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Contest: Win a copy of Slain! and an Alienware Alpha!

Feb 14 // Mike Martin
[embed]336684:61996:0[/embed]
Contest photo
Freebies of a custom nature
Thanks to the amazing folks at Wolf Brew Games, Digerati Distribution, and Alienware, we have an awesome contest for you to enter. The prize? A hand-painted Alienware Alpha and a copy of Slain! (on its March 24 release). You can find the entry form, just below these words. If that isn't showing for you, please scroll down to the link below and enter there.

PS4 photo
PS4

Knack 2? Is that you? Could it be true?


Woo?
Feb 13
// Kyle MacGregor
Knack 2 is maybe a thing that is might be happening, if an animator's resume is to be believed. As spotted by NeoGAF, the following comes from 3D animator Mindy Liang's LinkedIn account:
Cliffy B and Kojima photo
Cliffy B and Kojima

Cliffy B: 'I woulda f**ked up Silent Hills'


No dick-tit monsters for us
Feb 13
// Nic Rowen
In a real Sliding Doors, "what could have been" kind of moment, Metal Gear creator Hideo Kojima apparently once asked Cliff Bleszinski if he would work with him on Silent Hills. The timeline on when this offer was extended i...
Doom campaign photo
Doom campaign

Doom's single-player campaign is 13 hours long


Rip, tear, repeat
Feb 13
// Nic Rowen
If you were worried Doom would follow in the footsteps of other modern first-person shooters with a five hour jaunt of a campaign, you can sleep easy now. According to id Software, the average length of the campaign clocks in...

PC Gaming photo
PC Gaming

E3's PC Gaming Show is coming back this year


Dear God
Feb 13
// Kyle MacGregor
One night at E3 last year, I distinctly recall sitting in one of Destructoid's Airbnb rooms and wrestling with the Wi-Fi so I could finish a preview. Our video crew was also there, scurrying about the place in search for a mi...
Promoted Blog photo
Promoted Blog

The meaning of The Witness (Part 3 of 3)


Promoted from our Community Blogs
Feb 13
// seanHTCH
Assuming you're all caught up with Part 1 and Part 2, Part 3 of this analysis talks about games that have a bit of a 'genius narrative' surrounding them. I'm Sean Han-Tani-Chen-Hogan, and am currently developing the adventure platformer game, Even the Ocean, with a friend, Joni Kittaka. We also made the game Anodyne.
Destiny photo
Destiny

Bungie admits drop rate for Destiny's new event item is too low


So free Ghost shells for everyone!
Feb 13
// Kyle MacGregor
This week in Destiny, Bungie is hosting a special event to celebrate Valentine's Day. It's called Crimson Doubles and involves pairing up with a partner for some competitive multiplayer. A potential prize waiting for players ...
Deals photo
Deals

25 percent off Street Fighter V leads in Weekend Deals


$15 bonus for PS4 version too
Feb 13
// Dealzon
Street Fighter V heads to the PlayStation 4 and PC this Tuesday and there are a lot of pre-order deals for the game this weekend. We're not sure how to feel about Capcom's Season Pass right now, but at least the content ...
Dragon Quest Heroes II photo
Dragon Quest Heroes II

Cor blimey! More characters revealed for Dragon Quest Heroes II


But where's Yangus?
Feb 13
// Ben Davis
We just got our first look at the new characters to appear in Dragon Quest Heroes II: Twin Kings and the Prophecy's End a few days ago. According to a page from the latest issue of Weekly Shonen Jump, it seems Dragon Que...
Site Update photo
Site Update

It takes a lot to make a stew


A sneak peek at Destructoid's redesign
Feb 13
// Niero Desu
Beta weekend two is under way! This is an early head's up that we are possibly switching to dev.destructoid.com in the next five minutes or in March, and really could use your feedback. If you saw the site a few wee...
ARK: Poop Evolved photo
ARK: Poop Evolved

Dung beetles, split-screen, and more added to ARK: Survival Evolved for Xbox One


Shit rollers with your shitty friends
Feb 12
// Jed Whitaker
I'm convinced that ARK: Survival Evolved is secretly all about poop, especially after today's patch for the Xbox One version that adds giant dung beetles. The update also enables split-screen so you can collect turd...
Saliva swapping photo
Saliva swapping

Make out with people of all genders in Smooth Operator


Tongue wrestling on iOS
Feb 12
// Jed Whitaker
Beardo Games' Smooth Operator is out now on iOS just in time to practice kissing for Valentine's Day. In it, you and a friend, lover, or fuck buddy choose a character from a diverse list, then pick a location to meet an...
Mouth skills photo
Mouth skills

Meet BrolyLegs, the competitive Street Fighter player who fights with his mouth


#1 ranked Chun-Li online in USF IV
Feb 12
// Jed Whitaker
Capcom produced the above mini-documentary on BrolyLegs, a competitive Street Fighter player who plays entirely with his mouth due to a birth defect. One might think that someone in his condition may not be a viable competit...
Cowabunga dude! photo
Cowabunga dude!

