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Shacknews Recent Articles http://www.shacknews.com/rss?recent_articles=1 en-us Nintendo Direct - the Wii U and 3DS indie lineup http://www.shacknews.com/article/88912/nintendo-direct---the-wii-u-and-3ds-indie-lineup http://www.shacknews.com/article/88912/nintendo-direct---the-wii-u-and-3ds-indie-lineup <p>If you blinked during today's Nintendo Direct, you may have missed one of the many indie games set to come to both the Wii U and Nintendo 3DS in the coming months. Nintendo has helpfully posted trailers for many of these games that are set to arrive soon.</p> <p>The presentation started with Adventures of Pip from developer Tic Toc Games. This game puts players in control of a single pixel making its way through a treacherous 32-bit world. However, Pip can absorb the powers of his foes to grow into one of three more evolved states. Adventures of Pip is set to release in May on Wii U.</p> <p><iframe width="700" height="394" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/0d2r4vUYWcc" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></p> <p>PC and PlayStation users are familiar with Young Horses' story of a suburban cephalopod, Octodad: Dadliest Catch. Now the game is set to hit Wii U with some new GamePad functionality and four-player co-op that sees each player control an individual limb. The game is set to arrive this summer.</p> <p><iframe width="700" height="394" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/7fnPIb614OU" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></p> <p>Mutant Mudds Super Challenge is the sequel to the original Mutant Mudds game, adding 40 more challenges that require precision platforming and jumping from the background to the foreground. The game is set to hit both Wii U and 3DS this summer, with players getting both versions on a single purchase. Those that own the original Mutant Mudds will also get a discount on this newer game.</p> <p><iframe width="700" height="525" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/hdH9XjHB1T8" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></p> <p>Speaking blasts from the past, here's Don't Starve: Giant Edition. This game includes the base game, as well as the Reign of Giants DLC. Where it sets itself apart from other versions is its invaluable Wii U GamePad functionality that allows players to conveniently manage their inventory. This iteration of Klei's survival game is set to arrive in May, with all purchases yielding an extra copy for a friend at no additional charge.</p> <p><iframe width="700" height="394" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/yAe9hbzNzgE" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></p> <p>Other games briefly glossed over were forma.8, Dementium: Remastered, Affordable Space Adventures, Starwhal: Just the Tip, Never Alone, Ninja Pizza Girl, Antipole DX, Life of Pixel, Badland: Game of the Year Edition, Slain!, Runbow, Back to Bed, Space Hulk, Race the Sun, DOOORS, Dot Arcade, Swords &amp; Soldiers II, Lionel City Builder 3D: Rise of the Rails, Toto Temple Deluxe, The Bridge, Shutshimi, Nova-111, and Windup Knight 2. The full roundup video is available below. However, many of the full individual trailers have also been compiled below for your viewing convenience.</p> <p><iframe width="700" height="394" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/XtmkAXTxTk8" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe> <iframe width="700" height="525" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/ZdXsruSHIVk" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe> <iframe width="700" height="394" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/6O_n_fCBZac" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe> <iframe width="700" height="394" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/9eqTp_H6l38" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe> <iframe width="700" height="394" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/1AoCpYWGDkE" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe> <iframe width="700" height="394" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/hQO81u7cog4" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe> <iframe width="700" height="525" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/0zo-8IFK2J4" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe> <iframe width="700" height="394" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/e6KmuyH936s" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe> <iframe width="700" height="394" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/3PtpuOKnwOQ" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></p> Wed, 01 Apr 2015 16:35:00 PDT Ozzie Mejia New Fire Emblem Lets You Choose Your Path http://www.shacknews.com/article/88911/new-fire-emblem-lets-you-choose-your-path http://www.shacknews.com/article/88911/new-fire-emblem-lets-you-choose-your-path <p>Today's Nintendo Direct revealed new gameplay features for the upcoming Fire Emblem game. Since the main character&nbsp;is custom made, the game will offer a greater freedom of choice so that players have a chance to play the way they want. In the game, there are two warring factions: the peace-loving Hoshido and the glory seeking Nohr. Players will have an opportunity to choose which kingdom to support. The path you choose will determine your character's fate. The world and characters will remain the same, but the storyline, battles, and outcomes will change according to the decisions you make.</p> <p>Hoshido is like tradiional Fire Emblem game, so is therefore more accessible, even to new players. Players will fight alongside allies to combat Nohr invaders. Siding with the Nohr means that you have to tame an unruly kingdom from the inside, meaning a more complex storyline and a more difficult challange.&nbsp;</p> <p>Players will have a chance to make their choice in 2016, with Fire Emblem for Nintendo 3DS releases in North America.</p> <p><iframe width="700" height="390" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/94CCxVMltQY" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></p> Wed, 01 Apr 2015 22:55:00 PDT Steven Wong Mario Kart 8 DLC coming early, plus new speed class http://www.shacknews.com/article/88910/mario-kart-8-dlc-coming-early-plus-new-speed-class http://www.shacknews.com/article/88910/mario-kart-8-dlc-coming-early-plus-new-speed-class <p>Today during the Nintendo Direct presentation, the company made a few announcements regarding updates to Mario Kart 8. The second of two planned DLC packs, originally slated for May, is now coming April 23. As previously announced, it will feature Isabelle, Villager, and Dry Bowser. The presentation also gave a first glimpse of the Animal Crossing track, which changes seasons each time you play it.