Warning: Full spoilers for the episode follow...
"It Has Begun..."
Person of Interest kicked off a billed three-part event in creepy fashion with "The Cold War" - a great episode that felt as though it was setting us up for a knockout blow when the trilogy eventually reaches a point-of-no-return peak.
But while the episode built and built and built, it would appear the payoff for everything we saw in this chapter is right around the corner. Well, in January when the show returns. This week was all about the big peace talk/pow-wow/parley between the Machine and Samaritan, in which Samaritan used a weird, macabre little boy to do its talking while Root sat in for her team. And in order to get the Machine to agree to a sit-down, Samaritan had to run an extreme nurture/nature gambit on the city in order to show its competing "God" just how much it can influence the day-today well being of New Yorkers. It can turn the place into a paradise or send it spiraling into chaos.
Throughout Kalimba’s many color-coded puzzles, I probably swapped the positions of my two grim-faced totem pieces over a thousand times. Far less frequent, but far more dramatic, were my shifts from marveling at the clever tandem-character puzzle-platforming (the gameplay equivalent of patting my head while rubbing my belly) to frustration at some iffy anti-gravity physics and disappointment at the plain presentation. But I always quickly shifted back to enjoying it, especially in the demanding two-player co-op levels.
While Kalimba's minimal visual style, scarce soundtrack, and mostly-forgettable dialogue are all a bit basic, simplicity is molded into something special when it comes to the puzzle-platforming level design. In single-player, it's all about guiding my totem pieces through obstacle-course levels; if either piece touches a liquid that isn't their color or an enemy (provided you're not larger than one), both pieces die and are sent back to a generously placed checkpoint. While overcoming obstacles usually requires stacking the two and switching their placement (which happens instantly at the touch of a button), certain sequences require using obstacles in the level to put space between your pieces and being carefully aware of their movement. Throughout my five-hour single-player journey, there were enough tweaks to the formula that I felt challenged and interested in what new ideas the next level would add. Whether I was flying through the air via trampolines and cannons, or experimenting with elements that mess with the normally parallel movement and make one of the characters larger or stationary, most of the additions to Kalimba's solid platforming and puzzle mechanics are welcome.
Warning: Full spoilers from Ascension's "Night Two" event to follow.
Now that we can talk about last night's premiere -- HOLY CRAP THAT TWIST ENDING. Talk about a game changer. In the final moments of "Night One," Ascension went from being a full-blown space opera to a grounded (literally) social science experiment. And therein lay the miniseries' most compelling and thought-provoking turn of events. Obviously, the revelation at the end of the second episode may have put some viewers off -- and that's understandable -- but not only did it turn the show's entire premise on its head, but it also changed the very nature of the murder mystery and how the characters interacted with one another in tonight's third and fourth episodes. And that, for me at least, is what really grabbed me about Ascension as a whole.
Shantae and the Pirate's Curse -- which released earlier this year on 3DS -- is coming to the Wii U eShop in North America on December 25, and is coming "soon" to Europe, developer WayForward announced today.
The 2D platformer will cost $20 USD in North America. Pricing for other regions is unknown at this time.
The Wii U version will include HD character portraits from Mega Man developer Inti Creates, the unlockable Pirate Mode, multiple endings, and support for both the Classic Controller Pro and Wii U Pro Controller. The game also supports Off-TV Play, allowing you to play on the Wii U GamePad.
In IGN's review of Shantae and the Pirate's Curse, we said it "takes a good Metroidvania base and makes it great with sharp wit, and a beautiful look."
Melbourne, Australia-based developer Big Ant Studios has today announced that Don Bradman Cricket will be released on PS4 and Xbox One in February 2015.
Big Ant and publishing partner HES have again worked under license with the Bradman Foundation for the series' new-generation console debut.
“Following on from the critically acclaimed Don Bradman Cricket 14, we are proud to now bring the greatest cricket player of all time to the next generation of consoles,” said HES boss Sebastian Giompaolo. “I am excited by what Big Ant Studios have been able to produce, this is without doubt the best Cricket video game to date.”
The 100’s midseason finale airs this Wednesday and it’s a big one. Last week’s episode ended with Clarke (Eliza Taylor) getting closer than ever to a truce with the Grounders against their common enemies, but the Grounder commander, Lexa (Alycia Debnam Carey) said there was one notable stipulation – Finn (Thomas McDonell) had to be given to the Grounders to pay for his crimes.
I spoke to Eliza Taylor about what to expect in the finale, how Clarke responds to this offer and more.
