Survey Says (Ding!): Gothic Remake Is a Go, Won’t Be Ready in 2020

Gothic PT

The people’s choice, indeed.

Well, 43,111 people participated in a little extensive survey THQ was taking and the verdict is in: We’re getting a Gothic remake at some point, just not this year. PC and next-gen consoles are the targets here, so it seems at least the game will have a very similar visual fidelity across anything it’s eventually released on.

If you have Google Drive, you can see and download the results of the survey here in PDF form (it’s a whopping 21 pages):

Here’s the press release as well, below the jump.

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Let’s Go Gothic For A Bit, Shall We?


Hmmmm. But I give it a thumbs up, with reservations…



I still have my boxed copies of Gothic and Gothic II here and got the non-Piranha Bytes developed Gothic 3 on a disc with two other games, so this news of a playable teaser got me thrilled the series is in a comeback mode of sorts. THQ released a demo of what their team in Barcelona is working on a few months ago and is very wisely asking for user feedback and whether they should continue with the project. In a nutshell, it’s a big YES from me despite some huge problems from the start, and yes, I have some notes to offer as a fan. Constructive criticism time:

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Review: Monkey King: Hero Is Back (PS4)


“Kick, punch, it’s all in the mind…”

Monkey-King-Hero-is-BackTo the point: I really liked the old-school simplicity in Monkey King: Hero is Back ($39.99) because it feels like a bit of late 90’s or early 2000’s era nostalgia and it’s not a game where modernity rears its head with overly complicated “soul-crushing” gameplay and normal (i.e. now crazy tough these days) enemies that take an annoying amount of time and patience to kill. Yes, I found the lack of “git gud” here a and nice oddly refreshing change of pace because you don’t need to break a controller or stress yourself trying to figure things out. You can indeed kick back with this and have at it without cheats or clicking around online for a guide. The game does get a bit funky monkey with a busy boss-packed section, and a bit of repetition and intentional slowness in spots can be pesky if one has a short attention span or dislikes long  exposition. But overall, there’s a feeling of laid-back pure fun here missing from more seriously themed fare.

Monkey 5

What’s big, pink and easy to hit when it gets dizzy from it’s attacks?

More to the point: As a kid’s game (and it IS a kid’s game when all is said and done. Remember those? Or being a kid, for that matter?) or something fun and light to zip through between other, heavier titles, it does a pretty solid job and impresses on that front with it’s pick up and play style and lots of stuff to collect. The sometimes cinematic loading (in areas where camera takes over like when ladders are climbed) throughout will be an issue for some, but it’s not a game killer at all. The fact that it’s a licensed movie game that hearkens back to those days where so many games like it were made that didn’t offer more that a retelling of the film’s plot makes it a game that might not be appreciated even when it’s doing what it does right. For those that haven’t seen the film, the game can be seen a sort of a playable way to do so, if you think about it.

You can get through this in about 5 hours or so (some kids might take a bit longer), but I chuckle at this when I think of an old licensed game like Virgin’s The Terminator, a game that took less time to play that it did to buy for me (I think the bus ride took one hour each way and the game was done in within 45 minutes with a few restarts when it was gotten home!). Anyway, If you want a long, educational read and don’t know the history of the character, feel free to bookmark the pages here and/or here before settling in for the evening with your beverage of choice (well, after reading the rest of this review!).

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VGA 101: uDraw Tablet (PS3): THQ’s Folly Makes For A Really Cool Budget Artist Buy…

uDraw PS3a uDraw PS3b

When the uDraw was first released for the Nintendo Wii, it sold well enough that THQ decided to bring the tablet peripheral to both the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, but took a little too long to get it to market as more functional tablet devices became hot sellers. You could say that the company greatly overestimated a few things, most importantly, the selling power of the uDraw to an a PS3 and 360 audience made up of more hardcore gamers who had little to no use for a new peripheral they wouldn’t go near with a ten foot pole (unless they were using that pole to smash the thing to bits). Needless to say, uDraw on the PS3 and 360 didn’t do well at all and plenty of retailers and probably a few distributors were left sitting on plenty unsold stock… Continue reading

Industry Noose: R.I.P., THQ, Atari Sinking… Who’s Next?

