by Malik Forté on March 18, 2014
Last year’s Into The Pixel collection was nothing short of excellent, featuring the likes of Destiny, The Last of Us, Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag, League of Legends, and many more represented among the winning pieces. Video game artists will be happy to know that the Academy of Arts and Sciences is again teaming up with the Entertainment Software Association for an 11th round of incredible video game-inspired artwork.
The collection will be premiered at this year’s E3 and then displayed at various events like PAX, SXSW and the D.I.C.E. Summit. If you’re a video game artist who’d like to share your awesome work with the world, make sure you check out the rules and regulations for submitting your artwork right here before the March 28, 2014 deadline.
by Malik Forté on March 14, 2014
Somewhere in America, Tony Danza (or Tony Banta to be more specific) is sporting a huge grin on his face, while at the same time, the conference room dwellers of instant vehicle service Uber are angrily flipping their tables, and this is why:
has returned from its decade-long hiatus and is looking to showcase the power of mobile platforms in Crazy Taxi: City Rush
. This marks the first Crazy Taxi
game to be exclusive to mobile devices, as series creator Kenji Kanno hopes to keep the fare-stacking action of City Rush
canonical to the arcade and Dreamcast iterations of the legendary franchise that many know and love.
The good folks of Sega of America were kind enough to offer yours truly some hands on time with the game at SXSW last week and I was thoroughly impressed with the demo— it’s fun, intuitive and includes as much, if not more, depth than that of a console experience. Sega enlisted Sonic Dash development team Hardlight Studio to fine-tune the Crazy Taxi experience for mobile audiences.
City Rush‘s San Francisco-based playable area is openly traversable and humongous, spanning across 4 sizable districts with about 7-8 neighborhoods within each. There’s no gas or braking in this game— you can only accelerate using the game’s boost feature and your foot never lets off the pedal. Most of the racing around the city happens with the game’s intuitive swipe-to-turn/tap-to-stop controls, which seem to work pleasantly in comparison to using the screen’s orientation or some awkwardly placed on-screen gamepad, as seen in other mobile racing titles.
“Yo dawg, I heard you like customization, so we put custom soundtracks in your custom taxi, so your custom character can jam while completing customary taxi jobs,” said the voice in my head as I explored the robust amount of customization features City Rush had to offer. You can pimp your taxi cab with visuals and performance upgrades, stylize your driver, and even organize your very own custom soundtrack to blast as you cruise around and rack up those fresh dolla dolla bills, y’all. There’s also a slew of social features that are sure to add replay value, like an in-game messaging system, Facebook sharing capabilities, and the ability to view friends’ activity on your play map and challenge their high scores.
The best part about Crazy Taxi: City Rush is that it stays true to its predecessors— from the groovy aesthetics (the ad placement is ingenious) to the fast-paced, countdown timer gameplay— all while refining the experience to be relevant to the mobile and modern eras of gaming. Folks who have played the previous titles will remember things like the giant arrow pointer and wise-cracking taxi passengers who are more than often unappreciative of your urgency to get them to their destination.
As of now, there is no set date for City Rush‘s release, though we do know that we’ll be seeing its release sometime later this year as a free-to-play title. But in the meantime, why not take a few drives down memory lane with the original Crazy Taxi, which is now available for a limited time for free in the Google Play store and App Store.
by Malik Forté on March 13, 2014
Optimus Prime and company brought about one of their best showings in the series Transformers Armada, and what better way to celebrate the DVD release of the entire show then by giving five lucky winners the series’ complete 8-disc set for free.
To enter, simply leave a comment naming off your favorite Mini-Con from the series. Extra points if you name Rollbar as your favorite because, well,
he’s the greatest Mini-Con of all time, on second thought, scratch that— I may just be a little biased.
The contest will run until March 18, 2014 at 11:59pm, so make sure to get your entries in as soon as possible. And if you’re completely in the Decepticon-ridden Cybertron dark on Transformers Armada, here’s Kyle Anderson with the low down in his latest edition of The Shelf.
by Malik Forté on March 12, 2014
As if the eff’d-up-ness of The Walking Dead: Season Two‘s plot wasn’t enough, in comes the game’s amazing-yet-harrowing score, relentlessly plucking away at our heart strings like a ukulele. Today, Telltale Games is offering folks the opportunity to revisit some of that melodious grit with the tune In The Pines, which was featured in the credits on Episode Two. They also released a brand new trailer highlighting the season thus far, which you can check out right here:
A full soundtrack release is planned for later this year once the season concludes, though you can always just visit the page of Anadel, the artists responsible for the music, to find more singles from the game. Download In The Pines right here, right now, free of charge.
On a side note, The Walking Dead: Season Two will finally be making its way to the PlayStation Vita in the next few weeks, for those of you who’ve been waiting to get their rear touchscreen functionality on. If you haven’t gotten a chance to plunge in to the dark woods of the new season, Dan Casey has the full inside scoop on both Episode One and Episode Two for your reading pleasure.
by Malik Forté on March 10, 2014
As the rain descended upon us like robots from the moonbase of Hyperion here in Austin, Texas, Telltale Games unveiled the first details on their upcoming collaboration with Gearbox Studios, Tales From The Borderlands. Telltale’s Harrison Pink and Kevin Bruner were on hand with Gearbox’s Matthew Armstrong and Anthony Burch to give us our first glimpse at the upcoming return to Pandora.
