Happy New Year! I suppose I ought to blog even more in 2016, having slacked off a fair bit during 2015 due to work commitments. What are New Year resolutions on my plate? Do up the house a little bit more (we didn’t have the time to do so during the rollercoaster first three years of Natalia’s life), up the training ante when it comes to running and cycling, and perhaps be a better dad to a rambunctious three-year old who only turns four by Christmas next year.
In any case when it comes to games, I’ve yet to finish both games that I’ve set out to play in earnest towards the end of 2015. Both StarCraft II: Legacy of the Void and Fallout 4 are huge timesinks on their own, and I happen to love both of them. My daughter has been running around with the Fallout 4 disc though (she figured out how to eject discs from the PS4 while I need to Google every single time I need to do so), I should be worried.
Fallout 4 is so awesome it’s worth an additional mention here. Settlement building is a fun take on the game, it’s like The Sims, but with Raiders, Gunners…and whatever other factions out to kill and maim your settlers. And the game is so darn difficult even at normal levels, but it’s addictive that way.
In the mean time, stay tuned for more reviews and news coming your way via Nineoverten.com this 2016. I promise.
The one comment that came out from our mouths when my wife and I finally got to watch Mad Max: Fury Road was somewhere along the lines of “Wow, that was over-the-top”. They don’t make movies like this anymore. Did you know as well that there’s a Mad Max game coming out this September? I heard about it but today’s the first time I actually took the trouble to watch the latest trailer for the game (courtesy of a PR e-mail, we reviewer types get those a lot), and it was an interesting 2-minute pitch.
The upcoming Mad Max game’s Stronghold trailer gives a glimpse of the various fortified outposts, or strongholds, located throughout the open world of the post-apocalyptic Wasteland. In the new trailer, Max visits some of the game’s diverse strongholds and encounters a number of intriguing characters, including Jeet, Gutgash, Pink Eye and Deep Friah. In a world where Max faces both his internal and external enemies, these strongholds hold the pieces essential to the puzzle he tries to solve. Max will need to make some uneasy alliances as he prepares to take on merciless Wasteland tyrant, Scrotus.
Featuring deep car customization, metal-grinding vehicular action, brutal melee combat and a vast desert landscape waiting to be explored, players will be fully immersed into the deadly Mad Max universe like never before. Mad Max will be released on Sept. 1, 2015 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Windows PC
There’s an interesting story behind Butterscotch Shenanigans‘ (the makers of both Towelfight 2, and Quadropus Rampage) upcoming cross-platform indie title Crashlands, a gargantuan adventure/crafting RPG that is full of sass.
Sam Coster, 1/3 of the trio of brothers forming Butterscotch had a cancer diagnosis in October 2013, and needing something more meaningful to work on through the chemo treatments and tests, they scrapped an on-going project (which was to be a fast-paced, small platformer) and embarked on the journey in creating Crashlands. It goes without saying that this has helped Sam go through the tough times. I hope he is feeling better now.
Back to Crashlands. Unlike most run-of-the-mill RPGs, the game features an infinite (!), self-managing inventory. This is basically to drive home the strong emphasis on crafting and even the narrative, however huge and absurd it is, gives purpose and direction to crafting. Players get to engage in base-building which the developers have liken to painting, and there’s diverse combat and tameable creatures to keep folks busy.
Crashlands is platform-agnostics and the boys of Butterscotch promise the game will launch on all three platforms (Steam, Android and iOS) at the same time in the end of summer/early fall of 2015, and plays well on all three. The response to Crashlands from gamers and the press alike has been very enthusiastic. Butterscotch managed to get the game Greenlit on Steam in just 42 hours, and they bagged a place in the finals at the recent Reboot Indie Game Awards.
Check out the screens and the trailer for Crashlands, and do stay tuned to Nineoverten.com for more details and a review of the game when it is released. Head over to Crashlands.netand check out more stuff including the Devlogs for the game!
I remember reviewing Loot Hero back in February 2014 (read all about it here), and it seems that indie developer VaragtP Studios have not been resting on their laurels and that is a good thing. They’ve announced the worldwide release of Loot Hero DX, their latest retro-inspired PC-RPG available via Steam and the successor and updated version to the critically-acclaimed Loot Hero, previously released on PC in 2014.
