Warner Bros. Announces New Releases of Best-Sellers

Warner Bros. Interactive has announced two of their upcoming releases, which may look a little familiar to fans of their work.

First up is Middle-earth: Shadow of War Definitive Edition, which will come to the Xbox One, Windows 10 PC, Steam, and PlayStation 4 on August 28th, 2018. If you missed out on its initial release last year, this version will contain all of the downloadable content, improvements, and other free updates that have come in the time since, including the removal of the controversial loot box system.

“Since Middle-earth: Shadow of War launched, we’ve continually looked at all of the feedback from our fantastic community and our fans, which has inspired us to keep improving the game and ultimately create a version that we are truly proud of,” said Monolith Productions’ Vice President of Creative, Michael de Plater, in a press release. “Middle-earth: Shadow of War Definitive Edition brings together all of our free content updates and gameplay improvements, along with our Story and Nemesis Expansions, providing the very best experience for players. Whether you’re diving in for the first time or making your return to Middle-earth, there’s never been a better time to walk into Mordor.”

Middle-earth: Shadow of War Definitive Edition will feature the main game, along with the full Expansion Pass, including additional story campaigns, missions, playable characters, Orc tribes, weapons, abilities, enemies, a new region and much more.

  • Middle-earth: Shadow of War Main Game
  • Slaughter Tribe Nemesis Expansion
  • Outlaw Tribe Nemesis Expansion
  • Blade of Galadriel Story Expansion
  • Desolation of Mordor Story Expansion

Additionally, Middle-earth: Shadow of War Definitive Edition will bring together a multitude of different enhancements and free content updates, from a richer campaign experience and streamlined post-game Epilogue to new player skins and the complete removal of the market, in addition to hundreds of other improvements since the release of Middle-earth: Shadow of War. A snapshot of the updates available for players includes:

  • Market Closure: Complete removal of the market and microtransactions.
  • Updated Post-Game: Streamlined post-game Epilogue (formerly Shadow Wars) with new narration from Shelob, the Witch-king and Dark Talion, plus new Masks of the Nazgûl player rewards.
  • Nemesis System Enhancements: Numerous improvements bringing further depth to combat encounters and player interactions, along with added traits and behaviors for Orc enemies, more Legendary Orcs to encounter and more ways to get Training Orders.
  • Powering Up: Follower level cap has been increased to 80, enemy Captain level cap has been increased to 85, greater XP rewards, new Prestige skills, upgrades and more.
  • Gear Upgrades: Players can now use Mirian to raise the level of a piece of gear to their current level and use gems to re-roll abilities.
  • Skins: Added player skins for Celebrimbor, Eltariel, Dark Eltariel, Baranor and Serka.
  • Online Pit Fights & Conquests: Added search feature to challenge specific players’ Overlords and fortresses in Friendly Mode.
  • Endless Siege: Added feature to defend fortresses against never-ending waves of Sauron’s forces.
  • Rebellion: Added feature to crush rebel Ologs and Uruks who undermine the Bright Lord.
  • Photo Mode Upgrades: Capture every battle with new filters, frames and textures.
  • Difficulty Levels: Added Brutal and Gravewalker difficulty levels.
  • Player Stats: Added player stats page to track in-game enemy kills, dominations and betrayals.

Middle-earth: Shadow of War Definitive Edition will be available August 28th, 2018 for $79.99 CAD. Note that only the main game will be on the disc if you purchase a physical version, with the remaining content requiring an online connection to download. For more information about the game, be sure to visit the official website.

In addition, fans of the Scribblenauts series can look forward to a new two-in-one release of Scribblenauts Unlimited and Scribblenauts Unmasked: A DC Comics Adventure as the Scribblenauts Mega Pack for the Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4. Not only will this include both classic Scribblenauts titles, but bonus content for both games as well.

Scribblenauts Unlimited fosters unlimited creativity, exploration and social elements that create a fun experience for fans of all ages. The game features a huge side-scrolling open world with high-definition, hand-drawn scenery and objects where players can help the game’s hero, Maxwell, solve robust puzzles and challenges by summoning any object they can imagine. Scribblenauts Unlimited has been updated with two new bonus levels, supports online sharing of user-created objects, updates two-player mode, and features a new easy-to-use “sunflower” style text entry system. The new Zed Zeppelin level lets players battle sky pirates and work with crew members to keep the dirigible safe while the new Land of Sweet Hyperbole level allows players to drive around in a candy car and interact with candy neighbors.

