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Come on feel the toys: What's new in Skylanders Trap Team

Knowing full well that kids love catching them all when there are even more to catch, Activision announced Skylanders Trap Team for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Wii U, Nintendo 3DS, PS3, and Xbox 360. The latest entry in the franchise follows up last year's Skylanders: Swap Force and introduces the ability to not only buy many, many heroic action figures but also the ability to trap the game's enemies and turn them to the light.

Developed by Toys For Bob, which hasn't led development since 2012's Skylanders: Giants, Trap Team expands the compulsive collectable nature of the game. The game comes with a brand new NFC portal that reads not just the usual Skylanders toys, but new crystal toys. When fighting specific villains in the game like goofy old man Chompy Mage, plugging a trap crystal into the base actually sucks up the villain making them a usable character. There are 40 trappable villains in the game, and you can switch between one trapped villain and one regular Skylander figure on the fly, adding a tag team element to the Zelda style brawling that's the series' signature.

Toys For Bob is adding 60 new Skylanders as well, including the Trapmasters, a new class equipped with giant weapons made of "Traptanium," the same fictional substance the toys for trapping villains are made of.

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Project Cars takes drivers on 'the ultimate journey' in November

Need for Speed: Shift developer Slightly Mad Studios announced that its sim-styled racer Project Cars is due to hit the Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Wii U, and PC platforms in November.

Project Cars demonstrates its slick presentation and advanced damage modeling in the newly released trailer above. Slightly Mad recently announced that Project Cars will be one of the first games to feature support for Sony's upcoming Project Morpheus virtual reality headset.

[Image: Slightly Mad Studios]

Another World rated for current consoles, handhelds in Germany

Eric Chahi's classic side-scrolling adventure game Another World may soon see a re-release across multiple consoles and portable platforms, a recent USK ratings submission suggests.

Another World (released on 16-bit consoles as Out of This World) transports players to a harsh alien planet where they must fend off hostile humanoids and solve environmental puzzles to survive. The game saw an anniversary release on PC platforms in 2010, followed by ports for iOS and Android courtesy of retrogame remastering studio DotEmu.

Another World's ratings submission points to future ports for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, Wii U, Nintendo 3DS, and PS Vita, with Digital Lounge listed as publisher. We've contacted DotEmu for more information regarding the listed release.

[Image: DotEmu]

Fan support could lead to SNES, GBA Remix

"If you build it, they will come" doesn't always apply to game development, as NES Remix director Koichi Hayashida recently illustrated. When asked about the possible inclusion of Super Nintendo, Game Boy or Game Boy Advance games in a future Remix game, Hayashida told IGN that "if there's a big enough outpouring of support for these titles, it's something I'd like to take a look at."

Nintendo just launched NES Remix 2, which fared much better than the first game in our review. The first NES Remix arrived in December, though its selection of games was lackluster. Both games approach a collection of classic NES titles in a novel way: by issuing brief mini-game-style challenges. While other Virtual Console platforms like SNES and GBA sound like natural fits for future Remix installments, Hayashida said it still boils down to the question, "Does the marketplace want it or need it?"

"If we get a big enough cry for that, with a lot of people saying, 'Hey, we'd love to see more of these perhaps for the SNES, Game Boy or Game Boy Advance,' then it would be something we can take a look at," he added.
[Image: Nintendo]

Next Fatal Frame to snap ghostly images on Wii U

The next entry in the Fatal Frame series will haunt Nintendo's Wii U console, according to a Famitsu report translated by Gematsu.

Nintendo and Tecmo Koei recently announced the new game, though the two corporations offered no further information on this project. Instead, they used this opportunity to promote a number of multimedia tie-ins tangentially linked to the survival horror franchise, including a novel, a manga and a live-action film from director Mari Asato.

