Ubisoft has won another small victory in its fight against media conglomerate Vivendi by buying back 3.625 million of its own shares for $ 137.9 million (€ 122.5 million). …
The Philadelphia 76ers have become the first North American sports franchise to break into the world of eSports after acquiring controlling stakes in Team Dignitas and Team Apex. …
Attend the standalone Virtual Reality Developers Conference in November to see a VR audio expert share lessons learned from working on remarkable mixed-reality, full-body experiences for “The Void.” …
“Advice for young people who want to become creators of video games based on over 20 years in the industry. It’s advice in a blog post, and therefore to be considered dubious until proven otherwise.” …
Quick note for VR devs: Last Thursday Google published a blog post celebrating the 1.0 debut of its Google VR SDK, which includes support for Google’s new mobile VR platform Daydream. …
“In this post I cover what a real-time story is, talk about our main influences — The Last Express and Sleep No More — and discuss the design constraints we’ve chosen for the game.” …
“The difference in total income is equivalent to approximately 2.1 years of experience,” reads an analysis of a recent game audio industry survey. “That is, the ‘cost’ of being female in game audio.” …
Picross has quietly been part of Nintendo’s puzzle library for more than 20 years. Picross 3D Round 2 marks Nintendo’s 12th Picross game to make it to North America, but it has never been able to find the ubiquity of Tetris or Dr. Mario. That’s a shame, because Picross is a fantastic and rewarding puzzle series, and 3D Round 2 is a high point.
Picross is a number logic game, but it’s not a math game. Knowing how to count is the only academic requirement you need to take with you, and if you fall short there, guessing is an acceptable (but much less rewarding) alternative. You have a big cube made of smaller blocks with assorted numbers on the sides. The numbers let you know how many blocks appear in each row, what color they are, and offers hints at their arrangement. Your task is to chip away the blocks that don’t need to be there and color the ones that belong. When you’re done, you get to take a step back and get to take a look at what you have crafted.
Every aspect of the build process, especially its final moment, is rewarding. Each block you delete or color requires faith in your own smarts, and since the game alerts you immediately if you make a mistake, every correct move is a small celebration. Acting correctly on each block, deleting the ones you don’t need, and solving a full row is all hugely satisfying. Finally zooming out to see what you created ties everything together for a fantastic final reward.
This reward of solving the puzzles is true for both the 2D versions of Picross, as well as 2009’s original 3D entry, but Round 2 changes the puzzle mechanics in meaningful ways. Instead of simply marking a block as keep or delete as you did in the prior 3D Picross, Round 2 mixes it up by tasking you with marking the keep blocks as either blue, or orange. The orange blocks change shape as you move through the puzzle leading to much more interesting final builds.
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As a long time Picross player, I appreciate the new color complication. It adds a substantial new challenge, but it also adds more ways to affect each cube. This raises the likelihood of mistakes, which can be frustrating for Picross perfectionists. However, with the added permutations come better training options. Along with the standard tutorial, some early levels single out high-level tactics and gamify them into small standalone puzzles. In the past you came across these tactics on your own, but here they’re incorporated in a way that doesn’t feel like a tutorial and makes you a smarter player.
Round 2 takes place in a coffee shop/book store and uses that as a conceit to arrange its puzzles, which fits the contemplative nature of the Picross-solving gameplay. Sets of themed puzzles are divided into books, with each book ramping up the difficulty from easy to hard. I was initially turned off by constantly moving back and forth between easy and difficult puzzles. As I started unlocking the later books, however, I came to appreciate the periodic breaks from the large scale cubes in order to tackle a few easy puzzles.
Micross, one of my favorite modes from the 2D eShop Picross games, moves forward and it’s a highlight. Micross books offer more than standalone puzzles; they are all directly connected. For example, one has you building all the separate parts of a Japanese castle. When you complete the final puzzle, all the previous puzzles come together to form one large structure. I only wish there were more of these large-scale, ambitious builds.
Picross 3D Round 2 is more complicated than the previous 3D Picross, but its changes add worthwhile challenge without venturing into the world of over-complication. Its tutorial levels do a good job training the player in the higher-level tactics, and there are enough small variations beyond the standard puzzle to keep things interesting throughout. Don’t be intimidated by all of the numbers, because Picross 3D Round 2 is one of the 3DS’ best puzzle games.
Xbox One owners who are also fans of the Nintendo 64 may not be limited to getting their retro fix via Rare Replay – at least for the time being. An N64 emulator has popped up on the Xbox One store, apparently sneaking through Microsoft's approval process like a GoldenEye-era James Bond.
The app is being sold for $ 9.99. If the comments are any indication, emulation is laggy and buggy on Microsoft's console. That's not the interesting part of all of this, however. The fact remains that somehow Microsoft let this one slip through.
Nintendo has taken a hardline stance against emulation, as outlined in great detail on its site. It's not likely that the company who says, "The introduction of emulators created to play illegally copied Nintendo software represents the greatest threat to date to the intellectual property rights of video game developers," will let something like this slide for long.
I can't help but wonder if the creators of this emulator are as surprised as we are that it made it this far.
In an effort to fit as many "ones" into a sentence as possible, EA
is giving players a first look at Battlefield 1's single-player campaign tomorrow.
Battlefield's YouTube page will premiere the campaign trailer at an unspecified time on September 27, showing a glimpse of what we can hope to expect in developer DICE's campaign, which is set in World War I.
EA also recently detailed Battlefield 1's Premium Pass, which you can read more about here.
[Source: Battlefield 1 Twitter]
Battlefield's single-player modes have always been heavily criticized, as Game Informer's Matt Bertz stated in his review of Battlefield 4, so it is yet to be seen if DICE will continue this negative trend with Battlefield 1. The new setting will hopefully be the ingredient the other DICE-developed Battlefield games were missing.