One of the first entries in your 2017 calendar should be the release date of a 30th Anniversary entry in the Double Dragon series. Arc System Works acquired the rights to the series last year, and just announced that Double Dragon IV will be released January 30th on the PS4 and Steam platforms. Despite being the first new update since 2012’s Double Dragon Neon release and first update of any kind since Double Dragon Trilogy, its trailer flashes the classic side-scrolling beat ’em up action this series has been known for since it started as a coin-op in 1987.
According to a press release, three developers from the original game are helping to create it. The original planner, designer and composer from the arcade game are involved, which should help keep the classic feel going. The Japanese price of the game is listed as 800 yen ($6.84 US), so it shouldn’t be too hard on the pockets once it’s released.
Via: Wario 64 (Twitter)
Source: Arc System Works (YouTube)
It’s just a few days until Christmas, and plenty of people will probably end up with an Xbox One or PS4 beneath the tree. Naturally, both Sony and Microsoft are offering a raft of game deals for people to load up their new consoles, and it’s worth taking a look whether you’re just getting a new console or have had one for years now.
On the Sony side, there aren’t many deals on brand-new to be had, but some of the best of the last couple years are on sale — including Shadow of Mordor (Game of the Year edition, $10.99), Star Wars Battlefront (Ultimate Edition for $27.99 or the standard edition for $9.99), Overwatch ($39.59) and the full Destiny collection ($39.59). You can also grab Bloodbourne for only $7.99, Grand Theft Auto V for $29.99 and the first season of Hitman $29.99. That’s just the tip of the iceberg; there are dozens more games on sale. Note that all of these prices only apply if you have a PS Plus subscription — though all these games are also on sale if you don’t have PS Plus, they’ll just cost a little more. Sony’s deals are on through 12/27 at 8AM, though there will be another sale right on the heels of that one.
Microsoft has a similarly expansive sale going on through the 28th. Among the many games on sale are Battlefield 1, BioShock: The Collection, Dishonored 2 and Destiny: The Collection all for $44.99 each. Forza Horizon 3 is on sale for $38.99 and Forza Motorsport 6 is $29.99. If you want to pick up some games on the cheap, Batman: Arkham Knight and Star Wars: Battlefront are only $11.99 each. And if you want to get your hands on the latest from one of Microsoft’s flagship franchises, Gears of War 4 is on sale for $32.99. Microsoft is also having daily deals today through the 31st, and another sale will kick off on the 29th after this current one ends.
If PC games are more your speed, Steam is also holding its big holiday sale right now — it’s a good week to blow some cash on games regardless of what platform you prefer.
Source: Microsoft, Sony
While 2016 hasn’t been the best year for the world at large, it’s certainly been a brilliant one for video games. As well as giving us excellent titles like Overwatch and Uncharted 4, 2016 has also seen the release of two games that many thought would never see the light of day – Final Fantasy XV and The Last Guardian.
Now, thanks to the release of an upcoming companion book, fans will be able to get an insight into The Last Guardian’s problematic nine-year development cycle. Entitled “An Extraordinary Story”, the 256 page hardcover book will be released on February 28th, setting you back $39.99 (£27.99). Created by Future Press in collaboration with the game’s visionary creator Fumito Ueda, the book will contain a wealth of intriguing material from Team Ico’s archives.
As well as featuring never before seen illustrations, the book will also give readers new insight into the game’s story as well as revealing more about its troubled development through exclusive interviews with its creators. The listing also states that the book will double as a walkthrough, an essential addition for all ten PS4 owners without internet connections.
Developed by the visionary team behind PS2 classic Shadow of The Colossus, The Last Guardian was originally announced as a PlayStation 3 title at E3 2009. Yet after the excitement surrounding its initial unveiling, years went by without the world hearing any more on the project. With many fearing it had been quietly canceled, it wasn’t until E3 last year that the game resurfaced, with Sony re-announcing it as a PlayStation 4 title.
Now that it’s out, and apparently pushing the PS4 fairly hard, it seems likely that the game’s stunning art and intricate AI were simply too much for the PS3 to handle. But with little known about the process behind the game’s development, this companion book could provide some welcome answers as to what held up the project for so many years. Either way, it’ll have some pretty pictures of Trico. Win-win?
