To Infinity and beyond?

dInfinitySad to see but the toys-to-life market seems to have cost Disney too much for their personal plans. $147 million to be exact; and with that have decided to cancel their Infinity series.

Disney’s game publishing arm, which appears to be defunct at this point, is part of the Consumer Products & Interactive Media division. That group saw a dip of 2% year-over-year for the quarter, but is up 4% at the half-year mark.

With this news they released a statement in which they said:

“After a thorough evaluation, we have modified our approach to console gaming and will transition exclusively to a licensing model,” says Disney consumer products and interactive media chairman Jimmy Pitaro. “This shift in strategy means we will cease production of Disney Infinity, where the lack of growth in the toys-to-life market, coupled with high development costs, has created a challenging business model.  This means that we will be shutting down Avalanche, our internal studio that developed the game.  This was a difficult decision that we did not take lightly given the quality of Disney Infinity and its many passionate fans.”dInfinityRange

It is a shame that the Infinity series reached this point, thoughts go out to the employees affected by this situation with the CEO Bob Iger adding “..I give the developer a lot of credit for the product that they made. It was extremely well-received. But we knew going in that there would be a lot of risk with this product and the fact that we did so well initially gave us the confidence to continue with it. The truth of the matter is that the risks that we saw at the beginning when we started this caught up with us.”

Sad news but we hope the people affected move on to better opportunities.

E3 ‘the gaming Mecca’ : Day 0

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Ubisoft were third on the line up of press conference shows on Day 0 & with the current hype over just a few of their franchise games that are expected to come out, Ubisoft had a cool show in mind and we all knew it.

Ubisoft kept theirs short and sweet. Most of their games are multi-platform and so, like EA, they got to show off their own franchises in the best light:

First up was Rainbow Six: Siege

then Just Dance 2016

then Anno: 2205

then For Honor

also up Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate

One unexpected piece of the Ubisoft Gold was:

then some more on the upcoming start in the Tom Clancy legacy, The Division

and to end, like Tom Clancy isn’t smiling enough upstairs, Ghost Recon: WildLands

nice, short and sweet. The way Ubisoft always does it

keep on following as always

Ciao-su =^_^=

E3 ‘the gaming Mecca’ : Day 0

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Day 0 of E3 was not Microsoft’s day alone as next up was Electronic Arts; most commonly known in today’s world as EA – “it’s in the game”

With collaborations across the various platforms EA were there to show that just because they make games for both console giants doesn’t mean they can’t impress just as well. Choosing to start from the top they began with the introduction of NEED FOR SPEED :

need for speedThis title featured a return to what is great about the franchise in all the forms it has been given to us before in the form of being an icon in each of the five things that make the franchise fun.

  • Speed – Speed is the connection that exists between car and driver that is only present at top speeds. It’s about keeping your nerve and never lifting off the gas. It’s about the adrenaline rush of taking a corner at high speed, having faith that your car will hold firm and not loose grip. The fearless always push the limits.
  • Style – Style is pure expression through driving, sending your car into a corner sideways with ultimate precision. It’s the feeling of freedom for that split second as your tires leave the ground, when you find yourself in a place where only you and the car exist. For some, style is all that matters.
  • Build – Build is where you take your car to the extreme through both visual and performance modification. The constant need to improve and personalize, shaping the car to your own vision. Craftsmen build, searching for perfection.
  • Crew – Ride together with your Crew and never hit the streets alone. Put your faith in others as bumpers come within inches of one another. This is the skill of close proximity chaos.
  • Outlaw – Become an Outlaw, messing with and escaping from the cops. Always looking to raise the stakes through risk vs reward driving, pushing the limits and looking over your shoulder. Live life on the edge as you crave the thrill of the chase.

EA boasted the seamless integration of actors and game elements within scenes & gameplay. From this the introduction to their Star Wars The Old Republic: Knights of the Fallen Empire

this fan favourite was said to be created with the fans requests in mind, with the want of more BioWare like choice based gameplay (play Mass Effect/Dragon Age if you are unsure what we mean) that determines outcomes in your story at pivotal points.

Another point of interest was the unveiling of the new IP unravel:

Using yarn like mechanics the game focuses on expressing the puzzle solutions in the different style, similar to LittleBig Planet but not ‘sickbay’ style. Also EA were of course showing of the 16’s of their sports gaming franchises:

golf 2016

and of course

Thats enough of the re-skinned gaming as EA really did fire on all cylinders this year with more trailers and gameplay footage, hope you enjoy:

February 2016 –

This wasn’t the only game on everyone’s mind with the soon to be released star wars film; Battlefront was in the air… then on screen:

The latter stages of EA’s press conference was their display of mobile applications syncing and sometimes enhancing their entertainment features with partner apps like the FIFA Ultimate Team 2015. This is a concept that will be ambitiously put to use with their Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic title, called Star Wars: Galaxy of heroes.

