June 08, 2012 | 8:58 p.m.
It’s game over for this year’s E3 but what’s the final score? We put the question to Yves Guillemot, the chief executive of Ubisoft Entertainment, a French company he co-founded in 1986 and guided to its current ranking as the world’s third-largest game publisher (after Activision-Blizzard and Electronic Arts) with franchises such as “Assassin’s Creed,” “Rayman Raving Rabbids,” and “Splinter Cell.” From his perch in Montreuil-sous-Bois, an eastern suburb of Paris, Guillemot has built a reputation as an astute trend-spotter who was nimble in capitalizing on the Wii and DS craze then heard a hit in the dance-game craze and delivered “Just Dance,” a franchise that has sold more than 28 million copies. Here are six major trends that will affect the games players will see in the coming months. 1) THE SECOND SCREEN: “Video games played on home television sets will increasingly incorporate another mobile screen,” Guillemot […]
June 08, 2012 | 12:28 p.m.
“NintendoLand,” a game for Nintendo’s upcoming Wii U console, sets iconic game characters such as Link, Luigi and Donkey Kong in a carnival of mini-games. “NintendoLand” aims to familiarize players with the new hardware — the Wii U GamePad — much like Wii Sports used mini-games to teach players how to use the Wii Remote when that console was released in 2006. Among the “attractions” in the amusement-park-themed game are “Luigi’s Ghost Mansion,” in which one player is a ghost the other players try to find in a maze; “The Legend of Zelda: Battle Quest,” in which players use swords and a bow and arrow to fight adorable enemies; “Takamaru’s Ninja Castle,” in which a player fires shurikens at ninjas; “Donkey Kong’s Crash Course,” a platform-based obstacle course; “Animal Crossing: Sweet Day,” in which players collect candy and avoid guards; […]
June 08, 2012 | 10:15 a.m.
Kratos, Sly Cooper, PaRappa, Nathan Drake and more Sony video game characters can duke it out in “PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale,” an upcoming release for the PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Vita. The brawler game, which was showcased at the E3 Expo in Los Angeles this week, is scheduled to be released later this year. “PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale” bears a strong resemblance to Nintendo’s Super Smash Bros. franchise, with up to four players fighting one another using various major characters from Sony video game franchises. Sony’s Andrew Rubino, who helped design the game’s artificial intelligence system, said the game’s creators are fans of Super Smash Bros., but that “Battle Royale” functions differently than the Nintendo games: Players do damage to each other’s characters, earning power points that can be built up and used for ultra-strong super-moves. Hero Complex joined the […]
June 07, 2012 | 3:04 p.m.
The latest iteration of “Just Dance” will make full use of Nintendo’s new Wii U console. “Just Dance 4,” introduced at the E3 Expo in Los Angeles this week, adds a “Puppet Master” mode that allows a player holding the GamePad to choose dance moves for the other players. The rhythm-and-choreography game from developer Ubisoft is slated for an October release. “Just Dance” and “Just Dance 2″ top the list of bestselling Wii games from third-party developers. Hero Complex got a look at “Just Dance 4″ at E3. Check it out in the video above. – Noelene Clark RECENT AND RELATED Nintendo CEO: Surprise is name of the game VIDEO: ‘Book of Spells’ will charm Harry Potter fans VIDEO: Sound Shapes brings the beat to PS Vita VIDEO: LittleBigPlanet gives gamers creative power E3: Miiverse and Nintendo’s plan for keeping it clean E3: […]
June 07, 2012 | 11:46 a.m.
After eight movies, a theme park and a slew of video games, Harry Potter’s magical world is returning to its roots: A book. As we reported earlier this week, PlayStation’s “Book of Spells” — announced at E3 2012 in Los Angeles — will allow would-be wizards to wield wands and learn charms in their living rooms through augmented reality. The virtual storybook uses the console’s PlayStation Eye camera, Move motion controller and a new, book-shaped peripheral called Wonderbook, paving the way for other titles in the future. “Book of Spells” will feature charms familiar to Hogwarts aficionados as well as new writing from Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling. Hero Complex talked with Book of Spells programmer Andrew Ellis and got a hands-on Wonderbook demo. Check it out in the video above. – Noelene Clark RECENT AND RELATED Harry Potter: A fictional life […]
June 07, 2012 | 9:27 a.m.
