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New Bethesda Pinball Pack Sure To Please Fans

DoomI love what Zen Studios has accomplished over the years with the Zen Pinball 2 / PinballFX 2 suite of pinball tables, but while there are many properties that I know and love that become tables, sometimes the company takes me into unfamiliar territory.  The latest release in that style is a triple pack of new tables built around popular properties from Bethesda featuring DOOM, Fallout, and The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim.  Everything I know about DOOM I learned in DOS back in the 1990s and I've never been interested in the latter two franchises, so I went into this new pack pretty much blind.  I don't know anything that's going on here, nor do I fully understand how the tables work.  The fun references and continuity nods are lost on me.  I still enjoyed myself just the same as you'll see in these quick videos of me experiencing the DOOM and Fallout tables for the first time, learning the ropes and trying to figure it all out.  I expect that Bethesda fans will get more out of this pack than I do, but I suppose part of the fun is learning something new.



Ultimate Marvel Vs Capcom 3 Coming To PS4, Xbox One, And PC With New Features

Ultimate Marvel Vs Capcom 3Sony and Capcom surprised everyone today with the announcement that one of last generation's best brawlers, Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3, is coming to the Sony PlayStation 4 today.  Marvel followed that up with an announcement of their own that gives more details on this re-release; while the PS4 version is available on the PlayStation Store today, Microsoft Xbox One and PC versions will follow in 2017. 

Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 is being re-released for current generation systems; with the PlayStation®4 digital download version available today and the Xbox One® and Windows PC versions coming in March 2017. Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 for current-gen systems includes a new gallery mode, is packed with all previous DLC, and features an improved 1080p resolution at 60 frames per second. The re-release of Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 is being offered as an individual download title on all systems for $24.99.

No extra DLC, no season passes, everything is included, and there are new upgrades and a new mode too all at a reasonable price.  Now that's how you do a re-release.  UMvC3 has been lost in the mists of time for a few years now ever since the license between Marvel and Capcom expired.  The original PS3, Xbox 360, and PS Vita versions are long out of print and are unavailable on digital marketplaces.  Even if you do own the game, you can no longer buy the DLC, so no extra costumes or characters for you.  Bringing this game and its content back for modern hardware is a wonderful thing and despite owning it three times already (original PS3 release, Ultimate PS3, and Ultimate Vita with all DLC thanks to the end-of-license fire sale), I'll end up buying it again for PS4.  It's just such a well-constructed game and while I have high hopes for the upcoming Marvel vs Capcom: Infinite, the lackluster debut and first year of Street Fighter V's software-as-a-service model is already making me pine for the days of a predominantly complete base game.


Anticipating Marvel Vs Capcom Infinite's New Characters

Marvel vs Capcom InfiniteEveryone is excited about the announcement of Marvel vs Capcom: Infinite coming to the Sony PlayStation 4, Microsoft Xbox One, and PC in late 2017. While Ryu, Mega Man, Iron Man, and Capcom Marvel are announced as playable characters so far, I know I have a few characters in mind on both teams that I'd like to see join the fight.  Just as I did when Marvel vs Capcom 3 was announced, I've put together a brief list of Capcom and Marvel combatants that deserve a shot at glory alongside Marvel and Capcom's greatest heroes and villains.

"It's not about the size of the artillery. It's about choosing the perfect bullets. Storm, Iron Man, Reed Richards... they all know their own teams inside and out, which is critical--but limiting. I got this job because I'm good at mixing and matching. At studying everyone's strengths and weaknesses and thinking outside the boxes labeled "Avengers" and "Masters of Evil". Remind me to tell you sometime how Quicksilver could kill the Hulk if he wanted to." - Phil Coulson, SHIELD Vol. 3, #1

Capcom

Sigma

Sigma

The leader of the Mega Man X Mavericks deserves a chance to shine.  I want to see him brought back to his original form from the original Super NES game as a base appearance, red cape and all.  His Wolverine-like claws made of electricity would make him an excellent successor for the X-Men favorite if the rumor about the emphasis on Marvel Cinematic Universe characters over the X-Men and non-MCU characters hold true.  Let his later overly complicated forms and ultimate battle bodies appear as devastating super combos and ultimate attacks.  Maybe his robot dog, Velguarder, could tag in as an assist character.