Electronic Arts are really making sure to keep up both on both console’s and on their own success as last year Titanfall was the talk of E3

more to follow as always

ciao-su =^_^=

What do you do with a man with no fear?…. Call him Daredevil.

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Here we have one of Netflix’s most recent projects (in partnership with Marvel), another original series, Daredevil. Im sure we are all, if not mostly, now believe in the power of Netflix and this series only helps them dominate the streaming world. This series displays the life of the New York vigilante during his semi pre-vigilante days.

Fully taking a leaf out the previous incarnation of Daredevil (2003 film) the series keeps the high octane action, which is actually realistic violence in this current version, combined with the conflicting emotional struggles vigilante types go through before and as they choose the path.

daredevil-on-netflixAs obvious as the story may be, the series presents the Daredevil tale with a brilliant modern flare that incorporates a host of characters in a situation ( good or bad) that is plausible for the kind of show. From the well choreographed fight scenes to the incentive plot that leads you on with each episode. Like all things with original incarnations some characters may not meet the required taste of viewers; but  after the 5.1 (out of 10) rating from IMDb for the 2003 film, this series rating of 9.1 seems justified. It is that good. Bruce Wayne would approve.

Best of all Netflix has all the episodes ready to watch.

As always more to follow on the series as news is released

ciao-su =^_^=

Assassin’s Creed Chronicles: China

Assassin’s Creed Chronicles: China – the first in a planned downloadable trilogy – is the best spin-off the franchise has received so far, rising high above the mostly garbage mobile and handheld titles. The 2.5D stealth title blends signature Assassin’s Creed elements and plenty of influence from 2012’s Mark of the Ninja. I’m glad somebody’s borrowing from Klei Entertainment’s brand of platforming, sneaking, and killing, as it fits well with Ubisoft’s world.

The protagonist, Shao Jun, returns from her appearance in Assassin’s Creed Embers, where she trained with an older Ezio Auditore. A Templar gang called the Tigers previously drove out and killed most of the Assassins in China, and she’s back for revenge.

Shao Jun proves to be an agile platformer, running, crouching, climbing, and jumping throughout 12 memory sequences (there are no current-day components). Most of the gameplay consists of entering a large area patrolled by increasing amounts and varieties of guards. Their vision cones pan back and forth. You scan with blue eagle vision to see farther ahead and track their routes. Then it’s a matter of darting between hiding spots, tossing out a noise dart for distraction, stunning guards with firecrackers, snapping a neck here, stabbing a back there, and hiding the bodies. Most everything controls tightly except for that last bit; I always had to hit the pickup body button several times to get it to work. You can’t mash it until it works, because Shao Jun will lift and drop the body. When the windows for killing and hiding without getting caught are this tight, it’s frustrating to be undone by something that should just work.

That said, I enjoyed thinking my way through encounters. Strategizing a creative route, killing that one annoying guard that seems to be looking everywhere, and then earning a perfect gold rating when you hit that next checkpoint feels great. These ratings are tallied up at the end (alongside side-mission bonuses like rescuing slaves), and certain score thresholds grant upgrades like new abilities and more health.

The in-game maps of these relatively large stages are always fully visible, but several require syncing from a high point to see the pickups scattered about. The layout is a bland gray with black and white icons, making them hard to see. The maps lack detail in general, showing useless building exteriors during interior sequences, and I constantly wished I could zoom out more than the claustrophobic view allowed.

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A handful of fast-paced escape sequences are tossed in to break up the core stealth gameplay. Fire roars from behind as you sprint and hop around all manner of obstacles and quick-kill guards standing still with their backs to you. While I appreciated the change of pace and opportunity to go full throttle, nothing really sets it apart from a standard runner game experience.

A little over halfway through the campaign, the gameplay starts to lose steam. Patrols get more elaborate, but you’re stuck using all the same old tools. While the game introduces several new enemy types, almost all of them behave the same on patrols (and all die from a well-timed Assassin stab). You can’t experience how much stronger and faster they are unless you get caught, which is never supposed to happen anyway.

This isn’t helped by the underwhelming story about assassinating one villainous Templar after another. The end doesn’t spice things up, and it also leaves a thread open to remind you that there are two more of these games left. I just hope they’ve got enough differentiating features to keep players invested.

