Recore Articles RSS Feed | Recore RSS Feed on en Launch Media Network 5 Obscure Platformers You Probably Didn't Know Existed Mon, 17 Apr 2017 12:00:02 -0400 GeorgieBoysAXE


There are loads of 3D Platformers out there, and a lot of them are anywhere from great, to a steaming pile of poop from a butt. This particular batch of games may have been overlooked by the mainstream attention, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t more. Games like Vexx, Tak & The Power of Juju, Billy Hatcher & The Giant Egg are just some of the many gems and sleeper-hits that you can find if you’re craving another 3D Platformer that can give you all the fun scavenger hunting action that the makes these types of ventures so enjoyable.


Kameo: Elements of Power


Okay, I know I might get some flak for this choice, but hear me out; the Xbox 360 launch title from Rare is nowhere near as awful as its reputation would suggest it is, much like I would defend Yooka-Laylee from the same short-sighted conjecture.


Kameo: Elements of Power does everything it can to evolve the trappings of the genre, often leading to the game showcasing some of its beat qualities that it has to offer, but unfortunately in its conceit, striving to be too different leads to some half-baked ideas. Notice that I said half-baked, and not broken, that’s because the game is just a little rough around the edges at worst, and endearingly charming at best. Taking on the role of ten different transformations, each form will grant the elven princess abilities that are significant to the particular puzzles that hide elemental fruits. These prized objects can be used as currency to upgrade the powers and abilities of Kameo’s forms, which will come in handy for the later more advanced puzzles that reward, you guessed it -- more elemental fruit.


The game is packaged in with Rare Replay collection on Xbox One, and its one that I think won’t get the right amount of attention that it deserves.


Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures


I know that Pac-Man isn’t exactly an “obscure” entity in video games by any means but he’s definitely had his fair share of spin-offs that have left the confines of his pellet-packed mazes. One of those particular excursions is a 3D Platformer that was based off of the short-lived cartoon of the Japanese gaming icon, Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures.


Hopping and bopping through vibrant backdrops of Pacopolis, players will be leaping and chomping through a myriad of ghosts and challenges with the use of special Power-Up pellets that will temporarily grant our titular hero special abilities that he can use against explicit obstacles that require their use. Taking on new forms like Chameleon Pac-Man who can use his long tongue to latch onto special poles, and Ice Pac-Man who can cool wildly hot terrain, the abilities muse some of its dynamics from the Super Mario Galaxy franchise solve some of its perilous missions much like that of a 3D Platformer.


The Ghostly Adventures will have collecting pellets, food, and special fruit that will give you access the special fruits that act as an object for Sir C to expand Pac-World with new areas for the hero to take on, the game is more than an easy going abstract of its peers, and definitely deserves a look.


The Last Tinker: City of Colors


ReCore isn’t the only 3D Platformer that has repurposed mechanics from other genres; Mimimi Production’s The Last Tinker: City of Colors is a Platformer with the framework that’s inspired by the Golden age of the Nintendo 64 classics that are held in high regard with a slew of other mechanics that are borrowed from other modern action adventure titles.


Altering the formula of its level design for automated platform jumping and movement across equidistant geometry, the quest will follow the path of Koru and his floating piñata friend Tap as they journey to fight off the opaque disaster that plagues them known as the Bleakness. Featuring collectible trinkets, and new moves within a story that contains a thinly veiled commentary on institutionalized racism, the independent 3D platform utilizes much of its traversal and combat from the Assassin’s Creed and Prince of Persia franchise, giving way to interesting bits of jumping and swinging through a number of giant stages to roam.


The game may not feature all of the traditional conventions that are associated with the 3D Platformer genre, but it’s very much imbued with that same sense of spirit with quirky dialogue exchanged from a colorful cast of characters, and larger-than-life adventure that’s definitely worth checking out.




This next entry may puzzle a few of you but rest-assured, Comcept’s ReCore is very much a charismatic 3D platformer at its... core. Starring a scavenger named Joule Adams, players will run around an open-world wasteland that’s filled with enemies and collectibles that Joule can gather towards her goals of obtaining the shiny prize of its adventure, the Prism Core.


Utilizing a wide color-based arsenal that’s equipped with special advantages against certain enemies of that respective color, Joule will explore numerous dungeons that hold these Prism Cores, replaying them in succession to earn new cores in order to unlock additional areas on the map that’re holding more cores.


Looking at this action-adventure from Keiji Inafune’s independent studio as a pure shooter is a bit insular when you factor in all of the character growth, collectible loot, and contextual level design that it has to offer. It may not be the most polished at times, but there have already been numerous updates and patchwork from Armature Studios to address a lot of the performance issues of the game, and the new budget minded price makes ReCore a prime contender for anyone who has 3D Platformers on the brain.


Macbat 64: Journey of a Nice Chap


When not done right, a game can go a bit too far in its efforts to pay reverence to the source material that inspired it, resulting in uninspired pandering that does little to nothing to add back to the genre its attributed to. Then there are games that despite being outright love letters with their hearts adorned brazenly upon its envelope sleeve, that manages to give the genre justice it sets out to because the charm of it is too poignant to deny; Macbat 64: Journey of a Nice Chap is that game.


