PaRappa, Elite Beat Agent Dev's New Game Fails To Reach Kickstarter Goal

Project Rap Rabbit, the rhythm-action game from the creators of PaRappa The Rappa, Gitaroo Man, and Elite Beat Agents, has failed to meet its Kickstarter funding goal, raising just £162,057 of the £855,000 it was asking for.

In an update posted on the Kickstarter project page, developers iNiS J and NanaOn-Sha thanked people for their support but said they “must sadly accept that our crowd-funding journey must end here.”

The statement continues: “We knew that sourcing funds for a high-quality rhythm-action game would be tough, and though we knew that Project Rap Rabbit would be an incredible game, unfortunately we weren’t able to do enough to prove that to the wider world.”

The developers added that they “are not in the position to be able to fund further production for a crowd-funding relaunch involving a title deeper in development” and wouldn’t want to scale back their vision for the game. As a result, “work on Project Rap Rabbit cannot continue at this time.”

Despite the seemingly definitive end to Project Rap Rabbit, iNiS J and NanaOn-Sha indicated they haven’t given up on the game entirely and that recent meetings at E3 may help give the project a future.

“Though our Kickstarter campaign hasn’t gone the way we’d intended, our early stages of development have left us more determined than ever to bring Project Rap Rabbit to life. While you didn’t see Project Rap Rabbit at any conferences or booths during E3 week, we had a very, very busy E3 filled with meetings about our vision for the future of rhythm-action.

“So what happens next?,” the update adds. “At this moment it’s far too early to say, but thanks in part to your overwhelming support we know that our vision for Project Rap Rabbit hasn’t gone unnoticed.”

The game was set to follow Toto-Maru, a rabbit and farm boy, and his sidekick Otama-Maru on their quest to save the world. The planet is becoming an increasingly hostile place thanks to “overlords.” The heroes needed to create peace by “embracing the strength of music and by using the magic of rhythm and rhyme.” The art style was inspired by 16th century Japan, and promised to blend traditional Japanese artwork and modern rap culture.

Project Rap Rabbit was initially planned for release on PlayStation 4 and PC. The team later committed to making a version of the game for Nintendo Switch if they exceed their goal and raise $1.5 million.

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    Zelda: Breath Of The Wild's New Hard Mode Uses Separate Save Slots

    The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild‘s Master Mode will utilise a separate set of save data slots, according to Nintendo’s official website for the game. The site indicates that Master Mode save slots will be distinct from the other difficulties, but notes that “you can only make use of two save data slots compared to six save data slots available in Normal Mode.”

    Master Mode is being released as part of the game’s Master Trials DLC. Along with the new hard mode, the DLC will include Trial of the Sword and the Heroes Path Mode. The former is a survival-like gameplay mode where players start without any armour or weapons but must defeat the enemies in each room to progress. The reward is to “awaken the power of the Master Sword, and it will always be in its glowing powered-up state while usable.”

    The latter, meanwhile, tracks every step you make across Hyrule, allowing players to get a better understanding of where they have explored and haven’t.

    Other additions coming as part of the Master Trials include the Travel Medallion, which lets you create a single temporary gate to “travel gate anywhere that you can stand on the map.” New Armour inspired by Majora’s Mask, Midna’s Helmet, Phantom Armor, and Tingle’s outfit will also be included.

    Finally, and perhaps most excitingly, is the Korok Mask, which will help players find the 900 Koroks hiding around Hyrule. When close to a Korok, the mask will shake to let you know it’s nearby.

    The Master Trials comes out June 30 and is the first of two DLCs announced (the other will be called The Champion’s Ballad, but doesn’t have a release date yet). For all the details on the upcoming expansion, check out the links below:

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    Final Fantasy 14 Director Apologizes For Server Issues Ahead Of Stormblood Launch

    The recent launch of early access for Final Fantasy XIV‘s newest expansion, Stormblood, has seemingly brought a huge influx of players to the game. This has resulted in extremely long queues to log in and play, and Square Enix is continuing to encourage players to transfer away from high-population servers.

