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Terminator Genisys photo
Terminator Genisys

There's an in-theater Terminator game, and it's real silly


What a surprise!
Jun 30
// Mike Cosimano
Terminator Genisys is a very dumb movie, as you would expect from a series that both resolves its franchise-long conflict with every other installment and involves copious amounts of overly complicated time travel. From the n...

Super Dungeon Bros plays like garbage, with humor to match

Jun 25 // Mike Cosimano
Super Dungeon Bros takes place in Rökheim. There are four rock-themed brothers: Axl, the angry one; Freddie, the one who knows no fear; Lars, the one who keeps saying 'love' ad infinitum; and Ozzie AKA Michelangelo From TMNT, But A Rock This Time. I had to look up this information on the provided fact sheet, because the 'bros' are not characters. They have a "thing" and that "thing" is drilled into your skull like a well-placed icepick at an Italian dinner party gone wrong. Here's an example: when the party encounters some enemies, Lars can say "Careful, they've lost that lovin' feeling." This is the patent pending "Bro Banter" system, controlled by the player via the d-pad. Now, imagine hearing this line dozens of times over the course of a single dungeon run. It's a joke that would be right on the edge of amusing...if told once. And that's not even the worst of it! Ozzie's catchphrase is "That's what she said," a phrase I literally have not heard in years. When this was presented to me, I had to check my calendar to make sure I had not been trapped in some kind of 2011-centric time vortex. The Bro Banter system is supposedly reactive -- you can respond to banter from your compatriots with banter of your own, but I never got it to work organically during my play session. I did manage to get a confirmation that more recorded lines would be coming. Although I wouldn't get my hopes up for that, considering the fact that somebody told somebody else that recording a line from everyone's collective middle school experience and putting it in the game was a good idea. Playing the game is on the same level as the writing; it's bad. The characters are floaty and unresponsive, it feels like you're controlling an invisible character pushing the player character around. And the combat is somehow worse. The heavy attacks and the light attacks feel almost indistinguishable. I also found myself struggling with the controls more often than I'd care to admit in mixed company. It's not that the game is complex, it's just flat -- like a can of soda left out in the sun. The enemies feel same-y, both in terms of design and attacks. What separates an ice giant from a small goblin? Not much aside from their health bars. And when the weapons feel so inefficient, that larger health bar can be a real nuisance. Some of the loot in the full game could potentially mitigate this issue, but the game still has fundamental control issues. Maybe it was that 'last day of E3 funk', but the action made me want to take a nap. In order to complete 100% of the game, players will have to spend about 100 hours of their time with Super Dungeon Bros, which feels like a threat. The game plays terribly, and it's not amusing. Yes, it has couch co-op, but so does the excellent Diablo 3 console port. There are funnier games, there are better brawlers, there are more engaging couch multiplayer titles, there are more rewarding dungeon crawlers. Just because Super Dungeon Bros comprises all of those elements doesn't mean any of them work.
Super Dungeon Bros photo
Keep that dungeon locked
Unnecessary negativity is a blight, especially for writers. It can poison the mind and alienate the reader; a cancerous state of mind that serves nobody. Personally, I try and avoid it whenever possible. That mentality does m...

Transformers: Devastation photo
Transformers: Devastation

We saw Transformers at E3, and it looks rad


[feat. Polygon's Nick Robinson]
Jun 22
// Mike Cosimano
I'm going to cover Transformers: Devastation until either the game is cancelled or I have a physical copy in my grubby dork hands. I hope you have all come to terms with this, as I have not. More Than Meets the Eye is on...

Transformers: Devastation made me feel like a kid again

Jun 18 // Mike Cosimano
[embed]294389:59150:0[/embed] Transformers: Devastation takes place during Season 2 of the cartoon, right before the 1986 film. That's just one example of the attention to detail Platinum has applied to the game. They've even based generic enemies on the obscure Jumpstarter figures, a visual reference that earned a sizable grin. All your favorite characters are back too, with their original voices. Peter Cullen is unlikely to relinquish the Optimus Prime crown any time soon (despite having been outclassed by both David Kaye and Garry Chalk years ago), so he's still hanging around. Dan Gilvezan, the original Bumblebee, is back in the game too, delivering a solid performance. However, the death of Chris Latta has deprived us of Wheeljack, resulting in a competent sound-alike. The game has five playable characters: Optimus Prime, Bumblebee, Sideswipe, Grimlock, and Wheeljack. During the demo, we got our hands on Optimus Prime and Bumblebee. Although the characters feel different, there's a consistent undercurrent there -- a good sign of a solid combat system. Although this may come as no surprise to Platinum fans, Devastation's combat is simultaneously flashy and responsive. Even Bumblebee's light attack looks like it hits hard. Transformation is even incorporated; during a combo, players can transform into a car and ram into their foes, only to transform back and keep the combo rolling. This even works in midair. For example, during an enormous boss fight with the combiner Devastator, Optimus rocketed toward Devastator's head in truck mode before turning into a robot and smashing the Decepticon's face in with his Energon axe. This kind of spectacle is exactly what I was imagining on the floor of my living room, all those years ago. There's one thing in particular that stood out to me when I saw the game, and I think it perfectly encapsulates just what makes Devastation special. Optimus has a special attack where he transforms into a truck, summons his trailer from nowhere, drifts it into his foe, and then transforms back as the trailer disappears. Optimus Prime's disappearing trailer is a Transformers inside joke that's been turned into an attack in this real video game. Yeah, Transformers: Devastation plays like a dream. But it's nice to see one of my favorite franchises treated with the respect I believe it deserves. This truly is the Year of Cosimano.
Transformers: Devastation photo
Combiner Wars
Much like every other adult with an unhealthy love of The Transformers, I spent a good portion of my formative years on the floor, plastic robots in hand, crafting elaborate scenarios from whole cloth that would pit my diminu...

