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Katamari photo

Bandai Namco is cooking up Tap My Katamari

Trademark and domain found
Nov 30
// Jordan Devore
Katamari Damacy has such a strong hook and delightfully offbeat vibe, it's hard to imagine I'll ever grow tired of the series. It's been a few years, now. We're due for another installment. If a recent trademark and domain ar...

Dtoid Designs: The five best Un-Mario levels

Nov 30 // CJ Andriessen
[embed]323057:61316:0[/embed] Thank you to everybody who entered this month. We will have a new contest starting on December 1. If you would like to try out the level I created for the Un-Mario Challenge, check out Arino Hawkins & the 1001 Flames here: 43AF-0000-00DD-02F8
Dtoid Designs photo
Check out the winners of round two
This month for the second Dtoid Designs contest, I challenged you to use Super Mario Maker to create the Un-Mario level. How exactly does one create a level that doesn't play like it comes from a Super Mario game using only S...

Cyber Monday photo
Cyber Monday

The Konami Code is the key to unlocking Amazon's Cyber Monday deals

Well eight-elevenths of it
Nov 30
// Brett Makedonski
The Konami Code has had a ton of in-game applications, but today it can save you some actual real-life money. Amazon has centered its Cyber Monday video game deals around the legendary cheat, making it instantly good for 15 p...
Deals photo

Cyber Monday Xbox One bundle deals and 50% off games

Going into a store is so 1999
Nov 30
// Dealzon
If you're curious what Microsoft Store is offering up for Cyber Monday, prepare to be un-surprised -- the deals are essentially the same as they were on Black Friday. If you were too busy or overwhelmed at the time, you might...
Eight Days photo
Eight Days

This concept art is making me wish Eight Days was never canceled

Canned in 2008
Nov 30
// Chris Carter
Eight Days was a pretty ambitious project. So ambitious that Sony canceled it in 2008 after debuting it in 2006. The gist was that it was going to be the biggest open world game of that era, set across eight different US...
Lost Reavers photo
Lost Reavers

Lost Reavers is being developed by a younger core staff

At the request of Harada
Nov 30
// Chris Carter
It's still unknown whether or not the Wii U's Lost Reavers will sport a fair free-to-play scheme, but for now, it's looking interesting enough for me to keep following it. Speaking to Famitsu, producer Katsuhiro Harada (...
Naruto photo

The 'last' Naruto game just got a demo in Japan

Also, a new trailer
Nov 30
// Chris Carter
It's hard to believe that Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 4 isn't out yet -- I could have sworn it was set to come out months ago. It's actually going to arrive in February worldwide following a delay, and for no...