Leonardo can slow time in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutants in Manhattan


Leonardo leads in new gameplay footage
Feb 12
// Jed Whitaker
Platinum Games' Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutants in Manhattan looks to be mixing up the formula of the old-school TMNT beat-'em-ups I grew up on, and I'm okay with this. Judging by this new gameplay footage of Leon...
Cornerstone trailer photo
Cornerstone trailer

Zelda meets vikings and crafting in Cornerstone: The Song of Tyrim


Coming to PC this April
Feb 12
// Jed Whitaker
Vikings, and puzzles, and crafting, oh my! Cornerstone: The Song of Tyrim will be hitting PC this April and it's about a young hero named Tyrim searching out long-lost viking men. Sounds like a Joe Parlock fantasy, at l...
Quantum Break photo
Quantum Break

Just kidding, these are the REAL Quantum Break PC requirements


Tricked ya!
Feb 12
// Brett Makedonski
Show of hands: Who thought when Remedy revealed the PC requirements for Quantum Break yesterday, that those were the real requirements? Fools. All of you. How could you be so gullible? This is what you'll actually need to run Quantum Break on Windows 10:
IGF & GDC voting photo
IGF & GDC voting

Let's help pick the 2016 IGF Audience Award winner


Last year's went to This War of Mine
Feb 12
// Jordan Devore
Audience voting has begun for the 2016 Independent Games Festival Awards (vote here) and the 2016 Game Developers Choice Awards (and here). If you'd like to have a say in who claims the Audience Awards at next month's ceremon...

Review: Sorcery! Parts 1 & 2

Feb 12 // Josh Tolentino
Sorcery! Parts 1 & 2 (PC [reviewed], iOS, Android)Developer: inkle StudiosPublisher: inkle StudiosReleased: February 3, 2016MSRP: $9.99 In some ways, that question is already answered, as the two parts of Sorcery! featured in this review have been available on iOS (as Sorcery! and Sorcery! 2) since 2013. The PC version is identical in terms of content, so folks who've already gotten their hands on the mobile versions won't find much of a reason to own this one. That said, though, people who are new to the series may be surprised to learn that there's just as much "game" as there is "book" in this gamebook adaptation. This is partially down to the strength of the source material. The original Sorcery! mixed in elements and statistics from pen-and-paper role-playing games, deepening interaction beyond the usual "turn to page [x] to see the result." Inkle rebuilds and tweaks these preexisting systems to bring them more in line with the interactions best suited to video games. [embed]339893:62207:0[/embed] For example, rather than simulate a sword fight by having players roll dice, each unique combat encounter in Sorcery! involves players dragging their character back and forth across the screen to determine the power of their attack, while reading the descriptive text for clues as to which actions to take for maximum effect. The result is a system that feels interactive and properly "game-like" without undermining the fundamental importance of the text to finding success. This also holds true for magic. Most encounters give players the opportunity to "Use Magic!" or "Cast a Spell," prompting them to trade some stamina to cast one of forty-eight available spells. Which spells can be cast at any given time depends on the arrangement of stars, represented by letters etched into the heavens. Arranging three-letter combinations makes for a spell. HOT casts a fireball, ZAP sends out a lightning bolt, and JIG causes an enemy to dance, provided one has picked up a bamboo flute somewhere along their journey.  And what a journey it is. Sorcery! players step into the shoes of an unnamed magician, on a quest to take the Crown of Kings -- a powerful artifact -- back from the villain who stole it, the Archmage of Mampang. The game covers the first two "books" of a four-part series, from the beginning area of the Shamutanti Hills to a second chapter set in the dangerous metropolis of Khare, Cityport of Traps.  Part 1 is a fairly straightforward, old-school adventure, featuring an art style that evokes the quaintly ugly aesthetic of '80s-era fantasy rulebooks. The encounters, mostly taken from the book, feel appealingly grounded and at times risk feeling decidedly mundane to readers more used to the large-scale epics of contemporary video game fantasy.  Part 2, however, is where the game expands, moving beyond what was possible with the original book (the sheer density of available choices would make for a very unwieldy read in physical format), and drives home the power and diversity available when setting up decision-making in text-based games.  Also pleasantly retro is the fact that Sorcery! can be kind of a bastard when it comes to screwing players over. Unexpected traps, sudden deaths, and "Your journey has ended"-type endings are common, though a convenient and punishment-free "rewind" system allows players to walk back any wrong choices they make. In a more forgiving game, this would cheapen the experience of living with consequences. However, given how unfair the adventure can be at times, and in light of the way choices are nested and written without an obvious good or bad path in most cases, I found the rewind to be a fairly balanced way to avoid frustration. Sorcery!'s shortcomings, such as they are, tend to be more technically-rooted. Though it's been reasonably well-adapted for PC, the interface still feels optimized for touch, with large elements that look fine on a phone or tablet screen but are a tad oversized to players using a mouse. The game, or rather the story, is also technically incomplete. The third part of the adventure, Sorcery! 3 is available on mobile platforms (and is reportedly quite a bit more expansive than either of the previous parts), but the fourth and final chapter isn't due to be released until later in 2016, and neither has been announced for PC. Thankfully, cloud saves are cross-platform compatible, so impatient players may consider continuing on their devices if they like this one. Ultimately, quibbles like this are quite minor and easy to overlook in light of the quality of the adventure itself.  By wrapping classical adventure writing in a thoroughly modern play experience, inkle has turned Sorcery! into a great testament to the power and place of text in gaming's canon. [This review is based on a digital retail build of the game provided by the publisher.] Arslan: The Warriors of Legend (PC, PS3, PS4 [reviewed], Xbox One)Developer: Omega ForcePublisher: Koei TecmoReleased: February 9, 2016MSRP: $59.99
Cast a Spell! photo
Use Magic!
For nerds of a certain age, gamebooks hold as much childhood influence as the most memorable classic video games. Gamebooks helped pioneer player-driven narrative; the design lessons learned from the likes of Choose Your Own ...

