Shacknews - Ozzie Mejia

Remember when Duck Hunt was officially unveiled as a Super Smash Bros. for Wii U combatant during November's Smash Bros.-centric Nintendo Direct? His reveal was followed up by a quick note that the original NES Zapper shooter that started it all would be hitting the Wii U Virtual Console soon. That day has arrived.

Nintendo released the original Duck Hunt on the Wii U Virtual Console, just in time for Christmas. While light guns are no longer all the rage, the game is still fully playable, thanks to the Wii Remote. For those that weren't around during this classic's heyday, the idea is to shoot at ducks that fly around on the screen, leaving them for the Duck Hunt dog to pick up. If you failed, he'd mock you mercilessly, like this!

Duck Hunt is available now on the Wii U eShop for $4.99.

Shacknews - Ozzie Mejia

Despite what some may say, I don't believe 2014 was a bad year for games at all. There were a lot of unappreciated gems out there, some worth grabbing on day one and others worth exploring during the many Steam sales throughout the year. If you haven't played any of these yet, maybe consider giving them a look.

The Wolf Among Us

Telltale has proven themselves to be master storytellers. While they've become largely known for The Walking Dead, their best work of 2014 is actually the Fables-based The Wolf Among Us.

This is everything a good detective story should be, right from the beginning. The neon lighting, the helpless dame, and the countless shady characters offer a window of what the story is. It's the tale of a hard-nosed private eye that just happens to be the fabled Big Bad Wolf. Whether you try and show Bigby as a man that has left his past behind him or fully embrace his ruthless heritage is up to you.

What really makes The Wolf Among Us memorable, however, is the way that the plot points fully converge at the end. It's not just to remind you of what's happened, but it's also a way to turn everything on its head and make you reconsider the choices you've made and remind you that sometimes, there are no takebacks.

Bayonetta 2

It was a long wait for Platinum's encore to the first Bayonetta. This proved to be well worth the wait.

Regardless of your opinion of Bayonetta the character, there's no denying that Bayonetta 2, the game itself, is some of the most fun you'll have this year. It's basically the Devil May Cry formula on steroids, with bombastic battles against larger-than-life celestial forces. The combo system is immensely satisfying and the fights feel epic in every way.

Bravely Default

Those aching for the old-school JRPG experience will feel right at home with Bravely Default. Not only does it fully embrace that classic aesthetic, but it all plays over an incredibly deep Job system.

Uncovering the game's Jobs is a satisfying endeavor in itself, but playing around with each of them and finding a combination that works is some of the most fun I've had in an RPG in a long time. It helps that it works incredibly well with the game's unique take on combat, implementing a 'Default' system that allows characters to hold off on turns for a full-on strike in a later turn.

Even though the wheels start to fall off near the end of the story, Bravely Default's narrative serves as a reminder of why this genre of games is so appealing. It's the kind of alluring pull that Final Fantasy hasn't had in years and one that shows that Square Enix is still the master of the JRPG.

Threes

It's been a strong year for mobile games, but none had the kind of appeal that Threes did. Built on the simplest of premises, Threes basically has players combining numbered cards to create multiples of threes until there are no more available moves.

Yes, it sounds absurdly simple. But the end result is the kind of addictive draw that only puzzle games like Tetris and Bejeweled are capable of. It perfectly captures the "one more time" feeling that separates these types of games from all others and kicked off an entire series of clones and wannabes. There's nothing like the original, though, and it's a game that belongs on every iOS device.

Shacknews - Ozzie Mejia

Ubisoft recently released a new patch for Far Cry 4 on PC. Unfortunately, PC patch 1.6.0 seems to have introduced some major bugs that are not allowing players to save their progress.

Users on both the Far Cry 4 forums and our own Chatty community have observed that the crash occurs when your character is at Karma level 8. Upon reaching this level, autosave will not function and attempting to save manually will lead to a freeze.

It's an unfortunate lump of coal for Far Cry 4 players right before Christmas, made slightly more confounding by the fact that Ubisoft curiously omitted any patch notes for 1.6.0. Shacknews will monitor this situation and update this post as soon as there are any updates.