Review: Superbeat: Xonic

Nov 30 // Jed Whitaker
Superbeat: Xonic (PS Vita [reviewed], PS TV)Developer: NurijoyPublisher: PM Studios, Atlus & ActtilMSRP: $39.99Released: November 10, 2015 This spiritual successor to the DJMax series has you tapping on the edges of the screen as visualized music from various genres fly at you, or optionally using the D-pad and buttons if that is you'd prefer. Personally I found that Superbeat was far more suited to touchscreen gameplay than traditional controls. By using touch you never have to think about what buttons to press, instead just matching the notes as they connect with the screen, which in turn makes things a tiny bit easier. The only downside to touch is getting used to the scratch notes, which are yellow notes that require tapping then quickly swiping either up or down based on the arrow inside of them. Scratch notes really gave me trouble till I'd spent days with the game and finally found the perfect technique to trigger them. Aside from that, the gameplay is spot on. Hitting notes just feel great on the smooth OLED of my launch edition Vita, even if I didn't recognize any of the music upon first playing it. By the time I was finished with the game I found myself humming along to songs and going back to play my favorites to level up.  [embed]323291:61307:0[/embed] Superbeat has an XP leveling system that is used to unlock songs and World Tour stages. XP is gained by completing songs, and bonus XP are awarded for difficulty and perks related to unlockable DJ Icons. DJ Icons can grant perks or protections such as double health, more recovery, more XP and even break shields. Shields are used to prevent damage being taken and combos being broken and are necessary for many of the World Tour stages unless you're a natural born finger dancer.  World Tour is really where you'll spend most of your time with the game, completing various challenges that require various goals such as massive combos that last across songs, perfectly played songs, and achieving high scores. My biggest gripe with the game is that the difficulty of World Tour stages doesn't really match up with their listed difficulty; I often found myself failing the easy stages while breezing through medium and hard difficulties.  The Tour stages that are brutally difficult require you to get 90%+ JUD, with JUD being related to score. While DJ Icons can help you pass many stages, they do little to help pass JUD stages, as the shields only grant you "good" rated presses instead of "superbeats" that give you a higher score. Some of the challenges are so hard that I found it damned near impossible to complete them in my time with the game, meaning I missed out on one last set of challenges and another "fart" sound effect that can be used in place of the default rimshot sound effect played when hitting notes.  After close to 40 hours with the game, I'm nowhere near acquiring all the unlockables, though I've managed to unlock every track -- all of which I really enjoy aside from one metal song that gives Crazytown's "Butterfly" a run for its title of 'shittiest song ever.' I rarely play my Vita, but now I'm going to have to pack it and Xonic along with me for any flights as my new go to "don't panic because you could die at any moment" game.  Superbeat: Xonic is an original enough take on the rhythm genre to make it feel fresh again and is easily the best touch screen based music game I've played with Cytus coming a close second. Filled to the brim with catchy tunes, I'll be revisiting Superbeat in the coming months anytime I travel. Apart from some brutally difficult challenges, the only other thing holding me back from giving this game a perfect score is that it is on the Vita, a system that I'd still regret buying even if this was the second best rhythm game I've ever played -- long live the king, PaRappa the Rapper. [This review is based on a retail build of the game provided by the publisher.] Pokémon Super Mystery Dungeon (3DS)Developer: Spike ChunsoftPublisher: NintendoMSRP: $39.99Released: November 20, 2015 [embed]323291:61307:0[/embed]
Superbeat review photo
Fingering has never been so fun
I've been playing rhythm games since they exploded onto the scene with PaRappa the Rapper in 1997, and having nearly played at least one title of every rhythm game series released I can easily say Superbeat: Xonic is top tier. But be forewarned, this is the Dark Souls...nay...the 127 Hours of music games, only you get to keep your arms attached. SUPERBEAT: XONiC

Hatsune Miku photo
Hatsune Miku

Hatsune Miku: Project Diva X will arrive in March in Japan

On Vita
Nov 30
// Chris Carter
The Hatsune Miku machine isn't stopping anytime soon. Sega has just announced that Hatsune Miku: Project Diva X will arrive on March 24, 2016 in Japan, exclusively for the Vita. An Aime card (arcade transfer accesso...
Xenoblade photo

Video Review: Xenoblade Chronicles X

X gon' give it to ya
Nov 30
// Myles Cox
Xenoblade Chronicles X is certainly one of those games that you probably have to see to believe, rather than simply just taking some stranger's word for it. The written review just doesn't do it enough justice in my humble o...
Mighty No. 9 photo
Mighty No. 9

New Mighty No. 9 trailer showcases additional modes

Oh that Beck he's so wacky
Nov 30
// Chris Carter
Mighty No. 9 is going for that "kooky weird Saturday morning cartoon" vibe with this new trailer, meant to showcase some of the game's new modes, and that ever-popular brand™ building Minecraft pre-order bonus ski...
Hearthstone photo

This Hearthstone combo kills both players instantly

Compliments of Tavern Brawl
Nov 30
// Chris Carter
Hearthstone's Auchenai Soulpriest is up to his old tricks again. As most Priest players know, this card swaps healing powers for damage, setting up some devastating combos if used on the enemy. But in the case of this week's ...
Mario Kart 8 photo
Mario Kart 8

Mario Kart 8 is getting a TV special on Disney XD this week

Haha what
Nov 30
// Chris Carter
Mario Kart 8 came in with a bang, and ended up lasting quite a while with its two amazing DLC packs. While I still play it on occasion, its fire has unfortunately died down a bit, partially due to the horrible battle mode tha...
South Park photo
South Park

Obsidian's team had full access to the South Park archives for The Stick of Truth

Did You Know Gaming
Nov 30
// Chris Carter
South Park: The Stick of Truth was a pretty ambitious project -- so much so that I didn't think it would ever actually come out. But when it did, it blew my expectations away, and Obsidian had another hit on its hands. ...