YouTube Gaming photo
YouTube Gaming

YouTube announces Gaming app, improved livestream


And by 'improved' they mean 'usable'
Jun 12
// Mike Cosimano
Today, YouTube announced YouTube Gaming: a hub specifically designed to curate gaming content. YouTube Gaming will take the form of both a website and a mobile app, and will launch sometime "this summer" alongside improved li...

Payday 2: Crimewave Edition is yet another competent port

Jun 12 // Mike Cosimano
[embed]293774:58944:0[/embed] Payday 2: Crimewave Edition (Xbox One [reviewed], PS4)Developer: Overkill SoftwarePublisher: 505 GamesReleased: June 12, 2015 MSRP: $49.99 In Payday 2, you're a gang of criminals in Washington, D.C, intimately familiar with the ins and outs of crime and crime-related activities. You and three friends (or AI partners if that's how you roll) apply this skillset liberally, transforming places where once there was no crime into a veritable haven of villainy. In some ways, you could say the Payday Pals are some kind of wave...of crime. These dirty deeds range from bank robbery, to jewelry store robbery, to museum robbery, to art gallery robbery, to murder. To be fair, unless your team is quite good, each mission ends with a sizable body count, so there's murder to be found in just about every mission. This is a sticking point with Payday 2 -- it's very difficult to pull off a controlled heist. Even if you're rolling with a team of people you know and everybody's using microphones, there are still a lot of unknown factors and most of the best stealth gear is locked behind dozens of hours worth of progress. Since the core shooting is tight and responsive, stealth attempts quickly transitioning into explosive gunfights was never a genuine problem. At first blush, locking different approaches behind progression is at the very least disingenuous, but if you're going to be playing the game for that long anyway, rewarding time spent with variety is a smart play. But in this case, appreciating design must take a backseat to player enjoyment. Pistol suppressors -- a crucial tool for stealth missions -- are either the luck of the draw or hidden behind some labyrinth of menus. It's impossible to tell which. Although there's a limited pool of missions, I never saw them all in my 16 hours with the game. This is partially because I spent time grinding out shorter, easier missions for cash and experience, but there's still a fairly respectable amount of content available. Since Crimewave Edition comes with all the DLC released up to that point, there's a lot even beyond the missions. There's more guns, a new character class, and even new characters (including a female member of the Payday Pals, and the boogeyman himself: John Wick). Something also has to be said for the game's atmosphere. When the relentless, driving soundtrack kicks in right as a fresh wave of pigs rush your crew, it's hard to not get swept up in the moment. I'll always choose stealth over action, but I never felt the need to restart a heist in Payday 2 because I had grown accustomed to the combat -- it had become a regular part of life in this fictional capital. Maybe there's something there about the normalization of violence, about how the endless war of attrition between the law and those who operate outside it only serves to perpetuate a culture of death -- when the authorities perform a show of force, perhaps they are creating the very criminals they seek to apprehend. Look, there are a lot of re-releases in stores right now, and even more coming this year. More often than not, they are slight, if competent, upgrades from the last batch of consoles. They've got nothing on the PC versions, but not everyone can afford a monster rig. Payday 2 is reasonably engaging, and the Crimewave Edition works as advertised. The framerate is solid, which is a nice bonus. But this is still a slightly new wrapper on a two-year-old game. Know this, at the very least: if you choose to skip this game in the hopes of drawing a line in the sand regarding split-gen ports, there are worse titles to pass over.
Payday 2: Crimewave photo
Yeah, I'm thinking I'm back
Much like the president from Resident Evil 6, the last generation of games has risen from the dead to feast on the living. We’ve seen so many remasters, remaster collections, and straight ports in the past year that it ...

