Friday, 19 June 2015

So Nintendo's E3

We know this is late and E3 is now over but we thought between Sony's (in our view) highly suspect Shenmue 3 kickstarter and Nintendo's bizarre E3 we thought it best to let calmer minds prevail.

Nintendo certainly is known for doing it's own thing and their Digital Events certainly set them apart. Whereas Microsoft and Sony's big press conferences felt very much like management speeches Nintendo turned themselves into literal Muppets (with help from the Muppets creators Jim Henson Studios).

Barrel Roll
Nintendo jumped straight into their event with Star Fox Zero, we got to hear a little bit behind it's development (but not who was actually doing the development). Despite a generally warm reception the internet quickly called foul on the game's graphics, comparing it to an N64 or 3DS game. The graphics was later explained that the game is has two separate view points running at (targeted) 60FPS at the same time, effectively meaning the game was permanently split screen.

You Asked They Listened, Kinda.
This year after Legend Of Zelda was delayed into next year and then confirmed to be a no show at E3 there was 2 big games on everyone was asking for, Metroid for 3DS/Wii U and Animal Crossing Wii U. Nintendo heard that and announced two new games but they wasn't what anyone had been expecting. Metroid Prime: Federation Force, A co-op action shooter set in the same universe as the cult GameCube series, and Animal Crossing Amiibo Festival, a Amiibo powered Mario Party styled game.

Obviously this quickly annoyed fans who was expecting core entries, there is even a petition by bitter fans for Nintendo to CANCEL the Metroid games purely because of the name believing it to be an "insult" to the brand. Teasing it as an eSport title "BlastBall" a day before certainly didn't help.

Though thanks to Nintendo's Treehouse broadcast (more on that in a minute) we know it was always intended to be a Metroid game (not a conversion), It was meant for the launch for the New 3DS (not rushed), Samus will feature, The producer of the Prime Trilogy is also handling this and wanted to flesh out the Federation before making the next core game. Honestly Federation Force is a non-issue for me as I have been asking for more Luigi's Mansion style spin offs and this title is being handled by Next Level Games, the team who brought us the brilliant Luigi's Mansion 2

Animal Cross Amiibo Festival looked slow and seeing as it was Amiibo entirely powered there was concerns about how much it was going to cost the player and just how much "game" there was going to be. Everyone including us here at Game Knights expected an full Animal Crossing game that interacted with the upcoming Animal Crossing Happy Home Designer on 3DS (another Amiibo powered game). To us this was the bigger gut punch of the two because we had only recently got Mario Party. But again thanks to the Treehouse it seems likely that AC Amiibo Festival will be free and the store pre orders are for "starter packs" that feature two figure Amiibo and 3 Amiibo cards (the figures being player pieces and card unlocking Mini-games).

Deflating The Event
This has to be the weirdest thing about Nintendo's E3 2015. Over the two weeks before E3 Nintendo dropped a Micro Direct announcing several all new 3DS titles, A Devil's Third presentation confirming its August release date, A Smash Bro's Direct that showcased two (leaked) characters (Ryu and Roy) and the next wave of DLC costumes including 3rd party crossovers, and The Nintendo World Championships teased "blastball" and announced that Mother 1 would see a western VC release as Earthbound Beginnings.

This left the event with no BIG announcements and a fair amount of stuff we have already seen. With three large third party exceptions Bravely Second, Devil's Third and Project Zero/Fatal Frame and even the Indies was all absent from the main show.

Then the Bizarreness continued when the Treehouse broadcast dropped more information. Such Platinum Games are co-developing Star Fox Zero and Project Guard (not the one of the "Projects" I expected to move forward) and Project Zero/Fatal Frame hitting the west in September. Even the missing Indies appeared, With news that Steam-world Heist will be hitting the 3DS first not due to some contract but out of loyalty.

Why did Nintendo announce so much outside of its event, When it was so light on new content? pre-E3 we assumed it was down to big announcements such as Nintendo's new membership service.

The Shadow
The light content certainly did not help the shadow that hung over Nintendo's E3, the NX. Nintendo's next system was as promised absent, But NoA president Reggie fils-Amie did bring up the mysterious device at the start of the Digital Event explaining it will not be seen till next year (in a later interview he referred to the NX as home console). This brought Nintendo's new system to our minds as Nintendo showed us upcoming games and announced new B-list games, plenty of stocking stuffs but no real presents.

This isn't uncommon for Nintendo ever since they started their Directs, Usually they tend to focus on the next 4-6 months and tease something new. However next year will be the Wii U's 4th year and Nintendo consoles tend retire at 5. It's understandable that Nintendo's fans are worried that the struggling system has all ready started to wind down. Metroid Prime's producer didn't help matters saying that any follow up would be on the NX and that a Wii U versions of MP:FF was scrapped. The NX's shadow was so prevalent is prompted Miyamoto to RECONFIRM Zelda Wii U is still happening and it hadn't been shifted over to the new system.

