Seven years. That's how long it took three Finnish brothers to create Kastlevania 4, a feature-length LEGO-fied film inspired by Konami's Castlevania series (via Kotaku). The finished product clocks in at 146 minutes. That's longer than Star Wars, people!
The whole movie is delivered in the creators' native tongue, though English-language subtitles are included as well. This is crazy-impressive, as you'd probably hope it would be after seven freaking years of development. It's also entertaining. Set aside some time to give it a look.
Final Fantasy: All the Bravest is the latest bid from Square Enix to deliver compelling content for Apple's iOS platform (via All Games Beta). The just-announced imminent release (it's out already in New Zealand's App Store) is a combat-focused RPG using the Active Time Battle system that was a key component of older Final Fantasy titles. You earn XP as you win battles in All the Bravest, eventually unlocking new character slots that allow you to grow your party.
Combat is entirely touch-based, with each character's ability to act dictated by an ATB gauge. There's also a "Fever" mode that can be activated every three hours, allowing players to attack freely and repeatedly without worrying about the ATB gauge. In addition to gathering characters, you'll also unlock 20+ familiar Final Fantasy "jobs." An in-game store lets players purchase premium content like familiar characters from the series -- randomly selected with each purchase -- and additional game stages inspired by several of the PS2-era Final Fantasy titles.
The price of the U.S. version of Final Fantasy: All the Bravest hasn't been confirmed, but it's listed at $4.19 in the New Zealand App Store.
Grasshopper Manufacture has at last revealed some details about Killer Is Dead, the latest ultraviolent endeavor cooked up in the brain of Goichi "Suda51" Suda, in the latest issue of Famitsu (via Siliconera). The game was first announced back in April 2012, but the latest info dump amounts to the first substantial look at the game beyond its title and top-level goals.
Killer Is Dead follows Mondo Zappa, a full-time assassin who brings down miscreants around the globe under the direction of a secretive agency. Zappa wields a katana with his right hand and an assortment of firearms with his robotic, transforming left hand. That gun arm powers up over the course of the game, and Zappa is able to use it to absorb enemy blood, which powers up an Adrenaline Burst super-slash attack.
The article offers a bit more info up about Zappa's supporting cast, but says little more about the gameplay. Killer Is Dead is currently confirmed for release this summer on PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 under Kadokawa Games' publishing banner in Japan. No word on plans for a U.S. release, but Suda51 games do tend to make their way here eventually.
Who would win in a race between Dash from The Incredibles and Cars' Lightning McQueen? Who is stronger, Mr. Incredible or Mike Wazowski from Monsters, Inc.? Disney Interactive gives you the chance to find out as they've announced Disney INFINITY, a new game that allows you to take control of Disney characters old and new and explore open worlds from Disney and Pixar classics. Using actual character figures of Disney's popular line-up, players can combine the many worlds of Disney across all major consoles, mobile devices and online. Think Activision's Skylanders, only with the vast history of Disney characters and properties.
Injustice: Gods Among Us, the DC Comics fighting game from Netherrealm Studios and publisher Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, is now confirmed for release on April 16, 2013, for PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and Wii U. Fans will have three options to choose from when the game launches: the vanilla $60 release, a $99.99 Collector's Edition, and a newly announced $149.99 "Battle Edition" (exclusive to PS3/Xbox 360).
The previously announced Collector's Edition includes a statue featuring Batman, Wonder Woman, the Fortress of Solitude, and the ship that Superman escaped Krypton in, as well as an Injustice comic book, a free download of the Justice League: Doom animated film, and three in-game skins based on The New 52 looks for Batman, Wonder Woman, and Superman. Oddly, the Battle Edition skips everything other than the in-game skins, but it sweetens the deal with an exclusive controller.
The Injustice: Gods Among Us Fight Stick is plastered with artwork from the game. The bottom of the Fight Stick is made out of non-skid foam (for improved tabletop play). Players also have the option of locking out Start/Select/Guide buttons during combat and adjusting the lighting for the buttons and the joystick. You can see the Xbox 360 version in the image up top.
Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance might not be out until February 19, 2013, but you'll be able to try the game for yourself as early as next week when a demo is released for PlayStation Network and Xbox Live on January 22. The demo features the same playable content that was included as a bonus in the Zone of the Enders HD Collection, so it's nothing that hasn't been out there already.