 photo
Win one of 10 copies!
Tribute Games is bringing the awesome Ninja Senki DX to PC, PS4, and PS Vita this February the 23 (as previously reported). The game will run you $4.99 (a bargain, I assure you), or you could you win it here for free! The awe...

FNF photo
FNF

Friday Night Fights - Be My Lover


Ride with the Vantoid Community!
Feb 12
// Mike Martin
"Looking back on all the time we spent togetherYou oughta know by nowIf you want to be my lover, want to be my loverGo ahead and take your time, boy you gotta feel secureBefore I make you mine, baby, you have to be sureYou want to be my loverWant to be my lover, want to be my lover"
Flash Sale photo
Flash Sale

PlayStation's new Flash Sale is for lovers


Just like Ohio
Feb 12
// Brett Makedonski
It's time for Sony to throw another PlayStation Flash Sale, an event that challenges the very notion of the word "flash." This sale lines up with Valentine's Day, a holiday for romanticism, conversation hearts, and cheap vide...
EDF 4.1 DLC photo
EDF 4.1 DLC

Earth Defense Force 4.1's second mission pack is free right now


'Some new, some classic, all EXTREME!'
Feb 12
// Jordan Devore
Lord knows I don't need a good reason to get back into Earth Defense Force 4.1: The Shadow of New Despair right now (too busy!), but I'm getting one anyway in the form of 23 extra missions. The game's second major DLC release...

