Train2Game News: Eurogamer Expo 2013

Eurogamer 2013The past weekend was one I look forward to every year. It was the annual Eurogamer Expo and this year was completely sold out.

I attended the event with a couple of friends of mine, one of whom had never attended a gaming event before so it was nice to see his eyes light up at the sight of the event. There is nothing quite like your first time!

The first game we ended up playing was the new Lego Marvel Super Heroes game from Warner Brothers Interactive. The game was similar to the other Lego games just involving all of your favourite Marvel heroes! The only other Lego game I had played was the Lego Batman game so I was quite shocked when the Lego characters started talking to me. Certainly a fun game to try if you can.

Second one of my friends and I discovered an XBLA game there that we were both interested in which was a game called Foul Play by Medatonic. The game was an entertaining side scrolling hack and slash which has no health bar. The game instead rewards big combos in a similar way to Guitar Hero. I would describe this as Guitar Hero meets Castle Crashers. Foul Play is out now and I will be buying it soon.

Next I decided to start tackling the main objectives I had set myself for the weekend and started with Batman: Arkham Origins. I am a big Batman fan and absolutely loved the other two Arkham games and was a bit worried when I found out that Rocksteady wasn’t going to be doing this game as I imagine most batfans were. My worries were put to rest on playing the game though. It plays exactly like Arkham City, if it ain’t broke – don’t fix it! My other worry was the voice actors for Batman and Joker. Kevin Conroy and Mark Hamill are the characters I hear when reading them so when they weren’t in this game I worried. I have to say though they both have excellent voices and I could find no fault with the small window of the game that I tried. I will definitely be pre-ordering my copy soon.

I then got two birds with one stone as I tried Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag on a PlayStation 4. The game was absolutely gorgeous and they have really polished up the ship sections from AC3. I enjoyed the quite open sea feel that I got from the game but couldn’t test much more than that in the time I was given.

The PS4 graphics were of course jaw droppingly stunning but what surprised me was how comfortable the joysticks were on the controller. They have just the right amount of indentation on the joysticks so your thumb slots in and is firmly in place for those more frantic moments.

The final game I tried out for the day was Killer Instinct on the Xbox One. I never played one of the  Killer Instinct games before so it was all new to me. I was paired up with a guy I didn’t know to play the game and it turned out we were incredibly evenly matched! We had two and a half games, the first he one with very little health left, the second I one with very little health left and the third one got cut short saw him well in the lead. The game was easy to get on with and just pick up and get to fighting!

Again the graphics of the Xbox One were beautiful with every little detail on display and much like the PS4 the XB1 has an incredibly comfortable joystick for your thumb to fit in to.

It was a great event as it always is but I wish I had more time to get to grips with the Xbox One and PlayStation 4. I do certainly advise you to go next year though as in the three years I have been, I have never been disappointed.

You can view all the developer sessions from the weekend at http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/eurogamer-expo-2012-live-developer-sessions

Train2Game News: UK Top 20 Games – 30.09.13

FIFA 14I am surprised to announce there is a new number one this week in the game charts. After GTA V made over a billion dollars in just three days it has already been knocked off the top spot by FIFA 14.

All formats

Week ending 28 September 2013

POS.  TITLE  PUBLISHER  LAST
WEEK 
1 FIFA 14 EA SPORTS
2 GRAND THEFT AUTO V ROCKSTAR 1
3 MINECRAFT: XBOX 360 EDITION MICROSOFT 6
4 PRO EVOLUTION SOCCER 2014 KONAMI 2
5 THE LAST OF US SONY COMPUTER ENT. 3
6 DISNEY INFINITY DISNEY INFINITY 8
7 TOM CLANCY’S SPLINTER CELL: BLACKLIST UBISOFT 5
8 SAINTS ROW IV DEEP SILVER 4
9 DIABLO III BLIZZARD 7
10 RAYMAN LEGENDS UBISOFT 16
11 CALL OF DUTY: BLACK OPS II ACTIVISION 12
12 KINGDOM HEARTS HD 1.5 REMIX SQUARE ENIX 10
13 LEGO BATMAN 2: DC SUPER HEROES WARNER BROS. INTERACTIVE 11
14 GRAND THEFT AUTO IV XBOX 360 CLASSICS 13
15 MAX PAYNE 3 ROCKSTAR 15
16 NEED FOR SPEED MOST WANTED EA GAMES 17
17 SKYLANDERS GIANTS SKYLANDERS
18 ALIENS: COLONIAL MARINES SEGA 9
19 TOMB RAIDER SQUARE ENIX
20 ANIMAL CROSSING: NEW LEAF NINTENDO
< previous week

