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

Soul Calibur joins the party

Posted by Black Panel Staff On Wednesday 18 May 2011No Comments

Notwithstanding the lamentable decline of the arcade scene, there has probably never been a better time to be a fighting game fan. The past year alone has seen the release of new versions of Street Fighter, Mortal Kombat, Dead Or Alive, BlazBlue and Marvel vs Capcom. We can now add Soul Calibur V to the list, with Namco Bandai revealing that work has commenced on a new edition of its popular weapon based fighter.

In recent years, the series has become known for its ‘guest’ combatants, with pop culture icons such as Darth Vader and Spawn taking centre stage in advertising campaigns for the games. It’s unclear as to whether this trend will continue with Soul Calibur V, particularly as the trailer includes but a handful of characters, series mainstay Siegfried amongst them. Namco Bandai has offered no further hints about the roster beyond the fact that it will include a range of new and returning combatants.

Soul Calibur V is scheduled for release on 360 and PS3 in 2012.

The next big hit

Posted by Erin Marcon On Tuesday 17 May 2011No Comments

Known in recent years for its work on the controversial Kane & Lynch titles, Danish developer IO Interactive is returning to the franchise that put it on the map. Hitman: Absolution will be the fifth game in the third person stealth action series. The very brief announcement video reveals little beyond the fact that Agent 47 hasn’t altered his approach, or his hair style, since we saw him last.

According to the scant press material currently available, our hero will find himself “betrayed by those he trusted and hunted by the police”. While we don’t yet know how Agent 47 ended up on the wrong side of the law, we’re sure it has nothing to do with the hundreds he stabbed, strangled and electrocuted during the first four games in the ultra-violent series.

According to publisher Square Enix, Hitman Absolution will make its way to 360, PS3 and PC in 2012. By the time it hits the shelves, it will have been more than five years since the previous instalment.

Black Panel Tweet Squad 2

Posted by Black Panel Staff On Monday 16 May 2011No Comments

Black Panel Tweet Squad provides you with a fortnightly digest of vaguely game related Twitter posts from our staff and contributors. You’ll hear from Erin Marcon (@ErinMarcon), Karen Jacobson (@KarenMJacobson), Jenn Christodoulou (@Jennacide77), Matthew Hewson (@Hewso81) and Zorine Te (@harlitrix). You can follow the site itself at @BlackPanelDaily.


@Erin Marcon – Hey @bungietweets, I just fell to my death on Pinnacle. Please install more guard rails. It isn’t safe. #HaloReach

@Hewso81 – Are there any God-of-war clones available on the PC? Help Me Tweeters, You’re my only hope.

@KarenMJacobson – I have high expectations of #riseofnightmares – don’t let me down #sega #bpts

@harlitrix – I love my new backpack. It gives me +10 item slots

@Erin Marcon – Level 11 of Capsized is driving me INSANE. Stuff these keyboard controls; I’m plugging in a 360 controller.

@Hewso81 – Just finished my report on AOE: Online Beta. Here is the short version. It’s pretty good. #BPTS

@Erin Marcon – So, #Drop7 is really addictive. #WorldFirstReview

@harlitrix – Whilst I was watching a replay of last week’s Counter-Strike match my boss walked past & said “Oh are u watching how they got Osama?”

@Erin Marcon – I can’t help but feel that Sony has missed a golden opportunity to quietly retire the PlayStation Home service. #PSN

@KarenMJacobson – I am so sick of players quitting midway through a team game of #halo – grrrrrr #bpts


@Jennacide77 – It’s so good to be in love again. Even if it is with a fictional Stephen King character #sowhat


We’re also interested in hearing from our readers. Insert the tag #BPTS in your game related tweets and we’ll include a selection of them here.

@ashthestamped – On @Hewso81‘s recommendation I am really enjoying #HalfLife2 #BPTS

Recent instalments of Black Panel Tweet Squad: 03.05.11

There will be blood

Posted by Jenn Christodoulou On Monday 16 May 2011No Comments

It’s time to dig those broken controllers out of the cupboard and smack them into working condition, because the release of From Software’s Dark Souls is only around the corner! Well, actually it’s not for a while yet, so that’s a perfect amount of time for you to go out and buy all new controllers. Because if the newly released footage is anything to go by, I think you’re definitely going to need them.

The trailer shows us beautifully rendered scenes that look very similar to areas out of Demon’s Souls. We see a crow flying peacefully through the air, soaring over areas of eerily calm destruction. And then we see death. Over and over and over again. So anybody who was wondering about the difficulty level of this title need wonder no more.

The clip also showcases a bunch of interesting (and incredibly dangerous and terrifying) enemies which proceed to turn the poor character into mince meat. We see him get sliced in half, eaten, crushed, thrown into a wall and a whole variety of other gruesome deaths.

Providing us with a trailer showing nothing but death says more about the game than words ever could. Looks like maybe we should be all begin anger management classes before October. Something tells me we’re going to need it.

According to publisher Namco Bandai, Dark Souls is due for release in October 2011 and will be available on both PS3 and 360.