Rhythm Heaven Fever

Back in February when Rhythm Heaven Fever was released it was a bit of an anomaly for the Wii. It was a game with very simple controls, bright colorful graphics, and an exceptionally catchy soundtrack, but it had nothing to do with motion. By stepping away from the console's signature gameplay mechanic, the development team had the ability to focus on growing the series from its portable predecessors to a larger screen, without being pigeonholed by forcing some kind of waggle integration. With the game on store shelves for almost two months now, we had the chance to reflect on the game and dig a little deeper into its development, and how to preserver over the more challenging mini-games with the franchise's Sound Director, Mr. Masami Yone. Read on to find out his thoughts on the game, its inescapable music, and why Mario might never make an appearance in a Rhythm Heaven game.

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Too lazy to hit that scroll wheel? Well, don’t fret; we wouldn’t want you to break a sweat. You can find the most exciting news, previews, and trailers from the past week in one convenient place. Check out your weekly dose of all things Multiplayer below!

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Without exaggeration, the Halo franchise has been one of Xbox's biggest system sellers.  After the announcement that Bungie Studios would be hanging up their green power armor, many gamers have been left wondering what's in store for the Halo universe. We got our answer last E3 with a short debut trailer showing off a newly awakened Master Chief answering a call to action against an unknown and imposing enemy. Since then 343 has taken up the mantle for the next proper franchise entry, ‘Halo 4', and news has been slowly trickling out as it nears its fall launch. We got our quick look at the Chief but one of the best things about Halo, and its sequels, was its amazing sound and score.

News broke this morning, via HaloWaypoint, that Neil Davidge is scoring ‘Halo 4'. You probably know Mr. Davidge best as producing and co-writing several albums for Massive Attack, but he's also worked on several high profile television shows and movies such as ‘Clash of the Titans', although this will be his first video game entry. Recently, Mr. Davidge took a few moments out of his busy schedule to talk to Multiplayer about his love for Halo and how you'll experience the game through your ears. We also have a couple of behind the scenes clips that show a bit of the work that goes into scoring a game of this magnitude. Check out the full interview and clips after the jump.

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 Photo provided by Nintendo of America

Photo provided by Nintendo of America

Late last night, at a Gamestop on the Upper West Side of New York City, local New York gamer, Samuel Buzby, went home with the Kid Icarus: Uprising national crown. Beating out players from all over the country, Mr. Buzby claimed the top prize, and the one-of-a-kind trophy by demonstrating his Kid Icarus multiplayer skills, and besting eleven other gamers in a six-round final match.

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In the last year, writer George R. R. Martin's A Song of Fire and Ice novels have gone from being the 20-year obsession of a group of dedicated readers, to a multimedia phenomenon, thanks to the success of the HBO series based on the first novel. Now, there's something of an embarrassment of riches when it comes to the Game of Thrones universe, with comics and other tie-in products filling fans' shelves the world over. Add to that three games with three different treatments of the material available to gamers or coming soon: there's Cyanide's third-person action-RPG based on the novel being published by Atlus, along with Cyanide's prequel strategy game from last year, and then there's our topic of conversation today, the browser-based MMO by Bigpoint Games.

During GDC, Bigpoint was showing off Game of Thrones, which is based directly on the HBO series and being developed in conjunction with the show. We spoke to the game's Executive Producer, Rob Ollett, about bringing this rendition of the show and the novels to your browser at the beginning of 2013.
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XCOM: Enemy Unknown
XCOM: Enemy Unknown is facing a daunting task; reboot a series that has been dormant for years while not upsetting the longtime fans that have been waiting patiently for a new release. Firaxis Games' Lead Designer, Jake Solomon, is well aware of the potential pitfalls of bringing back a beloved series while making it appeal to both fans of the original and new gamers who may not even know the original exists. He's abundantly aware of the dilemma because he is one of those fans of the original XCOM, yet he is working on a game that he hopes will demand the attention of a larger audience. In his own words, one of the goals behind the deign of Enemy Unknown was to "be respectful, and then be fearless."
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One of the go-to anecdotes Simple Machine founders Kurt Bieg and Ramsey Nasser have about their iPhone golf-meets-Twitter game Twirdie involves a five-year-old picking up the game for the first time. According the the duo—classmates from the Parsons School of Design who found sudden success recently with the release of their rhythm game, Circadia—the first time the junior gamer in question picked up the game, he sat with it for over two hours, typing away terms into the game's interface, using trending words on Twitter to putt the ball back and forth across the green to get it into the hole.

For Nasser and Bieg, this story, which they told me during a brief GDC 2012 interview and recounted again during the Experimental Gameplay Session, neatly sums up the appeal of the game which challenges users to flex their social awareness, regardless of their age, background, or nationality. Twirdie and Circadia represent two very different yet equally egalitarian-minded games from the studio that seem as much about getting people to try something unexpected as they are about climbing the sales charts.
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Before he was Head of Marketing for The Witcher and The Witcher 2 developer CD Projeckt Red, Michal Platkow-Gilewski was a fan of the the dark fantasy novels on which they were based back in his native Poland. So were many of the designers and programmers at his studio, he explained, saying many of them grew up reading Andrzej Sapkowski's dark fantasy novels about Geralt of Rivia, the titular "Witcher" or specially-bred monster hunter who was front and center for the CD Projekt's two award-winning games based on the books.

With The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings making its console debut exclusively on the 360 this spring in both regular and Enhanced editions, I spoke with Platkow-Gilewski at GDC about the release as well as getting the word out about your game, even if you're not a major studio.
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In the press materials accompanying my e-mail interview with Ghost Recon Future Soldier Lead Designer Roman Campos Oriola, the team behind the tactical shooter are careful to explain that with the first game in the series since 2007's Advanced Warfighter 2, they're not trying to create science fiction. They're just "just putting forward [their] view of how the battlefield of tomorrow can be changed through the combination of the US Warfighter’s abilities and the most cutting-edge tools for combating the enemy."

So precisely how are you going to get your gun on in Future Soldier? Well, Oriola was kind enough to answer a few questions about the May release, elaborating on issues as far ranging as the game's AI, the heavy consulting work that went into the weapons and tactics in the gameplay, and the game's new GunSmith customization system.

See what Oriola has to say about Ghost Recon Future Soldier as well as the debut of the game's new trailer after the jump.
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Over the last few weeks, Rockstar has been releasing a series of videos showcasing some of the many changes in store for Max Payne 3, specifically, the ways they've attempted to iterate upon and develop the visuals and gameplay for modern hardware. To get a little deeper into the nitty gritty behind some of the decisions Rockstar has made regarding how Max shoots and handles on modern consoles and PCs, we got a couple of questions by e-mail over to Jeronimo Barrera, VP of Product Development for Rockstar.

Check out what he has to say about finding the best vision for the game's multiplayer as well as making Max Payne 3 feel more like an FPS after the break.
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