Leisure software charts compiled by Chart Track, (C)2013 UKIE LtdThese charts cannot be reproduced either in print or online without obtaining permission from Ukie. If you wish to reproduce the charts in print or online, please contact david.smith@ukie.org.uk for the appropriate license.

Train2Game News: SpecialEffect Windows Phone 8 app released

SpecialEffect SpecialEffect, the UK charity that helps people with disabilities to play computer games, have released a free Windows Phone 8 app.

The charity are confident that the app, designed at no charge to the charity by Des Gayle of Altered Gene Studios (http://alteredgenestudios.com), will form a vital part of their communications strategy in spreading the word about how they raise the quality of life for gamers with disabilities.

Des is an ambassador of SpecialEffect and has taken part in many fundraising activities for them, including the British 10K run and several footballing events.

“With gaming getting bad press in some quarters it’s even more important that we can increase our communication channels about how gaming can be a force for good,” said the charity’s Communications Officer Mark Saville. “The app contains news, information and links to many wonderful video case studies that show how we’re bringing families together through video games. It’s targeting something that often gets overlooked – that people with disabilities have lives beyond simply ‘being disabled’ and want to enjoy themselves with everyone else.”

The app can be downloaded at
http://www.windowsphone.com/s?appid=e2802437-3a6c-49b2-91eb-fe5499575b9f

Train2Game News: South Park: The Stick of Truth release date

South Park The Stick of TruthThe release date for South Park: The Stick of Truth has been announced. Many fans have been waiting to hear this date, including my self!

Ubisoft, South Park Digital Studios and Obsidian Entertainment announced South Park: The Stick of Truth, will be available in the UK on the 13th of December for the PlayStation 3 computer entertainment system, Xbox 360 video game and entertainment system from Microsoft. The Windows PC release date will be shared at a later time.

In addition, the South Park: The Stick of Truth Grand Wizard Edition, a must-have for any self-respecting South Park fan, will also be available on the 13th of December and features a trove of mystical items from the deepest reaches of South Park to aid you in your quest to acquire the Stick of Truth and rid the realm of evil.

In the Grand Wizard Edition you will receive:

-South Park: The Stick of Truth Game
The full game on Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3.

-Grand Wizard Kidrobot Cartman Figure
Own the Grand Wizard Cartman and his stick of authority with this six-inch replica figure from Kidrobot. The Grand Wizard Cartman figure is not available in stores and can only be found in the Grand Wizard Edition.

-Kingdom of South Park Map
The entire town of South Park has been mapped for the first time in South Park history.

-The Stick of Truth Ultimate Fellowship Pack
Unlock the ultimate fellowship with the one pack to rule them all!  Choose your class and pick your perk with four exclusive Stick of Truth costumes that come equipped with special abilities.  Suit up as the Necromancer Sorcerer to increase your fire damage, earn extra gold by equipping the Rogue Assassin outfit, deal extra weapon damage with the Ranger Elf costume, or raise your defence with the Holy Defender outfit. The choice is yours, New Kid.

You can check out the latest action in South Park: The Stick of Truth by watching the new “Destiny” trailer. In the trailer, the New Kid steps forth and fulfils his…destiny.

