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Fire Emblem, the latest SRPG from Nintendo-land, has allegedly sold through 80% of their stock in the first week. For those of you who aren’t impressed, most games “ship” a large number of units, but they may lay on shelves for months on end, eventually fated for a price-cut.

This particular title sold around a quarter of a million units — and again, it sold through the vast majority of that stock. A bunch of happenings recently, including a domain name registration by Nintendo of America, seem to strongly hint towards an American release, so we can only hope that we’ll have the opportunity to reach a similar milestone later this year.

[Siliconera]

The above image easily looks like a fan creation, but make no mistake, Playstation All-Stars: Battle Royale is a real game. Only six characters have been revealed so far — Kratos, Sly Cooper, Sweet Tooth, Radec [Killzone], Parappa, and Fat Princess.In addition to typical Smash Brothers-esque gameplay, each character has a super attack that is gained from in-game Action Points. For instance, Sweet Tooth has his mech, Kratos can transform and wield the Blade of Olympus.

Environmentally, just like Smash Brothers, the arenas will be taken straight from Sony franchises. Battle Royale will also feature a host of single player modes in addition to online play. So far it looks great! My only actual problem with the game is that it could have a shorter title: perhaps Sony Battle Royale or Playstation Battle Royale would roll off the tongue a bit easier. The game is set to drop this Holiday season.

Resident Evil creator and highly relevant Director/Producer Shinji Mikami has once again returned his focus to the genre of survival horror. Known only as “Project Zwei”, Mikami’s Tango Gameworks is working in conjunction with Bethesda to produce a brand new horror title which hopefully will be worthy of Mikami’s pedigree.

The  above site contains a teaser image that supposedly gives you a “feel” for what the game may entail — right now it looks like there’s going to be lots of spooky environments (of course!), with an emphasis on both outdoor and indoor horror. The key thing to note is that on the right-hand side, there’s concept art for an old European town of sorts, reminiscent of Shadows of the Damned or Devil May Cry. I like what I see so far! Read more… »

Better late than never, right? New Play Control! Pikmin 2 released over three years ago in European territories, but American fans looking forward to seeing the updated Wii version of the GameCube classic have been forced to wait. Nintendo Power says that’ll be changing later this year, with Olimar and the creatures of “Distant Planet” making their way to North American shores once again this June.

Exciting news, but one has to wonder what took so long. Following something of an unfortunate trend for the publisher’s North American office, Pikmin 2 is the latest in a long line of titles that the publisher has brought to the United States months or years after hitting other territories. On top of that, over a dozen great titles have yet to see localization – a sad fact of life for any Wii fan lamenting the console’s sparse release calendar.

If you’ve been content to enjoy Pikmin 2 in its original state and have instead been looking forward to the next entry in the franchise, Shigeru Miyamoto recently confirmed that Nintendo will be bringing that title with them to Los Angeles for E3 later this year.

Pikmin 2 Finally Reaches North American Wiis Soon [nintendolife via Siliconera]

Awesomenauts

It may simply be coincidence that my birthday’s in May and Ronimo Games’ Awesomenauts is coming to PSN on May 1st, but I choose to believe it’s a sign from the universe…an awesome sign. Better still, PlayStation Plus subscribers can get it for free throughout the entire month.

Awesomenauts is what would emerge if you mixed eighties cartoons, platforming shooters, and MOBA games into a crazy, frantic blender. The game features 3 on 3 online and offline action with 6 different characters, upgrades, turrets, and bunch of other cool things. Awesomenauts will hit PSN on May 1st for $9.99 and XBLA on May 2nd for 800 Microsoft Space Dollars.

[PlayStation Blog]

Trials Evolution

You guys like that Trials Evolution game, right? Well turns out you’re not alone. RedLynx’s Trials Evolution set the record for the highest grossing day-one sales on Xbox Live Arcade. How many sales did they need to break that record? Try over 100,000 in its first day after release. Hot damn!

RedLynx has to be pleased with those numbers. Demand for the game was so high that according to Gamasutra, Microsoft had to add more servers to accommodate all the users. In addition Gamasutra reports “leaderboards for Trials Evolution‘s recorded 120,000 users playing the game just a day after its release, and around 180,000 playing in its second day.”

