January 28, 2016

Nintendo eShop Sales for January 28th, 2016

Posted on January 28, 2016 by Jason Nason

I’ve decided to split this off from the regular weekly Nintendo Download to give a little more of a deep dive into each newly added item to the eShop sales list. So what’s been on sale previously will have the same list you remember, but new entries will also have more detail at the top of the page.

I decided to keep the top two sales for both the Wii U and 3DS this week as they are pretty big titles with some pretty good prices. Especially Etrian Odyssey Untold: The Millennium Girl from Atlus for the Nintendo 3DS. Great deal there for sure.


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January 28th Nintendo Download

Posted on January 28, 2016 by Jason Nason

Nintendo 3DS eShop

Hello Kitty’s Magic Apron ($19.99) – Get ready to cook up a storm, because Hello Kitty is back with an all-new rhythm action experience – one that’s really packed with flavour! Join Hello Kitty and her friends in the kitchen in this fun-packed cookery caper, jammed with mini games designed expressly with young players in mind. Learn the joys of cooking and the power of rhythm simultaneously, making new friends and coming up with tasty treats to the beat. Cute visuals, lots of unlockables and the option to create your own Hello Kitty-themed photos come together for hours of fun, all in the cute and lovable style that is Hello Kitty.

FINAL FANTASY EXPLORERS ($39.99) – Master more than 20 jobs, each offering unique ways to defeat or even recruit the realm’s mightiest monsters. Players will have the ability to call upon the powers of eidolons like Ifrit and Bahamut, as well as transform into legendary characters from the FINAL FANTASY series via the Trance ability.

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Ashes of the Singularity Commands Release On Steam Early Access

Posted on January 28, 2016 by Rae Michelle Richards

Stardock‘s ambitious real time strategy title, Ashes of the Singularity, is now available for purchase via Steam Early Access. Ashes gained a lot of notoriety last year for being the first commercially available game with native support for Microsoft’s upcoming Direct X 12.

Ashes’ plot transports players to the 23rd century where they will command armies, collect metals & radioactive materials to help fuel their economy and once they’ve raised enough funds unleash massive armies that can easily dwarf the unit counts found in other RTS titles. There are two playable factions in Ashes of the Singularity – Humanity of course, known as the Post-Human Coalition and their enemies the Substrate.


As you can imagine with a game this technically ahead of the curve Ashes boasts a number of awesome features. Thankfully Stardock was nice enough to provide a pretty comprehensive list:

●      The first native DirectX 12 game allowing each CPU core to command the player’s GPU simultaneously, which allows for more rendered units to be displayed on screen at the same time – by an order of magnitude – than in any previous RTS game to date.
●      A multi-core, real-time strategy AI that allows for excellent single player RTS gaming.
●      A new native 64-bit 3D engine called Nitrous that makes full use of the features of DirectX 11 and DirectX 12, allowing for thousands of light sources on screen simultaneously.
●      A new type of unit group organization known as a “meta” unit that makes it easy for players to manage potentially tens of thousands of units across a world.
●      Advanced Nitrous 3D engine allows players to zoom out on the map without having to transform the map into a simplified view of the battlefield

Devs at Stardock will be working with both AMD and Nvidia to ensure that the second beta, due out later this year, will provide support for Cross-Fire and SLI.

If you are interested in jumping into the beta before the final release later this Spring Ashes of the Singularity is now available on Steam Early A ccess for $54.99 CDN.

Think your rig is beefy enough to run Ashes? Here are the minimum system specs for the current beta:


  • OS: 64-bit Windows 10 / 8.1 / 7
  • Processor: Quad-core Intel / AMD Processor
  • Memory: 8 GB RAM
  • Graphics: 2 GB GDDR5 DirectX 11 Compatible Video Card
  • DirectX: Version 11
  • Network: Broadband Internet connection
  • Storage: 5 GB available space
  • Additional Notes: 1600×900 Display Resolution Minimum


Brokencast: Niamh Schonherr Interview

Posted on January 28, 2016 by Rae Michelle Richards

This week on the Broken Cast we’re joined by Indie game developer Niamh Schonherr whose upcoming game Sofðu litla tófan mín is based around a magical 1900s Icelandic fable. I can’t really do the game justice – here’s the description she wrote on her website about the game:

“It’s a magical realist fable set in rural Iceland circa 1900 about a young girl who suffers from night terrors trying to regain control of her life as it begins to spin rapidly into desolation. I’ve been making it in Twine with music composed by friend Solai. There is also a melody being composed by the Super Marcato Bros for the game’s titular lullaby, so look forward to that! I’ve already heard an early take of the melody and it’s very promising!”