Scribblenauts Unmasked: A DC Comics Adventure melds the boundless creativity of Scribblenauts with thousands of DC characters and objects – all drawn in the distinctive Scribblenauts art style. In the game, Maxwell comes to the aid of the mightiest DC Super Heroes BATMAN™, SUPERMAN™ and the rest of the JUSTICE LEAGUE™ as they face the fiercest DC Super-Villains, such as THE JOKER™, LEX LUTHOR™ and SINESTRO™. Fueled by the player’s imagination, where anything they write comes to life, Maxwell must use his magic notebook to summon heroes and tools to stop the villains’ evil schemes and save the universe. In his imaginative and comical quest, he must travel to iconic DC locations such as GOTHAM CITY™, METROPOLIS™, ATLANTIS™ and two new bonus locations, TITANS TOWER, under attack by the formidable demon Trigon, and BELLE REVE, the base of operations for the Task Force X. Scribblenauts Unmasked: A DC Comics Adventure has also been updated with hundreds of new DC characters, objects and costumes.

The Scribblenauts Mega Pack will arrive on September 18th, 2018 at a price of $49.99 CAD. To learn more about this release, as well as Scribblenauts Showdown, be sure to visit the official website.

Warner Bros. Interactive is holding a contest leading up to the release of Hitman 2 in which you could get into the game. Well, your face, at least.

To prove your worth, you’ll first need to pre-order Hitman 2 for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, or Steam. This will grant you access to the standalone “Sniper Assassin” mode, which is free to play now in early access. Then you’ll need to register for an IOI account in order to enter the contest.

As Agent 47, you’ll be playing in “solo” mode in the Sniper Assassin mode, and aim for not just your targets, but the high scores via the in-game leaderboards. Upon the competition’s conclusion on November 6th, 2018, those who have managed to net the top score for each respective gaming platform will be determined.

You probably figured this out by it even being mentioned here, but this competition is indeed open to Canadians — minus Quebec:

***PURCHASE NECESSARY. YOU MUST PRE-ORDER THE HITMAN 2 VIDEO GAME PRIOR TO 7:00 AM UNIVERSAL TIME COORDINATED (UTC) ON NOVEMBER 6, 2018 TO PARTICIPATE IN THE CONTEST. Open only to legal residents of the United States of America, Canada (excluding Quebec), Mexico, United Kingdom, Germany, France, Russia, Spain, Sweden, Denmark, Austria, Netherlands (excluding Dutch Caribbean), Belgium, Australia and New Zealand who are at least 18 years of age and who prior to July 24, 2018 have Internet access, a valid e-mail address, an IOI Account, and either PlayStation® Network, Microsoft PC or Xbox One™ equipment and account. Contest begins on or about 7am UTC on 2018/24/07 and ends 7am UTC on November 6, 2018. Visit https://hitman.com/competition for complete official rules for full details. Void where prohibited or restricted by law. Sponsor: Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment Inc., 4000 Warner Blvd., Bldg. 160, Burbank, CA 91522 USA.

For further rules and details, be sure to check out the official contest webpage.

Hitman 2 will be available on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and Steam on November 13th, 2018. For more information on the game, visit the official website, or check them out on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Twitch.

Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, The LEGO Group, and TT Games have announced several new updates for LEGO Worlds that will treat you to some new tricks.

The first arrives just in time for All Hallows’ Eve, as Monsters invade the Worlds of LEGO!

This trip down to Monster Town will cost you $3.99, allowing you to partake in scary quests, face (and perhaps flee from) creatures most terrifying, and speed past haunted houses in ghoulish vehicles. Just watch out for delinquent zombies, who are only to happy to treat themselves to your plastic yellow flesh! You’ll have to be extra-tricky to scare them off so you can repair their damage as only a Master Builder can.

And of course, while Halloween may come only once a year, you can enjoy this Monster Pack year-round.

