As fans bask in the excitement of one new old-school-style RPG being unveiled, we are hit with some not-so-good news about Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition. Beamdog has announced the game is not coming out next week as planned. Instead, it has been delayed until November 30.
Company president Trent Oster took to the Baldur's Gate forums to explain that the task was bigger than first imagined, even with volunteers continuing to help: "After recently reviewing the game and then consulting with our partners, we've decided to ensure that Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition is the best possible product on launch. Thus, we have pushed back the release date of the game."
New characters, missions and areas are being included to go with the beefed up original game, which was supposed to release on September 18. To make up for the delay, Oster said the company is working on "something a little extra" for people who have already pre-ordered the game.
Good news, ball-bouncing fans! EA has released the first in-game trailer for NBA Live 13! Oh, and revealed that the long-overdue revival of the series will take a little longer, as it's delayed. That's a bit of bad news, I suppose. Sorry I didn't prepare you adequately.
"Many fans have been anticipating an early October launch, but our plan is to release at a later date," EA said in a blog post. "We will share more information in the future." That's all. Hopefully the holdup will be sorted out by the time the NBA season begins on October 30.
Coming to Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, NBA Live is built upon the new Playmaker engine, which has all sorts of fancy animation tech for a smooth basket-balling experience. It will also be EA Sports' first entry to the franchise since 2009.
Garnett Lee is joined by "Indie" Jeff Mattas and regular guest Andrea Rene for another round of Weekend Confirmed. On the docket this week are a number of topics surrounding the recent Wii U launch announcements, including some debate about pricing, the strength of its launch title lineup, and who Nintendo is courting as the console's core audience. Developer Klei's Mark of the Ninja gets some universal admiration from the crew, as well. Jeff has to skip out before the last segment, and Garnett and Andrea pull everything together with some early impressions of Borderlands 2 and, of course, Finishing Moves.
Weekend Confirmed Ep. 130: 09/14/2012
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Weekend Confirmed comes in four segments to make it easy to listen to in segments or all at once. Here's the timing for this week's episode:
Round 1 00:00:35 â" 00:30:58
Whatcha Been Playing Part 1 00:31:50 â" 01:00:41
Whatcha Been Playing Part 2 01:01:26 â" 01:28:23
Listener Feedback/Front Page News 01:29:04 â" 02:01:04
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Original music in the show by Del Rio. Get his latest Album, Club Tipsy on iTunes. Check out more, including the Super Mega Worm mix and other mash-ups on his ReverbNation page or Facebook page, and follow him on twitter @delriomusic.
After four days of teases and speculation, Obsidian Entertainment has unveiled Project Eternity as its newest RPG in development. It is looking for $1.1 million on Kickstarter for a game that pays homage to the old Infinity Engine games we loved from the days of Black Isle Studios.
The Kickstarter page for the game (which is using Project Eternity as a working title) says the dev team hopes to "recapture the magic, imagination, depth, and nostalgia of classic RPGs that we enjoyed making -- and playing." Obsidian boasts many of the same Black Isle members that created such games as Planescape: Torment, Icewind Dale and Baldur's Gate, including Feargus Urquhart Josh Sawyer, and Chris Avellone. They also have Tim Cain, who worked on Fallout, Arcanum and Temple of Elemental Evil.
For more details check out the video below. The game has already collected more than $85,000 in the short time it has been live.
Perhaps the biggest surprise from yesterday's Wii U press conference was Nintendo TVii. Nintendo has never aggressively pursued non-gaming pursuits, so offering a video-on-demand service that combines live TV and DVR services all for free seemed a bit... atypical, to say the least. However, after seeing a demonstration of the service, it's easy to see how Nintendo is making TVii possible. It employs surprisingly low-tech, old-school solutions to create something new.
The biggest piece of the puzzle was how TVii would offer live television. Considering the strict restrictions imposed by cable and satellite networks, it would seem strange that Nintendo was getting the red carpet treatment. Indeed, Nintendo bypasses the need to collaborate with these providers because live TV is not an IPTV service.
Instead, TVii is a glorified TV Guide. By connecting to the internet, TVii can access up-to-date programming schedules. When you initially set up TVii, you'll have to input the requisite information to get the correct channel and content listing. For example, if you're using Time Warner Cable in New York City, you simply input that information into the Wii U.
In order to access live TV, the Wii U utilizes one of the oldest tricks in the book: IR. As previously mentioned, the GamePad can function as a universal television remote. Once you identify your television and input that information into the GamePad, TVii will let you simply connect to the correct channel to watch live TV.