Splatoon Transformer photo
Splatoon Transformer

This Splatoon Transformer is more than meets the eye


Beast Wars 2: Back in the Habit
Jun 12
// Mike Cosimano
I like Transformers a lot, and although I haven't played Splatoon yet, I dig that game's style. So a mix between Nintendo's latest brainchild and Hasbro's favorite son was bound to be a Mike Cosimano Favorite. A fan arti...
The Chinese Room photo
The Chinese Room

Everybody's Gone to the Rapture is coming August 11


Left Behind 2: The New Batch
Jun 11
// Mike Cosimano
Everybody's Gone to the Rapture, a first-person exploration game from Dear Esther developer The Chinese Room, will be coming to PlayStation 4 on August 11, according to creative director Dan Pinchbeck. "We look back now ...
Xbox One photo
Xbox One

Xbox One price cut is permanent, gets new 1TB model


Yep, it comes with Halo
Jun 09
// Mike Cosimano
After an Amazon leak confirmed the existence of an Xbox One model with a 1TB hard drive, Microsoft has officially announced both the new SKU and a price drop for the 500GB model, along with the new Xbox One controller. The co...
Street Fighter V photo
How does Ryu type with those things?
Hey, how do you feel about fighting in the streets? Well, if the mere concept of pavement brawling is enough to get your boxing gloves in a knot (?), this is the website for you. My fellow Destructoid contributor Alessandro F...

Iron Brigade photo
Iron Brigade

Double Fine gets Iron Brigade rights back from Microsoft


But who owns Trenched?
May 26
// Mike Cosimano
Today, indie developer/publisher Double Fine announced that it had regained the rights to Iron Brigade, a 2011 downloadable title originally published by Microsoft Studios under the name Trenched. From this point on, the game...
Kickstarter photo
Kickstarter

Dimension Drive's trolled Kickstarter is back for more


It's time for Jack to let 'er rip!
May 19
// Mike Cosimano
Dimension Drive, the indie game famous for having been trolled by a fraudulent 7,000 euro pledge, has returned to Kickstarter for another shot. "We've had [support] from all over the world. People calling us, sending us ...
Xbox One photo
Xbox One

Testing company claims Microsoft can brick your Xbox One whenever it wants (Update)


Guess some of that old DRM remains?
May 14
// Mike Cosimano
[Update: Microsoft issued a statement, saying: "To be clear, if a console is suspended from Xbox Live for a violation of the Terms of Use, it can still be used offline. Microsoft enforcement action does not result in a consol...
Kickstarter photo
Kickstarter

Indie Kickstarter trolled by fraudulent last-minute 7,000 euro pledge (Update)


Dev team is 'speechless'
May 14
// Mike Cosimano
[Update: Kickstarter has sent over an official comment, courtesy of  Director of Communications David Gallagher. "We work hard to keep Kickstarter a safe and trusted platform. Our Integrity Team actively monitors the sys...
Guitar Hero Live photo
Guitar Hero Live

Guitar Hero Live adds tracks from Alt-J, Judas Priest, and more


Ctrl-Q
May 12
// Mike Cosimano
The first 24 tracks in the Guitar Hero Live soundtrack have been announced, and we must face a dark truth: the latest entry in Activision's venerable rockstar simulation franchise sure does have a lot of tracks without h...

