Master of The Free World Productions | Jumpcut Entertainment Network

GameDevTweets: A week’s worth of what your peers are saying

Game developers are all over Twitter, sharing everything from tips on making games, observations on the latest news, and snarky jokes. We’ve grabbed a load of the past week’s best tweets. …

Gamasutra News

Valve VR partner HTC invests $10 million in startup WEVR

The Taiwanese electronics company’s commitment to its VR headset, the Vive — developed in collaboration with Valve — leads to an investment in a VR content company. …

Gamasutra News

Here Are The Original Scores For All Of Rare Replay’s Games That We’ve Reviewed

Rare Replay releases Tuesday, August 4, and it gathers 30 classic video games developed by Rare all onto one disc. Our full review of Rare Replay will post Monday, but in the meantime, you can read our original reviews for the games featured in the collection that we published reviews for. We don't have reviews for everything featured in the collection, but we do for many. You will find the scores as well as excerpts (where available) from the original reviews below.

Banjo Kazooie: Nuts and Bolts – 8.5

"Nuts and Bolts shows that Rare is still a respectable think tank capable of delivering experiences unlike anything else, but this game also clings onto a few annoying elements from the company's past. The biggest one, which the game openly ridicules, is the concept of scouring environments to collect items. Sadly, the items you must collect are new part types for your vehicles. If you want to have a deep LEGO box, you have to dedicate time to hunting for them. Annoying collect-a-thon aside, Nuts and Bolts is a rare delight that offers up big laughs and inventive gameplay. It also ends up being the closest thing there is to a virtual LEGO set." – Andrew Reiner

Viva Piñata: Trouble in Paradise – 8

your pinatas happy can still be monotonous in task, but the expanded
content and finely made multiplayer relieves some of the repetition that
plagued the first game. Viva Pinata retains its child-like charm, but
the content is layered with deep strategies and entertaining gameplay
that can suck anyone's life away." – Andrew Reiner

Viva Piñata – 8

“I recommend Viva Pinata as a good primer for kids
and adults alike who aspire to explore the greater world of god games.
It moves at a nice pace, it is never confusing, and it does a great job
of holding your hand and showing you what to do next.” – Andrew Reiner

Second opinion review – 7

Piñata, Microsoft and 4Kids Entertainment’s attempt at creating an
animated TV show/video game sensation, is an interesting potpourri of
influences. The game combines elements of any number of offbeat titles
from recent years, including Harvest Moon, Animal Crossing, and Pokémon.
Developer Rare continues to show its visual skills, creating a day-glo
world that has a look I’ve never seen before in a game. A large part of
the pleasure of playing Viva Piñata comes from transforming brown dirt
into a lush paradise. There are certainly parts of the game I like,
especially the easy-to-use interface and the humorous antics of the
animals. Still, something is a bit off about the entire package. Often, I
found myself either bored and wanting something to do, or overwhelmed
by trying to foster my misbehaving menagerie of piñatas. I fear this
game might find itself struggling to find an audience, too complex for
the kids that love the show and too shallow for adults.” – Matt Helgeson

Kameo: Elements of Power – 7.5

"There really is no slow onion peel to the plot, although Rare certainly hoped there would be one. Once you meet a specific character, you know exactly where this tale is going to end up. After working your way through every video game cliché possible (betrayal in your midst, levels based on elements), the game builds to a huge rip-roaring finale. Sadly, the final boss is the weakest in the game (40 Below’s Wrecker attack can tear him to shreds in no time flat). From here it seems as though the game is going to fizzle out and die quietly, but the cinematic that follows this battle is a satisfying and visually stunning way to end the game. All told, Kameo is a respectable adventure, but it drives players forward with its visual content and not its gameplay.” – Andrew Reiner

Second opinion review – 7

“Playing Kameo made me feel a lot like what I imagine Fry must’ve felt at the beginning of Futurama. Here I am in this amazing world filled with sights beyond my imagination, and I’m still stuck doing the same crappy delivery job I did back in the past. Make no mistake – this is one pretty game, filled with gorgeous bump-mapped textures, beautiful lighting, and luminous particle effects. However, Kameo (originally conceived for the GameCube) shows its age in tedious level design, unoriginal boss fights, repetitive objectives, and dull puzzles. The concept of switching between forms is definitely intriguing, but unfortunately none of the creatures (aside from Chilla) have gameplay that is inherently entertaining, and the ways you must switch between them are far too obvious to add any real sense of surprise or discovery. One of the game’s worst boss battles is repeated a half dozen times before you’re done, growing more annoying each time. Graphically state of the art, Kameo is just an attractive repackaging of the same old platforming clichés.” – Matt Helgeson

