Features

By Pixelitis Staff, April 16, 2014 0 PAX East '14, So I Heard You Like Cosplay

Only at cons do you get a trio of Tingles. Only at cons.

PAX East cosplay was in full swing this past weekend and Pixelitis has got the evidence right here. Staffers saw favorites like The Prince from Katamari Damacy as well as Marth from Fire Emblem.

We snapped pictures of some Hotline Miami cosplayers, Resident Evil’s Barry Burton and Bioshock Infinite’s Luteces in their sharpest and wittiest. Associate Editor Patrick Kulikowski also noted various Ravios from The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds out on the show floor. All we needed was a “Hey Mr. Hero!” to top things off.

Our hats go off to the one lone Limbo cosplay. It was both creepy and amazing.

Although it felt as if the con had a bit less cosplay than usual, that didn’t mean the costumes were any less awesome.

Check out the full gallery from this weekend after the jump. 

 

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

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.

We have reached out to Bungie for comment on the apparent firing and will update the story when we hear back.

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.

By Andrew Martins, April 15, 2014 0 Podcast

Well hello there. Stay a while and listen of the return of the Pixelitis Podcast. It’s a tale of a month’s hiatus leading up to arguably the biggest gaming convention on the East Coast – PAX East.

On this, our triumphant return, travel-weary hosts Andrew Martins, Patrick Kulikowski and Karen Rivera share their experiences from their past weekend in Boston, including the games they played and the news they heard/witnessed.

As always, feel free to hit play below. Don’t forget to subscribe to us on iTunes and Stitcher Radio.


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Intro: “Diamond” by Monomirror
Break: “Lizard Dance” by The World is Square from “No Phoenix Down Can Save You Now,” originally composed by Yasunori Mitsuda for the Chrono Cross Original Soundtrack
Outro: “Penny Arcade Theme” by MC Frontalot

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.

Such is the story of Citizens of Earth, thanks to the folks at Atlus. Primarily known for porting many Japanese titles to the North American market, the company has taken Eden Industries under its wing to get their ambitious roleplaying game released.

Citizens of Earth has the player taking on the role of the newly-elected Vice President of the World, tasked with recruiting citizens to stop the world from going crazy.

The Vice-President will be taken all over the world as he… or rather his citizens… fights mutants, gathers treasures and even overthrow a puppy government.

Forget the classic RPG classes like mages, fighters, Children of Earth pits yoga instructors and cops against the world’s enemies. Each citizen brings a unique play style and skills, and Eden Industries promises that there will be over 40 different citizens to recruit.

Hopefully this trend of helping the little guys in the business continues, as more teams are picked up from big name publishers to instill more variety in the gaming world.

Source: Destructoid

By Allain Richard, April 13, 2014 0 News, Weekly Digital Roundup

In space, no one can hear you scream… except in games and movies. Could you imagine how boring if the realism of space was added to games? Just… a whole lot of quiet? It would be maddening.

Strike Suit Zero: Director’s Cut has been released on multiple consoles. If you want sweet space battles with a mech suit that can overpower hoards of enemies, then this is for you. Plus I was always surprised that I could play the original Strike Suit Zero on the highest settings on my older PC with no hiccups. Very well polished indeed. And yes, it sounds awesome.

The second batch of GBA titles has reached the Wii U Virtual Console in the shape of Kirby & The Amazing Mirror and WarioWare, Inc.: Mega Microgame$. So our choices this week is between a cooperative suck-fest and crazy fast minigames.

Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 4 has hit the PS2 classics, available on PS3. For those that didn’t pick up Persona 4 Golden on Vita, this is your chance to have fun playing as a high school student. It’s a lot more fun than it might sound. There’s fighting… and Teddie’s voice (and bear puns) is simply golden.

Make the jump for the full list of sweet sounding digital titles available this week.

GOG.com

Nintendo eShop

Virtual Console on Wii U

Nintendo eShop on Nintendo 3DS

Nintendo eShop Sales

Also new this week:

Permanent price reduction:

  • My Farm (Nintendo eShop on Wii U) – Starting today, the price ofMy Farm is being reduced from $7.99 to $4.99.

PlayStation Network

PS4 Pre-Orders

PS3 Pre-Orders

PS4 Games

PS3 Games

PS Vita Games

PS2 Classic

PlayStation Plus

Instant Game Collection

Discounts

Title Plus Price Original Price
Strike Suit Zero: Director’s Cut (PS4) $15.99 $19.99

Sales

Title Sale Price Regular Price
Crazy Market: Crazy Market Coin Doubler $0.49 $2.99
Crazy Market: Crazy Market Vitamin Superpack $0.49 $2.99
Flying Hamster HD $0.49 $3.99
PS All-Stars PS3 Isaac Clarke, Zeus and Graveyard Pack $1.99 $9.99
R.I.P.D. $2.99 $9.99
Sunflowers $0.49 $3.99

Steam

Xbox Live Marketplace

Arcade

Xbox One

Discounts

Discounts are valid now through 14 April 2014.