This post has been corrected. See the note below for details. Sony’s award-winning title “LittleBigPlanet” — a platform-and-puzzle game that allows users to create their own levels – is coming to the PlayStation Vita handheld console later this year. First details about the game were revealed at last year’s Electronic Entertainment Expo, but fans of the franchise are finally getting a close-up look during E3 this week. Like its predecessors on PS3 and PSP, “LittleBigPlanet’s” Vita version still features Burton-esque hero Sackboy in a variety of game worlds and mini-games, but places a stronger emphasis user-created content. Developers emphasized the game as a platform for creative gamers to make their own levels and share them online. PHOTOS: E3 convention The Vita’s touch-screen display allows creators to draw objects directly into their games; the touch-screen capabilities also allow for game functionality […]
June 06, 2012 | 3:00 p.m.
Everyone knows Mario. But who’s Satoru Iwata? As chief executive of Nintendo Co., it’s his job to make sure Mario rescues Princess Peach and Kirby saves Dream Land. During his 10 years at the helm of Nintendo, Iwata pulled the fabled Japanese company out of its GameCube funk and into a blaze of Wii glory. But it’s been a hard couple of years: Wii game console sales fell off a cliff after peaking in 2009, and in 2011 the company’s new handheld 3DS console got off to a rocky start when it launched in February. Amid slow sales, Iwata made a dramatic move to ax the 3DS price by a third in August last year. The move pulled Nintendo into the red for the first time, and Iwata fell on the grenade at least symbolically — taking a 50% pay cut for […]
June 06, 2012 | 2:12 p.m.
One of the stars of E3 is Sound Shapes, a new game that combines electronic music and an old-school side-scrolling game sensibility. From developer Queasy Games, which made Everyday Shooter, Sound Shapes has PlayStation Vita players collect coins, each of which is assigned a specific sound sample. As the player progresses, the sounds come together to make electronic songs. Several high-profile artists — including Jim Guthrie and Superbrothers (of Sword and Sworcery fame) and D.J. Deadmau5 — loaned their talents to the game, providing each level with a rich soundscape. Sound Shapes is expected to hit stores this year. In the meantime, Hero Complex got its hands on the game. Check it out in the video above, and see the trailer here. – Noelene Clark RECENT AND RELATED E3: Miiverse and Nintendo’s plan for keeping it clean E3: J.K. Rowling conjures […]
June 06, 2012 | 11:29 a.m.
When Nintendo on Sunday announced its Miiverse social network for its upcoming Wii U game console, skeptics immediately started wondering how long it would take before griefers would overrun the feeds with profanity — or worse. Given that users will be able to post drawings and scribbles they create on the Wii U’s GamePad touch screen controller, keeping things clean would seem to be an especially challenging matter. Although the Japanese game company didn’t address that issue in its announcement, it turns out that Nintendo’s chief executive, Satoru Iwata, has already given the matter some thought. That’s not surprising given Nintendo’s heritage as a platform for kids. “Nintendo is deeply concerned about secure communications,” said JC Fletcher, managing editor of Joystiq, a site for game news and reviews. “Whatever they do, it will be severely content restricted.” Fletcher is correct. […]
June 05, 2012 | 9:40 a.m.
Muggles can now get a taste of Hogwarts. In partnership with J.K. Rowling, Sony on Monday announced an interactive title called “Book of Spells.” Part-game, part-book, the title lets readers learn about spells used in the “Harry Potter” film and book series — and then practice “casting” them via Sony’s PlayStation 3 Move motion controller. The book – or is it a game? — will feature some original writing by Rowling, though it remained unclear to what degree. “Book of Spells” was conjured up by Rowling’s new Pottermore division, which sells electronic versions of the author’s Harry Potter titles. The title, priced at $39.99 for both the physical book and a game disc, will use a new book-shaped peripheral called Wonderbook, which does some conjuring of its own by creating augmented reality to enhance stories and educational titles through the PS3. […]