March Madness...err, round up! Written by Sean "Blazek" Emes, Edited by Jordan "Doomhammer" Kahn
It's been another great month for gaming and some awesome titles have launched, including Mass Effect 3, Tales of Graces F, and Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning. Heck, even the new Playstation Vita is finally out! While it's easy to kick back and just enjoy many hours of gaming, some exciting things have come out of the gaming industry: changes, failures, promises and competition for Starcraft 2 in Korea? Time for a March round up!
Diablo 3 Release Date, Guild Wars 2 pre-orders
I'll admit, Blizzard Entertainment has always been bad at release dates and usually delays games way beyond what everyone expects. But finally, 10 years and supposedly several scrapped versions later, it is official: Diablo 3 will launch May 15th of this year. For many PC gamers this has been the most anticipated release in a decade, so hopefully Blizzard has taken advantage of the time to make something that will greatly exceed the Diablo 2 experience without straying too far from what made the first versions great. (Editor's Note: from the beta gameplay, looking good so far!)
Speaking of release dates, ArenaNet has been hard at work with their competitive MMO, Guild Wars 2. While we still don't have an official launch date, the team is really hyping up April 10th as the pre-order sales opportunity. Perhaps we will finally get some solid dates once we throw them some cash?
Microsoft Recruiting for "AAAA" Title?
In early March, Microsoft listed a new executive producer position to create a new Xbox exclusive. This sounds good at first glance, until you read the description. "Microsoft Studios (Xbox) is looking for a dynamic and seasoned Executive Producer to lead and develop a world-class team who will own the creation and delivery of a AAAA experience that delivers on 1st party goals and, more importantly, creates a fun gaming experience for our audience."
Yep, you read that right. A Quadruple-A title. Now that game rank doesn't exist, so this was either a typo or a PR stunt to show Microsoft is looking to develop a wider range of top quality games for their system. I guess at the end of the day it doesn't matter either way, it's just good to see Microsoft wanting to develop exclusive titles that aren't just Halo and Gears.
League of Legends bigger then StarCraft 2...in Korea?!
Say it ain't so, the king of e-sports being challenged? According to an article from Kotaku, it appears a new competitor has entered the arena. North American title League of Legends seems to have taken Korea by storm, gaining praise from professional Starcraft 2 players and fans alike. It has been such an explosive success that Korean television company Ongamenet
While there is still much dispute within the community of competitive gamers on which MOBA really is the one worth playing, there is no denying how hard League of Legends developer Riot Games has worked with the community to turn the title into a well-known competitive game. Their success continues to grow eSports, and competitive gamers should be happy to support them, as they have opened our community to many new players and, equally important, new sponsors.
The Street Fighter x Tekken Blunder
Every time I hear a new Capcom fighting game is being released I always wonder, "what will they screw up this time?" Unfortunately for Street Fighter x Tekken (SFxT) the answer was quite a lot. To be fair, this time the gameplay itself is actually rather good. Capcom took what they learned from Street Fighter 4 and added a few new mechanics like character swapping, how the winner is determined, and the gem system. The result is a decent fighting game, now if only people could play it completely.
The main problem comes in the form of 12 DLC characters that are actually on the game disc, but will not be available to purchase until the PSvita version comes out (oh, and apparently the Vita version gives you all these characters for free, thanks Capcom!). The sad thing is not only has Capcom done this to its customers before, but hackers have already unlocked these characters for use in online play. So what was the point again? There have also been severe issues with match-making, mainly dealing with Capcom's new network code for SFxT. With the long-term consideration that the new code will be better once fixes to the network are pushed down the pipes, so far this has kept most gamers from enjoying the game, at least those of us who don't go to weekend tournaments regularly.
With springtime right around the corner, many gamers are eagerly looking forward to the summer and the hours that will be available to be lost in games. With giant, absorbing blockbusters like Diablo and Guild Wars it will be easy to spend plenty of time gaming, and the year will be punctuated by more of MLG's ever-growing tournaments. Now if only we could get some information about the titles that really matter, like My Little Pony Island Adventures 4, The MMO!