Starring the self-proclaimed gentleman bat with a low-poly count named Mac, the game will have you dive into several micro-sized worlds that are loaded with an assortment of challenges for you to complete in order to collect that key at the end to finish the level. The game may be more of a puzzle-based affair than the platformer than it claims to be, but there’s no shortage of love for the genre that it homages with colorful characters, whimsical environments, and fetch quests that keep the experience fun from start to finish.


Did I mention that Macbat 64 is only $5 on Steam right now? Go ahead and install it on Steam right now, I’ll wait.


There are so many different factors that are contributing to the recent resurgence of the 3D Platformer, and the fever to jump around and collect all the dumb things is starting to catch on with more people by the day. While a return to the genre’s roots has started to trend for some, there have been a loyal few who’ve stayed devoted to 3D Platformer gameplay and the various changes it’s undergone long enough to inspire some standouts like Ratchet & Clank, or Sly Cooper, and of course, Super Mario Galaxy.


The playstyle has certainly diverged from the scavenger hunt formula, but there have definitely been a number of “purist” titles that remained true to the collecting aspect that’s so fondly remembered out of the design back in its prime.  For every Super Mario Sunshine, Banjo-Kazooie, and Jak & Daxter, there were other titles that didn’t get the same kind of attention, and definitely deserve some love for what they give back to these class of titles.


Here some titles that are poised to keep that 3D platformer love going.

ReCore Beginner Tips and Tricks Tue, 13 Sep 2016 12:56:05 -0400 Synzer

ReCore is a new game produced by Keiji Inafune, from the Mega Man series. You play as Joule, a young woman sent to a strange planet, and have corebots to accompany you.

The main game play involves shooting, platforming, and puzzles. There are multiple upgrades for yourself and the corebots, as well as some interesting mechanics.

This guide will help you get started by explaining all the core game details.

This guide will go over everything you need to get started in ReCore including:

  • Basic Gameplay - Basics on playing the game.
  • Workbench - What it is and what you can do there.
  • Corebot Companions - The different corebots you can get and what they do.
  • Extra Tips - A few tips to help when getting started.

Basic Gamplay

ReCore is an action shooter, so there are multiple actions you can do.

  • Fire your weapon
  • Charge Shot
  • Lethal ability
  • Dash
  • Jump
  • Change Color Affinity, more on this later
  • Swap Companion and Recall them
  • Extractor, for a core

You can also lock on enemies and there is an action button for various interactions in the game.


When you damage certain enemies past a certain point, you can use the Extractor button to take their core. There are sometimes instant Extractions, but most of the time you will have to pull it out in a tug of war mini-game.

You'll want to hold down the Extractor button during the mini-game. When it starts glowing red, ease up until it is white again.

Keep changing from pulling and easing up on it until the core gets pulled out.

Color Matching

As you progress through the game, you will unlock upgrades for your gun to change colors. 

If you use the same color as the enemy, you will deal extra damage to them. 


ReCore workbench

The workbench in your base, The Crawler, lets you research and equip new parts, change loadouts, and upgrade Corebots.

  • Research Blueprints allows you to craft new parts for your Corebots once you get the required materials. 
  • Corebots lets you equip your Corebots with different pieces and swap which Corebot you use.
  • Core Fusion lets you power up your Corebots by adding cores to them.
    • These are the cores you can extract fro certain enemies.
    • Red increases Attack, Yellow increases Defense, and Blue increases Energy.
  • Stash is where all your materials go when you return to base.
    • You can combine the same material to make higher quality versions, or grind it down for other materials.

Corebot Companions 

There are 3 different corebot companions you can eventually choose from.

  • Mack - The starting K-9 corebot with a blue core.
    • Mack can find hidden items for you.
  • Seth -  A SP-DR corebot with a yellow core.
    • Seth can ride on magnetized rails and lets Joule ride along.
  • Duncan - A DN-KN corebot with a red core.
    • He can help with his strength by destorying huge rocks, knock pillars into place, and knock down towers.

You can only have 2 of the 3 with you at one time. You can only switch who these are while at the base.

The good news is that you can switch between your 2 active companions at any time while out in the world, including in battle.

Extra Tips

ReCore extractor

  • Know when to extract from enemies and when to destroy
    • Extract when you want to power up a corebot.
    • Destroy when you want materials to make more parts
  • When using Mack, remember to use his search ability
    • If you see Mack sniffing around a location, use his ability to search. You might find a hidden item!
  • After the initial couple missions, feel free to explore the world
    • There are side dungeons and other things you can do to unlock blueprints and other helpful things. If a mission is giving you trouble, come back after leveling and getting more items.

That's it for my ReCore beginner tips and tricks. Let me know if you have any questions!

New ReCore Trailer Revealed at Gamescom 2016 Wed, 17 Aug 2016 05:16:39 -0400 Greyson Ditzler

The Xbox One and Microsoft Windows exclusive game ReCore revealed a new trailer at Gamescom earlier this week. You can check it out above.

