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Posts Tagged ‘Action’

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The Skylanders franchise is no stranger to mobile iterations, but to date those versions have been smaller spin-offs that have opted to play it safe. Eschewing full console ports in favour of touchscreen-friendly controls, and gameplay styles that fit with that particular input method, the Skylanders mobile offerings have never been much to write home about. Development team Vicarious Visions has helmed the mobile versions of Skylanders, but have also been behind the 3DS release of Spyro’s Adventure and the Wii U version of Skylanders Giants. Insofar as mobile versions are concerned, Vicarious has always been held back by limited hardware.

With the latest tablet versions on the market getting comparatively close to last-generation console processing power, Vicarious Visions is no longer limited. So that’s one hurdle cleared in the race for a true mobile version of the Skylanders franchise. The last remaining hurdle? The series’ main hook: getting toys into game worlds. That final hurdle, it seems, has just been cleared with athletic sure-footedness.

For the upcoming Skylanders Trap Team, Vicarious Visions and developer Toys for Bob are bringing the full console version of Trap Team to mobile tablets. That means a new retail offering with an exclusive tablet version of the now synonymous Portal of Power. If it sounds like a money-making gambit based on yet another mobile cash-in, rest assured that it isn’t. Skylanders Trap Team is going SERIOUSLY mobile.

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Admit it: the name alone perked your interest. I mean, how can you ignore a game with “flatulent rebellion” in its title? It has the potential to be a money magnet that every kid will want to get just to offend their parents, whilst the older of us indulge our inner juveniles. It’d be great if there was a great game to go with the toilet humour, but as you’ll soon see, our expectations have been somewhat flushed.

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Yesterday, 14 July, was Bastille Day in France. It’s the day that marks both the start of the French Revolution in 1789 (when French revolutionaries stormed the Bastille) as well as the moment that the French people became unified a year later in what’s referred to as the Fête de la Fédération. It’s an important date in the French calendar; it’s almost like America’s Independence Day on July 4th.

It’s no coincidence then that yesterday Ubisoft released a new trailer for upcoming Assassin’s Creed: Unity. The trailer features a lot of new footage, highlights of which include: the upgraded free-running system, some incredibly dense crowds, and the highly detailed Paris streets. As impressive as all of this looks, don’t forget that this is a Ubisoft trailer, so take it all with a pinch of salt.

This new trailer also has a voice-over by, presumably, the game’s leading character Arno. He does not sound French, which is a pity considering Ubisoft has been careful to voice their leading characters with the correct accents ever since Assassin’s Creed II’s Ezio. Hear it for yourself after the jump.

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Good news, Korra fans! Platinum Games, the dev team behind titles like Bayonetta, Madworld, and Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance (damn I hate that word) have announced that they’re developing a game based on the Nickelodeon series The Legend of Korra.

The downloadable game is being published by Activision and will be heading to PC, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One sometime during spring for us here in South Africa. The story, which takes place between the series’ second and third seasons, is being penned by Tim Hedrick. Hedrick has written dozens of episodes for Avatar: The Last Airbender as well as a few episodes for The Legend of Korra.

The third-person action game will pit you against familiar foes and other Benders. You’ll have access to Korra’s fire, earth, air, and water abilities. You can see a reveal trailer after the jump.

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Insomniac Games is making Microsoft’s next big Xbox One “exclusive”, Sunset Overdrive. (I’ve put exclusive in quotation marks because Dead Rising 3 was supposed to be an Xbox One exclusive, and that’s coming to PC.) During E3, Ubisoft had a bit of a PR blunder with that whole lack of female avatar in Assassin’s Creed Unity. If you need to catch up on that, you can read my thoughts on the matter here.

Needless to say, Ubisoft’s slip-up resulted in a ton of coverage, and Insomniac Games was clearly paying attention as well. In the latest episode of Sunset TV (the developer’s YouTube show developed to promote the game), Insomniac has reiterated that you’re free to play as either a male or female character in Sunset Overdrive. Your character can also wear whatever you want, so (as the latest episode points out) you could dress your male avatar in a skirt if you wanted to.

Just to make sure that their intention to poke fun at Ubisoft is abundantly clear, Insomniac has dressed up their female avatar in the trademark assassins garb from Assassin’s Creed. I would love to know how Ubisoft feels about this. Check it out for yourself after the jump. Incidentally, the bloke hosting this YouTube series is actually pretty funny, which makes this one of those rare occasions when marketing and entertainment value collide.

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In case you missed their livestream, Ubisoft has released the seven-minute walkthrough of Assassin’s Creed Unity. Set during the French Revolution, players take on the role of a new assassin called Arno Dorian – a young nobleman who gets into the spirit of la révolution and starts stabbing Templars in the face. Ubisoft says he’s “stealthier, deadlier and more ruthless than any before him”.

As you will see in the gameplay walkthrough, Unity has added a number of new features to the franchise. For a start, there’s now a dedicated Stealth mode, which means it’s now possible to sneak from cover to cover in order to entirely avoid confrontation until you reach your assassination target. Ubisoft has also added a downwards parkour system, which means you can now swing and wall-run your way to the bottom of buildings instead of always having to find a convenient haystack. Finally, combat has been made more difficult, and there’s been some allusions to a character levelling system before you can fight stronger enemies.

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If you caught last night’s special E3 Nintendo Direct briefing, then you were probably spoilt for choice on what to get super excited about. Nintendo has pretty much smashed it out of the park for Wii U owners this year. One of the nicest surprises, however, was news that all copies of Bayonetta 2 will come with a copy of the original Bayonetta at absolutely no extra cost. You’re getting two games for the price of one. It makes a lot of sense considering Nintendo faithful never got to play the original Bayonetta. It also obviates any hesitation on behalf of newcomers to the series. Nintendo also announced that Bayonetta 2 will be out this October. Finally!

As per my usual way of doing things, I didn’t know a damn thing about Watch Dogs until I popped it into my PS4. That might be inconceivable to some of you, that someone could know nothing about a game as important as this, but it’s not that hard, really. Just take all the time you would spend online reading gaming news and watching trailers and do something else with it. Like sleeping. That’s one of my favourites.

That ignorance helps me to remain objective, I think. No exposure to expectations or hype or even knowledge of the game’s content. I only start thinking about the game as I play it. All I knew going in was that it’s an open-world game in which you play a dude wearing a trench coat and a baseball cap, and it has something to do with hacking.

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World War II-era aerial dogfights are a fairly underutilized device for games, except for the odd shmup or flight simulator. An especially tricky concern is raised when one has to consider how to implement it in a mobile, touchscreen environment. Fortunately, local developers Red Dot Lab might have just nailed it with their new title Blazin’ Aces.

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There are few games that make me wish I was about 20 years younger; Skylanders is one of them. And if my longing for an outlook drenched in juvenility wasn’t strong enough already, the new Skylanders game, subtitled Trap Team, has reminded me that this is one franchise that I would have loved the stuffing out of when I was a kid.

In Trap Team, the Skylanders series is adding a new element to the already established mechanic of importing plastic toys into a digital game. This time that mechanic is being turned on its head: players will be able to trap bad guys and suck them into new crystals that attach to the new Portal of Power. I guess it’s kind of like Pokémon in that sense. The neat thing is that the new Portal of Power has an extra crystal slot with a built-in speaker, which means players will be able to hear whatever creature it is that they’ve trapped inside the new collectible crystals.

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