    FFXIV producer and director Naoki Yoshida has published a post on the game’s official website which attempts to explain and apologize for the issues. In short, Worlds (FFXIV’s parlance for servers or realms) are reaching their capacity and forcing players to endure log-in queues, which sometimes move very slowly. Despite some speculation that the queues themselves are bugged, they’re actually functioning correctly, only allowing more players online once someone else logs off.

    “When the number of characters logged into a World has reached its limit, a player can only log in when another player has logged out, in order to avoid Worlds crashing,” Yoshida explained. “As a result, it may seem that the queue to log in does not move very quickly. We apologize for the inconvenience, but as the queue to log in is functioning steadily, you will be able to login more quickly if you continue to wait instead of cancelling your queue.”

    Final Fantasy 14 Director Apologizes For Server Issues Ahead Of Stormblood Launch
    Final Fantasy 14 Director Apologizes For Server Issues Ahead Of Stormblood LaunchFinal Fantasy 14 Director Apologizes For Server Issues Ahead Of Stormblood LaunchFinal Fantasy 14 Director Apologizes For Server Issues Ahead Of Stormblood LaunchFinal Fantasy 14 Director Apologizes For Server Issues Ahead Of Stormblood LaunchFinal Fantasy 14 Director Apologizes For Server Issues Ahead Of Stormblood LaunchFinal Fantasy 14 Director Apologizes For Server Issues Ahead Of Stormblood LaunchFinal Fantasy 14 Director Apologizes For Server Issues Ahead Of Stormblood LaunchFinal Fantasy 14 Director Apologizes For Server Issues Ahead Of Stormblood LaunchFinal Fantasy 14 Director Apologizes For Server Issues Ahead Of Stormblood LaunchFinal Fantasy 14 Director Apologizes For Server Issues Ahead Of Stormblood LaunchFinal Fantasy 14 Director Apologizes For Server Issues Ahead Of Stormblood LaunchFinal Fantasy 14 Director Apologizes For Server Issues Ahead Of Stormblood LaunchFinal Fantasy 14 Director Apologizes For Server Issues Ahead Of Stormblood LaunchFinal Fantasy 14 Director Apologizes For Server Issues Ahead Of Stormblood LaunchFinal Fantasy 14 Director Apologizes For Server Issues Ahead Of Stormblood LaunchFinal Fantasy 14 Director Apologizes For Server Issues Ahead Of Stormblood LaunchFinal Fantasy 14 Director Apologizes For Server Issues Ahead Of Stormblood LaunchFinal Fantasy 14 Director Apologizes For Server Issues Ahead Of Stormblood LaunchFinal Fantasy 14 Director Apologizes For Server Issues Ahead Of Stormblood LaunchFinal Fantasy 14 Director Apologizes For Server Issues Ahead Of Stormblood Launch

    Yoshida noted that, during peak times, these queues can range from 1,000 to 5,000 players. Square Enix is exploring ways to resolve the situation but is encouraging players to consider transferring to a different World.

    “We are continuing to assess and work on ways we can increase the number of players that are able to log in without the World crashing,” he said. “However, as this requires extremely precise adjustments, we currently need a bit more time. “I am terribly sorry, but since we also have New World and World Population Balancing Incentives at the moment, we would also appreciate if you could please consider using the World Transfer service.”

    These transfers are offered for free on certain Worlds, with bonuses being offered for both transferring and creating new characters on lower population Worlds. These are detailed in full here.

    Square Enix has been updating players on its progress addressing issues over the past few days. An early-access period for Stormblood began on June 16 for anyone who pre-ordered the game, but the floodgates open completely tomorrow, June 20, with the official launch of the expansion. A big patch for the game was recently released, and we got the chance to talk with the company about reinventing the MMO for beginners.

