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Escape Zombie City

3:00 PM, Wednesday, June 4th, 2014 - Posted by John Wilson

Queen Games joins the zombie craze with its second real-time dice-rolling Escape game. Escape: Zombie City is expected to release in October and is a stand-alone game separate from the earlier Escape: Curse of the Temple.

ICv2 had an opportunity to see the prototype at the recent ACD Games Day. Queen Game's Keith Blume was kind enough to give a detailed explanation:

"Basically, in this game, as you're going through you're trying to fend off zombies that are moving toward your base. This time, it's not the center of a temple, it's the church of a town. So, as you're going through the different tiles of the town that get revealed you're trying to acquire some resources that you're actually going to use to stock up your van (I think I called it a VW microbus in the rules) to get away. So, first stage of the game: you're acquiring some resources. Then there's a trip point where you actually get in the van and you've stocked it up with some equipment that you're going to use to defeat the end game zombies and get out of the city."

Escape: Zombie City is a timed cooperative dice game with a strict fifteen minute time limit. It will be playable by two to five players. MSRP has not been announced.

Source: ICv2

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Electronic Arts Must Pay Student Athletes for Likenesses

3:00 PM, Monday, June 2nd, 2014 - Posted by John Wilson

It's been a long and winding road, but the lawsuit between former NCAA student athletes and Electronic Arts over alleged likenesses without compensation in a series of NCAA games may be coming to an end.

Former National Collegiate Athletic Association players originally sued EA back in 2009, stating that the video game company had used their likenesses in multiple NCAA video games without permission or compensation.

Although EA filed many motions to dismiss the lawsuit, the company was eventually forced to settle late last year. Now Hagens Berman, the law firm representing the NCAA players, says that a settlement has been decided, with class members able to receive up to $951 for each year they were featured in one of the NCAA video games.

This means that the settlement could end up costing EA around $40 million in total. Steve Berman, MD of Hagens Berman, noted that this is the first time in history that a partner with the NCAA is having to reimburse student-athletes for using their likenesses.

That's not the end of the story, though. The former students are still suing the NCAA for allegedly looking the other way while EA commercialized the likenesses of students, while the NCAA is suing EA for alleged breach of contract.

Source: Gamasutra

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Rise of Nations Bought by Microsoft

1:00 PM, Sunday, June 1st, 2014 - Posted by John Wilson

After 38 Studios filed for bankruptcy in 2012 its rights to Rise of Nations were sold at auction to an undisclosed party, and now the game is being rereleased on Steam in June by that mysterious buyer: Microsoft.

Rise of Nations: Extended Edition is advertised on Steam as an enhanced version of the original Rise of Nations, the critically-acclaimed RTS developed by the now-defunct Big Huge Games and published by Microsoft Studios back in 2003.

38 Studios acquired the rights to Rise of Nations and its sequel, Rise of Legends, when it acquired Big Huge Games in 2009.

Now Microsoft has tapped Project Spark developer Skybox Labs to update the game and rerelease it with new features like Steamworks integration and Twitch streaming support. It's a familiar job for the British Columbian studio, which also worked on Age of Mythology: Extended Edition and Age of Empires II: HD Edition.

Source: Gamasutra

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Yu-Gi-Oh Heroclix

5:00 PM, Saturday, May 24th, 2014 - Posted by John Wilson

Wizkids has released details for a six month organized play program, beginning in September, for its licensed Yu-Gi-Oh! HeroClix collectible miniature game.

The six month Battle of the Millennium storyline program, which runs from September through March/April, is different from the upcoming OP Kits releasing with the Yu-Gi-Oh! HeroClix Series 2 figures in August. Much like the DC HeroClix and Marvel HeroClix storyline OP, retailers will order monthly kits that contain limited edition competitive and participation prizes as well as rules for the monthly events, which must be scheduled in the WizKids Event System. Each kit is designed to support up to 10 players, and stores may order multiple kits based on their demonstrated HeroClix performance. The kits are not for resale.

For example, the Yu-Gi-Oh! HeroClix: Battle of the Millennium Month One Storyline Organized Play Kit will contain four limited edition competitive prize figures, 11 limited edition participation prize 3D resource objects, 11 limited edition participation prize 3D special objects, five one-sided maps (24" x 36") and a Month One OP addendum/instruction sheet. Expected release on the first kit is September 24.

The Month Six Kit will contain two limited edition grand prize figures, four limited edition competitive prize figures, 22 limited edition participation prize 3D special objects (11 each of two different objects), five one-sided maps, and the addendum/rules sheet. The Month Six Kit is expected to release on March 25.