Incidentally, if you decide to go in on the Nintendo Switch version at retail for $39.99, you’ll receive the Monster Pack as well as the previously-released Classic Space Pack, whereas the digital version found for $29.99 in the Nintendo eShop has it available separately, and it’s available for purchase on the Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and Steam versions.

Next up is a free update which allows you to create and film your videos with the new Camera Car:

One or two players can make use of the vehicle, creating original action scenes or remaking favorite film moments in LEGO style.

Other new features added are covered in this video:

Among the highlights detailed in the press release are The Planner, which allows players to use various materials and pre-built wall types to build their LEGO structures faster and easier than before, while other tools have been upgraded “significantly” so that players’ enjoyment will be maximized. Revised search functionality should help make the Discovery Menu easier to navigate, and new shapes in the Landscape Tool should help improve how players edit their worlds.

If you’re interested in more about the game itself, at least as it initially launched, be sure to check out my review here.

David Oxford is a freelance writer of many varied interests. If you’re interested in hiring him, please drop him a line at david.oxford (at) nyteworks.net.

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In an effort to help further build up the fighting game community in Canada, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment has joined forces with EB Games, Cineplex, and World Gaming to present the Injustice 2 Battlegrounds Series, a program which will allow amateurs and pros alike the opportunity to compete across programs in different regions for a chance to claim a portion of the $10,000 prize pool. (Oh, and audience prizes will be awarded at each in-theatre regional competition, too.)

The format for the tournament begins in your own home, as you compete online to qualify before moving on the in-theatre portion of the event. “The online events will accommodate up to 64 players per tournament and feature a points-based circuit format — there will be three single-elimination online tournaments per region, where players accumulate points based on their placement,” says the press release. “The top 16 players from each region qualify for Stage Two.”

From there, select Cineplex theatres will play host to regional finals in Montreal, QC; Ottawa, ON; Toronto, ON; Winnipeg, MB; Chinook, AB; Edmonton, AB; and Langley, BC. The 16 per theatre who qualify will engage each other in a double-elimination tournament with the winner taking home $600, 2nd place getting $300, and 3rd $100.

Oh, and unfortunately, it’s all happening on the PlayStation 4.

For more information, or to sign up, visit the official World Gaming website. Regional online qualifiers run until July 9th, and the finals will take place on July 15th.

David Oxford is a freelance writer of many varied interests. If you’re interested in hiring him, please drop him a line at david.oxford (at) nyteworks.net.

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On the night of Wednesday, May 10th, 2017, Warner Bros. Interactive held a special Canadian launch party for the release of Injustice 2, which arrives in stores digital and physical alike next week. To my sheer delight, I was invited to partake in the event, and as such, you can now see what I got to see.


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Photograph by Evan Bergstra

The event took place at The Gallery at 99 Sudbury Street, and if that seems familiar to you, you’ve got a sharp mind — that’s the same location where Nintendo of Canada held their Yo-Kai Watch 2 preview event last September. Be sure to take an extra candy from the dish if you managed to make it out to both.


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Upon entering the building, guests were greeted by three enormous banners displaying rivals Superman and Batman, as well as a newcomer to the series in Supergirl.


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And just to your left was one of the main attractions: Four demo stations set up to run the PlayStation 4 version of Injustice 2. I managed to be one of the first ones to land a spot to try the game out, and that wound up being just a little more eventful than I realized, but more on that later.

I’ll save full thoughts on the game for when I get to review it, but I will say that as a newcomer to the series, I was expecting something a little more akin to Mortal Kombat, given that Injustice is a product of MK developer NetherRealm Studios. That turned out not to be the case, however, as it felt a bit different to not only that, but the likes of Street Fighter and Killer Instinct as well. Even though I was caught off-guard, I’m happy to say that I found it rather easy to adapt to.


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On the back wall behind the banners, there was a demo station for the mobile version of the game, which is a free-to-play app for iOS and Android that is available starting today. It expands upon the swipe and card-based gameplay of the original Injustice: Gods Among Us app, and once again allows you to unlock bonuses in the console versions of the game.


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To the left of the mobile game station, a trailer for the game ran via projection. Given you can see Batman himself looking at a series of holographic projections, it added an almost meta feeling to watching it. Nice touch.


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Further to the left on that same wall, the large “Shattered Alliances Mural” was prominently displayed, and would provide the backdrop for several pictures and interviews taken throughout the evening.