YOU MUST BE OVER EIGHTEEN TO WATCH THE TRAILER

Train2Game News: PlayStation Developer Open Days

SONY_logoSony has dated its PlayStation Developer Open Days for October 7 and 8.

The event, the first of a number of developer days planned throughout the next year, is aimed at raising awareness for developing and self-publishing on PlayStation platforms, including the PS4 and PS Vita.

The target audience for the event is new or potentially interested partners from the development community. The event is open to up to 45 developers each day, and is completely free to attend.

Speakers will include SCEE’s developer relations senior account manager Agostino Simonetta, third-party relations VP Michael Pattison and XDev director of product development Pete Smith.

Develop has teamed up with Sony as the media partner for the event, and will be making a presentation on how developers can work with the press, as well as chairing an indie Q&A.

More speakers will be confirmed in the run-up to the developer open days.

“Developing and self-publishing on PlayStation platforms has never been easier for teams of any size,” said third-party relations VP Michael Pattison.

“As part of our continued effort in this area, we are excited to be opening our doors to developers who are interested in exploring PlayStation development and what its like to work with us.”

To declare your interest and register for the event, contact DeveloperEvents@scee.net.

The open days will take place during the afternoon on October 7th and 8th at SCEE’s London office on 10 Great Marlborough Street.

Train2Game News: Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag at Eurogamer

ACIV Ace Of SpadesBe one of the first in the UK to play Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag at the Eurogamer Expo this weekend!

Get hands on with three different demos at the Ubisoft, NVIDIA and Sony stands, and pick up your free exclusive Assassin’s Creed Ace of Spades card, designed by award winning London artist Vic Lee, from stand staff after you have played* (while stocks last).

Fans who pre order Assassin’s Creed IV Black Flag from the GAME stand at the Expo will also receive a limited edition artwork print, exclusively designed for Ubisoft by Vic Lee.

Mr Vic Lee – described variously as a storyteller, artist, illustrator, historian, mapper, ragamuffin and vagabond – can been discovered at www.viclee.co.uk

This is only the beginning of your Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag journey. The Ace of Spades is the key, the question is… to what?

The game will be available to play on a Sony PlayStation 4 I have been told. This seems an excellent game to test the new hardware.

Train2Game News: Valve announces SteamOS

SteamOSValve has made the first of three big announcements this week, the first being a free to download Steam Operating System.

This is Valves next big step in bringing their services to the comfort of your front room on a nice big screen. SteamOS combines the rock-solid architecture of Linux with the gaming experience you’ve come to love and expect from Valve.

The idea behind SteamOS is you don’t have to give up your favorite games, your online friends, and all the Steam features you love just to play on the big screen. SteamOS, running on any living room machine, will provide access to the best games and user-generated content available. At the core of the SteamOS is everything you already love about Steam.

Valve have also achieved significant performance increases in graphics processing and are now targeting audio performance and reductions in input latency at the operating system level. Game developers are already taking advantage of these gains as they target SteamOS for their new releases which should see quality of gaming increase even further.

SteamOS will be available soon as a free download for users and as a freely licensable operating system for manufacturers.

Valve’s second announcement is tomorrow at 10am PST.

Train2Game News: Ind13 Magazine Launches

Ind13New magazine focusing on independent games development has launched.

This weekend saw the launch of a brand new video games magazine called IND13. The magazine focuses on independent games development and has been created by contributors from across the video games industry. The team have come together with the aim of creating a magazine that gives independent games development the attention it deserves.

This month’s issue of the magazine has an interview with editor-in-chief of ind13 magazine and CEO of Global Empire Soft, Richard Hoffman – James Coote, an independent games developer with his own studio and owner of Crystalline Green, gives advice about starting up as an independent – Alan Vader, a retro gamer expert goes back in time to talk about the original bedroom coders and many more interesting articles!

The magazine can be downloaded from the site www.ind13.com in PDF form. This magazine is definitely one to bookmark to make sure you never miss a copy!