The full patch notes from the game's Steam Announcements page are as follows:

  • Added hotkey for toggling the HUD on/off (F11)
  • Fixed an issue when the game loaded incorrect save from Uplay Cloud
  • Fixed an issue with performance drop for Crossfire Multi-GPU
  • Fixed an issue with broken shadows in the northern region
  • Fixed various Controls issues
  • Fixed various Graphic issues
  • Fixed various IGE issues
  • Fixed various UI issues
  • Fixed various Uplay/Steam issues
  • Memory usage reduced
Shacknews - Ozzie Mejia

Update: Ubisoft would rather not be known as the ones that ruined Christmas for PC users, so a post on the Far Cry 4 forums notes that a hotfix is incoming and should be deployed shorly. Thanks to FirstPersonCooter for the tip.

Original story: Ubisoft recently released a new patch for Far Cry 4 on PC. Unfortunately, PC patch 1.6.0 seems to have introduced some major bugs that are not allowing players to save their progress.

Users on both the Far Cry 4 forums and our own Chatty community have observed that the crash occurs when your character is at Karma level 8. Upon reaching this level, autosave will not function and attempting to save manually will lead to a freeze.

It's an unfortunate lump of coal for Far Cry 4 players right before Christmas. Shacknews will monitor this situation and update this post as soon as there are any updates.

The full patch notes from the game's Steam Announcements page are as follows:

  • Added hotkey for toggling the HUD on/off (F11)
  • Fixed an issue when the game loaded incorrect save from Uplay Cloud
  • Fixed an issue with performance drop for Crossfire Multi-GPU
  • Fixed an issue with broken shadows in the northern region
  • Fixed various Controls issues
  • Fixed various Graphic issues
  • Fixed various IGE issues
  • Fixed various UI issues
  • Fixed various Uplay/Steam issues
  • Memory usage reduced
Shacknews - Steve Watts

The year is winding down, and the Shack staff is preparing for a well-deserved break. You'll be seeing various year-end retrospectives going up over the next several days, including a look back at the PC market, the three big consoles, important developments in technology, and even a look back at what this year has meant for Shacknews itself. Starting next week, you'll also see us reveal our top 10 games of 2014. Two will be revealed every day throughout the week, and you'll be able to hear a special edition podcast in which we discuss our favorites and why they made the list. Throughout this time we'll be keeping an eye out for breaking news to share with our readers, but we expect the industry will be taking a long winter's nap.

Have a happy and safe holiday!

Shacknews - Shack Staff

Steve Watts

I usually go into long breaks with the best of intentions. Why, I'm going to conquer my backlog and start the new year fresh! But then there's family obligations and games turn out much longer than I realized and oh hey I should probably get all these collectibles in Far Cry! So I fully expect I'll make much less progress than I want to, but if I finish a single game, I'll be happy.

Far Cry 4 is definitely on the docket, and I'll keep plugging away at Dragon Age Inquisition. I'm also planning to catch up on some of the Halo 5 beta, while it lasts. Plus, since I'll be traveling to visit family, I have a full mobile queue that includes The Banner Saga and Monument Valley. That is, for the moments I pull myself away from Hearthstone. Put this apple on yer head!

Steven Wong

I never really left Kyrat, so I'll most likely be spending many more hours playing Far Cry 4. There's still a lot of endangered species to hunt, especially those stupid eagles. Once I get tired of that, I'm certain that I'll be playing more Dragon Age: Inquisition to hit those side missions I initially missed out on.

If I manage to pry myself from these epic mega-sized games, there are tons of games sitting in my library that I need to finish. I'm looking squarely at The Tesla Effect. I'll also be getting together with family, so I'll be getting some nice Gauntlet parties going.

Ozzie Mejia

'Tis the season to start a whole lot of new games. For me, Dragon Age: Inquisition and Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor are sitting in my stocking, waiting to be played. But more than anything, I'd like to make room for the Halo 5 multiplayer beta that's running through the holiday. So I'll probably be playing no less than half a dozen games while we're out. We've worked really hard on the staff and it's time to finally catch up on what I've missed.

