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UK sales photo
UK sales

Batman: Arkham Knight has best 2015 week one UK sales


Beat out Witcher 3 and Arkham City
Jun 29
// Steven Hansen
A reminder that Arkham Knight has "Batman" in the name and no volley of excoriating 7/10 reviews (or broken PC ports) can do it harm: Rocksteady's new Batman is the top-selling game of 2015 in the UK by its first week sales, ...
Iwata on digital pricing photo
Iwata on digital pricing

Nintendo keeping digital prices up, hints at mild compensation


Tied to new membership program
Jun 29
// Steven Hansen
Nintendo's Satoru Iwata addressed the fact that eShop games are priced the same as their retail counterparts despite the cost savings of digital distribution. This comes from an investor briefing reported live by Nstyles and ...
Batmod photo
Batmod

Batman: Arkham Knight mod lets you play as 10 extra characters


Forget DLC
Jun 29
// Steven Hansen
While the PC version of Arkham Knight was busted enough Warner Bros. stopped selling it on Steam (probably wouldn't have happened if Steam didn't just start allowing refunds), some users are making the best of a bad situatio...
AMAZING photo
AMAZING

Animal crossover: Oh my god KK Slider covering Outkast


Hey you
Jun 26
// Steven Hansen
Hey, what are you doing right now? Fuck you, because it's not as cool as what I'm doing right now, which is listening to KK Slider covering Outkast's "Hey Ya!" Now I'm listening to KK Slider doing Johnny Cash's "Hurt." Get on...
FFVII remake photo
FFVII remake

Surprise! Nomura didn't know he was directing Final Fantasy VII remake


Who's on first?
Jun 26
// Steven Hansen
But if I'm here...and you're here...who's driving the boat?! Tetsuya Nomura is directing the Final Fantasy VII remake, and he's already talked about ways in which it will differ from the 1997 original aside from just the visu...