</p> <p>Alongside the new tracks, a free update will add a new 200cc class. The super-fast speed will apply to all of the new tracks, along with previous ones. Plus, new Amiibo suits will be available for your Mii, based on characters like Mega Man, Sonic, Pac-Man, and Captain Olimar.&nbsp;</p> <p><iframe width="700" height="350" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/AwVuK_mRAg0"></iframe></p> <p><iframe width="700" height="350" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/xfiLh5opdJ8"></iframe></p> <p><iframe width="700" height="350" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/53RNVupdZ2k"></iframe></p> Wed, 01 Apr 2015 22:52:00 PDT Steve Watts Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer plays house on 3DS this fall http://www.shacknews.com/article/88909/animal-crossing-happy-home-designer-plays-house-on-3ds-this-fall http://www.shacknews.com/article/88909/animal-crossing-happy-home-designer-plays-house-on-3ds-this-fall <p>There's more Animal Crossing on the way, according to today's Nintendo Direct. The latest installment in the series is called Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer and focuses more on the homekeeping element of the franchise. The game is set to hit this fall.</p> <p>While one might expect to hear about new Amiibo figures, given that Nintendo seems to be giving them out like candy, that's actually not the case for Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer. Rather, the game will utilize Amiibo cards, which will help design rooms and also invite new characters to your home. While the New 3DS includes a card scanner, old 3DS users will need to use a special scanner, which will also be available this fall.</p> <p><i>More to come&hellip;</i></p> Wed, 01 Apr 2015 22:51:00 PDT Ozzie Mejia Xenoblade Chronicles 3D trailer hits ahead of April 10 release http://www.shacknews.com/article/88908/xenoblade-chronicles-3d-trailer-hits-ahead-of-april-10-release http://www.shacknews.com/article/88908/xenoblade-chronicles-3d-trailer-hits-ahead-of-april-10-release <p>While today's Nintendo Direct had a sharp focus on 3DS games set to arrive soon, Nintendo had a special place for Xenoblade Chronicles 3D, revealing a new trailer for the upcoming adventure.</p> <p>Fans were also reminded that the game's release date is imminent. Xenoblade Chronicles is set to arrive on April 10, but as a reminder, is only playable on the New 3DS. Catch the full trailer below.</p> <p><iframe width="700" height="394" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/NAV9OaGLrfs" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></p> Wed, 01 Apr 2015 22:40:00 PDT Ozzie Mejia Puzzles & Dragons leads Nintendo Direct 3DS lineup http://www.shacknews.com/article/88907/puzzles--dragons-leads-nintendo-direct-3ds-lineup http://www.shacknews.com/article/88907/puzzles--dragons-leads-nintendo-direct-3ds-lineup <p>Today's Nintendo Direct continued with a robust lineup of 3DS games set to come to Nintendo's handheld. The lineup was led by the dual package of Puzzles &amp; Dragons Z and Puzzles &amp; Dragons: Super Mario Bros. Edition. The dual games are set to come out on May 22 with pre-orders available now. A demo for Puzzles &amp; Dragons: Super Mario Bros. Edition is set to hit 3DS on April 30.</p> <p>The next installment of the Pokemon Rumble series was also revealed. In Pokemon Rumble World was also revealed today. Players can capture Pokemon and battle them in more action-centered environments. Today's presentation revealed some of the new mechanics, including the addition of Poke Diamonds, which can be earned in-game, through StreetPass, or through real-money purchases. The game is set to release on April 8 on the Nintendo eShop.</p> <p>Other games displayed include Box Boy! (which Steve enjoyed <a href="http://www.shacknews.com/article/88864/boxboy-review-game-cubed">quite a bit</a>), Attack on Titan: Humanity in Chains, and the long-awaited Shin Megami Tensei x Fire Emblem crossover. There are a whole lot of trailers here and you can watch them below.</p> <p><iframe width="700" height="394" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/0fS24IxelBA" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></p> <p><iframe width="700" height="394" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/gUuuU5SiKOc" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></p> <p><iframe width="700" height="394" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/vM0AppRa6mQ" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></p> Wed, 01 Apr 2015 22:36:00 PDT Ozzie Mejia Yoshi's Woolly World coming with Yarn Amiibo this fall http://www.shacknews.com/article/88906/yoshis-woolly-world-coming-with-yarn-amiibo-this-fall http://www.shacknews.com/article/88906/yoshis-woolly-world-coming-with-yarn-amiibo-this-fall <p>During today's Nintendo Direct, the company showed off Yoshi's Woolly World again. It reasserted that it's due out this fall, but had another little surprise to show off: a Yarn Yoshi Amiibo, complete with a crocheted look. Tapping the Yoshi on the screen will add another Yoshi to the game, letting you play as double Yoshi. The Yarn version of the Amiibo will come in three colors: green, pink, and light blue.</p> <p>The presentation also announced two modes: Classic and Mellow. Classic is said to be similar to traditional Yoshi games, while Mellow lets you use winged Yoshi to breeze through stages. You can switch between the two modes, just in case you get stuck.&nbsp;</p> Wed, 01 Apr 2015 22:30:00 PDT Steve Watts Nintendo Reveals Amiibo Release Line-up and Amiibo Tap http://www.shacknews.com/article/88905/nintendo-reveals-amiibo-release-line-up-and-amiibo-tap http://www.shacknews.com/article/88905/nintendo-reveals-amiibo-release-line-up-and-amiibo-tap <p>Nintendo revealed that over a dozen new Amiibos will be hitting stores in the coming months. Some of the most prominent figures include Zero Suit Samus, Doctor Mario, and Bowser Jr. - all set to release in August.&nbsp;</p> <p>Lucina Robin will be compatible with Codename STEAM, while Wario will be compatible with Mario Party 10. Furthermore, fans can expect Mewtwo and Lucas Amiibo to release sometime in the future.