Category Archives: 2. Digestive Gaming Biscuit

Hopefully you will find yourself here each week like a baby bird being fed the regurgitated, opinion populated news from the gaming world. You won’t find an impartial view, but hopefully it will be amusing enough for you to forgive us for not being the Times.

DIGESTIVE GAMING BISCUIT 7th April – 14th APRIL 2014

The Last Of Us

This week The Last Of Us fans were given a reason to be joyous. And when we say Last of Us fans that’s surely anyone who has played the apocalyptic adventure horror title from Naughty Dog. Following a leaked screenshot advertising The Last of Us coming to the PS4, Sony were forced to confirm that the game will indeed be coming to their newest console.

The Last Of Us Re-mastered edition will come with all DLC from the PS3 version including the prequel Left Behind that helps to fill in a few gaps in Ellie’s history. Along with the additional content the game will also feature graphical improvements thanks to the PS4’s impressive hardware. The Re-mastered edition of the game will run at 60fps as opposed to the PS3’s 30fps and will also run in 1080p.

The Last of Us

A trailer showing one of the more touching moments in the game running on PS4 hardware has been released in order to show off the benefits of buying the game again. We would link it but are such massive fans we don’t want to run the risk of ruining any surprises and lessening the emotional impact for any players who are yet to experience this classic.

To be honest though, if you are yet to play The Last of Us but don’t own a PS3 or a PS4, even though we are yet to play the PS4 Remastered edition. As per our website title “Its Not Just Graphics”, we would argue that whilst it’s nice the game is getting a fresh coat of paint, the PS3’s graphical experience is certainly strong enough so why wait. You should run out and buy a PS3 and a copy of The Last Of Us now! There are numerous other PS3 exclusives that also warrant purchasing the Sony’s previous generation console.

xbox-one-titanfall-bundle

Sony weren’t the only ones making next gen waves this week. Microsoft’s Xbox One has seen its price slashed down to just £350 by UK retailers. ASDA and Amazon have both discounted the Titanfall bundle, prior to this price cut Ebuyer and Overclockers UK, two British etailers, were selling the bundle for just £389 which was £10 cheaper than the Console’s RRP. Whilst the Xbox One’s sales figures certainly are nothing to scoff at they are trailing behind Sony at the moment so it is only natural for retailers to try and bring the price down in line with the more successful PS4 in the hope of shifting more units.

Nintendo fans also had plenty of excitement this week. Ubisoft have announced that Watch Dogs will be coming to Wii U in the Fall of 2014. This will be a huge relief to many Wii U owners as there have been persistent rumours claiming the game had been cancelled for Wii U.

smashbroswiiu3ds

There was also a Nintendo Direct announcement highlighting loads of new information on characters, gameplay, and technical details for the 3DS and Wii U versions of upcoming brawler Super Smash Bros. The 3DS version will find it’s way into player’s systems this summer while the Wii U version will arrive slightly later this winter.

super smash bros wiiu

Some critics are already calling the late release date for the Wii U the final nail in the coffin for the struggling system. Unfortunately the internet seems to forget that the Wii U has high profile exclusive titles in the form of Bayonetta 2 and Mario Kart 8 to keep players interested in the mean time and while these negative comments certainly aren’t justified, they will certainly create a lot of traffic, incite a lot of negative discussion and just add to the unjustified storm of negativity currently pounding Nintendo.

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DIGESTIVE GAMING BISCUIT 31st MARCH – 6th APRIL 2014

id-05-visceral

Following our previous report about Amy Hennig leaving her position of Creative Director at Naughty Dog, Visceral games have just announced that they have have hired her to work on an upcoming Star Wars project.

Steve Papoutsis announced the hiring on EA’s official News Blog. Hennig and Papoutsis have experience working with one another at Crystal Dynamics and went on to say that he “always admired her approach to creative development – focusing on nailing down the soul of a game first, and then making sure the writing, the gameplay, the design and the art comes together to form a unified, interactive experience for the player.”