We got a first look at gameplay from the new Star Wars Battlefront

Apr 17 // Mike Cosimano
[embed]290584:58214:0[/embed] Star Wars Battlefront (PlayStation 4 [previewed], Xbox One, PC)Developer: DICEPublisher: Electronic ArtsRelease Date: November 17, 2015 During the preview event, we were shown what DICE claims was pre-alpha PlayStation 4 gameplay. It all felt too staged to be a live match, but there was just enough roughness to the visuals that I could maybe buy it. The gametype we were shown was called "Walker Assault," which was not explained in depth but seems to be an asymmetrical mode similar to Battlefield Hardline's "Heist." The Empire has an AT-AT, and the Rebels are activating Uplinks to summon Y-Wing bombers so they can destroy the AT-AT? Maybe? It wasn't explicit, but that's what I took away from both the match & the pre-rendered trailer we were shown. The Endor map also feels too detailed; there's too much going on visually and it feels like the camouflaged Rebels will have an enormous advantage. The other major thing I took away from the gameplay video was how much it looked like Battlefield, even with the Star Wars trappings. That's not to say it's a re-skin of Battlefield 4 or anything; it's just that the game looks almost exactly like how you'd expect a hypothetical Battlefield Endor game to look, right down to the experience gain. Battlefront gives you a 25 point bonus for a headshot, eh? That sounds familiar. Even the gun sway animation feels like a holdover from the recent Battlefield titles. However, all of that changes in third-person. For me, Star Wars Battlefront has always been a third-person shooter. It looks like players will be able to switch at will between the two modes of play. Heroes and villains will make a return, as we saw at the end of our demo when Darth Vader showed up and annihilated the player character. Boba Fett will also be playable, because this is a Star Wars thing. There's currently no word as to the rest of the game's roster, but I'd have to imagine some of the new characters from The Force Awakens will make an appearance. If DICE insists on gametypes with limited respawn tickets, a super-powerful character laying waste to an enemy team would certainly reduce average match times. One thing we didn't see was any specifics how ship-to-ship combat would be implemented. The reveal trailer included footage of dogfights, but I am very concerned by the lack of space combat gameplay being shown. I remember when I realized I could break into the enemy ship and sabotage it from within in the original game. How cool that would be with the 40-player count DICE is citing for Star Wars Battlefront? In fairness, there is a criminal lack of dogfighting in videogames these days in general. At this point I'll take just about anything I can get, especially if the fights are accompanied by that iconic TIE fighter scream. At the end of the gameplay demo, Battlefront design director Niklas Fegraeus took the stage to discuss some of the more technical aspects of the game. He showed off something called Dolby Atmos 3D, which just amounted to slightly better sound rendering. I bet if you've got a surround sound system or some killer headphones, that'll make you a very happy person. Most of my online gaming happens with the volume off and a podcast on in the background, so an otherwise indistinct difference in sound just didn't grab me. What I did find interesting was the mandatory part of the conference where the licensor talks about how much they love the licensed product and how faithful they want to be. When it came time for DICE to visit the Lucasfilm archives, they incorporated a technology called Physically Based Rendering -- PBR for short. As Fegraeus put it: "You have a [physical] object, you take a bunch of pictures and then a special software converts it into a digital object." The models we saw looked fantastic, and that level of detail was certainly visible in the demo. I was also quite taken with the new "partner feature," an option in multiplayer that allows two buddies to form a tag team. In-matches, you will always spawn near each other and you can always see where the other person is on the map. Outside of the match, if one of you is playing and the other comes online, you'll automatically be matched up. As somebody who doesn't make very much use of clans in console shooters, it's possible all of these features have been well-tread already, but to me this implementation felt new and fresh. But the most impressive aspect of this feature for me was the unlock sharing. If you get access to a sick gun before the other member of your tag team, they get access to it as well. This is both a cool way to make sure your team is perpetually strong while making the game accessible to more casual players. It's the best kind of change -- the kind that has no real downside -- and I'd like to see it pop up under a different name in a Call of Duty or Battlefield somewhere down the line. If competitive multiplayer isn't quite your bag (and if that's the case, why do you care about this game?) there will be missions inspired by battles from the film series that can be played solo or co-op (either online or local). One such mission is a free add-on entitled The Battle of Jakku, and takes place before the events of The Force Awakens, setting up the desert planet seen in both of the film's teaser trailers.  The latest iteration of the Frostbite engine seems well-utilized, but it's somewhat difficult to tell if I was being tricked. Although I firmly believe the match was choreographed to hell and back, the visuals had just enough jank to them that I also believe the game will absolutely look fantastic upon release. Now, will it hit the benchmark set by the demo? Not likely, but we know DICE can make a fine-looking console game. This is all somewhat irrelevant: how pretty the game will be is not the sticking point here. When you consider just how god damn broken Battlefield 4 was, I was genuinely surprised our demo didn't even nod at that ever-present sting. At time of writing, the DICE panel at Star Wars Celebration has not occurred, so there's a chance the team will still address the wampa in the room. But even if they manage to address it in a way that feels satisfactory, will that be enough to rake in the pre-orders? I think DICE has a solid core here, partially in thanks to its experience with multiplayer shooters. I've never played a bad Battlefield from a design standpoint (although I'm sure the comments will tell me otherwise), so there's no way I was going into Star Wars Battlefront expecting a mechanical disaster. My apprehension comes from the remaining blank spaces. Will this game be able to pay tribute to its predecessors and the franchise without letting reverence smother progress? And -- more importantly -- will the game work on day one? Neither of these questions can be adequately resolved before copies start getting out, but I think it's reasonable to get your hopes up just a little. As long as we've got space battles, everything will be fine. ...there are space battles, right DICE?
Star Wars Battlefront photo
There has been an awakening
I have very fond memories of Star Wars Battlefront. Well into my adolescence, whole summer weekends were lost to split-screen tournaments; when you lost a game, you lost the controller. Familiar Star Wars icono...

