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FFXIV: Heavensward – Early Story Impressions

It’s been about a month since the last time I wrote about my experience with Final Fantasy XIV: Heavensward. Unfortunately I forgot to write a new entry in my proposed series of articles about Square Enix’s latest expansion. Since the early access period expired at the end of June my bard, Reka Ai’a, has ventured through the Dravanian Forelands, brought an end to the DragonSong war and is now heading towards the final encounter with the Holy See. Read more »

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August 2015 PS Plus: Tomb Raider, Limbo & Sound Shapes

PlayStation owners can rest easy knowing that Sony has announced the free titles for next month’s PlayStation Plus line-up. It looks like there will be a little bit of something for everyone with PS4 users getting Lara Croft & The Temple of Osiris and Limbo for free. PS Vita owners will get access to Castlestorm, Sound Shapes and Stealth Inc while PS3 owners will get God of War Ascension as their gratis game for the month.

Some of these titles are cross-buy (for example Soundshapes is on all platforms). Check out a full list below and let us know what you think of August’s offerings in comparison to Microsoft’s games with gold which was announced yesterday.

August’s Free Games

Lara Croft & The Temple of Osiri (PS4)
Limbo (PS4 Only)
Soundshapes (PS4, PS3, PS Vita)
Stealth 2: A Game of Clones (PS4, PS3, Vita)
God of War: Ascension (PS3 Only)
Castlestorm (Ps3 / PS Vita)

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Games For Gold Announced For August 2015

If you are a fan of action games than this month’s crop of free titles for Xbox Live’s Games With Gold might interest you.

First up for Xbox One – just before the launch of Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain is MGS V: Ground Zeroes for free from August 1st – 15th. Top down zombie apocalypse survival title How To Survive: Storm Warning Edition will be free from Aug 16th – August 31st.  

Xbox 360 owners in for a bit of a treat with a pair of games from the folks at 4A Games. Both Metro 2033 and Metro: Last Light will be available during the first two weeks and last two weeks of August respectively

Microsoft is certainly killing it when it comes to AAA titles on their subscription service. MGSV: Ground Zeroes was already free for PlayStation Plus subscribers last month and Metro: Last Light appeared on Plus in 2014.

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Rise of the Tomb Raider Coming To PlayStation In Holiday 2016

As it turns out the console exclusivity deal for Crystal Dynamic’s Rise of the Tomb Raider is simply a timed exclusive deal, something neither publisher Square Enix or Microsoft mentioned during the games numerous appearances at E3 2014, Gamescom 2014 or this past E3.

In a press release issued this morning Square Enix confirmed that Rise of the Tomb Raider will be released on Xbox One on November 10th this year, on Windows 10 PC / Steam sometime in early 2016 and finally on PlayStation 4 one year after the Xbox One version in Holiday 2016. Development duties for all versions is being handled by Crystal Dynamics.

In all honesty this kind of takes the wind right out of the word “exclusive” – sure we’ve seen other publishers, most notably Activision with time locked content in Destiny on PlayStation Platforms, lock away content for an unspecified amount of time. But this whole deal with Rise of the Tomb Raider is a bit different because Square & Microsoft failed to acknowledge that the game would ever come to other platforms although many in the industry expected that Rise would eventually make the jump.

Check out the E3 2014 trailer for Rise of the Tomb Raider below. We’ll probably hear more about the game at Gamescom this August.

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Phantasy Star Online 2 Anime Due Out In 2016

SEGA of Japan has announced an animated adaptation of its popular Japanese free-to-play MMORPG Phantasy Star Online. The anew anime titled Phantasy Star Online 2: The Animation will debut sometime in 2016 to commemorate the 15th anniversary of the original PSO on the Dreamcast and will take place on a near future presumably before the events of the game.

The Windows PC version of Phantasy Star Online 2 was released in Japan in 2012 with a PlayStation Vita version following in 2013 and an Android version for Smart Phones and tablets last year. A localized English version of PSO2 went live in southern Asia last March and there has been little word on a North American or European release outside of vague omissions by Sega America that the game has been delayed.

You can check out the website for Phantasy Star Online 2: The Animation here.