Dead Space

We are very excited that the Executive Producer of Dead Space is teaming up with the Game Director of Uncharted as both Papoutsis and Hennig have a fantastic history in helping to create immersive, atmospheric thrill rides. With both of their skills we are sure the Star Wars license is in safe hands and we cannot wait to see what they create.

This wasn’t the only announcement made by EA this week. As it was the first of April the official twitter feed for the DICE engine featured a tweet regarding the Wii U that read “Frostbite now runs on the #WiiU since it is the most powerful Gen4 platform, our renderer is now optimized for Mario and Zelda.”

Wii U

This dig at Nintendo prompted EA COO Peter Moore to issue an apology over the April Fools prank, condoning the joke and apologising to Nintendo and their fans.

Fans of micro consoles rejoiced in America as Amazon finally launched the Amazon Fire TV earlier this week and it is now available to buy. Amazon do not see the Fire TV as a contender in the battle between Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo. Instead Amazon have marketed the system as an alternative to Apple TV.

Fire TV

The Fire TV specs are reasonable and Amazon have provided a more powerful system than the competition. Powering the Fire TV is a Qualcomm Quad core 1.7ghz processor and Qualcomm Adreno 320 GPU as opposed to the single cored A5 CPU in the in the Apple TV. The Fire TV also has 2gb of RAM which is four times the amount found in the Apple TV.

The Apple TV has been designed as a dedicated streaming device so although the extra power of the Fire TV looks great for marketing the Apple TV doesn’t require the additional processing power because it’s not intended for gaming. The Fire TV has just under 100 games available at the moment with a few exclusives and more on the way from developers such as EA, Sega and Amazon even bought the studio Double Helix which developed Killer Instinct recently for Microsoft.

Fire TV

Amazon does seem to be trying to plug a niche in-between the Apple TV and the Ouya by providing a system for gamers that streams tv titles. Even though the Fire TV does come in at the budget price of $99, PS3’s and Xbox 360’s have dropped significantly in price thanks to the arrival of the latest generation of consoles and we cannot help but feel like the Fire TV is trying to plug a gap that doesn’t quite exist. Yes the Amazon TV is very sleek, tiny and won’t take up much space, but a PS3 or an Xbox 360 would give players access to the same amount of content online, plus exclusive games have an even higher level of polish and also work as a dvd/blu ray player.

Whilst we are on the subject of exclusive titles, there was a string of Halo news this past week. Ridley Scott has been named as the Executive Producer on an upcoming digital feature to be directed by Battlestar Galactica director Sergio Mimica-Gezzan. This new series is to follow the format of Forward Unto Dawn, but will not feature the Master Chief as the lead character and is also completely unrelated to Steven Spielberg’s Halo project that is being Directed by Neil Blomkamp and was announced at E3 2013.

Cortana

Microsoft will also be using Cortana as a rival to Apple’s Siri. Although Cortana will appear on Windows 8.1 phones as just a circle, she will still be voiced by  voice actor Jen Taylor who lends her voice to Cortana’s character in the games.

DIGESTIVE GAMING BISCUIT: 17th MARCH – 23rd MARCH

Powers

Last year Sony announced that Sony Pictures were working on exclusive tv content for the Playstation. It has been unclear up until now what kinds of content Playstation owners could expect but it was finally announced this week that the first show will be a drama called Powers.

POWERS

The show is to be based on the police procedural graphic novel of the same title, which was written by Brain Michael Bendi and drawn by Michael Avon Oeming. There are to be ten episodes in total and we hope that it is successful, for while this content isn’t specifically related to videogaming, it is nice for providers to start creating content aimed directly at gamers. At the moment in terms of on demand titles there is very little mainstream content aimed at people who play games.

