PRESS: ““Ralph Breaks the Internet: Wreck-It Ralph 2” leaves Litwak’s video arcade behind, venturing into the uncharted, expansive and thrilling world of the internet—which may or may not survive Ralph’s wrecking. Video game bad guy Ralph (voice of John C. Reilly) and fellow misfit Vanellope von Schweetz (voice of Sarah Silverman) must risk it all by traveling to the world wide web in search of
PRESS: “Jessica Jones is back as New York City’s tough-as-nails private investigator. Although this time, the case is even more personal than ever before. Fueled by a myriad of questions and lies, she will do whatever it takes to uncover the truth.”
One hell of a week, huh? I mean, aside from the ongoing and hilariously/depressingly busted American election news, there was plenty of video game stuff going on, too. PlayStation VR is out and I’m working on building a meaty collection of thoughts on that. In short, it’s a cheap, functional, and occasionally buggy alternative to the more refined experience that HTC Vive or Oculus Rift provides, but I do have a lot more to say about it than that.
Then there’s Gears of War 4, which was pretty good but really had a lot of room to become great, and Shadow Warrior 2, which I’ve had to put on the back burner for PlayStation VR. But from what I have played, my feelings pretty much mimic what Kirk Hamilton has to say about it over at Kotaku. Next week you’ll see Battlefield 1 and the continuing trend to release a game early for people willing to pay a premium, a purposefully hateful tactic by publishers to put consumers against their own convictions.
And speaking of the American election, some of you can still register to vote. For others, you’ve missed your chance. Please, please, please don’t miss this opportunity. Some electors are actually legally bound to vote by constituency, so your actions are a genuine and literal representation in the final results. (And while I really do think you should vote not matter what, I urge you to not support a dark triad pile of rageful sexism, racism, and incessant fighting against human rights.)
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story — Story Trailer #2
FFUHHHHHHHHHHH. Even though this came out only yesterday, this one was hard to miss. The Internet basically exploded over it, and for good fucking reason. Look at Mads Mikkelsen be a badass, and Felicity Jones also be a badass, and Diego Luna additionally be a badass. Oh, and low-key we see Darth Vader and so god damn much glorious footage of Mon Mothma.
But this is also one hell of a trailer, even removed from Star Wars context. The entire theme of it is spelled out in the single line “make ten men feel like a hundred,” and the rest of the trailer is built to support it. It has a dire gravity to it, but it is also infused with irrepressible optimism, partially because of what we see but also with the pop cultural knowledge of how A New Hope goes. It hits theatres on December 16, 2016.
Iron Fist — NYCC Teaser Trailer
Okay, straight up, there’s problems with Iron Fist‘s casting in just broad terms of reinforcing the diminishing of Asians from leading roles, and in this case, perhaps tempts writers to put the character into a white savior trope. But I do also think Finn Jones as Danny Rand is a great fit, and we should reserve critical assessment for after we watch the series. The execution is just as important as this controversial foundation.
I also genuinely love how this has its own take on action, just as the past Netflix/Marvel shows have done. Daredevil was overwhelming grit and realism, Jessica Jones was low fantasy dynamism, and Luke Cage was 70s-style stoicism. And now Iron Fist definitely has hints of Hong Kong kung fu action films, which is fantastic but also surprising given showrunner Scott Buck’s career. Anyways, it releases on Netflix on March 17, 2017.
John Wick: Chapter 2 — Teaser Trailer
While this looks like more of the same, that’s a damn good thing. For one, the first John Wick simply wasn’t enough, so who’s to fault them for just wanting to make more. But it’s also what we, the fans, also asked for. We simply said why did it end, and Keanu Reeves said it doesn’t have to. And here we are.
Look at that. He even got another puppy dog in tow and another totally dope car. Oh, and a shit ton of sick kills and hyperactive, nearly psychedelic cinematography focusing on clarity of action and visually enticing/assaulting colors. I’m also excited to get more insight about this fascinating world of assassins and assassin rules. It hits theatres on February 10, 2017.
Black Mirror — Season 3 Trailer
If you haven’t watched Black Mirror before, then you are wrong. Not about anything in particular; it’s just that your existence is wrong. The reduction of its quality as a modern Twilight Zone is a bit unfortunate, but it is also incredibly accurate. Its insight into the current climate of social faults and cracks is not only poignant and pointed but also prescient.
