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Senran Kagura Vita photo
Senran Kagura Vita

Senran Kagura: Shinovi Versus jiggles to North America this fall

And there will be a limited edition physical release
May 08
// Kyle MacGregor
Senran Kagura: Shinovi Versus is coming to PlayStation Vita in North America this autumn, XSEED Games announced today. The plot of Shinovi Versus unfolds shortly after the events of Senran Kagura Burst, revisiting t...
Croixleur Sigma! photo
Croixleur Sigma!

Croixleur Sigma is hard to pronounce, but fun to play

Devil May Cute returns, and is better than ever
May 05
// Kyle MacGregor
Doujin hack-and-slasher Croixleur debuted on western shores early last year, and it packed quite a punch. The game drew inspiration from the Devil May Cry series' Bloody Palace mode, pitting players against waves of...
Dynasty Warriors photo
Dynasty Warriors

Dynasty Warriors 8: Xtreme Legends Complete hits Steam this month

Launching May 13 for PC
May 02
// Jordan Devore
Tecmo Koei has honed in on the North American and European PC release date for Dynasty Warriors 8: Xtreme Legends Complete Edition -- it's coming to Steam on May 13, 2014. The publisher included a handful of screenshots along with the announcement, including a shot of the graphics menu if you'd like to see what settings are customizable. Find those below.
BloodRayne out now on PC photo
BloodRayne out now on PC

BloodRayne: Betrayal takes a bite out of Steam today

The dhampir femme fatale returns with an enhanced PC release
Apr 30
// Kyle MacGregor
Majesco is looking to lure in unsuspecting victims today, as BloodRayne: Betrayal sinks its teeth into the PC market with a Steam release. The polarizing WayForward side-scroller initially landed on PlayStation 3 an...
Yakuza Restoration photo
Yakuza Restoration

Yakuza Ishin came to PS3 & PS4 to do right by fans, just not western ones

Please understand
Apr 25
// Steven Hansen
Yakuza Ishin, released in concert with the PS4 in Japan as the best selling (not-bundled) software, is probably never releasing outside of Japan. SEGA sidestepped localizing Yakuza 5 to put all its efforts towards developing ...
Free Xbone photo
Free Xbone

Play this crappy Raid 2 brawler & you could win an Xbox One

The game sucks, but free is free
Apr 08
// Steven Hansen
The Raid is a great action film. It's sequel comes out this Friday. I assume it's also good. I saw a "making of" GIF where they pass a camera through a car window to the passenger seat, which is actually a disguised person, w...
Japanese indie games! photo
Japanese indie games!

Doujin fighter Magical Battle Festa strikes PC today

Japanese indie multiplayer brawler localized for western audiences
Apr 08
// Kyle MacGregor
Magical Battle Festa is hitting PC today, courtesy of the localization team at Playism. Set in a future where mankind has averted crisis by harnessing the power of magic, this arena fighter pits up to four-players in an all-...