Thinking about the technology powering it, there's nothing "revolutionary" about TVii. However, it certainly makes finding movie and television content easier. TVii will become an even more useful service once Nintendo adds more content providers to the mix. (And don't worry, if you want to exclude services you don't subscribe to from your search results, you can.) Given the clever low-tech nature of Nintendo TVii, it's no surprise that Nintendo is able to offer it free with no subscription fees.
After hearing the Wii U details and eyeing some trade-ins, you might be tempted to head down to your local games retailer and give them your Wii. We'd advise you to wait, at least if you want to keep all of your old data and purchased Virtual Console games.
A Nintendo representative confirmed to Gimmie Gimmie Games that a content transfer from the Wii to Wii U will require you to have both systems connected to the Internet at once. The rep compared the process to transferring between the DS/3DS family of systems.
That transfer will include all of your Miis, WiiWare, and Virtual Console games. You probably don't want to have to repurchase those games, so best to keep your old neglected Wii around for a while longer.
I'm probably one of the few that enjoyed Danger Close's reboot of the Medal of Honor series. Albeit uninspired and short, I enjoyed the middle-of-the-road approach taken by the studio to create a game that's not-quite-sim and not-quite-arcade shooter. It felt like a more refined take on modern warfare than what Call of Duty had to offer. Given how saturated the market is, EA certainly tried its best to differentiate its offering.
Two years later, EA is giving the Medal of Honor series another whirl. This time, there's a brand new engine and a more bombastic, action-packed narrative. But is it any better? That's questionable.
The brief single player demo I had a chance to play offered very little look into what makes Warfighter unique. New to this year's game is Frostbite 2--a gorgeous engine that produces great results, but also happens to make the game look not unlike Battlefield 3. I did notice that destructibility does come into play, as cover gets chipped away by gunfire. More than once was I able to kill someone through a wall, for example.
As a Medal of Honor vet, the controls were immediately accessible. It didn't take long before I was able to take cover, lean and peek, and shoot. Oddly, though, there was no ability to go prone (at least in this demo). The omission is surprisingly frustrating, especially when you want to take some very low cover.
After 10 minutes of play, I wasn't able to find a single thing that made Warfighter stand out. In fact, the mission I played ended with you marking a target, then switching to a helicopter to man a turret. At this point, I feel like we've played this sequence a dozen times already.
I asked an EA representative if "that's it" to the demo. He was insistent on pointing out the cinematic work of Digital Domain, who worked on the pre-rendered story sequences. While the narrative certainly has a somber, serious tone, I wasn't particularly impressed. In fact, I found it odd that EA would choose to outsource the storytelling to an entirely different team. I'd much rather see the story told through Frostbite 2 than having to see odd humanoid characters from the uncanny valley.
Given how brief my time with Medal of Honor Warfighter was, it's hard to make a solid conclusion on its progress. It's certainly competent, albeit uninspired. But given how interest in the series is waning, it would certainly behoove EA to bring its A game.
Disclaimer: Electronic Arts held this preview event at a Linkin Park concert. The publisher paid for a ticket for Shacknews to attend the event.
Good morning, Shack. It's the end of another week, and it is ending on somewhat of a high note. The Wii U launch date and price were announced yesterday and, unless you slept the day away, you were probably inundated with stories and features about Nintendo's new console (staying with Shacknews first, I hope).
Aside from Bayonetta 2 and The Wonderful 101, I'm not sure there is anything I'm even remotely interested in at a $300 price point. I'm surprised that, after the success of the Wii as a family-based unit, Nintendo is apparently not sticking with its family theme. That price hits families a lot harder as a home entertainment system, but as gamers, we expect systems to take a chunk out of our wallets. I guess Nintendo wants to focus on its core, since families on budgets will be less inclined to splurge on a vanity item such as the Wii U at that price.
It will be interesting to see how the console does when it launches on November 18 in time for Black Friday. We'll know if things like Nintendo Land and Nintendo TVii are enough to tease families into dropping the cash for a gift that not everyone may want to use. Andrew pointed out to me that Nintendo has always been one for the gimmicks. Some succeed (Wii, DS), and some don't (GameCube, Virtual Boy). Which one will this be?
Today is deadline day for many projects we have been tracking. First, Black Mesa finally launched at 8:47 a.m. Mountain Time (the time the original Half-Life started for the uneducated), and is one of the first projects to get the Steam Greenlight from fans. (We have the download, by the way.)
Also facing a deadline today is Planetary Annihilation, although the only mystery now is whether the 42,000-plus people that donated will come up with their pledges for the game. Uber Entertainment's project hit every one of its stretch goals, fueled by a late surge of pledges to see Galactic War and a full symphony musical score added to the game. And as a bit of icing on the cake, Uber hit its last goal of $2.1 million--with six hours to go--to make a full documentary chronicling the game's development.
