Gear.Club Unlimited 2 Launch Trailer: Wheel Impressive

 

Skidding into retail and the eShop today is publisher Microïds and developer Eden Games’ Switch exclusive sequel, which is the sole licensed racing game on the console following the success of the original Gear.Club Unlimited (which has gone on sale on the eShop for a limited time). The sequel offers more than 1800 miles of tracks, over 50 cars, 250 races, including championships, missions and challenges, enhanced upgrade and customization features and more.  A review copy is on the way, so keep an eye peeled for an upcoming post. I did really like the hands-on time I spent with the game, so feel free to check out those impressions here.

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“Key in the ignition, pedal to the floor, open road around the bend, headed down Highway 10…”

-GW

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Capsule Reviews: Barney’s Got It Right (Again) Part 1

(Thanks, CptNem!)

“Get me rewrite!” Or: Sometimes the Stupidest Things Happen at the Dumbest Possible Times Division (Q Branch). Anyway, last night I was about two hours into writing up this article, I actually sneezed while typing and (get this) accidentally replaced about 8 or 900 words and a few videos with one word. I hit that Undo button and laughed loudly because boy, it’s a good thing that option exists when stuff like this occurs, right? But guess what? That actually didn’t work. Yipes. I then find out that WordPress’ auto-saving function in drafts or works in progress does NOT account for these unhappy accidents and yes, will overwrite even as one is trying to fix an issue. Eep.

After some time messaging with a WP tech support rep who was otherwise helpful but couldn’t solve my particularly stupendously stupid accident, I figured out that yep, I needed to start over. I absolutely HATE rewriting stuff like this, so after pressing the old panic button about a dozen times until it exploded, I decided to go watch a three quarters of a very good Netflix documentary on Orson Welles and call it a night. Hey, it was a long day up to that point and staying up any later trying to fix what was busted would have just made things worse.

Anyway, yep, I’ve been busy playing a bunch of games that I’m going to recommend below, now in slightly shorter form than the original, but I think you’ll get the gist of things. Or at least your wallet will start trying to hide before you can whip it out.

R-Type D EX boxR-Type Dimensions EX (Nintendo Switch, $14.99): Absolutely stellar versions of the 1987 classic arcade shmup and its 1989 sequel offer up a wealth of options that make it accessible to anyone who can hold a controller. Both games feature the ability to switch between 2D and 3D art on the fly (with a number of visual options), super responsive 60fps gameplay at 1080p and even a 2-player co-op mode where friendly fire can be toggled on or off.

There are even slow motion and fast forward options if you want to learn how to play or just make things pure hell on your stress level, although that crazy fast forward mode is survivable if your skills are up to the challenge. Me? I laughed so much while using it because I was thrilled I actually survived a few levels while using it. The game tallies up all the R-9 ships you’ve lost, so completing a stage with as few (or no) deaths is pretty rewarding when it happens.

R-Type 01

Heh. You may need a Geiger counter (or H.R. Giger counter, actually) to tally up this game’s visual references in a few stages.

The game is still as incredible a challenge as it’s ever been, with those Bydo Empire baddies doing their level best to blast you into space dust. Whether you play with unlimited lives or really challenge yourself with the more intense original difficulty, you’re getting a pair of games with a ton of replay value as well as a nice slice of game history. I’m not sure if Tozai Games has the publishing rights to the other entries in this series, but if they do, a nice set of all the games would be more than welcome by fan if they can make it so. This one’s also on Steam if you’re a PC gamer looking to check out what’s here on a PC that will run it, so go take a peek if your interest is piqued.

Score: A (95%)

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Gear.Club Unlimited 2 Hands-On: Eden’s Zippy Switch Racer’s a Winner

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GCU2_boxFor whatever reasons, games with licensed cars have been a bit (okay, REALLY) underrepresented on Nintendo’s home consoles for far too many years. The sole good game with licensed cars during the last generation was 2013’s Need For Speed Most Wanted U, a stellar conversion/update that got overall excellent reviews but didn’t sell as well as it should have. I won’t even mention that Fast & Furious game from the same year because it was memorable for all the wrong reasons.

With the Switch doing so exceptionally well since its launch as a home/away hybrid system, you’d think that at over 1230 or so games in we’d see more and better licensed racers filling up retail and the eShop, but nope. Other than the still delayed rally-focused V-Rally 4, and the upcoming truck sim Spintires: MudRunner – American Wilds, pickings are slim for those who want a more authentic racing experience with branded foreign and domestic cars.

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Only a tiny portion of the map is revealed here. All those other courses unlock as you go.

 

Thankfully, last year, veteran developer Eden Games stepped to the plate with Gear.Club Unlimited, an enhanced upgrade of their popular mobile game that removed the mobile-friendly microtransactions and added more cars and game modes. While well received by racing fans and some critics, there was some negativity about shorter than expected race sessions and some elements that seemed too close to the mobile game’s roots. Still, the game did well enough (and is still moving units at full price) that Eden set out to make a sequel that addressed the issues in the first game while adding improvements guaranteed to make the sequel even more impressive.

Let’s just say they have (and how):

 

 

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Gear.Club Unlimited 2: More Real Race Time on Switch

GCU2_2D_ESRBOh, I’m kind of mad at myself as a new-ish Switch owner (well, it’s been a few months already) who had NO idea there was a decent (and huge selling) racer using licensed cars on the system. Of course, I blame ALL those people going on and on about Mario Kart this and Mario Kart that, which is fine and dandy, as yes, it’s a ton of fun for all. But I didn’t realize that one of my favorite racing game developers (Eden Games) had made a mobile to Switch port last year of Gear.Club Unlimited and I still haven’t picked it up. Oops.