</p> <p>Accompanying the Amiibo madness is an upcoming Nintendo eShop game called Amiibo Tap: Nintendo's Greatest Bits. Tapping your Amiibo on the Wii U controller will unlock special content for select NES and SNES games. Each&nbsp;gameplay demo is about 3 minutes long, so it won't possible to experience everything at once. But tapping your Amiibo on the controller will switch you to a new scene. Games will not be associated with specific Amiibo. Instead, content is randomly assigned to whatever Amiibo you use when it is initially scanned. So, you're never quite sure what of content you'll unlock. With dozens of games to try out, you can spend forever trying out different Amiibo to see what they bring.&nbsp;</p> <p>Amiibo Tap is expected to release later this spring as a free download.</p> <div class="articleImage full" style="width: 700px;"><img src="https://s3-us-west-1.amazonaws.com/shacknews/assets/editorial/2015/04/Amiibo1-2.jpg" alt="" width="700" height="394" /></div> <div class="articleImage full" style="width: 700px;"><img src="https://s3-us-west-1.amazonaws.com/shacknews/assets/editorial/2015/04/amiibos2-2.jpg" alt="" width="700" height="394" /></div> <p></p> Wed, 01 Apr 2015 22:30:00 PDT Steven Wong Shack's Arcade Corner - Mega Man: The Power Battle http://www.shacknews.com/article/88890/shacks-arcade-corner---mega-man-the-power-battle http://www.shacknews.com/article/88890/shacks-arcade-corner---mega-man-the-power-battle <p>It&rsquo;s Wednesday, which means we&rsquo;ve got another episode of Shack&rsquo;s Arcade Corner for you to sit back and enjoy on your hump day.</p> <p>Today&rsquo;s episode of Shack&rsquo;s Arcade Corner takes a look at Mega Man: The Power Battle. The cabinet didn&rsquo;t see as wide of an arcade release as other Capcom titles, such as Street Fighter II: The World Warrior, but there <i>were</i> a few of them available in the US in the early 90s.</p> <p><span>If you were lucky enough to play Mega Man: The Power Battle, then feel free to reminisce while watching this week&rsquo;s Arcade Corner. If not, then check out the episode to learn just what made this game earn your hard-earned 25&cent;.</span></p> <p><span><iframe width="700" height="350" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/ScnWYTBoH6Y"></iframe></span></p> Wed, 01 Apr 2015 15:30:00 PDT Shack Staff Wii U Virtual Console adding Nintendo 64 and Nintendo DS games http://www.shacknews.com/article/88904/wii-u-virtual-console-adding-nintendo-64-and-nintendo-ds-games http://www.shacknews.com/article/88904/wii-u-virtual-console-adding-nintendo-64-and-nintendo-ds-games <p>Today's Nintendo Direct offered up some news on the Wii U Virtual Console. The Virtual Console will now include both Nintendo 64 games and Nintendo DS games. While the N64 isn't a huge leap, given that its library was on the previous-generation Wii, the DS is a notable addition. The Wii U GamePad will function as a DS game's second screen, while N64 games with rumble functionality will also be included. For those that need to make a few adjustments, button mapping options are available.</p> <p>These offerings begin today, with Yoshi's Island DS and Super Mario 64 available immediately following today's Nintendo Direct, each available for $9.99. Other upcoming games include the following:</p> <ul> <li>Yoshi Touch &amp; Go - April 9 ($9.99)</li> <li>WarioWare Touched! - April 9 ($9.99)</li> <li>Donkey Kong 64 - April 16 ($9.99)</li> <li>Mario Kart DS - April 23 ($9.99)</li> <li>Paper Mario - April 30 ($9.99)</li> </ul> <p>Prices will range from $9.99 to $11.99 for Nintendo 64 games and $6.99 to $9.99 for Nintendo DS games. Anyone that&nbsp;already purchased on the Nintendo 64 games already available on Wii will be able to pick them up on Wii U for only $2.</p> Wed, 01 Apr 2015 22:24:00 PDT Ozzie Mejia Splatoon adds Battle Dojo and Splatoon Amiibo http://www.shacknews.com/article/88903/splatoon-adds-battle-dojo-and-splatoon-amiibo http://www.shacknews.com/article/88903/splatoon-adds-battle-dojo-and-splatoon-amiibo <p>Today's Nintendo Direct offered some new details on Splatoon, showing off a few new game modes. Namely, they're the modes that were discussed with our own Andrew Zucosky earlier this month, called Ranked Battles. However, they also revealed Battle Dojo, where two players compete on the TV screen and on the GamePad to try and pop the most balloons.</p> <p>And since Amiibo is the new hotness, Splatoon will be getting its own Amiibo set. The Amiibo will unlock new costume pieces and weapons. The Splatoon Amiibo are set to arrive on May 29.</p> <p><i>More to come&hellip;</i></p> Wed, 01 Apr 2015 22:18:00 PDT Ozzie Mejia Mario Maker starts building on Wii U in September http://www.shacknews.com/article/88902/mario-maker-starts-building-on-wii-u-in-september http://www.shacknews.com/article/88902/mario-maker-starts-building-on-wii-u-in-september <p>Today's Nintendo Direct showed off some new custom Mario pieces in celebration of Mario's 30th anniversary. Satoru Iwata revealed some new set pieces for Mario Maker to help celebrate the portly plumber's milestone birthday. And there's an official release window for the custom Mario experience. It's set to hit Wii U in September.</p> <p><i>More to come&hellip;</i></p> Wed, 01 Apr 2015 22:13:00 PDT Ozzie Mejia Mewtwo joins Super Smash Bros. for Wii U and 3DS on April 28, Lucas coming later http://www.shacknews.com/article/88901/mewtwo-joins-super-smash-bros-for-wii-u-and-3ds-on-april-28-lucas-coming-later http://www.shacknews.com/article/88901/mewtwo-joins-super-smash-bros-for-wii-u-and-3ds-on-april-28-lucas-coming-later <p>The April 1 Nintendo Direct kicked off with a reminder that yes, Mewtwo is on his way to Super Smash Bros. for Wii U and 3DS. The presentation opened with a trailer for the genetically enhanced Pokemon, revealing many of his classic moves from Super Smash Bros. Melee, along with some new tricks. But he's not the only one joining the battle.</p> <p>Lucas from the Mother series will also return from Super Smash Bros. Brawl as the next DLC character. Lucas is estimated to release in June. Nintendo is turning to the fans for future DLC characters by opening the new Smash Bros. Fighter Ballot, a website that solicits fan feedback for new characters.</p> <p>Satoru Iwata noted that the character took some time to design, but added that he's ready to go and he will be ready on April 28 for $3.99. Mewtwo will arrive alongside version 1.6.0, which will add new trinkets like new costumes, as well as character balances. Costume DLC that includes homages to series like The Legend of Zelda and Mega Man will be available on April 15.