The trailer briefly showcases several different elements of gameplay present in the game, such as third-person shooting, 3D platforming, travelling by interconnected rails, and stealing cores from the center of active enemy robots and keeping them for yourself.  

ReCore is being co-developed by both Comcept and Aramature studio; and will have Mark Pacini as its director, Joseph Staten as its writer, and Keiji Inafune as its producer.

Mark Pacini was the director of the Metroid Prime series, Joseph Staten is responsible for writing the fifth Halo novel Halo: Contact Harvest, and Keiji Inafune is often credited as the father of the Mega Man series.

The trailer doesn't elaborate any further into the story of the game; so those interested in that particular aspect of the game or the importance of it's setting and characters will just have to wait.

ReCore is expected to release in September of this year in all regions worldwide. 

Top 7 Games Xbox One Owners Should Look out for in 2016 Fri, 08 Jan 2016 06:35:29 -0500 shox_reboot


Convinced yet to buy an Xbox One? Regardless of which side you're on the console wars, you have to give credit where its due and the Xbox One looks like it's coming in strong this year.


Any games that you're looking forward to this year that I've missed? Comment below and let me know! 


Ok, so I'm cheating a little bit since this game got pushed back to 2017, but I cannot in good conscience not talk about this gem when discussing must haves for the Xbox One. 


If we want to get really technical about it, the initial release date for this was 2016 so, yeah. 


I think I'll let the gameplay footage speak for itself here.



Devil May Cry style action with a pet dragon in the mix? Platinum Games have really outdone themselves with this one. Even if this is all the way in 2017, the wait will be worth it. 


I mean there's really no way that kind of a formula can fail right? 

Sea of Thieves 

There isn't much information floating out there about this game other than some footage showing off some gameplay. But the few things we can garner from the footage shows that we can expect naval battles from a first/third person perspective. 



Assassin's Creed: Black Flag showed that gamers can appreciate naval battles when done right, so any game that's willing to explore that vein even further is surely one to look out for. 


One thing in particular I hope is true is that this is an MMORPG. There is no concrete information out there confirming this yet but if the clues are to be believed, you can sail off into the sunset in a pirate ship with your friends and plunder the high seas. 


Sea of Thieves is set to release some time this year on Xbox One and Windows 10. 

Crackdown 3

Throw in super soldiers to a sandbox with a lot of stuff that can get blown up. What follows? 




Crackdown 3 seems to be taking the Just Cause route, only it ups its game by throwing in super powers to the mix. Let's face it, blowing things up in a large open world is fun and that's exactly what this game looks to offer. 



If you're still on the edge about this game, one of the key features Crackdown seems intent on offering is unadulterated mass destruction, in multiplayer. 


Plus it promises to justify the existence of the Xbox One's cloud computing feature by using it to its fullest so there's that as well. 


I don't know about you, but I'm really digging the art style chosen for this game. That aside, this game is described as a team-based action game pitting players against each other 5 on 5 MOBA style. 


What sets this apart from the rest of the games out there following the same genre? That big, bad Guardian you can summon of course! 



The MOBA genre, despite its popularity looks like its been beaten to death with little to almost no innovation. However, 2016 looks like it'll be breathing new life to the genre and Gigantic looks like it'll be leading the charge.


Gigantic will also be available on Windows 10. And I believe you can still sign up for the beta last I checked.


Keiji Inafune. That's probably enough to convince you that this will be something special. The man behind Mega Man and the makers of Metroid Prime have teamed up to bring Recore to the Xbox One and Windows 10. 


There isn't much known about this game apart from the short trailer displayed at E3 and there's next to no footage of gameplay, but to be honest, we don't really need those to get excited for this given the pedigree of the team behind this game. 



Taken directly from the website:


As one of the last remaining humans on a planet controlled by robotic foes bent on your destruction, you must forge friendships with a courageous group of robot companions, each with unique abilities and powers. Lead this band of unlikely heroes on an epic adventure through a mysterious, dynamic world.


 While the game was initially set to be released in the first half of 2016, it got pushed to the latter part of this year. Better late than 2017 right?  

Quantum Break

Yet another third person shooter? Yes, but Quantum Break makes itself stand out with its rather unique game play elements. 


While its not exactly a novel idea, the ability to manipulate time has always been a fun mechanic in gaming, and the way Quantum Break employs the mechanic it looks pretty darn cool when you're manipulating time. 



While this makes us wonder how exactly the multiplayer would work out (if the game does feature it.. pretty sure it will) this is without doubt another must have if you own the Xbox One. 


Let's choose not to talk about the fact that your in-game actions are supposed to determine how the TV adaptation of this goes. It could be something else if done right, but if history *cough* Defiance *cough* is to be believed, games and TV series should stay far away from each other. 

Gears of War 4

You can't talk about Xbox exclusives without talking about the Gears of War series and I'm so glad we get to talk about it in 2016. 


