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Watch Three Minutes Of Behind-The-Scenes Footage From Star Wars: The Force Awakens

LucasFilm's Star Wars: The Force Awakens panel at San Diego Comic Con delivered everything but a new trailer for the upcoming film. Director J. J. Abrams said that they will release a new trailer this fall, and although he didn't have new footage ready to show to to the con's attendees, he didn't want to leave them empty handed. Seconds later, the lights dimmed, and over three minutes of behind-the-scenes footage from Force Awakens played, showing many familiar faces, and some new ones we didn't expect to see in this movie.

After the footage concluded, almost every key cast member from the film came out on stage to talk about Star Wars and answer fan questions. The lineup included Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, and Mark Hamill. At the end of the panel, the thousands of people in the auditorium were invited to a surprise live Star Wars concert. Sounds like a damn good time.

You can check out the behind-the-scenes footage below. 

(Please visit the site to view this media)

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Buy Your First Star Wars: Force Awakens Action Figure This Month!

Almost every piece of Star Wars: The Force Awakens merchandise cannot be sold until September 4 (also known as "Force Friday"). Toy site Yakface reports that LucasFilm has apparently made an exception with Hasbro.

The toy manufacturer started selling its 6" Black Series First Order stormtrooper this week at San Diego Comic Con. If you aren't attending the show, this prized collectible goes on sale on July 28 on Hasbro's online store. We don't yet know if this action figure is limited in quantities, so make a note on your calendars to check Hasbro's site on this day. The stormtrooper is selling for $ 24.99 at the con.

[Source: Yakface]

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Rare Replay’s Jet Force Gemini Has “Retooled” Widescreen

In a tweet earlier today, Rare showed off a screenshot of Jet Force Gemini from their upcoming Xbox One exclusive Rare Replay:

It seems the original Jet Force Gemini's widescreen option has made it onto the Xbox One intact, along with some significantly improved visuals. Jet Force Gemini is just one of 30 games featured in the collection, which also include Battletoads, Conker's Bad Fur Day, Perfect Dark, and Banjo-Kazooie. Rare Replay releases for the Xbox One on August 4. Check out our E3 coverage of the game for more.

 

Our Take
Like Rare said, there's only so much you can do when bringing a 16-year-old game to an eighth-generation console. The screenshot in their tweet looks great, though. I hope the rest of the games make the jump to Xbox One as successfully.

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XSeed Announces E3 Lineup, Including Earth Defense Force 4.1 For PlayStation 4

XSeed has confirmed its lineup for E3 this month, as well as release windows for all of the titles it's bringing. Topping the list is the bug-sqaushing mayhem of Earth Defense Force 4.1, which will be available this year for PlayStation 4.

The offerings span systems and genres, and include the previously announced Corpse Party: Blood Drive and Earth Defense Force 2: Invaders from Planet Space for Vita. Here's the full lineup.

Corpse Party: Blood Drive (Vita) – Fall 2015
The third and final game in the Heavenly Host trilogy is a narrative-heavy horror game. The title features binaural audio to maximize the impact while wearing headphones.

Earth Defense Force 2: Invaders from Planet Space (Vita) – Fall 2015
Earth Defence Force 2 will be released in the west for the first time with four-player cooperative play, a new class, and English voiceovers.

Earth Defense Force 4.1 – The Shadow of New Despair (PS4) – Fall 2015
This updated version of Earth Defense Force 2025 marks the series first current-gen appearance. It sports improved performance, new content amounting to more than 50 percent of the original, two-player local co-op, and four player online co-op.

The Legends of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel (PS3, Vita) – Fall 2015
The Legend of Heroes comes west again. This story takes place in the same world and continent as Trails in the Sky. The title will support cross-save between PS3 and Vita.

Onechanbara Z2: Chaos (PS4) – Summer 2015
Vampire sisters (sorry, this says "buxom vampire sisters") will face off against zombies. This marks the series premiere on current-gen consoles, and will support English and original Japanese voiceovers.

