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



Smash hits the Wii U in December

Posted by Matthew Hewson On Friday 10 October 2014No Comments

Quick! Scratch my shoulder!

For all their talk about being the family friendly console, Nintendo sure do know how to make a game that makes you want to punch your brother. First there was Mario Kart, which turned people from civil siblings into opponents in a war for first place. After Mario Kart, Nintendo decided that their work in causing family dissent wasn’t completed, so with this in mind they released Super Smash Bros. Battles were fought and hair was pulled as brothers, sisters, mothers and fathers attempted to claim victory. That was quite a few years ago and now that the bruises have healed and everyone is talking to each other again Nintendo have decided to fan the flames of war again.

Super Smash Bros. for Wii U finally has a release date and luckily it isn’t too far away. Saturday 6 December is the day the war starts again so Wii U gamers will be able to once again start a prolonged battle of attrition with their loved ones. For folks that have held on to their GameCube controllers there is even a version coming with an adaptor so that this once great weapon of destruction can rise again. Because virtual disharmony isn’t enough for Nintendo, they have decided to include Amiibo support (think Nintendo Skylanders) with the game. So now you will have something physical to throw at your uncle when his Pikachu wins for the 10th time in a row.

So charge your lightning attack, eat some bananas and grab that fire flower because your sister thinks you don’t stand a chance. You aren’t going to let her get away with that are you?



Battlefield producer aiming to win back hearts and minds

Posted by Black Panel Staff On Thursday 9 October 2014No Comments

Capture the donut?

A senior developer with EA subsidiary DICE LA has conceded that it has a lot of work to do to win back the trust of a once fanatical, now justifiably hesitant, Battlefield fan base.

While the game was reasonably well received by critics, the online component of Battlefield 4 was plagued by technical issues, issues that persisted for months and required numerous patches. At the height of the backlash against the game, EA was forced to pull resources away from future content in order to address ongoing performance issues with Battlefield 4.

In a conversation with GameSpot, Battlefield: Hardline producer David Sirland agreed that there are probably still “a lot of players who won’t trust us to deliver a stable launch or a stable game.” Sirland sees it as his job to “earn our trust back”.

According to Sirland, allowing fans to go hands on with earlier builds of Battlefield titles will ensure that these problems won’t be repeated, at least not to the same degree, with future releases.


Interview – Insomniac on Sunset Overdrive

Posted by Jason Imms On Wednesday 8 October 2014No Comments

During EB Expo this year, I sat down with the seemingly permanently jovial Marcus Smith, creative director on Insomniac Games’ Sunset Overdrive. One thing that struck me was that Marcus seems like someone that probably considers fun a necessary part of every day. It makes sense, then, that the design catch-cry for Sunset Overdrive is “fun in the end times.”
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Pillars pushed to 2015

Posted by Black Panel Staff On Tuesday 7 October 2014No Comments

The great battle for a medium sized patch of mud.

Pillars of Eternity has been among the more prominent Kickstarter success stories, attracting almost US $4m worth of pledges during its 2012 funding drive. In the proud tradition of high profile crowd funding champions such as Broken Age and Wasteland 2, Pillars of Eternity has missed its initial release window. The game does exist in playable form however, having been the subject of a backer-exclusive beta release.

Speaking of the beta, it sounds very much like feedback received during this period may have been the central impetus for the delay. In a post on the official Obsidian forums, the developer explained that it in order to “incorporate as much feedback as possible, polish every nook and cranny of the game, and make sure we don’t ship a buggy game, Obsidian has decided to push the game’s release into early next year.”

Pillars of Eternity is being published for PC by Paradox Interactive.