It still seems like ages until Project CARS gets out of it’s current development traffic jam and on the right road to release. Until then, we’re just going to have to watch the gameplay and info trailers, sigh disconsolately and wait, occasionally listening to some rubbish on the radio and wonder what the delay is all about.
So, until the mid May scheduled congestion clearing occurs, Bandai Namco will keep teasing us with new trailers, like the one below, which showcases the tracks that will be playable in the game and their variable weather conditions. This is dynamic and according to developers, Slightly Mad, ground-breaking.
You can get some more information on the tracks that the game will include here, and there are 24 of them, including Donington Park, Silverstone and Monza, all urging you to adapt to their own mini-climate.
So, until the game is finally released from gridlock, we’ll just have to keep watching these trailers. Oh, look, here’s one now.
Already with a huge selection of tracks from all over the world, four more iconic tracks are to join the title and this isn’t the end, one more bundle remains unannounced.
The new tracks are as follows;
Sonoma Raceway (formerly Infineon Raceway) is a hilly road course and drag strip located in California. Twinned with Watkins Glen International (also in Project CARS) as a host of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series it sees regular use by many other motorsports on both four wheels and two.
Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps
Home to the Formula One Grand Prix, 24H endurance event, and many more, the famous circuit has seen many layout changes since 1920 although the infamously flat-out Eau Rouge has largely remained untouched making it one of the fastest and most exciting tracks in motorsports today.
Opened in 1987, the relatively-new Brno Circuit has been host to the World Sports Car Championship, A1 Grand Prix, and the Czechoslovakian Motocycle Grand Prix.
Willow Springs International Motorsports Park
With a blistering lap time of just 1 minute 6 seconds held by legendary racer Michael Andretti, the 9-turn track is the oldest permanent road course in the United States with elevation changes and high average speeds making it a favourite among drivers.
Once again this seems to show the developers determination to make Project CARS the best racer ever.
You might expect Dragon Ball Xenoverse to be a game for fans of the series – I watched Dragon Ball Z (DBZ) when it first aired in the UK back in 1998, but over the years I haven’t kept up with the events and lives of Goku and the gang – with my limited knowledge, can a Dragon Ball newbie enjoy a game like Xenoverse?
Quite simply the answer is yes. Xenoverse is a whole lot of fun – the gameplay is simple and focused on fights that are set in three-dimensional environments where movement can be made in any direction. This can make the combat quite disorientating at times as you wrestle with all the directional axis in order to target your opponent or fly toward their location – using the lock-on is certainly a must – the camera also seems to have issues keeping up with the action too, often crashing into the environment but always correcting itself relatively quickly.
Combos are simple and reminded me of my misspent years playing Street Fighter II although you won’t have to remember multiple special move sequences – Xenoverse’s combat is focused on button and trigger combos to produce an array of fast-paced brutal attacks. It’s simple, which means there is a risk that Xenoverse could turn into a manic button mashing experience. If you take the time to master the various combos, Ki attacks, special and ultra moves while on the offensive but remember to block, throw and use your evasion skills for defensive measures, you might find something that is far deeper than you first thought.
The game starts with various fights in history between popular Dragon Ball characters – history is rewriting itself and your role in the story is to stop it from completely writing itself and certain heroes out of existence. It’s not an incredibly deep storyline but because it’s set throughout Dragon Ball’s history during key moments in time, it will appeal to all regardless of any prior series knowledge.
Xenoverse’s main strength is the custom character creation, although this may appeal more to fans. You can choose a gender, race and from a variety of character choices to create a hero that wouldn’t look out-of-place if they appeared in the next episode of the show. As you play through the game you gain XP points that can be invested into your character’s various attributes as you level up – queue the RPG elements.
There are items to collect and craft by visiting the various shops in the hub world or by finding them in the various levels of the game – these come in handy for restoring health, Ki or stamina during the more difficult fights. Clothing can also be unlocked and bought, although with no try before you buy, you need to be clued up on your DBZ clothing or expect to waste plenty of money finding something you like – luckily each piece of clothing also has an attribute buff so you can just opt for something that plays to your character’s combat strengths.
