Category:  News

By Allain Richard, April 19, 2014 0 News, Weekly Digital Roundup

Videogames are like nuts. Some of us will buy a bunch of them and store them away to take them out during the duller Winter months. It’s our sustenance to help fight off the cold and darkness. And this week presents a slew of digital nuts for us to nibble on… I mean play.

Nintendo is still on its classic titles rush, bringing Super Mario Bros. 3 to both Wii U and 3DS, along with the Game Boy Advance titles Golden Sun and F-Zero: Maximum Velocity making their way to the Wii U Virtual Console.

Enjoy voting on which games will be on sale next? GOG.com has you covered in that department. Their Battle of the Games deal lets you choose between two sets of three games, where the winner gets to be 75 percent off and the other gets to be 60 percent off. The Divinity series won the first round against the Gothic series and there are plenty more rounds and games coming up.

There’s a crazy Flash Sale going on in the PlayStation Store, with various titles such as the Telltale Games series on sale for $0.99 each. Classic series such as Spyro, Red Faction and Crash Bandicoot are also available as part of the flash sale.

The next Trials title is here, tricking, crashing and exploding everywhere. Trials Fusion brings back the over-the-top and sometimes notorious difficulty it’s famous for.

With all of that said, make the jump to see all the nuts you can crack this week.

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By Karen Rivera, April 18, 2014 0 PAX East 2014, PC, Preview

I’ve often thought about all the equipment that I purchased for Dance Dance Revolution eons ago. Those pads, lovingly dented from standing over the left and right arrows, are probably now in some landfill.

But when I stepped onto that dance pad again last Friday at PAX East, all the memories–and associated love for rhythm dancing–came rushing back to me thanks to Crypt of the Necrodancer. Having seen clips of it last year at PAX Prime, I was convinced that this game was worth trying.

The conventions of roguelikes are such that they can be brutally difficult, what with the randomization of enemies and dungeon exploration and what not. Set that to an infectious beat with a dance pad controller, and you’ve got Crypt of the Necrodancer.

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By Patrick Kulikowski, April 17, 2014 0 Gaming culture, News

It’s been a long wait for any news on an official soundtrack release for last year’s Capcom, Disney and WayForward-produced retro revival of DuckTales Remastered, but it’s finally got a release date.

The digital soundtrack, slated for release on the North American Amazon MP3 Store, is comprised of 47 tracks, spanning 90 minutes. It includes all of the remixed music by Jake “virt” Kaufman (Double Dragon Neon, Retro City Rampage) in addition to Hiroshige Tonomura’s original 8-bit tunes.

Those of us who thought that an official release of the game’s soundtrack would never see the light of day thanks to publishing complications with all the companies involved may be pleasantly surprised. Speaking on Twitter, Kaufman described everyone at Disney as “super chill + friendly,” with the length of time between the release of the game and the soundtrack being attributed to a ton of details that needed to be worked out, albeit with “zero drama.”

While there is a listing already available for the soundtrack on Amazon, there’s no price attached to it. Your guess on that one is as good as mine, but hopefully it won’t dry up our money bins.

And I know it’s a bit of shameless self-promotion, but I’m suddenly reminiscing on my cover of the DuckTales theme from back in September. Good times.

Hit up the break for the entire album’s tracklist.

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By Karen Rivera, April 17, 2014 0 Deals, News

Videogame music fans rejoice. The Game Music Bundle is back for its seventh deal.

Game Music Bundle 7 packs in a punch of videogame music, composed by the likes of Austin Wintory, Chris Rickwood and Disasterpeace among other composers.

For $1, fans will get the original soundtracks from The Banner Saga, Device 6, Broken Age, The Floor is Jelly and Luftrausers. Featuring multiple soundtracks from composers, fans can spend $10 or more to obtain 17 soundtracks in total, including the recently released Transfiguration album, an exclusive Journey piano composition by Austin Wintory.

The deal including all these soundtracks will be up for two weeks, ending on May 1. Fans who donate more than $10 can compete to obtain a series of tiered prizes. The tenth largest donator will receive a promotional color print for Broken Age, while the top donator gets autographed copies of both Austin Wintory’s Journey compositions and a piano composition book signed by Wintory, vocalist Laura Intravia and pianist Robert Thies.

For more information, fans can check out the page here. You can see the full list of albums after the jump.  (more…)

By Karen Rivera, April 17, 2014 0 PAX East 2014

I wish I could overlay the music from Journey whenever I think about this past Saturday at PAX East. For those of you who were unable to attend or were not aware, I was invited to speak on a panel with a group of very talented ladies on “Why it’s awesome being a female in the gaming industry.”

As the managing editor of Pixelitis, it was certainly a humbling and inspiring moment that I got to share with other females from the industry.

The panel, comprised of five other fellow women from the gaming industry, was an amazing group to have speak up there. We had Dianna Lora, community manager of DualShockers; Susan Arendt, managing editor of Joystiq; Maylene Garcia, senior games producer at Nickelodeon; Sarah LeBoeuf, news writer for The Escapist and Tatjana Vejnovic, editor-in-chief of AskTatjana.

The entirety of the panel has graciously been uploaded to YouTube, which you can watch after the break.

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By Andrew Martins, April 16, 2014 1 Industry, News

[UPDATE: Bungie has published a terse statement on its company blog. The statement can be found below.]

If a recent tweet is to be believed, then Bungie’s audio director and in-house composer Martin O’Donnell no longer holds that position after working approximately 15 years with the company.