The series’ ability to look beyond dark criticism and go into grim logical rabbit holes is incredible. The second season certainly lost a bit of its edge and impact, but it was still far and away more innovative than a lot of things out there. And just as interesting is the fact that the premiere episode will be written by creator Charlie Brooker alongside Michael Schur and Rashida Jones, both of Parks and Recreation fame. Oh, and the second one will be directed by 10 Cloverfield Lane‘s Dan Trachtenberg! The season releases on Netflix on October 21, 2016.
Shadow Warrior 2 — Who Wants Some Wang Trailer
Speaking of Shadow Warrior 2, here’s the launch trailer for the game, which actually came out yesterday on PC (and will hit the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One sometime early next year). It’s certainly a slick trailer, but it’s also very odd because its gimmick is freezing time and watching an arrow follow its trajectory through a bunch of blood and bodies. Why is it odd, you may ask?
Well, it’s because in practice, this game is fast. Like, stupidly fast. If I had to put a figure on it, I’d place it somewhere in the neighborhood of an unhinged Quake. Yet it still somehow manages to be exceptionally deft and comprehensible, though I wish the same could be said about the humor, which is inexplicably more hit-or-miss than the 2013 original. Still, I recommend you give it some of your time.
Project Genom — Trailer
It definitely doesn’t get any more sci-fi than a naked person waking up in some sort of stasis chamber and stumbling to the floor of a dark, crimson lab and discovering strange bits of cybernetics on their person. In fact, this whole game looks to be some incredibly sci-fi-ass sci-fi, relying on artificial/scientific/naturalistic modifications and enhancements to be born from the mythos as much as the game’s progression systems.
This trailer also does a terrific job of showcasing all the sick stuff you can engage in, like having a firefight on the moon, drifting through zero gravity, fucking hoverboarding, dogfighting, zipping between floating mountains with a jetpack, and, I dunno, kicking weird little space worms? None of it looks exceptionally representative of the MMORPG game loop(s), but it definitely gets your attention. You can get it now on Early Access for 20% off.
Spryke — Kickstarter Campaign
That’s one good-looking game right there. Who knew a “deep sea cyberfish out of water” could look so welcoming? But I guess when your inspirations include Rayman and Finding Dory, you can expect some brightly cartoonish visuals that are meant to draw you in.
It also just sounds great. That song is pretty damn catchy, and we get some cool insight into the composition later in the pitch video. Oh yeah, it’s a pitch video for a recently opened Kickstarter. It’s got a decent proposal (including neat custom Xbox One Elite controllers) and a solid start. Check it out for yourself and think it over, if you want.
GoNNER — Launch Trailer
“GoNNER is also a story about friendship between Ikk, Death, and a space whale named Sally.” Um, GoNNNER, you officially have my god damn attention. Whatever you’re trying to sell me, if part of the proposition is a space whale, you better fucking believe I’m way more inclined to partake.
It also looks damn good, both in the sense that the art is tremendous and eye-catching and it just looks fun. The idea of a procedurally generated platformer probably would have rarely ever interested me prior to Spelunky, but now I’m excited by the idea of someone trying to outdo that future classic in some new way. You can get it now for PC, OS X, and Linux.
Stellar Overload — Early Access Trailer
While I’ve yet to put my hands on this game, I guess the most succinct qualitative arithmetic you can believe is something along the lines of No Man’s Sky + Minecraft. Oh, what the hell, throw in a bit of Skyrim, too. Look at all those big blocky worlds you can explore!
And, I guess, eventually beat up the Lego devil at some point? I’m not exactly sure, but it sure looks interesting. I’d love to build a spaceship out of blocks, fly it to another planet, and then beat up a/the devil. It’s incredibly ambitious, too. If you look at the technical page of the game, the devs apparently want to at some point smash together two planets for a total of seven billion voxels of chaos. It’s out now for Early Access now, either way.
Kim — Teaser Trailer
How often do you get a game based on a non-The Jungle Book Rudyard Kipling property? And then how often do you get a game set in India? I can tell you it’s so close to never it might as well be never. That’s where Kim steps in, solving both dearths in one fell swoop.
It’s definitely gorgeous, but I am very curious as to how they’re turning the plight of a street orphan into an RPG. It seems easy enough to superficially translate it into some sort of survival genre game, but I’m really hoping it goes further and deeper with this masterpiece than that. I mean, this story really fucking goes places, so the ability to transform mechanics to match the expanding scope and complexity of the narrative would seem most challenging. But it’s out on Early Access now regardless.
You guys still playing Pokémon Go? I’m surprised to see that for many people around the country, the answer is still a resounding Fuck Yes. It’s not that I don’t think it’s worth putting some time into it every once in a while, but I’m surprised so many players have stuck with it despite being hampered with unequivocally busted servers. But I wonder if some of the mystery driving the game is gone now that 1) folks have broken down the data and 2) some guy already caught them all.