Danganronpa photo
Danganronpa

Destructoid solves a murder: Danganronpa Edition


It's pun-ishment time!
Apr 13
// Mike Cosimano
From the beginning, this murder (and I've seen a lot of them over the course of my career) struck me as too simple. Kyle Hebert -- a voice actor you may recognize as the voice of Ryu from Street Fighter -- was found de...
Deux Ex photo
Deux Ex

Next Deus Ex leaked, stars Adam Jensen


Deus (N)Ex(t)
Apr 07
// Mike Cosimano
[Update: Well, the internet has forced Square's hand. The official Deus Ex Twitter account just sent this out.] Information regarding the next game in the Deus Ex franchise -- subtitled Mankind Divided -- has b...
Bastion PS4 photo
Bastion PS4

Bastion on PS4 is still great, but not worth a double dip


A Mass Shun
Apr 06
// Mike Cosimano
If you pinned me to the ground, demanding a list of the Xbox 360’s best games, I can promise you Bastion would fall out of my terrified lips. I would also be very confused throughout the whole exchange, but as lo...

What if videogame consoles were Transformers?

Mar 28 // Mike Cosimano
Megatron: Xbox One In Dark Cybertron, IDW's first major Transformers-only crossover event, Decepticon leader Megatron did the impossible: he switched sides and joined the Autobots. Megatron has gone from trying to conquer the universe to exploring it with the wacky spacefaring cast of More than Meets the Eye (currently the best ongoing series in comics). It felt like a real stretch at the time (because it's a simple change in character that is going to sell a lot of comic books, like Bucky Cap or Lady Thor) but the issues released since then have justified his change of heart. Many Transformers stories have tried to make the audience feel sympathy for Megatron, but none have ever been so successful. More than Meets the Eye successfully reconciles the 'violent despot' characterization we all know and love with the new 'tired old revolutionary' Megatron used to soften his previous deeds, crafting a new version of the character that feels absolutely definitive -- against all odds. This reminds me of the Xbox One. When the console was first revealed, there was a sizable amount of justified backlash. It was a device for busy rich people: expensive, packed with irrelevant features, saddled with baffling limitations, and bearing a hidden $60 per year cost. Everyone was worried they wouldn't be able to play their single-player games if their Internet went down, or that the evil camera would watch them have sex in front of their television. Both fears were not totally unfounded, leading to an enormous backlash and low pre-order numbers. In order to save the system, Microsoft had to pull an about-face, reversing almost every controversial decision. Since then, we've seen the Xbox One drop the Kinect along with $100 off the MSRP, reach out to indies with the ID@Xbox program, and chase weird exclusives like Phantom Dust. Ever since Phil Spencer took over the Xbox division, the company has made positive strides towards fixing its reputation. It's not hard to see the parallels between Megatron (as written by James Roberts), Megatron (the character in More than Meets the Eye), and Phil Spencer's work on the Xbox brand. When you want to make a change, be it financially motivated, a creative decision, or an emotionally motivated faction change, there has to be some revisionism. You have to convince yourself that the past doesn't matter, and then you have to perform the Herculean task of convincing everyone else of the same. For the moment, it's almost impossible to tell whether Megatron or Microsoft were successful. We won't know how successful the Xbox One will be until well into the life cycle of the Xbox Two, and I honestly don't know where Megatron's character development could go from here. Either way, I'm looking forward to both. Tailgate: Wii U Tailgate is a relic. Not long after coming online, he fell into a sinkhole on Cybertron, only escaping his predicament after a six-million-year-long power nap. Physically, he is older than almost every character in More than Meets the Eye, but he approaches the Lost Light's various adventures with a childlike enthusiasm. Which makes sense -- he's technically two weeks old when the comic begins. Tailgate used his age to fabricate a series of stories, even claiming he was a bomb disposal expert. He's gone through some real trials over the course of the comic -- including almost dying of old age and saving half of the Cybertronian race in one week -- but he's come into his own, accepting his true role as a waste disposal 'bot and letting go of his tall tales. It's hard to hear the word 'relic' and not give the Wii U a little side-eye. When the console launched, it was months away from being outdated, with online decisions that were utterly baffling in the Xbox Live era and a launch library that was primarily a series of efforts at reclaiming old glories and ports nobody asked for. Hell, look at the name of the thing -- Wii U. Smarter