Gaming Bits: Music, new trailers, VR and more

Gaming Bits: Music, new trailers, VR and more

While I struggle to put words to how much the "Uncharted" series means to me, I thought I’d better put together a few of the more interesting bits and bobbles that have made their way to my inbox lately.

I'll try to do something like this at least once a week, if not more often. But I also don't want to become a screenshot factory or shill.

A free, local version of Video Games Live

The Urbana Pops will present a free concert of music from video games at 7 p.m. Saturday, June 11, at the Urbana High School auditorium, 1002 S. Race St., Urbana.

The concert, featuring music from “Halo,” “World of Warcraft,” “Lego Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” “Kingdom Hearts,” and “Advent Rising” will also be the premier performance of the winning pieces from the 2016 Composition Contest, scored to game clips provided by local game developer DS Volition Inc.

It sounds like a great time, and I wish I could go. But I’ll be in Chicago at a 40th birthday party, then heading out to Los Angeles for E3.

Give it a try

A free PS4 demo of “Odin Sphere Leifthrasir” was released Tuesday on the PS Store. Developer Atlus promises it runs at 1080p and 60 frames per second.

They also say combat has been completely revamped from the original PlayStation 2 version, so even if you’ve played before — and I have — it’ll be a very different experience now.

Five characters — Gwendolyn, Cornelius, Mercedes, Oswald and Velvet — are playable in the demo.

A PS Vita demo has been delayed until May 31.

A trailer for Setsuna

“In a land of sorrow and bitter cold a tale of sacrifice will be told.”

The first game-play trailer for “I am Setsuna,” a visually-arresting isometric Japanese RPG, was released Tuesday. Click the link if my embedding fails to work again.

It’s Tokyo RPG Factory’s debut title, with a “Chrono Trigger”-inspired combat system. It’ll be released on PS4 and Steam on July 19, priced at $39.99. If you pre-order on Steam, you’ll get a free music track from composer Tomoki Miyoshi for download.

Also on July 19

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“10 Second Ninja X,” the follow-up the X-less original action-platformer, will launch on PS4, PSV, Xbox One and Steam on July 19.

The premise, according to the press release: destroy everything in 10 seconds in order to continue. Basically, it’s a whole bunch of running, jumping and shooting really fast in small arenas.

Beyond the Millennium Falcon

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Phil Tippett, the animation pioneer who designed the holo-chess game in the original “Star Wars,” plus worked on visual effects for a whole lot of other blockbusters, is working on a hybrid turn-based tactical strategy game set on a AR tabletop board: “HoloGrid: Monster Battle.”

It’s on Kickstarter, if you care.

It’s being developed for iOS and Android, and is meant for two players.

To infinity ...

A French game studio, Novaquark, is making a run at creating a “boundless” MMORPG called “Dual Universe.”

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Basically, you play in a big sandbox (on PC) where everything is “set within a continuous single-shard universe where players can freely edit the world and build any construction they like with no size restrictions, from space ships to cities to giant space stations. Played in first person view, Dual Universe takes place in a vast realistic universe made of millions of planets, and focuses on emergent collective game-play based around exploration, mining, crafting, trade, politics and warfare.”

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In other words, everybody shares this universe. No separate servers. No instanced dungeons. No limits to where you can travel, beyond the practical. What you do will likely directly affect other people, and what they do will likely directly affect you.

It’s a concept I’ve seen a lot of lately in VR-themed fiction on sites such as Royal Road. Much harder to pull off in a real game.

Combo breaker!

Are you hardcore into “Tekken” and the like?

Chicago’s first round of the “Tekken 7: The King of the Iron Fist Tournament 2016” is this weekend, May 27-29, at the Combo Breaker event. The second shot will be Aug. 18-21 at Wizard World.

Each tournament event features a $3,000 prize pool, and $20,000 going to the ultimate winner.

For the full scoop, go to

Out of my price range

Meet the Roto VR, a motorized chair that works with all VR headsets. It launches this July, and early adopters can get it for $499, a discount of $100.

Roto VR teaser from Elliott Myers on Vimeo.

Basically, it automatically turns with you, has rumble, and has foot pedals you use to simulate walking.


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