Next week, however, will be a veritable deluge of games to take away your time from that or whatever else you’ve been doing (perhaps playing the excellent Furi?) Quadrilateral Cowboy finally comes out, as does Double Fine’s Headlander and the conclusion to Telltale’s Minecraft: Story Mode. And let’s not forget some of the biggest movie releases of the year like Jason Bourne and Bad Moms. (Go watch Star Trek Beyond now before it falls out of theatres!)
But that’s for later. This is for the now! For trailers! (Of things that will be in the far flung later, so, uh, whatever.)
Batman: The Telltale Series — World Premiere Trailer
My biggest question, one that I’ve had since this series was announced at The Game Awards, is what can Telltale bring to the table? We already know what they’re capable of as a studio, dipping between the dire and the joyous, and we know what Batman is capable of exploring as a character. There must be something new that Telltale wants to say about the storied caped crusader that we haven’t seen before.
Or at least that’s the hope. This trailer doesn’t show much that would give that away, but the promise at the SXSW panel was that there would be more Bruce Wayne stuff than Batman stuff, including the possibility to wholly excise the mask from the game. That does sound interesting, so we’ll see. The first episode “Realm of Shadows” comes out for, like, every platform on August 2, 2016.
Upsilon Circuit — Indiegogo Campaign Video
I’ve rarely heard as interesting an ideas as Upsilon Circuit. I think it was at last year’s SXSW I saw it (or maybe it was a PAX?) and had I not been familiar with the developers Robot Loves Kitty from the super slick Legend of Dungeon, I might have ignored it. But that would have been a mistake.
The premise, if you didn’t watch the Indiegogo video above, is that you take the role of either a viewer or a player in a single global instance of one singular multiplayer action RPG. If you are a viewer, you can impact the elements that the players will face Hunger Games-style. If you are one of the eight players, you try to reach the end. But if you die, that’s it. You don’t play again. Pretty cool, right? Check it out if you’re so inclined.
NES Classic Edition
Wow, definitely forgot that this was announced, and that was barely a week ago. It was news that largely passed my field of view and kept on going. It was neat, but its impact on my life was almost null despite my love for a great number of the included games.
After seeing this trailer, though, I’ve gotta say, I think I want one. It totally won me over in its short 44 seconds. Seeing the attitude and aesthetic and era of it all makes me miss those simple, blocky times. Besides, I’ll never say no to playing Metroid again. It will be available on November 11, 2016, for $59.99.
BrightLocker — Grand Finals
Okay, so that trailer isn’t strictly speaking a recent one, but it does explain what BrightLocker is. I’m going to guess you’re either going to skip the video and read this or skip this block entirely, so let me break it down for you: instead of crowdfunding, you participate in crowdpublishing, so you’ll be voting on what gets funded and developed. And during development, you get to give input on how it gets made and maybe even get royalties.
On one hand, that sounds pretty neat. I love the idea of getting regular people more exposed and educated on what goes into pitching and then designing/programming/releasing a game. On the other hand, coming from a background where uninformed input is the bane of my existence, that sounds awful for the developers. Anyways, the finals just started and go on until August 5, so you have until then to vote on what gets made.
Marvel’s The Defenders — SDCC Teaser
This is the definition of a teaser trailer. Here’s what we see: some logos. Here’s what we hear: Nirvana’s “Come as You Are” and a man deliver two lines. That man, I’m guessing, is Stick from Daredevil, but who can really say. (I can. I’m telling you it’s Stick.)
It will be the union of Netflix’s little slice of the Marvel Cinematic Universe with Daredevil and Jessica Jones while setting up Luke Cage and Iron Fist, both of which also got trailers at San Diego Comic-Con. And really, those are the ones worth watching (they both have really fitting showrunners). The Defenders and Iron Fist land sometime in 2017 while Luke Cage premieres on September 30, 2016.
The Lost Arcade — Trailer #1
Good god this trailer is evoking some deep, trampled emotions in me. I grew up in arcades just like Chinatown Fair. They were dirty and grimy and felt just barely safe enough to where I could go and my parents wouldn’t mind so long as I didn’t tell them beforehand. (Forgiveness versus permission, am I right?) The modern era of arcades are, umm, artificial, I guess.
