up by Skope, Bad King Kong by The Derevolutions, and Dead Ringer by A.Skillz.

The game is coming to Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC this Autumn, though a specific date has not yet been announced. 

Milanoir brings the Italian 70's to Switch

Good Shepherd Entertainment has announced they are teaming up with Italo Games to bring Milanoir, an original pixel-packed action game inspired by the masterpiece Italian crime movies of the 1970s, is expected to launch on Nintendo Switch in early 2018.

Milanoir’s pixel art aesthetic paints the unforgiving city of Milan in bright and bloody detail while a funky ‘70s-style soundtrack further captures the turbulent energy of the era. Sneak, choke and shoot through the violent criminal underworld on the hunt for the man who framed you, surviving breathtaking vehicle chases and taking out anyone who stands in your way.

Those who are looking to get the game on other platforms will need to wait as it won't be coming to PC or other consoles until later in the year. The game has been designed with the unique capabilities of the Switch in mind, and allows two players to complete its entire action-packed campaign in Co-Op mode on one console with each player using one Joy‑Con controller.

No exact release date has been given yet, but it is expected soon, with the game on track for an early Q2 release.

February 22, 2018

Bayonetta 1 & 2 on Switch - Review

Today is a strange day, not only do we get two great games with Bayonetta 1 and 2, but it marks the first time that we get a direct port of a game from Nintendo, with Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, changing things up, but is a direct port enough?

If you have been living under a rock, then you might not know what Bayonetta is all about, you play as the titular witch herself and at the start of the first game, you are tasked with discovering   all the while attempting to recover your own memories. As the events unfold, you start to learn more and more about the world and what is going on. Once you pick up the second game, Bayonetta knows who she is, but this time, it is about trying to save a dear friend, who happened to push you out of the way of danger and as a result, they themselves have had their soul taken away. While the stories of both games, the second more so, are light in nature, it’s a combination of those stories and the gameplay that makes them worth playing.

Bayonetta 1 is not what I plan to cover here, the game has seen release over the years many times, the Switch release is just the latest in the series of platforms it has hit, I should mention that the game runs better here than it did on the Wii U release. I suspect that the Switch release is based on the recent PC release, rather than the original Xbox 360 one, but I don’t know for certain. Bayonetta 2 is a port of the Wii U release and its almost identical, where the Wii U release faltered a few times, the Switch release does not and it is so much better for it. The entire game feels like its pure motion, from the subtle moves of Bayonetta herself, to the way the enemies float or blob around the screen.

I played most of the two games whilst on the go, thanks to a recent trip to Sydney and in handheld, there was something just so sublime about playing games that are that fast and fluid.  Both games run frighteningly well, more so than I had though they would, there was some slow down on Bayonetta 2, but we are talking minor amounts at very few times, something that you would hate to call an issue. Bayonetta 1 runs better, but that could be in part to it being more subdued than the sequel, but no matter which way you look at it, playing either of these games on Switch in handheld mode is giving you the best way to experience them. Playing them docked is still a good experience, but for some reason Bayonetta 2 seemed to struggle a bit, not enough to dampen the overall experience, but enough to cause some concerns.

The games themselves are packed with features, but in this the sequel outshines the original by a wide margin, not only do you get amiibo support, which just gives you costumes, it also offers up the Tag Climax mode, which is their way of saying multiplayer. This is not your standard multiplayer though, here two players, each with their own Switch can link up, locally or online, though I never tried online and have your friend join you in your quest. The mode is fun, its nothing fancy, but it does not need to be, the action can get quite chaotic though, when you and a friend are both demolishing enemies all over the place. There are plenty of items hidden within each level in both games, and as you can up the difficulty, there are more than a single reason to replay the games and if all that were not enough, there is also the addition of bonus characters to unlock and even more, the game is bursting with cotent.

Fans of the Bayonetta series, or at least the original should consider picking up this collection, however those who have recently completed both games on the Wii U are going to be harder to convince. Both games are fantastic in what they do, but as there is almost nothing new to the games, especially Bayonetta 1, recommending them again, is a hard sell. If you do double down, you will find yourself falling in love with the games tight and frantic action, and maybe a little of the crazy characters too, but in any event, this is one package that is hard to put down.

Review copy supplied by Nintendo

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