</p> <p><i>More to come&hellip;</i></p> Wed, 01 Apr 2015 22:06:00 PDT Ozzie Mejia Watch the full April 1 Nintendo Direct here http://www.shacknews.com/article/88899/watch-the-full-april-1-nintendo-direct-here http://www.shacknews.com/article/88899/watch-the-full-april-1-nintendo-direct-here <p>Nintendo is preparing to broadcast a new Nintendo Direct today. Now I know what you're thinking. What April Fools joke do they have planned? Well, the Big N is promising that this is <i>not</i> a joke and they promise to bring out the upcoming spring lineup for both Wii U and the Nintendo 3DS. An <a href="https://instagram.com/p/08KFN6sYwW/" target="blank">Instagram</a> post from earlier today is also promising new Amiibo will be revealed.</p> <p>Catch the whole thing below. Shacknews will be watching, as well, and will post any announcements as they're released. Stay tuned!</p> <p><iframe width="700" height="394" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/x6fY6CUEYgw" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></p> Wed, 01 Apr 2015 14:40:00 PDT Ozzie Mejia April Fools: Harmonix finds love with Romance Central http://www.shacknews.com/article/88898/april-fools-harmonix-finds-love-with-romance-central http://www.shacknews.com/article/88898/april-fools-harmonix-finds-love-with-romance-central <p>Did anyone seriously think World of Warcraft had the <a href="http://www.shacknews.com/article/88888/april-fools-world-of-warcraft-matches-up-with-new-tindr-box">romance market</a> cornered? Such thinking is absurd, especially to the folks at Harmonix. The makers of Rock Band and Dance Central have their own matchmaking game for the gaming public, one cheekily titled Romance Central.</p> <p><a href="http://www.harmonixmusic.com/romance-central/" target="blank">Romance Central</a> has users fill out a personality profile before setting them up with an eligible dancer. Does romance bloom from there? Who knows? What we do know is in true Harmonix fashion, there's a rocking soundtrack involved, so be sure to fill out the whole thing with the volume turned up.</p> <p>A Unity plug-in is required, so make sure you're equipped before taking the Romance Central quiz.</p> Wed, 01 Apr 2015 14:00:00 PDT Ozzie Mejia Ronin Impressions: Strike Decisively http://www.shacknews.com/article/88897/ronin-impressions-strike-decisively http://www.shacknews.com/article/88897/ronin-impressions-strike-decisively <p>In Ronin, you're a ninja in a motorcycle helmet. You have a photo with five heads of a powerful corporation, and it's your job to get revenge one assassination at a time. But there's a catch. They know that you're after them, so they've hidden themselves away in personal fortresses like Bondian villains. You'll have to cut your way through a guards and disable the security measures to reach your target. We go hands-on with an early demo and see how well we perform as a modern day ninja assassin.</p> <!-- gallery: ronin --> <p>Don't be fooled by the minimalistic graphics, because Ronin's gameplay is deceptively deep. It takes quite a bit of getting used to, but the game is divided between real-time and turn-based gameplay. You move around in real time, but you can pause the action at any time, even mid-jump to use the grappling hook. The game also automatically switches to turn-based mode when you encounter enemies. This switch can be a little jarring at first, because unless you're paying attention to the minimal pause/play button on the bottom right corner, it just seems like the game is frozen.</p> <p>Once in pause mode, you can issue a single command by moving a pointer around, which determines where you'll land when you jump. It's generally a good idea to stick to the shadows and stealthily take out your enemies, but sometimes you have no choice except to step into a spotlight. Unlike some other stealth action platformers, spotlights cannot be destroyed in Ronin.</p> <p>Leaping onto an guard will knock him over, giving you a chance to kill him. But be aware of your surroundings, and choose your moves carefully, because it only takes a single bullet to kill you. A guard standing above you can get a shot in while you're busy stabbing his buddy in the chest. However, you can see where they're aiming, so you can make moves to avoid being hit.</p> <p>Icons will pop up whenever an interactive object is nearby, such as killing a guard or hacking a security terminal. Getting a killstreak will add to a meter that enables special moves. The first is dropping a holographic decoy. The second is the ability to throw your sword while in midair. My stealth and game pausing skills weren't good enough to make much use out of the hologram or sword throw, but I appreciate having them.</p> <p><iframe width="700" height="390" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/zLmbeogBfqU?feature=player_detailpage" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></p> <p>The game recommends using a gamepad for the "best experience," but I found using the mouse and keyboard to be much easier. Hitting the space bar to pause the action and using the mouse to pick landing points and interact with icons better matched my style of play than using the gamepad's thumbsticks. Selecting landing points can be tricky, because the jump arrow only shows up when you move the pointer upwards. Sometimes you can be more direct with the commands, like choosing to jump towards a guard that's straight ahead of you, but not always. Moving the pointer upwards shows you the arc of your jump, which you then stretch out to reach your target.</p> <p>It took me a long while and several restarts to get used to the controls, but the game started to flow once I did. I eventually reached my target's inner sanctum, patrolled by armed guards and heavily armored samurai warriors. Samurai can deflect straight attacks and will kill you if you land too close. They can also charge forward or jump high in the air to get to you. Their armor also prevents them from being knocked down. I found that in dealing with them, it was often best to kill them hanging on the ceiling and using a rope to hang them.