Daniel Perez

This holiday I'll be spending a lot of time catching up with games that I briefly got into over the past few weeks. Far Cry 4 has been eating up a lot of my time lately, so I'm hoping I can complete its main story line and from time to time, jump back in to handle some side missions and activities since those have always been fun to do as well.

I'll also be playing Dragon Age: Inquisition as its story and combat mechanics have really got me hooked. Even though my mage character feels kind of under powered compared to previous Dragon Age titles, but I'm still getting by with what BioWare has offered.

I need to also spend some time with my growing Steam library. I picked up all three recently released Batman games, Skyrim, Fallout 3, Fallout: New Vegas, and a ton of other games that I want to replay on my Alienware Alpha.

Oh! And Hearthstone. Lots of lots of Hearthstone.

Joe Tirado

Over the break I will be most likely dealing out double kills in Halo 5: Guardians Multiplayer Beta. When I get tired of that, I will be continuing to avoid all of the creatures in Far Cry 4. Did I mention there are an absurd amount of creatures in Far Cry 4? And since I chose Wasteland 2 as my #1 in GOTY, I will most likely try to start a new game with a new party and character. I googled how to put in custom character portraits, so I think my starting party might consist of Sulik from Fallout 2, Duke Nukem, Sgt. Hugo Stiglitz , and Leon the Professional.

Andrew Zucosky

My Christmas break is going to look a lot like my Thanksgiving break, since I have yet to beat Dragon Age: Inquisition. That's kind of my fault, but I'm in no rush. Other than that, I'm probably going to be playing a lot of Super Smash Bros for the Wii U. I really want to work on my Ness game, and pick up some new characters like Sheik and Samus. Then it's on to League of Legends until 4 o'clock in the morning

Sam Leichtamer

For Christmas this year I’ll be building myself a PC, so I’ll be playing all the games I missed out on for the past couple years. The first game I’ll probably buy is Killing Floor. I’m also going to pick up a few of those strange simulator games like I am Bread and Eurotruck Simulator. I hear Chatty does a weekend convoy, maybe I can join!

Joe Stasio

This coming holiday break, I’ll be building my MyTeam in NBA2K15. After a small hiatus, I recently rediscovered how addicting it can be to collect your team as you grind through the terrible teams in the league (the East) and make your way through battling the best teams the league has to offer (the West). Here’s my current starting lineup: Marc Gasol (C) Andre Drummond (PF) Paul Millsap (SF) Monta Ellis (SG) Brandon Jennings (PG) - as you can see my starting line up is both gigantic and super tiny, simultaneously. If you’d like to play, find me @juicehawk on Xbox ONE. I’m looking to acquire a ruby ’04-’05 Pau Gasol (Grizzlies era) so most of my starting five is up for grabs in exchange. Offers welcome! Merry Christmas, happy holidays, happy new year, and go Knicks.

Josh Hawkins

My holiday season is going to be filled with digging deeper into Endless Legends and Elite Dangerous, as well as a little This War of Mine and NeoScavenger. I'm also moving along in both Dragon Age: Inquisition and Far Cry 4, but there are just so many games and so little time to play them all.

Shacknews - Ozzie Mejia

Double Fine has been busy with its collective slate of titles coming up in 2015, however, they wouldn't be who they are if they didn't pay respects to the previous generation of games. Today, the studio launched a special series of videos (in conjunction with 2 Player Productions) called "Devs Play" that not only examines a select game from the past, but also goes the extra mile by offering developer commentary from one of the creators of that game.

Today, Double Fine's Greg Rice looks at 1994's game adaptation of The Lion King. He's joined by co-founder of Westwood Studios, Louis Castle, for a unique perspective into the making of The Lion King, as well as an informed playthrough of the full game.

Double Fine has also laid out their full season schedule for Devs Play, including The Legend of Zelda on January 13 and a playthrough of the original Doom with John Romero on January 20.

Check out the first Devs Play featuring the 16-bit classic, The Lion King, below.

Shacknews - Daniel Perez

The end of the year is a great time for gamers to catch up on the year’s big releases before we start even considering what’s coming up next year. Playing high-profile games is a safe way to go as most of them typically end up being worth our time and money, but there are some less popular titles that you may have missed that I personally think everyone should consider to play some time before the end of the year.