Unfortunately for anyone in North America that's a fan of camera-shy ghosts, it seems unlikely that the next Fatal Frame will ever reach our shores. As Gematsu points out, the prior entry, Fatal Frame: Mask of the Lunar Eclipse, made its Japanese Wii debut in 2008, but has yet to be localized for any other region. The 2012 Wii remake of Fatal Frame 2: Crimson Butterfly did manage to reach Europe, but it too skipped North America.
[Image: Nintendo]

Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures 2 saves PacWorld later this year

First it was a game, then it was a cartoon, then it was a game, and now it's a game ... again! Don't worry about following that baffling pedigree, all you need to know is that Bandai Namco has announced Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures 2 for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Wii U and 3DS handheld.

Like its predecessor, Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures 2 is based not on the arcade classic that everyone reading this site should be familiar with, but is instead based on the ongoing Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures animated series. As a result, Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures 2 is not focused on maneuvering a ravenous yellow pie chart through a neon maze, chomping pellets, but is instead a platformer where Pac-Man devours Power Berries which allow him to change into special, super-powered forms. Proving how far Pac-Man has come from his origins as an armless, blind eating machine, the iconic character will also be able to pilot a number of vehicles seen in the animated series.

Though Bandai Namco has yet to attach a specific release date to the game, the publisher hopes to debut Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures 2 at some point during 2014, presumably alongside the first episode of the second season of the animated series.
[Image: Bandai Namco]

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Next Ace Attorney delivers justice to 19th century Japan

A scan, reportedly lifted from the latest issue of Famitsu, reveals that the next entry in the fan-favorite Ace Attorney series will leave our modern era in favor of Japan's Meiji period.

Not much is known of the new game, though according to a tweet from Ace Attorney fan site Court-Records.net, it will bear the title "Dai Gyakuten Saiban - Naruhodou Ryuunosuke no Bouken," which translates to "Grand Turnabout Trial - The Adventures of Naruhodou Ryuunosuke." From this, we can deduce that the game stars an ancestor of Ace Attorney protagonist Phoenix Wright (who is known as Ryuichi Naruhodo in his native Japan). The character portrayed in the scan does indeed resemble Mr. Wright, though the latter never wore a katana into the courtroom.

Finally, Court-Records reveals that long-time Ace Attorney developer Shu Takumi is once again leading this project and that it is currently in development for the 3DS handheld. It's currently unknown if the game will make its way to Western shores, or if it will remain exclusive to Japan.
[Image: Famitsu]

Mario Golf: World Tour irons out DLC plans, season pass

Nintendo revealed it's taking a swing at season passes with Mario Golf: World Tour, after it announced the 3DS game's DLC schedule today. The arcadey sim gets three packs across May and June, each offering two 18-hole courses and a new playable character. Admission to each one is priced $6/£5.39, but the season pass bundles the lot at $15/£10.79. Brits do get the greater handicap but it's a limited-time offer; after May 31 it reverts to £13.49.

The triforce of DLC tees off alongside the game on May 2, starting with the Mushroom Pack which features the pink-as-can-be Toadette. Nabbit steals into the Flower Pack later in the month, while Super Mario Galaxy princess Rosalina features in the June-bound Star Pack. If you're wondering what Gold Mario's doing there, he's just chilling. Oh, and he's a bonus for anyone who buys all three packs, whether that's separately or via the season pass.

For a standard membership, the World Tour clubhouse grants you access to 10 different courses comprising 126 holes. Also, going by Nintendo's site, players can expect a roster of 16 characters that includes traditional favorites like Mario, Luigi, Peach and Toad, as well as the likes of Daisy, Waluigi, Birdo and Boo. That's the ghost thing, not the girl from Monsters Inc (sadly). In addition to single-player shenanigans, players can take to busier fairways in both local and online multiplayer, or compete in regional and worldwide tournaments.
[Image: Nintendo]

NES Remix 2 review: Once more, with feeling

Trial gauntlets like the NES Remix series have a tough balance to strike. They need to nail their core concept – in NES Remix's case, slicing classic games into brief, enjoyable challenges – but they also need to be compelling enough to keep players from saying "I wish I was playing the original." That's exactly what I was saying through all of the first NES Remix, which haphazardly chopped a few of my childhood favorites into anguishing mini-game collections and paired its hack job with a mediocre game selection.