</p> <div class="articleImage full" style="width: 700px;"><img src="https://s3-us-west-1.amazonaws.com/shacknews/assets/editorial/2015/04/Ronin - Screen 3.jpg" alt="" width="700" height="394" /></div> <p>After leaving a trail of bodies behind me, I unlocked the room where the Old Man was sitting, then walked in and killed him. Not bad for my first assassination. Then, as I was leaving the building, I was ambushed by more guards and samurai. What were they here for? I already killed their boss. Were they getting revenge for my revenge killing, or just looking out for the remaining four targets? Whatever the reason, there is no avoiding detection, and they immediately come after you. Getting through the ambush is tricky, but possible, and very satisfying.</p> <p>Then I left the building, got on the motorcycle, and rode off... presumably to find someone new to kill. We'll find out who's next on the hit list when the game releases later this spring&nbsp;for PC, Mac and Linux.</p> Wed, 01 Apr 2015 13:30:00 PDT Steven Wong April Fools: Humble Indie Ballyhoo http://www.shacknews.com/article/88895/april-fools-humble-indie-ballyhoo http://www.shacknews.com/article/88895/april-fools-humble-indie-ballyhoo <p>Humble Bundle has offered some amazing gaming bundles in the past, but they may have come up with their most brilliant deal yet. With the retro trend being what it is, Humble is capitalizing on this with a new bundle called Humble Indie Ballyhoo.</p> <p>So <a href="https://www.humblebundle.com/ballyhoo" target="blank">pay what you want</a> for Stickball, Hoop Trundling, and Ball in a Cup. That's right! It's Ball in a Cup, <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vx4IEmZNegg" target="blank">Mexico's favorite toy for over 340 years</a>. Paying more than the average will get you Pie Pan Throwing Disc, Horseshoes, and Spinning Top. And paying more than 10 cents will also get you the Premium version of Stickball. What's premium about it? Uh...hey, look over there!</p> <div class="articleImage full" style="width: 400px"><img src="http://www.gifbin.com/bin/052011/1306866467_jumping_out_the_window.gif" alt="" width="400" height="222" style="undefined" /></div> <p>(The Humble Indie Ballyhoo is expected to last for the remainder of today only. For more, let's get a look at the trailer below.)</p> <p><iframe width="700" height="394" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/xKmi1tze0mQ" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></p> Wed, 01 Apr 2015 13:00:00 PDT Ozzie Mejia Indie Shoutout: Axiom Verge http://www.shacknews.com/article/88889/indie-shoutout-axiom-verge http://www.shacknews.com/article/88889/indie-shoutout-axiom-verge <p>The Shacknews staff has some fond memories of classic 8 and 16-bit franchises and has observed the manner in which they have inspired an entire generation of game developers. Some games pay more homage to these classic series than others and it appears that Axiom Verge is doing so in almost-literal fashion. But aside from visual aesthetics and mechanics, there's another thing that Axiom Verge has in common with the greats of the past. It's one of the most sharply designed games in the Metroidvania genre.</p> <p>Andrew Zucosky gives Axiom Verge the Indie Shoutout treatment this week, breaking down everything that makes Thomas Happ's debut outing such a memorable experience. It isn't all homage, either. The game definitely makes its own unique stamp with new ideas like the Address Disruptor. Watch as Andrew offers up an overview on what the game is, as well as a brief history of its development, in the video below.</p> <p><iframe width="700" height="394" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/wwGvdbOALvQ" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></p> <p>As for those wondering where the formal Shacknews review is? Look for that to go up in the coming days.</p> Wed, 01 Apr 2015 12:30:00 PDT Shack Staff AIAS President discusses Into the Pixel and the progression of video game art http://www.shacknews.com/article/88891/aias-president-discusses-into-the-pixel-and-the-progression-of-video-game-art http://www.shacknews.com/article/88891/aias-president-discusses-into-the-pixel-and-the-progression-of-video-game-art <p>With E3 rapidly approaching, it's time to start looking forward to the multitude of gaming announcements that are inevitably set to fill that week in June. However, there's one other aspect of E3 week that's as reliable as clockwork, yet rarely spotlighted. In the passages between the West and South Halls of the Los Angeles Convention Center, the curators of Into the Pixel set up shop each year, debuting new works of art that are based on some of the biggest video games.</p> <p>Past works have been based on such video game luminaries as The Last of Us, Guild Wars 2, Street Fighter, Infamous, Limbo, and many others. Each year, new works are put on display, giving E3 attendees an opportunity to step aside from the chaos of the convention to simply soak in some solid art.</p> <p>In anticipation of this year's exhibit, Shacknews took some time to reach out to Martin Rae, president of the Academy of Interactive Arts &amp; Sciences, to discuss the annual Into the Pixel exhibit. We also discuss some of what to expect from this year's exhibits, the progression of video game artwork, and whether the exhibit has any plans to expand.</p> <div class="articleImage full" style="width: 700px;"><img src="https://s3-us-west-1.amazonaws.com/shacknews/assets/editorial/2015/04/SummoningPit.jpg" alt="" width="700" height="389" /></div> <p><b>Shacknews: How did Into the Pixel get started?</b></p> <p><b>Martin Rae, Academy of Interactive Arts &amp; Sciences President</b>: The Into the Pixel (ITP) started in 2004 to celebrate E3&rsquo;s 10th anniversary as a way to show off the great artistry coming out of the video games industry. It was started by the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) and co-produced with the Academy of Interactive Arts &amp; Sciences (AIAS). This year&rsquo;s 2015 collection will mark the 12th year of this exhibit.</p> <p><b>Shacknews: Can you describe the curation process? How does the jury determine what works to put on display?</b></p> <p><b>Rae</b>: Each year in the March timeframe the ITP begins a call for submissions. The ITP is curated each year by a group of talented jurists from both the traditional art and digital world - from The Getty Museum, Annenberg Space for Photography, Blizzard Entertainment, among others. Jurists review every single submitted piece of work and then get on several calls to discuss each of the pieces at length to determine what they feel to be a good representation of the year&rsquo;s talent.