Source: ICv2

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Level 7 Invasion

12:00 PM, Monday, May 12th, 2014 - Posted by John Wilson

Privateer Press will launch a new Level 7 game, Level 7 [Invasion], in August. The new game is set in 2020, with two alien races battling around the Earth and catching humanity in the crossfire. Players will control Earth's coalitions to repel the invasion, manage resources to combat other threats, and work with one of the alien races to defeat the other.

The game box will contain a board, 5 Coalition Consoles, 5 Dice, 4 Plastic Drop Ships, 75 Plastic Invader Units, 60 Plastic Coalition Units, 210 Cards, 133 Tokens and Markers, 1 Cronos Standee, and the rulebook.

The semi-cooperative game of strategic global defense is for 3-5 players and will retail for $89.99.

Retailers purchasing six at a time can purchase the Level 7 [Invasion] Launch Kit, which will include six games and six promo cards as free-with-purchase premiums.

The game (and universe) were first introduced with Level 7 [Escape] in September 2012.

Source: ICv2

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D & D Collectors Minatures

8:00 PM, Saturday, May 10th, 2014 - Posted by John Wilson

Gale Force Nine has announced it will make its high-end D&D Collector's Series Miniatures available to game retailers beginning next week.

The limited edition premium 30 mm, unpainted resin miniatures were first teased at Gen Con 2012, and began shipping last year. Until now, they have only been available to "a select few specialist D&D stores, 60 in the USA," GF9 parent Battlefront Group CEO John-Paul Brisigotti explained. GF9 has now opened the range to all distributors and stores.

The figures have limited print runs from 1000 - 2000 pieces, and come in three main product configurations: Monsters (large figures), Duels (two creatures), and Adventuring Parties (groups). The figures are often tied to the current D&D Adventure Path, and GF9 releases two SKUs a month.

Making the current line of figures widely available will prep the channel for figures tied to the new version of Dungeons and Dragons, due out this summer.

I have always been a fan of the D&D miniatures and hope that they continue to hold the same resonance for today's players as they did back in the Stone Age when I played.

Source: ICv2
John Wilson writing for Comic Related.com

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Product Review: Gioteck EX3-R Wired Playstation 4 Headset

4:00 PM, Saturday, May 10th, 2014 - Posted by Brandon J. Stennis

Gioteck has once again released a new headset on the gaming market. This time bringing the EX3-R Wired Playstation 4 Headset, similar to Bluetooth headsets that the Playstation consoles are known for using. Will this headset be the one for your next gen console? Let's Get into the Review and Find Out!

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Presentation:

The EX3-R's are very similar to a Bluetooth headset but wired. It can be placed in one ear and you are able to communicate with fellow players within a game or in a chat. I particularly never care for Bluetooth style headsets because I never feel the full experience only having one ear getting all the sound. But this headset doesn't make it too demanding to have the other ear not involved. But you are able to hear in game chat as well as the game on this headset.

The actual headset is pretty sleek, it has a smooth, clean black exterior that makes it look very nice upon appearance. The mic is also not intrusive as it sits kindly on the side of your ear.

The headset comes with 3 replaceable ear cushions so if one gets dirty or a friend plans to use it, you are able to switch it out which is nice.

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Performance:

With the new Playstation 4 controller, you are able just simply plug in the headset into the controller headphone jack and you are all set. There is also a mute on/off ex3r-setupswitch, if you need to turn off the mic at any point. Sadly, there is no volume control on the headset though. Its a bummer if you are trying to adjust your volume in an online match, and you have to go into the "Adjust Device" settings mid game to change your volume, it's a strong negative point that needs to be mentioned.

As I described the great look of the headset earlier, I feel its quality gets brought down by the actual wire and the rubber band look it has. It would have been a perfect look if the headset were wireless or if the wire didn't look so cheap.

The sound quality of the EX3-R is decent. I wished that it was a little bit more clearer and crisp because when playing a game that there is a lot of action, it is hard to focus on what sound you are actually hearing. This can also be a huge make or break factor especially that the headset is in one ear already so you are only getting half of what you are actually hearing.

On the other hand, my voice coming from the headset is much better than Bluetooth devices I have experienced in the past, but if you plan on using it for commentary like on the new video editing Sony software Share Factory, it is not the ideal voice recording device to use. My voice came off very muffled especially when the sound quality of the game I was playing was in HD. It makes the voice commentary seem way low quality compared to the in game sounds.

Final Thoughts:

The Gioteck EX3-R headset is a great start off product for gamers who love the Bluetooth style headsets. With its slick and clean look, it would make anyone want to check it out. But it may not be for everyone, if they want the full experience with both ears hearing the boom!

