CEO Kenzo Tsujimoto announced to investors that the company seeks to reduce the time to develop “major titles” to just two and a half years, down from the “usual three to four”. Thankfully, he addresses the fact that this will cost extra, in order to maintain quality. What isn’t addressed is what this will mean for the releases of a less than major variety, like the adjective prefix versions of fighting games, or the subtitled variations of something like Dead Rising: Case West. I’m going to assume they’ll stay business as usual, and hopefully not get stepped up to be weekly releases.

The contents of the upcoming multiplayer content pack for Mass Effect 3 has been detailed, and it looks like a good one. Two new levels, one on the Asari world of Thessia and the other in some kind of jungle area; six new class variants by way of two humans (“ex-Cerberus” Adept and Vanguard), two Quarians, (male Quarians, Engineer and Infiltrator), and two Vorchas (Vorchi? Soldier and sentinel), and three new weapons, adding to the already crowded categories of shotgun, assault and sniper rifles. The content is reported to be due on Tuesday for the 360, and Wednesday on the PS3 (probably late in the evening for us given the time difference).

The Muffcake Podcast.  We’ve played some Minecraft, James rates Max Payne 3, Paul is absent, and we say many a word about what Activision are up to.  Wugga knows things about Halo 4, Microsoft are in the news, and I speculate wildly about Forza Horizon.

The 3DS makes use for QR codes for sharing Miis and for special features in supported games. Mario Tennis Open (reviewed here) released in New Zealand today and EB Games have an exclusive QR code which allows you to unlock the Black Yoshi costume in the game by taking your 3DS and Mario Tennis Open into an EB Games store and scanning the code. In other regions there have been various promotions and activities to allow the unlocking of other Yoshi colours – no further such details are available in New Zealand yet. 

Available “for a limited time only”, head down to your local EB Games store now to unlock this character costume!


My thoughts on Kinect have always been pretty clear – I just don’t really get what the fuss is all about. The tech looked highly promising – the final implementation never impressed me much and nothing has changed to convince me otherwise yet.

LEAP into the future – the near future in fact – and dreams of a Minority Report control system could be just around the corner. LEAP Motion have showcased their upcoming product which could have you gesturing in thin air to control aspects of your computing, with potential gaming applications far beyond what Kinect has shown itself to be capable of. Claimed to be accurate down to “1/100th of a millimetre”, the tiny device aims to allow you to use not only your arms like Kinect, but also your hands and fingers. You can even grip a pen and “write” with it – the LEAP can apparently map those fine movements as if you were using a tablet.

Check out the video below which demonstrates what the LEAP aims to achieve. Whether you believe it to be real or just a mockup is up to you but pre-orders have opened for a limited number at the impossibly low price of USD $70 (under NZD $100). Will you be pre-ordering one for the launch of late 2012/early 2013?


Nintendo has made it clear that it is taking E3 2012 seriously, offering interested gamers the chance to get the latest info from LA via the web, YouTube, FaceBook and Twitter. In a press release, it was announced that:

“Nintendo will be using a mix of online, broadcast and social platforms to provide a steady stream of breaking news and announcements during the video game industry’s biggest annual trade show”.
“We don’t want anyone to miss the energy and excitement of this year’s E3 Expo,” said Cindy Gordon, Nintendo of America’s vice president of Corporate Affairs. “By offering different ways to tune in and follow all the Nintendo news, we aim to make fans all over the world feel like they’re right there with us at the show.”

The hub on the web is located at, where there will be a live stream of the proceedings (no information about geographical restrictions announced). The US will have access to live TV broadcasts on the Spike TV and MTV2 networks commercial-free, while there will also be updates posted on YouTube, FaceBook, and Twitter. All this should make it easier for New Zealanders to follow the news when E3 kicks off in a couple of weeks.

via Gaming Examiner

I was pretty concerned that an XBLA/PSN release of Virtua Fighter 5: Final Showdown would mean a stripped-down feature set, but this trailer has gone a long way to help me put those fears aside. The video goes out of its way to acknowledge the existence of the dynamic arenas (which I was expecting), online room matches (which I wasn’t entirely expecting), a “vast collection of customizable items” (which I… wasn’t necessarily expecting only because I’m crazy about making Akira look weird), and a tutorial mode, which looks like it might be as fully featured as the VF4 Evolution tutorial mode, and includes a frame advantage counter, which is great news if you’re wanting to learn how to play.

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Here we go, y’all.  Number 179 and there is a craptonne of news.  Much of it concerns Battlefield.  James has played Diablo 3, and we get his impressions.  Paul unboxes his collector’s edition too.  THQ continue their downward spiral, and Activision try to out-do EA.  There’s also news about Dishonored, Dead Space 3, Black Ops 2, Minecraft, and Playstation’s financial situation (confused somewhat by some bad maths).  Enjoy.

Brace all your selves.  This is the one hundred and seventy eighth Buttonmasher Podcast.  Mass Effect 3 may or may not be mentioned.

I know we’re all tired of hearing about the revival attempts being funded through Kickstarter at this point, but I want to post about this because it has me somewhat conflicted. The game is Battle Chess; if you played PC games in the 90s, you may have come across it. The Kickstarter project is headed by Subdued Software and has a target goal of $100,000.

As someone who enjoyed the original 1988 release, and can play Chinese Chess (which was the game for the sequel), I’m interested. On the other hand, as someone who’s old enough to know that the gimmick of animations whenever a piece is taken grows old extremely fast, I feel doubtful that there will be enough meaningful substance for this game to register as a serious chess game for anyone but fans of the original. The “Challenge Mode” could be good, but then again, I could just check out the Puzzle Of The Day at