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    Final Fantasy XV Episode Prompto Release Date Revealed

    Episode Prompto, the next DLC chapter for Final Fantasy XV, will be available for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One from June 27, Square Enix has announced. In the new story-focused chapter Prompto, one of the main game’s primary protagonists, becomes “separated from the group and [finds himself] alone in an arctic environment.”

    Players will “experience an untold story as Prompto fights to discover the truth behind his origins and to take control of his own fate,” according to Square Enix.

    A trailer for Episode Prompto shows that gameplay is focused on third-person shooting, which makes sense given Prompto’s expertise with firearms. Across the episode players will have access to handguns, rifles, and rocket launchers. The trailer also reveals there will be a bike-riding segment and cameos from a few characters that are also featured in the main game.

    Final Fantasy XV launched in November 2016 for PS4 and Xbox One in November, going on to ship more than 6 million copies. Square Enix previously released the Episode Gladio DLC and also plans to release a chapter focused on Ignis.

    Another expansion, called Comrades, is expected to add four-player co-op featuring all four main characters, but Square Enix has not set a release date for this add-on.

    At E3 2017, a VR fishing game set in the Final Fantasy XV universe was revealed. It is called “Monsters of the Deep,” and is set to launch September 2017 for PlayStation VR. For more PlayStation news from E3, check out our roundup of Sony’s E3 press conference news. Other announcements included a new Monster Hunter game and Skyrim VR for PS4.

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    Top 10 Best-Selling Games In The US During May 2017

    Today, the NPD Group released monthly sales figures for video games in the US along with vital information on the state of the industry. For the month of May, the Warner Bros. Interactive fighter based on DC Comics all-stars Injustice 2 took the top spot. The previous month’s top seller, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, took second place while the four-year-old Grand Theft Auto V took third.

    Zelda: Breath of the Wild hit fourth place despite the limited availability of Switch consoles and relatively small Wii U player base. Prey reached the top five in its release month, but digital sales weren’t factored into its placement (Zelda and Mario Kart as well).

    Top 10 Best-Selling Games In The US During May 2017
    Injustice 2, the best-selling game of May 2017.

    Compared to May of last year, game sales are down 20% to $271 million, which is largely due to high profile 2016 releases like Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End, Overwatch, and Doom. However, overall year-to-date sales remain flat at $1.9 billion. Portable game sales shot up 10% compared to May 2016, which can be attributed to the launch of Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadow of Valentia.

    Take note that NPD’s data is incomplete since digital sales are left out in many cases; figures for Prey, Overwatch, and games on Nintendo platforms are all affected.

    As for the top selling games so far in 2017, Grand Theft Auto V overtook both Mass Effect: Andromeda and Resident Evil 7 to reach fifth. Injustice 2 also slid into the ninth spot with MLB 17: The Show dropping out of the top 10. And in the 12-month rolling period to May 2017, GTA V went up one spot by switching places with Overwatch.

    NPD’s video game industry analyst Mat Piscatella stated, “Total video game spending in May 2017, which includes hardware, software and accessories, fell 11% versus year ago to $542 million. Spending growth in hardware and accessories was offset by a decline in software spending driven by a lighter new release slate when compared to May 2016.”

    For more information on the state of gaming hardware, check out our story on NPD’s data for US hardware sales in May 2017.