</p> <p><b>Shacknews: The year's best works are put on display, starting at E3. Where does it go from there?</b></p> <p><b>Rae</b>: Yes, the year&rsquo;s collection is annually unveiled and presented the week of E3 where we celebrate with an evening cocktail reception. The ITP tours at different locations each year, but it has made appearances at industry events like PAX, GDC, SXSW Interactive, among others. Internationally, the ITP has been featured at events like the Toronto Film Festival, international SIGGRAPH events, FMX, among others.</p> <p><b>Shacknews: What are some of the best works you've seen over the 12 years of Into the Pixel? What particular art techniques helped those works stand out above the rest?</b></p> <p><b>Rae</b>: There are so many pieces each year that get us excited, but the underlining motif is the emotion that resonates from the piece, and even that varies. Some of the pieces are right in the middle of the action like <a href="http://www.intothepixel.com/artwork-details/winner_details.asp?idArtwork=2375" target="blank">&ldquo;Summoning Pit&rdquo;</a> from the 2014 collection, others are playful and whimsical like <a href="http://www.intothepixel.com/artwork-details/winner_details.asp?idArtwork=1483" target="blank">&ldquo;The Dragon Play&rdquo;</a> from the 2011 collection while others are filled with drama like <a href="http://www.intothepixel.com/artwork-details/winner_details.asp?idArtwork=1975" target="blank">&ldquo;The Remembering&rdquo;</a> from the 2014 collection &ndash; but each will draw you into its story and narrative and fill you with a sense of wonder or take you back to that scene in the game.</p> <p>There are different art techniques that are employed but it the focus and where the artist wants to draw your eyes. Emphasis can be placed on the protagonist&rsquo;s eyes like <a href="http://www.intothepixel.com/artwork-details/winner_details.asp?idArtwork=1811" target="blank">&ldquo;Leah Close-Up&rdquo;</a> from the 2012 collection or the landscape itself like in <a href="http://www.intothepixel.com/artwork-details/winner_details.asp?idArtwork=2102" target="blank">&ldquo;Freljord&rdquo;</a> from the 2013 collection. Other art techniques employ color studies like XXX, use 3D rendering for sculptural pieces like <a href="http://www.intothepixel.com/artwork-details/winner_details.asp?idArtwork=2176" target="blank">&ldquo;New Bloom Festival&rdquo;</a> from the 2014 collection, collage studies like <a href="http://www.intothepixel.com/artwork-details/winner_details.asp?idArtwork=2064" target="blank">&ldquo;Schemes Collage&rdquo;</a> from the 2013 collection and vintage posters like <a href="http://www.intothepixel.com/artwork-details/winner_details.asp?idArtwork=2381" target="blank">&ldquo;Luftrausers&rdquo;</a> from the 2014 collection.</p> <div class="articleImage full" style="width: 700px;"><img src="https://s3-us-west-1.amazonaws.com/shacknews/assets/editorial/2015/04/Diablo3LeahCloseUp.jpg" alt="" width="700" height="298" /></div> <p><b>Shacknews</b>: Which gaming developers do you feel have helped evolve the idea of video game art?</p> <p><b>Rae</b>: I believe its really the technology that has evolved this idea of video game art because it allowed developers to be free of any creative restrictions and boundaries that might have limited their design choices in the past.</p> <p>Each console iteration has allowed for an unprecedented level of detail, artists can now focus on a curl of an eyelash to the pigmentation to droplets of rain. Also, cost boundaries that previously restricted many due to expensive software has been eliminated with technology like Unity has allowed anyone to produce and develop a game. Some of the independent games have elicited some of the most beautiful, artful and whimsical pieces in the past couple of years.</p> <p><b>Shacknews: What are some of the recent games from the past year that you expect to see represented for this year's Into the Pixel?</b></p> <p><b>Rae</b>: For the 2015 collection any video game titles published on or after January 1, 2014 is eligible, so we&rsquo;re looking forward to seeing submissions from games launched in 2014 and beyond.</p> <p><b>Shacknews: In what ways has video game art progressed over the last 12 years since Into the Pixel started?</b></p> <p><b>Rae</b>: Video game art has strongly mirrored the evolution of the games produced over the last decade - highly polished, cinematic and mature or a deliberate return to a vintage 8-bit games aesthetic with some of the indie game submissions. Submissions also reflect the changing industry from console-centric to a myriad of platforms &ndash; free-to-play browser based games, independent games, mobile games, among others.</p> <p><b>Shacknews: Do you expect further growth from Into the Pixel or is the current format sufficient for getting the world's best video game art out there for people to see?</b></p> <p><b>Rae</b>: The AIAS and the ESA are always looking for ways to further grow and increase recognition for the ITP beyond its current format. With both the growing appreciation and popularity of video game art, we are heartened to see the millions of supporters of the medium.</p> Wed, 01 Apr 2015 12:00:00 PDT Ozzie Mejia DiRT 3 leaves Games for Windows Live in the dust for Steamworks http://www.shacknews.com/article/88892/dirt-3-leaves-games-for-windows-live-in-the-dust-for-steamworks http://www.shacknews.com/article/88892/dirt-3-leaves-games-for-windows-live-in-the-dust-for-steamworks <p>Codemasters has announced DiRT 3 has <i>finally</i> made its way to the Steamworks finish line after several months of Steam users continuously reminding the developer they need to ditch Games for Windows Live. The result is a game that is 100% completely without any sort of reliance on the now closed platform.</p> <p>Codemasters&rsquo; community manager Lee Williams made the announcement today on DiRT 3&rsquo;s <a href="http://steamcommunity.com/games/321040/announcements/detail/133195170799950347">Steam community page</a>. He also had a few surprises for those who own the PC version of DiRT 3 as they&rsquo;ll automatically be upgraded to the Complete Edition of the game, which includes all its DLC for no extra cost.</p> <p>Those who own the GFWL version of DiRT 3 in their Steam Library should now be able to access the Complete Edition as well. If you have a boxed PC copy of DiRT 3 or have a GFWL CD Key, you can now activate that CD key on Steam.