Review: Batman: Arkham Knight

Jun 25 // Steven Hansen
Batman: Arkham Knight (PC, Xbox One, PS4 [reviewed])Developer: RocksteadyPublisher: Warner Bros.MSRP: $59.99Released: June 23, 2015 Arkham Knight is stitched together with exceptional technical proficiency at the cost of tonal instability. City shared this problem. It insists on the direness of the narrative while letting you busy yourself with 69 (hah) AR challenges. It's worse in Knight, with even more dire stakes (there is nothing to do but escalate, of course) as Scarecrow intends to ruin all of Gotham with the help of the titular Arkham Knight.  There is so much "content" beside the main story path, but most of it is busy work. I've still not rescued all 20 captive firefighters spread throughout the city. Militia members set up dozens of roadblocks across Gotham's three islands that impede the Batmobile, but you can always go around them, or avoid driving except when mandated, given that Batman's grapple and glide are some of the coolest traversal methods in games. Clearing them isn't even that useful. It's just about getting to the super villain (most of whom have no story aside from "they're doing crime") at the end and notching the completion percentage. And of course this brings us to the Batmobile. It is cool and god awful. Calling it to pick Batman up; ejecting from it at high speeds and doing takedowns; the fact that all of Gotham's pillars and corners are destructible, so you typically don't do much crashing; remote control driving it towards Batman, who automatically jumps into it while you maintain control and momentum; the tank mode convincing me I need a Transformers game or Armored Core reboot. [embed]294804:59235:0[/embed] This all works well. It was also a lot of work for Rocksteady. Thus, there are heavy, mandated Batmobile segments, like the aforementioned waves of tank fights, and even a hilarious tank stealth section against bigger, stronger tanks. The Batmobile is cool as something I might occasionally use, but all the work that went into it means it needs a lot of screen time. It's actually pretty fun to chase Firefly through the streets in it, even if you have to do that several times before he's been punched enough to quit. When I'm forced to ferry passengers to the police station in it just so more drones can be thrown my way, it becomes a nuisance. When one side mission involves chasing missile-spongy armored cars while smaller armored cars attack me, over and over, it's not so fun. Everything is strung together nobly, but it's a case if "they were so concerned with whether or not they could, they didn't stop to think if they should." Disjointed content put together as well as possible mirrors a main story that works too hard to put Batman in his car. The shorter side missions that pop up woven into the narrative are much more fulfilling than saving 20 different firemen, stopping Two Face's goons from robbing several banks or destroying five or so of Penguin's weapons stashes (though the latter teams Bats with Nightwing and the dual fighter segments are fun). Thankfully I hardly looked at the map screen this time around because there's a d-pad button just to bring up a mission select wheel so it's easy to ping pong between waypoints like an errand boy. I also hardly looked at the upgrades, usually going several hours at a time before dumping like 50 points into skills I mostly didn't use (but do reinforce that car for the mandated tank segments). I can't tell if there is less punching this time around. Maybe it's been replaced by Batmobile segments. There are also more stealth options, including fear takedowns that can be used to instantly incapacitate up to eight enemies at a time (ok, upgrades are sometimes helpful, as it starts at three). I can string together perfect, room-clearing 60x combo fisticuffs with the best of them, but combat never drags in Arkham Knight, which I appreciate because my favorite thing to do is to explore the city. That does bring up a series-long issue of detective mode and waypoints guiding you to the point of feeling like a middle manager. It's nice to just notice side missions -- hearing strange shrieks, hearing opera blaring over a PA system, seeing a building on fire -- rather than being directed towards them, but that's the problem with dealing with this size of open world necessitated by the series trending upward as far as stakes raising goes. But when you stumble on mutilated bodies and every time -- five times! -- the answer is to scan one obvious thing on each of three layers (skin, muscle, bone) with detective mode, you're not really doing anything, much less detecting. Batman is boring, right? The character. Sad about parents, righteous, rich, mostly ideal. When comic fans point to his spot at the top of the echelon it's always about the supporting cast (villains, namely). And so, post Joker, what is there to do? Two things, neither of them original, but one of them done well. Without getting too spoilery, the Joker has inevitably left his mark in the Arkham universe and these ramifications are handled nicely in one half of Arkham Knight, even if they open the door for perhaps the most unoriginal and obvious Batman story to take seed beneath Scarecrow's reign of terror in the other. Scarecrow, to Rocksteady's credit, plays a great villain here, though he does so from the shadows. Because Batman is Batman, it's hard to feel the stakes sometimes, but Scarecrow is good for manipulating Bats and leaving him one step behind, more and more panicked and fragmented. The Arkham Knight, meanwhile, mostly tries to kill you with very large vehicles. The whole tenor of the character feels at odds with his Scarecrow partnership. There's the weird red tactical camo print and his general, impotent rage. His voice, which seems to waver beneath the autotune, is a mix of haughtiness and incredulity. He hates Batman, knows Batman is strong, is sure that he's better, and gets real petulant every time something goes wrong. His hugely amassed, literal army -- ex-United States soldiers now mercenaries -- occasionally remark about how better outfitted they are now than when they were government employees and ask if all this gear is overkill for just one man.   And it's not, because Batman is Batman and he feels immune to even the direst of straits. It makes the villains -- Knight, namely -- look goofy as plan after plan are foiled, though Scarecrow holds it together fairly well as the story takes shots at characters adjacent to Batman. The most interesting story stuff is happening within Batman's head, though, and that's where the series returns to effective use of jump scares (not a bad thing!), Dutch angles, and unreliable world distortion. Shifting the world around the player, moving things that the player isn't looking at. There's some cool, occasionally chilling toying going on, but it's mostly wrapped up in the end of the game. Getting there, Arkham Knight struggles to surprise and delight as Asylum and City. One musical boss "fight" stands out as a show stealer, but it would have been nice to have more inventive moments like the Mr. Freeze fight from City.   If the Batmobile was Rocksteady's gambit in that regard, it failed. It makes for a better occasional use gadget than core gameplay system. The Riddler side mission sums up Arkham Knight's issues fairly well. Apropos of nothing, he becomes a racing aficionado and constructs massive death tracks beneath the city to go with his death traps. This is to cram more Batmobile segments in. He does his same, tired shtick for a third game, this time holding Catwoman captive, but also he's made both race tracks and robots to fight, just to add more. He even explains in-game why if he wins because Batman can't beat the robots, it still counts as a victory of cunning. He's doing mental loops to defend padding. At one point, he taunts that even a chimp can follow basic instructions. Sometimes that feels like Arkham Knight. More of the same isn't all bad; too much more of the same is, especially at the cost of upsetting the balance between familiar and new. Riddler's story can't be resolved (nor can you get the full ending) until you do the 300 or so Riddler trophies/riddles/whatever, but you can at least take it far enough to free Catwoman. Arkham Knight is a solid, if uneven send-off for Rocksteady's trilogy. Combat and predation are still satisfying. The narrative mixes unsurprising, but well done segments with unsurprising and uninteresting elements. It's full of nods, winks, nudges for batfans, even if certain super villain side missions feel needlessly tossed in. It makes me worried about what will happen with Batman in a new developer's less comfortable hands, and excited for what Rocksteady might do, itself free of the Batman myth. [This review is based on a retail build purchased by the reviewer.]
Batman review photo
Long Halloween
[Note: This review is based on a retail PlayStation 4 copy of Batman: Arkham Knight, not the PC version that is so broken publisher Warner Bros. temporarily delisted it from sale] If the difference between the real Batman and...