NES Remix 2 is different, though. Instead of making me fumble with dated controls and wonder if anyone truly finds the NES version of Pinball enjoyable in the modern age, NES Remix 2 mostly recalls the highlights of the NES. Exchanging the likes of Clu Clu Land and Wrecking Crew for games like Punch-Out!! and Kirby's Adventure feels like a massive upgrade, and even the inclusion of NES Open Tournament Golf doesn't diminish that.

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Theatrhythm: Final Fantasy Curtain Call tunes in to the West this year

Theatrhythm: Final Fantasy Curtain Call is marching towards North America [Update: and Europe!] later this year priced at $40, Square Enix confirmed today. The follow-up to the 2012 3DS rhythm game builds on the original by providing a total of 221 songs and more than 60 characters from the Final Fantasy series, and it introduces new modes including the option to prove your skills in two-player duels.

Curtain Call is already out in Japan, and as we saw at last year's Tokyo Game Show, fans can expect more of the same from the second 3DS game, with the key word being more. In terms of what you'll be tapping to in the expanded playlist, Curtain Call chucks in songs from newer FF entries like A Realm Reborn and Lightning Returns, but also plunders other areas the original did not, like the funky Advent Children version of "One Winged Angel."

In addition to the Versus Battle mode, Curtain Call introduces the Quest Medley mode from the iOS version of the original, allowing players to mix songs together along quests that are described as either short, medium, or long. As for the new roster, players can re-acquaint themselves with chibi versions of Yuna as she was in X-2, Barret from VII, and even obscure heroes like Benjamin from Mystic Quest.
[Image: Square Enix]

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UK Charts: Titanfall holds No.1 spot, 2014 FIFA World Cup debuts 2nd

It's been a while since British soccer fans have seen their nations associated with the words "World Cup" and anything even remotely approaching second place - that said, at least England can say it won the damn thing once.

Enough ancient history: 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil is the highest-placing new release in the UK this week, but unlike FIFA 14 it only reached second place; that top spot is still held by Titanfall. Maybe the most telling thing is FIFA 14 is only two places behind the World Cup game in 4th, some seven months after it was released.

It's lower down the charts where things get a bit more interesting this week. The physical Deluxe copies of Trials Fusion, which contain the game's season pass, did well enough to see the grueling bike-former debut in 7th place. Meanwhile, you have to go all the way down to 20th to find colorful MMO Final Fantasy 14: A Realm Reborn, which has just made its debut on PS4. On the other hand, Square Enix seemed pretty upbeat about the game reaching 2 million registrations last week, so make of that what you will.
[Image: EA]

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Assassin's Creed series tops 73 million in sales

Ubisoft's Assassin's Creed series reached a total of 73 million in sales according to the publisher's corporate website, which lists its "worldwide best-selling franchises." Assassin's Creed, which has featured six releases in the main series since its 2007 debut and eight additional games on browser and portable platforms, leads Ubisoft's second-best-selling property Just Dance (48 million) by 25 million units.

Assassin's Creed will likely continue to sell by the millions given that the next game, Assassin's Creed: Unity, will arrive on PS4, Xbox One and PC this holiday season. Unity was just announced in March and takes place in Paris during the French Revolution of the 18th century, a setting that was vaguely foretold at the end of Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood.

The next three series in the publisher's top five in sales bear the late Tom Clancy's name: Splinter Cell (30 million), Rainbow Six (26 million) and Ghost Recon (25 million). Head past the break to see the rest of Ubisoft's sales list.

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Monster Hunter 4G trailer plays in the sand

It'll be a long while before the next Monster Hunter game arrives in the West, so fans have plenty of time to gaze longingly at new trailers for upcoming games Capcom dishes out for Japan players. In this case, a new Monster Hunter 4G trailer emerged this week, putting the game's many beasts on display primarily in sandy locales.

