You may have noticed that this is the first 2011 update at The Video Game Librarian. That’s because I launched a new site, Warp Zoned, on January 1st. Warp Zoned is a gaming website full of news, previews, reviews, interviews and features. I’ve got an amazing staff and we really think we’re doing some good work. So feel free to hop over there for your video game news fix.
With the launch of Warp Zoned, I plan to turn The Video Game Librarian into a more general information portal on games and libraries. So stay tuned for that, but no promises on when it’ll actually happen.
The 3DS will be invading America sometime this March, but Nintendo’s current handheld won’t give up the month quietly as Nintendo has announced that Pokemon Black and Pokemon White will be released on March 7.
Nintendo is bringing several firsts to Pokemon Black/White, the biggest of which is that each game will feature completely different gameplay areas. Players will be able to explore a “unique metropolitan area called Black City” in Pokemon Black and a “lush, green area named White Forest” in Pokemon White. Another first is that the games will feature the changing seasons, as “certain Pokemon appear more frequently during different seasons, and players can only access some areas during a specific season.”
The final first is that players will encounter 150 brand new Pokemon in Black/White. According to Nintendo, classic Pokemon will only be unlocked after the completion of the main game.
“Pokémon Black Version and Pokémon White Version represent a generational leap forward for the renowned series, delivering an unprecedented number of new Pokémon to catch, battle and trade,” said Marc Franklin, Nintendo of America’s director of Public Relations. “Whether you have played the Pokémon video games before or are just getting interested in them, you won’t want to miss Pokémon Black Version and Pokémon White Version.”
The pack will initially be available for the Xbox 360 on February 1, with PC and PS3 downloads to follow at a later date. The pack will be priced at 1200 Microsoft Points ($15) and include four multiplayer maps and one Zombies Mode map.
Berlin Wall: Takes place in and around the Checkpoint Charlie crossing in Berlin.
Discovery: Takes place at a German research base in Antarctica, abandoned since World War II.
Kowloon: Takes place on “the rainy rooftops of Kowloon City” and inspired by the level from the single-player campaign.
Stadium: Takes place inside a hockey rink in the northeastern United States (Lake Placid perhaps?).
The new Zombies map in First Strike will be titled “Ascension,” but Treyarch’s Director of Online, Dan Bunting, wasn’t ready to talk about it yet.
“We learned a lot of lessons in the development and design of the maps on the shipped game. For DLC we really wanted to go bigger with some of the things we learned that people liked. We focused a lot more on providing variety of weaponry, variety of engagement types, variety of verticality–a lot more verticality, bringing some sniper opportunities into it,” Bunting said.
Cupid’s arrow will pierce the hearts of RPG-loving DS owners on Valentine’s Day, as Nintendo will be bringing Dragon Quest VI: Realms of Revelation to store shelves on February 14.
Originally released on the Super NES in 1995, and only in Japan, the DS re-release marks the first time the game has come to North America. It will also be the last game in the “main” Dragon Quest to receive an American release.
“Millions of players around the world have discovered the timeless fun of Dragon Quest,” said Marc Franklin, Nintendo of America’s director of Public Relations. “The arrival of Dragon Quest VI: Realms of Revelation in North America will give fans unique access to a classic game in the series for the first time, offering new ways to explore and enjoy the Dragon Quest universe.”
Minnesota Twins catcher Joe Mauer is stepping up to the plate for a second at-bat as the cover athelete for Sony’s MLB: The Show series. Mauer will take his first cuts on March 8, 2011, when Sony plans to release MLB 11: The Show for the PlayStation 3.
ESPN.com‘s Jon Robinson got a chance to check out some of the game’s new features including full analog control, co-op play, Challenge of the Week mode, Move support and 3D display support. They probably don’t want people talking about it, but Sony might just be working on a “perfect game” here.
If that weren’t enough, the PlayStation.Blog has a look at the game’s cover art (and I mean “art” literally, it’s a nice looking box) and an MLB 11-themed DualShock 3.
The Xbox Live Arcade is getting a big update as a trio of games were added to the download service this morning.
The re-release of the six-player X-Men Arcade game from the early 90s is going to be a highlight for many gamers. Up until this week’s PSN/XBLA release, the game had never before been released on a home console.
Also available this week is the long-awaited Quake Arena Arcade from id Software and The Path of Go.
More information on all three games can be found below.
Quake Arena Arcade Price: 1200 Microsoft Points ($15)
Quake Arena Arcade rumbles onto Xbox Live Arcade, introducing the challenge and adrenaline rush of the definitive, competitive first-person shooter to a new generation of gladiators. Frag up to 15 of your best friends, closest enemies or complete strangers in 6 game types over Xbox Live, including Deathmatch, Capture the Flag and Harvester. Humiliate your opponents with 12 brutal weapons including the Lightning Gun, the Chain Gun and the time-honored Rocket Launcher. With 33 classic maps, 12 Xbox-exclusive arenas, HD and Widescreen support, and a brand new Single Player campaign… experience Quake like never before. Prepare to Fight!
