Battletoads

17 Jun 19
VentureBeat
Let’s take a look behind the scenes at GamesBeat a little bit. Coming out of the Electronic Entertainment Expo trade show last week, one of our stories had significantly more traffic than anything else. I’ll give you a chance to guess. It had nothing to do with Zelda, Halo, or Xbox’s Project Scarlett console. No — our biggest story of E3 was about the new Microsoft Flight Simulator. I bring this up to illustrate a point. Flight Simulator has a significant and passionate fan base. At the same time, it’s also not going to appeal to the 9 million people buying Marvel’s Spider-Man in its first couple of months of release. It’s a hardcore re-creation for flight fans. Players are so passionate because the game-development market is broken and no one is serving them. And that’s what makes Flight Simulator an ideal addition to Microsoft’s growing Xbox Game Pass subscription platform. Game Pass is enabling variety One of the problems of game development over the last 10 years is that costs have gone up and introduced a lot of risk for every project. Big publishers used to have huge lineups of games across a variety of genres. That has shriveled up because making a game is so expensive that anything less than a blockbuster smash hit isn’t worth it. The time and money that goes toward a mid-tier game with a small-but-dedicated audience is time and money that could go toward the next Call of Duty or League of Legends. That has pushed out games like Microsoft Flight Simulator. So why is it back now? Because of Game Pass. With Xbox Game Pass, Microsoft gives subscribers a roster of more than 100 games — just like Netflix. It also includes all of Xbox Game Studios releases with no release delay. The idea is to attract subscribers and then to keep them around with a lot of content and frequent new additions. Service games have changed the value perception But Game Pass changes the incentive structure for Microsoft. And that aging incentive structure, where people vote which games they want with their gaming time and dollars, is something that Xbox boss Phil Spencer has lamented in the past. “If I look at the top games that people are playing on Xbox One today, many of those games are three or four years old,” Spencer said during an interview with Giant Bomb in 2017. “That didn’t used to be the case. You would buy a cartridge, play it, and then swap it out for the new one.” But more of people’s free time is going toward live-service games. And that is one of the reasons that Microsoft stopped investing in first-party games as much during the Xbox One generation. Spencer saw the data. People were putting hundreds of hours into Destiny, and almost no one was finishing single-player story driven games. And back in 2017, when Game Pass was just a collection of old games and didn’t immediately include every Xbox Game Studios release, Spencer basically revealed his plan for the service. “So maybe I don’t want to spend $60 on a game that has a beginning, middle, and end,” he said. “I hope it doesn’t get to that point. But maybe there’s a different business model. I don’t know if it’s going to work, but we’re going to try. Because we want all kinds of games to be successful. We don’t want to see the death of [certain kinds of] games.” A business model where Flight Simulator makes sense For years, Spencer has seen what Game Pass could turn into. And his inspirations aren’t exactly a secret. The idea comes from Netflix. “I see what’s happening in television, and there’s some great content being made,” Spencer said in 2017. “And it’s because the subscription model has enabled companies like Netflix and HBO to invest in some great television … and if that [model] can fund different kinds of games being developed, then I think that’s a great thing.” And now here we are in 2019, and Microsoft just announced what I think is its most varied lineup in years at E3. It has Flight Simulator, the single-player Blair Witch horror adventure, and the side-scrolling Battletoads beat-’em-up. That’s on top of its traditional blockbuster projects like Halo Infinite and Gears 5. And that doesn’t include the online multiplayer battler Bleeding Edge from Ninja Theory, or whatever studios like Obsidian, InXile, and Double Fine end up making when they finish their projects they were already working on with other publishers. These games no longer have to convince players to spend $50-to-$60 in a couple of weeks to end up as successes. Instead, they just need to contribute to the reason a certain group of people continue to subscribe to Game Pass. That’s why Flight Simulator makes sense again. As a standalone product, the game is a tough sale to that broader audience. Xbox Game Studios could try to change it to appeal to more people. Or it could try to add aggressive monetization to generate more revenue from a smaller audience. Or it could just stop making those games. But on Game Pass, Flight Simulator isn’t trying to win your $60 away from something else. It’s additive to the experience of subscribing to the service. You didn’t buy Flight Simulator instead of Halo — you subscribed to Game Pass, so now you get Flight Simulator and Halo and Sea of Thieves and dozens of others. And the list of games that keep people subscribing is going to look different for each person. That’s the point. Microsoft can afford to look a little bit deeper down into our individual tastes. Maybe Halo, Sea of Thieves, and Flight Simulator is enough to keep me paying $15 a month. For you, however, maybe the list is Halo, Fallout 4, and Outer Wilds. This completely flips the thinking when it comes to funding games. Instead of making a singular product that appeals to as many people as possible, Microsoft needs to release games to build a library that appeals to as many people as possible. And that means we’re getting a new Flight Simulator, and I hope that’s just the start.
17 Jun 19
GryffindorGaming

With their absence from E3 this year Sony, has left the window wide open for Xbox to take the lead in the console arms race and Xbox came out guns blazing to set the stage for next year and their next console, Project Scarlett. This is just a general overview of the conference and its […]