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Rounding the corner to the left wall, one would see that two local DC Comics artists from the Royal Academy of Illustration and Design, Marcus To and Francis Manapul, were in attendance. While they did not work on the game itself, they nonetheless brought with them a number of pieces which were inspired by the Injustice universe.


Photographs by Evan Bergstra

As it turns out, the event was well-catered with a number of unique dishes and an open bar. While I happily partook of the latter (albeit only for a can of Coca-Cola), I didn’t know food would be provided, or else I’d have gladly skipped lunch in favor of this.

That said, I at least made a point to try out the Food Dudes Mac & Cheese dish (seen in the two bottom-center pics), which was made on the spot and quite good. It tasted pretty much how you might expect from reading the ingredients: the mac and cheese had a relatively mild flavor, with the smoked tomato ketchup providing a contrasting balance and a bit of pop and the panko providing a bit of a satisfying crunchy texture.

Unfortunately, it’s a difficult dish to recommend; not on account of quality, but availability. I can’t seem to find it on any of their food truck or restaurant menus, only catering. So with that said, if you’re at or hosting an event catered by this company, I say it’s definitely worth a shot.

Oh, right, I’m supposed to be talking about the game.

Besides the opportunity to try the game out ahead of launch (though there has also been beta playtesting), the highlight of the night was none other than the legendary video game designer, co-creator of Mortal Kombat, and director of Injustice 2 himself, NetherRealm Studios’ Ed Boon.

In addition to talking to and taking pictures/selfies with the fans in attendance, Boon took part in a Q&A session on stage, hosted by Ajay Fry from Space:

First, apologies for the slight swaying of the camera, my arms weren’t holding up well for steadiness by this point in the evening.

I have to admit, I had no idea he worked on the likes of Defender, Missile Command, or Asteroids — and at age 16, no less. Maybe his Wikipedia page just needs updating? That, or I’m terrible at reading jokes, either is entirely possible.

At 4:35, I couldn’t help but wonder if Ajay was referencing a certain former creative for a comic book starring another world-famous video game character. Naaaah (but maybe?).

Moving to 7:56, remember how I said earlier that when I was playing, I’d have an unknowing impact on the evening? Yeah, this is it right here: I’m pretty sure I was that Flash, because I definitely beat a Swamp Thing at the start of the night. I’m not even joking. It would have been a real nervous collar-tugging moment for me, had I not been using both hands to try to steady the camera (actually, I think I might have done that anyway).

There was a brief opportunity to ask some questions with the special microphone-cube they had there, but I ended up passing — partly for the integrity of the video (watching other guys fumble to catch it was kind of fun, though; maybe I should have recorded that), but also because I have enough questions I could ask Ed Boon to fill out an entire feature-length article, so narrowing it down to just one was nigh-impossible in that time frame.

Incidentally, it’s worth noting that I did get to talk to Mr. Boon earlier in the evening, and even got my picture taken with him!


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Photograph by Evan Bergstra. There are some pics on my camera, too, but this one just looks better.

I did get to briefly ask him if he’d be interested in participating in a project I’m only just laying the groundwork for, and he seemed interested. However, that’s a way into the future, if it ever happens, but it’s a good step!

It also sounds like I might have had the biggest smile of the evening for one of these pictures, or so I was told. I guess I was more excited to meet Mr. Boon than I realized, but I am a pretty big fan of Midway, so I shouldn’t be too surprised.

As for Injustice 2, I’ll wrap things up here with this recent trailer which — as the title says — basically tells you everything you need to know about the game in just under five and a half minutes:




Injustice 2 will be available for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One on Tuesday, May 16th, 2017. And as noted above, the mobile version is available today on iOS and Android devices, and is free-to-play.

Finally, a big thanks to Warner Bros. Interactive for having me out to the event; it was a great time!

All photos by David Oxford unless otherwise noted.

David Oxford is a freelance writer of many varied interests. If you’re interested in hiring him, please drop him a line at david.oxford (at) nyteworks.net.

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A long time ago, on a generation of gaming platforms far, far away, Traveller’s Tales developed a new type of LEGO video game which took the six Star Wars movies and reimagined them in a more satirical format. The games appealed to fans of Star Wars young and old, and were met with great success, spawning an ongoing line of similarly-styled LEGO video games for years to come.