Loot Hero DX (DX as in “deluxe”) challenges players to become a dragon slayer in a world full of evil creatures unleased by a powerful and magical dragon haunting the lands. The game offers an action-packed RPG grind-fest with progressively hard enemies blocking your path. Run, battle, power-up and slay whatever creatures stand in your way. XP and loot can be collected and used to upgrade and buy bigger and better equipment.
Featuring 20 enemies and bosses, tons of upgrades, retro-inspired visuals and ridiculous amounts of loot and XP, Loot Hero DX is a must-have RPG to fans of all ages and experience levels seeking the ultimate dragon-slaying gameplay experience. Loop Hero DX is available for download from here: http://store.steampowered.com/app/294040
Sierra has revealed today that the first chapter of the new King’s Quest – titled King’s Quest: A Knight to Remember – will launch as a digital download in North America on July 28 for $9.99 on the PS4 and PS3, as well as Windows PC. It will arrive on July 29 for the same price on Xbox One, and the Xbox 360. It is rated E10+ (Everyone 10 and Up) by the ESRB.
In addition, Sierra today announced that a bundle* of all five chapters, including a future bonus playable story epilogue, of the new King’s Quest – named King’s Quest: The Complete Collection* – is now available to pre-order on the PSN and Steam for $39.99. Xbox One pre-orders on the Xbox Games Store will begin on July 7 for the same price.
Developed by The Odd Gentlemen, King’s Quest rekindles the classic feelings of exploration, wit and wonder that have always defined this family-friendly series since its introduction over 30 years ago. The first entry in a planned five-chapter arc, King’s Quest: A Knight to Remember sets the stage for an unforgettable journey to come with original places, puzzles and personalities to discover.
As an aging King Graham reflects on a life of adventure with his granddaughter, Gwendolyn, King’s Quest transports players back to the untold tales of Graham’s youth to experience a story that bridges generations. Stay tuned to Nineoverten.com for further details.
*Chapters and epilogue can be downloaded in-game upon individual release throughout 2015 and 2016.
Boxing has given us some truly memorable moments over the years. The much loved sport is one of the most exciting to watch, that is of course if you happened to miss the bore-fest between Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao. A sport like boxing is very lucky, not only does it make for compelling viewing in the real world, it is also superb when moved across into the virtual realm. The sport has been a near-constant presence in the gaming world since the 1980s, although in recent years the game has been neglected due to EA Sports opting to prioritise their UFC game. This was a move that left a sour taste in the mouths of many.
Due to the popularity of boxing and boxing games it can come as no surprise that the public have been inundated with boxing games over the years. For the most part, these games are usually knockout victors, but there are some that should just stay on the canvas. Below are some of the best and worst boxing games to have ever made it to market.
James “Buster” Douglas Knockout Boxing
Release Date: 1988/1990
Platform(s): Sega Genesis
Final Blow was a game released by Sega in 1988 that was available on all of the ported platforms. However, in 1990 the game was renamed James “Buster” Douglas Knockout Boxing and released on the Sega Genesis.
At the time of the game’s release, Buster Douglas was riding a wave. Earlier in the year (February, 1990) the American stunned the world, knocking out the unbeaten Mike Tyson in the tenth round – Douglas was priced at 42-1 in the boxing betting. Unfortunately for the slugger, he was defeated by Evander Holyfield in his very first title defence. He was lucky to cash in with Sega when he did.
The side scrolling boxing game was your typical rock ‘em and sock ‘em style game. If you managed to time your strikes correctly, you could unleash a knockout punch on your opponent. You could even enjoy the spectator mode if you wanted to.
Sega were genius in the marketing of the game. Douglas featured in their “Genesis does what Ninten don’t” – the game was considered by many as a response to Nintendo’s Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out!! The game also took a thinly veiled swipe at Tyson with the in-game character of Ironhead, an obvious reference to “Iron” Mike Tyson.
Wii Sports Boxing
Release Date: 2006
Platform: Nintendo Wii
The Nintendo Wii really did change the way we game. Had it not been for the success of this gaming upstart, would Microsoft and Sony develop Kinect and Move respectively? Probably, but were it not for the Wii then it would have surely taken far longer. You couldn’t help but be impressed by the Wii. At one time it was the must-have console, as proven by the fact that Nintendo has sold more than 100 million units.