Abe's Take
We said ourselves Nintendo had the biggest battle at this years E3. Big N had to prove the Wii U was still a console to keep/buy and ultimately the Digital Event failed. The new games they announced needed explaining better (why didn't a divisive title like MP:FF not get a better intro) and the baffling choice to strip announcements for when they needed them most just cannot be explained. Now after E3 we know a lot more about the games, they are shaping up to be quite good but there was no "tent pole" title, no "look at this" games. I'm sure there will be directs to flesh out more content in the months to come but for now things are looking... down for Wii U.

Monday, 15 June 2015

Microsoft E3

Well Microsoft delivered one of their biggest E3 shows ever. Almost every games was an exclusive, timed exclusive or had exclusive features.

Halo 5
We got to see more of Halo 5's campaign. The level they showed of showed the last covenant base under siege from the arbiters elites. We followed Spartan Locke and his fire team (so much Nathan Fillion goodness here) as they try tracking down Master Chief. The level was certainly cinematic and was very impressive.

We also got a look at a new multiplayer mode "Warzone". This 24 player mode seems to of taken a cue from Titanfall as both Spartan teams arrive in pelicans but the comparison doesn't end there, Warzone maps are the largest MP maps in Halo's history and depending on the level features either covenant or Promethean AI forces. Much like Respawns title the goal here was to merge the  best of story and multiplayer modes.

Abe: I really liked what I saw here.

Next up was an all new Xbox first party game "Recore". developed by Megaman creator Kaji Inafune and Amature studios who are the very same guys who made Metroid Prime. Only the following trailer was shown with zero details given. Recore seems to be about a young girl on a desolate world populated by robots.

Abe: With so little shown its hard to be excited but the talent involved shouldn't be ignored.

360 on Xbox one
Its finally happening. Microsoft will be bring it's 360 game to Xbox One both in digital and disc form. Apparently this will be an emulation (much like the 360's backwards compatibility) and only requires the original developers/publishers to give the ok. Zero work on their part.

This feature will combine the "best of both worlds" you'll be able to play with 360 owners online but also have access to Xbox One features like Twitch, Screenshots and the like. The system is currently live for those in the previews, the rest of us have to wait till "the holidays". It seems MS is banking on this feature as a few upcoming games (Fallout and Rainbow Six) also unlock their 360 games.

Abe: unrelated news I have an 260 up for grabs.

New Pad
This was a surprise. We knew about the "new" pad before E3 but it appears that the headphone jack enabled X1 pad is only a refresh. There is also an new Elite pad. This is intended for serious gaming and eSports. The controller features an concave D-pad, taller sticks, button mapping, togglable hair triggers allowing for faster fire and rear paddles. The analog sticks can even be switched out for smaller units.

Abe: this is a pretty awesome pad but i imagine the cost being kinda high and I cant help but feel this will unbalance the online much like the modded pads on 360.

Fallout 4
This was a surprise, Bethesda already showed half hour of gameplay a few hours ago why was they here on Xbox stage? well turns out they had an exclusive feature for Xbox One and this is a biggie. Mods are coming to Xbox One! The PC mods will be made available for FREE to all Fallout X1 players.

Abe: This is huge! Mods are the one of the big reasons why people choose PC gaming over console and will no doubt help microsoft sell the X1 version of PS4.

EA Access & PVZ GW2
EA access is adding two new games to it's vault Titanfall and Dragon Age Inquisition. EA reconfirmed that every upcoming EA release will launch one week early on EA Access.
EA also announced an brand new Plants VS Zombies game; Garden Warfare 2. EA promises that this will be the most over the top and crazy shooter. EA Access is free for this week.

Forza 6
We didn't get a giant amount of details but we got a trailer and some details like night and rain racing, 24-player car multiplayer and 450 Forzavista cars and will launch September 15th.

There was an awful lot of great indie games shown, far too many to go into detail here. Big news as that xbox is getting it's own version of early access where players can buy still developing games. However unlike Steam's system all xbox early access games must have demos. Elite Dangerous and DayZ are the first games in early access on Xbox. DayZ's creator also teased his new game "a MMO not built on coding or script but physics and biology"

Gears of War
Gears of War Ultimate was announced, similar to Halo Anniversary on 360 this will be just the first title but instead of graphics being updated, they have rebuilt the games engine, Modernizing the gameplay in the process. It also features all the additional content from the PC version and has an all new multiplayer engine. Ultimate will arrive in August and a Beta will be running this week.

Gears 4 was also shown off and instantly caused Gears 1 flashbacks with its light horror angle. Gears 4 has an all new cast and so far the enemies are beastal but they do seem to have some Locus like design elements. Gears 4 will be 2016's christmas title.