Source: Future Press
We’re over two months out from the PlayStation VR’s launch and, well, new stuff is a bit sparse at this point. But hey, an update is rolling out that’ll put 360 degree YouTube videos on Sony’s headset. Before you get too excited, though, Reddit users (spotted by UploadVR) are commenting that the quality isn’t so hot. That’s likely due to the videos capping out at 1080p resolution, and how it has to stretch across a 100 degree field of view, at 360 degrees. By user morphinapg’s calculations, resolution equals out to around 354p.
In my tests, the update wasn’t available yet (I’m currently using version 1.08). But given that watching a Blu-ray via the headset’s Cinematic Mode isn’t the most ideal way to view a movie, and my experience with 360 degree videos on other platforms, I’m inclined to believe this isn’t going to look the best. We’ve reached out to Sony for more information and will update this post should it arrive.
It’s been 36 years since Atari released Battlezone and effectively created the first-person shooter in the process. The game’s immersive periscope viewer and vector graphics influenced decades of game design and provided arcade goers with an early glimpse of what a virtual reality world could look like. While we’ve argued here that Battlezone’s PSVR reboot is the ultimate fan service and a great first leap into VR gaming, it was still missing one key thing: the old-school, glowing green cathode-ray tube vibe of the original. That’ll change next week, when Rebellion Studios adds a free Classic Mode update as their “faithful homage” to the title that arguably started it all.
According to Rebellion Studios lead programmer Richard May, making something new feel retro is more complicated than it sounds and “recreating the glowing green lines using our modern in-house engine required some workarounds.” The controls, on the other hand, were a little simpler to rebuild since the team had already built out the two-track control system of the original arcade cabinets. And one more thing that’s not changing: you still can’t get any closer to that danged volcano in the distance.
In addition to Classic Mode, the free Battlezone update also adds new missions, levels and a game codex. The whole thing rolls out on December 20th.
Source: PlayStation Blog
Sony has unveiled the Platinum Wireless Headset aimed at PS4, Playstation VR, and mobile users. The model has hidden noise cancelling microphones and, like the Gold model, supports 7.1 virtual surround sound. However, it’s also equipped with the 3D audio tech used on the PlayStation VR, meaning you’ll be able to get the same surround-sound effects from a regular PlayStation 4 console. Though no PS4 games currently support 3D audio, Naughty Dog will release a patch that brings it to Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End.
A couple of other games will also support the 3D audio tech later on: MLB The Show 17, Uncharted: The Lost Legacy, and Days Gone, with more to be announced later. In a similar way to systems from Dolby and others, it “simulates the effect of audio arriving at your ears from different directions and distances to mimic the behavior of sound in real life,” according to the PlayStation Blog.
The wireless part only works on the PS4 (via a wireless adapter) — for the PlayStation VR and mobile, you’ll need to use the included 3.5mm audio cable. However, Sony has noted before that 3D audio only works on wired headphones for VR, and confirmed that it won’t work in wireless mode on the PS4 either. So for regular PS4 games you can go wireless, but to get 3D audio, you’ll have to plug in which, frankly, is kind of stupid.
For titles that don’t support 3D audio, Sony said in the comments section of the post that the headset “has an enhanced version of 7.1 virtual surround sound. So even in games without 3D audio, the Platinum Wireless Headset will have better virtual surround sound.”
However, the fact that Sony uses its own proprietary 3D audio makes choosing a sound system a bit awkward. The Xbox One, for example, will soon support Dolby Atmos surround sound, and while that’ll only work for Blu-ray playback, at least you can run the audio through a Dolby Atmos receiver to get the full effect. So if you’d rather blast games through your home theater system rather than a headset, it doesn’t appear that you’ll get the full 3D audio effect.
If you thought that Modern Warfare Remastered would’ve been forgotten immediately after it was released, think again. The game’s latest free update brings seven classic maps into the fold (Bloc, Countdown, Pipeline, Showdown, Strike, Wet Work) and the winter-themed, previously PC-only Winter Crash, according to the Activision blog. More than that, the “Operation Arctic Wolf” loot drop adds female soldiers to the mix — a first for the Modern Warfare franchise. Why those aren’t available as default options now is anyone’s guess, though.
