It's a big week for news this week, with freebies, video game concerts, and release dates galore. Let's get to it!
Free Pokemon (and Pokemon cards!) at GAME
We all love a freebie - especially if it's Pokemon related - so this new announcement has already made our Easter. As of today, if you pop down to your nearest GAME store, you'll be able to pick up two free Pokemon cards, and get a code to download two free Pokemon to your Pokemon X and Y games. The two free Pokemon in question are two Pokemon originals, the fire-duck thing Magmar, and the electric-type Electabuzz, who looks a bit like Pikachu after he's eaten a thousand hamburgers.
To get your freebies, all you need to do is head to the till and ask for your free Pokemon, where the staff will print a code on a receipt for you to enter in the game. You'll also get your two free Pokemon cards (while stocks last), which includes a foil Pikachu, plus a random bonus card. The cards are while stocks last, and the offer is valid for a "limited time only", but somewhat oddly, there's no word of when the promotion will end. Either way, it's well worth a trip to GAME!
HomeTown Story launches in May
In good news for those who've been down in the dumps since fantasy farming game, Rune Factory 4 had its UK release cancelled, Rising Star Games have announced that their socialising game, HomeTown Story will be released on 2nd May. Putting you in charge of running a local village shop, as you chat to the villagers, keep your shelves stocked, and take part something of a fantasy adventure, this is a game that has us excited - especially as it has a pedigree like no other. With a superstar team of developers at the helm, with the soundtrack by Final Fantasy composer Nobuo Uematsu, character design by Atsuko Nishida, who worked on Pokemon, and the game's concept itself thought up by Yasuhiro Wada, the creator of Harvest Moon, it's hard to see how this one can go wrong.
With the European release promised to be an "ultimate edition" of sorts, with dozens of tweaks, redesigns, and even whole new features (there's a brand new fishing mode that the US version didn't have, for starters), keep your eyes peeled for more on this soon.
Video Games Live returns to the UK
A subject close to our hearts now, as it's been announced that Video Games Live, the incredible touring concert that plays an entire evening of orchestrated music from video games, will be returning to the UK later this year. With two shows booked - one at the Manchester O2 Apollo on 1st November, and another on the 2nd at the London Apollo, this marks the first time in six years the show has been in the UK - which makes us feel rather old, as we went to the last London show, and it feels like only yesterday.
Playing music from a huge variety of games, from the hits of yesteryear like Sonic, Tetris and even Pong, all the way through to Final Fantasy, Monkey Island, Skyrim, Zelda, Pokemon, Mario, and much, much more, with video screens, special effects, and even sometimes actors playing out roles on the stage, this is a spectacle like no other. If you've ever found yourself humming a tune after coming off a game, you owe it to yourself to head along and see this. Tickets are on sale now via gigsandtours. Come to the Manchester one, and you might see us!
PSN getting an upgrade?
Will the PS4's online features soon be becoming a bit more like Xbox Live? That's according to a new survey, that hints a variety of new online features may soon be making their way to both the PS4 and PS Vita. Amongst some of the options the gaming public were quizzed on was the ability to have "cross platform chat" between a player on the PS4 and one on the PS Vita, an Xbox Live style player reputation system, and, perhaps most excitingly for us, the ability to change your Playstation Network username - something which has been long overdue. Here's hoping they won't charge us for the privilege like Microsoft do...
LEGO Hobbit to get third film add-on?
While our anticipation is already running at fever pitch for the next in the baddie bashing, brick building, co-op chaos LEGO series (out next Friday), a news story out today, via brickfanatics, seems to suggest that LEGO The Hobbit may be the first LEGO game to receive a substantial downloadable expansion. While other games have offered a few characters, or additional spells as paid-for downloads, the report suggests that LEGO The Hobbit may have levels based around the third film in trilogy added at a later date, possibly to coincide with the film's release nearer to Christmas. While it wouldn't be impossible for this to happen, it'd mark a pretty major change in direction, as the game's publishers Warner Brothers have always been wary of online features in the past, if only because of a lack of awareness of downloadable add-ons among the game's target audience. Time will tell how this one plays out.