Review: Atelier Escha & Logy Plus: Alchemists of the Dusk Sky

Feb 12 // Laura Kate Dale
Atelier Escha & Logy: Alchemists of the Dusk Sky (PS3, Vita [reviewed])Developer: Gust Co. LtdPublisher: Koei TecmoReleased: March 11, 2014 (PS3) / January 19, 2016 (Vita)MSRP: $39.99 (Vita) Atelier Escha & Logy Plus as an RPG centers around two alchemists on a strict deadline to prevent the destruction of their world. Built around an in-game calendar, each mission you take on will require a certain number of your limited days to complete. Longer tasks might yield better rewards, but they carry the inherent risk of running out of time to complete larger objectives as they arise. Ranging from resource collection to battle-heavy dungeons, there's a decent variety of mission types to pick from. The most interesting aspect of this system ends up being how it impacts the party you take into missions and how willing you are to take chances as a player. If you're low on health or resources, you have to weigh the risks of pushing on and failing the mission against the multiple days it might use up to return to town, gather resources, and rest up. This risk management becomes a key part of gameplay, and kept me much more engaged in my performance than I expected. [embed]340946:62241:0[/embed] Giving the player the choice of two playable characters from the start, one male and one female, Escha & Logy's plot follows a very similar narrative structure to Tales of Xillia. While both protagonists work together, spend most of the plot together, and go on largely the same journey, some sections are altered depending on who you play as. The variations in plot are spread pretty far apart, but having the option to have a slightly different adventure on a second playthrough is appealing. Playing as Escha will give players a more alchemy focused, lighthearted view of events as they transpire, while playing as Logy is a more traditional, combat-heavy experience that will feel more familiar to RPG fans not versed in the Atelier's core alchemy mechanics. So, there is one big problem with getting invested in the story of Escha and Logy. While the main plot is well-written and engaging, the opening hours of you're adventure are cripplingly unrepresentative of the rest of the game. Excited for a grand, world-spanning adventure? Better be ready for several hours discussing financial outcomes of investments, business plans, government spending patterns, and uses for awarded stipends. Seriously, the opening hours play out like a Galactic Senate hearing in the Star Wars prequels. A fascinating story follows, but you're going to have to put a few tedious hours in to get to it. Bear that in mind. Where previous Atelier entries have done a poor job of explaining the mechanics behind alchemy and encouraged experimentation early on, Escha and Logy does a much better job of getting players to look at recipes and describing the ways in which they can be modified. While there's still a lot of experimentation in the system, that experimentation is acknowledged early on and not left as a big, daunting barrier that could halt late-game progression. The combat is fairly standard turn-based fighting, but the prep work put into alchemy before missions adds a nice amount of variety to the number of ways a fight can be tackled. Ultimately, Atelier Escha & Logy Plus is probably the best entry point this series has had. Sure, the first few hours are excruciating and I wouldn't blame anyone for not wanting to have to push through that, but the story of personal growth, trust, and ambition that lies behind it was well worth experiencing. The combat is a bit predictable to start, but once you get yourself stuck into the more accessible alchemy system, you'll never go into two fights with the same toolset available, which is refreshing. [This review is based on a retail build of the game provided by the publisher.]
Atelier Vita photo
A good entry for newbies
Atelier has always been one of those niche series of RPGs that gets harder to jump into with every entry. Featuring complex and often convoluted alchemy mechanics that have grown tough to break into over the years, the games ...

Tekken 7 photo
Tekken 7

See Tekken 7's Akuma in action from Japan's location test


Offscreen play
Feb 12
// Chris Carter
Japan is running its location tests for Tekken 7: Fated Retribution right now, and of course, tons of people are recording their experiences. It looks like Akuma and his standard moveset are in, and you can get a look at...
Zelda photo
Zelda

Zelda looks right at home with an isometric art style


A 'Super Zelda Maker' would be dope
Feb 12
// Chris Carter
Artist Sir Carma has done a great job capturing that classic Zelda feel with this new series of 3D artwork. Based on the unassuming abode of Link at the start of Link to the Past, it has a 3D Dot Heroes feel to it w...
Umbrella Corps photo
Umbrella Corps

Umbrella Corps unveils its Resident Evil 5 themed map


Still due in May
Feb 12
// Chris Carter
Although it was revealed in Umbrella Corps' last trailer, Capcom is now officially sharing details regarding its Resident Evil 5-style Kijuju map. It's the biggest map in the game, and will also sport underground passage...
Inversus photo
Inversus

Destiny developer is working on a neat new PC/PS4 side project


A multiplayer shooter
Feb 12
// Steven Hansen
Bungie's Ryan Juckett's day job as a gameplay programmer on Destiny hasn't stopped him from working on his own independent game. Inversus is a minimalist 1-4 player shooter coming to PC and PlayStation 4 in spring of this ye...
Super Smash Jokes photo
Super Smash Jokes

If Firewatch's Henry joined the Smash Bros. roster


THE EYES!!!
Feb 12
// Steven Hansen
Hey, those meaty paws could do some serious damage. Maybe a Little Mac-style brawler (also not fleet of foot). Or, hey, just bring back the Ice Climbers move set but texture them like Yellowstone National Park. Anyways, I didn't know the PS4 version of Firewatch was this messed up.