Return to PololoCrois: A Story of Seasons Fairy Tale (3DS) – Winter 2015
This upcoming farming and life-simulation game for 3DS also features turn-based combat, 600 items, and almost 100 quests across over 25 hours of play.

Senran Kagura 2: Deep Crimson (3DS) – Summer 2015
The Senran Kagura 2.5D brawler series featurs "high-flying, clothes-ripping battle mechancis." One player can control two fighters at once, or two players can team up for co-op.

Senran Kagura: Estival Versus (PS4, Vita) – Winter 2015
This version of the Senran Kagura series supports ten players online on PS4 and four players on Vita. 

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Mighty Switch Force: Hyper Drive Edition Heading To PC

WayForward's pixelated platfomer that started as a 3DS exclusive before moving over to Wii U, is heading to PC.

The version of the game that will be available on PC is the same as the Wii U version, subtitled Hyper Drive Edition, and it will be available some time next month.

In the game, players play as a police officer and must round-up a collection of criminals before making their way to the end o the level.

[Source: WayForward, via NeoGAF]

 

Our Take
I actually skipped the first game, but really enjoyed Might Switch Force 2, which has you putting out fires and rescuing people as a firefighter. Glad the PC crowd will get a chance to check out the series.

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Earth Defense Force 2 And Corpse Party: Blood Drive Coming To Vita This Fall

XSEED has announced that it will be propping up Sony's handheld this fall. The publisher has announced two titles heading to Vita in the coming months.

First up is Earth Defense Force 2: Invaders from Planet Space. The cheesy name is a perfect fit for the over-the-top B-movie gameplay for which the Earth Defense Force series is known.

Also coming this fall is Corpse Party: Blood Drive, the follow up to Corpse Party and Corpse Party: Book of Shadows. Both Earth Defense Force 2 and Corpse Party: Blood Drive will be released digitally and at retail, with the latter packed with a two-disc soundtrack of tunes from the series and an artbook.

Both games have a loose release window of "fall 2015." We'll update as soon as we have more information.

[Source: XSEED on Facebook]

 

Our Take
I've only played a bit of one Earth Defense Force game and it didn't hook me. Corpse Party on the other hand was a creepy, enjoyable experience. It's not shy about killing off characters, and that makes the story-telling that much more unpredictable.

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Star Wars: The Force Awakens Reimagined As A 16-Bit Game Trailer

Over the weekend, we shared a comical video of the Mayweather/Pacquiao fight in the style of Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out!! The team behind that, Noober Goober, put something special together for Star Wars Day, too.

While it’s now May the Fifth (or, Cinco de Mayo, if you’re eager for another celebration), it’s never too late to enjoy Star Wars. Noober Goober has adapted The Force Awakens trailer revealed at Star Wars Celebration with SNES-era graphics.

(Please visit the site to view this media) 

For some reason, I really want to play Super Star Wars now. If you happened to miss out on Star Wars Day yesterday, be sure to check out our roundup of our favorite features from a long time ago.

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Zen Uses The Force To Release Star Wars Rebels Pinball Tables

Star Wars continues to be a hot topic in the gaming world, as the memories of the first Battlefront trailer are fresh in our minds. While we have to wait months for that game, you can get a dose of a galaxy far, far away this week.

Zen Studios has announced that its eleventh table set in the Star Wars universe will be released this week. This intricate and flashy take on the ongoing conflict between Jedi and Sith uses the current Star Wars Rebels animated series as inspiration.

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Familiar characters from the show, including Ezra Bridger, Kanan Jarrus, Sabine Wren, and the astromech droid Chopper, make appearances during various events. You’ll be able to add the Star Wars Rebel table to your collection this week on Xbox One, Xbox 360, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, Vita, PC, Mac, iOS, Android, and Amazon platforms.

If you want to see the table in action, we put it through its paces in our Test Chamber.

