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SoulCalibur 5′s story mode is one-fourth its originally planned size

SoulCalibur 5‘s lackluster single-player offerings majorly stuck in my craw when I reviewed it last January, and while the game’s combat is primarily excellent, I couldn’t overlook the fact that its story mode is, as I said in my review, “a 3-hour hodgepodge of indecipherable, confusing storyboard panels punctuated by random (although admittedly gorgeous) cinematics.”

As it turns out, I wasn’t the only one who wanted more from the game’s story mode: “Our first plan on the storyboard was that we had every characters’ story, and actually we do have it in the studio, but time-wise, man power-wise we weren’t able to do it and only one fourth of what we planned to do is in the game,” said SC5 director Daishi Odashima during an interview with Train2Game.

In its current form, SC5‘s story mode follows the adventures of Sophitia’s children Pyrrha and Patrokolos. Similar story modes would have existed for every character, but developmental restrictions prevented that from happening. Voice overs for some characters’ canned stories exist in a finished, usable state, but Namco Bandai currently has no plans for how (or if) they’ll ever be used.

JoystiqSoulCalibur 5′s story mode is one-fourth its originally planned size originally appeared on Joystiq on Sat, 31 Mar 2012 18:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Worms Revolution Announced

There's another Worms game coming, this time to PC and consoles later this year.

Developer Team17 announced Worms Revolution for Q3 of this year. The team says it's being developed from the ground up and uses an all-new in-game engine. Fans can expect new features and challenges along with some old ones, including the Super Sheep and Holy Hand Grenade.

Check out the debut trailer below.

(Please visit the site to view this media)

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The Art Of Portal 2 Book Announced

Valve and Dark Horse are teaming up the bring out The Art of Portal 2 book, coming October 31, 2012.

The 184-page hardcover collectible features concept art, sketches, renders, and commentary from the game's developers. It was announced last night at the Emerald City Comic-Con in Seattle, Wash.

No price has been announced. Head over to Kotaku to see some of the first images.

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Behold the unrelenting cuteness of ‘Offspring Fling!’

The blurb on the front of Offspring Fling!‘s fake, SNES-inspired box art invites potential players to “experience the thrill of motherhood in this baby throwing adventure,” which unsurprisingly is an invitation we’re remarkably inclined to accept.

Developed by Kyle Pulver and scored by Alec Holowka, Offspring Fling! puts the player in control of a “poor forest creature” who must locate her lost children across 100-plus levels. Once found, said children can be stacked upon the forest creature’s head and then tossed about to solve puzzles and defeat enemies. It sounds fairly simple, but as you can tell from the above trailer, things can get a little squirrelly.

Offspring Fling! is available for $ 7.99 on PC and OSX, direct from the game’s official website. There’s also a playable in-browser demo that we heartily recommend, if only because we want the rest of the world to experience the simple pleasure of picking up one of these tiny little baby-chick-bunny-duckling things.

JoystiqBehold the unrelenting cuteness of ‘Offspring Fling!’ originally appeared on Joystiq on Sat, 31 Mar 2012 17:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Double Fine Adventure The Largest Project In Kickstarter History

Kickstarter, a crowd funding website, is seeing hugh growth due to Double Fine's recent  adventure game project. A new blog post from the company outlines the effect Double Fine has had on its business.

Double Fine Adventure has now become the biggest project in Kickstarter's history:

Dollars Pledged: $ 3,336,371

Total Backers: 87,142

First-Time Backers: 61,692 (71%)

"Double Fine brought a lot of new people — more than 60,000 first-time backers — to the site," Kickstarter said. "Did that activity extend to other Video Games projects? To measure this, we calculated the average number of pledges per week to projects in the Video Games category before and after the launch of Double Fine. The dotted line marks Double Fine’s launch; pledges to Double Fine itself are excluded."

Kickstarter says the month before Double Fine, the Video Game category averaged 629 pledges per week. After Double Fine's launch, the category averaged 9,755 pledges per week, excluding pledges to Double Fine itself.

Some additional highlights:

  • $ 1,776,372 was pledged to the Video Games category in Kickstarter's first two years. In the six weeks after Double Fine, $ 2,890,704 was pledged ($ 6,227,075 counting Double Fine).
  • Before Double Fine, one video game project had exceeded $ 100,000. Now, nine have. 
  • Wasteland 2, a million-dollar game project that launched after Double Fine, has received nearly $ 400,000 in pledges from Double Fine's first-time backers.

[Source: Kickstarter]

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Notch’s new space game is called … Mars Effect?!

It looks like the Elite-inspired space trading game Mojang’s Notch has been working on finally has a name: Mars Effect. The game’s official site just went live with a smattering of gameplay details, as well as insight into the philosophy behind Mars Effect‘s name.

“After several weeks of trying to come up with a good name for the game, we finally decided not to learn from previous experiences and pick a name that’s already kind of in use by a huge existing franchise,” says Notch. “After playing around with names like ‘Elight,’ ‘Wind Commander,’ and ‘Steve Online,’ we finally settled on the very catchy name ‘Mars Effect‘.”