So-called “barcades” are always more bar than arcades, players garnering dirty looks from the folks buying shots in bulk. Restaurant arcades are always filled with new, shiny machines, lacking the intrigue of old. The loss of arcades like Chinatown Fair, basically, is a tragedy. And if this documentary captures that cultural failing, both its forlorn beauty and heartbreaking diminishing, then it definitely has my attention.
Godzilla Resurgence — Trailer #2
Listen, okay, I thought 2014’s Godzilla from Gareth Edwards, writer/director of the terrific Monsters and director of the upcoming Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, was just okay. I definitely didn’t hate it, but I thought it had a lot to do to make it at all compelling. It was just…okay.
But for all the muddled aspirations it had as a film that would carry forward the monstrous name and monster in the Western canon, the wholly Japanese Godzilla Resurgence is more a comprehensively dour and dark deliverance of what made the originals so engaging. Which is to say you get to see a lot of a giant monster stomping on buildings while the military shoots things at it. It premieres on July 29, 2016, in Japan. (It’s also the 31st film in the Godzilla franchise and Toho’s third(!) reboot of the franchise.)
Kentucky Route Zero, Act IV — Observational Trailer
Yeah. Wait, correction: YEAH. Let me lay out the timeline of this episodes series for you. Act I comes out in January of 2013, a mere four months before Act II releases (and they were good). But then it’s a whole year until Act III hits computers in May of 2014 (and wins the GDC Award for Best Narrative). That’s right: it’s been over two years since we last saw a fresh episode of Kentucky Route Zero.
So you can probably understand why I’m just fucking psyched for this thing. It’s a weird sort of rage hype. Not angry, per se, but just ready to unleash all of this forgotten and pent up aggression for not having closure on this game for the past two years and that we won’t get for another, well, hopefully not another two years. Give me Act V already!
Pac-Man Championship Edition 2 — Announcement Trailer
Comes out for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC in September 2016.
This is it. This is the last Trailer Roundup before this year’s E3, and this year promises to be a banger. Granted, more and more gets leaked as June rolls around again and again, so we’re more than prepared to hear about some not-so-secret announcements. What are you guys most excited to see?
I’m guessing we’ll see nothing from Hideo Kojima and his new (but not new) Kojima Productions. And as much as I’d love to think so, The Last Guardian is basically a coin flip and can’t be predicted to any reasonable certainty. Instead, we can look forward to a litany of hot sequels like Persona 5, The Last of Us 2, and Destiny 2. Oh, and the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One updates.
We’ll get there. Right now, though, let’s watch some god dang trailers!
Agents of Mayhem — Official Announcement Trailer
This robots look an awful lot like Sunset Overdrive enemies, which isn’t a judgment. And the writing feels an awful lot like Borderlands writing, though, which is a judgment because those games have a serious problem with being pointlessly crude and simply unfunny. I do, however, like the actual look of the game.
And Volition knocked it out of the park before with the Saints Row series (and Red Faction, if you want to go a little deeper), which should have been way worse than it was. But they instead crafted GOTY candidates with the last two entries, so a little faith couldn’t hurt, especially since they’re going back into that same universe. You can look for it in 2017 on the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.
Deus Ex Go — Reveal Trailer
Short and sweet. And, apparently, going back to the well. But can you really blame them? Square Enix tapped into some sort of secret, unforeseen success with Hitman Go and followed it up with the equally and surprisingly brilliant Lara Croft Go. So good on them!
The bigger question is how they’ll adapt the crux of Deus Ex: Mankind Divided into the board game-style framework. Hitman focused on thinking ahead while sneaking around. Lara Croft boiled down into puzzle temple exploration. So what does Square Enix Montreal think Deus Ex is about? It’ll be out this summer on phones and tablets.
Injustice 2 — Announcement Trailer
I really liked Injustice: Gods Among Us. It was an unexpected treat of well-thought-out fighting systems and rewarding utilization of prized DC Comics characters. It somehow hit both sides of the equation when most fighting games tend to focus on the former and either get it or miss both.
It also doesn’t hurt that this trailer is pretty effing cool. Seeing the Flash kick ass is always sweet nectar and following it up Batman? Hell yes. It is pretty funny seeing character after character just emerge from the shadows for no real apparent reason, but it’s also just perfect childhood imagination juice seeing them double suit it up. You can see gameplay this Saturday at 5 PM PST on Twitch. Expect it to hit the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One in 2017.
Watch Dogs 2 — World Premiere Trailer
There’s actually a lot here to see. There’s the above 18-minute video that has the two-minute cinematic reveal wrapped up with developers talking up the game. And then there’s the separate trailer for the new main character Marcus as well as the protracted one about the new setting.