Review: Xenoblade Chronicles X

Nov 30 // Chris Carter
Xenoblade Chronicles X (Wii U)Developer: Monolith SoftPublisher: NintendoReleased: April 29, 2015 (Japan), December 4, 2015 (EU, US)MSRP: $59.99 X's timeline starts in 2054 AD, when a mysterious alien race assaults the Earth and decimates the human race as we know it. Arks deploy across the universe, and the only known survivor is the White Whale, which crash lands on the distant planet Mira. Cue a quest to kickstart mankind's new home, and you have your basic gist of what's going on. To be clear, the story is not related to the original Xenoblade in any way. You do not need to have played the other game to have an idea of what's going on, and by JRPG standards, X's story is rather clear and concise. The player goes through the experience as a silent protagonist, with a minor amount of dialogue choices (more like moods) in tow. There is no branching narrative here -- instead, you'll follow a linear storyline, with the ability to take control of any party member as your primary avatar, including the one you create. Where X really shines isn't by way of its serviceable, yet sometimes drawn-out story; it's the ability to create your own adventures. Through the use of a lone base (New LA) and a formidable, yet vulnerable organization called BLADE, you'll slowly learn more about Mira, the creatures that inhabit it, and the dangers involved beyond the alien race trying to wipe out your species. The giant, sprawling maps (of which there are five, all accessible at the start) are a dream come true for exploration enthusiasts, with secrets at every turn and points of interest every minute or so. While the visuals aren't anything to gawk at on a grand scale, the draw distance is absolutely incredible, to the point where I'm in awe Monolith was able to squeeze these textures into a Wii U title. Walking around in X is wondrous, and spotting giant screens-high enemies and world bosses (Indigens and Tyrants, respectively) is something you need to do yourself to truly grasp the game's scale. [embed]322015:61313:0[/embed] Players will start off with a male or female avatar of their choosing, and it's off to the races, with a rather quick tutorial session. From there, the game completely ceases to hold your hand, which is going to be a massive point of contention for some. Point blank, X is not a game you can casually pick up and play -- you need to immerse yourself in it. This not only goes for leveling up your character, but unlocking the requirements for story missions. Xenoblade Chronicles X is a tough and unforgiving game if you have no affinity toward the JRPG genre. Sure, there are a few modern conveniences peppered in, like fast travel, a detailed world map (accessible at all times on the GamePad screen), and the ability to save anywhere, but you will need to master nearly every facet of X to progress past the first few chapters. Hell, you'll need to actually read the manual to pick up on a few major things, old-school style, and I ended up taking paper notes just like I did in the NES days. It's going to be a polarizing thing for sure, but personally, I'm stoked to play something like this again. Learning all the game's ins and outs was a joy. It's particularly satisfying to take everything in and feel like you've accomplished something. The battle system is just as unforgiving as a lot of other aspects of X. It's based on an auto-attack system that presents you with a few skills at the start (such as power attacks or debuffs), but after a few hours the learning curve really ramps up. Players will have to juggle between ranged and melee attacks and abilities, both of which have their own styles, pros, and cons. By way of an MMO hotbar with icons and cooldowns, you'll have to micromanage all of the tools available to you, learn what abilities combo with others, and divine the right time to use them. Combat is also nuanced in practice, as enemies often have appendages that can be broken for strategic value. On paper it sounds like basic stuff, but once I earned the dodge and block abilities, timing became absolutely key to surviving a boss battle. Additionally, mastering other facets like the Soul Voice system (a harmless QTE that pops up occasionally, allowing you to heal your party), and knowledge of passive skill synergy will help. If all of that sounds scary, maybe Xenoblade Chronicles X isn't the game for you. Don't worry about the controls though. They work great, mostly thanks to the GamePad. As mentioned previously, it's constantly available as a map and fast travel datapad of sorts. If you're so inclined you can also use the Wii U Pro Controller, which works fine as well. In terms of length, X hits that sweet spot a lot of games in the genre tend to provide -- 50 hours or so for the story, and double that to do everything. What sets this JRPG apart from most of the competition however, is its ability to grab the player's attention throughout, and not just during specific juicy story sections. I would often spend hours at a time just aimlessly wandering around, finding mining locations to raise my income, and hunting down Tyrants. Every zone has a distinct feel to it, and in all, I've probably spent 10 hours in each individual area. Skells (mechs) have been a huge part of the game's marketing scheme, and it's important to know that you won't get them until roughly 20 to 30 hours into the core story (this is assuming you only do a light amount of exploring on top of that). After unlocking the opportunity to even obtain the license to pilot one, you'll have to complete a lengthy multi-tier optional questline. When I had first heard that figure based on player's experiences with the Japanese version I was turned off, but actually playing X, I quickly forgot about them, and when Skells did arrive, they felt like a cherry on top, opening up brand new exploration options via flight. Xenoblade does come with an online component, and just to be clear, I wasn't able to fully test it out. In addition to multiplayer squad support, there's also a system where you can recruit or interact with potential party members in an asynchronous manner, the latter of which I personally did have access to during my review period. It's a nice little bonus, as adding in a member from a vast online pool of players (even pre-launch) can help you fulfill a need in your party makeup that may be missing. Otherwise, this can be played completely offline, without any fear of missing out of an essential part of the game. This is one of the more interesting reviews I've done as of late because I know Xenoblade Chronicles X will be divisive. But it truly feels like an MMO world I've been living in for several weeks now. The more grimdark theme isn't quite as charming as the original Xenoblade, but everything else makes up for it. [This review is based on a retail build of the game provided by the publisher.]
Xenoblade review photo
I'm really feeling it
When Xenoblade Chronicles was announced for localization on the Wii, my heart skipped a beat. While there are plenty of JRPGs to go around, the more the merrier, and I wouldn't pass up the chance to experience another Monolith Soft game. I didn't quite have the same reaction to Xenoblade Chronicles X at first, but it really grew on me over time.