Monster Hunter 4G was announced in January for Japan and is only listed as a 3DS release. The game will offer players the ability to transfer their save files from the previous game, Monster Hunter 4, for use in 4G. Capcom reported in February that Monster Hunter 4 sold four million copies since it launched in September.

North American players will have to wait until early 2015 for their shot at the game's new monsters; that's when Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate is slated to launch in the West. Meanwhile, Capcom is hosting a design contest to challange fans to craft their own weapons for the game and is accepting submissions until May 5.
[Image: Capcom]

Cave Story coming to European 3DS eShop on May 1, Australia eventually

European 3DS owners are still waiting for 2D action adventurer Cave Story to reach their 3DS eShop? Oh no, oh no, oh no! Nah, just kidding, it'll be okay - Nicalis tweeted a May 1 release date for the European eShop this week, along with the above homage to a conceptually-terrifying drink mascot. A price was not provided, though Nicalis told a fan that exact details should be available sometime next week.

Nicalis also confirmed that Cave Story will eventually make it to the Australian 3DS eShop, though a release window was not shared for that version. Still, eventual Cave Story is better than no Cave Story.

GameStop Easter Weekend sale offers 'Buy 2, Get 1 Free' on used games under $20

GameStop is celebrating spring with an Easter Weekend event, offering a "buy 2 get 1" on a select stock of used games. The promotion begins today at all GameStop retail locations across the United States and online. The deal comes with certain stipulations, however: only games priced under $20 are eligible, with the free title coming at equal or lesser value.

Though the promotion undoubtedly means PS4 and Xbox One titles are off the table, previous generation software is up for grabs. According to GameStop, the company "has recently reduced a large percentage of games from the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 libraries to $20 or less."

The promotion ends on Sunday, April 20.
[Image: GameStop]

New Nintendo eShop releases: Super Mario 3, Golden Sun, F-Zero: Maximum Velocity

Virtual Console games are out in full force this week, with heavy hitters landing on both Wii U and 3DS. The biggest of the bunch is Super Mario Bros. 3, available on 3DS and Wii U. Meanwhile, the Wii U picks up even more Game Boy Advance games with Golden Sun and F-Zero: Maximum Velocity. Starting April 22, LEGO The Hobbit makes the long journey to Wii U as well.

A pair of Ubisoft Wii U titles are also getting a permanent discount on Wii U, namely Assassin's Creed 4: Blag Flag and the excellent ZombiU. Starting April 21, Black Flag drops to $39.99, and ZombiU's price is gnawed down to $29.99.
[Image: Nintendo]

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March NPD: PS4 leads hardware sales, Titanfall rules software

PlayStation 4 console
The PS4 sold more than the Xbox One or any other console in March – making it the hardware leader for the third consecutive month – market research group NPD reports. The Xbox One and PS4 pushed US hardware sales in March up 78 percent from 2013, from $222 million to $395 million. Overall game sales in March were up 3 percent year-over-year.

Five months in, the PS4 and Xbox One are out-performing initial sales of the PS3 and Xbox 360, NPD Group's Liam Callahan says: "When comparing the first five months of sales for the Xbox One and PS4 to their predecessor's first five months, total Xbox One and PS4 sales are up close to 60 percent."

Xbox One has shipped 5 million Xbox One consoles, with 311,000 sales in the US in March alone, Microsoft announced today: "Of course, we're just getting started with this generation and the months ahead will bring several announcements we think you'll love. The team will continue to deliver regular improvements and new features based on your feedback through frequent system updates .... We can't wait to share more games with you in June at E3."

On April 16, Sony announced that PS4 sales had passed 7 million.

Titanfall was the top-selling game for the month, launching for Xbox One and PC on March 11. It is the second-highest selling game for Xbox One after just one month on the market. It was followed by Infamous: Second Son, South Park: The Stick of Truth, Call of Duty: Ghosts and Dark Souls 2. See the complete game sales list below. On PC, Diablo 3: Reaper of Souls sold the most on a unit and dollar-amount basis.