Powers

Steam this week also released the free to watch documentary called Free To Play. It follows the lives of three professional Dota 2 players in 2011, as they all compete for a $1 million prize. The documentary doesn’t focus too sharply on the details of DOTA and you don’t have to be an expert on the game in order to know what is going on. Instead the film uses the passion of each of the players to fill in any gaps, and each player’s backstory is just as intriguing as the competition itself. Free To Play also looks at the commercial success that eSports have seen in countries such as Korea and China as a result the documentary manages to explore many aspects of professional gaming which will appeal to a wide audience.

Free To Play

Sony and Steam aren’t the only ones providing custom made video content for their users. Microsoft have long been working on a large number of shows and  have even teamed up with Steven Spielberg who is producing a Halo series. A documentary series is also in the works that charts the legendary failure of the E.T. videogame by Atari.

E.T.’s sales were so bad in 1983 that according to urban legend Atari were forced to dispose of a huge number of the unsold cartridges by burying them in the desert.

ET Atari 2600

Fuel Entertainment and LightBox Interactive who are making the documentary want to excavate Alamogordo landfill in New Mexico looking for the buried chache of retro games. Unfortunately their excavation permit was denied on Thursday this week due to concerns of toxic substances that may be unearthed if the dig were to go ahead.

It’s fantastic to see Sony, Steam and Microsoft forge ahead with creating custom tv content for their audiences. For too long there has been little to no games coverage on TV in the UK, so now with the advent of on demand viewing it looks like gamers are finally going to receive the content that they have been denied for so long. You never know we might get really lucky and Games Master might see a revival.

Gamesmaster

DIGESTIVE GAMING BISCUIT: 10th MARCH – 16th MARCH

BAFTA

Well it was the videogame BAFTA awards this week and some of the biggest names in gaming and the smallest names in TV descended upon London.

The Last of Us managed to successfully clean up winning five awards in total including Best Game.

The Last Of Us

Rockstar were also bestowed a huge honor by being presented with a fellowship award. It was probably the presenter as much as the award that gave the presentation so much prestige. Whilst Neil Druckmann, Bruce Straley and Evan Wells were delivered the Best Game award from a rather confused Carol Vordamen. Hideo Kojima had been wheeled out in order to present Rockstar with their BAFTA fellowship.

Hideo Kojima BAFTA

Shots revealing a revised gamepad for the upcoming steam boxes were released this week. Whilst the track pads remain in place of two thumbsticks, the planned touch screen has been removed and replaced with a variety of buttons. Have a look at the image and let us know what you think on twitter @itsnotjustgraphics. We are reserving our judgement. When the Dreamcast was released we shunned the controller only to discover just how far ahead of it’s time it was when we finally used it.

Steambox Controller

As previously reported South Park: The Stick of Truth was censored for the PS3 and the Xbox 360 in Europe. However, there is clearly enough demand for the uncensored version as Gameseek have started to stock import copies of the PS3 version. Import gaming is no longer the black art it used to be for the playstation. Gone are the additional add ons, soldering and switches that were required to play games from different regions as the PS3 is region free for games. For anyone looking to dip their tows into the next generation of consoles. Gameseek are also potentially selling Xbox Ones for just £299.99, all you have to do is sign up to their buyer power promotion an await that email for when the item goes on sale. If you invite enough of your friends to purchase one, you may just get an Xbox one for free too.

gameseek

Indie gaming fans scroll down and have a look at the video from indie dev Heart Machine. Via Sony they have just launched a trailer for their upcoming nostalgi inducing, pixelated RPG called Hyper Light Drifter. The game almost seems to have mixed the visual styles of Journey and Ico and then put the result into a special pixelating machine. The music is also incredibly atmospheric and we cannot wait to get our hands on a copy.

If you enjoyed that video and fancy some more visual stimulation It’snotjustgraphics’ video channel has released it’s latest video and you can view it here.