Characters are really well drawn and celebrate the iconic art that DBZ is known for. During fights they wince with each blow to the face or stomach, cuts will form on their skin and hair will react as they are thrown across the screen from a powerful attack. It’s a shame that the environmental textures are rather bland and at times incredibly flat. Character animation is particularly great during super and ultimate moves but the playground they exist in is uninspiring even for a game based on an anime.
Dragon Ball Xenoverse doesn’t stop at borrowing RPG elements; it also borrows from the limited MMO experience of Destiny. Toki Toki City acts as the hub world where other players congregate. Here you can organise yourself into teams to fight other players in online battles or tackle one of the many Parallel Quests (PQ) – random timeline events that have been caused by time fragments shattering off when the universe’s main timeline encountered an anomaly. It’s a shame you can’t play through the campaign as a team!
PQ events serve as the grind mechanic to Xenoverse – if you’re stuck on a campaign mission you need to focus some time in PQ events to level up your character. Each mission can be played either as a lone player teaming up with AI controller Dragon Ball characters, with other AI controller player characters or via the online lobby system. This mode works really well but feels a bit removed from the main game – the concept of PQ events feels like it’s clutching at straws to find a purpose of being rather than something that is fully integrated into the main storyline.
If you’re a Dragon Ball fan you’ll love being able to create your own character, fight alongside iconic Dragon Ball characters (both good and evil) and even become their student. The story is enjoyable; albeit limited and the MMO and RPG elements will keep those that are happy to grind for hours more than entertained. For the rest of us there’s an enjoyable but limited beat ‘em up that might just get you hooked enough that you’ll soon be on eBay looking for a copy of Dragon Ball Z.
Thanks to Bandai Namco Games for supplying TiX with a promo copy
It’s creeping up on us, the release date for the sacrificial lamb in the Dark Souls series. Dark Souls II: Scholar of the First Sin is coming out in April and you know what that means, right?
That’s right, there’ll be a slow trickle of fantastic trailers coming out in the lead up to the release and below is the next in line.
Including the original Dark Souls II, in glorious 1080p and 60fps, plus the available three ‘Crowns’ DLC, The Lost Crowns: Crown of the Sunken King, Crown of the Old Iron King and Crown of the Ivory King, all bundled up in what essentially is a game of the year edition in Scholar of the First Sin.
If you haven’t got Dark Souls II, what better introduction could you have to the story of the curse bearer in the world of Drangleic?
In Scholar of the First Sin, you’ll also have to face the vicious new black phantom Forlorn that can invade at any time and anywhere.
Need some more convincing? The trailer is below, and long time Dark Souls II players will notice a couple of spoilers in the trailer, be a smartypants and let us know if you do.
With it’s release coming up in the next 2 months, Namco Bandai look set to turn up the throttle on other racers on Xbox One as more footage from Project CARS is released.
Scheduled to hit the shops on the 20th of March, this Forza-rival is starting to look the business. Small wonder, as it claims to be the most technically-advanced, intense, authentic, and as we can see from the sumptuous BMW above, beautiful racing simulator available.
Developed by UK based Slightly Mad Studios who have also worked on such titles as Need For Speed, GTR and Test Drive, Project CARS has been in development since 2011, involving the input of over 80,000 gamers via Slightly Mad’s own crowd-powered platform called World of Mass Development, in an effrot to bring you the definitive racing experience.
From Karts to Supercars, Track Day Cars to Le Mans prototypes, all racing over an impressive line-up of 20 already confirmed tracks. Do you fancy drifting around the corners of Snetterton, or street racing along the Azure Coast E50? More tracks are due to be announced over the coming weeks and Slightly Mad have confirmed that the aim is for it to run in glorious 1080p at 60fps.
Have a look at the new trailer below and let us know what you think.
Naruto Shippuden fans rejoice – Bandai Namco Games and CyberConnect2 are stirring up the elements to create one heck of a storm, an Ultimate Ninja Storm 4 to be precise. The world-renowned Japanese developer is promising that the game will be “the most comprehensive and electric Naruto game ever”.
The Storm series continues to be one of our most popular franchises and its leap to the new generation of hardware ensures that it won’t stop now. Our long-time partner, CyberConnect2, has always poured their hearts into the Naruto franchise and Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 4 looks forward to be the ultimate realization of the series! Herve Hoerdt, Vice President of IP Strategy at Bandai Namco Games Europe.