people than me have been pointing this out since the console was revealed, but I'll be damned if that isn't the most transparent attempt to move units I've ever seen. The Wii U smacked of an old man trying to convince the kids he was cool, not realizing he was a kid at heart the whole time. All he had to do was embrace his inner child and the people would come running. There's something futile about chasing old glories, especially when they're made up. Nintendo has never been good with third parties. Remember that "historic partnership" between EA and Nintendo? Remember when Call of Duty: Ghosts coming to Wii U was a big deal? Where's Advanced Warfare? Where's Battlefield 4? The Wii U was a joke back when it was trying to be just another videogame console; another machine for you to enjoy those big tentpole releases. Today, it's genuinely beloved, even if the rampant amiibo shortage threatens to overshadow Nintendo's recent successes. Is the Wii U selling well? Of course not, that door closed when it launched with a crappy Mass Effect port and didn't have a killer app until a year into the console's life cycle. And Tailgate lost any chance of becoming an Old Cybertronian legend the second he fell unconscious. But we've got Mario Kart 8 now, and Tailgate defeated a genocidal despot by sticking a finger in his robo-brain. (God, I love these comics.) Accept your limitations, and use them to move forward. Can't wait for whatever NX is! Drift: PlayStation 4 Everybody on the Internet goes through a phase where they make an awesome self-insert character for their favorite thing. You know the type: mysterious, silent, unkillable, tortured past, maybe a bit of a dark streak? We've all done it! Be honest with yourself. Maybe post your original character in the comments. Now, imagine a world where you were paid to make that character an official part of your favorite thing. Hell, the character even gets a toy! And the best part? The character will be just as badass as you imagined: no watering down. That's Drift. And -- surprise surprise! -- when he premiered in the pages of the mega-event All Hail Megatron, everyone realized he was a cynical attempt at making a new fan-favorite character. Thankfully, he was redeemed in More than Meets the Eye, recast as a lovable hippie. Now, Drift is actually a fan favorite, despite being universally disliked when he first appeared. (Ironically, we've actually come full circle with the super racist Drift in the fourth Transformers movie) And, let's be real, nobody really liked the PlayStation 3 when it first came out either. It cost too much, the infamous "PS3 HAS NO GAMEZ" meme had a ring of truth to it (even though Resistance and Metal Gear Solid 4 were great) -- everything about the console reeked of post-PS2 swagger. But, much like the Wii U, the PS3 stumbled out of the gate. Compare that to the PS4, a console that came out swinging, easily taking and holding the lead. Now, I can't verify this for myself, but I've heard enough talk from enough different people that it makes sense: the PlayStation 4 is a Sony Computer Entertainment of America joint. That's why you're seeing people like Adam Boyes and Mark Cerny take the stage during E3 press conferences, and that's why the company is going after Western nostalgia properties like Grim Fandango. This change in power seems to be working: the PS3 never saw positive press the likes of which we saw when Jack Tretton confirmed the PS4 could play used games. Sometimes, it's smart to let go of the wheel and let somebody else take over. I'm not saying Shane McCarthy (the creator of Drift) is a terrible writer, or that Sony Japan doesn't know how to make a console. The PlayStation 2 is the best console of all time! But every so often, giving control of your creation to someone with a different vision works out best for all involved. It's just a simple matter of seeing that maybe you aren't the right person for this job. I mean, the PlayStation 4 has sold twenty million consoles so far, and Drift's resurgence in popularity got him another mini-series. Leaving your pride at the door works, as it turns out. Maybe that's the crux of all three of these consoles: pride. The Xbox One isn't trying to shove terrible ideas down our throats, the Wii U is no longer convinced it can be something it's not, and the PS4 isn't asking for $600. In many ways, success is about letting go of that pride, learning to accept your limitations and playing to your strengths. And it may have taken a little while, but I feel like each console is currently taking that to heart. I like where these consoles are at right now, and I think we've got a fantastic generation ahead of us. Also, Transformers are great. Thank you.
Transformers photo
Blast(er) Processing
This isn't clickbait. This isn't some article cashing in on hypothetical fan art of an Xbox turning into Megatron or a post about those awesome Mega Drive/PlayStation Transformers. This is my life, you fools. I've spent time ...