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Opinion – The Star Wars Battlefront Deluxe Edition Is Weak Force

As you might expect from the Star Wars Battlefront blowout coverage today, the game is up for pre-order right now. I came across something interesting today courtesy of a friend: EA is offering a “deluxe” digital edition of its upcoming multiplayer title.

Included in the “deluxe” edition (you’ll understand the quotes in a moment) are the following items:

  • DL44 blaster – as made famous by Han Solo
  • Ion Grenade
  • Ion Torpedo
  • Ion Shock (exclusive emote)
  • Victory (exclusive emote)

The first three items on the list (the blaster, the grenade, and the torpedo) aren’t exclusive. They are listed as “instant access,” indicating that you can unlock them through normal play (confirmed to us by EA).

That leaves two purely cosmetic items separating the standard edition from the “deluxe” version. Instead of simply including these things for pre-orders (as has become common), EA is charging $ 10 for them. 

As someone who has purchased a number of special editions in the past, I can’t help but look at this and shake my head. EA is clearly banking on the power of the Star Wars license to hook gullible fans.

And lest you think I am judging too harshly, I looked at some of the other upgraded digital versions available as a point of comparison. Looking at EA's past entries reveals the Battlefront offering to be the weakest of the bunch.

Battlefield Hardline offers three different themed battlepacks (precision, versatility, and suppression) along with an additional 10 gold battlepacks, which may include weapons and gear (or just cosmetic customizations). Dragon Age: Inquisition gave players a special throne, two mounts, a number of multiplayer chests (similar to battlepacks in Battlefield), and the digital soundtrack. Both of these cost players an additional $ 10.

EA was vastly outshined by Sony, which offered an "Anniversary" edition for MLB The Show 15. According to Sony's own valuation, the $ 10 up-charge on this version offered more than $ 25 in in-game currency and item packs (combined value). This doesn't include the cost of the included 30 MLB dynamic themes and the MLB 15 dynamic theme. 

While I’m not sold on Battlefront yet (I’ll wait to see gameplay before making my decision), I can’t fault fans who pre-order. You’ll get The Force Awakens map (Jakku) one week early, so at least there’s benefit to committing prior to release (though maybe not so early). 

Save your $ 10 on the “deluxe” edition. Hide it in a drawer and forget about it until the inevitable season pass or “premium” offering is put on sale and put it toward that. There’s only one emote that this more expensive bundle deserves and it isn’t a thumb’s up.

I’m not opposed to cosmetic DLC, but hiding it behind the absurd “deluxe” label insults the audience. If you want to sell emotes, EA (and that’s pretty much what you’re doing here), just do it honestly.

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Check Out Some Of The Props From Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Most of the notable spectacles or events at Star Wars Celebration come with lengthy lines. Just getting into the store to buy a shirt can take over an hour. Seeing Star Wars: Battlefront requires people stand in line for over two hours. I expected a similar, if not longer, line for the Star Wars: The Force Awakens exhibit, which lets fans get up close and personal with costumes and props from the film, including Kylo Ren's lightsaber. Since this exhibit is on the second floor of the convention center, I don't think most people know about it. The wait was only 20 minutes long.

I don't think I need to say this, but SPOILERS abound. Here are crude snapshots of everything in the exhibit:


A model of the Resistance (not Rebel Alliance) X-Wing fighter


The Millennium Falcon is back with a new radar dish. Also pictured: a kid who is thinking about stealing this model


A kid-free look at the revamped Falcon


Kylo Ren in his weight-lifting belt


A better look at Ren's mask


A First Order (not Galactic Empire) flametrooper


The display's description reads: Specialized stormtroopers of the First Order, flametroopers carry incendiary weapons that can transform any battlefield into an infernal blaze.


The First Order snowtrooper


The snowtrooper's backpack. All of the First Order costumes look like they were designed by Apple


Two stormtroopers


BB-8


Jakku survival gear?


Rey's costume


Rey's gear


Fin's costume

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