This is a game that holds as much weight as the Halo franchise does in the world of Xbox, and for good reason. This third person shooter looks gorgeous, action packed and promises a lot of good old fashioned monster (or alien) killing. 


Oh, and expect brutality. If the previous installations of Gears of War are anything to go by, that is definitely something you can expect. We all know the pure joy of blowing up body parts is on Fallout 4. 



The game is set to release fall 2016 with a multiplayer beta in spring 2016. Usually with a beta announced it means we can rest easy and not expect too many push backs so, Gears of War 4? Definitely something to look forward to.  


The Xbox One, despite making a lot of great improvements to catch up to the PlayStation 4 is still lagging behind in terms of overall popularity. However, the console is on the right track with the number of exclusives its managed to secure and 2016 is shaping up to be a good year for Xbox fans everywhere. 


Heck, I'm a PlayStation 4 owner, but some of the games the Xbox One has lined up for this year is making me want to invest in one. 


After all: we should all learn to get along, right lads? Why not both I always say. 


For the sake of this list though, here are the top 7 Xbox One exclusives to get excited for in 2016. Some of these will be available on PC as well but the name of the game is 'console exclusivity'.

Veteran Halo and Destiny writer, Joseph Staten, joins ReCore Tue, 05 Jan 2016 14:48:43 -0500 Alec Pearce

If you loved the stories of Halo 3: ODST and/or Destiny then you will be happy to hear that Joseph Staten, a pivotal member of both games' development teams, is joining ReCore as lead writer.

He told The New York Times that the direction the game is going to take will be "unconventional". 

ReCore revolves around the quest of female protagonist, Joule, who believes she is the last human alive and has the gargantuan task of reviving our species. She will have to befriend and then enlist the help of blue cored robots, or machines, to help her achieve her goal.

Staten is also happy that the game's protagonist is a female character. He stated that, "the male gender does not have the monopoly on heroism...we hope she [Joule] is a character who stands strong and stands out in a market filled with male heroes". 

Joule - ReCore's protagonist

Joule will join the likes of Lara Croft and Faith, from Mirror's Edge, on a growing list of female lead characters in video games.

Staten's work on Halo 3: ODST and Destiny shows that he is no stranger to capturing scenarios of plight and disaster for humanity in video game form, so we should expect much of the same with ReCore when it launches later this year (release date TBA).


PlayStation vs. Xbox: PlayStation Is Doing Exclusives Better Thu, 19 Nov 2015 21:13:20 -0500 Curtis Dillon

"PlayStation 4 has no exclusives!"

That's the claim I've heard and read all year long.

"This is the greatest gaming line-up in Xbox history."

That's what Microsoft has touted all year long. Truth be told, though, the playing field is a lot more level than you might think.

PlayStation has always had more and better exclusives than Xbox.

Sure Xbox will always have Halo, Gears of War and Forza, but before the Xbox One, that was pretty much it. Microsoft tried its hand with the Fable series, Viva Pinata, and Too Human, none of which were massive successes. PlayStation, on the other hand has a history of hosting many fantastic exclusives and giving its first-party developers room to breathe and create freely.

Last generation, the PS3 played catch-up to the 360 for many years. Sony's third machine ended up outselling the 360, with a year less on the market. And it did so by having the best games. While Xbox 360 owners twiddled their thumbs between Halo and Gears of War experiences, PS3 gamers were having thrilling adventures with Nathan Drake, killing gods with Kratos, becoming a superhero with Cole McGrath, fighting the endless war against the Helghan, and creating worlds with Sackboy. Year in, year out, the PS3 had exclusives every other month.

A Promising Start for Xbox

This time around, Microsoft aimed to rival PlayStation in that department by having more exclusives - and more than just shooters. They came out of the gate with Dead Rising 3, Ryse: Son of Rome, Forza Motorsport 5, and some Kinect titles, as well as showing trailers for Halo 5 and Quantum Break. The first two were easily the most exciting of the launch games, because Ryse had a ton of potential and Dead Rising is a great series to have exclusively.

PlayStation on the other hand, launched with Knack, Killzone: Shadowfall, and Resogun. Games that were initially intended to be launch titles, like Infamous and DriveClub, didn't make the cut-off. Therefore it's undeniable that the Xbox One had the better launch titles.

Microsoft continued its promising start by unveiling Titanfall and Sunset Overdrive - an awesome-looking game by Sony's buddies Insomniac. That was a real blow to Sony. Meanwhile, Titanfall was dubbed the "Call of Duty killer". Then came Halo: The Master Chief Collection, Killer Instinct and more Forza. The Xbox One was really looking like a fantastic platforms for what happened?

Cracks Begin To Show

Titanfall released and was...good. The game was a critical success, but not so much a commercial one, and it didn't bring about the death of Call of Duty like many had predicted. In spite of a year's worth of hype and anticipation, Titanfall faded quicker than a fart in the wind.

Sunset Overdrive was next. The difference with Sunset is that it was actually an amazing game. Sunset Overdrive was a fantastic game from Insomniac that oozed charisma and charm, and yet it sold poorly. Poorly enough that Microsoft never announced any numbers for it, and has referred to it when discussing the challenges of new IP.

