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EGM Weekly: February 22, 2014 Edition

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Posted on February 22, 2014 AT 06:00am

This is EGM Weekly, a round up of the top news, reviews, and features from the past seven days.

This week, separate reports suggest that Sony will unveil a PS4 virtual reality headset next month and Amazon will release a set-top box, Popcap confirms that Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare will launch without microtransactions, Ken Levine announces the closure of Irrational Games, Harmonix reveals a music-based first-person shooter called Chroma, and much more.

Plus, the EGM Crew reviews Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze, the new Strider, and The Lego Movie Videogame, plus flex imaginative with videogame spin-off ideas in this week’s The Fast Five and finally manage to record the Game Over Podcast after a week’s absence.

Here’s this week’s best:

News Stories

Ken Levine ‘winding down’ Irrational Games, starting a new and smaller studio

Ken Levine is “winding down” Irrational Games in order to start a new, smaller studio at Take-Two, the creator of BioShock announced in a post on the company’s official website. READ MORE

Report: Sony to reveal a virtual reality headset for PS4 during GDC 2014

Sony may be unveiling their long-rumored virtual reality headset at the Game Developer’s Conference in San Francisco next month, Techradar reports. READ MORE

Report: Amazon may release a set-top box that might include gaming apps in March

Amazon may be releasing a set-top box box next month, according to a report from Recode. READ MORE

Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare will not have microtransactions at launch

Popcap’s upcoming team-based third-person shooter Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare will not contain any microtransactions at launch, the developer has confirmed.READ MORE

Diddy Kong is the latest addition to the Super Smash Bros. roster

Smash Bros. series boss Masahiro Sakurai has confirmed that Diddy Kong will be joining Super Smash Bros.‘ roster. READ MORE

Gears of War on Xbox One must ‘reignite franchise and grow it,’ says Phil Spencer

Because Black Tusk’s Gears of War game for Xbox One must “reignite franchise and grow it,” the studio won’t be quickly producing a Gears title, Microsoft Studios head Phil Spencer said on Twitter. READ MORE

Cliff Bleszinski will ‘never make another disc-based game,’ next game will be on PC

Cliff Bleszinski’s future in game development remains shrouded in mystery, but one thing the he is certain of, it’s that his next project will for PC and that disc-based games no longer appeal to him, the designer told Gamasutra in a recent interview. READ MORE

Harmonix announces Chroma, a music and rhythm–based first-person shooter

Harmonix is merging first-person shooters with music & rhythm gameplay withChroma, an upcoming free-to-play arena shooter being developed by the studio behind Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. READ MORE

Titanfall’s burn cards explained, additional maps and modes uncovered, beta extended

Users mining Titanfall’s beta data on PC have uncovered 13 additional maps beyond the two featured in the beta, as well a listing of game mode acronyms and other information. READ MORE

Transformers: Rise of the Dark Spark officially announced, coming this year

Activision and Hasbro have officially announced Transformers: Rise of the Dark Spark, following a retail leak late last week. READ MORE

Features

The Fast Five: Unexpected spin-offs we’d like to see

Each week, the EGM Staff bring you The Fast Five—in which we choose a topic related in some way to the week’s news, and five editors pick their top answer to the question. READ MORE

Japan Service: What’s New This Week in Japanese Gaming

This week on Japan Service: It’s the all-videos week, as we take a look at the English-language release of Steins;Gate, a sneak peek at the upcoming Persona 3 The Movie #2, and the fun you can have with traps in Deception IV. READ MORE

Weekend Play: Cyber Ninja Showdown

Welcome to EGM’s Weekend Play, a weekly account of what games the editors of EGM are currently playing, and an open conversation with you, the reader, about what you’ve been playing. READ MORE

Reviews

Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze

Easily one of the best Wii U platformers currently available, Tropical Freeze is proof positive that Retro still has the magic touch. READ MORE

Strider

Capcom’s stylish cyber-ninja Strider Hiryu returns for his first starring role in 15 years, and the result is a cut above the rest. READ MORE

The LEGO Movie Videogame

It’s another great LEGO game, but you should probably watch the movie first to avoid spoilers. READ MORE

Podcasts

EGM Game Over Podcast 065: Punchin’ Clowns with Harry Ford

The EGM crew brings you the Game Over Podcast, our end-of-the-week conversation where we discuss some of the biggest recent events in gaming. LISTEN HERE
Chris Holzworth, News Editor
Chris Holzworth has wanted to write about games all his life. He first cut his teeth writing for enthusiast sites such as RPGFan, and after writing for just about every other enthusiast website he could came across, wound up as EGM's east coast news correspondent (read: editorial intern, a fancy phrase for "slave") before relocating to LA to serve as news editor. [Meet the rest of the crew]

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