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Child of Light (Xbox/ Playstation/ Wii U/ PC) Review

9:00 AM, Saturday, May 10th, 2014 - Posted by Brandon J. Stennis

Since the announcement of Child of Light by Ubisoft last year, the game was slightly underwraps with limited information about it. The first reveal of the game was this picture:

Child-of-light-1

Which caused a lot of speculation of what this game could be. As time went on, Ubisoft revealed that the game was an RPG which they are not usually known for. It caused even more interest and peek into the game. Well now the game has been finally released and we got our hands on it. Let's Get into the Review!

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Story:

Child of Light is the story of a young girl named Aurora, who was born in 1895, to two loving parents who were royalty. She becomes sick and she falls into a coma. She wakes up in a whole entirely different world than she's use to and it is many years later from 1895. She realizes that her family is gone but she has no time to cry. She picks up her crown and begins her journey of self discovery and inner strength.

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In her journey, she finds a blue orb called Igniculus who serves as her main companion. Igniculus is able to fly and assist Aurora in battle. He can also be quite comical in some of the dialogue scenes. But as time further goes, Aurora meets many other characters who join her party who also are able to fight with her in battle.

The story of Child of Light is a mix of sad and happy moments, Aurora's life is completely changed when she wakes up in the world of Lemuria. But it is refreshing to see her character, so strong and willing and ready to fight. She is the main protagonist who keeps the party together, especially when many of the characters are older than her.

It was a wonderful story that kept me entertained throughout, every time I played, I hoped I wouldn't be reaching the end.

Gameplay:

Going into reviewing Child of Light, I personally didn't know too much about the game. While I was at Pax East, I did catch a glimpse of some people demoing the game, but I only witnessed the platforming parts. I was pleasantly surprised and shocked when I played the game to learn that it was an very in depth RPG.

With that being said, Child of Light, is a platforming role playing game. The RPG style is turn based and is very similar to the older Final Fantasy titles.

In the main part of the game which is platforming, you can control Aurora and Igniuculus, Ingniculus can gather wishes, which are used to restore MP and HP. He is alsochild-of-light- able to blind upcoming enemies before Aurora fights them, which will give her an advantage.

During battle, Aurora can use various attacks and magics to take down her foes, but to make the turn based combat fresh, you can use Ingniculus to blind enemies, so it will slow down their attack meter and you are able to surpass them to attack first.

You can interrupt enemy attacks if your attack is strong enough. If successfully, you can set back enemy attack times and it will take them longer to attack yo,u but they can also interrupt you as well.

Aurora's party companions can also be used doing battle and switched out depending. They are able to use magics and attacks to fight against enemies. In the beginning of the game, it is just Aurora and Igniuculus but as you gather more characters in your party, the difficulty raises.

That is one thing I loved about this game, especially for a first time RPG player, the difficulty starts of very mild to get players use to the game style. As you go further on in the game, the pace gains and you are expect to go along with it. There is never a dull moment and the game challenges you to stay on your toes.

Presentation:

Graphics: Child of Light is a beautiful game, the artwork is so incredible and so craftily drawn that every new environment or character is an awesome sight. I played this game on the Xbox 360 and the graphics were amazing, so I can only imagine what the game looks like on next gen consoles.

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Sound: The soundtrack to this game is also quite incredible, they spent a lot of time creating the mood and atmosphere to fit into the game, that it works! It is seriously one of the best soundtracks I've heard this year.

Final Thoughts:

Ubisoft, wow, this game has to be one of the great games of this new year. For fans of games like Final Fantasy, they will feel right at home. Some people maybe put off by the style of the game, thinking that it is a children's game, but it is not. The story is quite dark sometimes and takes a very mature approach at certain situations. I could not recommend this game any more than I am now. It is one of those titles that it is worth the price and you will continuously hope won't end.

10/10

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New Pokemon Title Coming November for 3DS

6:00 PM, Friday, May 9th, 2014 - Posted by Brandon J. Stennis

After having a huge release with Pokemon X/Y last year, there will be new Pokemon titles coming to the Nintendo Handheld. It was announced that Pokemon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire will be coming to the Nintendo 3DS/2DS this November. It is a reimaging of Pokemon Ruby and Sapphire for the previous Gameboy handheld.

You can view the announcement trailer here:

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EA Games to Reveal Six Upcoming Titles at E3

9:00 AM, Friday, May 9th, 2014 - Posted by Brandon J. Stennis

We are less than a month away from the greatest week of video games! We have heard announcements about Nintendo's E3 plans amongst others, now we are hearing of Electronic Art's E3 plans. According to Spike TV personality, Geoff Keighley, EA will be premiering their E3 press conference on June 9th for one hour starting 12pm PDT, 3pm EDT, 8pm BST, 9pm CEST with six new planned game reveals on Spike TV.

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