Rare's Back
Rare looks like it's getting over its Kinect issue and is back making games, Continuing the theme of old for now, new later. They announced Rare Replay, 30 of Rares games (sorry no Goldeneye 64) from across their 30 years at a budget prices of $30 (we don't have UK pricing but I sense a pattern here), will feature titles from the SNES, N64, Xbox and 360 eras.

Next up might be my favourite (its hard to say, everything was so good) but Rare also debuted a brand new game "Sea of Thieves" A shared world, first person adventure game. A better description would be Pirates Online. Check out the above trailer.

Microsoft announced yet another VR partnership, this time with Valve. We don't know the details like the Oculus deal. They also reconfirmed they are still working with Oculus. MS also showed of Minecraft running on hololens. At first the Hololens player was playing Minecraft through a blocky portal in a wall with their friend also playing via Surface tablet. But then the Holo player stood up and rendered the game world on the table. The table top model continued running in real time as the other player continued playing the traditional game.

The Holo player was able to scroll the "model" around accessing more of the game world, even able to raise it allowing him to peer into the model revealing the inside of the buildings and exposed a cavern underneath. The holo player also has access to the PC commands and was able to strike TNT with lightning to expose the cavern.

Microsoft delivered even more than I've posted here, the Indie games deserve a look in. Phil Spenser stepped on stage and promised Xbox One was getting the best line up of games Xbox had ever seen. It's hard to deny that. The remarkable thing was there was very little multiplatform games with Dark Souls 3 being the only game that didn't have any form of Xbox extra.

FALLOUT 4 Fresh From E3

It seems like it was such a long wait till Fallout 4 and after last weeks announcement we was wondering just what would be announced during their E3 stage show. Turns out its was lots of awesome details! I wont be posting about the games story.

Release Date
Lets put you out of your Fallout depressions right now. Fallout 4 comes out November 10 2015, yes THIS year. Looks like COD has some big competition this year.

Not only is the iconic device returning but also Fallout 4 will also feature a second screen app based on the device. Oh and there's a working Pip-Boy edition.

This lovely device not only lovingly covers your wrist in Vault-Tec awesomeness but also your phone fits inside powering this device allowing you to use it as a Pip-Boy in game! There will also be Fallout versions of classic arcade games that can be played on the Pip-Boy ingame (and assumingly the app)

Crafting, Scrapping & Base Building!

Clearly the success of the likes of Minecraft and Rust has inspired Bethesda to take the Skyrim's Hearthfire DLC and ramp it up. You can build a base of operations, houses, power networks, turrets, settlements and basically anything else you want to defend you from the wastelands raiders. Scrapping will be a big feature as you'll be needing materials to build not only your base but also the 50 weapons and 700 mod, Including your very own, heavily customizable Power Armour.

Its not just soul less construction. As you build settlements people will come to visit and perhaps stay if it's well defended. You'll also be able to build things like bars and shops to keep people (and your companions) happy.

Custom Characters Return.

Despite rumours claiming you'll be playing as a set character and not your own like previous Fallouts. Good news! this is only partly true, you can play as either the husband OR the wife from the trailer. You'll be creating them in real time in front of their bathroom mirror. The other character news was that the game will feature voice acting for the lead and has an almost Mass Effect conversation wheel.

Not only will your character talk during when selecting dialog options but also when giving commands to the dog. Apparently this is a two way street as the family's Mister Handy robot has been programmed with 1000 names so chances are it'll call you by name.

Abe's Take
I am delighted at all the details here. When i saw the announce trailer I was worried because it didn't look like a new-gen game but now thanks to things like free construction and custom settlements, I now know its the the type of 'features over graphics' new-gen game I've been waiting for. If i have to sell a kideny to do it I really need that Pip-Boy!

Sunday, 14 June 2015

Rumour: More Amiibo!

Today E3 unofficially began with Nintendo's Smash Bros direct, which dropped a lot of details that could of easily been in the main direct. Things like a new wave of Mii costumes and Street Fighter's Ryu.

There dose seem to be a theme to this year's E3, Premature announcements!. Over the last week Koei accidentally let loose a trailer for Hyrule Warriors 3DS, yesterday Bethesda accidentally shed light on Dishonoured 2's existence. Now we can add Nintendo of Spain to that list as they have sent out an email with this image

Four of these we already knew about. The Super Mario, Yarn Yoshi, Splatoon serieses, and the Animal Crossing Amiibo cards for the upcoming "Happy Home Designer" for 3DS. However this seems to confirm and Animal Crossing figure series and an pixel Mario.

Now there has been a lot of talk on a Wii U Animal Crossing entry that would also work with Happy Home Designer. The presence of figure Amiibo dose seem to suggest that is the case. It is possible that the cards are intended to fill the gap left by sold out figures (as Miyamoto originally mentioned) however Isabella has a different colouring and pose between figure and card, something they wouldn't do if they two ranges are "the same". I would hope though that the cards and figures work on each others games that's the case.

