Archives for posts with tag: Rare

Oops! This was supposed to be posted over the weekend and called ‘This week on A Game with Chums’, but alas, time got away from me. Anyway, let’s take a look at what was new in the world of AGwC over the last week.

Monday saw a new episode in our new Let’s Play series for DONTNOD/Square Enix’s adventure game Life is Strange. As a reminder, these go up once a week (so there’s a new one up right now!). In this episode, Max explores her university campus, and we get to see a skater kid stack it and take a deck in the nads. Top stuff, not to be missed.

Next up is another pick-ups video, filmed once again in a pub. So we decided to call them piss-up pick-ups. Because we’re a classy lot.
Recorded on May Day, Paul and I decided to head out on a grey, rainy bank holiday to scour the local game stores and see what we could find. It’s not just games though, as we managed to pick up a bit of nerdy swag too. Check it out to see what we grabbed.

(I can only apologise for the thumbnail. Dan was absent that day, so we had to include him in some way. Yes, those are chess pawns in his eyes).

Finally, on Thursday we published a Quick Look video of Rare Replay, where we decided to play some of the compilation’s Snapshots – think mini-challenges not unlike Nintendo’s NES Remix. Watch in awe at our heroic attempts at the endless, infamous Turbo Tunnel from Battletoads, and be prepared to wear out the edge of your seat as we attempt to build a rocket and blast off in Jetpac!

Also, as a cool little aside, Rare replied to our tweet ❤

That's all for this week! I'll be back with another round-up later this week, but as stated above our latest episode – part 3 – of Life is Strange is now live on our channel. Be sure to give it a watch and leave us a comment if you enjoyed it!

Early last month, Amazon rather surprisingly purchased Double Helix, developer of the Xbox One launch fighter Killer Instinct. At the time, this raised a couple of issues: what would happen to the rest of Double Helix’s ‘season one’ content for the game, and who would develop it going forward? Microsoft moved quickly to allay fears over the future of the title, and said they’d later be announcing a new development partner to take the game forward.

Well, today we have full clarity for both of these issues. Firstly, we have details for Double Helix’s final content update, which will include everybody’s favourite murderous, wrist-blade wielding cyborg Fulgore, the long-awaited story mode and eight-player lobbies with a spectator mode. We’ll be getting all this on April 9th, and I cannot wait. You can watch the trailer below. I suggest you do so.

I’ve been really looking forward to both Fulgore and story mode; I’ve put a lot of time into the game since launch, but other things (such as Titanfall) have come along and stolen my attention. A new character (indeed, my favourite character from the arcade/SNES original) along with a properly structured arcade mode will definitely drag me kicking and screaming back into the game. I really hope Double Helix have some great things planned for the story mode so they can sign off in style, before handing over to Microsoft’s new development partner.

And that new developer? We now know who that will be too: Iron Galaxy, they of Divekick and Darkstalkers Resurrection fame. The developer certainly have form with fighting games, given their history porting classic Capcom fighters to modern systems, so they should be a good choice to build on Double Helix’s excellent foundations. Interestingly, in an interview with Polygon, Iron Galaxy CEO Dave Lang reveals that his studio originally pitched to develop the title when Microsoft initially began shopping the project around. Unfortunately, the studio was at the time hard at work on its first original title, Wreckateer, and the team was not big enough to sustain more than one project.

Elsewhere in the same interview, he called Killer Instinct “probably the biggest thing we’ve ever done,” and also commented that Iron Galaxy won’t be looking to completely overhaul the way the game currently plays, saying, “If we were going to work on this game and go, ‘Oh, we want to change everything,’ if we were in that position, it’d be a mess. I’m not sure if we would have taken the gig.”

Of course, we won’t know how true that statement ends up being until we get our hands on Iron Galaxy’s first batch of KI content – a new team working on an established platform are surely going to have their own ideas, so perhaps some of that will bleed into their work organically. But Lang says that Double Helix have done much to grease the wheels during the changeover in developers, with ten of his own people spending a week at the California developer’s studio to get to grips with the existing tools. Hopefully Iron Galaxy will be able to slip right into place and continue to deliver the great results that their predecessors have, up until now, been giving us.

For Double Helix’s part, they issued a statement to Polygon that read as follows:

It’s been a privilege to work with our partners at Microsoft to help bring back Killer Instinct. Throughout production, we’ve been inspired by players and fans to make KI the best it can be. Now, we’re excited to join that community, eager to see what the talented team at Iron Galaxy turns loose for season 2

As a big fan of Killer Instinct, I’d like to thank Double Helix for their excellent work on the game, and wish them luck for their future projects. As for Iron Galaxy, I’m greatly looking forward to seeing what they can accomplish with KI. It will certainly be interesting to keep an eye on.

In case you’ve been living in a cave since E3, you should know that there’s a new Killer Instinct game coming out next month for the Xbox One. If you follow my blog you’ll certainly know as I’ve mentioned a number of times how much I’m looking forward to it; after getting ten minutes on it at last month’s Eurogamer Expo I’ve been desperate to get my hands on it once again ever since.