Content Title Content Type Discount %
Resident Evil 5 Games on Demand 67%
Dragon’s Dogma Dark Arisen Games on Demand 63%
Devil May Cry HD Collection Games on Demand 67%
Remember Me Games on Demand 67%
Sleeping Dogs Games on Demand 38%
RIO Games on Demand 50%

The following Microsoft Studios discounts are valid for everyone on Xbox Live now through 14 April 2014.

Content Title Content Type Discount %
Castle Crashers  Arcade 67%
BattleBlock Theater  Arcade 67%
Charlie Murder  Arcade 70%
CastleStorm  Arcade 70%
Full House Poker  Arcade 70%
Perfect Dark  Arcade 70%
Fire Pro Wrestling  Arcade 70%
Iron Brigade  Arcade 70%
Wreckateer  Arcade 90%
Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet  Arcade 70%
Home Run Stars  Arcade 90%
Magic 2014 – Duels of the Planeswalkers  Arcade 50%
Gears of War 3 Games on Demand 67%
Gears of War 2 Games on Demand 67%
Gears of War Games on Demand 67%
Gears of War 3 Season Pass Add-On 67%
Alan Wake Games on Demand 75%
The Gunstringer Games on Demand 75%
Crackdown Games on Demand 67%
Halo Wars Games on Demand 67%
Halo Reach Games on Demand 67%
By Karen Rivera, April 11, 2014 0 Features, PAX East 2014, Staff Musings

As fans of videogames and nerd culture, the staff of Pixelitis has always strived to share the efforts of fans and people who dress up and enjoy their favorite fandoms. As such, we’ve taken steps to spotlight the hard work and dedication of cosplayers over the years.

But speaking for myself as an editor and photographer, it’s safe to say I’ve run into a few awkward conundrums involving cosplayers.

As the pool of gamers and people that participate in nerd culture grows by the day, there’s still a lot left to be said for respecting one’s space, especially as male or female cosplayers. Gender-bending cosplay is becoming more common, as I saw in NYCC last year. I value the expression put behind the amazing costumes, but just because the characters they portray are dressed a certain way does not make them targets for bigotry or sexism.

Since we’re here at PAX East, now might be a good time to discuss how we share our enthusiasm in a way that everyone can get behind. 

When asking to shoot pictures of a cosplayer, it’s common sense that you should ask for permission first and thank them for their time. That goes without saying. However, I’ve run into a few situations where that simply wasn’t enough for some people. Making disparaging comments is not part of the package when cosplayers come out to show their best.

BuzzFeed’s post back in October 2013 on “the creepiest thing anyone’s ever said to you while cosplaying” confirms this. These girls have some awesome cosplay, and no one should be subjected to disrespect or have their personal space invaded. And the same goes for male cosplayers. There’s also the organization and movement Cosplay Does Not Equal Consent which started last year as a response to various forms of infringement of personal space and even outright sexual assault.

Christa Newman, a cosplay photographer, mentioned the distinct ironies of disconnecting the human behind the mask and the fans that volley nasty comments to cosplayers daring to dress like villains.

“I’ve heard some really interesting stories from Star Wars costumers (especially “big baddies” like Vader and Boba Fett) of people yelling at them, assaulting them and trying to snap pieces off of their costumes.”

When discussing what can be done to protect cosplayers and photographers from any potentially harmful situations, Newman suggested the following:

  1. Make sure they don’t look busy – i.e. eating or on a cell phone.
  2. When approaching them ask for a photo while looking in their eyes, not at their props, “assets,” etc.
  3. Wait for them to adjust and pose.
  4. If you’d like your photo with them then ask if you can take a photo with them.
  5. If yes, cool. Approach them carefully and ask if they would like you to stand in a certain place. Some costumes can’t handle a person touching them and you don’t want to break any of the hard work people put into their costumes. Ask them if it’s ok for you to touch the cosplayer around the waist or shoulders to respect their comfort and safety.
  6. If it’s a no, then accept that, take your photo, thank them for letting you take their photo, hand them a business card if you have any and move along with your day.

As we all head up to PAX East to celebrate the joy and wonder that is videogames, we should remember that we are all here to cultivate a welcoming space for all fans.

“Respecting each other as people in person and online is a human issue, not just a cosplay issue,” Newman said.

I completely agree.

By Stephen Hilger, April 10, 2014 0 News, PC, PS4

Supergiant Games, makers of the indie hit Bastion, have recently unveiled a release date for their upcoming turn-based action RPG: Transistor.

On the developer’s website, Supergiant has stated that Transistor‘s release date will be May 20. The game will be available for both PlayStation 4 and PC for $19.99.

Most importantly, Supergiant will be discussing Transistor in even more detail this weekend at PAX East. What a coincidence! Some of our very own Pixelitis staff will be there too. Stay posted for more information and discoveries.

Transistor seems  visually similar to Bastion but the aesthetic leans towards sci-fi rather than the frontier-western-dystopia we all know and love. In addition to its addicting simple gameplay, Bastion also made a name for itself with its narrator-driven story and stellar soundtrack. While Transistor seems to be a very different game than its predecessor, the game is certainly in good hands.

I think we’re in for a treat come May 20.