Another LEGO Star Wars game would come in 2011, based on The Clone Wars. Following that, however, it was as if millions of fans’ voices suddenly cried out for more and were suddenly silenced.

Until now.

LEGO Star Wars: The Force Awakens launches on Tuesday, June 28th, 2016 for just about every current platform under the sun: Wii U, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Nintendo 3DS, Steam for PC, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and even the PlayStation Vita will soon feel the power of the Force.

As the title implies, the game is based on the recent seventh episode in the popular film series, the first to come under the stewardship of the franchise’s new masters at Disney. More than just the film’s events will be covered, as untold tales building up to what you saw on the big screen will play out as well. What’s more, key members of the film’s cast such as John Boyega (Finn), Adam Driver (Kylo Ren), Harrison Ford (Han Solo), Daisy Ridley (Rey), Oscar Isaac (Poe Dameron), and more have lent their talents to the game, providing new and original dialogue to enjoy.

Oh, and you can also play as BB-8:

A demo is available to download now as well.

To help build anticipation for the launch, publisher Warner Bros. Interactive invited members of the press out to the Rogers Centre in Toronto, where demos of the closely-guarded game could be played on regular televisions as well as the enormous Rogers Centre video board — a feature which Toronto Blue Jays pitcher and Star Wars fan R.A. Dickey took advantage of as he played alongside Emile Burbidge, the newest Chief Play Officer for Toys “R” Us Canada.

Their appearance at the event made sense; Burbidge for the obvious reasons, while Dickey helped represent the marketing push that Warner Bros. Interactive would be making at the stadium with signage around the field, including behind the home plate. The company stated that this was going to be one of their biggest releases of the year, and are quite intent on making sure people are fully aware of it.

David Oxford is a freelance writer of many varied interests. If you’re interested in hiring him, please drop him a line at david.oxford (at) nyteworks.net.

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Batman: Arkham Asylum and Batman: Arkham City were two of the biggest titles released during the last generation of video game consoles, and certainly two of the most successful superhero games ever — Batman or otherwise. In June 2015, Rocksteady Studios completed their trilogy with Batman: Arkham Knight; unfortunately, its arrival on the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 kind of broke up the set — the latter doesn’t play games from previous generations, while the former’s ever-growing list of backwards compatible games does not include the Dark Knight’s exploits.

Fortunately for fans, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment has hired Virtuos to help solve the problem with Batman: Return to Arkham for the Xbox One and PlayStation 4.

This two-in-one set will contain both Batman: Arkham Asylum and Batman: Arkham City, rebuilt from the ground up in Unreal Engine 4 to feature better graphics with upgraded models, environments, lighting, effects, and shaders. Plus, all of the Game of the Year Edition bonus and downloadable content will be included, forming a complete package when it’s released on July 26th for $64.99.

Unfortunately, it appears that the side-story known as Batman: Arkham Origins, developed by Warner Bros. Games Montréal, isn’t in the cards, thus still leaving a small gap in one’s collection. Maybe they’ll include a remake with a special edition of Batman: Arkham Knight somewhere down the line? Then again, given that game’s relatively lukewarm reception, maybe WB has just decided to focus on the core trilogy.

David Oxford is a freelance writer of many varied interests. If you’re interested in hiring him, please drop him a line at david.oxford (at) nyteworks.net.

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Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, along with TT Games, The LEGO Group, and Marvel Entertainment, have all announced that the latest in their series of LEGO-based video games — LEGO Marvel’s Avengers — is now available for the Wii U, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Nintendo 3DS, PlayStation Vita, Xbox 360, and Windows PC. There may also be a version running on Iron Man’s latest armor, but that remains unconfirmed.

Encompassing the storylines of Marvel’s namesake movie release The Avengers and its sequel, Avengers: Age of Ultron, LEGO Marvel’s Avengers also features content from other Marvel Cinematic Universe releases such as Captain America: The First Avenger, Iron Man 3, Thor: The Dark World, and Captain America: The Winter Soldier, each one now presented with a more humorous take befitting a younger audience and the LEGO brand, as seen in the video above. Throughout the adventures, you’ll take control of over 200 characters (many of which will need to be unlocked, mind), more than 100 of which are new to the LEGO video game world. Plus, the core Avenger team line-up of Black Widow, Captain America, Hawkeye, Hulk, Thor, and Iron Man will have a variety of special team moves that they can pull off in tandem.