Review: The Powerpuff Girls: Defenders of Townsville

Mar 23 // Darren Nakamura
The Powerpuff Girls: Defenders of Townsville (Linux, Mac, PC [reviewed])Developer: RadiangamesPublisher: Cartoon Network GamesReleased: March 14, 2014MSRP: $7.99Rig: AMD Phenom II X2 555 @ 3.2 GHz, with 4GB of RAM, ATI Radeon HD 5700, Windows 7 64-bit In standard fashion for the genre, the Powerpuff Girls lose all of their powers at the onset of the adventure. Mojo Jojo builds a device that erases their procedural memories, causing them to forget how to use all of their powers. He also kidnaps Blossom, Bubbles, and the Mayor, leaving Buttercup to try to save the day. At the beginning, Buttercup can do nothing more than walk left or right; she cannot even punch or jump. With robots on her tail, she has to stay on the run. It is sort of interesting to be so completely disempowered, but thankfully the section does not last long. One of the first memories Buttercup regains is how to punch. Shortly after that, she remembers how to fly and things really start to feel right for the Powerpuff Girls property. One design decision that comes off as slightly strange at first is that there are two attack buttons, with one for leftward attacks and the other for rightward attacks. It takes some getting used to, but it quickly becomes clear why it is the way it is: a short time into the game, Buttercup gains a projectile attack, and the control scheme acts as a sort of simplified twin-stick shooter. With independent attack directions, players can fly left while shooting right, or vice versa. [embed]272334:53091:0[/embed] At that point, what appeared to be a brawler becomes more of a shmup. Some enemies put out an unhealthy amount of glowing purple bullets. Though it never reaches the point where it would be called bullet hell, the girls do a fair amount of dodging and shooting from afar, in addition to their more powerful melee attacks when the situation calls for it. Eventually, Buttercup rescues Blossom and subsequently Bubbles, and the player can switch between the three at will with a quick button press. All three have most of the same basic abilities, but each has her own unique projectile attack. Buttercup has a wave beam-esque pulse that can pass through walls, Blossom throws fireballs that deal splash damage and melt ice, and Bubbles has an ice attack that has the widest spread and can freeze open certain barriers. The girls' unique abilities provides one of the avenues for blocking progress and backtracking, though other universal abilities are used for this as well. As far as these types of games go, Defenders of Townsville is more open than most, with multiple paths available at any given time, and not much direction on which path makes the most sense. This highlights one of the weaknesses of the game: the map is less helpful than it should be. With such a nonlinear environment and the backtracking that entails, the map gives no information on what was previously blocking progress. It does show whether a room has a powerup to find and whether it has been cleared of enemies, but little else. It ends up not being a huge deal, because the area to explore is not too large, and the girls' ability to fly makes traversing it a relatively quick endeavor, but it does seem to be a step back for the genre, which has taken steps in recent years to minimize wasted time and effort. After completing the first quest, a second one opens up, but the progression is a bit different. In Mojo's Key Quest, the Powerpuff Girls keep all of their regained memories, and sections of the map are locked off by collectible keys rather than by abilities. To compensate for starting almost fully powered up, the robots to fight are more numerous and more formidable than before. It is in this second quest that the combat really starts to get demanding. With some practice, players are able to fully utilize some of the cool abilities that show up late in the first quest. The girls can punch projectiles out of the sky, use defeated enemies as explosive weapons, and perform devastating charge attacks to drop the robots. Some may find the combat in the first quest to be too easy, but it becomes much more satisfying in the second quest. Mojo's Key Quest has its own map issues, despite the change in progression. While it does clearly distinguish locked and open doors, it is a larger area with certain doors acting as two-way teleporters. The big thing missing from the in-game map is which teleporters lead to one another, requiring a rote memory component for something that could have easily been represented on the map screen. Graphically, Defenders of Townsville matches the recent visual reimagining for The Powerpuff Girls, and while I hated it at first, I got used to it by the end of the first two-hour quest. However, series purists and those who cannot get over it have the option to use the classic, thick-outlined art style, which changes not only the character sprites, but also the whole environment. Otherwise, I experienced a bit of noticeable screen tearing, but nothing too distracting from the experience. The soundtrack is a decent chiptune collection, but it does not especially fit the franchise. It has a bit of a grungy sound to it, rather than the expected sugary pop that many associate with The Powerpuff Girls. It is not bad by any means, but it just does not match. All in all, I came out of The Powerpuff Girls: Defenders of Townsville pleasantly surprised. Not only does it nail the look and feel of flying around and beating up robots as a Powerpuff Girl, but it also stands in its own right as a unique take on the metroidvania genre. Where most focus on platforming as a means for getting around, the girls' constant flight and projectile arsenal puts an emphasis on shmup gameplay instead. Though it suffers from a few design oversights, Defenders of Townsville is a good, solid game. It handles the franchise well enough, but it would be good even without the Powerpuff Girls property. At about four hours of total gameplay, it does not overstay its welcome, and it definitely does justice to the franchise.
Powerpuff Girls review photo
Sugar, spice, and almost everything nice
Fifteen years ago, The Powerpuff Girls was my jam. I used to watch it (along with Dexter's Laboratory) just about every day after coming home from school, but before firing up a videogame. A couple weeks ago, when The Po...