    May 2017 Top 10 Games (All Platforms)

    *Titles marked with an asterisk do not include digital sales*

    1. Injustice 2
    2. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe*
    3. Grand Theft Auto V
    4. Zelda: Breath of the Wild*
    5. Prey*
    6. Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Wildlands
    7. Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadow of Valentia*
    8. NBA 2K17
    9. MLB 17: The Show
    10. Overwatch*

    May 2017 Top 10 PS4 Games

    1. Injustice 2
    2. MLB 17: The Show
    3. Prey*
    4. Grand Theft Auto V
    5. Horizon: Zero Dawn
    6. Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Wildlands
    7. Farpoint (PSVR)
    8. NBA 2K17
    9. Overwatch*
    10. Nier: Automata

    May 2017 Top 10 Xbox One Games

    1. Injustice 2
    2. Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Wildlands
    3. Prey*
    4. Grand Theft Auto V
    5. Overwatch*
    6. Forza Horizon 3
    7. NBA 2K17
    8. Mass Effect: Andromeda
    9. Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare
    10. Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six: Siege

    May 2017 Top 10 Switch Games

    1. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe*
    2. Zelda: Breath of the Wild*
    3. Ultra Street Fighter II: The Final Challengers*
    4. Disgaea 5 Complete*
    5. 1-2 Switch*
    6. Lego City Undercover*
    7. Puyo Puyo Tetris*
    8. Super Bomberman R*
    9. Just Dance 2017*
    10. The Binding of Isaac: Afterbirth+*

    May 2017 Top 10 Portable Games

    1. Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadow of Valentia
    2. Pokemon: Sun
    3. Pokemon: Moon
    4. Super Mario Maker
    5. Mario Kart 7
    6. Mario Sports Superstars
    7. Super Smash Bros.
    8. Poochy and Yoshi’s Wooly World
    9. Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D
    10. Super Mario 3D Land

    Top 10 Selling Games of 2017

    1. Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Wildlands
    2. For Honor
    3. Zelda: Breath of the Wild*
    4. Horizon: Zero Dawn
    5. Grand Theft Auto V
    6. Mass Effect: Andromeda
    7. Resident Evil 7: Biohazard
    8. NBA 2K17
    9. Injustice 2
    10. Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare

    Top 10 Selling Games for the 12-Month Period

    1. Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare
    2. Battlefield 1
    3. NBA 2K17
    4. Madden NFL 17
    5. Grand Theft Auto V
    6. Overwatch*
    7. FIFA 17
    8. Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Wildlands
    9. Final Fantasy XV
    10. For Honor
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    There Was Some Pretty Good Cosplay At E3 2017

    The annual E3 gaming convention is now over, but we’re still digging through our video footage for content we might have missed. One interesting find was the cosplay video featured above.

    Long-time readers may remember when E3 prominently featured costumed booth attendants, sometimes with very little connection to the company’s products (and even less clothing). But after 2006, when “booth babes” were banned from the convention, costumes overall also fell away. However, with the show now open to the public, a lot more people were willing to dress-up and show off their costume-making skills.

    There Was Some Pretty Good Cosplay At E3 2017
    There Was Some Pretty Good Cosplay At E3 2017There Was Some Pretty Good Cosplay At E3 2017There Was Some Pretty Good Cosplay At E3 2017There Was Some Pretty Good Cosplay At E3 2017There Was Some Pretty Good Cosplay At E3 2017There Was Some Pretty Good Cosplay At E3 2017There Was Some Pretty Good Cosplay At E3 2017There Was Some Pretty Good Cosplay At E3 2017There Was Some Pretty Good Cosplay At E3 2017There Was Some Pretty Good Cosplay At E3 2017There Was Some Pretty Good Cosplay At E3 2017There Was Some Pretty Good Cosplay At E3 2017There Was Some Pretty Good Cosplay At E3 2017There Was Some Pretty Good Cosplay At E3 2017There Was Some Pretty Good Cosplay At E3 2017There Was Some Pretty Good Cosplay At E3 2017There Was Some Pretty Good Cosplay At E3 2017There Was Some Pretty Good Cosplay At E3 2017There Was Some Pretty Good Cosplay At E3 2017There Was Some Pretty Good Cosplay At E3 2017

    While there’s nowhere near the number of costumed attendees that you’ll find at a convention like Comic-Con or Blizzcon, the creations at E3 were nonetheless a lot of fun. You can see a sampling of some of the professional and personal cosplay in the gallery below. If the trend continues, you can be sure that there’ll be even more next year.