17 Jun 19
VentureBeat
Xbox had a solid press briefing at the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) trade show this year. The company didn’t show off a lot of gameplay, but it did reveal what Battletoads looks like in action. The resurrected beat-’em-up got a gameplay trailer during the Xbox event, and … well, I didn’t love it. But I still decided to play it when I got the chance at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles. And I’m glad I did, because it was a great time. Microsoft first announced that it’s making a new Battletoads during its E3 2018 briefing. At that time, the game only had a logo. I didn’t think a ton about it at the time, but what I realized is that my brain still tried to fill in the gaps. I was expecting a 3D Battletoads action-adventure that would try to compete with the biggest releases from Sony and Nintendo. In reality, this Battletoads is a lot like the classic games but with sharper cartoon visuals. It’s “coming soon” to Xbox Game Pass for both the console and PC, according to the Xbox website. But it still doesn’t have a specific release date. But the gameplay trailer didn’t disappoint me just because of my expectations. The video revealed an art design that is reminiscent of the Adobe Flash-style that was popular with games like Alien Hominid more than 10 years ago. I’m over that look, and I think a lot of other people are as well. When I got to see and play Battletoads in person, however, the game flipped my impressions 180 degrees. Closer to Cuphead After I picked up the controller at the Battletoads station, I immediately softened my position regarding its art style. It doesn’t make sense. The trailer shows the gameplay in motion, but I think the compression on Twitch and YouTube are doing this game a disservice. In person, Battletoads doesn’t remind me as much of a Flash game. It looks a lot more like Cuphead. I know that’s saying a lot, and holistically, Cuphead is way more impressive. But Battletoads looks like it is using a similar technique to animate the title characters: Zitz, Pimple, and Rash. In the originals, the heroes could transform their bodies. During attacks, Zitz might turn into a giant bell to smash enemies. And that effect is back and looking great. The transition between these various forms looks like it has a real buildup and payoff. Pimple is a big bruiser that can transform into a train during a heavy attack. But when he does, his whole body winds up and then lunges forward. And it just looks really good. I think the reason I thought it looked like a Flash game in the video is because the art is almost too clean. Cuphead uses a lot of filters to add noise and grain. I’m not here to make suggestions to developers, but I think Battletoads could benefit from something like that. Maybe the team at Dlala Studios could create a glowing filter that mimics the effect of an old cathode-ray-tube television set or something. Fun with friends While I’m happy with the visuals, it’s the action that made this session so memorable. Just like the 1991 Battletoads, this game is beating people up as you move through a level. And that core is solid. At first, I worried about the pace of the combat. After a couple of hits, enemies often fall to the ground. And when they are down, you can’t hit them with traditional punches and kicks. For a while, my crew just assumed that you had to wait for them to stand back up. But that drags down the whole process. But eventually, we figured out that you can use the tongue attack (they are toads) to pick enemies back up. That kept things moving and gave us a lot to do. But the real highlight is the hoverbike section of the level. The hoverbikes are good now Most people playing games in the early 1990s will remember these nightmares from the originals. Well, it’s back, and it’s fun now. The big change here is that the camera is now behind the characters. In the original games, you have a 2D side-scrolling view that gives you very little time to react. Now, you can see far enough ahead to better plan your route. But the real fun was just how the mechanic worked with other players sitting together on a couch. All three of us were on the same track simultaneously, but you only lose and return to the last checkpoint if all three of you die at the same time. This leads to thrilling situations where two players will beef it, and then everyone is cheering on the third player to stay alive long enough for the others to respawn. During our session, all three players had their chance to shine. And it feels great to navigate a tough part of the course just long enough to get everyone back in. We probably died around a dozen times, but I never felt discouraged. And finally clearing the course had me actually fist pumping and shouting. I don’t know if Battletoads is going to hold up over a five or six hours. And I’m skeptical that it’s going to end up as my game of the year or anything. But it was a blast to play during a relentless week of games.
17 Jun 19

The new Battletoads is a lot like the old Battletoads, but sitting down on a couch to play it with other people lead to some great moments.Read More

17 Jun 19
KrySoft Daily

The new Battletoads is a lot like the old Battletoads, but sitting down on a couch to play it with other people lead to some great moments.Read More

17 Jun 19
All Things Geekery

In this episode, We are going to cover all things E3. Starting with the pre-E3 details of Stadia and our thoughts on it. We will work through each of the main conferences calling out our top moments and items that got us excited. Then we will wrap up this episode with our personal Best of […]

17 Jun 19
The Animated Film Industry

E3 2019 Announcements E3 2019 had so many surprises this year! From remakes to sequels there is a long list of video games that fans are preparing for. E3 2019 took place at the Los Angeles Convention Center from June 11th to the 13th.  Many of the video games discussed are set for release in […]

16 Jun 19
GAMEtainment - Entertainment Is Our Game

Das Warten ist vorbei! Rash, Zitz und Pimple kehren endlich zu Morph Attack zurück, um sich durch ein völlig neues actiongeladenes Abenteuer aus choreographiertem Chaos zu kämpfen, und Couch Coop wird vielleicht nie wieder dasselbe sein. 1-3 Spieler werden die Kontrolle über die Battletoads übernehmen und sich zusammenschließen, um mit nur einer Regel durch wilde […]

16 Jun 19
AÉNL Media

[ad_1] We’re in a wacky time for gaming. A time when all the gaming platforms, from Switch to PC, are holding hands around the campfire, singing folk songs and sharing a beer. For the first time in gaming history, we’re seeing unity and teamwork in the industry as a whole, and in turn, the industry […]