Joining the news of the demo's release date is a new seven-minute trailer that highlights some of the game's slice-tastic action. Watch as Raiden effortlessly flays a squad of robocops and a pair of mechs that look like they could have come from the Enders series. As it turns out, it doesn't matter if you're made of meat or metal; Raiden's sword can still slice you to little bits.
Will you be a benevolent mayor, working to keep taxes down and offer a deep well of city services for your constituents to draw from? Or will you go the route of a despot, choking the populace with crippling tax rates and building pollutant-producing power plants in the heart of your residential community? Maybe you'd prefer to play God, smiting the innocents for nothing more than sheer amusement? All of this is possible -- and plenty more -- in Maxis Games' revived take on SimCity.
What We Know:
The new face of SimCity is both familiar and forever changed. The game's heart remains the same. Players are still given a barren stretch of land on which to erect anything from a small, sleepy little town to a bustling metropolis with a population that numbers in the millions. You'll still deal with issues ranging from the conventional -- power needs, city services, tax rates, public happiness -- to the completely insane, such as meteor strikes and giant monster attacks.
Dead Island: Riptide launches in April 2013, and while North American gamers can look forward to a Collector's Edition set that comes packed into a miniature suitcase, that's nothing compared to what's going to be available in the United Kingdom. Dead Island: Riptide Zombie Bait Edition is an Xbox 360-exclusive release for "select European countries and Australia" (according to a spokesperson) that comes with... wait for it... a bloody torso.
Sure, it's not an actual torso with actual gore leaking out all over your game center. Instead, it's a one foot tall statue of a completely dismembered female torso that's been stuffed into a two-piece bikini bearing twin Union Jacks right where you'd expect them to be. SUPER tasteful, right? That could be the bitterness talking though. After all, overseas gamers get to buy a game that includes A BLOODY HUMAN TORSO STATUE.
The set also includes collectible cards and an exclusive pack of weapon mods. Before you consider importing, remember that most Xbox 360 game releases are region-locked. Dead Island: Riptide comes to Europe on April 26, 2013, three days after North America's April 23 launch.
Blizzard Entertainment's upcoming v1.0.7 patch for Diablo 3 will add PvP duels to the game -- not Team Deathmatch though -- and a new post on Battle.net describes how it will all work. All duels must be initiated by conversing with Nek the Brawler at the inn in New Tristram. After speaking to him, all players in the party will be transported to the Scorched Chapel, a new zone created specifically for duels.
The Scorched Chapel breaks up into four different spaces: the church itself, a graveyard, a nearby river, and a lake. Duels will support up to four players in free-for-all combat, meaning it's every adventurer for him or herself during these fights. There's no scoring and no rewards structure for these duels; as Blizzard explains, the intent "is to provide players a safe, opt-in location where they can fight one another for bragging rights (or maybe science) without the potential for griefing as it existed in Diablo II."
Anything that diminishes the amount of griefing that occurs in the world of video games is a noble endeavor. Unfortunately, there's no word in the post on when v1.0.7 will go live.
Partners Ubisoft and New Regency took another step toward delivering the upcoming Assassin's Creed movie with news from The Hollywood Reporter that British writer Michael Lesslie has been hired to tackle the script. Lesslie is best known as a playwright, having written Prince of Denmark, a one-act prelude to Hamlet, and a stage adaptation of the Hollywood film Swimming With Sharks.
Lesslie has considerably less experience in the world of film, with four IMDb credits to his name, all for short films. You can hear his written words at play in the above short, Airlock, Or How To Say Goodbye In Space, directed by Chris Boyle and starring Michael Sheen (Tron Legacy, 30 Rock), Steven Waddington (The Last of the Mohicans), and Derek Jacobi (The King's Speech, The Borgias).
Here's a fun fact: Chris Boyle also served as the creative lead and director on Call of Duty: Black Ops 2's in-game live-action sequences. By my count, that gives Lesslie just a single degree of separation from the games biz.
Chris Taylor and his development studio, Gas Powered Games, announced the development of their latest PC game "Wildman" today. Gas Powered Games, the creators of such titles as Dungeon Siege and Supreme Commander, describe Wildman as a combination RPG and RTS game.
In the game, you lead a single "Wildman" unit into battle; supporting and upgrading your unit's abilities as the real time action unfolds. After battle, you can explore the environment to find treasure and weapons while earning new skills.