A fantastic game that no one played

Forza and Halo did well, as expected. However, neither seemed to shift console sales - plus Halo was a muddled mess with big online issues. Meanwhile, on the other side of the tracks, Sony had big success with Infamous: Second Son, The Last of Us: Remastered, MLB: The Show, and DriveClub, despite The Order: 1886 being pushed to 2015. Microsoft was trying, and even producing some great games, but it wasn't getting the desired results.

And so 2015 rolled around...

Do The Math

2015 was supposed to be the year for Microsoft. Sony had "nothing", particularly after Uncharted 4 was delayed. Xbox fans emerged from the crevices of the Internet to poke fun at PS4 owners. I've even heard industry insiders discuss the brevity of Sony's line-up. However, was it really as one-sided as everyone claimed? Nope. In fact, PlayStation 4 had more exclusives in 2015 than Xbox One.

Let's just start with AAA games. Microsoft's "greatest line-up ever" consists of Halo 5: Guardians, Rise of the Tomb Raider, Forza Motorsport 6, Gears of War: Ultimate Edition, and Rare Replay. That's a great line-up, and probably the best Microsoft has ever had (as per the claims).

2015 hasn't been the best year for Sony; no one will argue that. But it hasn't been anywhere near as barren as you may be led to believe. The year started with The Order: 1886, a ridiculously pretty game that was unfortunately more fun to look at than it was to play. Then came Bloodborne -- the spiritual successor to Demon Souls was a surprisingly big hit for Sony and was all the talk when it came out. Bloodborne is a surefire game of the year contender.

The next big title to hit Sony's platforms, a game I wouldn't count if I didn't already count Gears of War, was God of War III Remastered. Then came the biggest surprise hit of the year, Until Dawn. A fantastic horror game in the vein of Heavy Rain, Until Dawn shocked many by how well it was written, how beautiful it was, and how much dumb fun it was. Then to round out the year we got Tearaway: Unfolded and Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection.

So, Xbox One had five exclusive AAA games in 2015, while PS4 had six. Now all in all, quantity is not always as important as quality, and the fact that three of Sony's six were remasters is definitely a factor.

For Xbox, Rare Replay and Gears of War: Ultimate Edition outperformed expectations, Halo 5: Guardians has been a hit, Forza always performs, and Rise of the Tomb Raider has been met with critical acclaim, but sold poorly in the wake of Fallout 4. The sales disappointment of Rise of the Tomb Raider is surely a problem, but it's been a great year for Xbox regardless. It outsold the PS4 in the month of October - marking only the second time this year it has done so, and the fourth overall.

If you want to get really nitpicky...

If we look at smaller titles, PlayStation has had a far better year. Everybody's Gone to the Rapture, The Vanishing of Ethan Carter, SOMA, Axiom Verge, Journey (Remastered), Volume, Hotline Miami 2, and Grow Home are just some of the games that came to PSN this year. However, one title in particular really captured the hearts of millions in 2015 -- Rocket League. The second vehicular soccer game from Psyonix has been an unprecedented hit, selling over 6 million copies. The game is likely to come to Xbox One in 2016, but it was a Cinderella story on PS4 this year. The only Xbox digital games you heard talked about this year were Ori and the Blind Forest and State of Decay: Year One.

Party Partnerships

Now I've talked at (great) length about what games came to which platform, yadda yadda yadda, but what's really important and interesting to look at, it the logistics of the exclusives.

Ryse: Son of Rome, Dead Rising 3, Sunset Overdrive, Titanfall, and Rise of the Tomb Raider are all third party exclusives, the latter being only a timed exclusive. The only first-party games Microsoft have published are HaloForza, Rare Replay, and Gears of War: Remastered.

Another amazing game no one is playing. Thanks, Fallout 4.

The failure of the third-party games to be commercial hits has probably hurt Microsoft's relationship with third party developers. Take Titanfall for example. EA and Respawn has both admitted it would have benefited the game being on PS4 - and the sequel will be. Phil Spencer has even said that third party games will be less of a focus going forward, though it's not because Microsoft don't want them.

Looking ahead at 2016, Xbox One exclusives Recore, Crackdown 3, Quantum Break and Scalebound are all second and third-party developed games once again. This isn't necessarily a problem, but like I said, should the games continue to underwhelm commercially, developers will be less inclined to work with Microsoft (and Microsoft will be less inclined to work with them). 

On the other side, every game released by Sony this year, minus Tearaway, was a second-party exclusive. Even the Uncharted Collection was done by independent port house Bluepoint Games (although still published by Sony). This is a less risky business than third-party development because Sony still owns the IP, which is also true for Microsoft with Recore, Scalebound, Quantum Break, and so on.

The point is: Microsoft's third-party exclusives are a very short-term solution.

The company has not built any new series, though it's not for lack of trying. There won't be a Ryse 2, and a Sunset Overdrive 2 or Dead Rising 4 is unlikely. Titanfall 2 will be multiplatform. Whereas there will probably be a Knack 2 for the PS4, there will certainly be sequels to Infamous: Second Son, Bloodborne, Until Dawn, and even The Order: 1886. Already this generation, Sony has created 3, maybe 4, new exclusive series.