The Mario one is the most intriguing and instantly pinged in my brain as "limited edition". 8bit Mario is most likely tied to Mario Maker, and Mario's 30th anniversary. Each of the different Amiibo series have different bases but retain the same basic shape but this Mario one bucks that trend hence "limited edition ping".

Abe's Take
Despite all the stock issues Amiibo has been a huge hit for Nintendo and certainly is here to stay. I really like the look of the new Amiibo ranges. The Smash ones are far cooler but they all seem kinda small, where are the new ranges feel/look a bit more meaty. However I just don't see what Amiibo will add to a core Animal Crossing game considering they are mainstay characters no random villagers or Mario Maker (there was rumours that Amiibo would unlock character sprites).

Thursday, 11 June 2015

Oculus Rift Microsoft Tag Team!

Well. Bugger. Me. 
Despite directly claiming that the rift could never work on games console (pre facebook buyout) and Microsoft doing their own thing with their interesting augmented reality headset Hololens, they have joined forces.

Today at their pre E3 event Oculus Rift dropped the bombshell. Under this deal all Oculus Rifts will come with Xbox One controllers and stereo adapter. The Oculus Rift will apparently work natively with Windows 10, so you should need any special programs to use the headset and the PC should see it as another display device.

“The Rift will natively work with Windows 10. And we all know that VR experiences require the highest performance, and with Direct X 12, we believe we’ll be able to create state of the art virtual reality experiences on top of Windows.”

But it's not just PC users getting something out of this, Oculus Rift will work with Xbox One as well. Players will be able to stream their Xbox games to the Rift, Phil Spencer name dropped Halo, Forza and Sunset Overdrive as being compatible games. The term streaming surgets thats all games will be compatible with using the headset as a private screen with an update being needed (or existing Kinect functionality) to use the motion tracking. Another possibility is that the Oculus Rift isn't really connected to the X1 but just relaying the image from the windows 10 xbox streaming app. 

Abe's Take
This is a good deal for both sides. This gives Microsoft's own AR tech some breathing room and brings VR to their console. For Oculus this gives the device a default input device as standard and bring the device out of the mythical "PC gamer dungeon" and into people's living rooms, which is what Oculus' owners Facebook really want.

I am sure this has upset Sony's they was expecting to heavily market their VR headset at E3 as "the only console VR experience". 

Wednesday, 10 June 2015

"RUMOUR" Hyrule Warriors coming to 3DS?

Well seems I should be careful what I say. Mere days ago I said Nintendo was fairly watertight when it comes to leaks. Well it seems that there has been a Nintendo E3 leak... The Wii U surprise hit Hyrule Warriors is hitting a new platform.

UPDATE 2: File this one as  big ol' rumour, another picture is floating around this one is a bit more suspect to my eyes as it's far more fakeable. According to this fresh rumour you'll be able to unlock Sonic in Hyrule Warriors 3DS/Wii U by tapping the Sonic Amiibo. This dose fall in line with my prediction with Toon Link being unlockable via amiibo and isn't the first time Sonic has invaded Hyrule, last time it was in DLC for Sonic Lost World. The Sonic artwork looks a lot like that DLC but the rest here falls inline with what we saw in the leaked trailer. Odds are this is fake but would be awesome! Unless you don't like Amiibo, or can't get hold of a Sonic one...

UPDATE: Could a "sister" version of Link be joining the 3DS version? at the end of the 3Ds trailer the 1:07 mark there is a crossbow in between Agatha and Tatra. This weapon doesn't seem to link to any other character. However it does look an awful lot like the crossbow "Linkle" (Rinkuru in Japanese) has in the recently released Hyrule Warriors art book, here is a comparison picture.

Of Course it is just possible that they used all sorts of assets to make that piece of art in the trailer but seeing as this is an "All Star" version it's possible they finished developing her.
However some places are referring to Linkle as either as Link's daughter (due to confusion of two different Japanese words) or as "female link" (due to what I assume is click bait) which isn't true as she is clearly her own character with a unique weapon and name.

Thanks to GameXplain for the catch.


For now I'm going to label this as rumour because obviously we don't have official confirmation of it's existence yet and there have been some pretty awesome fakes out there. We don't know if it's New 3DS exclusive which seems likely considering this is a Wii U game brought to 3DS.

The below trailer (unless it's been nuked by lawyers) shows of a lot of the signature gameplay and the bottom screen functions are exactly like the upcoming Samurai Warriors Chronicles 3. Making their Hyrule Warriors debut is the King of Hyrule/Boat and Tetra the Pirate/Zelda from the Wind Waker games. The trailer also promises that people who buy the 3DS version can send the new characters back to the Wii U version.

Abe's Take
I'm am somehow both surprised and not at this news. Hyrule Warriors did surprisingly well considering the Warrior and Zelda games couldn't be further apart yet some how it worked brilliantly, adding some Zelda depth to the Warriors formula turned out to be just what the series needed. I am a little dubious that Toon Link isn't joining the cast... unless his Amiibo unlocks him.