Punch Line photo
Punch Line

999 and Zero Escape writer's new game coming to PS4, Vita


Punch Line
Jun 23
// Steven Hansen
What with Zero Escape not being profitable and the trilogy being put on hold, series writer and director Kotaro Uchikoshi (999: Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors) went and wrote an anime called Punch Line. It has a pretty ...
Hmm photo
Hmm

Final Fantasy VII remake: No new characters, more realistic gameplay


Hmm
Jun 23
// Steven Hansen
First, I'd like to know if "there won’t be new characters" includes previously invented Final Fantasy VII characters, say from Advent Children, or if it means no new characters added relative to the original Final Fanta...
Release date planned photo
Release date planned

Kingdom Hearts III worlds set, mostly new


Tangled up in...Tangled
Jun 23
// Steven Hansen
Hoping some fan favorites from series past would make it into Kingdom Hearts III? Well you should let it go. That notion, I mean. Let it go, like from the movie Frozone. Tangled was also confirmed at E3. Anyways, Gematsu tra...
Persona 5? It's good photo
Persona 5? It's good

Persona 5 screenshots leak via Dancing All Night bonus disc


New trailer may be uploaded soon?
Jun 23
// Steven Hansen
I wouldn't blame you for avoiding these if you want to wait to experience them in the majesty that is the second Persona 5 trailer, from where these screens were ripped. Folks in Japan got their hands on Persona 4: Dancing All Night early along with the special bonus disc that contains a Persona 5 trailer, so be on the lookout for that soon. Also, blue-haired guy a new character?
Rustic photo
Rustic

Rustic: Rust generates avatar cock size by Steam ID


Rustic
Jun 23
// Steven Hansen
Haha, rustic. I think it's time for Jordan to take another Rust adventure. The open world survival sim is fascinating. It recently made headlines when players flipped out after it randomly assigned face and skin tone to users...
Robots photo
Robots

Keiji Inafune still loves robots, talks about ReCore


The humans are dead
Jun 23
// Steven Hansen
"Robots play a very important role in this adventure, and there will be many more robots that will lead to a rich experience." Okay, Inafune, we get it. Newly announced ReCore is your third (3rd!) Not-Mega-Man game. It's jus...
Obligatory scary child photo
Obligatory scary child