DIGESTIVE GAMING BISCUIT: 3rd MARCH – 9th MARCH

playstationThe gaming news this week saw two industry giants step down from their position’s.  As of the 31st of March Jack Tretton will be relinquishing his position as Sony Computer Entertainment’s CEO to Shawn Layden. Tretton and Sony both have stated that this is a mutual decision.

Tretton was one of the founding execs of Sony’s Playstation division having worked for SCEA for the past 19 years. He led the American division of Sony Computer Entertainments through the hardware launches of PSone, PS2, PSP, PS3, Vita and most recently the PS4.

Sony Computer Entertainment president Andrew House made the following statement. “I’ve worked with Jack for nearly two decades and I want to personally thank him for his leadership and the considerable contributions he’s made to the SCEA business and PlayStation brand over the years. I wish him nothing but the best in his future endeavors.”

Jack Tretton

Shawn Leyden, Tretton’s replacement has been with Playstation for 15 years spending a short stint as president of Sony Computer Entertainment in Japan, so he is clearly more than experienced enough to take on the new role.

The second high profile industry member to leave her position was Amy Hennig. Hennig was game director for Naughty Dog, and it was reported initially that she had been forced to by the company’s co-presidents. Naughty Dog have been quick to respond to these accusations and posted a statement on their website that reads; “Bruce Straley and Neil Druckmann were NOT involved in what transpired.”

Uncharted Amy Hennig

In the first reports claiming Hennig was forced out, there were no precise sources or evidence quoted. It would seem that these early articles were therefore a bit speculative. After all, Hennig had done some incredible work at Naughty Dog for the Uncharted series and prior to that the Jak and Daxter title’s. So, it would seem strange for the studio to push her out . However, not wanting to fall foul on this subject like the earlier reports I will end all speculation here.

Nintendo’s Iwata seemed to be the only major player making a statement regarding his intent to keep ploughing on. After making a statement to reduce his wages until Nintendo’s financial reports stop causing the printers from running the red ink cartridge dry, Iwata made a post on Nintendo’s website stating his commitments to continue to develop new Nintendo hardware, and research into providing a “quality of life,” platform.

It was a good job Iwata posted the report early in the week as Nintendo fan’s were exploding with excitement later when Mario Kart 8’s  limited edition was unveiled. The limited edition of the game comes with a plastic statue of the infamous Blue Shell, which has stolen more victories than Russia has stolen in land mass.

If you pre-order the title from Nintendo’s online store, you will also get a t-shirt and key chain included as part of your package.

Mario Kart 8

For the indie hipsters with wispy moustaches that deem Mario Kart 8 too mainstream, have no fear. There’s actually some Nintendo related news you might enjoy. Cebit Games officially became a Nintendo approved developer. If you aren’t aware of the studio they are currently developing a game called Insanity’s Blade: The Chronicles of Thurstan which they will be porting over to the Wii U. This title is the first in a proposed series that charts the journey of a sword possessed by a father’s powerful grief and hatred.

The gameplay combines Action-RPG elements with platforming and tries to wrap it up in a classic arcade style. As regulars to the site might realise I am a sucker for an overarching storyline so I definitely have my eyes on this beautifully rendered 8-bit game. If it sounds like your cup of tea but don’t have a Wii U, you can also support the studio here on Steam Greenlight.

And the most exciting news we have saved until last. Which is probably a bit stupid because 99% of you will have stopped reading by now anyway but who cares. Because that %1 will be part of a special elite who will get to join us for the opening of our new video channel. Click here to see our Metroid Fusion video and don’t forget to subscribe and check back for regular updates while we try and provide you with the finest in videogaming entertainment.