First-Party Poopers

Part of the problem is Microsoft's first-party studios. Microsoft owns 343 Industries, The Coalition, Lionhead Studios, and Turn 10 -- all of whom are confined to making Halo, Gears of War, Fable, and Forza for eternity. That's four main studios, all tied to making the same four games over and over; it's creatively stifling and redundant. Imagine if Sony had gone to Naughty Dog and demanded it work on Crash Bandicoot forever - without that creative freedom, we wouldn't have gotten get Jak & Daxter, Uncharted, or The Last of Us.

Then Microsoft also has Rare, BigPark Studios, Mojang, and a litany of small studios that work on tablet and Kinect stuff. Rare is working on Sea of Thieves, a fun-looking game with tons of potential. BigPark is completely in the dark, and Mojang is doing its Minecraft thing.

There's plenty more where these came from

So we kind of know what every single Microsoft first-party developer is working on, and it's exactly what you'd expect. This is why Microsoft has gone to third-parties like Armature, Respawn, Insomniac and Crystal Dynamics to get exclusive games. The Xbox needs more variety.

Sony has no such problem.

Of Sony's first-party developers, we know we are getting Uncharted 4 from Naughty Dog, Dreams from Media Molecule, Gran Turismo Sport from Polyphony Digital, Horizon Zero Dawn from Guerilla Games and Rigs from Guerilla Cambridge, Gravity Rush Remastered, Gravity Rush 2, and The Last Guardian from Japan Studio, and Evolution is still working on DriveClub. Four of those are new IPs.

The rest of the first-party studios are shrouded in mystery -- Sony Bend, Sucker Punch, Sony San Diego, Sony Santa Monica, North West Studio and Sony London. Sony Santa Monica is almost certainly working on a new God of War, but it also helps with development on a ton of smaller games, from The Unfinished Swan to Everybody's Gone to the Rapture. Sony London is working on Virtual Reality. Sucker Punch is well along in the development of something, according to Shuhei Yoshida -- maybe it's another Infamous. Sony San Diego is inevitably making the next instalment in the MLB: The Show series, but it is also helping produce Drawn to Death, Guns Up, and Kill Strain - three other PlayStation exclusives.

I broke down Microsoft and Sony's first-party studios to paint a picture of the future. Sony gives its studios a lot of rope to hang themselves with and, as such, we get extremely exciting new IP like Horizon Zero Dawn, surprising sequels like Gravity Rush 2, and a few artistic experiments like Dreams. Simply put, Sony's first-party titles are much more exciting.

The product of creative freedom

However, Sony also works with second and third-parties, as mentioned earlier with all of this year's exclusives. Also coming exclusively to the PS4 is Detroit: Become Human from Quantic Dream, Street Fighter V, No Man's Sky, Persona 5, Hellblade, and a lot of third-party VR support. This is different from Microsoft, because those games are all almost guaranteed to sell well - Street Fighter V, No Man's Sky and Persona 5 are no-brainers, and Hellblade and Detroit could definitely do well if marketed properly.


I don't want to be a Debbie Downer and spell doom and gloom for the Xbox One, because that most certainly isn't the case. The exclusives games on the Xbox One so far have ranged from good to great, and it's a shame that some of them didn't sell better. If you are a true gamer, you do not wish ill on Microsoft, Sony, or Nintendo, because competition is good for everyone.

The failure of Rise of the Tomb Raider is bad news for Microsoft; if a known property like Lara Croft cannot sell, then what can be expected to? However it has baffled me since E3 that Square Enix and Microsoft agreed to send it out to die beside Fallout 4, sandwiched between Call of Duty and Star Wars. Hopefully the game will find some success when it releases on PS4 next year.

Microsoft will always have its staples of Gears of War, Forza and Halo, which may not be the most exciting prospects, but they're a very safe bet. It would be nice to see those developers get more leeway and maybe even develop some new IPs; however, renaming two of them to reflect their respective games kind of suggests they won't get such freedom.

This fall has been a big season for Xbox One, and the winning sales of October are a great sign, but the goal should not be to outsell the PS4. If Microsoft provides excellent games that can only be played on Xbox One, then gamers will come. 2016 is looking exciting for the green brand, with Gears 4, Crackdown 3, Sea of Thieves, Recore, Quantum Break, and Scalebound, not to mention a myriad of fantastic digital games like Below, Cuphead and Inside. Microsoft could benefit from re-organizing a few internal teams, most of which were working on Kinect, and setting them off to work on new IP. They should follow Sony's example and allow established studios (like Naughty Dog and Guerilla) to stretch their wings and try new things.

The Xbox One cannot afford another Ryse, Sunset Overdrive, or Titanfall, it needs new first-party IPs that can be established into series. Right now, Microsoft is sitting pretty with exclusives but the past two years were not great for Xbox One, and going forward it could serve the company well to take a page out of the competition's playbook. 