Granted the graphics were not worth shaking a stick at, it was 8-bit gaming brought into the 3D world, but the gameplay was innovative and highly enjoyable. Despite its childish nature, it is hard not to enjoy seeing the punches that you are throwing in the living room land on the opposition chin in the virtual world. By nature boxing games are hugely competitive. On the Wii they were even more so. Although you would hopefully never knockout your best friend in the real world, you can’t help but enjoy putting them flat on their back whilst playing on the Wii. And to put the cherry on the cake, all the while you are playing you can pretend to your concerned parents that you are simply working out.
Fight Night: Champion
Release Date: 2011
Platform(s): PlayStation 3 & Xbox 360
Publisher: EA Sports
Fight Night: Champion may draw the ire of some boxing fans who thought that the fighting mechanisms were not as realistic as EA Sports had promoted, however, these folk were certainly in the minority. As of writing, there is yet to be a boxing game that has bettered the quality of graphics and gameplay possessed by Fight Night: Champion.
Many who played the game were left hugely impressed by the “Full-Spectrum Punch Control” that allowed gamers to throw punches by simply flicking the right analogue stick. You could still throw punches by pressing buttons as well. The addition of “Full-Spectrum Punch Control” eliminated the complicated controller manipulations (calculated button mashing) that were essential for the “Total Punch Control” system of previous Fight Night instalments. Moreover, secondary controller buttons (triggers) allowed for uncommon and power punches. The blocking and leaning system was also modified.
What left many amazed was the depth of the Champion mode, something that most sport games neglect. Storytelling is more often amiss within sporting games which made the Champion mode all the more refreshing. The story sees you play the part of Andre Bishop, a boxer who is currently serving time in a correctional facility for a crime he did not commit. After serving his time inside, in which he has numerous unlicensed boxing clashes, he goes to work for his brother, Raymond, another heavyweight boxer. It doesn’t take Andre too long to get back his licence and return to the professional arena, where he makes a very good account for himself with some convincing wins.
All this leads to Raymond challenging his brother in a fight to be named the number one contender. This is a fight that Andre intentionally loses. Raymond goes on to fight the nefarious Isaac Frost, who knocks him out cold with a devastating punch, prompting Andre to challenge Frost to a title match. Andre goes on to claim retribution, beating Frost for the World Heavyweight title and also witnessing DL McQueen, the man who framed him, investigated and eventually jailed. As you can picture from reading this, it is a story mode full of character and one that keeps you glued from start to finish.
With a roster that included Mike Tyson, Lennox Lewis, Muhammed Ali, Joe Frazier, Bernard Hopkins, Marvin Hagler, Sugar Ray Leonard, Sugar Ray Robinson, Oscar De La Hoya, Ricky Hatton, Manny Pacquiao, and Roberto Duran, to name just a few, there were plenty of competitors for you to chance your arm with.
Online play was also at the forefront of the game. It was awesome.
Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out!!
Release Date: 1987
Platform(s): Nintendo (NES)
If you were to ask anyone of a certain age – anyone old enough to have owned a NES – what the best boxing game of all time is they would reply in a matter seconds, telling you and anyone else who cares to listen that it is Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out via unanimous decision.
The arcade game Punch-Out had been around since 1984 but Tyson didn’t get involved until 1986. Minoru Arakawa, the founder and former president of Nintendo of America, was in attendance of an early Tyson bout. After watching what was a routine demolition job by Tyson, Arakawa was adamant that he needed to get the ferocious young American on board for the upcoming port version of Punch-Out!!, believing that Tyson’s inclusion in the game would help the game sell. Although it remains very hush-hush, it is widely reported that Tyson was paid $50,000 for a three-year period for his likeness. It is one hell of a deal for Nintendo, a little later on in the year Tyson went on to win the World Boxing Council heavyweight championship from Trevor Berbick, which would have subsequently seen him command a much higher fee.