</p> <p><span>Unfortunately, the GFWL version of DiRT 3&rsquo;s save files will not be compatible with the Steam version, so all of your previous progress won&rsquo;t be transferrable. "We know it sucks and we are sorry but it was unavoidable," Williams noted in today's announcement.</span></p> <p>DiRT 3 finally making the transition to Steamworks is definitely a good thing, although we certainly feel the pain of all of those who own the GFWL version since their save file won't be transferable. At least you'll now get the Complete Edition of the game to help compensate.</p> Wed, 01 Apr 2015 11:30:00 PDT Daniel Perez April Fools: World of Warcraft matches up with new T.I.N.D.R. Box http://www.shacknews.com/article/88888/april-fools-world-of-warcraft-matches-up-with-new-tindr-box http://www.shacknews.com/article/88888/april-fools-world-of-warcraft-matches-up-with-new-tindr-box <p>World of Warcraft players probably should have guessed that anything would be on the table now that <a href="http://www.shacknews.com/article/88193/world-of-warcraft-patch-61-unleashes-selfies-on-feb-24">selfie cameras</a> are a thing. So is anyone really all that surprised that Blizzard is going from S.E.L.F.I.E. to T.I.N.D.R.?</p> <p>Yes, completing a random mission in your Garrison will reward you with the T.I.N.D.R. Box, an item that can then be assigned to any of your Level 100 followers. And in the name of love, T.I.N.D.R. Box missions will continue to appear until all Level 100 followers are distracted in the name of romance. Sure, this will probably put a dent in raiding, but it's a small price to pay for virtual courtship and sweet, sweet Pandarian love. If your followers find love, you get the greatest reward of all: fat loot.</p> <p>For more on World of Warcraft's latest dive into the dating pool, check out <a href="http://us.battle.net/wow/en/blog/18486737/new-garrison-feature-tindr-for-followers-4-1-2015" target="blank">Battle.net</a>. And in what's sure to be some more super serious additions to the game, check out the latest round of <a href="http://us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/16858965991" target="_blank">patch notes</a>.</p> Wed, 01 Apr 2015 11:00:00 PDT Ozzie Mejia April Fools: Blizzard's library adds B'Motes http://www.shacknews.com/article/88886/april-fools-blizzards-library-adds-bmotes http://www.shacknews.com/article/88886/april-fools-blizzards-library-adds-bmotes <p>Blizzard is well aware that not everyone in its user base is a social butterfly. So fortunately, they're introducing an initiative across all of its games to help make communication a little bit easier. Prepare for B'Motes!</p> <p>B'Motes will find their way into all of Blizzard's biggest franchises and function in different ways. Look for new role-playing dialogue options to hit World of Warcraft, hundreds of emotes to hit Hearthstone, a new Commander Voice Pack to hit Heroes of the Storm, and so on. Some may say ideas like literally having your words translated into a character's speech pattern is impossible. And&hellip; those people are probably right. Or <i>are they?</i></p> <p>Check out everything you need to know about B'Motes on <a href="http://us.blizzard.com/en-us/bmotes/" target="blank">Battle.net</a> and improve your communication today.</p> Wed, 01 Apr 2015 09:45:00 PDT Ozzie Mejia Sunset Overdrive gets a price cut in time for final DLC http://www.shacknews.com/article/88885/sunset-overdrive-gets-a-price-cut-in-time-for-final-dlc http://www.shacknews.com/article/88885/sunset-overdrive-gets-a-price-cut-in-time-for-final-dlc <p>Sunset Overdrive is receiving a new piece of downloadable content today that pits man vs. machine in <a href="http://www.shacknews.com/article/88640/sunset-overdrive-dawn-of-the-rise-of-the-fallen-machines-upgraded-enemies-detailed">Dawn of the Rise of the Fallen Machines</a>.</p> <p>DotRotFM has players taking part in a rescue mission to save Sam&rsquo;s old mentors from the Fizzco Robotics Factory, which quickly turns into an all-out assault in order to counter-hack and take down Fizzco defenses. Don&rsquo;t worry, as &ldquo;hacking&rdquo; in this DLC means destroying a bunch of upgraded Fizzco bots for the last time.</p> <p>Insomniac Games is also celebrating April Fools&rsquo; Day with a new achievement. Players can receive the &ldquo;Worst Job in the Kingdom&rdquo; achievement by replaying and completing the Floating Garbage mission within 15 minutes. Doing so will net you a total of 200 gamerscore points.</p> <p><span>With the release of the final piece of downloadable content for <a href="http://www.shacknews.com/topic/sunset-overdrive">Sunset Overdrive</a>, Microsoft has given the game a permanent price drop in select Xbox One markets. US-based Xbox One owners will be able to pick the game up for $39.99. The DotRotFM DLC is available for $9.99 by itself, although Season Pass owners can gain access to it instantly.</span></p> <p><span><iframe width="700" height="350" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/1B7P88VMd1s"></iframe></span></p> Wed, 01 Apr 2015 09:35:00 PDT Daniel Perez The Talos Principle visits the past with Serious Sam voice pack http://www.shacknews.com/article/88884/the-talos-principle-visits-the-past-with-serious-sam-voice-pack http://www.shacknews.com/article/88884/the-talos-principle-visits-the-past-with-serious-sam-voice-pack <p>In many ways, Croteam's The Talos Principle explores frontiers that the developer had never venture to before. There's philosophy, puzzles, and questions about the nature of the world. It's definitely a far cry from the mindless running and gunning of their previous franchise, Serious Sam. But what happens when Devolver Digital and Croteam puts peanut butter in their chocolate and crosses these two streams? Well, they wind up with the Serious Sam voice pack, of course.</p> <p>The latest DLC completely replaces The Talos Principle's main character, Elohim, with ultra macho mascot Serious Sam. As expected, voice actor John J. Dick is along for the ride, recording all-new dialogue for Serious Sam's breach into a world that is not his own.</p> <p>Devolver and Croteam insist that this is <i>not</i> an April Fools gag and note that the Serious Sam voice pack will be available for free until April 7. Afterwards, the DLC will run for $2.99. Those looking to pick up The Talos Principle on PC for the first time will be able to pick it up for half-off on <a href="http://store.steampowered.com/app/257510/" target="blank">Steam</a> from now until April 6.