Train2Game News: UK Top 20 Games – 23.09.13

GTA VGrand Theft Auto V, unsurprisingly, makes a stunning debut at the top of the Chart this week, breaking all records to become the fastest selling game ever.  With just five days on sale it has become the twenty fourth biggest selling title of all time in the UK.  It has sold more in its first week than the launch weeks of all other GTA titles combined and It’s launch week is 2.4 times greater than that of GTA IV and betters previous best Call of Duty: Black Ops by almost two hundred and fifty thousand units.  It might feel like GTA V was the only new release this week with 89% of all sales being for just that one title, but Pro Evolution Soccer 2014 debuts at number two, while further down the chart at number twenty is Harvest Moon 3D: A New Beginning. Aliens: Colonial Marines has made a return to the charts this week as well thanks to more retailer-promotion.

All formats

Week ending 21 September 2013

POS.  TITLE  PUBLISHER  LAST
WEEK 
1 GRAND THEFT AUTO V ROCKSTAR
2 PRO EVOLUTION SOCCER 2014 KONAMI
3 THE LAST OF US SONY COMPUTER ENT.
4 SAINTS ROW IV DEEP SILVER 1
5 TOM CLANCY’S SPLINTER CELL: BLACKLIST UBISOFT 4
6 MINECRAFT: XBOX 360 EDITION MICROSOFT 6
7 DIABLO III BLIZZARD 3
8 DISNEY INFINITY DISNEY INFINITY 5
9 ALIENS: COLONIAL MARINES SEGA
10 KINGDOM HEARTS HD 1.5 REMIX SQUARE ENIX 2
11 LEGO BATMAN 2: DC SUPER HEROES WARNER BROS. INTERACTIVE 8
12 CALL OF DUTY: BLACK OPS II ACTIVISION 19
13 GRAND THEFT AUTO IV XBOX 360 CLASSICS 20
14 LEGO THE LORD OF THE RINGS WARNER BROS. INTERACTIVE 9
15 MAX PAYNE 3 ROCKSTAR 12
16 RAYMAN LEGENDS UBISOFT 13
17 NEED FOR SPEED MOST WANTED EA GAMES 17
18 FARMING SIMULATOR 2013 FOCUS HOME INTERACTIVE
19 PAYDAY 2 505 GAMES 7
20 HARVEST MOON 3D: A NEW BEGINNING PQUBE
< previous week
Leisure software charts compiled by Chart Track, (C)2013 UKIE Ltd

These charts cannot be reproduced either in print or online without obtaining permission from Ukie. If you wish to reproduce the charts in print or online, please contact david.smith@ukie.org.uk for the appropriate license.

Train2Game News: SpecialEffect Item in Team Fortress 2

Virtual ViewfinderSpecialEffect today announced that the first of their three premium in-game items for Team Fortress 2 has been released in the in-game store through Valve’s Steam Workshop platform.

The item, called The Virtual Viewfinder, produced as a result of their initiative with SEGA Europe Ltd., is available for purchase for £2.99 in the Mann Co. Store, where SEGA’s proceeds of each sale will go direct to the charity.

Mark Saville, Communications Officer at SpecialEffect, said “This is a huge day for us in terms of how the gaming community is able to support our work helping people with disabilities to play video games. It’s the first in-game donation stream that we’ve had, and we’re excited that gamers now have such a direct and engaging way of helping.”

James Schall, Director of Digital Distribution at SEGA Europe, said, “We’ve been blown away by the support from the community. The wonderful comments across the web supporting what we’ve done are incredibly humbling for the team and now gamers can directly support SpecialEffect and get their hands on some great items in one go.”

He added, “I’m a proud ambassador of SpecialEffect and a huge fan of the way they use technology to enrich the lives of those with disabilities. We enjoy a fruitful and collaborative relationship with Valve based on mutual respect; it’s great to be able to use this relationship to drive awareness and revenue for this fantastic charity.”

Players can purchase the item at:

http://store.teamfortress.com/itemdetails/170966833