Child of Light Making of #2: Music and Sounds Get The High Note This Update…

 
Equally as important as the plot and lovely visuals are the music and sound effects in Ubisoft’s upcoming soon to be classic Child of Light, and as you can see above, all those pieces are indeed falling exactly where they need to. It’s clear that this project will be one for the ages as well as a great first game made with UbiArt Framework (which needs to get into the hands of a few other developers just so we can see how different art styles hold up to the new tech). April 30th is when this one comes out for PC and consoles, so keep an eye peeled, I say…

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LEGO The Hobbit In Stores Today: CG Plastic Playground Beats CG Movie FX Any Day of the Week…

 
While I’m not a huge fan of the fantasy amusement park thrill rides that are The Hobbit films, TT Games has never let me down with their takes on the Lord of the Rings franchise and a bunch of other games they’ve done up with the full on LEGO treatment. While production values have been beefed up considerably since the first LEGO games, the same sense of silliness and all-out fun is intact, as is drop-in drop-out co-op play, loads of secrets and probably so many characters to play as that the game’s replay value is way off the charts if you’re one of those folks who wants to see it all and doesn’t care how long it takes to unlock everything. Anyway, this one’s available NOW for Xbox One, Xbox 360, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, PlayStation Vita, Nintendo 3DS and PC, so round up the family and go grab a copy, I say…

Child of Light Gets The Always Amazing Amano Touch…

 
While I’ve had the great pleasure of seeing Yoshitaka Amano’s artwork up close and personal, it was too many years ago here in NYC when he was promoting HERO and I even got to chat briefly with him about his art on the Front Mission games thanks to a friend who translated my questions and compliments. Anyway, here he is doing what he does best for Ubisoft’s upcoming Child of Light and making me wish I could actually afford to own one of his paintings one of these days. It’s too bad this video isn’t longer, but oh well – sometimes you have to take the art you can get however you can get it, right? Child of Light will be available April 30 for assorted platforms and yes, you need to buy it.

Child of Light is My Game of the Month (And I Haven’t Even Played It)

 

Well, what else is new, right? As soon as I saw screen shots of Ubisoft’s upcoming RPG Child of Light, then video of it in action, I had to immediately add it to the top of my “PLAY IT OR ELSE!” pile and add both a background and banner using the gorgeous art to the site. It’s coming out April 30, 2014 for PC, PS3/PS4, Xbox 360/Xbox One and Wii U, so if you’re currently owning one of these systems or have a PC capable of running this game, you pretty much have zero excuse not to snap this up. That new UbiArt Framework tech makes the game look like a storybook come to life and I’d love to see it get used as a game making tool by an even wider range of artists as the years go by. Of course, as this is a digital only release, I’m hoping it’s not gone and forgotten by gamers out there who still prefer packaged titles for a few key reasons. But as with anything rolling out these days in this economy, we’ll see what happens…

Welp, VR Just Went Viral. Literally. Yuk.

RiftPeople, I’m speechless. THIS just happened and while some in the tech sector are giddy, anyone who had any thoughts about privacy using that Rift when it comes out has just gotten a “poke” to both eyes. Blech, Yuck, Argh and so forth and so on. Not to mention that people who will buy that thing and not clean it because they’re dopey about stuff like this will end up giving everyone in their homes and elsewhere some sort of eye infection or worse. Ewwww…

Now, I’m not a big VR supporter (I still recall when it was attempted with mixed results in the 90′s), but I was willing to give it a chance based on all the people I know who’ve tried both development versions of the Oculus Rift hardware. Now, I’d not touch the thing with a ten foot pole unless I was using said pole to bash those goofy goggles to bits with. Data mining through your entertainment isn’t new at all, but facebook getting it’s money gloves into EVERYTHING is getting to be extremely annoying. Let me shut up here and vent with some ice cream for a bit. Man, what a day… between this and Fed Ex jerking me around with a package they keep failing to deliver (I’m HOME you idiots!), I’m not having a good day today. Blaaaaah.

Child of Light Making of #1: Dream, Draw and Drink In The Delicious Results…

 
Child of Light logoUbisoft is making game making an even more “magical” process these days thanks to its UbiArt Framework tech that allows for artists to see their work come to brilliant life while remaining unchanged from how it was created. The upcoming multiplatform role-playing game, Child of Light (April 30, 2014) presents the gorgeous storybook world of Lemuria and allows players to dive in and explore it using some tried and true gameplay along with some nice new features sure to bring on the raves from an audience hungry for new original properties and not more of the same old same old.