Continue reading "Anticipating Marvel Vs Capcom Infinite's New Characters" »


Power Button - Episode 224: Hilarity Ensues

Power ButtonVideo games are often held up for their action sequences, set pieces, and visuals, but how often do you hear someone remark about hilarious writing?  On this week's episode of Power Button, Blake Grundman and I spend an hour and a half discussing our favorite funny games.  From Portal 2 to Saints Row IV to Maniac Mansion and beyond, we have some hilarious moments to share.  Before that happens, however, Blake takes us on a sidequest with Pokémon.   Download this week's episode directly from PTB, listen with the player below, find us on Stitcher, subscribe via iTunes and Google Play, toss this RSS feed into your podcast aggregation software of choice, and be sure to catch up on past episodes if you're joining us late. Remember that you can reach us via , you can leave a message on the Power Button hotline by calling (720) 722-2781, and you can even follow us on Twitter at @PressTheButtons and @GrundyTheMan, or for just podcast updates, @ThePowerButton. We also have a tip jar if you'd like to kick a dollar or two of support our way.


Manos: The Hands Of Fate Game Takes Care Of The Place While The Master Is Away

Manos: The Hands of FateBack in 2012 we were teased with an indie game for iOS based on the "classic" film / Mystery Science Theater 3000 episode Manos: The Hands of Fate.  The game has come and gone now and Hardcore Gaming 101 has given us a look at what it ended up becoming and how it fared in the transition from dare to finished product for mobile platformers and PC.  There's even mention of the 2015 upgrade to the game that added a new level and Torgo as a playable character.

The fundamental flaw of Manos is that it mimics an NES knock-off too well. All the issues with unpolished titles of the era are mirrored here: slippery controls, cheap hits, bad enemy placement, and more. The graphics also don't rise above early NES game appeal, nestled into the blocky tilesets from 1986-87 releases. However, the music does an admirable job replicating the film's meager score into 8-bit sound channels. The playthrough is also very short, being over at a runtime quicker than the film it's based on -- which for many is a perk. Difficulty levels are available, but they only increase or decrease the amount of powerups and health packs.

This is one of those games I meant to pick up, but it was lost in the shuffle and the talk of frustrating difficulty and poorly placed elements are a turn off.  Still, I love the idea of turning MST3K films into little indie games and would love to see more games made with that idea in mind.  Give me games based on The Incredible Melting Man, Soultaker, and Mitchell.  The possibilities go on and on!


Power Button - Episode 221: My Pet Monster

Power ButtonVideo games and monsters go hand in hand, so on this Halloween episode of the Power Button podcast, Blake Grundman and I spend an our discussing some of our favorite video game monsters.  From Gergoth to gremlins and beyond, we're going to scare the hell out of you.   Download this week's episode directly from PTB, listen with the player below, find us on Stitcher, subscribe via iTunes and Google Play, toss this RSS feed into your podcast aggregation software of choice, and be sure to catch up on past episodes if you're joining us late. Remember that you can reach us via , you can leave a message on the Power Button hotline by calling (720) 722-2781, and you can even follow us on Twitter at @PressTheButtons and @GrundyTheMan, or for just podcast updates, @ThePowerButton.


Street Fighter V Coming To Arcades

Street Fighter VDespite the fact that Capcom's Street Fighter series has made itself at home on consoles and, to a lesser extent, handhelds (the Nintendo 3DS version of Super Street Fighter IV is one of the best fighting games on the platform second only to Super Smash Bros.), the fighting phenomenon feels like it belongs in the arcades.  Born there with the original Street Fighter and of course taking the world by storm with Street Fighter II, the series was producing arcade versions as recently as Street Fighter IV in 2010 despite the arcade scene's demise in many regions.  Poor Street Fighter V — an excellent fighting game bogged down by DLC and microtransaction issues — is the first in the series not to land in the arcades.  At least, until now.  EventHubs reports that the game is finally coming to the arcades although not in a way that you'd expect.

An announcement was made at Toushinsai today, after the tournament festivities was over.  Toushinsai is an arcade-only event, and as such had tournaments in Ultra Street Fighter IV and King of Fighters XIII, which naturally felt a bit out of place since both series have just had new games released this year. Thankfully, both series' developers were at hand to announce that come next year, they can play the newest version, since both of the games are coming to arcades.

Street Fighter V won't quite be getting an arcade version in the traditional sense, but instead will have PC stations placed in arcades that allow arcade players to battle each other through the PC version of Street Fighter V.

