Shredding In The New Freestyle Guitar Solos

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The music game genre has always flourished when at its most accessible. With Rock Band 4, Harmonix isn't changing the controller or throwing you in front of a live action audience like Guitar Hero Live. Instead, Rock Band 4 is about delivering a familiar experience, built on the sturdy foundation of the franchise. The gameplay, the visuals, and the massive catalog of songs deliver an experience that any player of past titles is already accustomed to. As is typical with Harmonix, the sweeping innovation occurred earlier in its franchise's timeline.

That's not to say that Harmonix is satisfied with the status quo, however. Advanced pitch recognition for singers, improved drum fills for drummers, and a new stage presence mechanic are just the start, as this week, Harmonix is showcasing Rock Band 4's new freestyle guitar solos.

Freestyle guitar solos take the place of the traditional guitar solos from past games. Rather than playing the notes the original guitarist is playing in the master recording, the traditional note highway is replaced by a segmented freestyle highway that lets you improvise solos the way a guitarist might do during an actual live show.

The Variable System Is Fun, But Takes Some Getting Used To

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The Variable System Is Fun, But Takes Some Getting Used To

Capcom's big Street Fighter V announcement during Sony's E3 2015 press conference was that kick-happy Cammy and dirty biker Birdie will be returning for the latest entry. SF veterans should definitely be excited about the return of those two, but the most significant changes come with the tweaks to the fighting system. I got my hands on SF,V at E3 this year, going several rounds with Capcom experts while learning the ropes of the new mechanics.

To the average Street Fighter IV fan, the variable system may seem a little intimidating at first. However, the EX gauge (filled up by dealing damage) is still intact, allowing characters to execute huge, devastating Critical Arts (basically supers) like insane kick flurries or wrapping an opponent in chains and jumping rope with them.

You Won't Be Saving Zelda Or Playing Two-Player Co-Op

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You Won't Be Saving Zelda Or Playing Two-Player Co-Op

We recently got a chance to talk to the The Legend of Zelda: Triforce Heroes director Hiromasa Shikata about the game unveiled at E3. We asked about Princess Zelda's involvement and tried to find out where the game lands in the Zelda timeline.

Shikata has been involved with the Zelda series for a long time. His very first video game job was on Ocarina of Time, he directed A Link Between Worlds, and was assistant directer on Twilight Princess. You can find an excerpt from our interview with Shikata below.

What is the basic story revolving around Triforce Heroes?

Extended Uncharted 4 Sequence Finds The Drake Brothers In Trouble

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Like it normally does when it's at a Sony press conference, the latest Uncharted title, Thief's End, took the audience on a thrill-laden rollercoaster ride. What they didn't experience, however, was a large chunk of action that occurred after the screen went black. Today we saw more of the game's impressive action sequence, the motive's behind Sam's quest, as well as the return of Nathan's wife, Elena.

The trailer below show at the press conference dramatically stops when Nate's about to crash into wooden scaffolding while he's grappled to a crane truck chasing the escape of his brother Sam. Needless to say Nathan survives the ride and is dragged on the ground on the opposite bank, where he starts firing on an enemy jeep racing alongside. The jeep explodes and crashes, flipping up in a ball of fire and debris. Like in many other parts of the video, the onscreen spectacle of particles, dirt, and any other objects affected by the physics of the explosion is very impressive. 

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Our First Look At A Dark Souls III Boss

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Our First Look At A Dark Souls III Boss

At E3 2015, a hands-off, no-recording-allowed demo showcased a nice chunk of Dark Souls III gameplay. The demo was running on reduced difficulty settings in order to facilitate a smooth experience and show off the game.

The demo begins with the player lighting a traditional Souls bonfire and heading right into the thick of combat in an area that's incredibly reminiscent of the early areas of Dark Souls (Although much, much better looking on current-gen hardware). The player soon has an encounter that also channels that Dark Souls feeling - a massive dragon coming down from the sky and igniting a wave of enemies (the player luckily dodges the blast, but the situation and setup will seem incredibly familiar to Souls vets). Some of the minor enemies encountered are traditional undead foes wielding swords and halberds, skeletal dogs, and even Knight foes that are significantly more challenging than normal enemies.

