It's a quiet release week again as we slump into a post-Titanfall and Infamous malaise waiting for new games to come out - but that doesn't mean there's nothing out though, with the seemingly surprise release of the third Lego game in six months. It's time for another edition of Tuesday Game Room!
What have you been playing this week?
As I mentioned yesterday, I've been playing the PS4 beta of Final Fantasy XIV - and I really wasn't expecting to enjoy it as much as I did. I loved the base game on PC, but I was just struggling to think how it could be adapted to console gameplay let alone a controller, but after a few hesitant attempts I ended up really getting to grips with the control system, and the PS4 version is a really well done port of the game. It was a joy to return to Eorzea on my big widescreen TV, and I'm now really excited to play more - especially considering the upcoming summer drought (as well as the fact Warlords of Draenor is still another 5-6 months away!).
It's a light week this week. Perhaps the most notable release is that of the Xbox 360 edition of Titanfall, a game that seemingly both EA and Microsoft have attempted to ditch by the wayside to promote the Xbox One version instead - to the point there's been no official footage of the game released, images only coming out after players got their copies of the game early over the weekend. Considering the 360 user base is considerably (and understandably) larger than the Xbox One's, this seems like a really weird decision.
Speaking of dumping something out with little fanfare, Lego The Hobbit, churned out to sell you a game covering only two thirds of the franchise movies so you can inevitably double dip on a second that will feature levels from There And Back Again, hits the 360, PS3, PS4, Xbox One, PC, Vita and 3DS. The delayed Kinect Sports Rivals finally makes it to the Xbox One, and bizarrely enough Putty Squad, a game originally planned for release on the Amiga 1200 (The bloody Amiga!!) 20 years ago but never made available until late last year, makes a showing on PS3 and Vita.
And now, the News
Once again it's time for a few select picks from the last week of Gaming news, via Eurogamer:
- Ex-Uncharted writer Amy Hennig lands at Visceral, working on a Star Wars project - Ummm, wow. Henning's exit from Naughty Dog was a source of alleged controversy (reports claimed The Last of Us creative team ousted her, but they were vehemently denied by the studio), but this seems like a fascinating outcome of that fallout. The woman behind the quippy adventures of Nathan Drake, working on a rumoured open-world Star Wars title? She could write one hell of a Han Solo-esque charming rogue. DON'T WASTE THIS OPPORTUNITY ON MORE GODDAMN JEDI, VISCERAL.
- Amazon unveils, and releases, the Fire, a set-top-box-stroke-Android-console - Amazon's big surprise was ruined slightly by an early leak of the Fire's controller, but the quick release of the little box certainly sparked talk. For a while the retail giant has been cultivating a team of games industry veterans, presumably to work with the Fire, but for now, the box remains as nothing more than an Android emulator on the lines of an Ouya, with the added benefit of being a set-top box. Not the splash people expected, but maybe those teams will cook up something interesting.
- EA's 'April Fools' Frostbite tweets inspire outrage, Peter Moore apologises- See, this is why I'm not fond of April Fools jokes that much. Frostbite's twitter account (why on earth does a video game engine have its own official twitter) began posting 'Fools jokes' mocking Nintendo's Wii U, a console EA has openly refused to support with its new engine, claiming that Frostbite was now ready to render Mario and Zelda on 'the most powerful Gen4 platform'. It wasn't big, it wasn't clever, and it definitely wasn't appropriate considering the current backlash DICE and its engine are facing thanks to Battlefield 4's awful, broken state months after release, and understandably people called them out on it. Maybe Nintendo should've just responded by tweeting 'Guys! Battlefield 4 is working today!'.
- This incredible story about an Indie Game Jam gone wrong is a must read - this story blew up over the net last week after Indiestatik's Jared Rosen released a story detailing the horrendous failure of a reality TV show based around a competitive Game Jam, featuring the monstrous influence of a Pepsi brand manager wreaking misogynistic havoc with the female developers involved, who rebelled and effectively sank the costly endeavour. It's a fascinating insight into a world when indie development clashes with the mainstream media industry, and of how one asshole can sink a massive, $400,000-shaped ship.
- Persona 4 is coming to the PS3... unless you're in Europe - I had to sneak in this one extra piece, because I needed somewhere to vent. Atlus have announced that the PS2 classic Persona 4 (one of my favourite JRPGs of all time) is heading to the PS3 as a digital download as of today... in the Americas. When reached for comment by Eurogamer, Atlus simply responded that 'nothing [is] scheduled for Europe right now'. As a Persona fan I shouldn't be surprised at Atlus continually dicking over my continent, considering the fiasco that is the missing in action Shin Megami Tensei IV, the 8 month delay on the region locked Persona 4 Arena, and the fact that we only recently got Persona 3 FES on PS3, almost a year after the US did, but it still hurts - and it hurts even more now that Atlus' previous flimsy excuse that they don't have a publishing arm in Europe no longer exists now they're wholly owned by Sega. Cut your shit out, Atlus, and stop treating your Euro fans like trash. It's bordering on the obscene at this point.
We'll be back this time next Tuesday for more gaming discussion, but for now, sound off in the comments with the games you've been playing, and what you're looking forward to this week - and don't forget to join us on Steam!