December 11th, 2012
Price: $22.99 (
(as of 2012-12-05 01:23:44 PST)
You save $17.00 (43%)
(as of 2012-12-05 01:23:44 PST)
Just Dance 4 by Ubisoft
DescriptionThe world's #1 dance game brand is back with Just Dance 4! The latest edition of the record-breaking franchise takes the party to a whole new level of fun, with over 40 all-new chart-topping hits, the coolest dances and unique features for every platform. Just Dance 4 is the perfect catalyst for the best parties, no matter what the occasion, thanks to innovative new modes like the all-new Battle mode, an upgraded Just Sweat mode, and even more fun, exclusive modes for each platform. Everything you know and love about Just Dance gets even better with Just Dance 4-hot new tracks, fun irreverent dances, and more.
Just Dance 4 is the perfect catalyst for the best parties, no matter what the occasion, thanks to innovative new modes like the all-new Battle mode, an upgraded Just Sweat mode, and even more fun, exclusive modes for each platform. Everything you know and love about Just Dance gets even better with Just Dance 4—hot new tracks, fun irreverent dances, and more. With Just Dance 4, the party never ends! Have a blast dancing, laughing, and breaking a sweat with friends and family all night long.
Key Game Features
Basement Crawl opens with a cutscene that promises horror and perhaps a bit of mystery. A grandmother sternly tells her granddaughter of the dangers that lurk outside their home, though the grandmother's warning is itself tinged with a sinister tone. What has happened to the outside world? How have these two people survived? Is the grandmother evil? What are these horrific creatures that we're getting glimpses of?
Then you start the game and find a lackluster, multiplayer-only Bomberman clone bereft of features and personality. Any promise the premise had is immediately lost, and disappointment--not terror--lurks around every corner.
Basement Crawl is a grid-based game for multiple players in which you bomb things. As one of four different characters, each with slightly different starting stats (one is a bit faster, one has a bit more health, and so on), you lay down bombs--sorry, "traps"--which explode in straight lines in four directions: up, down, left, and right. You can collect power-ups for longer explosions, kick traps away from you, and hide behind a predictable pattern of unbreakable blocks, all in an effort to kill the opposing players over and over again.
If this sounds familiar, then you've probably played a Bomberman game before. Basement Crawl may call its bombs traps, but even the game's dark visuals can't hide the fact that this is just Bomberman with a shoddy horror theme.
Basement Crawl's biggest problem isn't that it's derivative, however; it's that it gives you no options. Never mind that there is no single-player mode whatsoever, not even an option to play against bots for practice. There simply aren't any settings to toggle for what kinds of rules you want to play by. Even when you create your own custom game (which is likely, since there's no matchmaking), you can't set options like match time, the number of kills needed to win, whether or not certain power-ups are disabled, or even a player limit. Your only options are Deathmatch or Team Deathmatch. That's it.
Want to limit your online match to four players, because you think having eight players in a match is too hectic and not very fun? Too bad. Want to disable the ability to kick traps, because that's all some players ever use? No dice. For having been inspired by a classic party game, Basement Crawl sure doesn't want you to have any chance at forming house rules. But hey, you can take your room full of four local players and join online matches with them, so that's something, right?
One thing you do get to choose is the arena, though differences between arenas are negligible and almost entirely cosmetic. They come in three flavors, with a few different grid shapes for each: Restaurant Dungeon, Abandoned Circus, and Forgotten Factory. Notably, none of these environments is a basement.
One thing all these environments have in common is that they are dark and cramped. So dark and cramped, in fact, that it's easy to lose track of the action. A pillar of light highlights your location when you spawn, but if you lose track of your character after that first moment, good luck finding it again. It's bad enough that there are only four characters to go around for eight players, but they're not visually distinct enough from each other to quickly pick them out in the dark environments anyway. There is often so much happening onscreen--much of which looks too similar to its surroundings already--that you lose track of the action constantly. As you play, you hear people screaming and a creepy child laughing, but none of it is the least bit effective at delivering on the premise of horror.
The only sense of progression is the ability to play online against strangers in an effort to increase your online rank. But since there's no form of matchmaking, your rank means very little. And if you want to increase it at all, you have to actually win matches--as in, win first place in Deathmatch (or as a team in Team Deathmatch). Otherwise, you get nothing. Reaching the maximum rank of 30 could take a very long time.