Tales from The Borderlands is essentially a story being told from the future perspective of main characters Rhys and Fiona — though, like any Telltale title, the contents of the story will revolve completely around the choices the player makes. Unlike The Walking Dead and The Wolf Among Us, Tales will provide players with extremely appealing choices as opposed to donning the “good vs evil” format in which the choices are polar opposites. The game will also be a lot more comically driven, which stays true to the Borderlands plot style and negates from the grueling undertones of Telltale’s recent works.
So far everything is sounding quite good and we may be in for a welcome change of pace from the crew at Telltale. The game hasn’t received a release date yet, but should hit digital platforms sometime later this year.
In case you missed it, here’s a look at the Tales From The Borderlands panel at SXSW, hosted by our very own Kumail Nanjiani and Emily V. Gordon of The Indoor Kids:
by Malik Forté on March 10, 2014
There are few places in the gaming world more exciting than the main stage at a fighting game tournament, but for for those of you who aren’t able to join the sweaty, hype-filled rooms full of frame counting adrenaline junkies, Capcom and Twitch TV hope to bring those special Daigo vs. Justin Wong-like moments to you via live stream in the newly announced Capcom Pro Tour.
With the help of some of the most prominent tournament organizers in the fighting game community, the Pro Tour will serve as the first Street Fighter-focused fighting game league, and will feature Super Street Fighter IV Arcade Edition early on before transitioning into Ultra Street Fighter 4 in its later stages. All matches will be streamed on the Capcom Fighters Twitch channel. Catch the best and baddest in dash canceling and combo linking on the following dates:
- Final Round (March 14~16 – Atlanta, GA, USA)
- NorCal Regionals (April 18~20 – Sacramento, CA, USA)
- Southeast Asia Majors (June 20~22 – Singapore)
- Community Effort Orlando (June 27~29 – Orlando, FL, USA)
- Evolution Championship Series (July 11~13 – Las Vegas, NV, USA)
- The Fall Classic (October 10~12 – Raleigh, NC, USA)
- DreamHack Winter (November 27~30 – Jönköping, Sweden)
I feel this is pretty exciting news for the competitive fighting game scene as a whole, though the fighting game community has been quite reluctant to accept any form of e-sports-level growth. It will be interesting to see how the Capcom Pro Tour will be received by the fighting game nation. Are you a member of the FGC? If so, how do you feel about the new Street Fighter professional circuit? Let us know in the comments.
by Malik Forté on March 6, 2014
The PlayStation camp has taken some major blows this week, starting with the resignation of Amy Hennig from Naughty Dog Studios, and now, the paramount loss of Jack Tretton from Sony Computer Entertainment. Tretton has made a mutual agreement with Sony Computer Entertainment America and will not be renewing his contract with them after it expires on March 31st. After being with SCEA since it was founded in 1995, he made the following statement about his imminent exit:
“Working at SCEA for the past 19 years has been the most rewarding experience of my career. Although I will deeply miss the talented team at SCEA and the passion demonstrated every day by our fans, I’m very excited about starting the next chapter of my career. I want to thank the employees, partners and customers for their tireless commitment to the PlayStation brand and, of course, to our fans who have pushed us to new heights of innovation and entertainment over the past two decades. I leave PlayStation in a position of considerable strength and the future will only get brighter for PlayStation Nation.”
The current EVP and COO of Sony Computer Entertainment International, Shawn Layden, will take over as president on April 1st. This is definitely tough news for anyone who’s been a fan of the PlayStation brand since its release here in the states. And those epic PlayStation E3 Keynotes will never be the same again — a realization that would make anyone wish this was simply an April Fool’s joke.
Are you sad to see Jack go? Make sure to leave your thoughts on Tretton’s departure and the future of Sony Computer Entertainment America down in the comments.
by Malik Forté on March 6, 2014
After hurting our hearts by being pushed back from the launch of the next-gen consoles, and a ton of trademark abandonment rumors later, Ubisoft’s open-world action title Watch Dogs is set to hit PS4, PS3, Xbox One, Xbox 360, and PC on May 27th. The Wii U version, while not cancelled, has yet to receive a solid release date from Ubisoft at this time. Along with today’s exciting news comes an awesome new story trailer, which you can view right here:
Ubisoft has told various outlets that the delay of Watch Dogs was indeed beneficial, and that the extra time allowed them adds the necessary polish to the game, as opposed to releasing an inferior version that “cut corners” back in November. I, for one, give Ubisoft Montreal a round of applause for taking their time and getting this bad boy extra time and attention, regardless of the fan pressure to rush the game out.
Are you still as excited for Watch Dogs as you were before the delay? Let us know how you feel in the comments.
by Malik Forté on March 6, 2014
OnLive had been the quiet kid in school for quite a while, with the likes of NVIDIA’s Grid and PlayStation Now dominating the cloud-based gaming headlines. But Wednesday, OnLive returned from obscurity to present CloudLift, a service that allows users to stream content through multiple digital game services.
Steam is among the numerous platforms that can be paired with an OnLive account and streamed onto various devices regardless of their specifications. There’ll only be a select number of titles supported for this at launch; Saint’s Row IV and Batman: Arkham Origins are among the 20 that will available when the service launches at $14.99 per month.
This is pretty much the opposite of what’s going on over at Twitch TV, who announced the implementation mobile game streaming early Wednesday, but there’s potential for this to be pretty awesome. Let us know what you think of OnLive’s triumphant return in the comments below.