Rated “E10+” for everyone age 10 and older, you can get it now for the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 for a $69.99 suggested retail price, while the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and Wii U versions go for $59.99, with the Nintendo 3DS and PlayStation Vita versions priced at $34.99. For whatever reason, Windows PC wasn’t included in the pricing list.

The home console versions also have a “Season Pass” that includes content packs including Black Panther, Captain Marvel, Doctor Strange, Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., and The Masters of Evil. You can get these and the main game for the same price on Xbox One, PlayStation 3, and PlayStation 4, or on any of the home console/PC versions for $9.99. Another downloadable content pack is available free for a limited time to PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4 owners, featuring content based on Ant Man (this Spring) and the upcoming Captain America: Civil War (available now).

David Oxford is a freelance writer of many varied interests. If you’re interested in hiring him, please drop him a line at david.oxford (at) nyteworks.net.

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Several months ago, I wrote a fairly thorough article on PoisonMushroom.Org about why Warner Bros. should join the whole interactive toys/video games business, and as I was finally writing that piece… well, they did just that (even the vehicles!). Only not in quite the way I was expecting them to.

Rather than simply banking on their own wealth of properties, they teamed with LEGO to provide something truly unique in LEGO Dimensions, and the scope reached beyond even what I had imagined with properties such as Back to the Future being a part of the initial offering. As weeks and months went by, even more were added, such as Jurassic World, Dr. Who, Ghostbusters, and even freaking Portal. It’s like nothing else, and hard not to get excited for.

In the aforementioned article, one source of inspiration I said they could tap was the Midway library they purchased. Recently, they revealed that Midway Arcade and The Simpsons would both be joining in, but there were no pictures to accompany this revelation — at least, until now.

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From the press release:

The Simpsons Level within the LEGO Dimensions Starter Pack incorporates a cel-shaded art style, for a look that is true to the original, animated series and unique from the other levels within the game. Players will face an unlikely pair of evil masterminds in The Simpsons Level – Lord Business and The Joker – who have joined Lord Vortech’s legion of villains and invaded Springfield. It is up to our heroes to defeat them and restore order in The Simpsons world. For fans of The Simpsons that want to customize their LEGO Dimensions experience, a The Simpsons Level Pack which includes a LEGO Homer Simpson minifigure and The Simpsons Fun Packs which include a LEGO Bart Simpson minifigure and a LEGO Krusty the Clown minifigure were also announced. All of the characters, vehicles or gadgets from any of these expansion packs can be combined with any other characters, vehicles and gadgets that exist throughout the game, and can be played in any level, with any other entertainment property. Imagine the fun of Bart Simpson riding a Velociraptor in Metropolis.

While the inclusion of The Simpsons is cool and all (and we can only hope there will eventually be a set to build Homer’s dream car, “The Homer“), it’s no small secret that I’m a big fan of Midway. When the announcement was made, I’d already seen The Simpsons LEGOs before — I wanted to know what this set would entail.

The LEGO Dimensions Starter Pack contains a Midway Arcade level in which The Lord of the Rings‘ Gandalf and The LEGO Movie‘s Wyldstyle find themselves inside a video game, and “must race in Super Sprint, smash their way through hordes of enemies in Gauntlet, save astronauts in Defender, and defeat robots in Robotron.” If that wasn’t enough, the Midway Arcade Gamer Level Pack includes a Retro Gamer LEGO figure, the G-1655 vehicle from Spy Hunter (the Nintendo 3DS game was highly underrated, by the way), and a Defender arcade machine, as well as allowing you access to a level with 20 arcade games to beat.

Here’s the full infographic to break down who comes in what type of pack, and when:

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Unfortunately, while there is a Midway level in the Starter Pack launching on September 27th, the Midway Arcade level pack won’t be available until March 15th, 2016. Gadzooks, that’s a long wait!

The Simpsons fans are lucky — besides being part of the Starter Pack, Homer is part of the first wave that launches alongside it, while Bart and Krusty come just over a month later. Oh well, at least I’ve got Back to the Future in that same first wave.