Metroid Fusion

DIGESTIVE GAMING NEWS: 24TH FEBRUARY– 2ND MARCH

Kinect

This week has been a bit of a frightening one. Documents were leaked showing that GCHQ conducted an investigation into using our consoles against us, and Xbox Kinect was evaluated for use in spying on us in our own lounges. I had always suspected that Nintendo had managed to secrete a camera somewhere upon the Nintendo Wii, just to laugh at ridiculous westerners who were stupid enough to purchase a console named after a toilet technique, and play games that made players look like they were having an epileptic fit. GCHQ are a bit more menacing than Nintendo though and have motives for watching us other than pointing and laughing.

Between 2008 and 2010, a project with the codename Optic Nerve collected images of users through Yahoo’s webcam service. While it’s not certain whether the Kinect camera, or other camera’s for other consoles have been used. Documents leaked by Edward Snowden specifically mention that the camera within the Kinect device had been identified by GCHQ as a potential source of information.

Kinect

Rather than capturing terrorists, it seems GCHQ are more concerned with cultivating a huge databank of teenage boys wanking over characters such as Bayonetta. We can only imagine how excited they got when Lara Croft Tomb Raider Definitive Edition had been announced for Xbox One. That would grow their databases exponentially. GCHQ were probably also excited that they could open up a whole new specialist collection consisting of fat angry nerds crying whilst they beat off due to the realisation that Lara was only in 900p and not 1080p.

It’s just a bit of a shame that no one pointed GCHQ in the direction of Chat Roulette sooner because I can’t help but feel like it would have saved a lot of interns a lot of work and mental scarring.

Abe

In other dystopian news Fresh Meat released more screen shots for their upcoming remake of Abe’s Odysey. The game is called New ‘n Tasty and is a completely new ‘from the ground up’ rebuilding of the original with 3D visuals, silky smooth animation and improved music. In more Oddworld news, we also reviewed Stranger’s Wrath this week, which you can find here.

Nintendo Force also conducted an in depth interview with Fresh Meat in their January/February issue. You can see a brief overview of that issue here.

Sony Santa Monica

Abe’s not the only employee with an axe to grind this week either, Sony Santa Monica laid off an unspecified number of it’s employees after cancelling an unknown new triple A IP. Sony Santa Monica were the team behind the grisly, gore-tastic God of War, and whilst I am a huge fan of the series, the games haven’t changed a massive amount since their inception. Therefore it would have been great to see something completely new from the incredibly talented studio. Lord knows that the PS4 is crying out for exclusive killer IP at the moment. The Order: 1866 will only satiate so many for so long.

South Park

South Park fans in Europe also faced disappointment this week after Ubisoft announced that they would be censoring their own upcoming comedy RPG, South Park: The Stick of Truth. At least two minutes of footage are to be greyed out with a description from Matt Stone and Trey Parker depicting the incredibly graphic imagery behind.

I can’t help but wonder whether this is a marketing ploy on the part of Ubisoft to drum up hype about the upcoming game. Rockstar can testify to just how well controversy sells videogames. A more recent example would be Senran Kagura, whilst a group of outspoken people were up in arms about the concept of two scantily clad school girls fighting one another, a less outspoken group of people were ordering the game in huge numbers sending Senran Kagura flying up the pre-order charts.

If Ubisoft truly are worried that the content is too graphic for gamers than I think that is an even bigger outrage than if it were just a cheap marketing trick. It’s a sad state of affairs if the videogame industry isn’t confident to explore subjects with the same amount of profanity as other media. If that’s the case, then Ubisoft have weakened videogame’s stance as a legitimate art form in the eyes of its critics.

Nintendo Wi-Fi

And finally, while GCHQ are looking to tap into people’s lives through their consoles, Nintendo are looking to disconnect them. Nintendo announced they will be turning off the Nintendo Wi-Fi service that allows players to play online with Nintendo DS’s and Nintendo Wii’s on the 20th of May.

This is a shame, but Nintendo will be relocating resources to strengthen services for the Nintendo 3DS and the Wii U. With the release of Mario Kart 8 and the new Super Smash Bros. later this year, they are going to need quite a strong enough infra structure. Especially if Nintendo expect to provide a flawless service to the most complacent species on the planet. Gamers.

