Valve is perhaps the most beloved publisher / developer in the world right now, and for good reason. The constant influx of quality games, fabulous customer relations and a business model that does not feel like giving a blowjob to 500 pound rednecks named Buck in the back of a convenience store for games are all very positive things. However, Valve has set themselves up for the biggest backfire in the history of gaming, and it's called Half-Life 3.

Just today we have seen a new stream of rumors concerning the imminent announcement of Half-Life 3 (source), and I wholeheartedly expected my fleshy insides to tingle with excitement. Instead, all I felt was last night's leftover lunch becoming much less solid and much more brown. The truth of the matter is simple - Valve is pushing it. There's only so much teasing that the gaming community is willing to absorb, and giving the rapid (SEVERE UNDERSTATEMENT) decline in overall customer satisfaction with the industry, even the goodwill that Valve has amassed among its fans is starting to wear thin in this particular regard. However, that is not the crux of the issue, a "it's ready when it's ready" mentality is not necessarily a bad thing, and it won't matter once we have a release date and eventually sit down to play the game.

Vigil's acclaimed Darksiders II is slated to be unavailable for digital download in Europe come the end of March. The Nintendo Channel states that the title will no longer be available on the European Wii U eShop from March 31.

For those who have already purchased the title, the feature to re-download the game will remain available, but no new purchases will be possible. The reason behind this sudden development remains unknown and open for speculation at the current time.

Vigil games is now defunct, and the Darksiders franchise is currently in limbo following the closure of THQ. The series is still pending any prospective buyers, so perhaps this absence from the eShop will smooth over once the franchises sees some ownership stability.

Miiverse has been one of the Wii U's bright spots, but it certainly has room to grow. Thus, Nintendo is growing it as much as they can very soon in an update. Here's a brief summary, courtesy NeoGAF:

  • Players will be able to send and receive comments in-game.
  • Players will be able to see 'Yeahs' in-game.
  • They can follow users, and see who users are following in-game.
  • Users will be able to launch games from Miiverse Posts
  • Launch buttons on Miiverse posts can contain program arguments, so it will be possible to boot directly to a certain level or menu in a game
  • Can work with online datastore for additional functionality
  • Mizuki posited the potential application of level editing and sharing via Miiverse; 
  • envisions a game where users bring the game to life (sounds very LBP)
  • User Sub-Communities (like Mario Kart 7's) are coming to Miiverse
  • Can be used to organise and hold tournaments
  • First game to use them is Wii Fit U
  • Nintendo is canvassing developers for anything else they'd like to see in the API
  • Hell to the yeah. Thoughts?

    New details from Atlus on Shin Megami Tensei IV have emerged, some being expected and some being new to the franchise. Players will once again be able to befriend demons like before and they will become stronger through battles, sometimes evolving once they reach a certain level such as Pixie evolving into a High Pixie. This process of evolution is called 'High Level Up.'

    Demons can learn new skills by leveling up and demons will be able to teach the player new skills with the 'Whisper Event' feature. The event will occur over time as you level up your demons and it's best to use this for more attacks to attack more enemy weaknesses for extra turns.

    Shin Megami Tensei IV is set to hit Japan on the Nintendo 3DS on May 23rd and it will feature over 400 demons to befriend and use in battle.

    No surprise to those who completed Virtue's Last Reward only to receive a shocker of an ending, Zero Escape 3 will take place between 9 Hours 9 Persons 9 Doors and VLR. 

    Zero Escape director, Kotaro Uchikoshi, made this piece of knowledge known with Siliconera during one of their interviews. Uchikoshi has also written Ever 17: Out of Infinity, one of the best Visual Novels you can possible play, even by today's standards.

    If you've yet to play any of the Zero Escape games, now would be the best time to do so. The story is amazing and is bound to take many by surprise, we even gave VLR a 5/5 because it was so good that we couldn't help but complete every ending, almost 30 in total. 

    Suda 51 and Grasshopper have teased one of their future titles, coming out sometime after Killer is Dead, with a piece of art showing off a very familiar character.

    As any No More Heroes fan will tell you, the character bears a striking resemblance to Shinobu from the same franchise. The way the lips and hair are drawn are too similar to be more than a coincidence, not to mention that like the girl in the artwork, Shinobu uses a Katana for battle. 

    While the flower isn't too similar to the one Shinobu wears it's speculated to be another hint towards the character being Shinobu. Suda51 was waiting for the next Nintendo console to work with for No More Heroes 3 and confirmed Travis's story was done with NMH2 so it makes sense that Shinobu would stae as the main character for NMH3. We'll just have to wait and see. 

    The Phantom Pain and Ground Zeroes seemed like they were one and the same after the MGSV reveal trailer, showing off footage from both TPP and GZ, but that's not true as Konami's Director of Public Relations, Jay Boor, has informed Siliconera that they are still separate titles. Hideo Kojima would take to Twitter and state that Ground Zeroes will serve as the prologue to Metal Gear Solid V.