Senran Kagura Bust photo
Senran Kagura Bust

Senran Kagura Burst box art was almost even sexier

This is a brawler, by the way
Mar 14
// Steven Hansen
Marvelous AQL didn't shy away from titillation with apparent porn game Senran Kagura Burst's European box art. The initial plan was even more blatant. The original box art design, prototyped above, was a slip cover. The outer...

Fight Club as a 16-bit beat-em-up game

Do you want to finish her off?
Mar 10
// Conrad Zimmerman
This was a treat to find this morning. It's the latest installment of "8-Bit Cinema", a series from YouTube Channel Cinefix which presents how films might have been represented in classic games, and they've cast Fight Club&n...
Guacamelee! photo

Guacamelee's Super Turbo Championship Edition enhancements detailed

Multiple save slots, independent dimension swapping, and more
Mar 06
// Jordan Devore
How many copies of Guacamelee! is too many? At first glance, I was sure I'd be able to pass on the recently-announced Super Turbo Championship Edition for Xbox 360, Wii U, PS4, and Xbox One having played it once before on PS3...
Senran Kagura Busted photo
Senran Kagura Busted

Senran Kagura Burst commercial likens it to pornography

It's a little bit [videogame] and a little bit [boobs]
Feb 28
// Steven Hansen
If you still live at home with an edgy "No stupid people beyond this point" sign on your door and your mom still cleans your bedroom for you because you are a child, she might find your porn game, this unfunny commercial suggests, with bundled up tissues and Vaseline.  Yes, you'll be Senran Kagura BUSTED. 
Double Dragon photo
Double Dragon

Double Dragon: Neon update addresses online lag

Tell your bro
Feb 27
// Jordan Devore
Patrick reviewed the recent PC version of Double Dragon: Neon and found the game itself to be rad but couldn't say the same for its online cooperative play due to input lag. A new update on Steam has been released to remedy t...

Battle Princess of Arcadias collides with PSN in 2014

It's up to you to defeat the monsters invading your once peaceful kingdom!
Feb 14
// Kyle MacGregor
Battle Princess of Arcadias and its splashy art are bound for North America and Europe later this year, thanks to the fine folks at NIS America. The Odin Sphere-esque action role-playing game will launch on PlayStation 3...
Double Dragon photo
Double Dragon

Double Dragon: Neon now available on Steam

Get ready to ROOOOOOOOCK!
Feb 06
// Conrad Zimmerman
The zaniest adventure of Billy and Jimmy Lee is available for PC players today, as Double Dragon: Neon arrives on Steam. You may now purchase it for the perfectly reasonable sum of $9.99. Setting aside all of the awesome...
To the Death photo
To the Death

Side-scrolling shooter/fighter To the Death looks great

From former Infinity Ward devs
Jan 21
// Dale North
Words can wait. Hop to To the Death's Kickstarter page and hit play on the video. Get past the few concept images and check out the 0:15 mark. Yeah. That. YES. This beauty comes from former Infinity Ward and Sony Santa Monic...
Guacamelee bundle photo
Guacamelee bundle

El Bundle FantŠstico de Guacamelee! estŠ en PSN ahora

If you don't already own it, now is a good time to get it
Jan 14
// Darren Nakamura
Guacamelee! came out early last year, and ended up being my second-favorite game of 2013, with its bright colors, unique setting, and satisfying brawler combat all wrapped up into a Metroidvania. I recommend it whenever ...
Double Dragon photo
Double Dragon

Double Dragon: Neon coming to Steam with online co-op

Jan 08
// Jordan Devore
Midnight City has announced the PC version of Double Dragon: Neon and the big new addition for Steam is the inclusion of online cooperative play. That's more than enough reason to play this again, in part, for its killer sou...
Senran Kagura 2 photo
Senran Kagura 2

