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



Next Forza will delay rollout of microtransactions

Posted by Black Panel Staff On Sunday 14 September 2014No Comments

One prominent Forza player reacts to the news.

When the Xbox One launched almost a year ago, many players were surprised by the presence of microtransactions in a handful of Microsoft published releases. This was all good and well in the case of the free-to-play Killer Instinct, but titles such as Crimson Dragon, Ryse: Son of Rome and Forza Motorsport 5 demanded a significant upfront investment only to immediately nickel and dime players for additional content.

It seems that the creators of the forthcoming Forza Horizon 2 paid close attention to the backlash. In a recent discussion with Kotaku, Playground Games design director Ralph Fulton noted that the latest instalment in the hardcore racing series is set to launch without this controversial feature. Fulton promised to deliver “a game which is balanced such that you never need to spend a penny on it.”

While this decision is sure to be a winner with fans, Fulton left the door ajar to adding microtransactions at some point post launch. “I’m sure there’ll come a time when we want to offer our players more choice,” he said. “But we won’t do that at first.”



The Black List 262

Posted by Black Panel Staff On Saturday 13 September 2014No Comments

Welcome to The Black List, your one stop shop for the stories published on the site this week.

SUNDAY JUST ANNOUNCED Game 4 > The team responsible for Alien Hominid, Castle Crashers and the more recent BattleBlock Theatre has unveiled (though curiously enough declined to name) its latest project. Best known for its quirky character action games, The Behemoth has surprised its fans by announcing a turn based strategy title. For the moment at least, the project is known as Game 4. READ MORE

MONDAY TEST TUBE Ultra Street Fighter IV > It seems like a long time ago that Street Fighter IV was originally released to praise from reviewers and fighting game fans alike. Ever since its release, it’s proven to be one of the most popular games at EVO each year. The latest edition, Ultra Street Fighter IV, is available as both a standalone product and a paid title update for some previous versions of the game. So what else could this game possibly add at this point that would warrant another upgrade? READ MORE

TUESDAY NEWS Atari resurrects classic horror titles > The name Atari has made something of a resurgence of late, mainly through mobile games, but in an attempt to move back into the console world, the current owner of the brand has decided to revisit not one but two of Atari’s old horror properties. The first is Alone in the Dark and shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone over the age of 25. READ MORE

WEDNESDAY NEWS Sunset Overdrive extras inbound > Microsoft has outlined its plans for what will almost certainly be one of the most significant third party exclusives released for the Xbox One this year. According to the official Xbox Wire, a forthcoming season pass for Insomniac Games’ stylish third person shooter Sunset Overdrive will provide players with “even more explosive action and mutant-infested mayhem”. This will come as a relief to those of us quietly fearing a mayhem shortfall in the latter months 2014. READ MORE

THURSDAY JUST ANNOUNCED Assassins Creed: Birth of a New World – The American Saga Collection > Publisher Ubisoft has announced the impending release of yet another Assassin’s Creed collection, following on from the Heritage and Legacy collections previously available. Lengthily titled Assassins Creed: Birth of a New World – The American Saga Collection, this particular compilation focuses on entries in the series set in and around the Americas and will feature Assassins Creed III, Assassins Creed Liberation HD and Assassins Creed IV: Black Flag. READ MORE

FRIDAY NEWS Resident Evil goes episodic > Capcom is poised to roll the dice on an episodic release schedule for the recently announced Resident Evil: Revelations 2. The new survival horror campaign will be broken up into four segments to be issued on a weekly basis. Players will be able to purchase each episode as it comes out or opt for a season pass at a slight discount. READ MORE


Resident Evil goes episodic

Posted by Black Panel Staff On Friday 12 September 2014No Comments

Capcom is poised to roll the dice on an episodic release schedule for the recently announced Resident Evil: Revelations 2. The new survival horror campaign will be broken up into four segments to be issued on a weekly basis. Players will be able to purchase each episode as it comes out or opt for a season pass at a slight discount. Once the story has been wrapped up, the whole kit and caboodle will be offered on a retail disc, which will apparently include additional content. The announcement coincides with the release of a new trailer for the game.

Will a headline act like Resident Evil revive interest in episodic gaming? Just a few short years ago, mainstream publishers were trialling the concept with some of their biggest brands. Valve famously released a pair of Half Life 2 episodes, while SEGA offered up two Sonic the Hedgehog 4 instalments. Since then, Telltale Games has kept the concept alive with a succession of licensed offerings, and there have been one or two examples in the indie world, but interest in episodic gaming has seemingly cooled in recent times.


Birth of a new Assassin’s Creed collection

Posted by Stephen Foote On Thursday 11 September 2014No Comments

It’s the Just Dance / Assassin’s Creed crossover we’ve all been waiting for.

Publisher Ubisoft has announced the impending release of yet another Assassin’s Creed collection, following on from the Heritage and Legacy collections previously available. Lengthily titled Assassins Creed: Birth of a New World – The American Saga Collection, this particular compilation focuses on entries in the series set in and around the Americas and will feature Assassins Creed III, Assassins Creed Liberation HD and Assassins Creed IV: Black Flag.

Given the mixed critical reception received by the former two titles, which includes my own review of Liberation HD, as well as the perceived redemption of the series’ declining quality by Black Flag, the timing of this release might seem like an odd decision by Ubisoft were it not for the scheduled November release of Assassin’s Creed: Rogue, a game featuring cameos from characters in some of the aforementioned titles. Gamers who have thus far managed to escape the sprawling franchise will now have a chance to catch up on the colonial era story arc.

The American Saga Collection will be available from Thursday 2 October on PS3, 360 and PC, while Assassins Creed: Rogue will launch just over a month later on Thursday 13 November for the same platforms.