May 14, 2015 | 2:51 p.m.

Trailer: New ‘Lego Jurassic World’ video game lets you play as a dinosaur

It’s dinosaurs, dinosaurs and more dinosaurs in the new trailer for “Lego Jurassic World,” the video game set to hit shelves June 12. Just as it plays out in the 1993 film “Jurassic Park,” the first dinosaur we see in the trailer is a Brachiosaurus. Among the other familiar dinosaurs depicted are a Compsognathus, a Tyrannosaurus rex, a Triceratops and Velociraptors. Even the Indominus rex from the upcoming “Jurassic World” film makes an appearance. “Lego Jurassic Word” features over 20 different types of playable dinosaurs (that’s right, you can play as a dinosaur), and while the title is pegged to the upcoming film, all four movies from the “Jurassic Park” franchise are represented in the game. Developed by TT Games, “Lego Jurassic World” is the newest franchised Lego game joining other titles such as “Lego Lord of the Rings,”” Lego […]
May 09, 2015 | 8:47 a.m.

‘Royals,’ from ‘Threes’ creator Asher Vollmer, challenges lowly peasants

THE PLAYER Asher Vollmer helped make one of the most popular games of 2014. “Threes” has been downloaded more than 1 million times and was blessed by Apple as the mobile game of the year. It’s the puzzle game at its most elegant, owning an invitingly crisp design and requiring little more than basic mathematics and casual swipes of the finger. Now the Westside-bred 25-year-old has a new game. But “Royals” is nothing like “Threes.” To start, it is designed to be difficult. Vollmer, in fact, tells people it’s impossible. It’s not, but if you try it your character will perish in minutes. Chances are, you will never be a royal — in life, or in Vollmer’s game. But at least it won’t cost you much. It’s essentially free. Vollmer is asking players to pay what they wish. Why free? […]
May 07, 2015 | 8:45 a.m.

Nintendo, coming to a Universal theme park near you?

“Nintendo Land” is already a game, but soon it may be a place you can visit. The house of Mario is teaming with Universal Parks and Resorts to bring Nintendo characters and Nintendo-themed experiences to Universal parks. The two companies released a joint statement on Thursday that promised “immersive experiences” that will include “major attractions” at Universal parks. Universal wholly owns Universal Studios Hollywood in the Los Angeles area as well as Universal Orlando Resort in Orlando, Fla. Additionally, the company, via licensing agreements, has parks in Sentosa in Singapore, and in Osaka, Japan, the latter the closest Universal park near Nintendo’s home base in Kyoto. There was no time frame given and no real hints as to what those “immersive experiences” may be, but the use of the words “major attractions” implies that rides are to come. “More details will be announced in […]
April 26, 2015 | 10:00 a.m.

Robots and women share the battlefield in ‘Call of Duty: Black Ops 3’

This post has been updated. Please see below for details. The future-set “Call of Duty: Black Ops 3” makes some bold predictions about combat in the decades to come. Soldiers, for instance, will be outfitted with robotic arms, giving them super-human strength. Additionally, women will be just as prevalent on the front lines as their male counterparts. The Treyarch-developed “Call of Duty: Black Ops 3,” due Nov. 6 for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC, is the first in the blockbuster franchise to allow fans to play as a female character for the entirety of the campaign. Or even play as a whole mini-squadron of women, as “Black Ops 3” will blur the lines between single and multiplayer games and allow up to four people to play the campaign cooperatively via an online connection (or play split-screen with a friend). It’s a […]
April 24, 2015 | 11:32 a.m.

Telltale Games teaming with Marvel Entertainment

Having proved it can effectively adapt a comic into a game with its work on “The Wolf Among Us” and “The Walking Dead,” the Bay Area’s Telltale Games is increasing its comics’ portfolio. Telltale has partnered with Marvel Entertainment for a game project to be released in 2017, the company revealed Thursday night in San Francisco. Little is known about the game, including its title, at this point beyond the year-long release window. Telltale has won acclaim in recent years for its narrative-focused games that emphasize dialogue rather than action. They’re episodic, with each chapter generally able to be completed in two or three hours, and are leading a movement that brings games closer to interactive television shows. Additionally, Telltale’s work with Robert Kirkman’s ‘The Walking Dead” and Bill Willingham’s Vertigo series “Fables,” on which “The Wolf Among Us” is based, focused on original […]
April 17, 2015 | 11:11 a.m.

