Video Games Live at E3 2014!


Showcasing the Best in Video Game Music and Talent

Once again Video Games Live, a concert series showcasing video game music, has teamed up with E3 for a special show during the expo. It will take place on Wednesday June 11th at the Nokia Theatre, Los Angeles, bringing with them a whole host of special guests and international acts performing over the course of the evening.

Those showcased in this concert range from professional composers to Youtube sensations like Malukah, performing her hit “The Dragonborn Comes”. Other acts include Peter Hollens and Jillian Aversa who will be providing vocals throughout, the cover band “Critical Hit” and international composers of tracks for games such as Bioshock, Halo and Journey.

Video Games Live creator and executive producer Tony Tallarico spoke a little about setting up this impressive show and working with E3 in their press release.

“We typically like to keep our setlist a secret” says prolific game composer and Video Games Live creator/executive producer Tommy Tallarico, “but there are so many incredible performances, spectacular performers and industry special guests that I decided this time around to publish almost the entire setlist to the public as nothing like this has ever been attempted for a video game concert anywhere in the world!  Since starting Video Games Live over 13 years ago, this particular show is definitely going to be one of our biggest and most exciting shows ever.  Being partnered with E3 allows us to bring the entire industry together for a complete celebration of the gaming universe.”  

In this release they have also announced sixty new shows and dates for their world tour, with complete listing available here.

If you’re lucky enough to be in or around Los Angeles during E3, this is a concert not to be missed. Tickets are available for purchase now on Video Game Live’s website.

Jayden Perry ©2014

Child of Light: 2014’s Masterpiece?


“Let me tell a story of Lemuria, a kingdom past, and a girl born for glory…”

When I first saw the trailer for a small Ubisoft game entitled “Child of Light”, I was utterly mesmerised. The art style, narration and score of the announcement trailer cemented it as a game to watch out for in the future, and after seeing the trailer announcing the release date I’m convinced that it has the potential to be one of the best games to come out in 2014 (April 30th, to be exact!).

Using Ubisoft’s UbiArt Framework the developers have been able to use concept art in the game as assets, 2D animation combined with 3D models and animation to make for a unique art style. Previously used in Rayman Origins and Legends, Child of Light adopts the same technology to bring it’s watercolour world to life. The developers say they aimed for it to feel like “A playable poem”, the visuals capturing all the rhythm, flow and beauty a poem can hold.

Child of Light features some of the most beautiful art in gaming
Child of Light features some of the most beautiful art in gaming

Aurora, our young heroine, awakes to find herself in the dream-like world of Lemuria instead of her home in 1985 Austria. In this new world the Queen of the Night has taken the sun, stars and moon, and it’s up to Aurora (joined by her glowing companion Igniculus) to retrieve them whilst conquering her fears in order to return home to her ailing father. Along the way you’ll discover there is a lot more is going on than it initially seems as you delve into this new world.

This coming of age story is deeply woven into both the narrative and gameplay progression. As Aurora traverses the world and grows herself she will also gain access to over two hundred skills. During an interview, the writer, Jeffrey Yohalem, said he wanted to create a story that touched upon the darkness in the world, and the progression from the perceived world into the truth of it. These systems run deep within the game and help to give it a unique feel and fast connection with the character. As per usual, experience points are collected from slain enemies and allow you to both level up Aurora and access new skills.

A look at one of the skill trees
A look at the skill tree available to Aurora

Designed around accessibility, the game aims to both honour the JRPG style it’s born from and engage both inexperienced and veteran players in a new way. It uses and builds upon well-developed gameplay at it’s core similar to that of Rayman Legends, but also introduces a classic but refined basis for combat. The system encourages strategy and tactics through it’s turn based style, encapsulating the rhythm and timing aimed for in it’s direction as a playable epic poem. Timing, thought and watching the enemy’s moves allows you to master the flow of combat, interrupting attacks and dodging damage to beat down even the toughest of foes. The spin put on a classic turn based system, the introduction of the timing bar, allows a fresh reinvention of a popular mechanic which is sure to keep things interesting.

On top of the inventive combat, Child of Light has puzzles at its core. Though I haven’t been lucky enough to go hands on with the game myself, from all reports the puzzles are clever and well executed, with a good amount of difficulty to keep the player on their toes!

If all this wasn’t enough the game features both a vast world to explore packed with enemies and treasures, and over six hundred crafting recipes to be used with your newly acquired gems. Even from the trailers we can see there’s quite a diverse set of environments and atmospheres packed into this title. Scenes of ruins with an almost aquatic appearance conjure up memories of Journey’s darkened caverns, whilst brightt towns filled with towers and houses feel like something out of a Studio Ghibli film. I seriously can’t stop appreciating how beautiful this game is.

Child of Light also features local co-op, designed to be experienced with a friend or family member in the same room. Whilst it can be played completely solo, the addition of a partner however adds a new perspective to the tale. The second player takes on the role of Igniculus, Aurora’s small luminescent companion. He comes into play both during combat and in general play, illuminating dark passageways and helping to solve puzzles. In combat he can be used to heal our heroine and disadvantage enemies, but your choices in how you use his abilities play into the strategy of the battle. The more in sync the players, the more useful each character’s moves will be. The co-op aspect is about traversing this new world together and sharing the journey of Aurora and Igniculus.