The game’s bulleted list of features includes things like “waist high walls” and “a game ending that makes sense,” among other things. Notch also outlines the game’s “fixed wattage” system: All ships produce a finite amount of energy, and your ship’s features require specific amounts of power. Activating a cloaking device, for example, requires so much power that other ancillary systems like computers and lights must be shut down in order to free up wattage. Each ship is also equipped with a fully emulated 16-bit computer, which “can be used to control your entire ship, or just to play games on while waiting for a large mining operation to finish.”

[Thanks, Jason!]

JoystiqNotch’s new space game is called … Mars Effect?! originally appeared on Joystiq on Sat, 31 Mar 2012 15:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Court Moving Forward With Madden Lawsuit

A lawsuit against Electronic Arts over the unauthorized use of player likenesses in Madden NFL 09 is going forward.

In August 2010, a class of 6,000 retired NFL players sued the publisher for using their likeness without permission in the game's 140 historic teams. EA filled a motion to dismiss the case, but a California judge denied their motion in a ruling yesterday.

The lead plaintiffs include Tony Davis, former running back for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Vince Ferragamo, former quarterback for the Los Angeles Rams, and Billy Joe DuPree, former tight end for the Dallas Cowboys.

EA is arguing it's allowed to use former players' likenesses without compensation under California law and the First Amendment.

Game Informer has contacted Electronic Arts for comment.

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Game on: NFL likeness lawsuit against EA moving forward

A motion filed by EA to dismiss a class-action lawsuit filed against it by 6,000 retired NFL players has failed, reports Gamasutra. As you’ll recall, the players that filed the suit claimed that their likenesses were used in Madden 09 without permission or compensation. While the player’s names and numbers were changed, vital and identifiable statistics were left unchanged.

Rather than argue that it in fact didn’t replicate real-world players without authorization, EA’s motion to dismiss postulated that Madden 09‘s use of player likenesses was covered by the First Amendment, and therefore did not require consent or compensation. Since this motion was denied, the case will move on to court. Plaintiffs are seeking legal fees, damages and all profits generated through the use of said plaintiffs’ likenesses.

JoystiqGame on: NFL likeness lawsuit against EA moving forward originally appeared on Joystiq on Sat, 31 Mar 2012 14:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Google Maps Goes 8-Bit

Google unleashed its April Fool's gag a little early this year. But regardless, Google Maps going 8-Bit is simply awesome.

As seen in the video below, Google Maps has an 8-bit version complete with Street View. "In our pursuit of new digital frontiers, we realized that we may have left behind a large number of users who couldn't access Google Maps on their classic hardware," the company said in a blog post. "Surprisingly, the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) was unsupported, despite its tremendous popularity with over 60 million units sold worldwide."

If you want to check out Google Maps 8-bit, head over to the website and click on the "Quest" button the right-hand side.

"As the first NES cartridge to be released in nearly 18 years, we’re working hard to make Google Maps 8-bit for NES available in the Google Store as soon as possible. A mobile version for Game Boy is also under development."

(Please visit the site to view this media)

Thanks to everyone for the tip

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NIS America Announces Three New PlayStation Games

NIS America, the North American publishing branch of Nippon Ichi Software, announced three new titles for PlayStation platforms.

First up is Mugen Souls, a turn-based RPG due out this fall for PlayStation 3 in North America and Europe.

Features

• Expansive worlds to explore: Travel freely on each world to explore and find treasures and items. Monsters are roaming about, so be cautious or fight them head-on and make them your subservient peons! 

• Free-roaming style battle maps: Use Combo attacks to execute spectacular moves with your allies! Destroy Crystals on the battlefield to activate Hyper mode! 

• Moe Kill: Execute the Moe Kill technique to enslave enemies and turn them into items by exploiting their weaknesses!

• Customization: Create a full cast of characters! Customizable body parts, facial expressions, and job classes!

(Please visit the site to view this media)

Next up is Legasista, a dungeon crawler-style RPG coming to PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Network this August.

Features

• Dungeon crawler-style action RPG: Form a team of 3 characters to explore the dungeons of the Ivy Tower! Characters can easily switch in and out from the frontline to the backline. 

• Randomly-generated dungeons: Explore different dungeons and cash in on the loot! 

• Personalities: Create your own character, from job class to unique personalities! The personality will greatly change the character’s fighting capabilities, so choose well!

• Customization: Customize your character fully with the character creation feature. Even weapons can be customized!

(Please visit the site to view this media)

Last but not least is The Witch and the Hundred Knights, a 3D action-RPG, due out on PlayStation 3 sometime in early 2013. No trailer for the game has been released yet.

Features

• A hundred knights at your command: A plethora of ways to utilize your 100-man team!

• Multiple weapons: Equip up to 5 weapons to maximize your combo abilities!

• Chain attacks: The higher you build your chain, the greater damage you will unleash!

• More details coming soon!

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