Star Wars Celebration: ‘Battlefront’ gets franchise back in the game

THE PLAYER On Thursday morning “Star Wars” fans received a glimpse of the next cinematic episode in the fantasy saga. On Friday it was time to learn how to play in it. “Star Wars: Battlefront” took center stage as Day 2 of the four-day Star Wars Celebration fan expo opened in Anaheim. The game, the first under a 10-year pact between Lucasfilm and Electronic Arts, is due Nov. 17, about a month in advance of the J.J. Abrams-directed “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.” Early glimpses of the game reveal it to be a sort of blaster-heavy “Star Wars” greatest hits collection. Want to play with lightsabers? Those are here. Want to shoot a blaster like Han Solo? You can do that. Want to pilot an X-Wing? Of course that’s a possibility. Want to play as Darth Vader on Endor, the planet […]
April 14, 2015 | 7:10 a.m.

Activision to rock ’n’ roll again with ‘Guitar Hero’

Classic rock bands rarely stay broken up and once-dominant video game franchises aren’t likely to lie dormant forever. Activision is resurrecting its famed “Guitar Hero” brand, relaunching the franchise later this year with new gear and an updated look. Gone are digital avatars and rainbow-colored animations that marked the rhythm-based series’ rise to prominence in the mid-to-late 2000s. Instead, the upcoming “Guitar Hero Live” will seek to re-create the concert experience, giving players a first-person point of view and filmed concert sequences. A release date has not yet been set, but the FreeStyleGames-developed title will be available this fall for all major current generation consoles as well as the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. The title will sell for $99.99, a price that includes a revamped guitar and access to an ever-evolving online mode dubbed “GHTV.” Activision’s reveal follows closely that of its […]
April 07, 2015 | 9:00 a.m.

TableTop Day: Felicia Day, Wil Wheaton urge you to ‘play more games’

Settle into a comfy chair and break out your lucky dice — it’s time for the third annual International TableTop Day, brought to you by Geek & Sundry, and noted board game enthusiasts Felicia Day and Wil Wheaton. Not only will tabletop players around the globe celebrate their love of board games, but this year’s event — set for Saturday — has a charitable spin. Geek & Sundry is teaming with game publishers such as Looney Labs, AEG, Calliope Games and Steve Jackson Games to donate thousands of games to the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Los Angeles and their affiliated chapters across the U.S. Last year’s Tabletop Day spawned over 3,000 events in 80 countries. This year, the event’s centerpiece will take place at L.A.’s Legendary Digital Network Soundstages, where Day, Wheaton and some 800 fans will be joined by  members of BBBSLA. The event will […]
April 02, 2015 | 8:42 a.m.

Xbox One’s sci-fi game ‘Quantum Break’ pushed to ’16

Xbox One’s “Quantum Break,” which aims to marry games and live-action television, has been pushed to 2016. “We thank our fans for their patience,” said Remedy Entertainment creative director Sam Lake in a post on the company’s official website, The time-traveling game had been previously set to launch this year. “The team is taking advantage of this opportunity to polish and fine-tune the game to create the kind of standout entertainment experience they’ve come to expect from us,” said Lake. Remedy is best known for its work on “Alan Wake” and “Max Payne.” No definitive reason was given for the delay. “With so many Xbox One games launching this year, moving “Quantum Break” to 2016 extends our incredible portfolio into next year,” said Shannon Loftis, Microsoft Studios’ head of publishing, in a statement. The medium-busting sci-fi title will be released as […]
April 02, 2015 | 6:00 a.m.

It’s hip to be a square in Nintendo’s ‘Boxboy!’

THE PLAYER Maybe it’s as simple as putting eyelashes on a box. Or maybe it’s the way the box scrunches up and holds its eyes shut when it’s in a tight spot. Or maybe it’s the box’s tiny little stick figure legs. But Boxboy – his real name is actually Qbby  – has charisma. There are puzzles, too, yes, but it’s the small details that propel a player through “Boxboy!,” Nintendo’s charmer of a little game for its handheld 3DS device. Boxboy has a friend, a box pal with a bow, and Boxboy has superpowers, namely the ability to create more boxes, and it’s somewhat of a surprise that “Boxboy!” works at all. After all, Boxboy is just a box. On the surface, it’s the digital equivalent of giving a kitten a piece of cardboard. The feel is hand-me-down homemade. […]
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