Rainbow Six Siege photo
Rainbow Six Siege

Where is our review for Rainbow Six: Siege?

Working on it
Nov 30
// Chris Carter
After a beta snafu, Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Siege is set to launch tomorrow on the PC, PS4, and Xbox One platforms. So where is our review? Well, we declined Ubisoft's review event as per our policy, so we'll be getting...
PlayStation 4 photo
PlayStation 4

Research group says millennials prefer PlayStation

Especially on Black Friday
Nov 30
// Mike Cosimano
Shopping research group InfoScout has published its post-Black Friday findings as they relate to video game consoles. As you can see in the chart below, 40% of participating millennials (defined as ages 18-35) buy PlayStation...
Star Wars Battlefront photo
Star Wars Battlefront

Breaking Benjamin frontman hates Star Wars Battlefront

He seems like a reasonable man
Nov 30
// Mike Cosimano
Within the first thirty seconds of the video linked below, Breaking Benjamin founder Benjamin Burnley admits to punching his Xbox One to the point where there is damage visible on the console. This comes on the heels of a muc...
Metal Gear Solid photo
Metal Gear Solid

Not everyone is giving peace a chance in Metal Gear Solid V's race to disarmament

Oh, Xboners
Nov 30
// Vikki Blake
Konami is keeping us updated following its call to disarm all nuclear weapons on Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain. As at November 29, Xbox 360 is leading the charge with just 35 nukes remaining, with big brother Xbox One ...
Rainbow Six Siege photo
Rainbow Six Siege

Like killing off your own team members in Rainbow Six Siege? Ubisoft has plans for you

'It will not be tolerated'
Nov 30
// Vikki Blake
Ubisoft will not tolerate players who kill off their own teammates in Rainbow Six Siege. Replying to a fan tweet that asked if there were plans to "to do anything about trolls that kill people on their [own] team," the develo...
Mirage: Arcane Warfare photo
Mirage: Arcane Warfare

Chivalry developer trademarks Mirage: Arcane Warfare

Dark Messiah of Might and Chivalry?
Nov 30
// Joe Parlock
Chivalry: Medieval Warfare was absolutely great. Take a load of shouty knights, make them chuck axes and swing swords at each other in a first person melee-fest, and you’ve got yourself a grand ole time. Plus it gets ex...
Demon's Souls photo
To be announced at the PS Experience?
I know how many people love this game, so I’ll cut the preamble: Demon’s Souls might be coming to PS4. The game put From Software on the map, and introduced the format now used yearly for the likes of Dark Souls a...

