‘Dynasty Warriors 8: Empires’ Has Been Delayed

You’re gonna have to wait another month to get your latest Dynasty Warriors fix.

While Dynasty Warriors 8: Empires was ready to launch later this month, Tecmo Koei has announced that the game has been delayed in both North America and Europe. The game is now set to be released in North America on February 24th and February 27th in Europe.

The game is set to be released on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PlayStation 3 and PC, and judging from other expansions in the series it will add a lot of content to the base game of Dynasty Warriors 8. If you pre-order the game you will be getting some bonus costume and armor sets, but overall not anything to really write home about.

I’ll admit that I really haven’t been keeping up with the Dynasty Warriors series, but after the excellent Hyrule Warriors I may just have to take the plunge back in and see how things are going next month.

Condemn O.R. Condone – Funk Of Titans (Xbox One)

The indie gaming scene has been wonderfully boisterous in the current era, with it being easier and easier for indie developers to get their labors of love onto a major console and have it be experienced by an impressive amount of gamers. Some of these games are truly fantastic and offer experiences that are much more noteworthy than many of their AAA contemporaries, while others are so basic that they’re best left forgetting entirely. So, where does this land developer A Crowd of Monster’s Funk Of Titans? Well, somewhere around the latter.

In Funk of Titans you control the funky and suave Perseus as he is on a quest to defeat the Pagan Titans of the land who have replaced Funk with Pop, Rap and Rock. This essentially breaks the game down into 3 worlds; with Pop, Rap and Rock representing one of each. You will make your way across 10+ stages in each world on your way to battle the Music Titan at the end. This all happens under the mechanics of a sort-of endless runner platformer, where movement is automatic and all the player really has to do is jump and attack. You can play this game with one hand.

The first thing that I noticed when testing this game is that it has a very “iPhone Game” look to it. This game is currently an Xbox One exclusive, though from the graphics it looks more like an early 360 game. The game looks decent enough when it is moving smoothly in any particular level, but when you’re on the world map and have a better chance to truly see the character models and animations is when you notice this game looks very dated. Seeing as the control scheme is so simple, (with only the x and y buttons needed for main levels, the a button needed for bonus levels and a, b, x and y needed for the QTE boss battles) this seems much more like a game that would be right at home on iOS. As it stands, though, it’s a very unimpressive Xbox One title.

As you progress through the game’s 40+ levels there will be some challenges for you to complete if you so desire. There are 100 vinyl records scattered throughout each level for you to collect, a Pegasus stature for you to discover and a challenge to make it all the way through without taking any damage. Accomplishing these feats isn’t all that difficult, as the game rarely puts up much of a fight and feels very casual no matter how deep you get into it. The Pegasus bonus levels feel more like Flappy Bird-esque stages, though instead of tapping a button you are holding and releasing it as you maneuver around obstacles to collect vinyl. Unfortunately, there is absolutely nothing to these stages as they are all very similar with little personality to distinguish any of them.

The same can unfortunately be said about the game’s 3 main worlds. Now, Funk of Titans is definitely a game with music at its core, which makes it all the more surprising that each of the game’s 3 worlds do very little to accommodate that fact. Whether you are playing through the Pop, Rap or Rock stages you are accompanied by the same few funky tunes for the duration. The only time that you truly remember that you are in a specific genre’s world is when you are facing off against a music titan, though these encounters are extremely brief and simple. What they break down to are QTEs where the music titan dances for a bit and then you need to hit the buttons on screen to try and get a better score. Do this 3 times and you’re on to the next world.

What spices up some of the adventure, however, is the game’s simple progress and customization systems. The almighty Zeus will have 3 challenges for you to take on at any given time, and completing all 3 of them will increase your hero rank that will allow you to purchase new items at the shop. These challenges involve doing things like killing a certain enemy 20 times or sliding for a certain distance. Many of these challenges I thought were perfectly fine and had no problem trying, but some of them rubbed me the wrong way. There are some challenges in this game that require you to actually fail or take damage a certain amount of times to complete them, which is a seriously bad design choice. Who wants to intentionally die or take damage in a level? Nobody.

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The game’s shop offers over a dozen weapons and armor for you to purchase and try out, which you can unlock by completing challenges and collecting vinyl. There’s a weapon that looks like a lightsaber that is simply named “Nerd”, while you can also purchase a Darth Vader-esque mask that is dubbed “Darth Hater”. Unfortunately, none of these items provide your character with any stat bonuses or offer any real variation to the gameplay, as they are solely for show and show only. The only exception is that there are certain pegasus statues that are blocked off and require you to equip a certain weapon to unlock them, but this cannot be changed in the level and thus requires you to start the whole thing over just to get the statue. That’s pretty annoying.

There are also plenty of little bugs and hiccups that consistently mar the game’s overall presentation. Some of the animations and fluidity of movement stutter every now and then, with some actions being initiated in a very jarring manor. I also encountered a fairly big glitch 3 times in which all of the game’s text and icons disappeared, requiring me to have to restart the system to get it back to normal. The game even commits the cardinal sin of calling viny “vinyls”. As a game that is so heavily focused on music, knowing that the plural of vinyl is vinyl is pretty much essential. That will probably be something that bugs a vinyl lover like me a lot more than most, but it’s something that I had to point out regardless. You can also couple this with the fact that the brief amounts of dialogue that are sprinkled throughout the game are poorly written and contain a fair amount of typos on their own.