</p> Wed, 01 Apr 2015 09:30:00 PDT Ozzie Mejia Co-Optimized: Bloodborne http://www.shacknews.com/article/88880/co-optimized-bloodborne http://www.shacknews.com/article/88880/co-optimized-bloodborne <p>There's nothing like the thrill of competitive multiplayer, but sometimes it's better to kick back and play alongside your friends and family instead of against them. With Co-Optimized, we highlight and discuss games that are best played together.</p> <p>When it comes to tough games, few match the brutality of Bloodborne. Repeatedly dying is a big part of the game, until you can gather the experience, equipment, and knowhow to defeat the boss--all so that you can be pummeled by the next one. But, as it turns out, you don't have to face these challenges alone. Bloodborne has a cooperative mode where up to three adventurers come together to battle a boss. However, forming a co-op party is no straightforward task. Also, participating in a co-op game comes with more than a few strings attached.</p> <div class="articleImage full" style="width: 700px;"><img src="https://s3-us-west-1.amazonaws.com/shacknews/assets/editorial/2015/04/bloodborne-overview-coop-screen-01-ps4-us-25feb15.jpg" alt="" width="700" height="394" /></div> <p>Hosts can invite two other players to join their game by spending an Insight Point (acquired by completing various tasks) to sound the Beckoning Bell. You'll have to ring the bell twice if you want two players to join. Joining players must be in the same area as you, and reply by ringing a Resonant Bell. The catch is, there's no guarantee that there will be anyone in the area when you ring the bell, or if they'll respond if they are. So, there is a slight chance that you'll ring the bell and no one will join. One way to get around this is to set up a password protected game with a friend, but that friend must be at the same point in the game (or further) than you, or else they can't join.</p> <p>Fortunately, the Bloodborne becomes pretty straightforward after that. They party of players set forth to defeat the boss. There are no group strategies to consider, nor do powers build up to greater effect. All players simply do their best to pile on the damage until the boss is defeated. If you're having a lot of trouble with a boss, one way of getting past it is by inviting a player who has progressed further than you. They might have the power and equipment to quickly dispatch the boss for you.</p> <p>Bloodborne's cooperative element is tied specifically to a boss. Once it is defeated, the party disbands and hosts will have to ring the bell again if they need more help. Similarly, players return to their individual campaigns if the Beckoner&nbsp;is killed in battle. This being the case, Bloodborne isn't really a social multiplayer game. Co-op players don't share health, nor do can they revive fallen players.</p> <div class="articleImage full" style="width: 700px;"><img src="https://s3-us-west-1.amazonaws.com/shacknews/assets/editorial/2015/04/bloodborne-the-world-hemwick-graveyard-screen-01-ps4-us-20mar15.jpg" alt="" width="700" height="394" /></div> <p>Its cooperative gameplay is almost completely functional. But even though the game doesn't really have a cooperative campaign, hosts can game the system a little by ringing the Beckoning Bell far in advance, which allows players to fight together until the boss fight.</p> <p>Players that join a host to help defeat a boss receive Insight Points and Blood Echoes for their efforts, which can be spent on upgrades and equipment. But joining a host is mostly for that player's benefit. Helping another player kill a boss that you haven't defeated yet does not apply to your game. The creature will be alive and well again once you return to your game, and you can either use the Blood Echoes you earned to upgrade and face him alone, or ring the Beckoning Bell for yourself.&nbsp;</p> <p>Bloodborne might not be a shining example of cooperative play at its best, but given how tough its bosses can be, it's a well-appreciated feature. Ringing the Beckoning Bell can be a shot in the dark, especially later on down the road when many players have moved on to advanced areas. At the same time, joining a game is a matter of convenience, and depends on whether or not you happen to be nearby when a Beckoning Bell is sounded. Even fighting alongside others can feel like a somewhat solitary experience, since everyone pretty much looks out for themselves. You're either helping to pile on damage, or you're acting as a decoy so that someone else can. Still, the one major benefit of fighting alongside others is learning new strategies, which can help you in your own game.</p> <p>There's also plenty of loot to be had by helping others. When it comes to games like Bloodborne, you need every advantage you can pick up.</p> <p>For more information about how to start a Bloodborne Co-op or PvP Multiplayer game, check out our <a href="http://www.shacknews.com/article/88814/bloodborne-guide-how-to-summon-co-op-and-pvp-hunters">handy guide</a>.</p> <p><iframe width="700" height="390" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/nJpg1n4FcDY" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></p> Wed, 01 Apr 2015 09:00:00 PDT Steven Wong
Slashdot: News for Nerds, Stuff that Matters
Ask Slashdot: Identifying a Stolen Car Using Police Camera Databases?
Rare Ideopathic Encephaly Tied to Higher IQ, Not Lower
Scientists Discover Meaning of Life Through Massive Computing Project
Parents Sue School After Pod Daughter Is Banned From Prom
V'Ger Source Code Released
Leak Reveals Government Conspiracy, Atrocity
Madman: Proximity To Black Hole "Not a Big Deal"
Invaders Demand Flu Shots
Wastelanders Decry Lack of Change In Punishment Wheel
Mutinous Humans Murder Peaceful Space-going AI
Military Caught Training Children To Fight
It's Time To Open Your Eyes
If You Thought Studying History Was Bad, This Math Professor Is Making It Harder
Coup in Arrakis Capitol Leaves Region in Flux
Man-Shaped Robots Harass Britain Once Again
Trolan's LJ
Name meaning meme thingie
YIR... no, there's not enough to recap for that
Bookbinder?
HOLY FUCKING SHIT!
How?!?!?!
Serenity Quiz
OMG, I made an LJ entry
Fun with LJTalk/Jabber/gaim
mmkay...
Deal with it. (I'm such a card)
104.9
It's blasphemy delicious!
Bleh
Ups and Downs
Trolans.net
Oh yeah
Pointless entry to signify life
Bump
Communications Update; Part Deux
Communications Update
CCNP... completed
CCNP CIT
CCNP BSCI
Woot
Things you overhear...