Known for creating the music for the Halo series with fellow composer Michael Salvatore, O’Donnell was hired by Bungie just days before Microsoft bought the development studio in 1999. Since then, his music has been intrinsically linked to the iconic first-person shooter series, as well as other titles like Oni.

O’Donnell was originally tapped to compose the score behind Bungie’s upcoming release, Destiny. At this time, there’s no word as to how his termination will affect the game moving forward.

In response to O’Donnell’s termination from the company, Bungie released the following statement:

“For more than a decade, Marty O’Donnell filled our worlds with unforgettable sounds and soundtracks, and left an indelible mark on our fans. Today, as friends, we say goodbye. We know that wherever his journey takes him, he will always have a bright and hopeful future.
We wish him luck in all his future endeavors.”
By Patrick Kulikowski, April 15, 2014 0 Industry, News

Having worked on major game soundtracks like Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII and God Eater 2, Video Game Orchestra has made a name for itself in the industry in recent years.

Less than an hour ago, the group’s Berklee-trained frontman Shota Nakama announced the creation of SoundtRec Boston, a production company that he reportedly hopes will advance creativity in film, games and other mediums moving forward.

According to Nakama, who made the announcement less than an hour ago, the new company will work to provide musical accompaniment for future projects on a contractual basis. He also cited a need to bridge the perceived gap between Eastern and Western composers.

“We can coordinate any instrumentation from a soloist, string quartet to full orchestra, choir, rhythm section or even big band in any style of music with the most highly acclaimed musicians,” Nakama wrote on VGO’s Facebook page. “Upon your request, we can also provide supervisors, composers, arrangers, orchestrators, engineers and lyricists to help accomplish your projects.”

Nakama went on to say that he hopes to facilitate collaborations between as many musical talents as possible and to heighten the presence of recording opportunities in Boston.

Ultimately, SoundtRec Boston would provide a more accessible way for would-be filmmakers and game creators to combine their talents with composers, according to Nakama.

Combining the sensibilities of both Eastern and Western game composers has worked out exceptionally well in the past. Brave Wave, a Tokyo-based production company, has already released several albums featuring the likes of Manami Matsumae (Mega ManMighty No. 9), Keiji Yamagishi (Ninja Gaiden), Grant Henry (Metroid MetalLONELYROLLINGSTARS) and Eirik Surhke (Spelunky).

At the moment, SoundtRec Boston is accepting contact information for prospective clients.

By Andrew Martins, April 15, 2014 0 Multiplatform, News

That’s it, everyone. Shut it down. Infinity Ward’s busted the multiplayer announcer game wide open.

Earlier today, the company behind the Call of Duty series (sans its actual creators Vince Zampella and Jason West) revealed that revered rapper Snoop Lion Dogg will announce player’s actions in a new downloadable multiplayer voice pack.

As you’ll see/hear in the trailer after the jump, players will soon get the chance to hear the 42 year-old rapper call squadmates a “brother from another mother” while calling a ballistic vest some “fine-ass threads.”

According to Snoop, Infinity Ward provided him with his lines, though he said he was able to add a little bit of his trademark “Snoop-ism” to the mix.

This may not be the first time the man who wrote “Gin & Juice” took a step into the gaming world, but it’s certainly the one that makes the most sense. In recent years it seems like Snoop’s been trying to become more and more relevant through the use of more modern entertainment avenues.

How it took this long to get Snoop Dogg to lend his voice in this capacity, however, I don’t know.

The aforementioned multiplayer voice pack will be available on Xbox Live on April 22. Other platforms can expect to get Snoop’s instantly recognizable voice at a later date.

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By Andrew Martins, April 14, 2014 0 News, PAX East '14, Xbox One

This past weekend, more than 100 indie titles vied for the hearts, minds and attention spans of thousands of gamers attending PAX East 2014. While most devs were showing their wares to a captive audience, one unassuming simulator dealing in soft drinks announced its move into the latest generation of console hardware.

Soda Drinker Pro, a game that allows players to do what they’ve probably done a million times before, will be coming to the Xbox One via the company’s ID@Xbox initiative.

“We are truly excited to have the opportunity to release Soda Drinker Pro for the Xbox One,” the game’s developer Will Brierly said in a prepared statement. “We have been working hard to fine-tune the fluid dynamics, from the condensation on the cup to the carbonated bubbles that float up the straw, this is something we are so proud to release for the Xbox One.”

Prior to the convention, Brierly announced the game was making its way on to new hardware, but was coy with the delivery of his announcement, asking that those interested would have to come to the game’s booth on the show floor.

According to Brierly, though the game already features “more than 100 simulations,” the Xbox One version will have 10 pieces of new platform exclusive content, including Kinect support, a “hyper-realistic simulation mode” and achievements.

A new “Vivian Clark” experience was also touted by Brierly, which will reportedly bring better graphics and gameplay and “500 percent more content” than the vanilla version already out on PC and Mac.

By Allain Richard, April 13, 2014 0 Indie, Kickstarter, Multiplatform, News

In an industry where corporate dollars for unknown quantities like indie games are extremely limited, Kickstarter has been the de facto hub for developers to get their projects funded.

While many popular titles exist to this day because of crowdsourcing, there are those that never see the light of day after failing to meet their goal.

Then there’s the rare occasion that a publisher takes notice and plucks such a title back from the brink.

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