Ph LEVEL Review: Sonic Mania

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To say the hype surrounding Sonic Mania has been considerable, would be quite the understatement. The game started as a fan-game, with a dedicated group of players coming together to take matters into their own hands, and create a true-to-form Sonic the Hedgehog game in the vein of the classics, using new and older content to craft intricate levels, with updated sprites.

However, SEGA got word of the project and it was quickly ordered a cease-and-desist. Except, it wasn’t. Instead, SEGA snatched up the developers and started working together with them, noticing a rare opportunity, and taking full advantage of of the situation to create a great game. Did it work out? Hit the jump to find out.

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Sonic Mania Launch Trailer

Today is the long-awaited release of Sonic Mania, and with it, we have an incredibly charming new trailer for the retro-inspired title. Players who pre-ordered the game will be receiving a free digital copy of Sonic The Hedgehog this morning, on the platform that they chose to purchase the game on.

Hopefully we get a fantastic vinyl release of the Sonic Mania soundtrack, because the music in this trailer was so wonderful. Hopefully the excitement around this title gives SEGA a better understanding of what we’re after as Sonic fans.

Okami HD Headed to Xbox One and PlayStation 4

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Kotaku UK has a scoop, claiming that Okami HD is getting another re-release, this time on PlayStation 4, and Xbox One this holiday season. There’s no real information about the release, currently, but it’s a good chance that the title will receive PS4 Pro and Xbox One X support, with the PlayStation 3 version of Okami HD rendering the visuals in 4K, and the scaling them down.

Capcom is taking initiative in bringing many of its older titles to newer consoles, but in the process, most of their newer IP’s have taken a backseat, with new major titles being few and far between for the company at this point. It’s nice to see lesser-ported titles like Okami finally making the jump to systems such as the Xbox, though.

Is Riz Ahmed Carnage?

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The Tracking Board is reporting that Rogue One: A Star Wars Story star Riz Ahmed is in final talks to star alongside Tom Hardy in the upcoming Venom film in a mystery role along with Matt Smith, Pedro Pascal and Mathias Schoenarts. While the role is a mystery, several outlets are reporting that he’s playing Cletus Kasady, aka Carnage, the rumored villain of the film.

Carnage is the spawn of Venom, and a crazed psychopathic symbiote hell-bent on death and destruction with its host. Carnage’s red color comes from its intensely close blood bond between the symbiote and Kasady after it entered his blood-stream.

Gran Turismo Sport Coming This October

It’s admittedly a bit sad to see how far Gran Turismo has fallen down the pecking order of franchises that Sony cares about in regards to the PlayStation. What was once considered a cornerstone, is now relegated to a 30-second trailer. However, after several delays, we finally have a definitive release date for the game at October 18th.

In addition to the release date, we were also shown a special edition. The Gran Turismo Sport Limited Edition comes with an eight car GT Sport Starter Pack, 30 GT Sport avatars, a Livery Sticker Pack, a Chrome Racing Helmet for your Driver Profile, $1M in-game credit, and Steel Book package.

Ph LEVEL Review: Spider-Man Homecoming

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After being introduced to Tom Holland’s Peter Parker in Captain America: Civil War, there were a lot of high hopes for the boy in his solo outing. His first time suiting up was incredibly memorable, and left a lasting impression on everyone throughout the film, so naturally, Homecoming would follow suit, wouldn’t it?

I can safely say that you won’t be disappointed with Spider-Man: Homecoming. It’s a good movie, with fantastic characters. Hit the jump for my full thoughts.

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City Shrouded in Shadow Trailer Looks Amazing

The upcoming PlayStation 4 exclusive, Kyoei Toshi (or City Shrouded in Shadow) has its first full trailer, and as expected it looks ridiculous. The game sees you take control of the protagonist, a normal guy trying to survive various monster attacks in Tokyo. This includes Godzilla, Evangelion Units, Gamera, Ultraman, and many more.

City Shrouded in Shadow launches in Japan on October 19th. There is no word on localization, but a man can dream.