Devil's Third Break Cover

Devil's Third caused some shock waves at last years E3, Originally an THQ game set for release on 360 and PS3 from Tomonobu Itagaki, the creator of Dead Or Alive and Ninja Gaiden and was canceled when THQ imploded and wasn't picked up by another publisher. Only to be announced as a Wii U exclusive.

Now not only are we getting details about the game but we know have EU and JPN release dates; August 29th and August 4th respectively. (we still don't have a US release date) In Japan at least it will be a budget release like Splatoon and Captain Toad, The same should be true for europe too as we got the same price points.

Check out some gameplay in this Japanese presentation, so the non-Japanese speaking a certain amount of skipping is needed. WARNING this game is the antithesis of Splatoon

As you can see Devil's Third seamlessly blends Ninja Gaiden's fast paced and gory combat with third and first person gunplay. This gameplay is unaltered between the single player and multiplayer modes which sound pretty mad, Here is the official Nintendo press release.

"Conceived by legendary designer Tomonobu Itagaki, a wild, larger-than-life military thriller Devil's Third, is set to release for Wii U on 28th August, delivering intense single-player and multiplayer third-person action that blends modern military weaponry with brutal melee combat.
At the heart of the single-player campaign is Ivan, a former mercenary let loose from his incarceration to right the wrongs of his past and take down a shadowy terrorist group he once belonged to. With the world's satellites and electrical weaponry having been wiped out, and warfare once again reduced to close combat between soldiers, Ivan must use a colourful array of weaponry to shoot, hack and bludgeon his way through any foe standing in the way of his attempt at redemption. With fast-paced combat and bone-crunching finishing moves galore, a day in the life of Ivan is anything but ordinary…
The game's online multiplayer mode, meanwhile, offers up a grim future whereby the terrorists have won, and chaos reigns supreme. As an ordinary citizen, you can join a clan and help reclaim the United States by forming allegiances with other factions, or go all-out as a mercenary and endlessly assault other player's bases, opting for anarchy over clan diplomacy! But at the heart of the online play is the ability to customise your base alongside other members of your clan, with successful battling resulting in rewards that can be used to improve your defences. With constant assaults from other clans, you'll have to be on your toes to defend your territory."
I expect we'll see more at E3 either in the main broadcast or the treehouse broadcast afterwards. Could this be another Bayonetta style win for the Wii U? It certainly has very little competition on Wii U double so Activision has now confirmed Black Ops 3 won't be hitting Wii U alongside the old-gen versions.
Customisation will be a focus of MP, This guy's being punched out by someone in box armour"
Abe's Take
Even though the graphics look dated compared to a games on X1/Ps4 I am oddly enthralled with this games potential. if the MP is only half as good as they a promising it should be rather great.

Nintendo has dropped yet another announcement before E3 that could of been used for the show. Either Nintendo's direct will be entire focused on some earth shattering news OR they are clearing space for in the main direct for multiple announcements. In a recent interview about the 3DS Reggie said that E3 will have "things people wanted and things people didn't know they wanted" seeing as the NX, Zelda, Mobile and QoL won't be at E3 there must be some good stuff coming.

Halo 5 Details Spill

It's been a while since we've heard anything about Halo 5. In Fact the last thing we had heard was the announcement of the still unseen special Xbox One Halo Edition. The time of change is now! Thanks to this months Game Informer.

UPDATE: Nathan Fillion's ODST Buck returns in Halo 5 but now he is a Spartan-IV. Certainly looks better than "Two ugly dudes and a dog". Buck will be a member of the Eclipse Fireteam and playable in co-op... I can see the fights for who gets Buck!

Halo fact: In ODST it was said if Buck was any better he'd be a Spartan

It seems they misspoke about Halo 5's free co-op. Josh Holmes head of 343i has this to say
"I need take a moment to make an important correction on something we miscommunicated in the story. I misspoke during the interview when stating that online co-op campaign would be supported with an Xbox Live Silver account. Co-op campaign will require Xbox Live Gold to play. I want to extend my sincere apologies to our fans, and to Game Informer, for this error and any confusion it has caused."

Original Story Follows

Blue Team!
Despite featuring heavily in Halo's extended media (comics, animation and books) Blue Team has yet to appear in game. Till now. Who are Blue Team? Well Fred, Linda and Kelly are Master Chief's squad of fellow Spartan-II's who managed to survive the fall of Reach.

In Halo 5 Co-op players will take on the roles of Blue Team and their unique loadouts and Spartan - II abilities. However they won't be the only Spartan team in Halo 5, newly upgraded Spartan- IV Agent Locke will be joined by his Eclipse fireteam. Like Blue Team they have their own loadouts and enhanced Spartan-IV abilities. The idea behind including the teams? Finally making the co-op built into the narrative (outside of Halo 3's 1p-Chief, 2p-Arbiter, 3p-blue Elite and 4p-pink Elite) and single player finally let us see Chief in his natural squad leader role as we give orders to the AI.

