Daily updates on video games and popular culture, along with Australia’s grooviest gaming podcast.



Pokémon fighting game heading to Japanese arcades

Posted by Black Panel Staff On Wednesday 27 August 2014No Comments

Thanks largely to the success of Donkey Kong, Nintendo will always have a place in arcade gaming history. However, its contributions to the arcade scene have been few and far between in recent years, with its Mario Kart GP series among the notable exceptions. Now, another of its most storied franchises is making its way to Japanese arcades. As revealed by Famitsu, via a very helpful Siliconera translation, a fresh Pokémon game is in the works.

Due for release in 2015, the newly announced Pokkén Tournament is the result of a partnership between The Pokémon Company, which is part owned by Nintendo, and Tekken publisher Bandai Namco, which also worked on the aforementioned Mario Kart GP. The short announcement trailer appears to suggest that Pokkén Tournament will be a one-on-one fighting game featuring prominent characters from past Pokémon releases.

The initial announcement doesn’t discuss the potential for a western release or ports to Nintendo’s home or handheld platforms.



Amazon gets Twitchy

Posted by Matthew Hewson On Tuesday 26 August 2014No Comments

The Twitch logo will now appear on all US currency.

Earlier this year, streamers everywhere suddenly became worried that Twitch was getting bought out by Google. Rumours abounded on the net that the massive internet company was buying out everyone’s favourite streaming service and when Twitch recently introduced a new music copyright system, many thought that this was a sure sign Google was poised to take over.

Well, in a twist that few saw coming, it was confirmed through an open letter from Twitch CEO Emmett Shear that the company had indeed been purchased, but not by Google. The new owner of Twitch is none other than virtual department store and e-reader champion Amazon.

According to Amazon, it purchased Twitch for US $970m, which is just shy of the billion dollar mark Google was rumoured to be offering. Apparently the owners of Twitch felt that Amazon was a better fit for the company. Amazon has a pretty good reputation for buying out companies and letting them run with minimal influence so this surely had a lot to do with the choice. It is easy to see some Amazon influence creeping into the world of Twitch however. Perhaps all Twitch ads will become Amazon related? Maybe we’ll see live links thrown into video streams as well?

It will be interesting to see what changes, if any, are coming to this super popular service. Will it be for the better or will another favourite internet company fall under the influence of an evil corporation? Only time will tell.


Major gaming networks besieged

Posted by Black Panel Staff On Monday 25 August 2014No Comments

The Playstation Network is a little worse for wear.

In a development that has revived memories of the great PlayStation Network calamity of 2011, Sony’s online infrastructure has again come under attack.

Sony has issued a statement advising that “the PlayStation Network and Sony Entertainment Network have been impacted by an attempt to overwhelm our network with artificially high traffic.” This is commonly referred to as a distributed denial of service attack.

While this has again resulted in severe service interruptions, it differs from the 2011 incident in so far as confidential data does not appear to have been compromised this time around. “Although this has impacted on your ability to access our network and enjoy our services,” the statement reads, “no personal information has been accessed.” Sony later updated its page to indicate that the issues had been resolved.

As reported by Shacknews, a group referring to itself as Lizard Squad has claimed responsibility not only for the network issues, but for a bomb hoax targeting a flight carrying Sony Online Entertainment President John Smedley.

Several other major online games such as Blizzard Entertainment’s World of Warcraft and Riot Games’ League of Legends have also experienced downtime over the weekend, and it appears that the Xbox Live network could be next on Lizard Squad’s hit list.


Assassin’s Creed and Wii U go their separate ways

Posted by Erin Marcon On Sunday 24 August 2014No Comments

Shay doesn’t look happy about it either.

Though some previous chapters of Assassin’s Creed have bobbed up on the Wii U, Ubisoft’s latest public utterances suggest that future instalments won’t be making an appearance. This is certainly of true both of current gen showcase Assassin’s Creed Unity and past gen offering Assassin’s Creed Rogue.

Why are Nintendo fans going to be missing out? “It’s very simple,” Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot told Game Informer. “What we see is that Nintendo customers don’t buy Assassin’s Creed. Last year, we sold in very small numbers.”

While a previously announced Watch Dogs port is still scheduled to make it’s way to Nintendo’s first high definition console, it sounds very much like Ubisoft regards the Wii U as a destination for more casual offerings. “What we see is that they are very interested in Just Dance, very interested by other kinds of games,” Guillemot said.

While the Wii U enjoyed a decent number of third party offerings during its launch window (Mass Effect 3, Batman: Arkham City and Ubisoft’s own ZombiU spring to mind), support appears to have dried up following the arrival of new consoles from Sony and Microsoft.