Playing as Little Mac, a fighter who was grossly undersized in this world of heavyweights, your challenge was to rise to the very top of the sport and topple Tyson to claim the world title. Infuriating would be an apt word to describe this game. Losing a fight, something you end up doing more often than not, sees you fall down the rungs of the ladder, whilst losing to Tyson, the match you have been building up to for ages, signals instant game over.
This was a time when Tyson ruled the world, there were still a few years before he lost to Douglas. It was after that that his career started to seriously decline. First it was his imprisonment, then it was the Evander Holyfield ear bite, and then at the end you had embarrassing losses to journeymen like Danny Williams.
There is no other boxing game quite as beloved as Punch-Out!!, and it is testament to the game’s overall quality that it frequently ranked in the top-10 best NES games ever.
George Foreman’s KO Boxing
Release Date: 1992
Platform(s): SNES, NES, Game Boy, Sega Mega Drive
George Foreman was a hellacious boxer. His victory over Michael Moorer in 1994 made him the oldest heavyweight champion of all time at the tender age of 45. Despite his boxing prowess, Foreman has actually made more money from his grilling range, a cool $200 million, than he did from boxing. Foreman won’t mind being remembered for the grill over boxing, at least that way he can distance himself from the diabolical boxing game named after him.
If you have ever had the misfortune of playing KO Boxing, we are truly sorry. The game, which can be classed as a cheap Punch-Out!! imitator, was a horror. The gameplay was stoic and unresponsive, while the graphics were uninspiring to say the least.
Mike Tyson Boxing
Release Date: 2000
Although Tyson was involved in the best loved boxing game of all time, he was also involved with one absolute stinker. Mike Tyson Boxing ties in perfectly with “Iron” Mike’s boxing career post-millennium. It was terrible.
The graphics were shambolic. It looked like a game that should be played on the SNES and not the PlayStation. But you can learn to live with shoddy graphics. Downright awful gameplay, though, is simply unforgivable. Boxing is all about speed, with counter punching being imperative. The 1987 game that featured Tyson vested itself heavily in developing a counter punching style, which added to both its realism and enjoyment levels. However, in Mike Tyson Boxing speed does not exist. If you are to throw a punch you have to wind your arm back as if it were a sling shot. This is an arduous affair that takes at least a second, which in the boxing world would see you put on your back. As a consequence, effective jabbing and counter punching were all but missing in this game.
In case you missed it, there were are a whole bunch of interesting gadgets announced this week, with one of the announcements made at E3. First up would be Gunnar, the world’s leading creator and manufacturer of computer and gaming eyewear, with its new line of cooperative styles in partnership with Razer…yup, the very folks responsible for bringing cool gaming peripherals like the mouse I’m using for my StarCraft/Diablo sessions.
The GUNNAR Designed by Razer collection unites GUNNAR’s patented i-AMP® lens technology, precision-engineered to reduce eye strain and improve the sharpness of high-resolution displays, with sleek signature black-and-green frames inspired by Razer’s iconic credo: “For Gamers. By Gamers.”
Next up, is SteelSeries, which happens to be a competitor to Razer and a leading global manufacturer of gaming peripherals. They introduced six new console gaming headsets. Combining more than a decade of global gaming expertise with tournament-tested insights from eSports professionals, SteelSeries Siberia headsets are designed to deliver a new level of comfort that console gamers have never felt before.
For Xbox One gamers, SteelSeries is introducing the Siberia X100, Siberia X300, and Siberia X800, each featuring a SteelSeries Xbox One adapter giving gamers fingertip control of volume, chat, and settings. For PlayStation gamers, the Siberia P100, Siberia P300, and Siberia P800 are designed for audio and communication on PS4.
The Xbox One models come at a slight premium compared to their PS4 counterparts, probably due to the adapter and support of Microsoft® 7.1 Virtual Surround Sound on Xbox One. Having said that, for price comparison of the latest gadgets and electronics like the SteelSeries Siberia headsets, check out shop2day.
For more cool peripherals coming out of E3 (or post E3), be sure to stay tuned to Nineoverten.com.
Hamburg-based Daedalic Entertainment’s upcoming adventure title for iOS devices, FIRE, boasts some pretty stunning 2D visuals. The artwork looks very colourful and exquisite for a title that was also available on the PC. The exploration adventure featuring the Neanderthal named Ungh will be available on the App Store for EUR 3.99 / $ 3.99 / £ 2.99 at the end of July.