CO-OP Good News, Bad News
Lets get this band-aid off quickly. There will be no split screen, a Halo staple. So far we're unclear if it's just co-op or if all splitscreen multiplayer is gone. The reason for split screen being sent to a great beyond? They simply could make it work without sacrificing too much.
So the good news? Its not that the co-op actually plays into the story but co-op will be free for everyone even NON-GOLD Xbox members.

Speaking of FREE
Continuing the trend Halo 5 will feature 15 multiplayer DLC maps after launch for the low price of NOTHING. Yep free content for all, no splintering the users into smaller groups. Of course the raises the question: Just what will the paid DLC be? Will it be cosmetic or story content?

Abe's Take
Currently playing through Halo: Master Chief Collection with my brother and it's been great jumping back in to the Halo world (shocked at just how nice Halo 2 now looks) and sounds like 5 is shaping up nicely. The lack of splitscreen co-op is a wound that cuts deep here at GKUK but hopefully it is just the co-op that's faced the axe.

UPDATE: Nathan Fillion = Pre Order confirmed!

Tuesday, 9 June 2015

E3 Talk!

E3 is coming! we are now more/less a week away (depending on your time zone) from the event. Excitement is building which of cause we're now getting news from "insiders", developers, publishers and Platform holders.

Platinum games
Platinum games (Bayonetta, MGR) will be announcing a brand new game exclusively with IGN@E3. Now it was believed this will either be an PS4 exclusive or multi-format seeing as Platinum's last 3 games was exclusive. However one member of platinum games Y. Hashimoto is tweeting about the Nintendo direct (image below), There is also the message from Akiko Kuroda, producer of Bayonetta 2 (text below) and finally apparently the head of Platinum Games International business is "prepared for the salt". 

"I have started working on the next project, but it looks like the announcement will come later. In any case, I think that it would be nice if something Bayonetta-related was also developed in 2015, so please pay attention to the continuation of Bayonetta!”

Given that due to Nintendo funding Bayonetta 2 and is extremely unlikely to be go multi-format could we be about to see Bayonetta 3, the long rumoured 3DS spin off, or perhaps the the rumoured Nintendo purchase of the IP from Sega?

Hardware Surprises?
Whilst we now know (thanks internet leaks) that both the PS4 and Xbox One are getting new models with bigger 1TB drives. Both Nintendo and MS have released seemingly "nothing" updates to the Wii U/X1 in preparation for E3. Will we see an New X1 dashboard hit at E3? Could the Wii U be getting new functionality?

The there is RAD the developers behind the PS4 exclusive "The Order" are extending their engine to X1 and something else
"Since the release of The Order, we have been very hard at work to advance our engine and technology to a place where we can deliver our games on PC, Xbox One, PS4 and one other unannounced platform that you will soon find out about."
What platform could this be? Nintendo has said we won't know about the NX till next year. Could this be Amazon's game console or an exclusive Steam Machine?

Nintendo Oddness
In the last week we've had a lot of announcements from the House of Mario regarding new games. Even the long rumoured Terraria for Wii U/3DS has been confirmed in it's forums. Now we also know that we're getting a new Smash direct just before E3 June 14th, that will detail Lucas DLC, Miiverse stage and the Splatoon Mii Fighters. Seeing as every Smash trailer, direct and event has ended in a tease for the next character, I expect we'll see DLC character 3. The oddness however is why isn't these announcements at E3, is Nintendo's direct and Treehouse event so full already?

Abe's Take
I always love E3 though it's been tougher to watch as an increasing amount of content is leaked before. Typically only leaving the most secretive with any surprises. Nintendo tends to be pretty water tight in this area but as the stage floor gets set up soon they to will spring a leak.

My only true hope for E32015 is surprises, Arguably Nintendo has the biggest fight this year as they have to prove to both owners and perspective owners that both N3DS and Wii U are still worth it in the run up to the NX. Microsoft also has to prove it has enough reasons outside of power to compete with the PS4's success and finally Sony just seems to be relaxing with Morphus as even their own execs have admitted it's first party offering will be "light".

WEIRDNESS: Awesome Fan Video

It's often scary to realise just how much games train us in bizarre ideas. Things that at the time seem perfectly normal with in context of the game. Something that became apparent to me when playing Farcry 4,  my partner asked why I was trying to kill a Rhino and my sole answer was "I need a bigger wallet"

This isn't unique to Farcry or even other "mature" titles and also just happened to be similar theme for this video but one "Source Film Maker" (Using game files to create characters for animation) Callegos-Y has created a brilliant almost Dreamworks (Ice Age, Shrek) style short using assets from multiple Zelda titles such as Ocarina of Time, Twilight Princess and Skyward Sword.