NIS gets creepy with new teaser


Obligatory scary child
Jun 23
// Steven Hansen
These days, Japanese games being creepy usually has more to do with upskirts than spooks. Fatal Frame couldn't even get squeezed into Nintendo's E3 event. Still, very-anime publisher and developer Nippon Ichi recently upload...
Arkham late Knight photo
Arkham late Knight
A select handful of reviews for Batman: Arkham Knight have popped up on the net this morning. We don't have one up and we likely won't have one ahead of its Tuesday release. In fact, it's looking like I will be heading out to...

Phantom Dust photo
Phantom Dust

Xbox One's Phantom Dust no longer in active development


Microsoft-canceled project done
Jun 22
// Steven Hansen
Microsoft announced a Phantom Dust reboot at its E3 conference in 2014, but less than a year later the project was shelved, allegedly due to unfair demands by Microsoft. Developer Darkside was shutdown and over 50 people lost...
Shenmue 3 photo
Shenmue 3

Shenmue 3 needs $10 million for a true open world


What are we really getting at what cost?
Jun 22
// Steven Hansen
Shenmue 3's existence is pretty neat. Its presence on a major publisher's stage show to hock a Kickstarter is less neat, to me. Obviously the $2 million goal (and $3.5 million raised at time of writing) would not be enough fo...
Uncharted at E3 photo
Uncharted at E3

Video impressions: Uncharted 4's extended E3 demo


Sneaky sneak
Jun 22
// Steven Hansen
I got to see another large chunk of Uncharted 4: A Thief's End from after the trailer cut off at E3. I wrote about that a bit here. I've also written a bit about why I think Uncharted 4 has the potential to be much better than Uncharted 3's poor showing. Anyways, if you want to see the video we shot in conjunction where I crouch in some bushes as teens do skate tricks nearby, here's that.
Gust RPG photo
Gust RPG

Gust's dark RPG Land of No Night continues to look good


It's dark, but there's no night?
Jun 22
// Steven Hansen
I was surprisingly impressed with Gust's (Atelier) new PlayStation (3, 4, and Vita) action RPG Yoru no Nai Kuni, or Land of No Night, when we got a first look at the gameplay (and whatever shreds of fabric the character is wearing in that picture). This new trailer shows off the battling a bit more, as well as some of the menus and monster accumulation system.
Eitr photo
Eitr

Hands-on with 2D Souls-like Eitr


Eitr? I hardly even know her!
Jun 22
// Steven Hansen
Zack and I finally played Eitr, which I've talked about before, at E3 this year. Then we sat very close together in camping chairs, shared a mic, and talked about it. To quote a YouTube comment, "Is everyone is dtoid just ga...
Headmaster photo
Headmaster

Headmaster is NOT a VR porn game for Morpheus


Though its lessons may cross over
Jun 22
// Steven Hansen
"Though its lessons may cross over," get it? Crossover, like the soccer move? (We kicked it and I scored, soccer game). Because Headmaster is (sort of) a weird soccer game and not about giving virtual blowjobs (you'll only g...
E3 demo photo
E3 demo

25 minutes of Deus Ex: Mankind Divided gameplay


E3 demo
Jun 22
// Steven Hansen
There's so much to talk about in the first minute or two alone. Going in on mechanical Apartheid. Sexy leather pants. Jensen's spiky ass designer facial hair (and skull hair). The fucking Illuminati!!! A game that isn't piss...
Plus E3 trailer photo
Plus E3 trailer

Tearaway PS4 has a companion app


Hand models
Jun 22
// Steven Hansen
Tearaway was one of the few games to take complete advantage of the Vita's extra features, smartly tying all of them into the narrative. Thus, porting it to the PlayStation 4 feels a bit odd. Apparently one way Tearaway Unfo...
Cage'd photo
Cage'd