This review is in reference to the Xbox One version of the game. Assassin’s Creed Chronicles: China is also available on PlayStation 4 and PC.

cias-su =^_^=

(Ace)Review Saturday Home (2015) Tears Flowed From My Eyes

I went home for the weekend after a long time and the first thing I did was take my niece and nephew to the cinema. They had been very hyped for this movie while I had barely known much about it. I didn’t expect much from it and man was I wrong. Without further a due let us begin.

Story

An alien race called the Boov decide to make earth their home while trying to run from another alien race which seems to hunting them down. They arrive on earth, relocate us to Australia and take residence in our homes. During all this time they think they are actually helping us because we are dumb and can’t take care of ourselves. About 3/4 of the film is spent with the main characters traveling across the world to undo a mistake that could inevitably end all life as we know it. The movie plays around with themes such as fitting in to a group, friendship, family and companionship. 

Characters

Jim Parsons aka Sheldon voices Oh. A cute small color changing Boov who doesn’t fit in with his own race. He is joined by Tip voiced by Rihanna. Tip is a brave wide eyed adventurous girl who is search for her mother.

The character development was done well enough that I actually really really cared for the characters. There is a scene which had me literally fighting my tears. It was at that point I looked to my niece and nephew ages 11 and 4 and noticed I wasn’t the only one being hit by emotion. My nephew was literally crying which I never thought he would. He likes to act like a tough guy you see. I had to hold him and tell him everything was alright as it really hit him hard. That made it even harder for me not to cry. After that I had gained a new respect for the film. It was then I knew that the movie had done a great job at making its audience care.

Presentation

The movie is accompanied by various Rihanna songs and some pretty great musical scores. There were scenes that had nothing but music playing which I thought showed how confident the makers of the film were in their sound track.

Visually Home looks really great. The Boov wiggle and giggle when they move around. One big thing was that the Boov show their emotion through the color they change to. Green for lying, red for anger etc. The scale of the locations was actually a little breath taking at some points. The effects popped and everything was detailed really well.

The voice acting is pretty good all round with Jim Parsons sounding the best. As a warning the corny and cuteness levels in this movie are very high. Some of their lines are a little cringey but they somewhat help these characters grow on you. All in all Home looked and sounded great.

Closing comments

I was skeptical about this movie because I thought it was just another cog in the wheel of family movies, I was wrong. Home is a great film with great characters and some funny jokes too. I would recommend watching this by yourself or with your family.


Score

Story : 8.0

Characters : 9.0

Presentation : 8.5

8.5/10

Never Alone Written Review

It is that time of the week when LittleRocket reviews a game it has been playing. Today we offer the opportunity to hear our thoughts and opinions on the UpperOne Games developed game Never Alone. A 3 dimensional side scrolling game released in 2014. Enjoy

Story

Story

Never Alone gives the player control of a young Inupiaq girl who is trying to find out the cause of a severe blizzard. This blizzard has stopped her village from doing things like hunting and she takes it upon herself with her fox companion to find out what is going on. The Inupiaq people and their culture are the main focus in this game. There are even extra videos that explain cultural information in order to add extra value to the player’s experience.

The girl traverses the land fending off a Manslayer, a persistent polar bear and even gets eaten by a whale. The spirits help the player but also at a certain point also bring harm to the player. The story all in all is rich in content and would excite anyone interested in the Inupiaq culture or its people.

Presentation

Presentation

The game has a great sound track ranging from piano pieces that tug at the heart strings to more dramatic music that fits the game’s more urgent situations. One of the other real draws to this game is the art style. It does sport a simple design which at some points works against it however the spirit designs for example or the northern light backgrounds are very nice to look at.

The game does suffer from a few visual glitches. Many a time the characters would disappear off screen or get stuck on an object in their way. This broke the emersion of some scenes.

There is also a narrator who talks over some of the scenes who we thought sounded great and really made it feel like our story was worth telling.

 Gameplay

Gameplay

This is where Never Alone sadly falls short. The controls are a little sticky and take some time to get used to. Sometimes you find yourself having to repeat sections because the character moved too much in a specific direction.

Playing as the fox also can become quite boring. We know that the fox is just supposed to be a supporting character but most of the time all you are doing is moving spirits around for the other player. The detection areas for some places were off at times which would sometimes cause the character to plummet to their death.

Closing

Never alone has a great story to tell. The developers packed in a lot of extra content that the player can delve into to better their experience and understanding of the story. Its gameplay unfortunately holds the game back from being a truly amazing experience.


Strory : 6.5

Presentation : 7

Gameplay : 6


Total : 6.5\10