Painting The World In Paper Mario: Color Splash

about X hours ago from
Painting The World In Paper Mario: Color Splash

At PAX West 2016, I had a hands-on session with the upcoming Wii U title Paper Mario: Color Splash, taking on an arena full of koopas, shyguys, and goombas.

While the arena itself had plenty of characters to talk to and secrets to find in hidden areas, the core draw was the combat. Using a collection of colorful cards to set up attacks isn't anything new,  but integrating timing mechanics as the battle plays out ensures that every jump and hammer smash keeps the player invested and active throughout the "turn-based" action.

The Jackal Assault VR Demo Is Equal Parts Intriguing and Confusing

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Along with demos for Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Remastered's multiplayer (as well as the new "Zombies in Spaceland" mode), Activision had a demo of Infinite's Warfare's PlayStation VR demo at this year's Call of Duty XP event. Titled Jackal Assault, the demo was brief, and while it offers some interesting glimpses into what we can expect when traditional gameplay mixes with VR, it doesn't quite sell the technology it's centered around.

The demo straps you into the titular Jackal spacecraft, explaining the controls as you get ready for take off. The left analog stick acts exclusively as your thrust, while the right stick orients your view. After takeoff, you follow an allied ship around a cluster of ships as a way to get a feel for movement. Eventually, you come across some debris, which you can clear away with your ship's machine guns using the R2 button.

Then, in the most telegraphed twist possible, enemy ships warp in, seemingly out of nowhere. At this point, a second reticle appears on-screen and the first indication this is a VR game appears; you can aim your ship's missiles independently of your gunfire by looking around the cockpit, firing them off with the triangle button after locking on.

Zombies In Spaceland Has Some New Tricks, But Still Feels The Same

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Zombies In Spaceland Has Some New Tricks, But Still Feels The Same

If Call of Duty cashes in on a trend, is that trend past its tipping point? If that’s the case, 80s nostalgia might finally be on its way out.

Call of Duty’s latest Zombies mode is dubbed Zombies In Spaceland as a nod to schlocky retro horror titles, but this round of wave-based survival borrows from all kinds of 80s culture. The characters playable at yesterday's Call of Duty XP press day were modeled after Run-DMC, Marty McFly, the stereotypical nerd from a John Hughes film, and the cheerleader from same. When a zombie downs you, you see the distorted scanlines of a VHS tape being fast-forwarded instead of a slow fade to black.

It’s an interesting look, even it hass been done to death. This isn’t to say there’s nothing new to see. In fact, if you haven’t been keeping up with Zombies, this might seem like the most fleshed-out version of the mode in years. But for all the tweaks and changes, I couldn’t help but feel as though this pillar of the Call of Duty single-player, multiplayer, and co-op trinity is the one most in need of a substantial shake-up.

The Remaster Of A Classic Is Faithful In All The Right Ways

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The Remaster Of A Classic Is Faithful In All The Right Ways

The fit and finish of Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare’s remaster is not as you remember it. The iconography is different: the minimap, the on-screen d-pad, to the ammo counter have all gotten a facelift. I can’t be certain, but I swear the soundbite of the radio voice saying “enemy UAV is online!” on the Crash map is also different. The point count for kills is an inflated to match the series’ current totals (100 instead of the previous 20). So if you’re looking for something that will scratch your visual and auditory nostalgia for one of the defining games of the last generation of consoles to the letter, this may not be it.

But other than the visual makeover, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Remastered has been preserved as well as you’d hoped. Every map and gun seems to have their textures uprezzed instead of redone, the latter of which you might expect after seeing the single-player portion of Remastered. But the blocky outlines of crashed helicopters, of hollowed-out homes and fountains, look exactly like how I remembered them, and I like it that way.

Infinity Ward’s First Three-Year Project Makes Some Smart Changes

about X hours ago from
Infinity Ward’s First Three-Year Project Makes Some Smart Changes

The days when Call of Duty was essentially two sub-series (Treyarch’s Black Ops versus Infinity Ward’s Modern Warfare) fighting for supremacy are long gone. Since Call of Duty: Ghosts, Infinity Ward has begun building on the improvements made by Treyarch and Sledgehammer rather than attempt to carve out its own niche. With Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare, it seems more willing to do that than ever, and it might end making the series better in the long run.

Infinite Warfare’s approach to multiplayer takes a number of cues from Black Ops III. For starters, just about every mobility option from that game returns: you can powerslide, sprint along walls, and use a jetpack to give yourself a short boost. This makes Infinite Warfare feel more familiar at the outset than any Infinity Ward-made title in the series, since you don’t have to relearn your moveset for the umpteenth year in a row.

Joule's Dad Has Some Words For Her In The Launch Trailer

about X hours ago from
Joule's Dad Has Some Words For Her In The Launch Trailer

Recore, from developer Armature and Keiji Inafune, is right around the corner and a new launch trailer offers some insight into the story.

We get a recap of the game's mechanics, see a new human character (other than protagonist Joule), and hear voice-over from her dad, who is confident in her abilities, but is clearly apologetic about leaving her behind.

Recore launches on Xbox One on September 13 and you can check out the trailer below.

89 Things We Know About NBA 2K17

about X hours ago from
89 Things We Know About NBA 2K17

After a long summer drought of information, Visual Concepts and 2K Sports are finally opening up about the changes heading to its beloved basketball franchise. We went hands-on with NBA 2K17 to experience the new changes to the gameplay, investigate how the franchise/online modes are evolving, and try out "The Prelude," the pre-release MyCareer content coming September 9 that lets you check out the new player creation engine and take your prospect through his first year of college.

Here's a bullet point breakdown of all the changes we spotted. 

PRESENTATON

New Video Reveals More Gameplay Details

about X hours ago from
New Video Reveals More Gameplay Details

During this morning's Nintendo Direct, the company showed off more of its new action RPG, Ever Oasis. If you missed it, you can watch the full segment right here.

Based on the video below, Ever Oasis looks like a charming mash-up of The Legend of Zelda and Animal Crossing. Players will spend some of their time exploring the desert and collecting materials, which oasis merchants will then craft into items to sell to travelers. The titular oasis acts as your hometown, and can be upgraded and expanded – you can even coax travelers into moving in by helping them out with various tasks. You'll also do a little dungeon spelunking, aided by allies that have unique weapons and skills.

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Make A Stand Your Way

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Make A Stand Your Way

To this point, we've heard several details about the campaign and competitive multiplayer of Gears of War 4, but one mode has seen The Coalition remain conspicuously tight-lipped outside of a few minor details. Today, the studio has ended the radio silence surrounding the return of the beloved mode by revealing the first concrete details about Horde 3.0.

In Gears of War 3's Horde mode, players could build defenses to help them stave off the 50 waves of invading enemies, but they had to base their operations in predetermined locations across the maps. With Gears of War 4's Horde mode, The Coalition is removing that restriction and giving the team free reign over where and how they set up their defenses.

"One of the things that people used to develop deeper strategies [in Gears of War 2's Horde mode] was shields to exploit certain aspects of the AI to survive longer," says lead multiplayer designer Ryan Cleven. "What we wanted to do was to take all of those fortifications that could help you, but now put them in the hands of players to really find the best way to defend themselves and not have it predetermined by us."