Just Add Water hoping to remake Metal Gear Solid

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Developer of the recent Oddworld: Stranger’s Wrath remake as well as upcoming New ‘N’ Tasty Just Add Water is hoping to capitalize on Hideo Kojima’s desire to see the first game remade in Fox Engine.  The developer has some past experience working with a highly regarded IP, Oddworld, and hopes that their respect for the existing property and the fact that they’re “huge Metal Gear fans, with very good knowledge of the source material” will land them the gig.

Whether or not an HD remake of the first MGS happens, the idea is certainly exciting.  Do you think Just Add Water is up to the challenge?  If not, what studio would be your dream choice to re-envision Metal Gear Solid?

 

Source:  IGN

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Apologies for the lacking posts

I’ve been working some odd hours lately and haven’t had the time I’d like to dedicate to writing new posts.  It’s a lot of work keeping this blog up and I know I’m falling far behind with maintaining my other real-life obligations.  It’s disappointing that I can’t invest as much time in this as I would like, but it’s a necessary evil as a man’s gotta eat.

With that said, my whole having a hard time keeping up with blogs, I’d love to have help in maintaining PowerUp.  If you’re a film, gaming, comic, or technology enthusiast with a love of writing, I’d love to have you on board providing content.  If you’re interested, shoot me an email at atsbedgood@poweruponline.com.  Include in the body of the text a little bit about yourself, what your area of expertise is, and a writing sample.  Please, no attachments or images.  I’ll get back with you when I look over your stuff and let you know either way.

Thanks,

Andrew T.S. Bedgood

Age of Empires going mobile

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Microsoft is licensing its Age of Empires IP to KLab Inc. for development of a mobile entry in the franchise for mobile platforms.  From the sounds of things, the game will be coming to iOS and Android first with a Windows Phone version coming at a later time.  The game is being developed in English first with a global release planned and other languages as well as the Windows Phone version planned for a future release.

There was speculation of other Microsoft franchises planned to be released on mobile platforms, but Microsoft refuted those rumors with the vague “there are no further announcements beyond Age of Empires at this time.”

 

Source:  Polygon

Dead Rising 3’s SmartGlass features unlock exclusive missions

Capcom’s upcoming Xbox One exclusive Dead Rising 3 will give gamers a reason to boot up the Xbox extension SmartGlass.  The game re-skins players’ SmartGlass devices to look like the character’s phone within the game universe.  From there, players will receive calls which will grant them exclusive missions otherwise inaccessible.  Capcom has stated that the missions players gain access to via SmartGlass will expand the game’s story but will not be essential to it for gamers who don’t have access to a SmartGlass capable device.

SmartGlass will also grant players access to bonuses like air strikes.  Completing missions in-game grants players codes which can be used in the SmartGlass application to purchase the special attacks and such in-game.  Josh Bridge, Dead Rising 3’s executive producer, confirmed that the game does not have microtransactions and that all these purchases will be “within the game’s own ecosystem.”

Dead Rising 3 is coming exclusively to Xbox One as a launch title this November.

 

Source:  VG247

Halo Reclaimer Trilogy is now a “saga”

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Halo 4 was originally announced as the beginning of the Reclaimer Trilogy by 343 Industries, but that idea has apparently been expanded to a “saga.”  The next entry in the Halo franchise was recently announced at this year’s E3 featuring a cloaked figure in a wasteland–with the cloaked figure being revealed as, gasp, Master Chief.  343 has specified that this is the next “legitimate” entry in the franchise and is expected for Xbox One in 2014.

With the expansion of the trilogy into a saga, it makes me wonder if we should expect to see more numbered entries in the franchise set in the current story arc or if we’ll be given a few spin-offs between the numbered entries.  Personally, I’d love to see the brand expand beyond the FPS genre in the future.  I loved Halo Wars and would love to see another Halo RTS.  A controller-based RTS game with SmartGlass and Kinect enhanced features would be phenomenal, I think.

The Haloverse is a wonderful place just begging to be expanded in other genres–especially ones more welcoming to more robust storytelling–so I’d really like to see it step back out of its comfort zone and explore new gaming territories.  Whatever 343 has planned for the future of the franchise, I’m sure it’s exciting.