Lemuria is a quirky, gorgeous world
Lemuria is a quirky, gorgeous world

In my opinion this game has all the hallmarks to be a huge hit. It seems like it will have a real deep and compelling narrative  married quite deeply with the gameplay systems and stunning art. Some of the most impressive and iconic titles over the last few years have done a similar thing, with Journey and The Unfinished Swan immediately coming to mind. Only time will tell whether it will be as successful as it seems, but it certainly illuminates itself amongst the majority of popular, more gritty and ‘realistic’, titles topping the market in recent times. In my mind this lesser known title has the capacity to at least match or succeed the acclaim of the big hitters this year, possibly even earning itself a spot as the unsung masterpiece of 2014. Either way Ubisoft Montreal have done an amazing job thus far and I can not wait to play Ubisoft Montreal’s beautiful epic poem when it launches.

Child of Light releases April 30th (digitally only!) on PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Wii U, and PC for $19.95. For more information on the game you can visit the game’s Tumblr which contains interviews, behind the scenes content and even more beautiful artwork! The announcement trailer can be viewed here, and the latest release date and features trailer below!

OXCGN’s Game of the Year Awards for 2012


2012 GOTY feature

OXCGN’s Game of the Year Awards for 2012

The world did not end this year 

by David Hilton

©2012 David Hilton

game of the year award smlWith all the attention on the impending Mayan apocalypse it would have been fitting to look at the state of gaming at the end of 2011 and wonder if the gaming world might also end.

While there was initially some optimism that new major next gen consoles would be announced at this year’s E3, only the Wii U actually was a next gen certainty and the limits of current gen consoles had seemingly been reached.

On top of that, gaming sequels continued to dominate game releases.

It looked like the end could be nigh for big release gaming of the AAA variety in the near future.

However the quality of this year’s titles shows that gaming is very much alive and though many studios and franchises faltered this year, more succeeded with some of the best games this gaming generation.

With a huge renaissance gaming year promised for 2013 in the form of new generation consoles, let’s look at 2012 as the last big battle of this current console generation for top gaming honours.

We gave our readers a chance in a poll to decide their 2012 Game of the Year, and the results came in with the beautiful and clever Playstation exclusive downloadable title, Journey. Now it’s our turn.

OXCGN GOTY here

OXCGN’s 2012 Reader GOTY: Gamers Voted, But Will the VGAs Get it Right?


Article_Stock

OXCGN’s 2012 Reader GOTY

Gamers voted, but will the VGAs get it right?

by Nicholas Laborde

©2012 Nicholas Laborde

For five wonderful years, OXCGN has been bringing the gaming community in Australia and abroad the best opinionated pieces in the gaming space.

This year, we decided to have two separate Game of the Year awards: one for the readers, and a second traditional one decided by our staff.

You voted, and the results are in.

Who did you pick?

And the winner is…

OXCGN’s Fez XBLA Review


OXCGN’s Fez XBLA Review

Love letter to retro gaming?

by: TnMChris

©2012 Chris Evans

It may have only just been released onto Xbox Live Arcade, but in the five years since Polytron announced Fez it has already picked up a myriad of art, design and ‘best in show’ awards, not to mention being featured heavily in last year’s Indie Game: The Movie.

Fez sits snugly alongside the likes of Journey, Flower, Braid and Limbo – the indie darlings of the industry, which prove that the simple, abstract and beautiful can find success in an industry characterised (fairly or not) by guns and explosions.

This way to Fez

OXCGN’s Journey Review: Have a Nice Trip


OXCGN’s Journey Review: Have a nice trip

by Psychofox

©2012 Chris Fox

Journey is unlike anything I have experienced before. Ever.

Not just as a game or as any piece of media, art or entertainment.

Journey is a once in a life time venture. Forget about levels and forget about head-shots.

But most importantly, forget about everything that makes a “game”. That Game Company have completely rewritten the rule book. Again.

Take A Journey this way

OXCGN’s Interview With ThatGameCompany: Kellee Santiago & Aaron Grommesh on ‘Journey’


OXCGN’s Interview with ThatGameCompany

Kellee Santiago & Aaron Grommesh on ‘Journey’

by exterminat

©2011 Nicholas Laborde

Our industry is anything but lacking in creative geniuses, from the likes of Kojima and the Metal Gear series, all the way to small independent developers like ThatGameCompany and their upcoming Journey.

ThatGameCompany has given us epics such as fl0w, where you moved around and ate things. And let’s not forget Flower, where you made flowers grow.

All humor aside, TGC has a very unique style with their titles and everything they make is a work of art.

Their third PSN title, Journey, was announced at E3 2010, and we know about as much now as we did then.

Eager to learn more, I bugged ThatGameCompany for answers. Kellee Santiago and newly-recruited Aaron Grommesh teamed up to collectively make me go away!

What’s laying over the hills for us in ‘Journey’ . . . . .