Bloodborne photo
Bloodborne

You missed our Bloodborne stream!


Watch us get gud!
Mar 23
// Mike Cosimano
Hey, everybody! The Bloodborne embargo has just lifted, and we've already got a review from the lovely Chris Carter. But that's not all! We're also streaming the game live from the Destructoid Twitch account. I'll be mes...
MGS V photo
The Buffalo Bills are the best team in the NFL
Earlier this week, rumors of Hideo Kojima leaving both Konami and the Metal Gear series surfaced, thanks to a report from GameSpot. Not to be undone by excellent reporting from The 2nd Street Jerks (The 2nd Street Jerks is a...

Hiveswap GDC photo
Hiveswap GDC

The Homestuck videogame isn't as dense as the comic


But then again, what is?
Mar 10
// Mike Cosimano
You know where you stand when it comes to Homestuck. Even if you don’t know what Homestuck is, you’ve already taken a side. The infamously dense webcomic has more than its fair share of rabid fans, avid haters, an...

Heat Signature is the best game I saw at GDC

Mar 10 // Mike Cosimano
[embed]288833:57687:0[/embed] Heat Signature (PC)Developer: Suspicious DevelopmentsPublisher: Suspicious DevelopmentsRelease Date: When it "feels ready" If you look at Heat Signature, it’s not difficult to see a through-line between this game and Gunpoint. There’s a lot of opportunity for emergent gameplay in both titles, with an emphasis on improvisation. I often found myself cracking up whenever something went wrong. Rebounding from a mistake never felt impossible. Here, you play a little dude in a little ship. That’s all I know for sure; there’s currently no story attached to the game. Francis is dedicated to feature locking before he starts writing a story around the mechanics, but there will be some form of narrative component in the final product. Your ship is designed for boarding, so your only form of interacting with other ships is smashing into their airlock and hopping aboard. The build of the game I played had three different kinds of missions: steal an item, assassinate a crew member, or hijack a ship and fly it back to a certain spot. They’re simple enough on their own, but the missions take on a whole new life when things start going wrong. For example, I accidentally blew up part of a ship during a mission. I had to kill a target in a different part of the ship, but the corridor I was supposed to take was in pieces, floating through space. So I docked my ship in the blown-out part of the mining vessel, creating a new airlock, only to find a locked door. The only option? Spawn more explosives and make an even bigger mess. I never actually got to my target, but I could have hijacked a nearby ship with actual weapons and blown my target to smithereens, if I were so inclined. So many games claim to offer open problem solving, but Heat Signature actually delivers (much like Gunpoint). For example, in the build I played, it’s possible for your breaching ship to be destroyed. So, in lieu of a breaching ship, you can launch yourself out of an airlock towards another ship’s airlock, steering yourself with a gun. Even the death state feels exciting and improvisational. If you get killed while on a ship, you have to remote control your ship in your direction before you bleed to death. Since your ship has realistic thrusters (e.g: the only way to slow down is to thrust in the other direction) as opposed to being able to turn on a dime, you’re forced to master the controls if you want to keep a particularly lucrative run going. This also factors into the game’s title. Running your engines heats up your ship, which causes your *ahem* heat signature to become visible to enemies. I often ran my thrusters at full blast for a second, launching me across the galaxy but keeping my ship cold. However, this often caused me to slam against the hull of the enemy ship, causing me to careen off in the opposite direction. Closing the distance between you and your quarry -- a simple mechanical loop in any other game -- feels like an adventure unto itself. And that’s Heat Signature in a word. It feels adventurous. It feels big. It captures the imagination. Maybe it’s unprofessional to express this level of enthusiasm, but I’m not going to sit here and lie to you about how I feel. This game is awesome. I can’t wait to play the full thing.
Heat Signature GDC photo
What's cooler than being cool?
Gunpoint ultimately had very little to do with guns. It was a smartly designed puzzler with an immensely satisfying core set of mechanics and witty dialogue. But the title never came into play; pointing guns at people always ...

Soul Axiom is a cross between Journey and Tron

Mar 06 // Mike Cosimano
[embed]288643:57628:0[/embed] Soul AxiomDeveloper: Wales InteractivePublisher: Wales InteractiveRelease date: Q3/Q4 2015  Soul Axiom takes place inside Elysia, a social network-type system that allows users to upload their memories and experiences, creating a sort of virtual self. You play as one such agent, sans memories. It was hard to glean any sort of plot from a hands-off demo without sound, but there seems to be something quite sinister happening inside Elysia. Over the course of my demo, I spotted a shadowy figure dragging away a coffin, and a shark attacked the player character towards the end of my time with the game. Unlike Master Reboot, which had a psychological horror bent, Soul Axiom will be more like a thriller. The game will still have a few scares, but Soul Axiom is not designed for spooks. It seemed too ethereal for that, for one thing. The game’s story will be delivered environmentally, similar to the excellent Gone Home. As you learn about the character you’re playing as, you’ll also learn about other people who have used Elysia. According to Wales Interactive co-founder David ‘Dai’ Banner, the team wants to communicate the story without resorting to infodumps. "We’ve got a story to tell, and we want to tell it," Banner said. In order to better understand the story they’ve written, Wales Interactive looks to focus groups. But they aren’t trying to appeal to a wider audience, as is so often the case when a developer uses focus groups. Banner was very adamant that the team wasn’t looking to make a "realistic" game. Soul Axiom is the game they wanted to make, even with the changes that come from playtesting. "We don’t want [Soul Axiom] to be so polished that it loses all personality," Banner said. Instead, the team is asking their focus groups what they thought was happening in the story, tweaking things based on the responses. This mindset is the primary reason behind Soul Axiom’s Early Access release. Unlike most Early Access games, this isn’t an unfinished beta. You aren’t paying for the privilege of bug testing. Banner is okay with tweaking the puzzles, if that means players will reach the end of their story. "We want everybody to see the whole game," he said. The game’s puzzles revolve around powers the player gains access to, like a 'phase' ability that lets players bring objects in and out of existence. Although most of the puzzles I saw were fairly simple (the first level is a linear tutorial), there were a few clear examples of Portal-esque environmental puzzles. It’s hard to not see shades of The Talos Principle in the game’s Egyptian level, so if either of those games are your bag, this might be also your bag! Please come pick up your bag. Soul Axiom was being shown off at the Xbox lounge, but it will be released simultaneously on Xbox One, PS4, and Wii U once the Steam version has been fully playtested. The team is aiming for a six month release window, with their worst case scenario a Q4 2015 release.  
Soul Axiom Preview photo
This Ain't Axiom Nexus
Everything you could say about Soul Axiom feels reductive. It looks like Journey mixed with Tron, except when it looks like Tron mixed with Tron. It’s a puzzler that evokes The Ta...