 

Source:  GameSpot

Win/Lose – Commentary on the Xbox One policy change

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Microsoft employees have gone on to say it after all the bad press regarding their next game console’s policies and I’ll say it myself, I think it comes down to people misunderstanding the policies where all the hate stems from.  People reacted about as warmly to that statement as one would expect; the statement was essentially misinterpreted as Microsoft calling consumers “stupid,”  that’s not really the case.  What they’re saying is people made immediate and biased assumptions about the system’s policies and this perpetuated ignorance and hatred for the system.  Paranoia and unwillingness to change have, ultimately, had a negative impact on the future of gaming.

Microsoft was all sorts of elusive when confirming anything regarding Xbox One’s used game/always on policies.  This wasn’t really a good move for the software giant, but understandable given the huge amount of backlash received after they made any confirmations.  With some things cleared up, Microsoft went on to show off some astounding games at this year’s E3–which I thought gave the system the upper hand.  Sony showed off some great games, too, but not a whole lot new, and not nearly the number of exclusives that Microsoft had.  To win E3, Sony went for the throat and proudly undercut the Xbox One’s price by $100 and proclaimed that there will be no used game restrictions or always on policy.  The audience erupted and immediately declared Sony the winner.

New-Xbox-One-ConsoleFrom there, the internet and her high-class citizens went on about damning the Xbox One and its restrictiveness.  The assumption that gamers wouldn’t be able to buy, sell, trade, or lend used games was a major misconception in destroying the Xbox One’s reputation.  The necessity to connect your system to the internet daily was another point counted against the system.  The rampant disregard to purpose behind those systems is what screwed us all in the end.

I made my decision to pre-order the Xbox One immediately after E3.  Why?  Primarily because of the games.  Beyond that?  I knew what Microsoft’s policies meant.  I highlight all of that wonderful stuff in my now outdated article on why I pre-ordered an Xbox One.  I liked the idea of a game being linked to my account so I can play it without a disc.  Why?  Because it meant that no matter where I was or whether or not I had the game disc with me, I could download the game on any Xbox One and enjoy the game I purchased.  The license granted to me from purchasing a game on Xbox One was good beyond the game disc, I had access to the game on Games on Demand and could continue enjoying the game even if I didn’t have access to the game disc.  Pretty wonderful idea, if you ask me.  I loved the family sharing plan.  The fact that I could grant access to my entire gaming library to 10 of my Xbox Live friends was awesome.  Rather than having to be local to lend games, I could give full access of my games to friends of mine out of state.  Borrowing and lending games would be better than ever before because it wasn’t grounded strictly in real-world media.

I’m still a traditionalist–I love physical media.  I’ve got a huge collection of games spanning 15 or so game consoles and they’re some of my most prized possessions.  Gaming is a huge part of me and that tangible media is an important part of that–I love to collect.  Having the option to enjoy owning and collecting the physical media while maintaining access to my games in the digital world is pretty awesome.  Being able to borrow and lend games online is pretty awesome.  The fact that our world is pretty much always online just makes me wonder, why on earth were we all afraid of the Xbox One?  The DRM?  The DRM incorporated in the Xbox One was simply to check to make sure that the game was attached to your account or you had legitimate borrowing access.  That’s not a bad thing and it is, in no way, restrictive to what you can do with your game.  Microsoft confirmed that used games and borrowing would continue without issue as they do now–the main difference is that third-party publishers would have the capability to earn money back on game resells if they so chose.

Xbox-One3With all of that, the gaming community still complained.  Harassing comments wherever they could be posted and ensuring Microsoft know that you’d much rather have the PS4 than the Xbox One because of its “less restrictive” approach to gaming.  Your dollars spoke and, Microsoft being a business, had to react.  Making money is pretty important for a corporation, so they have to make sure you’re willing to give it to them.  Microsoft retracted their online spot check and DRM policies for you, but also for them.  Why?  Because you hated everything the system promised, so they had to make it more like the system you wanted to prevent the investment from being a total loss.  Win.

I’m not trying to say any one system is better than the other.  I have no doubt that I will own a PS4 before too long, but what I saw of the Xbox One made it my platform of choice at launch.  It is frustrating, to me, that some of the reasons I chose the platform are being taken away from me.  I made an investment in the system and now I’m losing the functionality I was so looking forward to.  I’ll still have the games, sure, and that was, ultimately, the top reason I selected Xbox One as my Holiday 2013 launch system, but it is saddening that I’ll have to give up some of the system’s most promising features because of you.