In this podcast we talk about the games Icelandic roots, what it’s like to make independent games among other things. You can find a playable version of her game here or follow her on twitter here.



Slice It! | Review

Posted on January 28, 2016 by Jason Nason

Slice It! is a rather simple puzzle game with a very simple concept. It is also the latest game to make the move from free app in the app store to a paid eShop title for the Nintendo 3DS. And while the game does have it’s fair share of challenge and enjoyment, the $5.99 price tag feels a bit hefty for what is available for free on smartphones.

But price aside, what is this game?

Slice It! is geometric puzzle game where your goal is to slice up shapes into the desired number of pieces in a set number of moves. You use the stylus to draw straight lines through a shape to make smaller shapes. It’s a very easy game to pick up but gets surprisingly difficult to master. The game was developed by Arc System Works and COM2US and published on the 3DS by Aksys Games.

In this game, much like the Brain Training games, you will hold the 3DS sideways. On the left (top) screen you’ll see the shape your working with, the number of “pencils” you have left in the stage, as well as the number of shapes you have and your goal total. The right (bottom) screen is where you’ll find your menu, undo button and the hint button.

For whatever reason there is no option to flip the 3DS and reverse these screen options. Sorry left-handed people.

Once you begin a level you can start slicing. Utilizing the 3DS stylus, game mechanics are as simple as drawing your pencil across the virtual paper on the touch screen. And if you make an error or don’t like the placement of your line you can quickly tap undo to get a do over. Even if that last line you draw ends the stage in a failure, the game is very forgiving and lets you undo that last line.

Now this seems pretty simple right? Wrong.

You can’t just slice up the shape any way you want. The goal, and part of the challenge, is that all of the pieces have to be roughly the same size in volume. For example if you have to slice a shape into two pieces with one line, slicing through the centre will do the trick. However, occasionally if you make that line too far off to the side so that the two pieces are largely disproportionate, you will fail.

However this doesn’t always seem to be the case. Some of the later levels seem to be unforgiving with disproportionate pieces while others you can have one slice at 95% and the other at 5% and the game will fully accept the result.

Every line you draw has to completely pass through the shape. You can’t have one line end at another intersecting line within the shape. If the line doesn’t pass through the whole shape it won’t count. Interestingly enough when you start to draw your line if you want to adjust the start point you can use the circle pad while holding the stylus on the screen. This mimics pretty well the ability on smartphone screens of being able to use two fingers to manipulate your line since the 3DS touchscreen doesn’t support multitouch.

In all there are 240 puzzles to work through. That doesn’t seem like that much but once you get going though that total won’t seem so few. After the first few dozen stages it becomes increasingly difficult. Simple circles or squares are one thing. Once you start throwing more abstract shapes into the mix it can be a real challenge.

The game is broken up into two episodes of 100 levels. Each of those episodes is split into five pages. You’ll need to complete the initial twenty to unlock the subsequent twenty levels, though this can be done in any order you wish. If a stage is a bit tricky it can be skipped and tried again later. As you might expect episode two is also fully locked until you complete the first episode, as are the 40 bonus stages.

The music in the came is pretty upbeat “elevator” music. If you’ve every played the Luigi Poker minigame on Super Mario 64 DS then you’ll know what I’m referring to.

Built into the game are hints, of which you’ll start with five. To earn more you’ll need to clear stages in “Slice it Quick” mode. In this mode you’ll get 30 seconds to complete as many levels as you can. In each of the rapid fire stages you’ll have to draw just one line to finish off the puzzle. Get it right and you’ll move on to the next. Fail the level and you’ll penalized -3 seconds. BUT if you draw the line just right you’ll get a perfect shout out and be rewarded with a bonus +3 seconds. The goal with this stage is to clear twenty stages. Doing so will give you another hint to use in the main game.