There just really isn’t anything that I can truly praise about Funk of Titans without also bringing up several shortcomings in any specific area. This is essentially a free game that you would find on iOS and quickly forget ever existed, but somehow is being sold on Xbox One. While there could be some fun to be had in very short bursts, there is simply nothing on display here that will hook you in and keep you coming back for more. Funk of Titans isn’t worth your time or money, and I recommend avoiding it altogether.

CONDEMN

Xbox One’s Price Is Now Back Up To $400

The holiday season is over and now the Xbox One is back up to $400.

After Microsoft slashed Xbox One’s price for the holiday season (which worked big time) the system has now returned to its previous $400 price point.

The system’s price was reduced to $350 in November in a line of several bundles that offered ridiculous amounts of savings. There were bundles that would net you 2-3 games + gift cards all for a the price of a reduced Xbox One, so you better believe that they pushed a ton of units over those couple of months.

However, Microsoft had previously been doing everything they could to make the Xbox One a more attractive purchase, removing the Kinect peripheral which dropped the price from $500 to $400. You can now buy the Kinect separately for around $120, but the consensus on the peripheral continues to be that it is completely inessential.

So, now that the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One are now both retailing for $400, it will be interesting to see if Xbox One can hold onto its sales lead or if PlayStation 4 will once again reign supreme. Prior to the holiday price cut for Xbox One, PlayStation 4 had outsold the system for ten consecutive months.

Sony’s PlayStation Now Service Will Cost $20 Per Month

For $20 a month you can have unlimited access to over 100 PS3 games.

When Sony originally began testing their PlayStation Now service it was met with much moaning as a lot of people felt that the price to stream many of the games was simply too much. People would much prefer to have one monthly price to pay that would allow them access to many games rather than be charged individually for each, and this sentiment is something that Sony took to heart when they went back to the drawing board.

Now, Sony has revealed that the service is set to launch in North America on January 13th and will cost subscribers $20 per month to stream the services 100+ PS3 games. These games can be streamed through PS3, PS4, PS Vita and Smart TVs, though at the current time the only system that can stream the games will be PS4. You also have the option to pay $45 per quarter, which would save you $15 over the regular $60 that it would cost otherwise.

The games that the PlayStation Now service offers is pretty solid, with critically-acclaimed games such as The Last of Us, Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune, BioShock Infinite, Batman: Arkham City and a whole lot more being a part of the service. A video was released that unveiled most of this information, with more info being contained on the company’s website right here. Check out the video below. 

Keiji Inafune Claims ‘Mighty No. 9’ Is Almost Done In New Year Message

Inafune chimes in to let everyone know that things are going according to plan.

Mighty No. 9 is set to be something of a spiritual successor to the Mega Man series, beginning as a Kickstarter project that has been very successful. The game is slated for release in the Spring of this year, and creator Keiji Inafune has released a brief New Year’s message letting everyone know where the production is at.

In the video Inafune claims that the game is nearly finished and that they are now at the porting and promoting phase of production. Check out the video below. 

Mighty No. 9 follows the character Beck as he battles his way through Mighty Number enemies that all lead up to the eventual final boss. The game is a 2D sidescroller with 3D graphics with gameplay that resembles the Mega Man series. It is currently set to release in April 2015 for the 3DS, PC, PS4, PS4, Wii U, Xbox 360 and Xbox One.

Is ‘The Elder Scrolls Online’ Going F2P?

The Elder Scrolls Online could be following in the footsteps of Star Wars: The Old Republic.

When The Elder Scrolls Online launched for the PC back in April, it was met with lots of moans due to the fact that the game just wasn’t up to the snuff that the series is known for. So many people were ditching the lackluster game, in fact, that there were immediately rumors of the game going F2P (free-to-play) to try and get some people back on board with the project.

Well, that prospect could be closer than ever before as the word has spread that the 180-day billing option has been removed from the game. Apparently some have said that this is due to customers preferring shorter subscriptions, though due to the game’s continued lackluster performance and the looming console releases, it could be that Bethesda is quietly transitioning the game into a F2P model.

This is entirely speculation, but something that’s worth keeping your eye on if you have been considering taking the plunge into The Elder Scrolls Online. It could mean that waiting just a few months before buying the game could save you some hard-earned cash.

Sony Compensating Fans For Recent PSN Downtime

If you were affected by the recent PSN downtime, then Sony is giving you 5 free days of PSN onto your current subscription.

The PlayStation Network was attacked by the Lizard Squad at one of the busiest times of the year, when thousands of gamers are home for the holidays and trying out their new games.

So, to compensate for the downtime, Sony is adding five free days to all PS+ subscribers current subscription. Here’s what Sony wrote on their official blog:

“Since access to PlayStation Network was impacted during the holidays, we wanted to show our appreciation for your patience by offering all PlayStation Plus members that had an active membership or free trial on December 25th a membership extension of five days.”The extension will be automatically applied, so no action is necessary to receive the extension. We will post additional information here on the blog when the extension becomes available. If your membership or trial ends before the extension is available, you will receive five days of Plus to enjoy once the extension becomes available (we will notify you when).

 

In addition, sometime this month we will announce that for a limited time, we will be offering a 10 percent discount code good for a one-time discount off a total cart purchase in the PlayStation Store as a thank you to ALL PSN members.

 

The discount can be used towards great content available on PS Store including blockbuster new releases, award winning indie games, game add-ons and season passes, and an enormous selection of TV and Movies.”