In addition, IGN has an exclusive clip from this week’s The 100 below, as Clarke arrives back at camp to pass on the grim news – resulting in some understandably tense reactions.
IGN: Given what Lexa just said, what is Clarke’s next move? How does she process this very dark offer?
My game of the year wasn’t a ‘game’ at all. Not in the traditional sense. You can’t buy it in stores; it won’t ever be featured in a humble bundle; very few people ‘reviewed’ it. You won’t find it on any conventional Game of the Year lists.
I’m talking about P.T.; that sharp little slice of a game conceived as a novel way to reveal Silent Hills, the next installment in Konami’s long-running horror series. Step away from it, and everything about P.T. suggests a marketing gimmick - which in truth, it is - but up close, it’s a deliciously horrible thing; the most genuinely frightening interactive experience in recent years.
Ken Levine and his team have yet to announce their next game. But after playing through a recent 2014 release, the Bioshock creator was inspired to share what he would like to see from video games in the future, and what he hopes to achieve as well.
In a story on Medium, Levine praised Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor, citing the game's Nemesis system –– a series of algorithms that generate unique enemies and circumstances for players to navigate –– as a prime example of the direction his next game will take.
Hugh Jackman has confirmed what we all knew already: He’ll probably be in X-Men: Apocalypse. I mean, after the way Days of Future Past ended, how could he not be?
“I have been speaking with the guys and I am not at liberty to tell exactly what’s going on,” he recently said on the Happy Sad Confused podcast (via Slash Film). “Which is largely framing my answer here. But there’s still a lot unknown, actually, about that. What I do know is there are some very exciting things about integrating the whole X-Men world, including the Wolverine movie. There’s some really cool things going on.”
Editor's note: We saw this movie fairly late and as such this was the earliest that we've been able to release a review.
Top Five sees Chris Rock merge his incisive stand-up with a fictional character set in an off-beat dramedy that is one part soul journey and one part romance, with a heavy-helping of lewd, crude, gut-busting humor.
Rock stars as Andre Allen, a talented comedian who's ready to make a career change after delivering box-office gold with a series of popular, but artistically questionable comedies following the hijinks of Hammy the Bear. With four-years of sobriety under his belt, Allen is determined to move away from his popcorn chompers and into the realm of serious cinema.
The team of indie developers behind the Sportsfriends bundle has revealed the game is set to hit Steam Friday, December 19.
Sportsfriends is a compilation of some of the most popular games on the indie games party circuit: Hokra (Ramiro Corbetta), BaraBari Ball (Noah Sasso), Super Pole Riders (Bennet Foddy), and IGF Nuovo Award winner Johann Sebastian Joust (Die Gute Fabrik).
However, the bundle will exclude JS Joust on Windows, since the operating system doesn't reliably support Bluetooth pairing for the PlayStation Move controllers. The Mac and Linux versions of the game do offer Bluetooth support, though, so Windows users who buy the bundle will get JS Joust free on the other platforms. The devs are also looking into making a custom “JS Joust distro,” so fans can play the game on their Windows machines using a bootable USB drive.
J.K. Rowling has admitted she does feel guilty about killing one Harry Potter character, but it's probably not one you'd expect. Spoilers follow.
Rowling wrote on the Pottermore site that of all the characters that perished in the series, she felt the worst about Florean Fortescue. If you don't recognize the name, he's a minor character who owns an ice cream parlor at Diagon Alley. Rowling says she regrets it because, unlike many other characters who died of plot necessity, Fortescue's demise was just due to her writing herself into a corner.
"I originally planned Florean to be the conduit for clues that I needed to give Harry during his quest for the Hallows, which is why I established an acquaintance fairly early on," she wrote. "The problem was that when I came to write the key parts of Deathly Hallows, I decided that Phineas Nigellus Black was a much more satisfactory means of conveying clues. I seemed to have him kidnapped and killed for no good reason. He is not the first wizard whom Voldemort murdered because he knew too much (or too little), but he is the only one I feel guilty about, because it was all my fault."
After some wait, Microsoft has rolled out Xbox Live local servers in Australia.
Thanks to new Azure datacentres in Sydney and Melbourne, Aussie Xbox One players can now benefit from "lightning quick connection speeds, centralised local hosting and improved reliability on certain Xbox One games with further title support coming soon," according to Microsoft.
Providing local server infrastructure has been a high priority for the company for some time now. The launch will also see improved stability of online gameplay, reduced drop outs and host migrations when players leave a locally supported game, and will free up processing power as more information is sent to the cloud.