The removal of these policies may seem like a big win for the gaming community, but we’ve really just put a halt on some groundbreaking features.  Digital borrowing/trading was a huge win for us, but we didn’t want that.  Switching games without switching discs was a huge win for us, but we didn’t want that.  Access to our entire gaming library no matter where we are was a huge win for us, but we didn’t want that.  It may have seemed like all these policies were put in place to restrict us, but they really promised a pretty bright future for gaming, but we didn’t want that.  The next gaming generation could have been a huge leap forward, but, after eight years, we only wanted a small step.  So, let’s celebrate because we won the battle.  So, why then, does it feel like we’ve lost?

Yu Suzuki, David Cage, and Ryan Payton discuss storytelling in gaming

Storytelling is one of the biggest things I love about gaming.  Being able to experience stories in an interactive way makes the stories come to life, in my opinion, more than the passive experiences movies and books give you (though I greatly enjoy those mediums as well).  It’s long been my dream to be a screenwriter for games, and so I’ve always had a great deal  of respect for the men and women who manage to make their ideas come to life in an interactive way.  Some of my favorite gaming storytellers include Quantic Dream’s David Cage and Shenmue creator Yu Suzuki.  Heavy Rain, Indigo Prophecy, and Shenmue remain some of my favorite games.  With that said, here’s a nice, long interview featuring those two gentlemen as well as former HALO creative director Ryan Payton.  It’s an interesting look at what goes into telling great interactive stories and for anybody interested in that process, is definitely worth a watch.

 

Robert Downey Jr. is Iron Man

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There had been some speculation for a while that Robert Downey Jr. might not return to the iconic role of Tony Stark, aka Iron Man, after the third film in the franchise and the massive paychecks Marvel has had to write for the guy, but it’s now been confirmed that RDJ will be stepping back into the role for the next two Avengers flicks.  Joss Whedon had gone on record to state that he wouldn’t make an Avengers 2 without RDJ as Tony Stark, so I guess that’s taken care of.  Yay.

Currently, there are no plans for a fourth Iron Man film, but given the huge success of the first three installments and the importance of the character in Marvel’s Cinematic Universe, I would be very surprised if we didn’t see more Iron Man before the third Avengers.

 

Source:  IGN

The next Dragon Age and Mass Effect built on same core system

I’m a long-time fan of BioWare.  I’ve been playing their games for the better part of my whole life.  Baldur’s Gate, Neverwinter Nights, KotOR, Jade Empire, Mass Effect–all of these games have had a lasting impact on me and I’m always tempted to go back to re-experience the greatness of those gaming classics.  I can’t express the disappointment I felt when they were bought out by Electronic Arts and the changes that came with that acquisition.  Don’t get me wrong, there have been some great games from BioWare since the acquisition, but the practices and tone of the games have changed drastically since the studio gave up its independence.

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Even though it’s published by EA, Dragon Age: Origins is, in my humble opinion, the last classic BioWare game.  Production on DAO began long before EA’s purchase of the Canadian developer and it’s undeniable that it feels everything like one of their older titles.  A spiritual successor to their Dungeons & Dragons licensed games, Dragon Age was a love letter to their fans and hardcore gamers.  It was an in-depth tactical RPG with branching stories and great characters.  I loved it, as did pretty much every other loyal BioWare fan.  It was a game that gave me hope for the future of the studio under EA’s umbrella… until we got Dragon Age 2.

Among the many things bad with their fantasy RPG sequel, Dragon Age 2 can easily be considered Mass Effect with swords… and a much smaller world.  Dragon Age 2 was everything DAO wasn’t–everything a Dragon Age game shouldn’t be.  Despite Mass Effect being a great gaming franchise, it’s successful in that its mechanics work within its game world–those mechanics don’t belong in any sequel to a tactical fantasy RPG.  With that said, I can’t help but be a little apprehensive about the upcoming Dragon Age 3, which will lay the groundwork for the next entry in the Mass Effect franchise.

I can see the positive side of this as it will cut down development time for the next Mass Effect, but it also indicates that the next DA will not really distance itself from the “ME with swords” identity established with the second game.  If BioWare proves me wrong in this assumption, I’ll be thrilled.  Until then, I’m going to remain cautious about the next Dragon Age.

 

Source:  VG247