ReCore: New Details Revealed in Xbox Interview Wed, 24 Jun 2015 08:42:49 -0400 Pip Simon

Little is known about what gamers can expect from ReCore since its announcement at E3 last week. As revealed in the trailer, ReCore is set in a post-apocalyptic world and follows the story of a young woman and her robot companion. According to the game's creator, Keiji Inafune, ReCore is still in the early stages of development.

However, In a new Xbox interview, Inafune and Armature Studio's game director, Mark Pacini offer new insight on the characters and the world of ReCore.

The interview reveals that the protagonist of the game is named Jewel and her companion is Mack.

Jewel is in a world with few humans and is all alone. She finds Mack at the beginning of the game and they start a lasting friendship.

“Mack is a part of a faction trying to help you bring back humanity to the planet and there is another faction of robots who don't want that to happen.” - Pacini

In ReCore you will have to navigate through a desert wasteland after a sandstorm hits. Inafune stated that the sandstorm will affect navigation and gameplay. Throughout the game, players will also meet other companions aside from Mack. Players will also encounter a wide variety of enemies as well.

The main theme of the game is Jewel's survival.

Pacini adds, "The relationship between the friendly robots in the game and the enemy robots in the game, they get more volatile and deadlier as you go underground and find these areas. That's where all the good stuff is, and that's what you're trying to explore."

Gamplay and Cores

Much of the gameplay of ReCore revolves around cores, which are a robot's consciousness, and the ability to transfer cores from one robot body to another as seen in the trailer when Mack sacrifices himself to save Jewel.

Pacini also explained that players will be collecting cores from robots, and it is up to the player what they would like to do with it, whether they want to put it in another robot character or use it to upgrade other cores.

According to Inafune, "This is a very epic story full of mystery and adventure. As I said, robots play a very important role in this adventure, and there will be many more robots that will lead to a rich experience. There will also be many other companion robots you can partner with, and each of the different robots will lead to unique adventures."

Certainly we can expect more news on ReCore in the coming months, but what are your thoughts so far? Let us know in the comments.

Everyone 'won' E3 - If you play games, you win Fri, 19 Jun 2015 18:45:04 -0400 Michael Slevin

During and after E3, there tends to be a lot of analysis. Although I see no problem debating who had the best presentation, it is important to keep it all in perspective.

Yesterday I formed a list of the five games from E3 I am most excited for, and I realized that in my top 5 was at least one game from Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo. Even though it can be fun to debate which company won E3, it would appear that video game players were the real winners.

Big three software lineups

From Xbox, we saw an incredibly strong first party lineup including Halo 5, Rise of the Tomb Raider, and Gears of War 4. These games, along with the new Microsoft IP Recore, have me incredibly excited as an Xbox One owner. Outside of software, we learned about backwards compatibility on Xbox One, a very consumer-friendly move that makes me feel respected as an owner of the console.

In the Sony conference, it was all about games. Uncharted 4, The Last Guardian, Horizon: Zero Dawn, and let's not forget the Final Fantasy VII remake. Sony brought the games this year. Although many of them are not slated for 2015 release, it is a great time to own a PS4. Street Fighter V and Persona 5 will both be coming to PlayStation 4 this year, along with great third-party titles.

Even Nintendo, who by all accounts had a rough press conference, had exciting games to show off. The two that I am most excited for are Xenoblade Chronicles X and Super Mario Maker. At the very least, these games look great, but once you add Star Fox Zero and The Legend of Zelda: Tri Force Heroes you have a pretty decent 2015 lineup, with Zelda Wii U and Fire Emblem: Fates on the way in 2016.

Third-party support

Let's not forget the great third-party publishers' games. EA, who had an awful press conference, had Star Wars Battlefront. Ubisoft brought South Park: The Fractured but Whole, The Division, and Rainbow Six Siege. Square Enix brought the Final Fantasy VII remake, Kingdom Hearts 3, and Rise of the Tomb Raider amongst other great games. Of course Bethesda also brought a great game in Fallout 4, along with Doom and Dishonored 2.

The point that I am trying to make is that each company offered something great. It doesn't matter what platform you own or love, there is something for you and your fellow gamers. Even EA and Nintendo, who are thought to have had the worst conferences, had at least something great to offer.

Just remember that these companies are vying for your dollar, and that is a very good thing, as evidenced by this year's E3.

5 All-New IPs from E3 2015 Everyone Should Know About Fri, 19 Jun 2015 09:29:12 -0400 Bryan C. Tan


Arguably the biggest surprise at EA's E3 press conference, Unravel is a physics-based puzzle platformer from Swedish developer Coldwood. The small team of 14 people has created a story not told through words, but through its tiny main character, Yarny.


Yarny is made from a single thread of yarn that slowly unravels as he moves through levels based on lush, natural environments from Northern Scandinavia. The thread can be used to swing across a tree gap, attach to a flying kite, and even row a boat.


Vastly unique from any other EA game, Unravel is about reconnecting the memories of a long lost family, and soon on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC, we'll able to tie everything together as the lovable Yarny.