In the meantime, here are some nice screens for you to to drool over:

To reiterate, LEGO Dimensions will be available for the Xbox 360, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, and Wii U on September 27th, 2015. To keep up to date with all the latest happenings in LEGO Dimensions, you can follow them on Tumblr, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

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Warner Bros. Interactive announced today that they will be bringing their dungeon-crawling Steam brawler Gauntlet to the PlayStation 4 under the name of Gauntlet: Slayer Edition. It is currently up for pre-order on the PlayStation Store now, awaiting your $19.99 as we move towards its August 11th release date. Those who do will receive codes for the in-game items “Mordok’s Screaming Hammer” and “Reaper’s Visage Helm” for Thor the Warrior.

Unfortunately, their trailer for this release missed a huge marketing opportunity:

Not a single Slayer song anywhere. Maybe at launch?

On a personal note, I think it’s great that this is coming to consoles, as I quite enjoyed the Steam version, which you can read all about in my review here. It’s unfortunate that it’s coming to PlayStation 4 only, however, though one can hope this is simply a timed exclusive. I’d love to review it myself, but I lack the hardware. Of course, by clicking the banner at the bottom of this post, maybe you can help me overcome that?

The ESRB has rated Gauntlet: Slayer Edition M for Mature due to “Violence, Blood, and Gore.” However, thanks to an option you can toggle in the game, you can disable the gore if you so desire. The violence and blood, not so much it would seem.

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adventuresofsupermariobros3I recently had the privilege/opportunity to appear on Matthew Green’s Power Button podcast over at Press The Buttons, something of a rarity for me as I generally don’t get to do podcasts. In fact, I might have been on sooner were it not for a little bit of miscommunication between us– Matthew thought I meant it in some sort of Hollywood “I don’t ‘do‘ that” sort of way, when the truth is that I’ve tried, but for one reason or another– lost files, tossing the segments I was in aside, etc.– I’ve just never really gotten to actually do them, at least in a way that presents any evidence.

Heck, The Mega Man Network used to have a podcast series, and I don’t think I got to appear on a single one. Life is strange like that.

But no more! I got together with Mr. Green and, when he wasn’t looking, Mr. Blake Grundman, and the production actually made it to air! …web! Whatever the term might be. It’s on Stitcher and iTunes, and there are a few other ways to check it out that you can find on Press The Buttons, including listening to it directly from the site itself.

This episode, titled “The Video Game Cartoon Express Action Zone Adventure Power Hour With David Oxford” (or maybe just “The Video Game Cartoon Express Action Zone Adventure Power Hour,” but I kind of like it the other way), sees the lot of us talk about a variety of cartoons and television shows whose origins lie with the world of video games: The Super Mario Bros. Super Show!, Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog, Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat: Defenders of the Realm (and the tie that binds them), Donkey Kong Country, Captain N: The Game Master, The Adventures of Super Mario Bros. 3, The New Super Mario World, Video Power, and more– including just a bit of exclusive information on Ruby-Spears’ Mega Man cartoon show as well.

All that, and we only scratched the surface of all the video game cartoons out there!

So I hope you’ll give it a listen, and with any luck, maybe I’ll even be invited back sometime and we can discuss this topic (or others) a bit more. Until then, thanks to Matthew and Blake for having me!

Earlier this week, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment announced that they would be bringing the 1985 arcade classic Gauntlet back with a revival on the PC by way of Steam (as well as the upcoming Steam Machines) this summer. Developing the new title will be Arrowhead Game Studios, who are best known for Magicka.

“To us at Arrowhead, Gauntlet is one of the most defining games from our childhoods, and it’s amazing to be able to work with Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment on a brand new version,” said Arrowhead Chief Executive Officer, Johan Pilestedt, in a press release. “Gauntlet is one of the original and best known video game properties and we are looking forward to creating a fresh, yet true to the original, take on a multiplayer masterpiece.”

Check out the reveal trailer to see what to expect:

The press release boasts innovation on past titles while staying true to the brand’s “legendary” format. As in the past, players choose from one of four different types of player class, each possessing its own strengths and weaknesses. This includes the speedy Elf, the melee-proficient Warrior, the powerful magics of the Wizard, or the heavily armored Valkyrie. “Distinctive play styles, procedural dungeons and an impressive art style keep the gameplay fresh.”