General Grievous Is No Match For Boba Fett

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During Sony's E3 presser a few days ago, Disney announced that PlayStation fans would be getting exclusive access to Boba Fett when the game launches. Today, I got a chance to run Mr. Fett through his paces, including a battle against General Grievous.

First things first: While the character is going to be bundled in the Sony-exclusive Star Wars Saga Starter Pack, which includes both Star Wars playsets, along with Ahsoka, Anakin Skywalker, Luke Skywalker, and Princess Leia figures, other players won't be left in the cold. Boba Fett is playable on the other platforms at launch, provided you have the figure. It's a timed exclusive, similar to how PlayStation players had early access to Hulk in Disney Infinity 2.0. Regardless of when you'll be able to play him, there are worse things than being Boba Fett.

In the demo, I played the Geonosis level we saw in our cover story. Instead of Anakin tearing through General Grievous' droid army (and the alien himself), Fett took charge. Combat was simple, but when I focused and timed my melee attacks, I doled out additional damage and flashier moves. Fett's blaster skills are great, too, and going into the over-the-shoulder close-up view made pinpoint targeting a breeze. Younger players can simply tap on the fire button and he'll do the rest, but I was able to pull off even deadlier headshots in aim mode.

Fight With Barrels, Koopas, And Bullet Bills

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Yesterday, we reported on the two exclusive Nintendo characters coming to Skylanders Superchargers on Wii U. Today, Activision has released a set of images showcasing how Bowser and Donkey Kong look in their Nintendo crossover.

When Skylanders Superchargers releases on September 20, both of these characters will be playable via either Amiibo or Skylanders figures. If you're looking for more coverage on Activision's most recent toy-based game, check out our list of the 21 things you need to know about Skylanders Superchargers.

The Wii U Exclusive Comes To North America This Fall

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The E3 trailer for the latest entry in a cult-classic survival horror series didn’t make it into Nintendo’s video E3 presentation. Fatal Frame: Maiden of the Black Water, originally announced for localization a few months ago,  will be the first non-spinoff Fatal Frame game to come to North America in nearly a decade.

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Not a single word is spoken in the new trailer. Instead, the mood is set with creepy music and the gasping moans of the ghosts encountered in Fatal Frame: Maiden of the Black Water. As with other games in the series, fighting hostile spirits is done through the lens of a special camera. Getting up close and personal using the Wii U game pad is the only way to defeat pursuing spirits. The gamepad acts as the reoccurring Camera Obscura protagonists throughout the Fatal Frame series have used to fight off ghosts.

Last Year's Demo Didn't Impress Me, But Now I'm On Board

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Star Fox Zero is Nintendo's biggest, flashiest game of E3 2015, but this isn't the first time we've seen Fox McCloud's most recent return to the skies. Exactly a year ago, Nintendo legend Shigeru Miyamoto showed off an early build of the game to a few members of the gaming press. The initial playable build of the game didn't make a significant impression on me at the time, which I wrote about after playing (no new word on those strange Star Fox-branded minigames from last year). Today, I had the opportunity to play more of the latest iteration of Star Fox Zero, and walked away far more hopeful than I did from the first showing.

Last year, I got my hands on the new transformable Arwing, which can morph between a tank, smaller walker, and of course its flight form. The E3 2014 demo featured basic gameplay, scant, poorly detailed levels, and overly simplistic objectives. Nintendo showed the game far earlier in its development and in a much rougher state than the company is traditionally known to do. The proof-of-concept demo, which allowed Fox to transform his vehicle and aim in first-person using the Wii U GamePad's screen, was serviceable but unexciting without the greater context of an intergalactic laser battle between talking anthropomorphic animals.