Tamsoft announces Senran Kagura 2: Deep Crimson

Also for the 3DS
Jan 07
// Chris Carter
Even though it may be lacking in some areas, people seem to be enjoying Senran Kagura Burst -- at least, enough for developer Tamsoft to announce a sequel. Famitsu has confirmed that the game will be called Sen...
Sup Holmes photo
Get to know the people that make great videogames
Eight days ago on Sup Holmes (now on iTunes) we were joined by Interabang Entertainment's Justin Woodward. His story is among the most engaging we've had on the show yet. Justin went from hustling burnt CD to gaining two col...

Dubstep Dragon photo
Dubstep Dragon

Allez cuisine! Double Dragon hits Wii U, 3DS eShop

The power of might! The power of right!
Dec 13
// Steven Hansen
The original Double Dragon, the game that started it all, is now available on the Wii U and 3DS eShop. I don't know if it still holds up. I can tell you the movie starring Iron Chef America's Chairman does not. I can bet the cartoon doesn't, either. But, in the words of my uncle: that music is still balling. I've looped the trailer a few times already just listening to it.
Samurai Gunn photo
Samurai Gunn

Samurai Gunn stealth released on PC today

You want in on this insanity
Dec 10
// Brett Makedonski
Samurai Gunn (from boy genius Beau Blyth) has been flying under the radar for a while, but now it's available for the entire world to experience. The frantically-paced Bushido brawler released on Steam and the Humble St...
Super Comboman photo
Super Comboman

Sup Holmes is super with combo man Justin Woodward

Get to know the people that make great videogames
Dec 08
// Jonathan Holmes
This week on Sup Holmes we continue Adult Swimember with Justing Woodward of Interabang Entertainment. Justin's worked in the industry for years, but it probably best known for Super Comboman, the 2D action platformer with be...
3DS photo

Sega 3D Classics Altered Beast and Sonic out now for 3DS

Take a trip to the ol' eShop
Dec 05
// Jordan Devore
Following last week's debut of 3D Space Harrier and Super Hang-On on the 3DS eShop, another pair from the Sega 3D Classics line is available: 3D Sonic the Hedgehog and 3D Altered Beast. These are priced at $5.99/€4.99/&p...
ATLUS photo

Dragon's Crown shipments soar past 800,000 copies

Atlus vaunts successful figures for contentious PS3 and Vita brawler
Dec 03
// Kyle MacGregor
Atlus has announced Dragon's Crown shipments and digital sales have climbed north of the 800,000 mark since Vanallaware's PlayStation 3 and Vita brawler ventured out into the wild this summer. The controversial...