    And if you want to catch-up on even more E3 content, you should check out all the games from the show coming in 2017, the 17 most-read stories overall, and a roundup of all the news from all the press conferences.

    Justin Haywald on Google+

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    GTA 5 Players Are Angry About Mod Tool's Shutdown, And They're Taking It Out On Steam Reviews

    The recent shutdown of Grand Theft Auto V tool OpenIV–which is used to power numerous PC mods–has not gone over well with players. Although Rockstar parent company Take-Two says it wasn’t targeting single-player mods, players have lashed out via negative reviews on Steam, where the game’s recent review average is now labeled as “overwhelmingly negative.”

    Of the 42,000 user reviews written in the past 30 days, only 13% have been positive–a staggeringly low number for what is a pretty widely acclaimed game. This has also brought the Overall rating (which encompasses all reviews dating back to launch) down to “mixed,” with 67% of reviews being positive.

    Looking at specific reviews, there have been a surge of those calling out Rockstar for its shutdown of OpenIV. Thousands of users have marked these reviews as helpful, ensuring they are the first to surface on the game’s store page. The top review has seen more than 22,000 people (about 97%) mark it as helpful. It simply states, “On behalf of the OpenIV team, **** you,” with hearts in place of the asterisks.

    GTA 5 Players Are Angry About Mod Tool's Shutdown, And They're Taking It Out On Steam Reviews
    The Iron Man Mark V mod is among the many to use OpenIV

    Since it was first published, the top review has been edited to add a link to a petition on Change.org, which calls for Rockstar to allow OpenIV to continue. It claims, “All modding used by OpenIV is for single-player use only to make the game more enjoyable, the software OpenIV was never used to mod multiplayer or Grand Theft Auto Online so it does not harm anyone.”

    Rockstar disputes that. After word first surfaced that the OpenIV had received a cease-and-desist letter, the company released a statement saying it is only concerned with the tool’s impact on GTA Online.

    “Take-Two’s actions were not specifically targeting single-player mods,” it said last week. “Unfortunately OpenIV enables recent malicious mods that allow harassment of players and interfere with the GTA Online experience for everybody. We are working to figure out how we can continue to support the creative community without negatively impacting our players.”

    It’s unclear what effect, if any, the petition will have. It’s garnered just over 55,000 signatures as of this writing, with a stated goal of 75,000. It’s a sizable group of people, but also a fairly small number given GTA V has shipped more than 80 million units. Single-player mods, while popular, are a fairly small scene, and it seems likely that Take-Two will deem the integrity of GTA Online–which still represents a significant contributor to the company’s earnings–more important. We’ll report back as the situation develops.

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    Free Friday The 13th Game DLC Coming Soon As Apology For Server Issues

    Friday the 13th: The Game encountered no shortage of server issues following its launch last month, the effects of which are still being felt to some extent. To make up for this, publisher Gun Media has announced it will make the game’s first content update available for free.

    As the trailer above notes, Gun wants to “make up for [the issues] and thank you for your patience” by giving away “cool free s***.” The main component of this DLC is a retro version of Jason that comes with new chiptune music created by Mitch Murder. You can get a glimpse of him (and hear some of the music) toward the end of the video.

    Also in the DLC is new clothing for every counselor, as well as 13,000 free customization points for all players. Everyone will also be able to partake in a double XP scheduled for this weekend, running from June 23-25. The DLC itself launches tomorrow, June 20.

    “Overall, Gun Media is very thankful to our fans, supporters, and those interested in the game,” it said in a press release. “We were completely overwhelmed by the amount of users that tried to play at launch, enough to break our servers and force us to upgrade. That process has evened out since then, however we are still working to smooth out the experience even more across all three platforms.”