Obviously in-game we never went as far as selling the sacred stone from the Temple of Time (could we?) but everything else is pretty much spot on and is such a good quality that I suspect may pop up in places as a "trailer" for a mythical Legend of Zelda movie. Please check out some out the rest of Callegos-Y YouTube videos .

Abe's Take
Thanks to technology and fantastic games there is no end to the amount of amazing fan work coming out of the increasingly talented gaming community, Here's hoping this inspires someone at Nintendo to kick of a new era of Nintendo animations in cinemas and TV.

The hookshot bit cracks me up.

Thursday, 4 June 2015

Splatoon O' Love!

Even though Splatoon quickly grabbed interest during it's debut last at years E3, particularly during Nintendo's treehouse during E3. It is however gained more hype during development even as news such as no voice chat and limited map roll out caused internet message boards to fill with bizarre rage.

Bloody (Great) Mess
A lot of people including us here at GameKnights-UK expected Splatoon to be a good addition to Nintendo's struggle console (like Captain Toad) but it seems it has become one of THE reasons to own the system alongside Smash 4, Mario Kart and Mario 3D world. 

Splatoon had a great launch weekend. Managing to snag the 2nd in the UK all formats charts behind The Witcher 3 and 3rd in the single format charts behind the PS4 and Xbox One versions of Witcher.
Which is pretty good seeing as GAME's entire shipment of special editions was STOLEN so be aware of the green squid amiibo for sale. 

In Japan it did far better. Not only did Splatoon take the top spot selling though its initial shipment and beating 2nd place by over 100,000 but also almost doubled the number of Wii U's being sold.

The top 10 is below, with lifetime sales in brackets.
  1. [Wii U] Splatoon (Nintendo, 05/28/15) – 144,818 (New)
  2. [3DS] Hatsune Miku: Project Mirai DX (Sega, 05/28/15) – 41,442 (New)
  3. [PS4] The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt (Spike Chunsoft, 05/21/15) – 22,454 (89,839)
  4. [PSV] Minecraft: PlayStation Vita Edition (SCE, 03/19/15) – 12,449 (179,625)
  5. [Wii U] Mario Kart 8 (Nintendo, 05/29/14) – 11,654 (1,006,719)
  6. [PSV] Cross Ange: Rondo of Angels and Dragons tr. (Bandai Namco, 05/28/15) – 11,215 (New)
  7. [3DS] Downtown Nekketsu Jidaigeki (Arc System Works, 05/28/15) – 9,444 (New)
  8. [3DS] Puzzle & Dragons: Super Mario Bros. Edition (GungHo Online Entertainment, 04/30/15) – 8,920 (252,479)
  9. [3DS] Assassination Classroom: Grand Siege on Kurosensei (Bandai Namco, 03/12/15) – 6,620 (75,242)
  10. [PSV] Nobunaga's Ambition: Sphere of Influence with Power-Up Kit (Koei Tecmo, 05/28/15) – 6,360 (New) 
We're still waiting on sales numbers from the states, Arguably it biggest battle where the Military FPS is king.

Here at GKUK if we're not playing the excellent Witcher 3 then we're playing Splatoon. Its a hair's breadth away from becoming our go to online multiplayer game (that should correct itself during the August update). It seems we wasn't the only ones caught up in it's weird, off beat pseudo, 90's attitude, and almost unashamedly fair gameplay. Splatoon has also inspired brilliant artwork such as "Hero of Slime" above. Aswell as other creative works such as this EPIC Inkling hat over at "Epic Costumes" over at 

Splatoon is currently on sale on AMAZON for £29.99 (the exclusive Amiibo bundle is of course now crazy expensive) 

Abe's Take
Think it's safe to say we SPLATTING love Splatoon's gameplay but now we are impressed by just how Nintendo's ALL NEW IP is handling itself. Both in it's online and commercial performance, I expect we'll probably see Splatoon again on what ever the NX is/ 

Wednesday, 3 June 2015

Destiny's True Expansion Pack Outed?

There was plenty of flaws in Destiny, which was a shame considering how great the gameplay was. Whether the complaints was about the RNG loot drops (which became an requirement to progress), the light story content, the seemingly barebones competitive multiplayer or actual content to play. it was all valid complaints.

The hope was that the "expansion packs" Bungie and Activision was meant to fix this. However both packs cost £19.99 each and only added three story missions, three multiplayer maps, 1 raid or survival mode and a smattering of new exotic weapons and armours. Since launch the MP maps from the first expansion "Dark Below" are now free for everyone further driving the value down. However Bungie have routinely updated the core games systems addressing some of those complaints for free.

An old leak suggested there was 4 of these "expansion packs" on their way and in between the first 2 and last two was a far larger pack codenamed comet. This would feature new worlds, new missions, a new subclass for each class and new 2 weapon classes. This would also be available as a game of the year style retail package containing the three packs and full game. 