Lego Batman 3: Beyond Gotham

I played most of the big-name kid-friendly games this year, and my favorite by far was Lego Batman 3: Beyond Gotham. First off, the game doesn’t require you to purchase real-life toys in order to enjoy the game, which will make all of our wallets extremely happy. Second, it’s a game that really people of all ages can enjoy. Its gameplay is simple enough for the little ones to enjoy, and there are enough cameos and homages to not only the DC Universe, but to pop culture in general, to have adults squee in enjoyment.

To get a better idea of why I thought Lego Batman 3: Beyond Gotham is a great game, check out my review.

Gauntlet

I’m a fan of most game genres, but one of my most favorites genres has to be hack and slash. During my time reviewing the Alienware Alpha, I played a lot of Gauntlet. Being a fan of the original game and its follow-ups, the new Gauntlet gives the same feel of the classic games while also giving them a more modern hack and slash feel.

You’ll once again be fighting as either the Warrior, Valkyrie, Elf, and Wizard as you make your way through various dungeons to kill anything that even remotely looks like an enemy. Your heroes have special abilities in addition to their normal attacks and they can don new gear that can be purchased with gold earned in-game. And as you’d expect, the game supports 4-player co-op both online and offline, and the game actually is much more fun when you play with more people.

Broforce

Bro. Bro? Brooooooooo!!

Indie games have been gaining in popularity recently, and one that I really enjoy is Broforce. Broforce is a side-scrolling shoot-em-up that features some of Hollywood’s most iconic action film stars. Although in this game, they’ve been turned into “bro” versions of themselves, which adds to the game’s charm as you learn what bro names the developers have come up with some of the action heroes included in the game. Some of my favorites are Rambro, Indiana Brones, and Brobocop.

Gaining these bros is done by rescuing a certain amount of hostages throughout each level played. The game informs the player how many hostages needs to be rescued in order to gain the next bro, and each rescue results in a new bro to randomly be thrown into the game. This adds a nice mix of gameplay mechanics as each bro has a weapon and grenade specific to their character.

If you enjoy side-scrolling shoot-em-ups wrapped in an awesomely nostalgic 8-bit shell, then give Broforce a shot.

Transistor

The one game that had the deepest impact on me this year had to be Supergiant Games’ Transistor. I actually had a copy of the game sitting in my PlayStation 4 library for months as I just couldn’t find the time to play it, but once I did, I knew this game was something really special.

You play as Red as you awaken in the middle of a futuristic city next to a weapon known as the Transistor. As you progress through the game, you find out a group of influential people within the city, known as the Camerata, wanted to put an end to Red’s glory as she was known for being a famous singer. The group used a group of robots to attack Red, known as the Process, which she battles throughout the game in order to learn the truth of what occurred and who was behind it.

As Red progresses through the story, she’ll come across Process that attempt to stop her in her tracks. Transistor’s battle system can either be performed in real-time, or you can plan each of your attacks against the Process. As your Transistor gains in power, you’ll unlock new abilities that can either be used to perform more devastating attacks or could benefit Red in a number of other ways.

Transistor’s story, especially towards the end as you learn what happened to Red, is what really impressed me. There aren’t many games that make me shed tears, but Transistor did and I will never forget how it made me feel while I was playing it. Transistor is definitely a game that I would highly recommend you check out sooner rather than later.

Shacknews - Ozzie Mejia

It was a good year for horror games, whether it was the blockbuster The Evil Within, the procedural Daylight, or more tales from Outlast. However, there was one horror effort that stood out above all others. This is especially remarkable considering it isn't even technically a full game.

Earlier this year, a major franchise emerged from the shadows. And just like the things that go bump in the night, it jumped out at everyone when they least expected it.

August 12: Sony reveals PT at Gamescom

Sony had quite an interesting reveal during its Gamescom media briefing. The company revealed a teaser trailer for an interactive demo called PT, which was short for "Playable Teaser."

The demo revealed little information, other than some gothic and frightful imagery. Also, there were a lot of frightened players.