    In our Friday the 13th review, Peter Brown wrote, “As of now, a week after launch, it’s short on content and performs poorly all around, especially on consoles. The story goes that the developers weren’t prepared for amount of people who wanted to jump on day one, but that does little to assuage players who were convinced that they were paying for a finished product. Despite showing potential that may one day be realized, Friday the 13th comes across as an unfinished game that shouldn’t have been released in its current state.”

    If you’ve been playing the game, be sure to check out our gallery of the Friday the 13th Easter eggs you might have missed.

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    Here's How Diablo 3's New Challenge Rifts Work

    Among the features on the way to Diablo III in the upcoming patch 2.6.0 are Challenge Rifts. Blizzard has provided new details explaining exactly how they work, and they sound like a good change in pace from the usual style of play.

    Challenge Rifts do away with the normal randomization of Diablo in favor of a set experience. A Challenge Rift challenges you to beat another player’s Greater Rift run time. The game takes a snapshot of a Greater Rift run–complete with that Rift’s layout and the character’s gear and skills–and then tasks other players with finishing it more quickly than the original player.

    A new Challenge Rift will be released every Monday, and a selection of crafting materials and Blood Shards are available to anyone who can beat the target time. This reward is available only once per week, but you’re free to replay the Rift as much as you want, as you’ll be able to compete with friends on weekly leaderboards.

    As shown in the video above, choosing to take part in a Challenge Rift won’t immediately launch you into one. You can first reassign the keys that your skills are assigned to (but not change which skills you have access to) and test the setup out on two groups of enemies: one comprised of a single tough enemy, and one consisting of a bunch of weak enemies.

    In addition to patch 2.6.0, the Necromancer Pack is also on the way to Diablo III. This is positioned as a “content pack” rather than an “expansion pack” along the line of Reaper of Souls. Its primary addition is the Necromancer class, which returns from Diablo II. Blizzard recently revealed the Necromancer-specific Legendary effects and Set items that are on the way. You can see the sets in this video or read the details about all of this on Blizzard’s website.

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    SNES-Style Controller For Nintendo Switch Coming This Year

    Nintendo Switch players looking for a more retro experience will be happy to know 8Bitdo is making a replica SNES controller built with the system in mind. The SNES30 Pro features Bluetooth, USB-C, rumble vibration, motion controls, and player indicator LEDs–of course, it looks just like a traditional SNES controller. Check it out below.

    SNES-Style Controller For Nintendo Switch Coming This Year
    SNES-Style Controller For Nintendo Switch Coming This YearSNES-Style Controller For Nintendo Switch Coming This YearSNES-Style Controller For Nintendo Switch Coming This YearSNES-Style Controller For Nintendo Switch Coming This YearSNES-Style Controller For Nintendo Switch Coming This YearSNES-Style Controller For Nintendo Switch Coming This Year

    On the right, you’ll also see the Super Famicom-style model, if you’d like to capture the classic Japanese design instead. Both are replacements for the Switch Pro Controller, but they will work on PCs and mobile devices as well. They’re slated to be released this holiday season.

    There are two other new ways to play Switch (and PC) coming from 8Bitdo too. You can get even more old school with the NES30 Arcade Stick (below).

    SNES-Style Controller For Nintendo Switch Coming This Year

    The company is also releasing the set of speakers below called the Twin Cube Stereo Speakers, to boost the audio experience. They’re wireless, but have an AUX input. Both the speakers and the NES Arcade Stick are due out sooner than the SNES-style controllers, coming this fall.

    SNES-Style Controller For Nintendo Switch Coming This Year

    Last month, 8Bitdo updated the firmware on its full library of controllers to make them compatible with Nintendo Switch. Not all the controllers will work perfectly with every Switch game, but the company says the new SNES controllers by the end of the year will be perfect fits for Switch’s full library of games.

    8Bitdo revealed its new controllers at E3, and you can click here to see our full coverage of all the gaming hardware that was released during the expo on day 1 and on day 2.

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