It's better than nothing, sure, but I see a useful reason for Street Fighter V to cross over into the arcades besides simply maintaining a presence there.  If the arcade-tweaked PC version includes all DLC and microstransactional content unlocked and available for players to use, then this version could serve as a demo station of sorts for that material.  If I can sample an add-on character in the arcade, I might be more interested in paying to unlock that character at home.  It's an extremely roundabout way of providing a free taste of paid content, but I'd certainly be willing to give it a try.  Of course, assuming that I found a Street Fighter V arcade machine around here.  For now it sounds like these machines are destined only for Japan.


Steam To Support DualShock 4 Controller

DualShock 4Dating all the way back to my old Gravis Gamepad for my Windows 3.1 PC in the 1990s, I've been searching for a PC gamepad that is as comfortable and reliable to use as the Sony brand of DualShock controllers.  I've bought all kinds of gamepads over the years from reliable brands like Logitech to sketchy off-brands that were cheap enough to justify a blind buy on the hope of finding something worthwhile.  Over the past decade, enthusiasts have cobbled together homemade utilities to connect a DualShock 3, a Nintendo GameCube controller, and even a Wii Remote to a PC is you want to jump through enough hoops, the planets are aligned properly, and you don't want to use all of the controller's functionality.  Microsoft's Xbox 360 controller became the defacto gamepad for Windows in recent years, but after I tossed my last overworked and broken down PC-exclusive controller in the closet, I vowed to just stick with what I already owned and to make it work through stubbornness and determination.  Now my patience has been rewarded as Valve is working to bring native DualShock 4 support to Steam.  Gamasutra has the details.

Co-presenter Lars Doucet, developer of Defender’s Quest, explained, “Believe it or not, when you use the PS4 Controller through the Steam API, it’s exactly the same as a Steam Controller. You make the exact same API calls, you only get actions, not inputs, and the Steam API takes care of everything.”

He said that Valve is supporting the PS4 controller first due to its overlapping functionality with the Steam Controller, thanks to the gyro and the touchpad. However, support for other controllers is planned.

Thanks, Valve!  While it's been "fun" to try to play Steam games with controllers never meant to interact with them, using a DS4 will be like a dream.  I've already used my DS4 for some non-Steam games (where it usually works since Windows treats it like a generic gamepad minus the fancy gyro support and touch panel interactivity), but giving the DS4 the authentic Steam green light will bring all of those underplayed games I've gathered through bundles and promotional codes back to life with new purpose.  Bring on the update and future expansion for other controllers!  Input options for all!


Power Button - Episode 219: An Appointment With Disappointment

Power ButtonNot every video game can be a solid, fun experience that lives up to the pre-release hype.  On this week's episode of Power Button, Blake Grundman and I discuss some of our most glaring gaming disappointments from over the years spanning Mario Is Missing, SimCity (2013), Ren & Stimpy games such as Space Cadet Adventures and Fire Dogs, Destiny, and many more.   Download this week's episode directly from PTB, listen with the player below, find us on Stitcher, subscribe via iTunes, toss this RSS feed into your podcast aggregation software of choice, and be sure to catch up on past episodes if you're joining us late. Remember that you can reach us via , you can leave a message on the Power Button hotline by calling (720) 722-2781, and you can even follow us on Twitter at @PressTheButtons and @GrundyTheMan, or for just podcast updates, @ThePowerButton.


Power Button - Episode 217: Let's Go To Virtual Reality (Plus: Blake Meets PlayStation VR)

Power ButtonThe virtual reality revolution is on!  At least, that's what the marketing departments at HTC, Samsung, Oculus, and Sony tell us.  On this week's episode of the Power Button podcast, Blake Grundman and I discuss our journeys into the world of VR as I play around with a Samsung Gear VR and Blake travels to the world of VR to take a PlayStation VR unit for a test drive with early press access to third-party VR experiences.  Pinball, space travel, haunted houses, and fighter jets: VR has it all!   Download this week's episode directly from PTB, listen with the player below, find us on Stitcher, subscribe via iTunes, toss this RSS feed into your podcast aggregation software of choice, and be sure to catch up on past episodes if you're joining us late. Remember that you can reach us via , you can leave a message on the Power Button hotline by calling (720) 722-2781, and you can even follow us on Twitter at @PressTheButtons and @GrundyTheMan, or for just podcast updates, @ThePowerButton.