I’ve been watching every video that goes up on Miles923‘s youtube channel (the developers have given him a lot of access to the game, inviting him into the studio on a number of occasions) and also remembering hours spent on both the SNES title and arcade original back in the mid-nineties. And it’s impossible to remember KI1 without remembering the music.

The Super Nintendo release of Killer Instinct came with a bonus disc called ‘Killer Cuts’, a 15-track compilation of the game’s various character, stage and theme remixes (well, 16 if you count the hidden ‘Humiliation!’ track tucked away at track 30). This disc contained pure, unadulterated 90s cheddar:



I had a copy of ‘Killer Cuts’, and I absolutely adored the CD when I was eleven – in fact it should still be around somewhere, so I should have a look around for it. As much as I can admit it’s pure cheese now, these tracks still bring a massive idiotic grin to my face every time I hear them – it’s an immediate, undiluted nostalgia hit and it’s unashamedly fun! (On a separate note, every time I hear the whistle part at :54 in Controlling Transmission, I can’t help but imagine Tyres dancing to it…)

Of course, it’d be a little bit disingenuous to claim the whole CD was cheesy – the main theme is still fantastically bad-ass:

Thankfully, it seems that the main theme will be returning in the new game as snippets of an updated version can be heard in a number of videos on YouTube, but what else is happening with the music for Killer Instinct‘s return? Well, luckily, the aforementioned YouTube channel of Miles293 has us covered on that count too. Have a watch of the video below to hear Jago’s new theme, as well as the game’s dynamic use of audio, depending on the on-screen action.

Now, I don’t know about you, but to me that’s pretty damn cool. The music changes depending on not just character movement, but after things like large combos and even counter breakers. How much work must have gone into each track to facilitate something like that? As for the music itself, I’m really liking the stuff you can hear in this video – it’s suitably chunky and aggressive, and though it doesn’t sound like the Killer Instinct of old, it’s a great fit for the new game. I’m excited to hear more, but I’d love to see a soundtrack come with the Ultra Edition version as a call-back to the SNES’ ‘Killer Cuts’ freebie.

I mentioned in my Eurogamer Expo piece that I really enjoyed Killer Instinct. In fact, I enjoyed it so much that I’ll definitely be buying it on day one when I get my shiny new XBO. But I’m a bit rusty on fighting games; many years have passed since I put hundreds of hours into Street Fighter Alpha 2 on the Saturn, and many more since I used to Ultra friends with Fulgore on the SNES and arcade versions of the original KI. So I’m going to need some help.

Happily, the new instalment of Killer Instinct comes with a dedicated training mode, called Dojo Mode. Sure, this is fairly standard these days, but KI‘s dojo seems to be very in-depth, walking you through basic combos and their construction all the way up to showing hitboxes for every move in the game. Below, you can see TheOnlineWarrior‘s Maximilian and Michael Willette from developer Double Helix walking through the trainer/tutorial. I can’t wait to get to grips with it and then have a few winner-stays-on days with friends when it launches next month!

If you’re interested in Killer Instinct and want to see more, check out Maximilian’s youtube channel, which has plenty of in-depth videos, including breakdowns for all of the currently-announced characters.

Rare hiring for future console projects
According to a (now removed) job posting on gamesindustry.biz, Rare are hiring for multiple next-gen projects. The job spec called for individuals with experience of delivering triple-A games, preferably in the genres of FPS and action-adventure.

It also suggests the Microsoft-owned developer will be looking to create new IP, as well as continue with its existing franchises, such as Kinect Sports:
“Whilst continual development of their core releases will be maintained, the successful candidate will be joining at a time where the studio is looking to move into new areas and develop new IPs for future platforms.”

This news comes just after reports that Fable developer Lionhead is working on an MMO for the next Xbox. Will we see the new console unveiled at E3 despite Microsoft’s claims to the contrary?

FFVII remake – new games to “take precedence”
In an interview with Famitsu, Square-Enix designer/director Tetsuya Nomura said that new titles in the Final Fantasy franchise will be a priority, rather than any potential VII remake.

The interview was part of a Final Fantasy VII retrospective in the Japanese magazine, in which Nomura-san acknowledged many fans’ desire for a remake, saying: “There are a lot of people who want a remake of Final Fantasy VII. However, new titles take precedence. We work our hardest to make something that might be even better than Final Fantasy VII.”

This is yet another in a long line of Square-Enix comments with regards to a Final Fantasy VII remake. But would such a thing be a good idea? Look out for tomorrow’s edition of Sunday Soapbox, where I’ll be presenting my own arguments for and against.

PSN gets pre-loading feature
The Playstation Network has gained a new, Steam-like feature which will allow gamers to pre-buy titles. The utility means users can now both pay for and download games ahead of release. These will then be unlocked to play on release day, meaning no more lengthy waits to play your new game on day one.

The first title to make use of the feature will be PS Move showpiece Sorcery, which is out on May 23rd.

Cave cans Vita titles
Bullet hell shmup developer Cave has cancelled two in-development titles for the Playstation Vita. One of the games, Shirotsuku, was a social game set in Sengoku-period Japan that would take advantage of the Vita’s location and network features. The other project was an unannounced shooter. This one saddens me.

In a seperate announcement, Cave Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Mikio Watanabe announced his departure from the company for personal reasons. He will remain in his role until the end of the month.