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

Driveclub crashes on the starting grid

Posted by Matthew Hewson On Tuesday 14 October 2014No Comments

Ideal conditions for driving.

In this week’s episode of “Which game totally stuffed its online launch?” we have Sony’s arcade racer Driveclub. In what seems to be almost the norm with new games Driveclub has hit some massive speed bumps during its launch window, which has resulted in no online connectivity and a lack of available features. It has even caused the delay of the free PlayStation Plus version, with developers unwilling to add a host of new players until the dents have been beaten out.

According to Kotaku, irate players have asked Sony for a refund but have yet to receive a response. It seems that this is just another in a long line of botched game launches. It seems to be that gamers are being forced to accept this as the norm as opposed to a rare occurrence and it is starting to leave a bad taste in many mouths. Here’s hoping that developers can come up with a way to properly test these online features prior to launch so we can all finally put these frustrating issues behind us.

Wildstar holidays cancelled

Posted by Black Panel Staff On Monday 13 October 2014No Comments

Orange and Purple Goo Day will seemingly go ahead as planned.

The studio responsible for WildStar has revealed that some of the content planned for its fledgling sci-fi MMO has been yanked from the release schedule.

In a post on the game’s official forums, Kristen DeMeza of Carbine Studios explained the reasons behind the cancellation of the Halloween and Christmas themed events. “Now, holidays are great, but they’re not has important as making sure the live game is working well. We took the time we needed to fix things players were already experiencing – all of the departments – and that meant that the schedule changed to account for it.”

Themed holidays are kind of a big deal in online gaming circles and the absence of these highly anticipated events doesn’t always go down particularly well. Just ask Valve. As reported at the time by Kotaku, the developer was on the receiving end of a withering backlash from DOTA 2 fans following its decision to skip Halloween (or Diretide as it is known in-game).

Australia forced to wait (a little) for Captain Toad

Posted by Erin Marcon On Sunday 12 October 2014No Comments

Big brown bird thing disapproves of your fun.

As the saying goes, you win some and you lose some. Just weeks after Australian Nintendo fans rejoiced at the news that they’d be amongst the first in the world to experience the New Nintendo 3DS, they’ve discovered that they’ll be lagging behind when it comes to another first party offering.

Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker is set to arrive in Japan in November and North America in December, but local fans will be forced to wait until Saturday 10 January 2015. Considering that the original version of The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker took almost six months to arrive on our shores, this is probably a reasonably manageable delay.

The Wii U exclusive Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker sees the fungi-like inhabitants of Princess Peaches’ Mushroom Kingdom take centre stage for puzzle platforming shenanigans. The game will star the eponymous adventurer, as well as Toadette, who somehow manages to have pigtails despite not having any hair.

The Black List 266

Posted by Black Panel Staff On Saturday 11 October 2014No Comments

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

SUNDAY SPECIAL Dispatches from EB Expo 2014 – Part 1 > Hey folks. This weekend I once again took the long trip up the Hume Highway to participate in the insanity that is EB Expo. It seemed like things were a little bit more subdued this year. A lot of the games on show were not far from release so there wasn’t the level of anticipation that previous shows have had. That being said there were still plenty of games to get my hands and eyes on and share my experiences with you all. READ MORE

MONDAY SPECIAL Dispatches from EB Expo 2014 – Part 2 > So as I went into the second day of the EB Expo in Sydney, there were a few other games I wanted to make sure I got a good look at. Luckily I had enough time to check everything out before my time at the show drew to a close. First on my day’s playlist was Assassin’s Creed Rogue. The last gen hurrah for the Assassin’s Creed series had quite a lengthy demo on the show floor so I had a good chance to see what had changed since Black Flag. Unfortunately the answer is not much. READ MORE

TUESDAY NEWS Pillars pushed to 2015 > 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. READ MORE

WEDNESDAY INTERVIEW Insomniac on Sunset Overdrive > 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.” READ MORE

THURSDAY NEWS Battlefield producer aiming to win back hearts and minds > 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 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. READ MORE

FRIDAY NEWS Smash hits Wii U in December > 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. READ MORE