The most unrealistic thing that has ever happened in a video game


Cage'd
Jun 22
// Steven Hansen
"I liked Indigo Prophecy, but Heavy Rain and Beyond sucked." Oh, is that right? Heavy Rain is a little bit bad, and I haven't played Beyond, but let's never get rose-tinted when talking about Fahrenheit/Indigo Prophecy. Beca...
Revelator  photo
Revelator

Guilty Gear Xrd: Revelator videos show off Johnny, newcomer Jack-O


Face down, ass up
Jun 22
// Steven Hansen
Guilty Gear Xrd: Revelator is the totally normal and appropriately named follow up to Guilty Gear Xrd -SIGN-, which Chris loved. Johnny is a series mainstay, but pumpkin faced Jack-O is a newbie and, uh, interesting. That's definitely the most sexual crouch animation I can remember seeing. She is 2 live.
Metroid do photo
Metroid do

Nintendo announced a new Metroid so we gave Zack a haircut


Preview: Metroid Prime: Blast Ball
Jun 22
// Steven Hansen
Ah, young, handsome Zack Furniss. Relatively new to Destructoid and attending his first E3 for the site, Zack was wide-eyed and hopeful. He imagined a world of Metroid Prime 4 or Super-er Metroid and took his e3thusiasm to d...

Extended Rise of the Tomb Raider video is way better than the E3 trailer

Jun 22 // Steven Hansen
This goes along with bigger tombs, either secret ones or ones on the narrative path. At one point Lara came up on an abandoned Cold War installation, which was apparently one of the game's "hubs" that contain quest givers, crypts, secrets, and story missions. There are also "systems that celebrate Lara's intelligence and archaeological background." Reading documents and murals throughout the ancient world gives Lara more experience and improves her proficiency, allowing her to uncover greater secrets. Like the secret of immortality hidden in a lost city beneath a lake, which Lara is fighting evil organization Trinity to get to. One other major gripe I keep having with the snow-ridden portions shown off is that Lara refuses to zip up her jacket and instead keeps showing off that cute infinity scarf. On top of that, no hat or gloves despite that fact that you lose heat fastest through those extremities. Bad guys, too, are not appropriately bundled for Siberian winter. [embed]294565:59186:0[/embed]
E3 preview photo
E3 preview
I was beefing a bit with Rise of the Tomb Raider for its heavily scripted sequences in which you hold forward on the analog stick as the game just sort of nonthreateningly happens around you (except for when a brutal cutscen...

Fallout 4 photo
Fallout 4

Fallout 4 'dialing back' graphics, runs at 1080p/30fps


Focus on extensive gameplay systems
Jun 22
// Steven Hansen
[Update: Bethesda's confirmed via Twitter that none of this applies to PC (as was implied). According to the publisher, "Resolution and FPS are not limited in any way on the PC."] Fallout 4 ain't looking like Witche...
Space is the place photo
Space is the place

The Solus Project sends you alone into space


Space is the place
Jun 22
// Steven Hansen
The Solus Project is a "single-player survival game by Teotl Studios (The Ball, Unmechanical) and Grip Games, coming to PC and Xbox One in early 2016." It basically sounds like the upcoming Matt Damon movie The Martian. Dead...
Europe photo
Europe

Eurocage: Heavy Rain, Beyond: Two Souls coming to PS4


In Europe
Jun 22
// Steven Hansen
Here's some news that snuck by last E3 week. Quantic Dream's beloved Heavy Rain and Beyond: Two Souls are coming top PlayStation 4, "only for Europe and the PAL region," according to the PlayStation Blog. The European one. A ...

E3 Photo Gallery

Jun 21 // Steven Hansen
E3 gallery photo
Xbox green, amiibo, nipples and more
[Maintenance note: Just a little weekend site upgrading madness, please let us know what you think of our new photo gallery system!  Also, you can now surf Destructoid via SSL though some non-https elements like comments...


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