Now before you go exploding in a ball of “ZOMG CUTENESS,” that is not my dog. I don’t have a dog, but if I did, he would probably look just as disgusted with winter as this one does.
Seriously, most of us at Pixelitis are staring down the barrel of yet another winter s**tstorm and frankly, I’m tired of it. I mean, sure I get to work from home if it’s horrible, but it needs to be Spring already. We’ve already got baseball in some fashion – now the weather just needs to act the part.
Regardless of my seemingly weekly weather grumblings, there’s plenty of stuff to check out on the site from the last week. Steven reviewed Strider, Konami announced a price cut for Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes and Patrick weighed in on the highly divisive Rise of Mana announcement.
You can check it all out after the break.
Free-to-play titles may be convenient and can offer some fun experiences when you don’t have cash to spend, but it seems like the complaints from thousands of players unknowingly purchasing in-game items have reached the European Commission.
Members of the Commission and the Consumer Protection Cooperation have taken actions to stop misleading advertising and are conducting meetings with tech companies and national enforcement authorities in the hopes of putting a stop to financial harm to consumers.
Consumer Policy Commissioner Neven Mimica explained in a statement why this move is necessary.
“Consumers and in particular children need better protection against unexpected costs from in-app purchases. National enforcement authorities and the European Commission are discussing with industry how to address this issue which not only causes financial harm to consumers but can also put at stake the credibility of this very promising market. Coming up with concrete solutions as soon as possible will be a win-win for all.”
“The use of the word ‘free’ (or similar unequivocal terms) as such, and without any appropriate qualifications, should only be allowed for games which are indeed free in their entirety, or in other words which contain no possibility of making in-app purchases, not even on an optional basis”
Advertising to children is a touchy subject and can lead companies into trouble if handled wrong. The CPC and EC are looking to developers to cut out key selling words such “Buy Now” in games and apps that appeal to children.
Overall, the EC’s goal is to get a level playing field between authorities and game companies on consumer rights. This move will hopefully bolster Europe’s game development sector with less frequent legal actions and better consumer understanding.
Here’s to hoping this move comes to North America as well.
You’d be hardpressed not to find someone who has seen at least one Studio Ghibli movie, the Japanese studio behind many groundbreaking beautiful animated features including Princess Mononoke, Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind and of course, Spirited Away.
Thanks to one special developer, we can take the next step and relive the Boiler Room scene from Spirited Away in virtual reality with the Oculus Rift.
Developer Nick Pittom has been hard at work recreating the heavy details the Boiler Room, from the skyhigh drawers of miscellaneous chemicals to the large machine feeding the fires in the boiler. Strap on your Oculus Rift and step into the shoes of Sen as you walk around and watch the soot sprites feed coal to the furnace while Kamaji keeps the bathhouse up and running.
Pittom, who has plenty of 3D modeling and animation experience, translated director Hayao Miyazaki’s 2D world into an amazing 3D experience. Everything you see is topped with a painted texture that keeps it as close as possible to its original rendition.
Released in 2001, Spirited Away became one of Japan’s top grossing films of all time. Studio Ghibli films continue to enjoy Disney level popularity in Japan and across the states thanks to the publishing power of Disney.
If you have an Oculus Rift, you can download the demo here to try it yourself. If you don’t, make the jump to see it in action.
Enjoy playing the role of the anti-hero? This week’s digital titles offers you plenty of chances to be just that.
The biggest release of the week, Thief, has you playing as Garrett as he steals from the rich, Robin Hood style. Stealth titles usually induce players with a sense of accomplishment, and it even got a few of us thinking about our most satisfying stealth moments in games.
If straight up brawling is more you style, The classic arcade title Renegade is now beating players down on the Wii U. Apparently the main character, known as Kunio in Japan, is also the main character of River City Ransom. Oh, Technos and your crazy girlfriend-saving action brawlers.
In the more traditional sense of evil, Dracula makes his return in Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2. Vampires and demons are aplenty and there’s no lack of brutal murder here.