X-Men Arcade Price: 800 Microsoft Points ($10)
Experience the classic 1992 X-Men arcade game right in the comfort of your own home! Choose from some of your favorite classic X-Men characters including: Cyclops, Colossus, Wolverine, Storm, Nightcrawler, or Dazzler. Fight your way through hundreds of Sentinels and battle classic super villains such as Pyro, The Blob, Wendigo, Nimrod, The White Queen, Juggernaut, Mystique and the Master of Magnetism himself, Magneto!
The Path of Go Price: 400 Microsoft Points ($5)
Discover the ancient board game of Go and take your Avatar on an unexpected HD adventure full of challenge! Learn the basics and test your abilities using cutting-edge AI from Microsoft Research. Pit your skills against the world on Xbox Live. The ultimate Go experience for players of all skill levels: Dare you walk The Path of Go?
Don’t call it a reboot, Electronic Arts has officially announced that SSX: Deadly Descents, a “redefinition” of the long-running franchise, will be coming to the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 sometime in the future.
So what exactly does “redefinition” mean? Well, according to EA, it sounds very similar to the darker and edgier reboots that many other franchises have received in recent years:
Redefining the SSX franchise, SSX: Deadly Descents will pit riders versus both mountain and man. Players will explore the story of a team who seek to be the first to descend the faces of the most treacherous mountain ranges on the planet. The team will travel the world to face the worst that Mother Nature can throw at them. From the peaks of the Himalayas, where the air is so thin that riders have to descend through the death zone at breakneck speeds to keep from blacking out, to the solid ice ranges of Antarctica, where a sunlit line is the only survival option when temperatures drop 50 degrees centigrade in the shade. And the mountain isn’t the only danger players will face. In SSX: Deadly Descents the first goal is to survive. The second, in true SSX fashion, is to look good doing it.
SSX: Deadly Descents is being developed by EA Canada, and while we don’t known when it’s being release, we can watch the debut trailer one more time:
After shocking the world with the announcement of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim during this weekend’s Spike TV Video Game Awards, Bethesda has revealed a little bit more about the RPG sequel.
According to the developer, Elder Scrolls V has been in development for years and will utilize a completely brand new game engine. “It’s exciting finally to announce the game,” said Todd Howard, Game Director on Skyrim. “We’ve been working for many years on Skyrim and the technology behind it. A new Elder Scrolls game has been a long time coming, and we can’t wait to show it off.”
The company also confirmed that the game will be simultaneously released for the PC, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 on November 11, 2011.
Even more details about the game will be revealed in the February issue of Game Informer, which ships to subscribers in early January.
But in case you missed it, here’s the announcement trailer one more time:
THQ and director Guillermo Del Toro might have jumped the gun just a bit when they revealed Insane during this weekend’s Spike TV Video Game Awards. With a 2013 release date, it’ll be a long time before gamers get a glimpse of anything concrete about the title.
And now they’ve gone and revealed that Insane is actually a trilogy of games. The first chapter is of the series is in development at Volition and is scheduled to be released on the PC, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. With the concluding chapters over four years away, it’s possible that the remainder of the Insane trilogy may make the jump to the (currently unannounced) PS4 and Xbox 720.
“With this new series of video games, I want to take players to a place they have never seen before, where every single action makes them question their own senses of morality and reality,” said del Toro. “THQ and Volition, Inc. are equally excited to make this vision of a completely new game universe into a reality.”
Here’s the game’s debut trailer again, in case you missed it:
After the massive success of Uncharted 2, a sequel was a sure thing. Until now, Sony has hidden the game away like a pirate hides his plunder. But no longer, as Entertainment Weekly got the first look at the third Uncharted game, which will be titled Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception.
Due for release in Fall 2011, Drake’s Deception was inspired by the early life of T.E. Lawrence, better known as “Lawrence of Arabia.” As you can guess, Nathan Drake will be exploring a lot of desert locales in his latest search for fortune:
According to Naughty Dog’s creative director Amy Hennig, the theme of deception plays out in multiple ways throughout the threequel, from Drake doing the deceiving to Drake being deceived to some mysterious deception about Drake’s very identity. The story focuses on the hero’s relationship with his mentor and father figure, fan fave Victor “Sully” Sullivan, and has him searching for a legendary lost city that will ultimately take him to the Arabian Peninsula and the vast wasteland of the Rub’ al Khali Desert, also known as the Empty Quarter.
Developer Naughty Dog ran the EW editors through an early level of the game showcasing some of the new features for Uncharted 3 including better climbing and the ability to fight multiple enemies at once. A larger focus on multiplayer and co-op gameplay will also be evident in the final game. Behind-the-scenes, the game is also being developed with an eye towards being an “interactive cinematic experience” using more advanced motion capture techniques.
Finally, the first trailer for Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception will debut this Saturday during the Spike TV Video Game Awards. But EW has a short teaser you can watch at the end of the preview.