“Wildman takes the elements that we’ve crafted over the years with our action role-playing games and combines them with the things we love about real-time strategy,” said Taylor. “It’s original, it’s unique and we think our fans will embrace this new approach. And if you like what you are seeing and hearing about the game, we hope you’ll back us on Kickstarter.”
Wildman will be funded with a Kickstarter campaign with the goal of raising $1.1 million.
“Kickstarter and crowdfunding allows us to fundamentally change the way we develop games. I’m thrilled that we are finally entering a new era of gaming, an era that allows collaboration and unprecedented levels of transparency with our customers,” said Taylor. “It allows us to work together as a team, create games more efficiently and direct our energy at the things that the players care about most.”
Have you contributed to anything on Kickstarter? I haven't but I'm pretty stingy with my bread. They also dock my pay every time I use a horrendous pun in my article titles so my paycheck is definitely going to be light this week.
Welcome to G4's Knuckle Up, where we bring you a byte-sized view of our five favorite mobile games every week. The phone and tablet space is filled with incredible games that will keep you busy for minutes, hours, or even days -- we'll let you know what we're playing and why we're playing it. Here are our five favorite games this week:
GAME OF THE WEEK HUNDREDS
iOS ($2.99 - Limited Time)
Hundreds is a perfect example of minimalist game design, and it’s a great way to kick off 2013 here on Knuckle Up. We’re loving this ultra simple game of circles, and you’ll love it too... at first. A little backstory before we dig into Hundreds: the designer of this game, SemiSecret, is the very same studio that brought us endless runner Canabalt, and at the most recent Indiecade, Hundreds was an official selection. It’s a strong pedigree, to be sure; however, does this puzzle game stack up against its competition?
The concept and goal of Hundreds is simple: touch floating circles to increase their size (and the number inside them). Get enough circles ballooned up to total 100, and you’ve beaten the level. Sounds easy, right? Each puzzle presents a scenario designed to make attaining 100 more and more difficult as the game progresses. Oh, and let’s not forget this critical piece of information: when you touch a circle, it turns red as it expands, and if you touch another object while it’s red, you’re dead.
Hundreds is a beautiful juxtaposition of simplicity in design alongside increasingly complex solutions. It’s no wonder folks are already raving about it on social media, and often, they’re playing with a friend due to the fantastic multitouch capabilities. Even though it may seem basic at first glance, Hundreds is anything but, and well deserving of our Game of the Week.
It's been awhile since we last talked about Polyphony Digital's Gran Turismo 5, but the developer's partnership with Chevrolet brings some free DLC this week (via PlayStation Blog). Chevy's 2014 Corvette Stingray will be released for download tomorrow, January 14, 2013, at no cost.
The content drop is the product of a long-term collaboration between the developer and the car manufacturer. There's already a Corvette Test Prototype in GT5 which is essentially the 2014 Corvette Stingray. The final version is now being added to the game after the actual car made its public debut, at the North American International Auto Show this past weekend.
Racing fans: MotoGP is back! Italian developer Milestone returns to the simulation-focused series after a few years away with the newly revealed MotoGP '13 (via All Games Beta). The developer last tackled MotoGP '08, after which Monumental Games took over for a pair of releases. Milestone is back now, though it's not clear if Capcom is still handling the publishing duties.
The upcoming game's existence is revealed in the debut trailer up top, though be warned that it doesn't actually show you anything from the game. Between the trailer and the newly launched official website, we know that MotoGP '13 is due for a multi-platform release on PlayStation 3, PlayStation Vita, Xbox 360, and PC.
The website also mentions the existence of a full season mode (w/ MotoGP, Moto2, and Moto3) along with an assortment of other modes (2013 World Championship, IRTA Test, Quick Race, Multiplayer). Real-life MotoGP events will also apparently inform the content in some way. There's no release date mentioned, though with big races starting in early April, you can probably expect the game to arrive around then.
Rayman is back! After 2011's outstanding side-scrolling platformer, Rayman Origins, Ubisoft Montpellier returns for a direct sequel in Rayman Legends. The Wii U exclusive is one of the most wanted early 2013 games for Nintendo's new platform, and it promises to make use of the new console's unusual tablet-like controller to add an entirely new layer to the game.
What We Know:
Rayman and his pals are wandering through an enchanted forest one day when they come across a tent filled with paintings. No matter that hanging a painting from a flimsy tent wall is next to impossible. This is a video game. Get over it. It turns out that each of the paintings is actually a door into another world, with each piece of artwork offering a sense of what sort of world awaits.