This week’s range-free titles however take a step back from larceny and offer three different genres for free. PlayStation Plus subscribers can enjoy arcade kart racing in ModNation Racers while Xbox Live’s “Game with Gold” program brings you colonization and war in Sid Meier’s Civilization Revolution and a crazy mix of tower defense and RPG with Dungeon Defenders.
Take a leap of faith over to the dark and dangerous side to see the complete list of this week’s digital releases.
Today marks the release of eighth iteration (counting mobile and its previous PC port) of Resident Evil 4 on Steam, and Pixelitis is ready to stream it not only for your entertainment, but for your edutainment.
Resident Evil 4: Ultimate Edition was revealed this past January and Capcom is really pushing this as the best and most definitive version of the game to date. While we’ll certainly be the judge of that tonight, we’re also planning to give viewers the chance to learn a second language, given the game’s Spanish-speaking villains. Don’t know what those loco Ganados are yelling about as you invade their creepily quiet settlement? Watch our stream.
You can view the stream on our Twitch page starting at 8PM EST tonight. Come join us, and maybe you’ll learn some Español along the way.
Announced earlier this week, Grand Theft Auto V’s latest update will have bustling businessmen and women aggressively marketing their wares. And by wares I mean murder.
The upcoming Business Update will have the thieves and murderers of Los Santos and Blaine County fighting to climb the corporate ladder. The update brings in three new vehicles, a new airplane, two new weapons and plenty of formal and business casual attire for the fleeting entrepreneur.
The new vehicles and weapons will be given to players in story mode and can be purchase in the online mode.
Exclusive items from the Valentine’s Day Massacre Special will become unavailable after Sunday, March 2.
The Business Update will be released March 4. Further information about new online heists and much more will be announced soon.
Source: Rockstar Games
The Year of Luigi ends anon, extended mercifully by another fiscal month. Thus concludes the 13-month celebration of the greenest plumber, the tallest brother and the Zooey Deschenel of the Nintendo family.
But in the midst of all the festivities, the Dark Moons, the New Super Luigi Us and what have you, a shard of Luigi’s celebrated legacy failed to garner a mention. Most fans falsely believe that Luigi’s Mansion was the first game to star the taller of the brothers Mario. And this is a shame, because buried deep within the annals of Nintendo, beneath the Virtual Boy, the Power Glove and the Famicom Disk Drive is…Mario is Missing!
It is, to put it quite simply, a gem of the 90s.
Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze has been out for nearly a week. Although I’ve spent more time than that playing it for review, I still can’t seem to get enough punishment.
So join us as I, Patrick Kulikowski, hop onto the Pixelitis Twitch stream at 8PM EST to play some Donkey Kong (or Kankey Dang, either one works) on the Wii U. I’ll be sure to show you some of my favorite levels from the game and maybe even unlock a few here and there.
And if you haven’t yet, check out my review of the game here.
It’s risky bringing retro back to modernity. While Capcom is no amateur at rejuvenating old series, Strider is a bit more obscure and harder to handle than a better known franchise like Street Fighter or Resident Evil.
The paradox of Strider Hiryu himself is that he’s been around forever but has only starred in a handful of games, including this self-titled 2014 installment. Despite his smaller library of games, Strider has gone on to make cameos in dozens of games, most notably the Marvel vs. Capcom series. In a sense, he is the Boba Fett of videogames; earning most of his screen time and stardom due to excellent character design.
That being said, there’s no doubt that the Strider games have made their mark on history. But how does this new entry from Double Helix hold up? Does Strider finally belong in the spotlight, or is this spotlight twenty years too late?
Many games involve bum-rushing a horde of enemies head-on and cutting them down as quickly as possible, but that’s not always exciting.
By contrast, the stealth sub-genre is a strange reversal because oftentimes, you don’t want to encounter your enemy at all, lest you risk untimely death. Games like Metal Gear Solid and the new Thief are all about sticking to the shadows, timing your movements and observing enemy patterns as you sneak your way past their line of sight.
With the new Thief now out of the shadows, Pixelitis gets all incognito and explores the best stealth gaming moments of all time.
Lurk in the shadows, my friends. And be sure to post your own favorite moments in the comments section below.