The Biggest Gaming Gambles On The Way In 2015

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We’ve got an exciting end of the year to anticipate. Some of the biggest game releases in years are on the way before the end of 2015, and we couldn’t be more excited. However, a close look at some of these titles reveals developers (and publishers) taking some big chances. Here are some of the big design and business gambles in games coming our way later this summer, fall, and winter.

Metal Gear Solid V Goes Open World

Snake has explored a host of innovations in his adventures over the years, but few have the potential for dramatic reinvention offered by a move into open-world exploration in Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain. Typically, the stealth action franchise has excelled at tightly constructed levels with an element of choice, but always within confined zones of a smaller size. The ability to more freely move through the world could provide a sense of freedom and experimentation far beyond any previous entry in the series, and offer just the injection of excitement needed to keep players engaged. Alternately, the formula could lead to diluted action, game exploits that take advantage of the large play areas, or boring paths between major content areas. We’re crossing our fingers that the big change is for the better.

Every Single PlayStation 4 Console Exclusive To Date

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Every Single PlayStation 4 Console Exclusive To Date

Many gamers lack the cash to purchase multiple consoles, forcing them to choose between the Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and Wii U based on the games available for each. Even if you do have them all, it's always handy to know which games you can only play on any particular system. To make sure you're getting the most out of what your PS4 has to offer, we've compiled an exhaustive list of all the exclusive titles for Sony's console. Note: some games are also playable on PC, but their only console release is on the PlayStation 4. We will update this list periodically.

[Editor's Note: This list was co-written by Alissa McAloon, Christian Belland, and Hershall Cook]

Abzu Publisher: 505 Games Developer: Giant Squid
Release: 2016
"Players can press a button to assemble and swim with schools of fish...or even ride larger, more solitary animals like this sea turtle – if they trust you. The game contains tens of thousands of fish of all kinds and through different eras, with possibly thousands onscreen at the same time. They have their own routines and exist in the game's food chain – which the player can have a hand in. As you explore deeper into the game you'll uncover different environments with their own puzzles." – Matthew Kato

Test Chamber – A Bridge Troll With A Sweet Tooth In King's Quest Chapter I

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Test Chamber – A Bridge Troll With A Sweet Tooth In King's Quest Chapter I

The Odd Gentlemen and Sierra Entertainment have allied to bring back the legendary adventure game series, King's Quest. The first chapter of the episodic game, A Knight to Remember, is available now, and it's a whimsical good time (read my review). Come along with us as we take a stroll down King Graham's memory lane, go ingredient hunting for a baker, and meet a...well-connected denizen of Daventry.

Andrew Reiner and I pick up from where his save last left off: on a mission to collect the eye of a hideous beast so that Graham can enter a tournament to become the knight he's destined to be. If you're sensitive to solutions for puzzle spoilers, then please avert your eyes. Otherwise, if you're looking for a good example of what players will be doing in Daventry, please join us by watching the episode below.

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Blog Herding – The Best Blogs Of The Community (July 30, 2015)

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Blog Herding – The Best Blogs Of The Community (July 30, 2015)

Another week, another great collection of blogs. Highlights from this week include two well-done reviews, a community event for a good cause, and a look through video game versions of New York City.

Community Blogs For July 23 – July 29:

Team Game Informer – Extra Life 2015 Kick-Off! If you're interested in watching people play a bunch of video games for a good cause, you should check out Game Informer's Extra Life event hosted by Zachary Pligge. A goal of $25,000 has been set for this year, and Team GI thinks the community can surpass it.

Five Things We Want In A Resident Evil 2 Remake

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Capcom recently teased that it would consider remaking Resident Evil 2 if fan demand is high enough. The Resident Evil remake on GameCube is regarded by fans as possibly the best example of the series’ classic survival horror formula. I know I speak for many fans with this list of things we’d like to see in a potential remake of Leon and Claire’s dire escape from Raccoon City.

Note: This article was first published October 5, 2012]

[Screenshots are from Resident Evil: Chronicles HD] 

Analysis - As The Wii U Limps, Its Software Sales Leap

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Along with its first quarter financial results, Nintendo released updated sales figures for its best-selling software. Unsurprisingly, Mario Kart 8 and Pokémon X & Y continue to lead on Wii U and 3DS respectively.

As we dig deeper, we see that the Nintendo faithful are buying just about everything they can get their hands on. Overall software attach rate for the Wii U and 3DS have both climbed in the last quarter, with the former now firmly above six games per console sold. The 3DS sits above four games per handheld in the wild.

Here are the updated sales numbers, related attach rates, and whether the’ve risen or fallen over the past quarter:

What’s Going On With Pokémon This Year?

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What’s Going On With Pokémon This Year?

Every year since the release of Pokémon Platinum on Nintendo DS in 2009, Game Freak has released a core Pokémon game on a Nintendo handheld. Unless there are some surprise announcements in store, it looks like 2015 will break Game Freak’s pattern for the first time in six years.

In 2014, we were made aware of Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire in May. The game had a small presence at E3 in June, and it had a simultaneous worldwide release in November of the same year. Pokémon X and Y were announced even earlier in the year with its reveal in January 2013, and its worldwide release nine months later. It’s currently July, and as far as we know, there is no core Pokémon planned for release this fall.

It’s a strange year to be a Pokémon fan. So far in 2015, in terms of new Pokémon releases, we’ve seen Pokémon Rumble World on 3DS and the free-to-play Pokémon Shuffle, and arcades in Japan will receive Pokkén Tournament – a game that may not be making it stateside. It’s a tangential addition, but Super Smash Bros. also saw Mewtwo added as a fighter in April.

How Tacoma Draws Inspiration From System Shock, Alien, And More

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How Tacoma Draws Inspiration From System Shock, Alien, And More

Even though Tacoma is set in a space station, the team at Fullbright isn’t just drawing from sci-fi classics to inform its approach to the game. The player’s experience with the game goes beyond the futuristic setting; Tacoma is also about people, their relationships, and how you interact with your surroundings.

We spoke with Fullbright co-founders Steve Gaynor and Karla Zimonja about the various things – including movies, books, plays, and games – that help provide guidance when crafting the different elements of Tacoma.

Alien and Moon

Never Played Shenmue? Watch Us Play The First Five Hours

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Never Played Shenmue? Watch Us Play The First Five Hours

With Shenmue 3's Kickstarter officially funded, numerous people in Game Informer's community sent in requests for complete Super Replay playthroughs of the first two games in the Shenmue series. Several Game Informer staffers also expressed interest in either revisiting this series or seeing it for the first time. Since we already have numerous Super Replay projects in the works, yet wanted to get a Shenmue playthrough going now, we decided to record it as a crowd-driven experiment of sorts. If you like what you see, and want more of it, we'll return with more episodes. Just let us know in the comments section below or on YouTube.

In the first episode, I join Kyle Hillard for his first hands-on experience with Shenmue. We play through the first hour of this adventure, purchase several capsule toys along the way, and turn down myriad requests from children to play an assortment of sports. In episode two, we continue or journey to find the men in black suits in the black car, track down the arcade, and purchase even more capsule toys. In episode three, we get our first successful taste of QTEs. In episode four, we punch an arcade machine, and get into some fistfights.