THQ_logo_distress atari_logo_trouble

Ugh. I hate being right, but I’ve been around for one big industry crash, the slow death of the popular arcade scene and too many recent studio closures and other big to small bumps that make it somewhat sad to be a gamer for so damn long. If you think this mobile and tablet junk will “save” things, welll…. it won’t if the industry keeps trying to sell a business model and services as “product” and goes on forgetting CONTENT (and quality) is king.  Well, as I predicted (but was hoping would never happen despite the writing all over the wall for years), THQ has gone the 3DO and Midway route, with some major IP assets sold off to assorted publishers and others still in some sort of limbo state for the moment. Atari seems to be headed to a third or fourth demise, filing for Chapter 11 and hoping for a split from Infogrames and some savior with deep pockets who can throw money at a problem that may not be able to be solved even with so many classic IP at stake.

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South Park: The Stick of Truth Trailer: THQ Bets The Farm You’ll Buy This RPG

Ah, the eternal coin flip here: Is South Park still enough of a viable money-making franchise for THQ that enough gamers will drop full retail for it (thus making The Stick of Truth a huge smash hit from day one)? Will the talented folks at Obsidian deliver a RPG experience closer to a Neverwinter Nights 2 (quite good), a KOTOR 2 (decent, but flawed) or an Alpha Protocol (good idea, poor execution)? Will enough critics be kind to the game once they get past the gimmicky elements and dig into the RPG aspects? All these Q’s and many more will be answered soon enough.

I’ll admit now that I don’t watch South Park regularly enough to offer up anything other than an opinion that the game needs to be consistent and not rely solely on the outrageous humor the show is well-known for. That said, I’d love to see this on portable systems, but I guess that’s up to THQ (if they’re still around after the game comes out)…

Update! Wii U Launch/Launch Window Release List

Amusingly enough, no sooner than I post that Wii U article below, I get an email with a complete launch/launch window listing. For those not swimming in gaming lingo, the term “launch window” is a rather broad one that includes games on the way within a few months of a console’s release. In this case, the Wii U launch window is defined as the period beginning Nov. 18, 2012, and ending March 31, 2013. Also note that this list doesn’t include a few titles shows as just in development (Bayonetta, for example).

Got it? Good! Now onto the GAMES!  Er, List! Games list that is. As in, it’s below the jump.

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Drakensang: Complete Saga In Stores Now (Well, GameStop Stores, That Is)…

Yeah, yeah, Gears of War 3 is out and fantastic all that, but I’m actually a tad more excited about (The Dark Eye) Drakensang: Complete Saga arriving this week as part of THQ’s ValuSoft games lineup (albeit as a GameStop exclusive). “What’s a Drakensang?” you ask? Why, a pretty cool third-person PC fantasy role playing game that’s got a nicely loyal fan-base, solid visuals, fun classes to choose from and a great, challenging combat system among other things. I’m absolutely recommending this collection to fans of open-world fantasy games, deep RPG experiences and anyone who likes games with at least a hundred hours of gameplay. Even better… it’s on a retail DISC, not a download, so even if you have a crappy Internet connection, you can STILL buy and play a quality RPG while getting a great deal in the process.

Press release & screens below the jump Continue reading

THQ To Publish The Haunted: Hell’s Reach for PC, PSN/XBLA

Nice. Now this is what I love to see: an indie project that wins an award and then gets snapped up for release to the masses.THQ is publishing The Hunted: Hells Reach (the winner of this year’s million dollar Make Something Unreal contest) as a budget release through its ValuSoft line. For a mere $19.99, you’ll get a pretty solid package that includes a 330 level single player plus a number of online co-op and multiplayer modes for up to four players. The PC version will hit retail and download services first (October 20, 2011) while the PSN and Xbox Live Arcade versions will launch sometime in 2012. I think i have a few screenshots here somewhere, but I’m working on the September banner at the moment, so maybe I’ll post them after I’m done…

Homefront: Future History Trailer

One of the many games of 2011 I’ve also had on my radar has been THQ’s Homefront, a story-driven FPS (with multiplayer modes, of course) developed here in NYC by Kaos Studios (Hi Irania!). While not a sequel to the excellent Frontlines: Fuel of War, Homefront uses topical and ‘alternate history’ events along with a John Milius (of Red Dawn fame) script to present a darker, more realistic tone to its North Korean-invaded US game world and how players get to stage a resistance. From what I’ve seen so far, the game looks to be a visceral experience on a few fronts and I truly hope that those in the FPS fan base “get” what’s being done here and NOT simply snap this up because it’s just another shooter where you can hop around like bunnies online or camp out with a favorite gun and chuckle away a few hours.

More videos to come shortly…