Officially given the lengthy title "SEGA Mega Drive/Genesis: Collected Works," the book is officially sanctioned by Sega and serves as a 25th anniversary celebration of the Genesis' release. Inside the thick tome, you'll find pre-release artwork, American and Japanese design concepts for the console itself, and new interviews with some of the key figures responsible for creating the machine that spawned Sonic The Hedgehog. There's even coverage of the Activator, a fighting game peripheral that you younger readers can best imagine as the Kinect's less intelligent, awkward, vaguely functional cousin.
As of now, the countdown clock on the SEGA Mega Drive/Genesis: Collected Works Kickstarter campaign shows three hours remaining. Despite this, the book has already raised £94,840 of its £30,000 goal. Expect news on when this book will come available to the public shortly after the clock hits zero.
Loyal Joystiq readers should recall hints of this addition from two weeks back when a leaked Trophy list hinted at the inclusion of the infamous pirate in an upcoming downloadable addition. That list also mentioned Jaguar and Orchid characters who will be added to the game.
What can we expect from arguably the most infamous cutthroat to ever sail the high seas? Ubisoft puts it thusly: "Blackbeard, wielding his sword and short temper, is not to be trifled with. His reputation as a feared pirate is justly received, and his preferred kill moves include using his tremendous strength to throw his targets off balance and quickly finishing them with one clean strike."
As for logistics, the new DLC (dubbed "Blackbeard's Wrath") will be available on the Xbox 360, Xbox One, PlayStation 3 and 4, and PC. Each of these iterations will set you back $3, though if you already purchased the Assassin's Creed 4: Black Flag season pass, Blackbeard and his cronies will be available totally gratis. There is currently no word on when or if Blackbeard will set sail on the Wii U, and Ubisoft representatives have yet to respond to our inquiries.
Halo: Spartan Assault will hit Xbox One as a downloadable title on December 24 for $15, Microsoft announced today. It will come to Xbox 360 in January.
Halo: Spartan Assault is a top-down, twin-stick shooter already on Windows 8 PCs, tablets and phones. Those who purchased the game for these platforms before December 15 can pick it up for $5 on Xbox One.
In October, Microsoft announced that Spartan Assault would come to Xbox One and Xbox 360. The console versions include an online co-op mode and the Operation Hydra expansion.
It was one of the bigger, more interesting, surprises of the show. And Hello Games managing director Sean Murray is quite ecstatic to be able to finally talk about the studio's ambitious new universe.
The maintenance will likely lay the groundwork for an upcoming system update that will combine Wii U and 3DS account balances with a user-created Nintendo Network ID.
Purchases and other downloads will not be available during the maintenance period. You might want to use this opportunity to reflect on the good times you've had with the eShop, to better your relationship with the service in the future. Putting together a wishlist of eShop purchases might also help to pass the time -- may we suggest starting with the Sega 3D Classics series?
Konami announced today that its Metal Gear Solid 5 introductory chapter Ground Zeroes will launch for the PlayStation 3, PS4, Xbox 360, and Xbox One on March 18, 2014. The publisher serves up a 15-minute preview video of the Xbox One version above, showing off the first section of gameplay and detailing the differences between its included Normal and Hard difficulty modes.
Konami additionally revealed that the Xbox 360 and Xbox One versions of Ground Zeroes will include the exclusive "Jamais Vu" mission, in which Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance star Raiden must take out a cabal of identity-stealing "body snatchers" who have occupied a U.S. Naval facility in Cuba. A trailer is after the break below.
Konami previously announced that the PlayStation versions of the game will feature the exclusive "Deja Vu" mission, along with a classic Solid Snake skin.
Former National Security Agency contractor Edward J. Snowden, ProPublica, The Guardian, and The New York Times report today that American and British intelligence agencies have infiltrated Second Life, World of Warcraft, and Xbox Live to weed out militants that may use the games to communicate, move money, or plot attacks under fake identities.
So that noob in your PUG last night who just wouldn't heal the tank may have been a CIA agent getting paid ungodly amounts of money to level his Priest at the taxpayers' expense.
Most interestingly, Blizzard denies any knowledge of such activities: "We are unaware of any surveillance taking place," said a spokesman for Blizzard Entertainment. "If it was, it would have been done without our knowledge or permission."
[Source: ProPublica press release]
The Euro-arrival of A Link to the Past means it's likely to also venture to North America this week, and we've reached out to Nintendo to confirm just that. That said, it seems odd to bring A Link to the Past to Wii U a few weeks after A Link Between Worlds. Wouldn't it have made more sense to re-release it ahead of its 3DS sequel as a welcome warm-up?
What's that? Don't doubt the wisdom of the Triforce? Oh, okay, then.
PlayStation Plus members can put that subscription to further use by chopping a further 10 percent off both offers. Finally, as with all games in PlayStation's 12 Deals of Christmas Euro-promo, the offers last for 48 hours starting today.