Once a character has been selected, up to four players will fight their way through dungeon chambers to complete challenges and slay the hordes of evil creatures who appear before them. Special items can be obtained to restore health, unlock doors, or simply help the player survive the onslaught of fantasy-based monsters such as ghosts, demons, spiders, sorcerers, and the ever-popular skeleton warriors.

As it turns out, however, Gauntlet is just the beginning as Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment is using it to spearhead an initiative known as WB Games Vault, “a direct-to-digital portfolio that will deliver paid games based on popular Warner Bros. and Midway brands, plus original IP, across multiple digital networks.”

“With Gauntlet we combined the arcade style of the original game with an entirely new look and feature set that includes emergent, local and online four-player gameplay,” said Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment’s Senior Vice President of Digital Games, David Haddad. “Gauntlet will be the first title in the WB Games Vault portfolio, which will provide us with an opportunity to access emerging talent within the game development community and match unique skills and experience with our extensive library of properties.”

Honestly, it’s as though they’ve read my mind. Ever since Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment purchased Midway, I’ve hoped they wouldn’t just let so much of the intellectual property be relegated to retro collections and anthologies. Many of the company’s older arcade titles seem like they’d fit perfectly in a digital environment such as Steam, mobile, or social gaming. While playing the original Gauntlet and Gauntlet II on Midway Arcade Treasures and Gauntlet Legends with my wife, I’ve frequently said that an updated version of the game with an online component would be perfect, and I’m glad to know someone out there is apparently listening.

On a related note, it wasn’t too long ago that WB Interactive brought a new version of Spy Hunter to the Nintendo 3DS and PlayStation Vita. Sadly, it wound up being a pretty good game that didn’t get nearly enough attention upon its release. Copies usually go for pretty cheap now, if you can find them, so I recommend grabbing it if you see it.

That said, I’m hoping a new Spy Hunter is on the WB Games Vault “to do” list… along with Joust, Rampage, Defender, Smash TV, Arch Rivals, and NARC (starring the straight edge CM Punk as Max Force, of course).

For more of the new Gauntlet, check out the screens below. You can also visit their website (just the trailer there as of this writing), Like them on Facebook, or follow them on Twitter.

221685_193995567391471_2116204924_nYTV and LEGO have teamed up to offer a new contest to win a special LEGO City prize pack, including a Deluxe Wii U console bundle, the LEGO City Undercover game, the LEGO City “High Speed Chase” set, the LEGO City “Museum Break-In” set, and the LEGO City Police ATV set. 13 weekly prize winners will receive a copy of the game and the “High Speed Chase” set.

To enter, visit legocityelitepolice.ca and fill out the entry form. You’re also supposed to be able to get a second entry by participating in a game on the site, though when I tried it, it informed me I had “already entered” when I attempted to fill in the form as prompted. For official rules, click here.

The contest is open until April 15th, 2013. Good luck to those who enter!

WiiU_LegoCU_char_ChaseMcCaiRecently, I had the opportunity and pleasure to experience a media preview of two upcoming games from Nintendo, LEGO City Undercover for the Wii U and Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon for the Nintendo 3DS. I’ll get to Luigi’s Mansion soon, but we’re first going to go over some of my thoughts and impressions of what I played of the game at the event.

Full disclosure: I actually received my review copy of the game a couple of days ago and have been playing through it. The review will be up following the embargo date later this week, but for now, here’s what I took away from the event (tempered by my own experience playing it at home).

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You might remember that a couple of weeks ago, I brought you my impressions of every game I could get my hands on at Nintendo of Canada’s recent post-E3 event. Which, I sadly confess, wasn’t quite all of them.

Two games I didn’t get to spend much– if any– time with at all were Batman: Arkham City – Armored Edition and ZombiU, both for the upcoming Wii U platform. Fortunately, the fine folks at G4TV Canada have also posted their hands-on experience with the Wii U from the event, and while it is all condensed into one article, they did get to talk a bit more about Batman. In addition, they also spent time with Pikmin 3, Project P-100, Rayman Legends, and Nintendo Land, so you can compare what we have to say to draw your own conclusions.