To top it all off, Basement Crawl is buggy at worst and unfinished at best. For example, when you pause an offline game, the action pauses, but the match timer keeps ticking down. How do you get the act of pausing wrong? It has been a while since a good Bomberman game was released, and nobody else seems to be interested in mimicking that classic gameplay. If you can get a solid group of four local Bomberman fans, and you have no desire to change any of the game's standard settings, you can have some simple fun blowing each other up. But if you're really desperate for this kind of experience, you're better off hunting down just about any Bomberman game from years past, rather than getting dirty crawling through the muck in this basement.
And they did it! Twitch Plays Pokemon has officially beaten the Final Four and become a Pokemon Master...but they still need to beat their rival, BLUE.
We did it :') pic.twitter.com/dvCNiUENm4— TwitchPlaysPokemon (@TwitchPokemon) February 28, 2014
The original story appears below.
Against seemingly impossible odds, the Twitch Plays Pokemon stream has collected all of the game's badges and is getting ready to take on the Elite Four.
If you'd like a complete recap of events, Reddit has put together an exhaustively time-stamped recap, or you can read a more narrative retelling. But this public Google document is the easiest way to see at a glance what's up in the game. According to the document, the players are working towards getting past one of the game's trickier ledge sections (tricky when you have 50,000 people playing, at least) as they head towards Victory Road.
Also notable is that the stream was able to revive the Helix fossil into the Pokemon Omanyte. The Helix Fossil is an item given to the player early in the game that cannot be thrown away; it has been elevated to a savior-like status in the chat with prayers of "Praise Helix" and "Base Helix."
Users are able to balance the game by shifting control between an Anarchy mode (where every command from the chat is input into the game) and Democracy (where the most popular commands go through). But none of the spin-off games (like QWOP and Tetris) have reached the same level of incredible popularity. The phenomenon has seen some drop-off from it's high count of over 100k viewers, currently sitting at just over 50k viewers, though it's likely the game will see another uptick as it nears its conclusion.
Are you going to tune in more frequently now that it's over? And if so, will you work to sabotage the people trying to finish the game, or are you part of the group trying to shift the game to democracy, order, and finality? Either way, Twitch Plays Pokemon has turned out to be a surprising experiment that no one could've seen coming.
The Wii U, from a technical standpoint, is a "powerhouse," Donkey Kong and Metroid Prime developer Retro Studios believes. Speaking with GameSpot editor Peter Brown recently, Retro Studios president and CEO Michael Kelbaugh said developers shouldn't brush the console aside over fears that it's under-powered.
"Unfortunately, the perception is that it's not a very powerful machine," Kelbaugh said about the Wii U. "That's just not true. It's a powerhouse. It's more than adequate to make great games on."
Kelbaugh went on to label the Wii U a "great box to make games on." Retro Studios' first project for the Wii U was Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze, released last week. He said his team had to overcome a steep learning curve that came with transitioning from Wii to Wii U. But he was happy to face this challenge, as it meant his artists became "uncorked" and free from the "traditional limitations" they'd been under for so long with the original Wii.
"It was really fun being able to crack that open for the first time and learning HD techniques; pixel shading, having a lot more horsepower and how that impacts the team. It was really fun to watch our artists just go crazy because now they didn't really have to worry about polygons anymore. 'Make as many as you want!'"
Despite Kelbaugh's admiration for the Wii U, the system is struggling, having sold only 5.61 million units worldwide since its launch in November 2012. Nintendo even recently slashed its sales forecast for the machine by a massive margin. Nintendo is no doubt looking to games like Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze, as well as upcoming titles like Mario Kart 8 and all-new Super Smash Bros. and Legend of Zelda titles to help things turn around.
"We love working with Donkey Kong. It's a great character. It's a lot of fun. We love working with Metroid Prime, with Mario Kart; those are fun, fun games to work on. So, you know, you can't lose."
Also in our interview, veteran Nintendo producer Kensuke Tanabe confirmed that Retro Studios is working on a new game, but he would not say anything more than that. This game has been in development for a few months now, as Retro wrapped work on Tropical Freeze in November and hasn't been sitting by idly, Kelbaugh assured us.
But what might the new game be? Last year, iconic Nintendo designer Shigeru Miyamoto singled out Retro as a "high-priority" studio to make a new Metroid game, leading some to believe the Austin, Texas outfit is indeed working on the beloved franchise. Miyamoto has also said previously that it "could be possible" for Retro to work on a new Zelda. But Kelbaugh won't say.
"We love working with Donkey Kong. It's a great character. It's a lot of fun. We love working with Metroid Prime, with Mario Kart; those are fun, fun games to work on. So, you know, you can't lose," he said. "Every one of those IPs have been a lot of fun to play with and work on and [we'd] love to come back to them sometime."
|Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and you can follow him on Twitter @EddieMakuch|
|Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email email@example.com|