The patch also brings in something that’s a bit controversial: microtransactions. You can earn those cosmetic items like weapon skins or targeting reticules by doing stuff in-game, sure, but they’re also available to buy with Call of Duty Points, which you purchase with real-world money. Gamespot reports that new melee weapons like a shovel or hammer can be purchased as well.
Of course, these are all optional things that don’t really have any effect on the game and are more for personalization that anything. But the difference between League of Legends charging for characters and skins, and CoD or Overwatch is that Riot’s wildly popular game doesn’t cost $60 up front.
Source: Activision blog
Valve tried to radically redesign the gaming controller with its own Steam controller, but for a lot of players it never quite caught on. Fortunately, Steam is a very flexible OS and it’s pretty easy to use your controller of choice. Like the PS4’s Dualshock 4 controller, for example: Valve just announced today that the Steam client now fully supports the Dualshock 4. That means all the controller’s capabilities can be mapped to various functions in Steam, including the trackpad and gyroscope.
Valve also notes the controllers will have access to the full range of APIs that Steam controllers have access to. There’s a whole host of other controller feature additions in this update, as well. There are settings to control the LEDs on your controller (like the Dualshock 4 has), a joystick-controlled mouse, preferences for haptic feedback, and software-based gyroscope and accelerometer integration — something that’ll specifically add extended support for the PS4 controller’s gyro input.
The latest themed event for Overwatch is here, as “Winter Wonderland” has settled in for its run through January 2nd. Players of Blizzard’s team-based shooter are getting an update on their consoles and PCs that brings loot boxes filled with over 100 cosmetic items available only for a limited time. There’s also a special Brawl mode for the event focused on ice-spraying hero Mei. The 6v6 Mei’s Snowball Offensive replaces her weapon with a single-shot snowball gun, that needs to be reloaded at snow piles located around the level, while her Ultimate ability upgrades it for semi-automatic fire.
Beyond the cosmetic and game mode changes, the update also brings several other highly-anticipated tweaks for the game. The ability to party up with random players you encounter using the “Stay as Team” feature is now widely available, along with new abilities for Symmetra. Recently-added hero Sombra also has a new “Boop” unlockable voice line, and there’s a slew of bug fixes noted in the official changelog.
As usual, all of these updates are free, however, anyone obsessed with the collectibles might buy loot boxes instead of waiting to earn a few chances just by leveling up.
Source: Play Overwatch, Changelog
I’m not sure when I fell out of love with driving games. Sure, I’ll still play Mario Kart multiplayer when the occasion calls for it, but somewhere between the various Gran Turismo, Forza and Need for Speed titles I got bored. Drive!Drive!Drive!, which arrived on Steam and the PlayStation Store this morning, got me interested again.
Drive!Drive!Drive! is… different. You’re not just in command of one vehicle in a single race. No, you’re in charge of two, three or sometimes even four cars, each racing on their own track against AI opponents.
In the bottom-right of the screen, you see all of the tracks currently in play (they typically overlap), together with the current position of each of your cars. When you’re not actively controlling a car, the AI takes over, and it is awful, by design. Your job is to switch cars, and get them all across the finish line.
The AI being useless is a great mechanic. You can leave a car way ahead in first place, and within five seconds it’s driven off the edge of a track and is dead-last. That means you have to always be switching, juggling your various cars to ensure that all of them end up in a respectable position. You can either switch between cars using the d-pad, or enter a kind of pause mode to choose a particular track to race on, which is helpful when things get really hectic.
The driving part of Drive!Drive!Drive! is well executed: You race across various sky-bound neon tracks controlling various cars that handle in various ways. You can drift, you can boost; it handles somewhat like a Burnout game, in so much as you’re rewarded for aggression, for shunting, crashing and otherwise incapacitating your rivals. It all feels fun, if a little pedestrian. But that’s all it had to be given the extra mechanic of car switching.
I first played Drive!Drive!Drive! back in September at a game show, and have been looking forward to its release ever since. The main campaign is filled with plenty of variety, and there’s a robust level creation tool that should give plenty of longevity to proceedings. Today, it launches on Steam (for both Windows and Mac) and PlayStation 4, and for $19.99 (£15.99), it’s a safe bet for some fun times.