Original Sonic Designer Creates Work for Sonic Mania

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Probably what has to be one of the most adorable and supportive moves we’ll see this week, original Sonic The Hedgehog designer, Naoto Ohshima, created a piece of artwork in support of the upcoming Sonic Mania title from Sega, despite no longer working for the company.

You can hit the jump to view the artwork in full. Sonic Mania will release for PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch on August 15th.

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DJMAX Respect Limited Edition and Release Date

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I haven’t covered any of DJMAX Respect up to this point, but this limited edition is beyond cool, and it forced my hand. The title is an upcoming rhythm-action game for PlayStation 4, which includes a comprehensive list of past songs from older DJMAX games, as well as a great selection of newer songs.

The Limited Edition (seen above) includes the game, an art book, a two-disc soundtrack, six pins, and a replacement cover with DJMAX Portable 1 & 2 on it. The game is set to release across Asia and Korea on July 28th, with worldwide release dates expected to be announced soon. Hit the jump for a look at some newly released songs for the game, as well.

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Watch_Dogs 2 Getting Party Mode

Watch_Dogs 2 has been consistently delivering new and exciting free content since its launch, and done a great job at keeping promises. One of its more lofty promises was that of a 4-player Party Mode for online multiplayer. Well, this Tuesday, July 4th, that promise is made a reality, as players can join up with 3 other friends and raise hell across San Francisco.

The update also includes a few bug fixes, as well as new maps, outfits, weapons, and more. Ubisoft states that Party mode is meant to be “more about cooperation than competition, so anything that happens in this mode will not affect leaderboard standings.” This should most certainly be a great update.

First Look at Taiko No Tatsujin on PlayStation 4

Bandai Namco has released a first look at the newest Taiko game: Taiko No Tatsujin: Session de Dodon ga Don! The newest entry in the rhythm series is being released on PlayStation 4 later this year, with a new local multiplayer function to give the game a classic arcade-feel, as well as multiplayer “ghosts” to compete with your friends when they’re not there.

The trailer above also gives us a look at the new drum controller from HORI for PlayStation 4. The latest title features over 70 tracks, including Your Name’s theme song “Zenzenzense” by RADWIMPS, and more.

Sony’s Marvel Universe Could Be Bigger Than We Thought

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It would appear that Sony has more plans for their “Marvel Universe” than we initially thought. JoBlo is reporting that Carnage is rumored to be the primary villain the Tom Hardy-starring Venom film. It’s also rumored that both Kraven the Hunter, and Mysterio, will be getting their own standalone films in the new universe.

Those new characters join a character cast of Venom, Black Cat, and Silver Sable already confirmed as part of Sony’s world.

Diablo 3’s Necromancer Finally Hits This Month

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The Necromancer class in Diablo 3 has been teased for what seems like ages, and now, we’re finally getting it on June 27. The Necromancer will be priced at $14.99 and will require the Reaper of Souls expansion on PC to play. The pack will also grant access to additional character slots, a portrait, banner, sigil, accent and pennant, a brand new pet and some items for your pets.

Blizzard also revealed the new Eternal Collection for Xbox One and PlayStation 4, that will give console players full access to the game and all of its DLC, including the Necromancer.

PhE3: PlayStation Recap

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Sony’s E3 conference went about as expected, but on the other hand, it also had some insane surprises that no one would have ever expect, but they are damn sure welcome. While the majority of the show were updates to titles shown at last year’s E3, we were also given a few new projects that have been in the pipeline. Quite secretly, I might add.

Sony was absolutely a mixed bag this year. When they delivered, they delivered, but their misses were some pretty heavy missteps as far as interest. Hit the jump to check out the full rundown of the show.

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Crash Bandicoot Announcement Incoming

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After passing the torch from Naughty Dog to Vicarious Visions, it seems Activision is privy to the excitement around the release of the Crash Bandicoot N’Sane Trilogy releasing later this month for the PlayStation 4.

According to the full Activision schedule for E3, there’s going to be a Special Crash Bandicoot Announcement lodged between Call of Duty and Destiny 2. What that means could be anyone’s guess? Maybe the trilogy won’t be a PlayStation 4 exclusive? Maybe we’re getting a full new Crash game?!