Review: Final Exam

Nov 12 // Wesley Ruscher
Final Exam (PC, PSN, XBLA [Reviewed])Developer: Mighty Rocket StudioPublisher: Focus Home InteractiveReleased: November 5, (PC, PSN); November 8, 2013 (XBLA)MSRP: $9.99 Mighty Rocket Studio’s 2D beat em’ up, Final Exam, wants to fool you into thinking it’s not another game centered around a zombie outbreak. For starters, the ghastly crew of abominations plaguing the world are referred to as “monsters.” But one would be hard pressed to see them as any anything other than stylized versions of the zombies from the Left 4 Dead series, once the action breaks outs. Being that this is a arcade game, it does not take long for the proverbial shit to hit the fan either. As a group of friends -- who would never in a million years actually hang out with each other -- head off to their high school reunion for some good old nostalgic times, the fun has to be put on hold when they, literally, come crashing into a horde of monsters. It's a simple set up, but then again this game is all about smashing and blasting anything dumb enough to get in your way. On its surface Final Exam appears to be your run-of-the-mill side-scrolling brawler. There are four characters to choose from, each starting out with their own affinities to certain play styles (explosives, hand-to-hand combat, and guns) and a set of zombie-esque monsters to slay over the course of eight stages. Combat is pretty straight forward too with melee attacks regulated to one button and guns and explosives set to the right stick (for aiming) and shoulder buttons for firing. It’s fun, for what it’s worth, in short bursts, but over the course of the game, it begins to wear thin. Mighty Rocket Studio aims to keep their title fresh; with basic RPG stat development, character skill trees, and environments that lend themselves to limited exploration for new weapons and collectables. Unfortunately, monotony sets in rather quick. Combat becomes the same combo strings over-and-over (regardless of melee weapon equipped) and ranged combat offers little variance. [embed]265479:51306:0[/embed] Levels additionally flow the same each time. Environments are typically multi-floored to allow the freedom to go in any direction, and while this could have been used more cleverly -- possibly hiding alternative routes and other secrets -- it's unfortunately used to send players on fetch quests. One level you may be rescuing and carrying children to safety and the next collecting samples, but regardless of what you're doing it all blends together in the end. Really the only shining light to the game’s level design are the few throwbacks to other old school arcade game genres tossed in the mix. There’s a shmup style boss fight and something akin to Space Invaders tossed in, but they are too few and far between. There is decent assortment of enemy fodder to to dismantle though, ranging from rampaging monsters to acid spitters, but by the end of the game you'll be quite sick of them. Enemies constantly come in swarms, and respawn over time, which causes any uniqueness they have to wear itself thin. What escalates the repetitiveness the most, and perhaps the game’s biggest shortcoming, is the reuse of environments. Nothing is worse than doing the same stuff on repeat in the same location. Multiplayer does little to fix anything. Local play is limited to two-players, with online supporting four, but over time the enjoyment of playing with others teeters off into just more monster mashing. Upon completion a timed survival mode unlocks (kill as many enemies without dying in seven minutes) as well as a harder difficulty to try out. If you're truly a sadist this will be up your alley, since the best scores for the leader boards come from playing at the highest skill challenge. I know I've painted a pretty grim picture of Final Exam, but I do want to state it’s not the worst of games. It does an admirable job bringing some modern systems into an old school brawler and at a more than affordable price. It controls well and the visuals are mildly entertaining with all the gooey giblets that are constantly flying around. It’s just  a game you'll go through once and never go back to again. To put it simply: Final Exam is forgettable.
Final Exam Review photo
Class dismissed
Eight years ago when Microsoft kicked off this generation with the Xbox 360, the concept of downloadable arcade titles on a home console was nothing more than a vision. With the Xbox 360 came the Xbox Live Arcade and one ad...

Senran Kagura launch date photo
Senran Kagura launch date

Senran Kagura Burst hits Nintendo 3DS on November 14

XSEED announces provocative side-scroller for release next week
Nov 08
// Kyle MacGregor
Senran Kagura Burst is hacking and slashing its way to North America on November 14, XSEED Games has announced. The "buxom ninja brawler" will be available exclusively via the Nintendo 3DS eShop for $29.99.  The story f...
Vanillaware photo

Muramasa Rebirth transports DLC westward early next year

Nov 01
// Kyle MacGregor
Muramasa Rebirth's long-awaited Genroku Legends downloadable add-ons will finally make their way to North America in early 2014, Aksys Games has announced. The supplementary content for Vanillaware's PlayStation Vita action ...
Killer Instinct photo
Killer Instinct

New Killer Instinct trailer reveals Spinal and much more

Double Helix shows off the goods
Oct 31
// Alessandro Fillari
During IGN's recent livestream event for Killer Instinct, much of the focus was on B.Orchid's return in the newest entry of the series. As a fan favorite, Double Helix was keen to show off its redesign and new mechanics for ...
Akiba's Trip 2 photo
Akiba's Trip 2

Akiba's Trip 2 knocks more than socks off

PlayStation panty punching pummeler
Oct 27
// Wesley Ruscher
Acquire's Akiba's Trip 2 is a demon destroying beat'em up where you literally beat the pants off your enemies. The latest video for the title showcases... well it showcases exactly what one would expect from a game wher...

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