Dyscourse is a survival game that's light on survival

Mar 05 // Mike Cosimano
[embed]288640:57626:0[/embed] DyscourseDeveloper: Owlchemy LabsPublisher: Owlchemy LabsRelease date: March 25, 2015  "[Dyscourse] is a story that happens to be about survival," Schwartz clarified. In Dyscourse, you play as Rita, an artist turned barista who has crash landed on a deserted island with a motley crew of "useless tourists." By virtue of being the player character, Rita will determine the group’s focus, be it escape attempts or long-term survival plans. Is your time better spent gathering water or building a giant SOS out of driftwood? It’s a very basic risk/reward system, but what sets the game apart is just how different each playthrough will be. There are no superficial choices. When a character is injured or insulted, that will affect how effective they will be. There’s even unique character models for exhaustion, described by Schwartz as multiple levels of "dishevelment." Since each in-game day contains multiple opportunities for physical exertion and mental exhaustion, there's a good chance you could end a day with a dead survivor, or at least a very incapacitated one. Post-day conversations allow you to potentially mend broken bridges. However, broken bones are another story. According to Schwartz, the game contains an enormous amount of content. “There are about 80,000 English words in the game,” Schwartz said. “So if an American novel is about 100,000, our writer basically wrote a full novel.” A standard playthrough will only see around 15% of that 80,000. It also seems like the team at Owlchemy has succeeded in making their characters feel memorable. Schwartz recounted an anecdote from earlier in the week where a GDC attendee was praising a survivor’s competence, when a total stranger who had demoed the game earlier in the week stopped to accost the attendee. In the other person’s mind, that survivor was bringing the whole group down. I played Dyscourse on an Xbox One controller hooked up to a PC running a “near-final” build of the game. It played quite well, leading me to ask whether the game was headed to consoles. According to Schwartz, they’re “talking to everybody” about bringing the game to other platforms, but right now they’re focusing on the Steam version. They have to be focused; the game comes out in just under three weeks. I’ll certainly be giving Dyscourse a look when it comes out. The game’s sense of humor really works for me and the art style is memorable. There’s also a free expansion planned, starring a host of indie developers (Tim Schafer, Rami Ismail, and more) who get stranded on the island on their way to GDC. In my mind, that’s the real reason to pick up the game. The branching stories and clever dialogue seems like a nice bonus.
Dyscourse preview photo
It's also not Early Access
Owchemy Labs’ Alex Schwartz is one of the bravest men I know. In the midst of GDC, perhaps the most inside baseball-heavy of all conventions, he told a member of the press that Dyscourse was a "survival game." Of c...

Xbox One photo
Xbox One

Report: Xbox One is 'for babies,' says high school freshman


THIS IS A JOKE
Feb 28
// Mike Cosimano
In an interview conducted with Destructoid, high school freshman and East Aurora High videogame savant Chad Roberts commented on the long-term viability of the Xbox One platform, referring to it as "a gay console for babies" ...
Ladykiller in a Bind photo
'COSIMANOOOOOOOOOO' - Christine Love
We like to keep things family-friendly here at Destructoid Dot Com, so you can imagine the quandary we found ourselves saddled with once Christine Love dropped a steamy NSFW trailer for her new game My Twin Brother Made...

TwitchCon photo
TwitchCon

Twitch announces TwitchCon for September 2015


Oh great, another one.
Feb 20
// Mike Cosimano
Today, Amazon-owned videogame streaming service Twitch.tv announced a convention "dedicated to Twitch’s community of partners, broadcasters, and viewers." The show will run from September 25-26, 2015 in San Francisco at...
Nidhogg photo
Are you not entertained?
If you've got a lot of controllers and a lot of friends, these past couple years have been tailor-made for you. Between games like Towerfall (great), Samurai Gunn (great), Super Smash Bros for Wii U (okay), Divekick (ba...


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