Perfect Dark Zero – 7

“The actual gameplay is a lot slower than most recent shooters, and lacking many modern conventions, such as a radar or more than one checkpoint per level. However, PDZ does feature a nice cover mechanic, as well as an evasive roll (instead of a jump). Fans of the original will like the weapons selection and the focus on multiple objectives per stage, but others will be completely put off by the ridiculous voice work, forgettable story, and downright boring action. However, online play is a lot more interesting. Deathmatches and Dark Ops games (which are more objective-based) are included, as well as co-op. As much as I love co-op conceptually, I found playing the same campaign with a second player just as boring as playing it alone. Deathmatches and Dark Ops games are surprisingly fun, despite bringing little new to the table. With headshots being the most efficient way to take someone down, deathmatches are a bit more skill-based than some other shooters, which is nice. But outside of some mildly amusing multiplayer, Perfect Dark Zero is an enormous disappointment. Perhaps due to its years in development, Zero just feels antiquated and familiar. Had it released years ago, it would have been a monumental game. But as it stands, it’s just more of the same.” – Jeremy Zoss

Second opinion review – 8

“Perfect Dark Zero wears many guises. It’s one of those games that will have you singing its praises one minute, only to find yourself screaming expletives at it the next. Thankfully, most of its problems can be avoided, but this basically means that you have to steer clear of the single-player campaign. It’s a torturous and completely uninteresting excursion. The real meat and potatoes of this release is multiplayer. The campaign’s story may hold little weight, but it is fun to play through it cooperatively, as you are constantly pushed to use teamwork. Deathmatching is brilliantly devised. You can unload an entire clip into someone, yet not drop them. Hence, you have to use pinpoint precision to line up headshots. It really plays off of your skills. The maps are well thought out, and the assortment of unique weapon abilities opens up new avenues for FPS strategy. It’s not for the masses, but Perfect Dark Zero will definitely be a hit with those of you who want to put your skills on display. – Andrew Reiner

Grabbed by the Ghoulies – 4.5

Conker's Bad Fur Day – 9

We recently played through Conker's Bad Fur Day in its entirety for our Super Replay show. You can check out the entire game by heading here.

Banjo-Tooie – 9

Banjo-Kazooie – 9.25

Perfect DarkWe scored the original Perfect Dark on Nintendo 64 a 9.25, but the game included in Rare Replay is the Xbox Live Arcade re-release that launched in 2010, which we scored 8.5. You can find an excerpt from that review below.

"Perfect Dark is a great example of how a remake should be done. In the original, it almost felt like you were punished for making the gameplay exciting: More action resulted in more slowdown. Now, it runs smooth as silk whether you're sneaking around with a tranquilizer gun or diving into a multiplayer match with rockets blazing. Fans of the original shouldn't hesitate to pick this one up and relive their Nintendo 64 memories." – Dan Ryckert

Jet Force Gemini – 7.75

Blast Corps – 8

Killer Instinct Gold – 8.5

Battletoads – 8.25

For the list of games included on Rare Replay that we don't have reviews for, head to page two. – The Feed

Get a job: Square Enix is seeking programmers for its Tokyo studio

Want a chance to work in Tokyo? Square Enix is seeking “seasoned engineers” to work on its next-generation tech: the Luminous Engine. …

Gamasutra News

Get a job: Square Enix is seeking programmers for its Tokyo studio

Want a chance to work in Tokyo? Square Enix is seeking “seasoned engineers” to work on its next-generation tech: the Luminous Engine. …

Gamasutra News

The Banner Saga Developer Working On Miniatures Board Game

Indie developer Stoic is teaming up with miniatures board game creators MegaCon Games to produce a miniatures board game based on the critically acclaimed strategy franchise The Banner Saga.

Stoic, MegaCon, and publisher Versus Evil recently announced Banner Saga: Warbands, a miniatures board game based on one of last year’s cult hits. Production is already underway, and a Kickstarter campaign to help publish the game will soon be announced. We don’t have a lot of details yet about the game, but an office website has already been launched, and we expect to hear more about this game soon. Maybe we’ll even get a sneak peak at things at this year’s PAX. – The Feed

Test Chamber – Angry Birds 2

No. You are not viewing a classic video from five years ago. Despite releasing new Angry Birds games every year, Rovio is calling today's new entry the first official sequel in the series. From a quick glance, Angry Birds 2 may not seem much different than previous iterations. You know what to expect: Birds are flung at rickety structures infested with pigs. That said, the structure of the game is a little different, and the free-to-play conventions are more prevalent.

Game Informer's Jeff Cork and Kyle Hilliard joined me for a competition of sorts to see who is the best at Angry Birds. We play through a handful of levels, temporary lose our minds in the first few minutes, and show off as many new features as we can for this new mobile release.