[Source: Gamasutra]

Aion, the worldwide Korean MMO, has gone completely free to play – no more subscriptions. Starting this month, you can level from 1-60 without any sort of fee. You’ll also naturally get all of the updates the game has obtained over the years, which includes extra content, and a number of tweaks that let you level up with less grinding.

Former writer James P. loved the atmosphere and the gameplay, so we’d highly suggest giving it a chance — even if you decide it’s not for you. Personally, I’m ready to jump back in after my account has been idle for a few years.

While I know everyone is grimacing at the thought of simulating the dysfunctional Grimes family, fear not, Walking Dead fans, as the upcoming game has nothing to do with the comic/TV show’s cast. Instead, Telltale Game’s The Walking Dead game will focus in on various other survivors in the universe, while keeping the same themes and overall ideas — additionally, it is said the game will be canon.

Each episode is priced at $4.99, but you can nab the entire project for $19.99, which will essentially buys you one bonus episode/game.  Telltale’s latest will be released on the 360, PC, and PS3 platforms — hopefully it won’t be as slow as the first half of Season 2!

At a recent press event, ArenaNet has informed Gamer Limit that considerable effort will be made to ensure that people of all levels could enjoy Guild Wars 2‘s content in the final build of the upcoming MMO. For instance, if a level 80 player were to revist the very first starting area in the game, Guild Wars 2 would scale down that player’s statistics so that they didn’t automatically one-shot all of the locale’s enemies. This will ensure that players can not only go back and enjoy content with their friends and guild-mates, but also with random players that happen to be in the same area. This mechanic is compounded by the fact that you can’t “steal” drops, or quest-related objects from other players, as the game “auto-groups” you with characters in your vicinity.

Inversely, if you find yourself in the game’s “World vs. World” (WvW) function, GW2 will scale your up to level 80. The system will make some concessions so that players who have better gear and more skills will still have an advantage, due to the time you put into your particular character. Competitive PVP will put everyone on the same exact playing ground, both in terms of statistics and loot — the reason for this decision is because ArenaNet wanted the game to be a viable e-port that could be picked up by absolutely anyone, where the outcome was 100% determined by skill.

Out of all of these fairly unique ideas, I absolutely love the fact that you can’t have quest (events) objectives stolen from you. There’s nothing worse than dreading another player moving in on your quest drops, forcing you to take twice as much time as you actually needed to finish a simple quest. With the new grouping system, Guild Wars 2 will feel more like a true MMO when it comes to PVE questing.

Carl Franklin, a heavy hitter in Microsoft coding circles, claims to have had an “eureka!” moment with the development of GesturePak. This application and SDK is supposed to simplify the development of Kinect based software, especially around gesture recognition.

While GesturePak is focused on Kinect for Windows rather than XBox 360, we can think of at least one game that could have used some better gesture recognition, ahem.

Read more… »

God of War Ascension

It looks like the rumors that pointed to Sony’s big 4/19/12 reveal being of God of War IV are true. An Amazon product page lists the game as God of War: Ascension. Details are scarce so far, but according to the product description Kratos will “seek freedom, redemption, and the clarity to avenge his family in the most ambitious God of War adventure in the series so far.”

In addition the teaser videos reference the time before Kratos became the Ghost of Sparta, so perhaps this new title will be a prequel of sorts.

[Source: Amazon, NeoGAF]

Darksiders II Leap

This morning that THQ announced  that Darksiders II, sequel to 2010′s Darksiders, has been officially delayed until August 2012. The original release date was slated for June 26, 2012. Cue dramatic Darth Vader clip from Star Wars Episode III.

The delay doesn’t stem from THQ’s financial problems or from trying to get the game ready for Nintendo’s upcoming Wii U. Rather Vigil Games said that the delay “allows additional time for polish and to ensure that all aspects of Darksiders II meet the high-quality bar the team is targeting.” Based on how much I liked the original, I can wait an extra two months if it helps make Darksiders II even better.

[Source: Darksiders Blog]