Review in Progress: Project X Zone 2

Feb 12 // CJ Andriessen
Project X Zone 2 (3DS)Developer: Monolith Software Inc.Publisher: Bandai NamcoRelease: February 16 (US), February 12 (EU, AUS)MSRP: 39.99 I'm more than a dozen hours into Project X Zone 2 and I'm still amazed how many improvements have been made from the last game. Project X Zone, released in 2013, had the misfortune of coming out after the outstanding Fire Emblem: Awakening. When compared side-by-side, it's not hard to argue that Awakening is the better TRPG while Project X Zone mostly coasts by on its fan service appeal. Here we are with sequels to these titles releasing within a week of each other and, while I haven't played Fates yet, I can honestly say there is more to Project X Zone 2 than just its cast.  The biggest improvement you'll find here is the battle system. Unlike the first game, player and enemy turns are now separated so the enemy only moves after you've made your moves. Something about this small change just seems to make the chapters move at a more breezy pace compared to the first game. Yes, chapters are still interrupted halfway with extended bits of story and exposition, but I have yet to reach a chapter in the game that is aggravatingly long. Combat is still all style and timing as you chain together attacks for maximum damage. Time it right and you can increase your damage output. If you have a solo unit assigned to your team or are adjacent to another team, you can call them into the action and significantly increase your attack power if you land a Cross Hit. Unlike the first game, Cross Hits are noticeably more difficult to properly land this time and there are many attacks that can break them. Just throwing a whole bunch of characters on the screen at the same time isn't a guarantee you'll perform a Cross Hit. Now, you have to know your teams and their attacks well. The big new addition to the combat system is the Charge Bonus. If you don't use one of your attacks in a fight, that attack will be charged for your next fight. A charged attacked does more damage and regains more XP than a standard attack. You seem to be limited to three attacks at a time (plus a special attack if you have enough XP), but there is no limit to how many of those three attacks can be the same one. This means I can use the same individual attack three times in a row and save my other two for a Charge Bonus to use in my next fight. Charge Bonuses are rewarded both when you're attacking and when you're countering, which has also seen improvements this game. When the enemy is on the advance, only a full defense (which negates any damage you may take) uses the group XP. Now, regular defense and counters use the character's individual SP. Speaking of counters, I've found them a hell of a lot more useful in this game than the last. You're able to use more of your attacks this time and when countered, the enemy's shield will already be depleted so all of your attacks will do damage. I've defeated more enemies on the defense than when I was the one attacking.   If you're wondering how the story is, know that it's better than the last time around. Yes, there is still a lot of exposition and, yes, every character has to comment at least once in a story segment and, yes, I am missing pervy Frank West and his camera; but everything is much more focused. I don't know if this is the work of the localization team or the original scenario writers of the game, but gone is the disjointed structure of Project X Zone and here is an easy-to-follow storyline that even people who are totally unfamiliar with the series will be able to understand. As someone as stupid as I am, I appreciate the simplicity.  If you're in Europe and plan on picking this up today, know there is an option for paid DLC in the intermission menu between chapters; however I have no idea what it entails as nothing has been available for me to purchase at this point. I will have more on the DLC as well as the improved maps in the game in the full review next week. [This review in progress is based on a retail version of the game provided by the publisher.]
Project X Zone 2 photo
Another journey through the multi-verse
I just popped an Advil because I'm dealing with some annoying pain right now. It's a pain that starts to sting right in the inside of my elbow as I try to stretch my arm out. I'm not unfamiliar with this pain, in fact we're o...

Overwatch's new beta build is good news for the game's future

Feb 12 // Chris Carter
Loot boxes are all the rage now. Even though they technically existed in select games before it, Mass Effect 3 truly popularized them. Now, even Call of Duty is using the system, and so is Blizzard. What makes them work in Overwatch though is the simplicity of it. They hit you with the nostalgic blue, purple, and orange rarity system and a flashy delivery, granting you icons, emotes, skins, voiceovers, and other cosmetic bonuses. Items you already own will grant you credits instead, and come launch, boxes will be sold piecemeal. The key is that you get as much, if not more XP for simply playing the game rather than winning or losing, encouraging people to enjoy themselves rather than stress about the outcome. If this is how Overwatch is going to operate I'm fine with it, because buying the full game will net you every character and all of the content anyway. As for the game, it still feels pretty incredible (read more about the mechanics here). It's a lot more juiced up than one of its common comparisons, Team Fortress 2, and some characters are even on the Unreal plane of movement. It's a glorious return to the flashy arena shooters of old, and I trust Blizzard to keep it running as long as possible. The 6v6 matchups also strike a good balance, as the maps are tuned to the point where you're almost always fighting. There also don't seem to be many lame "leaving mission area" limitations or invisible walls in stages, if at all. It's just...fun. Every game I feel like I'm doing something, and I'm constantly discovering new strategies for characters that I've already played before. The quick movement is really what excites me the most, as there aren't enough fast-paced shooters to offset the methodical ADS titles that dominate the market.
Overwatch photo
Really looking forward to this
Overwatch is shaping up. I really enjoyed my time with it back in October, but as of this newest closed beta build, it's clear that the team knows what they're doing. This week, they added in one simple upgrade that made a lot of people happy -- player progression. Now just by playing you'll earn new rewards, separate from any sort of character-centric requirements. It's a great change.


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