We might be getting closer to the Holidays, but that doesn't meant 2013 is quite done with gaming just yet - at least with digital releases. The Walking Dead is finally back after an agonising wait, so it's time to gird your emotions for a feels-laden edition of Tuesday Game Room!
What have you been playing this week?
I am still playing, and madly in love with, Bravely Default this week after putting in a total of... *checks 3DS* - 55 hours in!? - since it launched. I can't remember the last time a video game held this grip on me, let alone a JRPG. I'd been yearning for a classical JRPG to play for a while, but I didn't expect to fall this hard for Bravely Default. I mean, everything about it has entranced me. The story's starting to get a little more interesting, a little more dark. The characters have deepened too, along with what feels like a paradigm shift in the VA quality, giving some great emotional beats, happy or otherwise. I actually want to grind, not because I have to, but because the combat systems are addictively compelling. And the music. Oh god, the music! Every new track worms its way into my heart, it's exciting just to arrive in a new location to get a fresh snifter of the soundtrack. My favourite might be this so far:
This is You Are My Hope, Tiz's Special Attack (aka basically a Limit Break) theme. Whenever I hear this triumphant as fuck music blasting out of my 3DS, there's a ridiculously stupid grin on my face. Ugh, this game. It's so good!
Whilst we might be done and dusted for retail this year, digital services are still rolling out titles - the biggest this week, of course, being The Walking Dead Season 2, Episode 1: All That Remains, the long awaited return of Telltale game's brilliant foray into Rob Kirkman's zombie universe, which is due out on Xbox 360, PS3, PC, Vita, iOS and Ouya at various points this week.
But that's not all! Terraria, the popular side-scrolling Minecraftian indie hit, makes its way to the Vita, Toki Tori arrives on PSN, and finally, Zen Pinball 2 gets all next-gen with a release on PS4.
And now, the News
Once again it's time for a few select picks from the last week of Gaming news, via Eurogamer:
- Pokébank arrives December 27th - Nintendo's subscription based Pokémon storage service has been long awaited since the releases of X and Y a few months ago, as it will finally allow players to bring past Pokémon not currently available in the Kalos region into their current Pokéteams. The service has a 30 day trial on offer, but after that, it'll be £4.50/$5 a year to utilise. Not bad, if you're in Pokémon for the long run!
- Turn 10's Dan Greenawalt on learning from Forza 5's multitude of mistakes - It's not been a pleasant time for Xbox One's launch games, with most of the lineup coming under biting attacks for their appropriation of free-to-play microtransaction mechanics in full-priced releases, but perhaps none more so than Forza 5. Creative lead Dan Greenawalt speaks out on just what Turn 10 will do to try and win back Forza fans after the muted response to the series' next gen début.
- Fallout 4 documents leak, confirming a Boston setting - it's been a weird time for Fallout fans, with the hype of ARG site Survivor 2299 turning to disappointment after the revelation it was a hoax, but Kotaku has uncovered a few more solid details that might mean we'll hear about the next entry in the post-apocalyptic franchise soon. Are all eyes on 2014 for Bethesda?
- PS4's integrated streaming system accounts for 10% of all streaming on Twitch - It might have only been out a month, and less than that in Europe, but I think that a crazy stat like this proves that the whole sharing/streaming capabilities of the PS4 and Xbox One are going to be one of the defining features of the next generation. Streaming has become such a big thing over the past few years, changing the way we consume gaming media and content radically, and now that it's in the hands of everyone with a console at the press of a button, not just the hardcore enthusiast with pricey recording hardware, it can only get bigger from here.
Don't forget, voting is still open for the O-Deck's first Community Game of the Year Award! If you've still not voted, head on over to this post for a summary of the rules and to leave your comment. You've got until Midnight EST on December 30th.
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!