    The Phantom Pain was confirmed to be coming to the Xbox 360 and PS3, but Ground Zeroes is apparently up in the air. After getting back to Konami, Siliconera asked if the two games were part of the same package or disc to which they could not confirm.

    Believe it or not, yes. Nintendo is at GDC this week. While we haven't had any big announcements yet, we did get a nice nugget during a Miiverse presentation that, as seen above, very few people attended. Miiverse, which is the Wii U's social network, will be arriving on Smartphones and PC's in May.

    You will be able to post, draw pictures, check messages - essentially everything you can do in Miiverse normally except for possibly some things with the friend's list and/or profile settings. You would log in as you expect - with your Nintendo Network ID. Don't be too discouraged at the lack of attendees at the event folks - there are tons of meetings and presentations going on, so a Miiverse one likely doesn't top very many people's lists. 

    Especially when you have Metal Gear Solid V and other bigger announcements.

    We all know Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain is coming soon to our home consoles and as expected it's being handled by Kojima Productions. MGSV has almost everything a Metal Gear game should, except David Hayter

    David Hayter, the voice of Solid Snake and Big Boss for over a decade will not be returning as Big Boss in MGSV as stated by his twitter account in which he noted that he was not contacted by Kojima Productions and that he at least had a "good run." Hayter was asked if it was just a ruse being done by Kojima like usual to which he denied, but it could just be part of the ruse. 

    It does make some sense that Hayter would not return, seeing as big Boss was voiced by Richard Epcar in Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots. People are already speculating that Hayter may return given enough fan demand, but if not, there is hope that Hayter may return in some way such as a vision of the future, granted it seems unlikely.

    Ubisoft announced that they have released a patch for the Wii U exclusive ZombiU in order to fix the numerous glitches and bugs inside the game, especially one notable game-breaking glitch which stopped players from progressing beyond the nursery section due a door being unable to open because players followed a specific path of actions in the game.

    A full list detailing all the fixes that come with the patch can be found within, so be sure to hop inside for more!

    Yesterday we shared a study that proclaimed the decline of multiplayer gaming; however, today we have a much more positive study to share. The US Federal Trade Commission have found that its easier for minors to purchase age-restricted DVDs, CDs and movie tickets than it is for them to purchase video games.

    Video games.  Unchanged from 2010, 13 percent of underage teenage shoppers were able to buy M-rated video games – the highest level of compliance among the industries.

    Come inside for a statement issued in response by ESRB President, Patricia Vance, as well as the link to the full study.

    When it comes to public relations, Nintendo has one of the best PR strategies going around today. From reimbursing dedicated fans who purchased the 3DS early through the ambassadors program, to making announcements directly to consumers through "Nintendo Direct," the company sure knows how to communicate effectively with its customers.

    The Miiverse announcement communities are just the next evolution in Nintendo's excellent PR strategy, which sees famous developers such as Eiji Aonuma communicating directly with fans. Today, Nintendo President Satoru Iwata made his first post on MiiVerse talking about the upcoming Wii U update. Quote inside.

    Game Developers Conference (GDC) 2013 is in full swing, and at their keynote earlier today Kojima Productions had a treat for Metal Gear Solid fans. Above is the announcement trailer for Metal Gear Solid V, which I will let speak for itself. Which consoles the title is coming to is yet to be announced, but expect more news soon.

    It's no secret by now that EA's support for the Wii U platform and the 3DS is practically non-existent going forward. That isn't to say they haven't released "any" games for the platforms, but it's well known they are keeping major franchises away from the systems previously and will continue to do so moving forward. Even games that were fully running and ready to go out to the production line, such as Crysis 3, were shelved due to Nintendo and EA essentially not getting along.

    Lets set aside, for a moment, that EA has been making some questionable decisions in terms of how they are running their business. Let's also not place entirely all the blame on EA themselves. We will get into this in a moment, but Nintendo is responsible heavily for rifts with EA. However, the better question is, could we finally reach a point in the future where Nintendo and EA's relationship is just like what it is with Ubisoft? It always possible, and I have some sure fire steps that need to be taken on both fronts to make this a reality.

    EA, just last year, stated rather plainly that Battlefield 3 was not going to be coming to the Wii U so they could concentrate on bringing Battlefield 4 to the console. Fast forward to 2013, and Battlefield 4 isn't coming to the Wii U after all. Why?

    “I think overall for me as creative director, number one is to deliver a really great game and experience. Sometimes, at least for us, it’s focus on what you do well and what you know well, and ensure that you deliver something good than trying a bit too much, stretching yourself too thin and risking it.”

    “I’d rather play it safe, deliver something really good and then look at the future and what could possibly be done than trying a bit too hard and [failing].” - Lars Gustavsson, Creative Director of DICE

    Thoughts inside.