It was rounded this pack was named "The Taken King" after it was trademarked a few months back but now we have this Red Bull promotional multipack box.

The above pack says Red Bull customers will be able to receive bonus XP (for now) and a "Epic Quest in The Taken King" whether this epic quest is actual mission content or just an exclusive bounty chain we don't know.

Abe's Take
Destiny's core gameplay and co-op is rock solid and consistently fun. That being said the lack of content along with the change from XP to gear based leveling quickly soured the game for many. I know a few of us here have been holding off buying any of the inappropriately named (and priced) "expansion packs" due to this upcoming bundle pack. If this TTK pack is as content rich we'll be happy to jump back in.

Tuesday, 2 June 2015

UPDATE - Please Stand By? Fallout Inbound?

Ever since the announcement of a new generation of consoles fans have been asking for many things, one thing has been demanded louder Fallout 4. 

UPDATE 3: Trailer!!!

UPDATE 2: Seems that ear;y teaser site is the gift that keeps on giving... SCREEN SHOTS!

These screens seem to confirm an Boston setting and the return of Dogmeat

UPDATE: Looks like someone pushed the button a little early, The teaser site has gone live and we managed to grab a picture for you good people. This should nicely confirm what is ahead.

Yep Fallout 4 is confirmed! coming to X1, PS4 and PC

---Original story follows---

After what feels like years of leaks, hints, rumours, fakes and quickly deleted resumes it appears we have something concrete. A countdown website; counting down to tomorrow. 

How do we know this time its real? Well first Bethesda themselves tweeted it and secondly the website's URL "" certainly leaves no doubt to what it is.

So that leaves the question: Why now when E3 is weeks away? Could we be seeing the Del Toro linked CGI video tomorrow (Resume Rumour) and then the "leaked" 30 minute gameplay demo at E3?

Abe's Take 

Monday, 1 June 2015

Weridness: The Real Reason For No Minecraft Style Lego

A Minecraft style Lego game seems like such a logical (and rather lucrative) idea, it seems like such a massive oversight in their extensive gaming portfolio. But it seems they have their reasons.

That reason appears to be us gamers and an surprising cost. Former coder from the now canceled Lego Universe MMO, Megan Fox (this is humorous considering the upcoming issue) says the single largest cost of was removing...

Yep. Single. Largest. Cost. Let's all let that sink in there. Lego has to pay people to go though Lego Universe and remove blocky nobs . Now I know that you're thinking "Surely a computer could recognize and delete it?" but as it turns out penis builders are extremely creative and persistent. Hiding trouser snakes so they can be viewed only in certain conditions, comprised of multiple separate structures, and generally defeating the filter. Apparently it caused such an issue Lego is permanently turned off to the idea of an online creation game.

Obviously for such a company aimed at young (and not so young) children this is a big deal. Lego works hard in earning the trust of parents and unsurprising parents get a little upset when their child discovers a wang. Where as Minecraft's online servers have always been basically lawless and rather todger filled.

Abe's Take
It is rather telling/worrying that the first response to infinite creativity in public view is often "do a wang!". However the fact that Lego Universe had official anti dong removers is still very, very funny.

UPDATED - RUMOUR: Nintendo's NX Android Based?!?

Well E3 is officially on the way, that's 15 days of rumours and leaks ahead of us and here's another but this one is jumping far ahead... next year.

UPDATE: Nintendo has responded to the rumours that the potental Wii U/3DS successor, NX doesnt no use Android

 "There is no truth to the report saying that we are planning to adopt Android for NX."

So that's that then, This timely response is surprising as Nintendo often ignores rumours. However given that the NX was announced early to assure fans that Nintendo wasn't abandoning console gaming for mobile, I suspect that today's clarification is in the same vein.

Couldn't think of an appropriate image
According to an "insider" Nintendo has a outrageous plan for combating it's third party problem, make the NX Android based. The idea being developers could easily port games to/from other android platforms.

This isn't the first time Nintendo has been linked to Android. After the Wii U's first appearance at E3 plenty of rumours appeared stating the Gamepad was an Android powered.

Of course this is all rumours for now, typically Nintendo is fairly watertight when it comes to leaks like this. We only really hear real information closer to E3 (such as Project Cafe's touchscreen controller and the revolutions motion wand) as other parties become involved for the convention. Seeing as we won't be hearing about the NX till E3 2016 it'll be a while before hear if this is true.

Abe's Take
I don't see Nintendo taking this route. It wouldn't make it any easier for the 3rd parties to release their AAA games on the NX, and would only be of use to Android developers. This move could permanently separate Nintendo from the "big three" and join the ranks of Amazon, Nvidia and the other "novelty systems". It also seems to go against the whole DeNA partnership, with an Android based system they'd be able to simply move any NX game across to the open Android Market. Ultimately Nintendo could secure more third party support by matching the specs/architecture of the X1/PS4, supporting more middleware and through better marketing .