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Black Ops 3 photo
Black Ops 3

Black Ops 3's Zombie mode goes all film noir

November: The Month of Ron Perlman
Oct 13
// Joe Parlock
For years and years, there’s been criticism levelled at Call of Duty for just doing the same thing over and over again. It’s a fair criticism, Black Ops 3 didn’t feel all too different to Black Ops 2 to me,...

Review: Minecraft: Story Mode: The Order of the Stone

Oct 13 // Darren Nakamura
Minecraft: Story Mode: The Order of the Stone (iOS, Mac, PC [reviewed], PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita, Wii U, Xbox 360, Xbox One)Developer: Telltale GamesPublisher: Telltale GamesReleased: October 13, 2015 (Mac, PC)MSRP: $4.99, $24.99 (Season Pass)Rig: AMD Phenom II X2 555 @ 3.2 GHz, with 4GB of RAM, ATI Radeon HD 5700, Windows 7 64-bit To its credit, Minecraft: Story Mode does a lot well. The use of Minecraft's engine and iconic visual style is a nice workaround to keep the Telltale Tool from showing its age. It's hard to complain about low-polygon models for a world comprised mostly of cubes. Despite having fewer moving parts to work with on the character models, the characters are as expressive as they need to be. By narrowing or widening eyes and tweaking eyebrows, the block people (and pig) can show a range of emotions in a cartoony sort of way. The voice work aids in bringing the low-fidelity characters to life as well. The cast is impressive, including the likes of Patton Oswalt, Billy West, and Paul Reubens, to name a few. Though the characters look similar in the beginning, each has a defined personality that comes through thanks to the actors. Much like a session with Minecraft proper, by the end of the episode my brain stopped seeing everything and everyone as a collection of hard-edged polyhedra and just accepted them as regular places and people. [embed]313376:60579:0[/embed] However, the all-star voice cast does highlight The Order of the Stone's biggest shortcoming. With such big names in comedy doing the dialogue, it's disappointing how little comedy there is in the script. There are a few gags that find their mark, but most are worth only a smile or a chuckle; none really stood out. On the other end of the spectrum, the drama doesn't really deliver either. The elements are there: life-or-death situations, uncertainty, mistrust. Still, none of the prototypical "big choices" felt like they carried much weight. Of the five choices shown at the end, the first is just a judgment call with an unknown and arbitrary outcome, two involve whether you want to be an asshole to a guy who doesn't deserve it, one won't have clear implications until a later episode, and the last is a decision on which of protagonist Jesse's two friends has a better plan for what's to come. The choices highlight an emphasis on the future. Put plainly, The Order of the Stone is heavy on exposition, setting up the backstory, characters, and events for the rest of the season. While necessary, it misses some opportunities to be memorable in its attempt to lay the foundation. Story Mode will probably be more of a hit among Minecraft fans than general Telltale fans. The Order of the Stone features a few Minecraft-specific gameplay bits and references. A couple times during the episode, players are presented with a problem, given some materials, and tasked with crafting a solution. Recipes are given for those who don't know what to make or how to make it, but other craftable objects are present as well. While trying to make a stone sword, I accidentally crafted a lever. After a playful rib about me not knowing what I was doing, the materials were returned so I could forge the weapon. Later on, the group has to hit a pressure plate beyond a hallway filled with arrow traps. Recipes and materials are given for a couple possible tools to use. It would be great if there were other hidden solutions to discover for those who know the source material inside and out. In addition to the crafting puzzles, there is one classic adventure game puzzle found toward the end of the episode. It isn't especially original or taxing, but along with the crafting it does represent a step in a more gameplay-oriented direction from the recent story-only Telltale series. So far, Minecraft: Story Mode is like a Saturday morning cartoon. Sure, there is conflict, but it doesn't feel dire. Sure, there are funny bits, but the comedy isn't sharp or intelligent. Sure, there is a story, but it doesn't feel like it matters yet. There is some hope for this series to be great in the future, but The Order of the Stone is just okay. The Minecraft-specific gameplay is a nice way to shake up the usual formula. The blank slate of the universe allows the tale to go wherever it wants. The voice cast is full of actors who can do great work. But the writing needs to be more engaging if Story Mode wants to be taken seriously among Telltale canon.
Minecraft review photo
Exposition mode
Telltale has seen ups and downs with its licensed titles. With Jurassic Park the studio was still figuring out what works and what doesn't. More recently, The Walking Dead and Tales from the Borderlands have shown the strengt...