Favorite game quiz photo
Favorite game quiz

Kill your darlings, create a definitive list of your favorite games

Sophie's Choice simulator 2015
Nov 29
// Nic Rowen
A test to sort your favorite games has been making the rounds on social media over the past few days. Normally I ignore this sort of thing, but when it seemed to push our own Jonathan Holmes into an existential crisis earlier...
Warhammer 40K photo
Warhammer 40K

Oh hey, a Warhammer 40K game that looks okay

Tentative excitement for Eternal Crusade
Nov 29
// Kyle MacGregor
Games Workshop isn't the most discerning of license holders. Ever since the demise of THQ, the company has allowed just about anyone to make a video game based on Warhammer 40,000. The situation has reached the point where D...
Promoted blog photo
Promoted blog

I'm not an 'SJW,' I'm an anthropologist: Making the case for diversity in games

Promoted from our community blogs!
Nov 29
// bacon1eggs
[The discussion regarding diversity in games doesn't seem to be slowing down or becoming any less heated, but the discussion of its impact is still important all the same. In today's promoted blog, bacon1eggs touches on why t...
Indivisible photo

Shantae shimmies her way into the world of Indivisible

More than 80% there with 6 days left
Nov 29
// Jonathan Holmes
I had thought we'd seen all the cameo characters that Indivisible had to offer, but a few days ago, one the original "indies-on-consoles" icons of gaming was added to the already impressive roster of guest stars. Shantae has...
Handball 16 photo
Handball 16

Handball 16 is a real game you can play

But you probably don't want to
Nov 29
// Kyle MacGregor
Every Sunday, Sony posts a lineup of new releases coming to PlayStation systems that week. It's something I check religiously, hoping to discover a gem hidden amongst the big blockbusters. No gems this week, but Bigben Intera...
Soma photo

It's a Sup Holmes for pigs with Soma co-creator Thomas Grip

Sup Holmes every Sunday at 2:30pm EST!
Nov 29
// Jonathan Holmes
[Sup Holmes is a weekly talk show for people that make great videogames. It airs live every Sunday at 4pm EST on YouTube, and can be found in Podcast form on Libsyn and iTunes.] [Update: Show's over every...
Rocket League x Portal photo
Rocket League x Portal

Portal crossover coming to Rocket League

The cake is a li-- er, topper
Nov 29
// Kyle MacGregor
Portal-themed content is coming to Rocket League next month, Psyonix has announced. Starting December 1, the following items will be awarded to players at random after matches: Cake (Topper)  Conversion Gel (Rocket Trai...

Lara Croft GO's new expansion is sadistic

Nov 29 // Kyle MacGregor
The team at Square Enix Montréal has been listening to feedback, and "The Shard of Life" expansion is targeted squarely at players who wanted something more complex out of the base game. Comprised of 26 new puzzles, the free update has a high floor in terms of difficulty, picking up right where the main story left off and ratcheting up the tension from there. The Shard of Life sees Lara descend into a new ancient burial chamber, the Cave of Fire, where she comes across a new obstacle, immortal enemies, en route to pilfering the grotto's hidden treasures. The invincible creatures can be stunned, but will eventually rise back to their feet (or insert turn of phrase that better applies to snakes). This adds a new dimension of challenge, requiring players to approach puzzles from different vantage points and hastening the window of opportunity for certain obstacles to be surmounted. In addition to adding a new dimension of challenge (these immortal enemies often make it so precise movements must be made, narrowing the window of opportunity for you to get by them), they inject a new element to puzzle solving, where their felled-bodies might hold a switch down, but only for a certain amount of time before they start moving again and alter the landscape. While I confess I wasn't among the virtuosos who completed Lara Croft GO without breaking a sweat, The Shard of Life never feels unfair. That said, I've probably spent more time dealing with some of the individual rooms in the add-on content than I did with entire stretches of the original game. It definitely has me thinking more, as each puzzle is a multi-step process with nary an easy solution. At times, there's a bit more mental gymnastics involved than I might have preferred, considering I was comfortable with the campaign, but it's difficult to get too broken up over some mild frustrations in a sizable, free update to an experience I already love and enjoy. If you've yet to try Lara Croft GO, it's currently 40 percent off via iTunes and Google Play for $2.99.
Lara Croft GO impressions photo
But I still love it
Lara Croft GO might just be my favorite mobile game of the year. Having played through the campaign twice now, I can safely say there isn't much I'd change about Square Enix Montréal's minimalist puzzler -- though...

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