This week, as E3 grips the Sparks, James and Antony run-through the E3 press schedule timings and spend a moment to wildly speculate and try to predict what will be announced during the highlight of the gaming calendar, E3!
Will we see Nintendo adding ‘Deluxe’ to all of the old Wii U titles and release them on the Switch? Will Spider-Man open the Sony conference? Will we see The Avengers on stage at Microsoft’s conference? Join James and Antony for episode 94 of the Lost Spark Podcast for this and all the gaming news from the last 7 days.
Gears of War 4 released last week to ‘Ultimate Edition’ players and Antony along with co-op partner Nicola (his wife) jumped into the campaign on day one. For anyone sitting on the fence or worrying that this once closed off storyline was getting a sub-standard sequel, fear not. Gears of War 4 ticks all of the boxes, well it actually sticks a frag grenade on the boxes and blows them out of the water! Antony was happy to report that Gears of War 4 is not only a fitting continuation of the story, it could possibly be the BEST GEARS OF WAR GAME!
With the campaign finished, Antony, Nicola and Gears noob James are about to embark on the hours of fun that is Horde 3.0 – updates to come on next week’s podcast.
Amidst this rousing appreciation for Gears of War 4 from Antony (and the relief at this news from the other Sparks), a listener question prompts an interesting discussion centering upon whether a player would need to play all the games in a given series in order to enjoy the newest shiny instalment. The question posed was directly regarding Gears of War 4 but the Sparks opened this up generally assessing the need to play all instalments in any series to be able to feel part of a fully rounded gaming experience. From a business point of view, it makes sense that games should be designed to be jumped in at any time in a series to keep that cash coming in but does that apply to all, or any games? And could catering to the newcomer harvest resentment in the gamers who have been there for the long haul? Continue reading →
This week on the Lost Spark Podcast we have a pipe full of Nintendo news, with fresh rumours appearing regarding the NX and its detachable controllers. According to a news report via Eurogamer and LetsPlayVideoGames the detachable controllers clip on to either side of the portable’s main unit and will feature Wii-style motion sensors and vibration.
Other NX rumours have included the addition of a ‘Social’ button on the NX controller which will allow you to instantly share footage and screen-grabs of your games to social media platforms; this is an interesting turn around from a normally very protective Nintendo.
In an interview with website alistdaily Reggie Fils-Aimé said “We have to do better when we launch NX” and “[Nintendo must] have that continuous beat of great new games that are motivating more and more people to pick up the hardware and more and more people to pick up the software,” he added. “Those are the critical lessons.”
Excitement and speculation is rife regarding Nintendo’s latest console and has been for months now. At last though, we have been given an official release date and some information that rather than helps us with what to expect, rather prepares us for what not to expect. So, we have a March release date and that’s great to know. We can all look forward to getting more official information on the run up to release. It will also give purchasers of the PSVR time for their wallets to cool off before taking the next gaming plunge should they choose to. Also, we have been furnished with the tidings that the new Legend of Zelda game will not be on Wii U in time for Christmas and it will in fact be releasing next year, at the same time as the NX version.
This raises some questions with the Sparks:
Is this a repetition of what happened with Twilight Princess and could the development of a Wii U version mean that the NX version is held back? With the lack of love and attention that the Wii U has had over its life it seems surprising that a new Zelda game should be anything but exclusive to Nintendo’s new system. A benchmark game to fly the flag of the new console’s abilities, unimpeded by another version that may hold it back. Surely this should have been planned as an exclucive? An NX-clusive if you like (sorry).
Now then, what about what not to expect, well, lets not expect the NX to make an appearance at E3 as that is not scheduled to happen and lets not expect any blockbuster releases for the Christmas season on the Wii U, unless Paper Mario – Colour Splash gets you all tingly.
The next chapter of the awesomely chunky Gears of War is coming this year. This week Entertainment Weekly exclusively released the launch dates and the cover art. Gears of War 4 will launch globally Oct. 11 on Xbox One.
Gears of War 4 will feature split-screen co-op on ALL modes of the game, which is great news as this was missing from Microsoft’s big launch of 2015, Halo 5 Guardians.
Set 25 years after the conclusion of the trilogy, Gears 4 features three new characters (JD Fenix, Kait Diaz, and Del Walker) and shows some new weapons, new enemies, and if you look closely, a statuesque cameo by a familiar face from the franchise – let’s hope we see MUCH more of the great Marcus Fenix. Continue reading →
And so at last, Sony have lifted the veil on the release and price of the eagerly anticipated PlayStation VR HMD. With a price of £349 / €399 / $399 and a release date set for October the Sparks are wild with excitement for Sony’s addition to 2016’s VR releases.
The specs look promising, and as expected, Sony’s contender won’t be able to deliver an experience to match it’s bigger brothers who harness the power of PC to deliver their brands of VR… However, with the specs it does have, the all important existing install base, Sony’s focus on VR as a social experience and of course that all important much more accessible price point, does that matter?
Could we see the leaner and cheaper option being the VR entry point into VR that many have longed for.
The Sparks debate this and wonder if, when concentrating on what PlayStation VR has and what it offers, opposed to just looking at differences between it and the other two big players on the scene, that perhaps Sony is releasing a David amongst us that, if the experience delivered meets expectation, will stand head and shoulders against the Goliath of it’s more powerful siblings resting upon its own very relevant attributes of harnessing that existing PS4 install base, bang for buck and of course, the incredibly positive developer support it has from being part of Sony’s Playstation brand – over 230 devs at time of going to press. Continue reading →