Metal Slug x Battle Cats photo
Metal Slug x Battle Cats

Metal Slug teams up with The Battle Cats

Remember Metal Slug?
Oct 12
// Jordan Devore
My experience with Metal Slug Defense is watching former Destructoid writer Jim Sterling suffer through its free-to-play trappings for a video. My experience with The Battle Cats, a similar strategy game about overwhelming yo...
A Boy And His Blob photo
A Boy And His Blob

A Boy and His Blob rated for Vita, usual suspects

Everything but Wii U, basically
Oct 12
// Kyle MacGregor
A Boy and His Blob seems to be coming to PlayStation 4, PC, Xbox One, and PlayStation Vita, according to ratings published by the USK, Germany's video game classifications board. Back in August, Majesco Entertainement reveale...

Call of Duty photo
Call of Duty

Black Ops III's hardest difficulty will kill you in one shot

Veteran mode is scary enough, thanks
Oct 12
// Jordan Devore
We were only just chatting about overly harsh difficulty modes last week with Naughty Dog's Brutal option for Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection, and now here's Treyarch with a grueling addition to Call of Duty: Black Ops...
Feat. an Aussie man photo
Feat. an Aussie man

Surprise live stream spectacular with your ol' pal Dr. Dinosexual

Lots of games, lots of lame jokes
Oct 12
// Jed Whitaker
[Update: Donezo] It's 10pm ET on a Monday, what better time to live stream video games for the best website in the world? Yours truly will be streaming a multitude of games for various consoles from Blood Bowl 2, SOMA, and Th...
Super Mario Maker photo
Super Mario Maker

Professional game developers try their hands at Super Mario Maker

Check out how the pros do it
Oct 12
// CJ Andriessen
Bertil Horberg, the creator of the fantastic Gunman Clive series, was once asked if he would create a level in Super Mario Maker worthy of his premier franchise. He declined, saying he already knows how painfully difficult le...
From our tips line photo
From our tips line

Sometimes, we get very good tips

Oct 12
// Jordan Devore
You have a good day, too!
Bloodborne insights photo
Bloodborne insights

There is a friendly carrion crow in Bloodborne

And other assorted tidbits
Oct 12
// Jordan Devore
YouTuber VaatiVidya is back with another Bloodborne lore video. This time, he examines a slew of smaller discoveries that didn't make it into his prior videos. A few of them surprised me. Pebbles being eyes, for one, because ...
Destiny raid photo
Destiny raid

Destiny's 'Kings Fall' is the best raid yet

And hardly any bugs!
Oct 12
// Chris Carter
Raids are my favorite part of Destiny. As I sit here and write this, having killed Oryx nine times since The Taken King arrived, I'm trying to recall my favorite moments from the two raids before King's Fall, and I can c...
Mario Maker photo
Mario Maker

There's a devious Mario Maker war going on between two well-known games journalists

And it's all for charity
Oct 12
// Brett Makedonski
We've seen Mario Maker bring out the insidious in people. Plenty of folks are creating levels that are downright devilish. However, few of them have grabbed the spotlight quite like what's happening between two well-kno...
Firewatch photo

Firewatch is such a lovely looking game

Releasing February 9, 2016
Oct 12
// Jordan Devore
I'm supposed to tell you that Campo Santo's wilderness-set exploration mystery Firewatch will release on February 9, 2016 for PlayStation 4, Windows, Mac, and Linux. That's the news today. But I've fallen into an image gallery wormhole, and I'm taking you with me.
Survival horror photo
Survival horror

Allison Road leaves Kickstarter for a publisher

It's joining the Team17 label
Oct 12
// Jordan Devore
Last month, Lilith brought its home-based horror game, Allison Road, to Kickstarter. The fledgling studio asked for £250,000 in crowdfunding to create what many have called a spiritual successor to P.T., the lead-in to ...
Mega Man Star Force photo
Mega Man Star Force

Check out the Mega Man Star Force kids all grown up

All Growed Up
Oct 12
// Chris Carter
Remember Mega Man Star Force? It was an insanely popular subseries that warranted multiple iterations and versions (a la Pokémon), but when Mega Man kind of did with the rest. If you never felt li...
Ubisoft is sorry photo
Ubisoft is sorry

Ubisoft offers refunds, free games after 'deceptive marketing'

Also an obnoxious non-apology
Oct 12
// Steven Hansen
Promotional materials for Ubisoft's recently released Might & Magic Heroes VII promised a physical, disc copy of the game would be included with the $100 limited edition, as documented in detail on Imgur. As it turns out,...
Indie in Berlin photo
Indie in Berlin

Fired Dead Island 2 devs leave Yager, start indie studio

Plus, hints at super secret project
Oct 12
// Steven Hansen
Three Yager (Spec Ops: The Line, Dead Island 2) developers have left the company to go indie as inbetweengames. This is a few months after publisher Deep Silver dropped Yager as the developer on Dead Island 2, just a few mon...
Dragon Quest Heroes photo
Dragon Quest Heroes

Take a look at the heroes and enemies of Dragon Quest Heroes

Oct 12
// Chris Carter
One of the first games I ever played was Dragon Quest on the NES, known as Dragon Warrior in the west. It was the game that gave me the RPG knowledge I have today, and I still have vivid memories of the colorful and...
Fatal Frame Wii U photo
Fatal Frame Wii U