(Please visit the site to view this media)

For more Test Chamber, click the banner below, or check out our hub. – The Feed

The Witcher 3 Patch 1.08 Includes A Potion To Fix Your Naked Geralt ‘Problems’

CD Projekt Red is getting to roll out yet another patch for The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. While this one isn’t quite as substantial as update 1.07, there are still a number of fixes and the foundation for the upcoming New Game Plus feature.

A number of players reported that after installing 1.07, they were left with a naked Geralt. This was due to changes in item levels that prevented players from equipping gear they were once able.

With version 1.08 comes the Wolven Hour potion. This will revert item levels for one hour, giving players time to either reach the new threshold or find temporary gear. After an hour, gear stats will revert and you’ll be in the buff again (assuming you didn’t accomplish what you needed).

The patch also fixes problems with disappearing items from the stash, removes the loot prompt from empty containers, and keeps decapitated heads from disappearing. There are also a number of quest fixes. 

For the full patch notes, you can visit the CD Projekt forums. No specific release window has been revealed, but CD Projket Red’s Marcin Momot suggests it will arrive soon.

[Source: CD Projekt Red]


Our Take
CD Projekt Red continues to polish this massive game, with bug fixes and improvements. It’s great to see these patches rolling out in rapid succession and containing so many fixes each. – The Feed

Harmonix Is Adding More To Amplitude, But It’s Delayed Until The End Of 2015

Harmonix has announced that it is delaying its Kickstarted Amplitude revival. The news comes with a silver lining, though. The studio has shared that more content is being added on the road to delivery.

Instead of the planned 16 tracks, Amplitude will include 30 (plus and additional song for backers). More modes are being added, also. The game will include a single-player campaign and free play, a two- to four-player free-for-all mode, and a team play option for 1-versus-3 and 2-versus-2 competition. Harmonix is also adding two more playable environments.

The game was originally planned for release this summer, but with the additions, Harmonix needs a bit more time. Amplitude will still be released this year for PS4 (a PS3 version will come later) for backers. Wide release will happen in early 2016.

“We know that this schedule slip will be a disappointment to many of you,” writes chief creative officer Alex Rigopulos. “(Frankly, it’s disappointing to us as well, as we’re all dying to play the finished game…) However, our judgment was that our highest priority is to deliver the best game we possibly can to our fans—the definitive version of Amplitude. We want to over-deliver for our biggest supporters, and that’s simply going to require some extra time.”

For more on Amplitude, you can check out an interview with Rigopulos.

[Source: Kickstarter]


Our Take
Ultimately, this will result in a bigger, better game. Addressing this up front with backers (and softening the blow with all the detail about added content) helps. Unfortunately, this means that Harmonix won’t begin realizing the majority of revenue until 2016 (excepting PS4 pre-purchases). Rock Band 4 should help close the cash flow gap. – The Feed

Mighty No. 9 Will Not Release In 2015

Game Informer has received additional information about the quiet delay of Mighty No. 9, with further substantiation that it will miss its September 15 release. The game does not have a new release date, but the most recent information reaffirms that retailer listings of 2016 are accurate.

GameStop (Disclosure: GameStop is Game Informer’s parent company) tells us on background that notification of delays such as this one are initiated by the publisher. This includes placeholder dates that are put in place when a game is first listed or, in this case, delayed. This indicates that the 2016 placeholder was driven by Deep Silver and Comcept, both of whom we've reached out to for comment. 

Deep Silver declined to comment on the matter and Comcept did not return our request for a statement by publication. We’ll update should either get back to us.

Comcept is currently in the final days of the Red Ash Kickstarter. The campaign is over $ 300,000 away from funding, with backers canceling pledges yesterday after an announcement that Chinese company Fuze will fund development.

This morning, Comcept repurposed the $ 800,000 Kickstarter as “stretch” goals to add to the core game. These include another playable character, a mini-game triggered after the main story, and a combat-focused dungeon.

Mighty No. 9 was promised for delivery in April 2015 during the Kickstarter campaign. The title is planned for 10 platforms: Xbox One, Xbox 360, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, Wii U, Vita, 3DS, PC, Mac, and Linux.


Our Take
At this point, it seems that Comcept isn't confirming the Mighty No. 9 delay, possibly because of the negative impact it would have on the ongoing Red Ash Kickstarter. Deep Silver, which is serving as the publisher for the game, may have its hands tied by the developer (which is why it didn’t offer a statement). If that’s the case, this falls squarely on Comcept’s shoulders and reflects quite poorly on the company. Comcept's first duty is to the backers, and it has failed to notify them of a substantial change. – The Feed