FIRE relies on intuitive puzzles to tell the amusing story of the Neanderthal Ungh, who is on a quest for fire. But as is typical for a Stone Age man, he isn’t the sharpest flint knife in the quarry, and so the fantastic adventure gets by without much talking. Players have to help the clumsy Ungh find his way through the prehistoric world.
Because he let the campfire go out, his tribe has ordered him to find new fire. From that point on, he must solve tricky tasks and creatively overcome challenges in his search for that most important of elements. He uses tools such as mammoths and all sorts of other beasts as well as Stone Age items. During his quest, he will meet bats and dinosaurs and explore the steppe, the jungle, and even the interior of a volcano. Whether or not he is ultimately successful depends entirely on the player’s puzzle skill.
Daedalic’s Stone Age fun FIRE will be available for download on the App Store for a price of EUR 3.99 / $ 3.99 / £ 2.99 beginning July 29th, 2015. Check out Nineoverten.com for the upcoming review of the game.
Remember the Games Workshop title Chainsaw Warrior that we featured a couple of years ago? Bristol based indie developers, Auroch Digital, which brought the game into the digital era with high acclaims are now set to deliver another GW title as a digital reboot; Dark Future, the cult Games Workshop board game of clashing highway warriors set in a post-apocalyptic wasteland that was once America.
Auroch’s Dark Future: Blood Red States is supported by the Wellcome Trust, and will be a turn-based strategy game, played out in simultaneous real-time action. The gameplay is a furious mix of hammering chain-guns, tactical high-speed manoeuvres and the ripping of metal as vehicles smash into one another. All the action is conducted against a dark background of the decline of humanity; too wild to be true and too close for comfort.
Dark Future was originally released as a board game in 1988, and later expanded into a series of books. The world it inhabits is a very different reality; cyberpunk more weird than wired. It’s an alternative, bleak, hollowed out America, in 2023. The major cities are either corporate controlled high-tech gated communities (Patrolled Zones, or PZs) for those who can pay, or lawless shanty towns for those who can’t (NoGos). Between these is ‘The Big Empty’, the polluted, wasted Red States of America where vicious gangs hunt and fight.
The atrophied state has all but given up trying to impose law and order here and instead relies on a new breed of bounty hunter come highway warrior to keep the roads open, the Sanctioned Operative. Into this fractured new world the player must make their fortune. The player runs a Sanctioned Ops agency; taking on missions for bounty outside the PZs. As well as the tactical action on the road, the player must also manage both the vehicles and drivers – from upgrades to the front-mounted HMGs to booking a driver into the clinic for a new set of bionic eyes.
Bitbox Ltd’s cheekily titled Life is Feudal: Your Own, a medieval survival crafting game where players can create their own realms thanks to unlimited terraforming options, has surpassed 200,000 downloads while in Early Access on Steam. The team has released an infographic highlighting top stats to date and is hosting a Developers’ AMA on Reddit Thursday, May 14 at 12:00pm EST to answer questions from curious newcomers and seasoned players.
“It’s amazing to see how engaged our players have been from the very start of Early Access,” said Vladimir Piskunov, Project Leader and Lead Game Designer of Bitbox Ltd. “Life is Feudal is all about building your own medieval world and being as creative as you want to be, and our players have really risen to the challenge. This has made development incredibly rewarding and constantly drives us forward.” Check out the infographic below for more fun-facts about the game:
Set in a realistic medieval world, Life is Feudal features limitless terraforming possibilities and rich crafting options that let players create their own realm alone or with a team. Construct towns and cities for shelter, plant crops and breed livestock for food and clothing materials, explore the intricacies of alchemy, and much, much more as you navigate your own uniquely created realm. But beware: deep survival mechanics, no-target combat and the option to be raided by other players will keep you alert of possible threats. With hundreds of personal choices and customizations that offer endless combinations, players can craft a world limited solely by their imaginations.
Life is Feudal: Your Own is currently available on Steam in Early Access for $39.99 and is slated to release this fall. For more information, please visit Life is Feudal’sofficial website, YouTube channel or Steam page.