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

Home being vacated

Posted by Black Panel Staff On Tuesday 30 September 2014No Comments

It doesn’t get any more depressing than this.

Sony has revealed that it is pulling the plug on its long running PlayStation Home service, simultaneously providing the first reminder in years that it actually still exists. This may be overstating things just a tad (Sony has been rolling out content here and there) but this is probably the first time that the mainstream has paid any attention to the service since, well, shortly after it launched back in 2008.

A virtual world in the tradition of Second Life, PlayStation Home gives PS3 players access to a unique avatar and house, as well as the ability to interact with other users. Players are also encouraged to unlock and/or purchase a range of items, such as clothing and furniture. PlayStation Home has also played host to a range of mini games and virtual press events.

Sony elected not to bring the service across to the PS4, a decision that probably foreshadowed this latest announcement. PlayStation Home will cease to operate on 31 March 2015.

Total War rages on with Attila in tow

Posted by Erin Marcon On Monday 29 September 2014No Comments

A year after the release of Total War: Rome II, SEGA and Creative Assembly have revealed plans to continue their long running series of real time strategy epics. The latest instalment will be known as Total War: Attila. According to the initial publicity material, players will control the Roman Empire at a “time of apocalyptic turmoil at the very dawn of the Dark Ages.”

As the title of the game makes abundantly clear, the formidable Hun Empire will also play a major role in proceedings. At this stage, though, it isn’t clear if players will have the chance to control the forces of the legendary Attila during the campaign or if he will serve merely in the role of antagonist. Attila is only the second historical figure after Napoleon to feature in the title of a core Total War game.

Creative Assembly is promising “improved core gameplay” as well as “breathtaking scale” and “improved graphical performance” when Total War: Attila arrives on PC in 2015.

Australia nabs revised 3DS in November

Posted by Black Panel Staff On Sunday 28 September 2014No Comments

Coming soon to a store near you.

When Nintendo revealed that it would launch two new revisions of its 3DS hardware in Japan this October, western audiences more or less assumed that they’d have to wait until 2015 to get their hands on it. It therefore comes as something of a surprise that the New Nintendo 3DS and New Nintendo 3DS XL will launch in Australia and New Zealand on Friday 21 November 2014.

In the first ever locally produced Nintendo Direct video message, Nintendo Australia Managing Director Tom Enoki reveals that this “will be the first launch outside of Japan, as we are not going to release the system in America and Europe this year.” This surely represents quite a coup for the local arm of Nintendo, and a happy bonus for the company’s local fans.

Nintendo also revealed the local pricing for the latest editions of its popular handheld. The standard sized New Nintendo 3DS will retail for $219.95, while the XL model will be priced at $249.95.

The Black List 264

Posted by Black Panel Staff On Saturday 27 September 2014No Comments

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

SUNDAY REVIEW Destiny > Destiny is a game that will polarise players. For some the excellent shooting and wonderful level design will allow them to have an amazing experience. On the other side of the coin, the empty areas, poor story, broken loot system and boring early game will be enough to put some off for life. It may be that Destiny is a proof of concept for future entries in the franchise and that the best is yet to come. READ MORE

MONDAY NEWS Bloodborne release date revealed > The next few months are set to be dominated by blockbuster sequels, but with the critically divisive Destiny now in the rear vision mirror, some are now slowly turning their attention to the next wave of original IPs. Few untested titles are generating as much hype as Bloodborne, a grisly fantasy action game from the studio responsible for the diabolical Dark Souls saga. READ MORE

TUESDAY FIRST TRAILER Triad Wars > Canadian developer United Front Games has announced the projected 2015 release of Triad Wars, an online multiplayer action game that will follow on from its 2012 hit Sleeping Dogs. Exclusively coming to PC, Triad Wars is described by Design Director Steve Ferreira as the “flip-side of Sleeping Dogs”, and will focus on the rise of players from Hong Kong gang enforcer to crime boss, stepping away from the undercover cop aspect of Sleeping Dogs’ protagonist Wei Shen. READ MORE

WEDNESDAY NEWS Titan cancelled > In what is likely to be regarded as the biggest cancellation news of the year, Activision and Blizzard have pulled the plug on their long awaited Titan MMO. In an interview with Polygon, Blizzard CEO Mike Morhaime has confirmed that the project, which the company has never discussed in detail, is being abandoned. “We didn’t find the fun,” Morhaime said. “We didn’t find the passion.” Titan had been in development for seven years. READ MORE

THURSDAY TRAILER First look at Battleborn gameplay > By now you have all probably heard about Gearbox’s next big game Battleborn. Something of a cross between Team Fortress 2 and a MOBA, this new game has been hard to describe to potential players with nothing but words. It is wonderful to see that Gearbox has recognised this issue and has decided to release an 18-minute gameplay trailer to the gaming public. READ MORE

FRIDAY NEWS Unity DLC will include Assassin’s Creed sidescroller > The Assassin’s Creed series has stayed true to the promise of a new game each year. After arguably losing its way a little over the past couple of instalments, it bounced back strongly with Black Flag and hopes are now running high for Unity. With Unity set to launch in November, details of the season pass have been released and it looks to be offering a wider variety to gamers than ever before. READ MORE