This Week In Gaming – April 1st to 7th 2013
So we managed to make it past the start of April without making Fools of ourselves… And now we’re here, what’s ahead of us?
Tecmo Koei have announced that Dynasty Warriors 8, the next game in the mass-battle beat-em-up series, will be released in Europe on 12th July [July 16th for North America]. Once again returning to the story Romance of the Three Kingdoms around the fight for control of ancient China, the game has added to the roster of playable characters once again, bringing the total to 77. As if running them all through their respective storylines wasn’t enough, there is also a “what if…?” mode allowing players to see how characters may have been in battles they never saw or survived.
Perfect World’s Dungeons & Dragons MMO Neverwinter has been announced as starting open beta on April 30th. Based around the 4th edition ruleset, the title is due to be free-to-play with the expected cash shop. While its biggest rival may be Turbine’s 3rd edition-based Dungeons & Dragons Online, Neverwinter is doing things differently by offering players the chance to create their own additional content via “The Foundry”, as well as play content created by others.
Old-school inspired dungeon crawler Etrian Odyssey is getting a fourth title, due to be released in Europe on the 3DS this summer. Feeling inspired by the early Wizardry or Bard’s Tale titles, Etrian Odyssey IV: Legends of the Titan follows the same path as its predecessors, exploring dungeons with a team of adventurers and requiring you to draw your own map as you explore – though graph paper isn’t needed thanks to mapping being done with the stylus on the second screen. Already released in Japan last year and North America in February, Etrian Odyssey IV has received positive reviews so far.
Good news – the Sega Dreamcast isn’t dead! Despite officially being discontinued in 2001, independent game developers are still writing new titles for the system, including 2009s R-Type-inspired DUX by HUCAST Games. Last week HUCAST announced that DUX 1.5, a “revised” version of the original game will be released on April 22nd, bringing a new dose of sprite-based alien blasting to the underloved system.
(Though this is positively up to date compared to the Retro Gaming Review Podcast, who last week released a new Atari 2600 game – CGE Adventures. The maze exploration game is based around the podcast members and an event when a thief stole a hundred promotional CDs at the Classic Gaming Expo in 2010 – although the original event probably didn’t involve a plan using NES zappers and regular respawns. If you still have an Atari 2600 sitting around, you can get the title on cartridge, otherwise it is available as a ROM for emulators.)
Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 is to receive its second DLC on April 16th. Entitled Uprising, it adds four new multiplayer maps continuing the world tour of destruction (Japan, London, India and a film studio lot in the US), but as with the previous DLC Revolution it is the content for the Zombies game-mode that is drawing more attention. “Mob of the Dead” finds four prohibition-era gangsters trying to escape from a zombie infested Alcatraz, and are voiced by four actors known for their roles as various mobsters – Ray Liotta, Chazz Palminteri, Joe Pantoliano, and Michael Madsen.
Mark Jacobs, one of the developers of Dark Age of Camelot, announced a Kickstarter to raise $2million for a new realm-vs-realm MMORPG, provisionally titled Camelot Unchained. Seemingly more about gauging player interest than raising the cash – Jacobs has promised to add $2million of his own money if the target is reached, as well as other contributors topping up the pot further – the Kickstarter has clearly caught the attention of a keen audience. Even saying that it “isn’t a game with something for everyone”, it has raised $890k from just over 5,600 people – an average contribution of $158 per person!
Island Officials, a game developer from New Jersey, are hoping to prove that the Nintendo DS isn’t an obsolete format, raising funds to pay for the release of Orion’s Odyssey. As a follow up to Hands On! Tangrams, released in 2009, the game follows the robot Orion as he solves tangram puzzles, creating objects from a pool of shapes. With the game already finished, the team has begun a Kickstarter to pay for the cost of release – including paying for the game’s rating review, physical cartridges, boxes and manuals.