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Given that the game is set ti launch on PC, PS3/PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One and Wii U (so far!), it looks as if anyone with a home console or decent enough gaming setup will be seeing what the fuss is all about soon enough. Yeah, I know you Mac and Linux users are all cranky right about now, but I guess there will be a version of this for you folks at some point down the road. In the meantime, I guess you could always make friends with someone who has one of the systems the CAN play on when it launches next month…

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New Arrivals: Speaking of Godzilla (and Other Big Things)…

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Yeah, yeah, I know that luscious Criterion Collection version is THE one to have, but I couldn’t pass this older set up at under seven bucks. That Blade Runner set was a gift from a friend who knows I have mixed reactions to this “classic” even to this day and he’s trying to get me to be in the rah-rah camp on this. I don’t “hate” the film at all, mind you. It just has never floored me as much as some and I’ve seen three of the four versions in this set. I’ve never seen the making of features, so those will get viewed first because I just LOVE all that behind the scenes stuff. That Superman cartoon collection was four bucks and ESSENTIAL for anyone who thinks that Batman animated series from the 90′s was amazing. If it weren’t for the Fleisher brothers and their skilled handful of animators, that series and any others that swipe its lovely art style and still powerful animation wouldn’t even exist.

The Sword of Doom is one of my favorite movies, period. But this isn’t that Criterion Collection edition that commands top dollar, but a fine restoration print for under five bucks. On the game front, Tales of Symphonia Chronicles was also in the mail today (Thanks, Namco Bandai Games!) so there goes my weekend. Well, thee goes next weekend, as I’m just starting a few reviews I need to get done and I’m not even going to crack open the shrink wrap on this or else I’ll just see a week vanish in no time flat with nothing to show for it but a lack of sleep. Okay, back to work for me – I’m poking together a few Toy Fair articles for next week, so updates will me minimal while I get those together. My brain is ready – my fingers just need to be able to keep up (typety type type type)

Pac-Man Museum: Namco Bandai’s Fast Moving Fossil Still Rules.

 
I can’t recall a year since 1980 that Pac-Man wasn’t playable on something so it’s good to see Namco Bandai keeping things rolling along with this latest collection that focuses exclusively on everyone’s favorite power pellet chomping, ghost chasing (or avoiding) round yellow hero. PSN, Xbox Live Arcade (February 25) and PC via Steam (February 26). You know you want to play even if you’re not a gamer. Hey, EVERYONE is lousy at Pac-Man until they suddenly get really good at it from playing too much. And if you don’t think that will happen, a ha ha ha… you’ll see. You’ll be dreaming of colorful ghosts and those oddball sound effects soon enough.

Drakengard 3 Trailer: Access Games Doing Its Thing, Dragon Style…

 
The Drakengard series isn’t exactly known for it’s spectacular presentation or stories that make a whole lot of sense (multiple endings aside), but there’s something compelling about them that’s given the first two games a fairly loyal fan base. With original developer Cavia dissolved into the ashes of history, Access Games (Deadly Premonition) steps up to the plate for this prequel to the first game that, while not visually outstanding, offers up plenty of quirky charm and what looks like a slightly lighter tone than previous entries. Then again, one pee joke and some annoying voice acting on some of the characters aside (the game needs a dual language option), I think this one’s got the makings of a sleeper hit provided it gets enough love from Square Enix on the promotion front. As usual, we’ll see. May 20th is a few months away, so there’s enough time for the company to make more noise about this one…

PlayStation Plus February Lineup: Free Is Good. REALLY Good…

 
PlayStation Plus is continuing to be the best deal in gaming these days save for the whole “pay to play online” thing, which makes less sense as time goes on. That said, the amount of free games you get each month for signing up at $50 a year is NUTS. How nuts? Well, it’s clear that Sony wants the PS4, PS3 and Vita to be the ONLY systems you touch, as that library of gratis games per month is enough to keep the hardcore player busy and the casual player wondering when the hell they’ll find time to play all those games that pop up on the first of the month automatically. Heck, even if you didn’t buy a single game from retail or PSN, you’re getting more than enough titles to keep you occupied. as long as you keep that account, you keep every free game you’ve gotten, which isn’t a bad deal at all. Sony will be rolling out more surprises this year, so it will be interesting to see if PS Plus stays a great deal or if that fee goes up a bit over time. I don’t think it will, but I do wonder how they turn a profit by giving away the store to a few million happy users a dozen times a year…