Titanfall

Titanfall | Review

Version Tested: PC

Titanfall is Respawn Entertainment’s first foray into the online shooter arena since their formation after the huge breakup at Infinity Ward several years ago. Hoping to carve out a space in the FPS for themselves, can giant mechs and the addition of A.I opponents to a traditionally player vs player environment will help set the game apart? Titanfall may be a year and a half old now but with the season’s pass going free to celebrate the game’s one year anniversary now might be the perfect time to hop into a titan. Read more »

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Make Your Own Zombie Game With These Great Assets

With the latest Humble Bundle being focused on game design, your biggest problem may be if you’re not an artist. There’s even a HUGE contest on right now that you can enter! But you need backgrounds, and fast! So what do you do? Game Dev Fort has lots of content including their latest release, the Survival Horror Backgrounds Pack! After all, who doesn’t LOVE zombie games in this day and age?

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If you’re a fan of RPG Maker VX Ace, there are even battleback versions included! So not only can you make an amazing visual novel telling the tale of friends trying to survive in the zombie apocalypse, but there are battlebacks ready to drop right into RPG Maker! There are six sets to explore with a few variations to utilize. Of course, these can be used for anything you can dream up! So go wild! It doesn’t have to be Zombies. Maybe animals all around the world have been acting strange for some unknown reason… I watch too much TV.

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“Whoa!” You say, “That’s pretty pricy for just some backgrounds isn’t it?” Well, you need to take this with context. These assets are royalty free! You buy it, you own it to use in your game (or games, go nuts, make a couple!) So what are you waiting for? Get these assets and get making a game! Need software? Get on Humble Bundle right now for the Humble Game Making Bundle which has just under seven days left!

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Did I mention I made these assets? Probably should. Honesty and all.

If you missed it above, this pack can be purchased at Game Dev Fort!
It’s the Survival Horror Backgrounds Pack.

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First Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 5 Gameplay Trailer Released

Over on the PlayStation Blog the president of Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 5 developer Robomodo has released some new details on the game’s next-gen exclusive multiplayer modes along with the first in-game trailer.

Online free skate mode has been converted into a lobby of sorts for up to 20 players to connect and mess around between missions and other online modes. While in free skate you are able to leave the lobby and enter into completive modes / missions or change your party make up at any time.

Playing THPS5 on any Sony platform will unlock Sweet Tooth, Sackboy and Rachet heads for your custom skaters.

Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 5 will be available on PS4, Xbox One, PS3, Xbox 360 on September 29th.

SFV

Here’s What To Expect From The Street Fighter V Beta

Are you looking forward to Street Fighter V’s upcoming beta test? Depending on the region you reside in there are a number of different ways for you to get your hands on a portion of Capcom’s latest brawler before release.

If you live in North America, like I do, the easiest way to get access to the beta is by pre-ordering a copy of SFV through Amazon, Best Buy or GameStop. Beta codes for retailer specific pre-orders will be sent out next week on July 20th.

European PlayStation 4 owners have until July 15th to sign up for their beta. Those chosen to stress-test SFV will be sent a redeemable code via email on July 23rd.

Players in Asia will have to enter into a lottery of sorts to be selected. PlayStation Plus members have until tomorrow to snag the “Street Fighter V Closed Beta Ticket” to be entered into a chance to win access.

If you are wondering what will be included in the beta – six playable characters (four at start with Cammie and Birdie to be rolled out later on during the beta test).  In terms of stages players will be tossed into a training room known as “the grid” while waiting for a match to begin, once the match has begun you’ll be fighting in either the Bustling Streets, Terminal Station or Forgotten Waterfall arenas.

Beta testing begins on July 23rd for 5 consecutive days.

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President of Nintendo Satoru Iawata Passes Away At 55

The president of Nintendo has passed away due to complications related to a bile duct growth the company confirmed in a statement this evening, he was 55.

Satoru Iwata is well known to gamers and shareholders alike as he has been a public face for the company over the past fifteen years. After joining Nintendo in 2000 he became president of Nintendo Co LTD in 2002.

He began his career in software production at HAL Labs where he worked on titles like Balloon Fight, Earthbound and several Kirby titles. During his presidency Nintendo would release their most popular home console to date, the Wii, in 2007 as well as show the world that handheld gaming could work with more than one screen with the release of the Nintendo DS and showcase glasses-free 3D with the 3DS in 2011.

The Big N has always been at the forefront of hardware innovation during Mr.Iwata’s career and he will be missed.

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