For Honor

After some development material was leaked last month, Ubisoft's newest IP was finally revealed at their E3 press conference as For Honor, an action game apparently in a genre of its own.


Developed by Ubisoft Montreal, For Honor pits The Legions (Knights), The Warborn (Vikings), and The Chosen (Samurai) against each other in all-out medieval warfare. Skill, strategy, and team play are mixed together with visceral melee combat for a fast-paced competitive experience.


Players play as customizable warriors with distinct skills and weapons to capture control points and slaughter enemies using For Honor's innovative control system, the Art of Battle, which allows players to adapt to any fighter with a fast action-reaction technique.


Ubisoft's undertaking of an all-new genre is certainly refreshing, but only time will tell if their innovation is a success when it releases on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC in the near future.


Not to be outdone, Microsoft's E3 press conference had its own robot game up its sleeve: ReCore, an action-adventure game where robotic foes control the planet and robot companions are mankind's only hope at survival. 


Developed by creator Keiji Inafune of Mega-Man and Dead Rising fame alongside the makers of Metroid Prime at Armature Studio, ReCore puts players in the shoes of one of the last remaining humans on the planet, where players progress by forging friendships with and utilizing the unique abilities and powers of a group of charming robot companions. 


In ReCore, robots are on both sides of good and evil, and us humans can use that to our advantage in the Xbox One exclusive as early as Spring 2016.

Horizon: Zero Dawn

First announced at Sony's E3 press conference, Horizon: Zero Dawn is a brand-new third-person action-RPG set in a post-apocalyptic open world. Robot dinosaurs are back to rule the roost on Earth, while mankind has gone back to its tribal roots.


As female protagonist Aloy, players can use stealth, melee, or ranged combat to take down the machines. Players may also craft weapons, ammunition, traps, and tools using natural materials and machine parts.


Beautiful environments present a breathtaking new take on a world where civilization is in ruins. Developer Guerilla Games, creators of Killzone, is on its way to striking gold with its first-ever RPG.


PlayStation 4 exclusive Horizon: Zero Dawn is scheduled for a 2016 release.


Although it was first seen at E3 2014Cuphead had another go at the spotlight at Microsoft's E3 2015 press conference, and it is safe to say it took a lot of it. The popularity of Cuphead has skyrocketed despite its very short appearance in Microsoft's Xbox montage, and understandably so.


Inspired by cartoons of the 1930s, Cuphead is a classic run and gun action game with a focus on boss battles. Players can acquire new weapons, gain powers, and discover hidden secrets as they traverse the world in single-player or co-op mode. Fast action shoot 'em up stages with blazing fighter planes are also included.


The two main characters, brothers Cuphead and Mugman, as well as everything else in Cuphead, are hand-drawn and hand-inked using traditional cel animation and watercolor backgrounds by developer Studio MDHR. Add in the original jazz recordings, and we quite literally have a masterpiece on our hands.


Apart from being a complete nostalgic throwback to fond childhood memories, Cuphead is also an intense and challenging action game that will definitely kick ass when it hits Xbox One and Steam in 2016.


It's the end of the week, and another E3 is finally in the books.


Big games such as Dishonored 2Gears of War 4, and Final Fantasy VII Remake were announced at E3 2015, making millions of people drool with all the excitement.


But while these well-established franchises are getting long-anticipated updates, there are those that want something new, fresh, and never-before-seen.


These five all-new IPs managed to fulfill that desire, as they surprised us all at E3, and may be making us more excited than any sequel, prequel, or spin-off.

One of the Most Exciting Xbox One Exclusives Wasn't Even A AAA Game Mon, 15 Jun 2015 11:17:26 -0400 Elijah Beahm

There were a lot of awesome announcements for Xbox One, but one of the most notable games was barely given a glimpse during the press conference. Kenji Inafune and Amarture announced their indie exclusive Recore, and if you are wondering what that game even is, you wouldn't be alone. The Xbox One game got little more than a trailer, but the prospects of the gameplay promised are extremely exciting.

Recore will apparently take place in a dynamic, shifting desert landscape set far in the future when humanity is on the brink of extinction. Rather than be a depressing story, Recore instead feels almost more like a slightly more serious Wall-E, with a heavy emphasis on adorable and powerful AI robot companions. You apparently play a young survivor girl, who is skilled at manipulating machinery and influencing these robots.

The central mechanic for which the game is named after is how all the machines are based around balls that hold their AI and power their bodies. So, during the (included above) trailer, we see a tiny dog robot sacrifice its body, but then have its core put into a new machine. It feels almost like a mix of The Last Guardian and Rogue Trooper, in this respect.

You won't be limited to a single machine though. At the end of the trailer, we see the protagonist flanked by several robots of varying builds. Enemy robots also seem to have a great deal of variety, with a giant, Shadow of the Colossus-style boss monster hinted at right before the trailer ends. Perhaps there's a chance we could put a friendly core inside a machine so large?

There are no story details revealed as of yet, but already the game has made an impressive first impression. This is a game to keep your eye on, especially if you have an Xbox One.