There are a few missions or achievements to reach, including clearing all the stages in episode 1 and two, plus collecting stars, medals and clearing 30 stages in quick mode. The game also has a few unlockable skins for the game, including a Nintendo 3DS exclusive Japanese styled theme. The original mobile game had a Christmas theme, so that is likely in here too.

For a casual pick up and play game Slice It! is a fun game. It’s simple yet challenging and just the sort of game that should be enjoyed on your 3DS. The $5.99 price tag is pretty high though, especially since you can get pretty much the same game in the app store for free.


Ubisoft Takes Us Through Basic Training For The Division

Posted on January 28, 2016 by Rae Michelle Richards

The Division

Ubisoft takes us through a very brief tour of some of the basics that you’ll need to survive the infected streets of Manhatten in The Division’s beta. This narrated trailer covers how to create your agent, what the various functions available to you in your base of operations, how to sell loot to venders and, of course, how to group up with other agents in the field.

The Division feels very much like an MMORPG but designed on a smaller scale. By grounding the game in a real world location Ubisoft have provided potential agents with a setting that feels not too far off from our own world, minus the whole lawlessness and viral contagions thing. It is clear that while the gameplay appears to be action packed there is al an emphasis on statistics – like health, damage per second, damage reduction – that can be found in other roleplaying games. Fusing MMORPG elements with First Person Shooters worked fantastically for Bungie’s Destiny, so let’s see if the same can be said for The Division.

The beta kicks off this morning on Xbox One and will open on Friday at 7 AM EST on Windows PC and PlayStation 4 and runs until an unspecified time Sunday January 31st. Ubisoft’s last open beta, for Rainbow Six Siege, ended up getting extended after server issues caused problems. If the hype around The Division is any indication perhaps the same thing will happen here?

We have staff in the closed beta and we will be brining you as much content as possible over the coming days.

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Competitive TF2 confirmed

Posted on January 28, 2016 by Fionna Schweit

Team Fortress 2

Because E-sports is now big business, almost everyone who has a game thats team based seems to be announcing a competitive league. Valve at least are no strangers to a solid comptitive league having previously run The International for DoTA2. So it comes really as no surprise, at least to me, that Valves long running (now) free to play team based co-op shooter Team Fortress 2 is getting a Competitive league.

TF2 is a game famous for its silly hats, unique weapons, and seemingly endless support life. The game went free to play(FTP) in 2011, and since has taken on a new life far beyond what anyone would have imagined. With dozen of patches and events since going free to play, TF2 has been a staple of the FTP community for years. Now it seems that folks who have been begging for a competitive ranked, steam curated mode, have been answered. In a post on reddit /u/vjill points users to a competitive beta inside steams social features.

There were rumors this was happening when in a visit to Valve HQ by community at teamfortress.tv in April of 2014 matchmaking was at least briefly discussed. At the time Valve seemed to be on board, but there was no official word of any pending changes.  Now we have the official word, competitive matchmaking is coming to TF2.

Inside the steam group Valve says “[Valve will] be using this group to send out announcements related to the competitive beta as well as seed beta invites for the expansion of the closed beta” This is no doubt exciting for the robust, lively community in TF2, whom despite the game being well past the age of most relevant shooters, still keep its servers populated. Hopefully a ranking system brings in new more competitive blood, and leads to more and better tournaments curated by Valve. Who knows perhaps someday we will see an international TF2 comptition backed by Valve and funded by the players, just like the current International for DOTA2 is.


Halo Online Gameplay Vid: Team Slayer On Narrows

Posted on January 28, 2016 by Rae Michelle Richards

Halo Narrows

You might be wondering “why another Halo Online video?”. Well we’ve been trying to bring you a mixture of original content based upon the games we are currently playing and breaking news as it happens. This week I’ve been playing quite a bit of Halo: Online after producing a video earlier in the week. I thought I’d share this match because it features one of the classic Halo 3 maps that didn’t make it into our other coverage. Also this video has better synced sound, and music, something our original gameplay snippets seemed to have some problems with (sorry about that).

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