I did poke at some reviews that noted it’s not perfect, but I’m on the hunt for a inexpensive copy just to see for myself because Eden’s other racers have been quite good (I’m looking at you, Test Drive Unlimited 1 & 2, V-Rally 3 and a couple of others I still own and occasionally play when I find the time.

 

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Anyway, Switch owners are getting Gear.Club Unlimited 2 this December 4 worldwide from Eden and publisher Microïds and if the trailer is any indication, it looks to be an even better followup. Take a peek:

 

 

Press release with that tasty car info below the jump if you’re up for more reading today.

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There’s A Vertigo Game Coming. With A Hitch.

Vertigo

Yep, that was me upon reading this email from earlier today. I’ll say no more other than I like some of what Microïds has done over the years and if they can do this right and pay homage to Hitchcock and one of his greatest films, I’ll be one of those championing the work. That said, I know a load of people will indeed be upset at this news and all I ask is for them is to be patient, go poke around at the company’s site and see that there’s probably no cause for alarm at this point.

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Press release below the jump:

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PC Review: Agatha Christie: The ABC Murders

The ABC Murders B 

ABC_jaquettesPlatform: PC (also on PS4, Xbox One)
Developer: Artefacts Studios
Publisher: Microids
#of Players: 1
MSRP: $29.99
ESRB Rating: T (Teen)
Official Site
Score: B+ 85%

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In Agatha Christie: The ABC Murders, you play Hercule Poirot, the dapper detective with the well-trimmed mustache whose “little grey cells” got him through plenty of crime solving tales made famous by the author and represented in books, on stage, screen and yes, videogames. Developer Artefacts’ decision to make their Poirot so close to the source leaves exactly no room for intentional player error or many non-Poirot like affectations to mess with the formula. While this results in a game that’s impossible to “lose” because you’ve made a serious error in judgment or otherwise, it does deliver the proper feeling of the man at work as a series of not so random alphabet-related murders unfold.

Part of what makes the story and game so intriguing is the killer’s choice of Poirot as the person to mail clues to each crime to before he commits them. The killer’s confidence in taunting and tasking Poirot to track him (or her) down means there’s a certain sort of methodical insanity at work that’s somewhat fascinating. In this modern information age where under some circumstances, electronically sending death threats like that would (or should) lead to a suspect most likely being caught before they got too far into the alphabet, the 1935 setting means those mailed letters give the killer time to plot and Poirot time to think. The unfortunate side effect is a new crime scene and recently killed body to pore over for evidence, but as they say, nothing is indeed perfect, mes amisContinue reading

Agatha Christie: The ABC Murders Hands-On: “Little Grey Cells” Get A Nice Workout


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Microids‘ upcoming Agatha Christie: The ABC Murders hits European retail and digital outlets next week for PC (via gog.com or Steam) and US online and retail a few weeks later. Some hands-on time last week with the demo reveals mystery fans will have a fine time indeed playing dapper detective Hercule Poirot as he takes on that clever killer with the alphabet fetish and a talent for leaving clues galore. The demo features Poirot investigating the first murder (a shopkeeper found dead in her tobacco store) using his “little grey cells” in some simple to learn gameplay that should please casual to expert gene fans. Continue reading

Agatha Christie: The ABC Murders: Get Yours Before Someone Else Gets Theirs

ABC Murders cover logo 4Mystery fans on the trail of the whereabouts of Microids’ upcoming Agatha Christie: The ABC Murders now have a fresh clue as to the location of the game. This latest trailer shows off more nicely stylized visuals and Hercule Poirot doing what he does best.

The game will hit retail and digital outlets for PC/Mac, PS4 and Xbox One February 4, 2016 in Europe and February 23, 2016 in North America. Pre-orders for the PC version are being taken on gog.com and Steam, both at a temporary 20% discount off the $29.99 retail price.

ABC allpacks ESRB Final 

The King of Oddball Asides wants me to note that Monsieur Poirot wears his gloves all the time in that trailer and that makes him a suspect as well. But The King of Oddball Asides is indeed an oddball himself. Anyway, Microids would very much like it if you crept up on them one of these days and got all nosy like a certain Belgian detective. In English, follow them using the links below:

Website: http://www.Microids.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/microids

Twitter http://www.twitter.com/Microids_off

Pinterest http://www.pinterest.com/microids

Agatha Christie – The ABC Murders: Kill Some Time With Poirot in February

ABC_MURDERS_LOGO 

packshot%20illustration_SMALLFrench game publisher Microïds and developers Artefacts Studio are putting the final touches on what’s looking to be a fine mystery/adventure game, Agatha Christie – The ABC Murders, set for release on PS4, Xbox One, PC and Mac February 4th, 2016 in Europe and February 23 in the U.S. on PS4, Xbox One, PC and Mac. Microïds obviously knows the universal appeal of Christie’s work as the game is going to be dubbed in English and French and subtitled in English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Brazilian Portuguese, Polish and Russian. As you’ll see below he jump, the development team is really going above and beyond the call to make Mr. Poirot look and play excellently to a wide variety of gamers interested in the character and story (which happens to be one of Christie’s greats)… Continue reading