The Avengers (Re)Assemble For Age Of Ultron Pinball

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Zen Studios has announced a new table for its virtual pinball empire, based on Marvel's upcoming superhero movie. Learn more in our hands-on impressions.

Marvel's Avengers: Age of Ultron sets up the clash between the titular Avengers and the subtitular Ultron (though you won't have to worry about spoilers beyond what's been revealed in the movie trailers). Unlike Zen's first Avengers table, each member of the superhero super-squad is featured in their own mode, which is activated by shooting their ramp multiple times (no shooting a single target or hole and then selecting a mode, like in most tables). These modes range from saving civilians as Captain America to sniping down Ultron sentries as Hawkeye, to pacifying an enraged Hulk with Iron Man. Unique features include a variable difficulty level that affects mode time limits and the pitch of the table, and an open ramp that makes locking your ball in the Avengers Tower particularly tricky. Here's a look at the full table:

Click the image for a larger view.

EA Kicks Off Illumination Entertainment Collaboration With Minions Game

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Electronic Arts has announced a multi-game partnership with the film company behind the Despicable Me franchise to bring games based on its properties to mobile platforms. The collaboration with Illumination Entertainment sees EA bringing an all-new experience based on the popular Minions characters that debuted in the Despicable Me series.

The first game coming to mobile platforms is Minions Paradise, which introduces a new Minion character created by Illumination, Phil. The EA developers are working alongside writers, directors, animators, and artists at Illumination to ensure that Minions Paradise is an experience that is consistent with the Minions brand.

In Minions Paradise, players control Phil, who is instrumental in building the ultimate locale for the Minion characters. Players are able to design and build the utopia the way they see fit. Along the way, the Minions will participate in activities such as water skiing, fishing, and mango tossing.

Star Wars Movies Go Digital This Week, Bonuses For Buying On Xbox

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On April 10, the six Star Wars films finally go digital this Friday, April 10. The collection will be available via a number of partners, but Microsoft has decided to sweeten the deal for those opting for Xbox Video.

If you purchase through Microsoft’s video platform, you’ll also get Zen Studios’ Star Wars Pinball for Pinball FX2 (for Xbox One or Xbox 360) and an R2-D2 avatar companion. Microsoft has also secured a 60-second teaser for new bonus materials that can be unlocked by pre-purchasing.  

If you’d prefer to acquire the films from another channel, here are the services participating:

Nintendo Bringing Popular Yo-Kai Watch Series To The West

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Nintendo has announced plans to bring Level-5’s extremely popular Yo-Kai Watch series to western gamers. The series, which has sold over 7 million copies so far across two titles. The franchise also has a presence in other media, including manga and anime.

Yo-Kai Watch has a similar feel to Pokémon, with the player capturing and then using the invisible creatures to accomplish tasks in the game. The title will be coming to 3DS.

In February, Level-5 announced a partnership with Hasbro to bring Yo-Kai merchandise to our shores, hinting that the games were on the way. No release window has been announced for North America.

Report: NBA 2K14 Server Shutdown Wipes Player Save Data

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On March 31, 2K Sports terminated online services for its basketball title released in late 2013. NBA 2K14 had been out for only a bit over 14 months when the servers were taken offline, which has caused some unexpected consequences for those invested in the game (like our own Andrew Reiner was).

When the shutdown was announced, 2K issued a statement to Polygon indicating that career progress would be safe. It would just be transitioned from an online structure to an offline file, along with a move from the game's real-money "VC" currency to in-game earned skill points.

Today, reports emerged that the server outages resulted in the exact opposite for those players with existing data. Career mode saves have disappeared or, in 2K’s parlance, they have been “retired."

Reader Discussion: What's The Strangest Game You've Ever Played?

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Reader Discussion: What's The Strangest Game You've Ever Played?

I've got weird video games on my mind after writing about a collection of games with clear inspiration from the '90s oddity Twin Peaks. That got me to thinking, what is the weirdest game I've ever played? I know my answer, but I also want to hear yours.

To start the conversation, the strangest game I've ever played is featured in the screenshot above. Couldn't guess the game? That's Illbleed for the Sega Dreamcast. You're looking at Cork – a bizarro version of Woody from Toy Story – and Zodick the Hellhog, a demonic riff on Sonic the Hedgehog. And if you think that confrontation is weird, you should see the road that leads to Cork vs. Zodick. Illbleed is a bonkers anthology of strange, haunted theme-park attractions. It has it all, from sentient meat hopping along a huge skillet to an obsessive farmer of gigantic worms fawning over his pets in the afterlife. I would tell you more, but you should really just watch the Game Informer crew play it in a very special series of Super Replays.

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Nintendo Shows Earthbound Reward As Sold Out For Club Nintendo Members

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This is a good time to remind our readers that Club Nintendo is ending. You can no longer earn coins for registering products, and those you already have are going to expire in a few months, but one of the offerings seems to be out of stock, at least temporarily.

Kotaku spotted that Earthbound for Wii U, one of the many digital rewards on offer, is showing up as “sold out.” We checked a random sample of 10 other titles (leaning toward those that might be considered more popular, like Star Fox 64, Kid Icarus Uprising, Super Metroid, and Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D), and all were still available.

We’ve reached out to Nintendo for clarification on whether this is a glitch or if stock has really been depleted. We’ll update should we receive a response.

Cities: Skylines Mod Introduces A Flyable Helicopter

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Cities: Skylines' mod support has seen thousands of pieces of content created for the game, and soon that will include a helicopter for players to fly around their cities.

The upcoming CityCopter mod, the work of Reddit user InconsolableCellist, will eventually allow players to plop down a building and pilot a helicopter through their city. It's not a complete project yet, and doesn't have a release date, but players should be able to fly around their cities or others sometime soon. Check out the video below to see the mod in action.

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Final Avengers: Age Of Ultron Trailer Includes Some New Material

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We’re less than a month out from the next Marvel film, and the Avengers are starting to assemble. This latest trailer is going to look familiar if you’ve been following along recently. We promise there are some new moments, though.

This trailer punches up the one-liners and humor, while also giving us a look at more interactions among the cast. We also get a longer look at James Spader’s Ultron, who is sufficiently menacing and creepy.

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Konami And Square Enix Announce Two More Metal Gear Solid V Big Boss Figures

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Big Boss is looking sharp for his Metal Gear Solid V: Phantom Pain debut. He’s got a brand new metal arm, sunglasses, and a stylish hood. And, if you want to put him on your shelf, you can choose between two different color schemes.

The Square Enix Play Arts Kai Venom Snake (aka Big Boss) figure will come in one of two camouflage patterns. The standard version bears the “splitter” camo. The Gold Tiger version will be available only via Amazon Japan.

Gold Tiger version.