Software sales declined 27 percent overall. "Year-over-year sales of every platform declined from March 2013, with the exception of the PS Vita, which saw sales grow due to the release of Final Fantasy X/X-2 HD Remaster," Callahan said.

Sales of video game accessories in March rose 4 percent, led by sales of controllers for Xbox One and PS4, NPD says. Other notable accessories included Turtle Beach headphones and headsets for next-gen consoles. Turtle Beach sales grew 50 percent year-over-year.
[Image: Sony]

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Greninja, Charizard fight it out in new Super Smash Bros. screens

Following up on a recent Nintendo Direct feature, Nintendo has released a new set of Super Smash Bros. screenshots showcasing Sheik, Yoshi and Zero Suit Samus alongside newly announced Pokemon challengers Greninja and Charizard.

Nintendo outlined its plans for online play in Super Smash Bros. earlier this month, revealing that gameplay will be split between casual-focused "For Fun" and tournament-styled "For Glory" modes. Nintendo also announced that the 3DS version of Super Smash Bros. will feature a new dungeon-diving Smash Mode that replaces the Wii U's traditional Adventure Mode.

Super Smash Bros. will launch for the Nintendo 3DS this summer. A Wii U release will follow in the winter.

[Image: Nintendo]

Disney Infinity 2.0 arrives this August with Marvel heroes [Update]

Update: D23 has since posted a correction, noting it "erroneously reported about the launch of the next chapter of Disney Infinity" and that the information it provided was incorrect. It added that further information on the future of the series will be revealed on April 30.

Original story:

Disney Infinity 2.0 is slated to launch this August, according to a since-removed snippet from Disney's official fan club site, D23. While the D23 blog entry in question is still available to view, a cached version of it notes that the Disney Infinity follow-up "is coming in August 2014, and a teaser trailer can be viewed at Marvel.com," likely referencing the teaser posted by Marvel earlier this month.

"The teaser promises such Marvel-ous additions to the game as familiar Marvel characters, objects, and vehicles-the possibilities are infinite," the site continued. The previous sandbox-style adventure game from Avalanche Software did wonders for Disney Interactive, driving its revenue to $403 million in the first fiscal quarter of 2014. The company also saw losses in Q2 2013 and Q3 2013 to the tune of $54 million and $58 million, respectively. That led to layoffs in its games and Internet divisions in March that numbered 700, at which point Disney said it plans to scale back annual game output "by as much as 50 percent."

We've reached out to Disney to confirm the release window for Disney Infinity 2.0 and will update as we learn more.
[Image: Disney]

Nintendo turned down Skylanders exclusivity deal

Nintendo reportedly turned down a deal that would have launched Activision's highly successful toys-come-to-life series Skylanders exclusively for the Wii. A report from Polygon on the Toys for Bob franchise notes that, despite Activision's confidence in the product, it was looking for a partner to spread the risks of the venture.

"[Nintendo] spent a long time looking and looking," Toys for Bob co-founder Paul Reiche said. "They were just like 'we have never seen anything like this before.' I've always wondered about the full meaning of that comment [laughs]." Nintendo opted out of making a full commitment to the project, though the two companies did enter a co-marketing agreement for the series. "Clearly, they have got properties well suited to this world," Reiche added. "Why it is that they didn't rush in here will probably haunt them for the rest of their days."

Activision's Skylander series has since surpassed $2 billion in sales worldwide. The franchise has found its way to ten different platforms, including the recently launched Xbox One and PlayStation 4.

Though Nintendo would later experiment with a similar game in the disappointing Pokemon Rumble, it would be Disney that would eventually invest in the genre with its Disney Infinity series, leveraging the company's multitude of popular characters.

"Nintendo could have kicked Disney's ass," Reiche said. "If I was running Nintendo I would have jumped on this."
[Image: Activision]

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