It’s genuinely surprising that there’s so much gameplay accompanying these videos, too. Well, to an extent because Ubisoft already has the Watch Dogs template laid out and they already have their set patterns and ideals for approaching open world games. And you know what? It looks fine. Like, just fine. Look for it on the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC on November 15, 2016.
Destiny: Rise of Iron — Reveal Trailer
Yeah, I’m into it. Destiny eventually became the game it wanted to be, so having more of that isn’t a bad idea. Well, let me back that up. It got closer to the game it wanted to be despite some deep, irreversible flaws. And with its sequel on the horizon, it’ll be interesting to see what new ideas Bungie tries to float before they commit.
Not to mention the look of this thing is pretty slick. It’s like high fantasy mixed with, well, Destiny sci-fi. Some of that is straight Tolkien shit and it’s awesome. And who doesn’t want a to hit a six-player raid? (I hope you have five friends on deck.) The expansion comes out this September 20.
Sonic Boom: Fire & Ice — E3 2016 Trailer
Like, come on. What are you even doing anymore, Sonic? You’re killing it on the comics. Your TV show is a success. Kids are buying up the toys like they’re Skylanders. But you still don’t have a good game to match!
At least your Twitter game is on point, but that’ll only get you a modicum of cachet from the older youths (and, admittedly, many of the press). Fire & Ice looks like more of Shattered Crystal, and pretty much no one thought that was fun. Get your shit together, guys. It comes out for the Nintendo 3DS on September 27, 2016.
Yooka-Laylee — E3 2016 Trailer
First off, yes. A thousand times yes. I will play your Banjo-Kazooie knockoff. Second, why are there now trailers for E3? E3 is basically a gauntlet of trailers. Do we really need to complicate things with pre-trailers?
But back to Yooka-Laylee, there’s actually good reason why it looks so much like the beloved N64 series, and that’s because a good number of the folks at Playtonic Games actually worked on the originals and Donkey Kong Country. You know, when Rare made non-Kinect games. The game comes out for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC, OS X, and Linux early next year.
Horizon Zero Dawn — Aloy’s Journey Trailer
Expect to see this take center stage during Sony’s press event next week. Not only does it look like classic seat-rumbling theatre fodder, it also looks like a neat game. Also it’s coming from Guerrilla Games, who has probably earned a lot of stage time with Sony after slogging through the Killzone series with them.
Judging by this trailer, the game is some insane, overwhelming combination of everything the designers ever loved about other media and other games. (Those dinosaurs really look like the Transformer Grimlock.) And there’s nothing wrong with that. Let’s just hope it ends up as good as it could be. The game comes out exclusively for the PlayStation 4 on February 28, 2017.
Thimbleweed Park — Video Teaser
I kind of love how strangely grassroots Thimbleweed Park is. That video is hosted on Ron Gilbert’s personal YouTube channel, for crying out loud. That’s pretty much insane. The only other videos on there are another trailer for the game and a clip from Jeopardy where his Double Fine venture The Cave was an answer.
I guess it’s not surprising. It’s not like Gilbert was ever one for extravagance. The game’s Kickstarter only asked for a rather modest $375,000, though it eventually secured $626,250. And if the tagline “the story of a town where a dead body is the least of your problems” doesn’t grab you in the way Gilbert’s writing has a tendency to grab people, maybe move along. But it’ll come out for the Xbox One, PC, OS X, Linux, iOS, and Android early next year.
Mafia III — E3 2016 Teaser Trailer
So now we know there’s some sort of meta narrative going over the game’s more meaty core. It makes it feel like something akin to the first season of True Detective. And you can bet we’re going to see more of it next week at E3, and not just because of this trailer either.
The game has struggled with existence since at least 2012 and possibly earlier. It’s basically been nut-up-or-shut-up time for the game for the past year or so, making its arrival later this year rather timely. And publisher 2K Games loooooves putting on the Ritz at trade shows. Get ready to hear a lot about it in the coming days before it lands on the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC, and OS X on October 7, 2016.
A new, and I mean totally brand-spankin new, BATMAN Video Game has been announced! But this time, instead of Rocksteady doing it, it’s gonna be done by a company called Telltale. They have even confirmed an official 2016 release date!
This new version of Batman will give fans a first-hand opportunity to dive deeper into the complex life and mind of Bruce Wayne, the duality of his own identity, and the struggle of responsibility in saving a city overcome with corruption and villainy.
We’re dying to know what this game is gonna look like and the company hasn’t released any major photos just yet. So, stay tuned to the BAT-BLOG and once we know, then YOU know!
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