Oh right, a new Fatal Frame comes out next week

Sneaky Nintendo
Oct 12
// Kyle MacGregor
Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water is creeping its way to North America next week. Literally. Nintendo of America hasn't been terribly gung-ho about promoting Koei Tecmo's latest, despite the fact it's one of this autumn's mo...
The Sims Pokemon photo
The Sims Pokemon

This fake crossover of The Sims and Pokemon actually looks fun

Can it be real?
Oct 12
// Chris Carter
The Sims gets a lot of shit. Sure, it has DLC and expansions coming out of the rafters, but historically, the core games have been pretty decent -- outside of the latest iteration that stripped out a ton of features of ...
Halo 5 microtransactions photo
Halo 5 microtransactions

Halo 5 is almost out, so 343's getting busy defending microtransactions

Oct 12
// Steven Hansen
"It's not pay-to-win," "you can get everything in-game without paying," "balance," "oral doesn't count as sex." Every time a game with microtransactions is about to release -- especially if it's a big 'ol game like Halo 5 -- ...
Disney Infinity photo
Disney Infinity

Get a quick look at the Disney Infinity Force Awakens Play Set

I hope Kylo Ren isn't lame
Oct 12
// Chris Carter
I'm so torn on Kylo Ren. On one hand, he looks awesome, has a sufficiently cool-sounding backstory, and the fact that he's "not a Sith" is intriguing. On the other, he's played by Adam Driver, the absolute worst character on ...
Rocket League DLC photo
Rocket League DLC

The DeLorean is coming to Rocket League

On October 21, 2015, of course
Oct 12
// Patrick Hancock
On October 21, 2015, the date Marty McFly went to in Back to the Future Part II, Rocket League will be getting some movie-flavored DLC. The DeLorean and a "Burnt Rubber" rocket trail will be added into the game for a me...
Halo 5 photo
Halo 5

NASCAR unveils two Halo 5 themed paint schemes in real life

Yes this is real
Oct 12
// Chris Carter
I had to do a triple-take to make sure this wasn't a promotion for Forza or something, but yes, NASCAR has unveiled two actual real life paint jobs promoting Halo 5. Dale Earnhardt Jr. himself will race No. 88, featuring...
Sonic Boom photo
Sonic Boom

Sonic Boom Season 2 is coming, you can't stop it

He's the fastest thing alive
Oct 12
// Chris Carter
As far as Sonic cartoons go, the Sonic Boom show actually isn't bad -- hell, it's way more entertaining than the games themselves. For those of you who do enjoy it, you're going to get more of it, as distributor LER has ...
Broken Arrow photo
Broken Arrow

Call of Duty: Black Ops III unlocks all campaign levels from start

'Unlocking level system is [archaic]'
Oct 12
// Steven Hansen
If the (expected) seven hours it takes to finish Call of Duty: Black Ops III's single-player campaign is too much of a time commitment, note that you can just skip right on to the end of the game. (And if you're on PS3 or 360...
Halo 5 photo
Halo 5

Get free Halo 5 DLC for watching ten short videos

One REQ pack
Oct 12
// Brett Makedonski
Most microtransactions ask that you trade real-world money for small chunks of video game content. A Halo 5 pre-release microtransaction promotion doesn't require your money, however; it requires your time. Fortunat...
season PASS photo
season PASS

Star Wars Battlefront has a $50 season pass

Burn it all to the ground
Oct 12
// Brett Makedonski
No! No, no, no! We were doing so well, Star Wars Battlefront. We had that open beta that anyone could play, with nothing locked behind a pre-order wall. Gameplay looked like fun, and we got a bunch of amusing clips out of it....
America the bootyful photo
America the bootyful

Your tax dollars at work! Official United States Army game out of two year beta

America's Army: Proving Grounds
Oct 12
// Steven Hansen
America's Army: Proving Grounds, the official game of the United States Army. Ahem. The official game of the United States Army. Official game of the United States Army. Official game of the United States Army. Is out of beta...
Xbox One controller photo
Xbox One controller

Xbox One wireless controller capability comes to PC next week

Cutting cords
Oct 12
// Brett Makedonski
At GDC this year, Phil Spencer announced that sometime in 2015 people would be able to use their Xbox One controllers wirelessly on their PC. It seems as if Windows 10 was a big part of those plans. Now that the operating sys...
Star Citizen photo
Star Citizen

$92 million space game gets Luke Skywalker, more Hollywood actors

Story mode cast, latest gameplay
Oct 12
// Steven Hansen
Star Citizen, the massively crowd-funded, ambitious space game, has seen a rough patch this year of missed release windows and a more recent lawsuit threats against a media outlet, but there's also a video game in developmen...

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