Finally, Obsidian has used its web site to tease their upcoming RPG with vague quotes and cryptic references over the last four days, and it seems the general consensus from fans is that this could be a Planescape: Torment game entitled Eternity. There have also been clues that it could be a Kickstarter project. We'll know for sure when the official announcement is made at noon PT (if their countdown holds true). I'd rather have a new PlaneScape game than Dungeon Siege 4, if I had to choose.
Random bits & Quick hits: Bethesda and Ubisoft continue to push Dishonored and Assassin's Creed 3 very hard as release dates approach for both games. I've found the developer documentaries really interesting, but I know they weren't aimed at me since I had already planned on playing both games ... If you haven't entered our Firefall founders giveaway yet, you still have time until Sunday night. Remember to follow the rules ... Blizzard is hopping into the "way-back" machine for the next Diablo 3 patch, with features spawned from Diablo 2. I'm still not going back, though.
Flashback: All this talk about Wii U got me thinking about the original Wii and playing with my kids. My son would beat me in Wii Sports bowling, but I could beat him and my daughter in Boom Blox. The Wii really was a good family console.
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Grab your crowbars and spectacles, everyone. The Source engine fan remake of the original Half-Life is now available. It went live at 8:47 AM Mountain Time, which should sound awfully familiar to fans. The labor of love has taken eight years and has added a few notable tweaks to the classic, with at least one more revision on the way post-launch.
The Source mod has added some new bits of dialogue, and plans to make revisions to the Xen portion of the game sometime in the future. It opted to remove that part completely from the initial release. Other than those changes, it will be a much prettier version of Half-Life. The excitement was enough to garner a spot in the first batch of Steam's Greenlight program, and chances are we have more than a few Half-Life enthusiasts in the Shacknews audience.
Also available is the full soundtrack for your listening pleasure. Download it from us.
Although we had a chance to play Nintendo Land at E3, there wasn't much to say about it. It was a straightforward collection of mini-games, after all. However, two of the "attractions" introduced during yesterday's Nintendo press conference showed off much more depth we'd seen previously. Pikmin Adventure, for example, looks like a fully-fledged Pikmin game. At a glance, Metroid Blast also looks like a rather complex third-person shooter.
Pikmin Adventure is definitely the more successful of the two efforts, if only because it stays truer to the source material. In fact, it even adds something unique to the series: the ability to actually play as a Pikmin. The player with the GamePad controls Olimar, and his experience is not unlike that of playing the original Pikmin game. You have a set of Pikmin at your employ, and you can throw them at enemies in order to progress through the level.
Additional players (on Wii Remotes) take control of individual Pikmin. The moveset is limited, as all you can do is run around and hit things with your head. However, the player with the GamePad can call you in with his whistle and direct you to specific objectives. Cooperation is pretty vital to make it through the level, as many traps require being aided by another player.
It looks and feels like a Pikmin game, which is why it's easily one of the strongest attractions we've seen in Nintendo Land so far. But don't think this will replace the need for Pikmin 3. Missing from Pikmin Adventure is the depth you'd expect from the franchise. For example, I was a blue Pikmin. As I jumped into the water, I thought maybe I'd get some kind of advantage. Alas, it appeared everyone could walk alongside me.
At least Pikmin stays true to its source material, something that can't be said of Metroid Blast. The Metroid franchise was never about the shooting, so it's disappointing to see Nintendo craft an experience that's centered entirely around that. Even worse, Nintendo couldn't even bother to replicate the gorgeous art style of the Prime games, opting to create a bland environment that looks worse than most last-gen games.
Blast offers a Horde-like mode, where you must simply defeat waves of incoming enemies. Shooting is incredibly rudimentary. If you play as the Samus-clone, you'll use the Wii Remote and aim at the screen, as in previous Wii shooters. If you play as the Gunship, you use the GamePad's analog sticks to control the ship and gyroscope to aim. (I am not a fan of gyroscopic aim.)
There are some power-ups scattered throughout the environment, but I was especially disappointed to see that Metroid Blast couldn't add some more elements from the Metroid franchise. Why not have rocket upgrades? Or new hand cannons, like ice and plasma? Why does transforming into a ball make you move around the environment slower? Metroid experimented with multiplayer shooting in Metroid Prime 2--and that was a far better experience than the one offered in Nintendo Land.
At best, Nintendo Land games offer a simple distraction. At worst, they sully the franchises we've come to know and love. At E3, Nintendo said they are "putting the Nintendo name on the line" with this game--and so far, their bet is looking like it will come up short.