Like its 2007 predecessor, Peggle 2 sits somewhere between carnival game and slot machine and, honestly, focusing a critical lens on it feels kind of silly. I played through all of Peggle 2's main levels, and I enjoyed doing so, but I can't help feeling a little disappointed.
There are some other, minor improvements being implemented during the maintenance, but the main one is the bumping up of portable activation slots to three. Once it's done, users will be able to tie SEN accounts to three Vita systems, or three PSPs, or a three-hit combo of Vitas and PSPs – go crazy with your combos, the world is your portable oyster.
As for the downtime, as usual the PS Store, Home, and account management go offline, but if you've signed into PSN sometime in the last few days it won't affect online play or apps.
With Gran Turismo 6 failing to light up the charts, this week's podium is the same as last week's: Battlefield 4 in third, FIFA 14 second, and Call of Duty: Ghosts top for the second week running. There's barely any shuffling to mention either, outside of Killzone: Shadow Fall dropping from fourth to ninth. Instead of dwelling on that, let's close with a gif that harks back to happier times.
even amongst a fresh avalanche of excellence.
I'm kind of between games like this as of late, but Super Mario World is probably the easiest example I'll ever have. There's something about that game's magic that besting the Koopa family dozens of times just can't kill off for me. I've learned most of its secrets on accident over the years, but they're never what I'm looking for. I come back to wreck havoc with Yoshis, to search the clouds for coins with a Cape Feather, to push Wigglers toward extinction as I re-learn how to escape the Forest of Illusion. I come back because Super Mario World is an unflinching match of my definition of fun, and I don't think that will change with 100 more views of the game's credits.
There have been more recent games that have done the same thing for me of course, but I already shared the big one. Now it's your turn! I'd like to hear about the games that have stuck with you long after their related game of the year discussions ended and what it is about them that makes them so memorable. What is it that they manage to do that seems to make the amount of time you spend with them irrelevant? Let me know in the comments, right after you check this week's Japanese hardware sales after the break!
Scraps will focus on a deathmatch experience, both in free-for-all and team-oriented rounds of destruction. As players blast pieces off of an opponent's vehicle, they will be able to collect the rubble and return to designated platforms to repair or upgrade their own rides. If your friends aren't into reducing cars to LEGO sets, single player, AI-filled deathmatch options will also be available. Those more interested in playing with creation tools are covered, too - Scraps will offer a sandbox mode with unlimited funds. Can you build a 20-foot wide wall of turrets on wheels capable of firing without knocking itself over? Only one way to find out!
The alpha release of Scraps is planned for the middle of 2014, but you can tinker around with some creation tools in Scraps' pre-alpha builder demo right now. If the project has already won you over, you can donate $20 NZD (~$16 in US currency) to its Kickstarter campaign and secure yourself a digital copy for PC, Mac and Linux once the first alpha is live. Yes, that will eventually include the full game too, and Steam keys will be available now that the project has been Greenlit.
Spaceteam creator Henry Smith revealed in a recent retrospective piece that he believes his iOS and Android game, which has teams of players coordinating tasks on a spaceship a la Star Trek, would not have been made had making money off the game taken top priority.
Smith discussed his game's success - and the many ways he defines that word - in the retrospective due to a Twitter discussion that arose after he posted the game's sales numbers. Smith wrote that the numbers were not "bad news" as some had claimed, and clarified that his goal was never to make money. He wrote that, "Worrying about how to 'monetize' effectively might have compromised the game design and almost certainly would have hindered ... getting my name out because there would have been much more resistance to sharing and spreading the game."
Smith repeatedly stressed dissatisfaction with current business models and claimed that he wants his future projects to be free, like Spaceteam. However, Smith still needs to earn a living, so he plans on holding a crowdfunding campaign. "This feels more honest and sustainable to me and the pay-what-you-can model seems fair for everyone else," he wrote. Smith closed with the promise he'll be sharing more details about the crowdfunding campaign soon.
Star Wars: The Old Republic celebrates two big events this month: its second anniversary and the launch of its latest expansion/update/patch/thing, Galactic Starfighter, for subbing players. The new content's highlights include new off-rails ship-to-ship content for PvP players. Should you shell out to play it now or wait until it's freely available next year? Our SWTOR columnist says it's easily worth the cost of a one-month sub right now.
Read on for a look at the rest of this week's top MMO stories.
To see the image in full resolution, you can check out McGee's DeviantArt page or order an A3 or A4 size poster print by clicking here.
The Origin Bundle's launch followed Moore's insistence that EA could "do better" just before it won its second consecutive Golden Poo award. It would be interesting to see a full breakdown of the Humble Origin Bundle's revenue, but it's nice to at least see this sliver of the results, especially when EA isn't necessarily raking in cash for themselves.
Fully armed and operational.
Fully armed and operational.
Fully armed and operational.
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Latest episode: Friday, December 6th, 2013