There was no other information given. Viewers were simply instructed to download the demo from the PlayStation Store. However, as the hours passed, there was ample buzz emerging from players that tried the demo out. Apparently, there was far more to this seemingly mundane teaser than met the eye.

Little did anyone know...


August 13: PT becomes Silent Hills

Those that survived all the way to the end of the PT demo were greeted with one of the biggest surprises of the year. The demo had turned out to be one giant teaser for the return of the Silent Hill franchise, with Metal Gear Solid creator Hideo Kojima and acclaimed film director Guillermo Del Toro teaming up for Silent Hills.

While the official reveal was at the end of the PT demo, Bloody Disgusting let the cat out of the bag days after it debuted. The teaser revealed the same protagonist, played by The Walking Dead's Norman Reedus, wandering into an abandoned town with a flashlight before viewers were treated to the Silent Hills title, followed by the Kojima Productions logo. The game will be built with Kojima's Fox Engine, the same one used most recently for Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes.

Guillermo Del Toro's involvement was somewhat of a shocker, but probably shouldn't have been. He's previously expressed his enthusiasm about the gaming medium and was actually working on a new horror game with Saints Row/Red Faction developer Volition on a new horror trilogy called Insane. Unfortunately, with THQ biting the dust, Insane never came to be and the rights were returned to Del Toro. Now Del Toro looks to pick up where he left off and couldn't have found a better partner to reinvigorate a troubled franchise than Kojima.


August 16: PT terrifies the Shacknews video crew

Come on, you didn't think we were going to have a discussion about PT without reliving poor Andrew Zucosky's trauma, did you?

Days after the PT demo debuted, the Shacknews video crew tried it out for themselves. While Joe and Sam offered moral support (and John stayed behind the scenes, doing his best to avoid looking at the screen), it was largely Andrew that braved the dark halls of the PT house.

The result was pure terror and also one of the single most entertaining videos to emerge from the Shacknews video crew all year. Though Andrew remains in therapy, Shacknews saw this experience as a net positive. Relive the memories with the video below.


September 18: Silent Hills haunts Tokyo Game Show

After all the hoopla surrounding the PT interactive teaser and its eventual reveal, a second trailer had quite a tough act to follow. Unfortunately, the Tokyo Game Show trailer didn't have quite the same interactive appeal as the original game.

What the newer teaser did offer was a newer glimpse into the latest setting for the series. Horrific imagery was all over the place, with the walls bleeding worms, creepy toys wandering the halls, and a mysterious hallway offering asylum from a horrific creature coming down the halls. It was straightforward, but did an effective job of laying out what's next for the beloved horror franchise.


What's next in 2015

Teasers are fine and all, but fans will be clamoring for gameplay in 2015. They'll also be wondering if the new Silent Hills will offer sufficient substance to go along with its slick style. Our own Nathaniel Hohl lined up everything that Silent Hills should aim for. Meanwhile, Brittany Vincent looked at everything that made the Silent Hill series so special with her two part retrospective, laying a foundation of what fans are hoping for with this new Kojima/Del Toro collaboration.

If Silent Hills can keep the scares coming, just as it did with PT, then this should be the franchise rejuvenation that fans have been aching for. Look for more information to come out of the darkness next year.

Shacknews - Ozzie Mejia

Iron Galaxy has a holiday gift for Killer Instinct fans. The original arcade classic that started it all is about to get a very special addition: online play.

KI Team Lead Kraig Kujawa made the announcement on the game's forums. The folks at Code Mystics have completed work on an online foundation for the original Killer Instinct and servers are set to go live tonight at 5PM PST.

Kujawa also offered a glimpse into some of the features and bug fixes that will be implemented in the game's next update. One of the big ones is a new option to disable the right analog stick in the Options menu. Bug fixes will mainly address issues surrounding the recently-added Riptor.

Killer Instinct Classic is available to all owners of the KI Season One Ultra Edition.

...

Search news
Archive
2014
Dec   Nov   Oct   Sep   Aug   Jul  
Jun   May   Apr   Mar   Feb   Jan  
Archives By Year
2014   2013   2012   2011   2010  
2009   2008   2007   2006   2005  
2004   2003   2002