Two fans have two theories about Uncharted 4: A Thief's End. What does the No. 1 PlayStation podcast think of them? Greg, Colin, and Marty discuss and keep you posted on the news of the week. They also ramble off topic. A lot.
This article will be updated with the video version of Beyond Wednesday.
Before I get behind Secil, a scowling sword-and shield-wielding chap from Salt and Sanctuary's warrior class, Ska Studios’ Michelle Juett describes the stylized side-scrolling action-RPG as “snappy, fast-paced, and action-y.” Similar to the two-person, husband-and-wife indie team’s The Dishwasher series, but with “a whole lot more role-playing game elements.”
As it turns out, those defining RPG-flavored features are called out right in the game’s title. As a shipwreck survivor, players -- who can also select characters from mage, thief, and paladin disciplines -- are dropped in a dark, monster-infested fairy tale brought to life by beautiful hand-drawn visuals. Pushing the story forward, progressing your character, and surviving your harsh surroundings requires gathering salt, ”the essence of the world,” and then finding sanctuary.
Hey guys, Eric and Roth here for a new Channel Surfing where we begin by answering an email about… why it takes so damn long to get to a new episode of Channel Surfing!
After that, we discuss casting news about Fargo: Season 2 and the debate over changing old series like The Wire and Buffy the Vampire Slayer to widescreen for HD.
Other TV news includes Frank Oz reprising his role as Yoda for Star Wars Rebels and Charlie Sheen quite possibly coming back to Two and a Half-Men for the finale. Plus, with The Colbert Report wrapping up this week, we chat about how the show was so effective and what it will be like seeing Stephen Colbert make the transition to CBS next year.
LG is unveiling a new line of 4K Televisions at CES next year that boasts the new “quantum dot” technology.
4K TVs are currently set to begin replacing the 1080p standard and are already widely available at retailers. The new LG series is news because it uses quantum dot technology – tiny light-emitting nanocrystal semiconductors – in a liquid crystal display to give brighter, more vibrant colors.
LG already has a corner on the market for brighter colors with its OLED displays, but that technology is too expensive for many customers. Only Sony sells TVs using the quantum dot technology.
Reuters reports that LG plans to show 55 and 65-inch displays at CES in Las Vegas next month with a plan to sell them in 2015, but there aren't any other details regarding pricing available just yet. For reference, Sony sells its 65-inch quantum dot TV for about $3,800.
Sporting side-scrolling brawling action and colorful cartoon visuals, Viking Squad could be another beat ‘em up looking to cash-in on the Castle Crashers craze. Upon closer investigation, however, this Nordic-inspired hack-and-slasher reveals some defining wrinkles that separate it from the been-there-pummeled-that pack.
The first thing that hits me -- aside from a dead tropical fish; more on Viking Squad’s goofy humor shortly -- is the trio of lanes. Dubbed a “lane-based brawler” by designer Caley Charchuk, Viking Squad aims to remove the swing-and-miss frustration that often plagues the genre.
By clearly placing each of the three co-op partners in their own enemy-littered lane, there’s a lot less confusion and randomness in regard to where you stand, literally, against your enemies. In addition to ensuring players whiff a lot less, this welcome setup removes much of the clutter and chaos that usually comes with a handful of co-op brawlers battling in close proximity.
Shredding guitars, spiky hair, pirate girls riding flying dolphins, and a posterior-poking surgeon in a paper bag mask can mean only one thing: Guilty Gear Xrd -SIGN- is finally here. With Xrd (pronounced “Ex Ard”, and your guess is as good as mine), Guilty Gear takes a cue from Street Fighter 4 and Killer Instinct in pulling the series closer to its roots, and its incredibly unique characters and rich combat will test fight fan’s abilities in incredibly rewarding ways.
One of the most noticeable elements of Guilty Gear Xrd is its colorful, imaginative character design. Guilty Gear Xrd’s protagonists are a weird, interesting, and often amusing cast of misfits; a steady breath of fresh air compared to the karate guys and ninja gals that pad many fighting game rosters.
Starz has announced a sequel to the Golden Globe-nominated limited series The Missing.
The new eight-part installment will again be written by brothers Harry and Jack Williams and unfold over two time frames but this time follows a new case, new characters, and new location.
The Missing is produced by New Pictures in association with Two Brothers Pictures and Playground Entertainment. The first season, starring James Nesbitt, Frances O'Connor, and Tchéky Karyo, centered on the mysterious disappearance of an 8-year-old boy, Oliver Hughes, in the French town of Chalon du Bois. On a personal note, it also made my Best TV Shows of 2014 list.