DIGESTIVE GAMING NEWS: 17TH – 23RD FEBRUARY

IrrationalGamesLogo

Ken Levine, God Father of Bioshock and head of Irrational stated this week that he would be closing the studio he helped to set up in 1997.

Mr Levine released a statement that claimed he was not able to create the kind of games that he was interested in at Irrational, so will be moving on with around fifteen members of staff whilst leaving the majority of the employees at Irrational facing unemployment.

Bioshock Infinite

Many within the industry have put this rather ‘Irrational’ move, (pardon the pun), down to a fact of economics. Whilst Bioshock and Bioshock Infinite were critical successes that had reasonable sales figures., the time and resources that these titles took to develop meant that Irrational’s owner, 2K games, would have received very little back in the way of profit.

It is strange that Irrational was shut down completely though. It’s almost as if Levine didn’t want to leave his legacy in the hands of someone else, like a spoilt child not wanting to share his drawings. What’s even stranger is that the studio were working on porting Bioshock over to the PS Vita, a project that seemingly has been put on hold. Provided that the Vita is as powerful as Sony would have us believe and its an easy job to port Bioshock over, I wouldn’t have thought it would take long before 2K games farm the project out to another studio to try and recoup some more money from one of their more expensive investments.

You can see our review of Bioshock Infinite here if you have not yet played the game.

Kiefer Sutherland

In other news Kiefer Sutherland has apparently told reporters that he has been working on a previously unannounced Mortal Kombat game. We assume that he means he has been doing the voice over work and not any character design. Otherwise it will soon also be announced that a moody teenage 80’s styled vampire and a gruff government operative whose fatality is to waterboard people to death have been added to the roster.

Microsoft took a further bashing in the current next gen war as Sony released the PS4 finally in Japan and announced that the sales of the PS4 are around double what Microsoft have managed to shift of their Xbox One console.

Hideo Kojima also added fuel to the fire of the current battle between Sony and Microsoft by releasing his very own comparison video for Metal Gear Solid Zeroes. It shows the upcoming stealth em up running on 360, PS3, PS4 and Xbox One. The comparison video, for those who can’t be bothered to watch it (lets be honest these things are so damned dull that not even the cinematic Kojima can make them interesting), shows the game looking best on the PS4.

While we are very firmly of the belief that its not graphics that make a game, but gameplay, when you are selling a system claiming to provide the ultimate gameplay experience and charging a premium over your competitors it’s a bit embarrassing when you don’t deliver. At the moment the Wii U has more titles running at 1080p 60fps than the Xbox One does. It also has more exclusive titles worth playing. Hopefully the internet will realize there really is no reason to hate Nintendo so much and then the Xbox One can become the new Wii U.

Donkey Kong Tropical Freeze

Nintendo released Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze for the Wii U this week. Nintendo fans were excited because the software drought that is affecting all of the latest gen of consoles is hitting the Wii U hard. If you are thinking of picking up the game, then why not check out our informative, and amusing review here.

This is the end

For those who don’t remember the cinematic travesties that were Super Mario Bros, Street Fighter the Movie, Max Payne and so many others I’ll get arthritis in my fingers from typing, then get excited! A new videogame movie is coming out! Before we get too negative, rather than being based on a particular title, the film is actually to be based on the book Console Wars by Blake J. Harris. The book charts the console war between Sega and Nintendo and most intriguingly looks to have Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg at the helm. These are the guys responsible for the funniest film (In our opinion,) of last year This is The End.

Sony VR

And finally, not content with resting on their laurels over the success of the PS4 and the growing audience with PS Vita, it has been leaked that Sony are preparing to announce their very own Virtual Reality unit to compete with the Occulus Rift.

If you feel like we have missed anything out or are lonely and just want a chat please feel free to tweet us @notjustgraphics or just drop us a message below.