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YO HATERS! STEP OFF!
In what may very well be the greatest news of 2013 thus far, D3Publisher has announced a partnership with Cartoon Network to publish games based on the greatest television program about a pair of retro-gaming slackers who sti...

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EDF 2025

Earth Defense Force 2025 due in June 2013


EVERYONE GETS BEES!
Feb 14
// Conrad Zimmerman
The latest issue of Famitsu has some juicy details on the upcoming Earth Defense Force 2025, including a release window. In Japan, at the very least, bugs and buildings alike will see their downfall this June. Hopefully, thos...
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Giant bugs from space return in Earth Defense Force 2025


Shoot a nuke down a bug hole, you got a lot of dead bugs.
Feb 02
// Kyle MacGregor
Just when you thought you were safe from the terrifying ravagers they've have inexplicably returned in Earth Defense Force 2025. Appealing to your baser instincts this game is, once again, all about killing robots ...
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This EDF 2025 trailer has more of the good stuff


I'm from Buenos Aires, and I say kill 'em all!
Jan 02
// Jordan Devore
If you were perhaps disappointed by Earth Defense Force: Insect Armageddon and the tweaks made to this very particular series, the embedded footage of Earth Defense Force 2025 will be a pleasant sight indeed. For the record,...
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Adventure Time

Listen to the Adventure Time 3DS OST now on SoundCloud


Greatest. Soundtrack. Ever.
Dec 20
// Brett Zeidler
Guys, Adventure Time: Hey Ice King! Why'd you steal our garbage?!! (also known as the greatest thing to ever happen to me) has an amazing soundtrack. I don't even know how to begin to describe it to you guys. Which is good, ...
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Earth Defense Force 2017 Portable release date get!


I think I had a video game like this once
Dec 20
// Kyle MacGregor
Strike Force Lightning, EDF operations here. You may notice that your PlayStation Vitas have been equipped with machine guns. Feel free to use them to shoot the hell out of the ravagers when they return in Earth Defense ...
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Earth Defense Force 2025 descends upon the West in 2013


'The best thing to do is attack them while avoiding their attacks'
Dec 13
// Kyle MacGregor
A wise man once said "The only good bug is a dead bug." Truer words have never been spoken, and its best that you remember them. The conflict with the terrifying ravagers looks primed to spread to both Europe and North Americ...

Review: Black Knight Sword

Dec 13 // Chris Carter
Black Knight Sword (PlayStation Network [reviewed], Xbox Live Arcade)Developer: Grasshopper Manufacture, Digital RealityPublisher: D3PublisherReleased: December 11, 2012MSRP: $9.99 / 800 Microsoft Points Black Knight Sword features a minimalistic story, which is really what you make of it, all the way up to the game's unfulfilling ending. Set behind the backdrop of a theater play, it combines this premise with platforming mechanics resembling linear old-school Castlevania titles. There are giant fire-breathing chickens, pig-motorcycle hybrid creatures, and a lot more I don't want to spoil here. Still, despite the addition of quite a few obvious oddities, it doesn't really feel unique. Everything on offer here, whether it's level design or gameplay mechanics, you've seen before. I don't know whether or not Grasshopper is losing that "Oh my God, it's Grasshopper -- I have to buy it on principle" effect, or if this is an isolated incident, but going in with lowered expectations for Black Knight Sword is probably a good idea. The art style, while not wholly original, does look pretty neat however, especially on-screen. The best way I can probably describe it is as the illegitimate lovechild of LittleBigPlanet, Rock of Ages, and Monty Python (that's a compliment, mind you!). The aptly named mysterious hero can attack, evade, double jump, and use magic, as well as utilize a charge attack, and a few other typical staples of the genre. Everything pretty much works as advertised, save one move: the evade mechanic, which is enacted by pressing down and jump. This counter-intuitive dodge method can be a problem, as you need this ability fairly often in higher difficulties, and the controls are so finicky that it's hard to perform consistently. I don't see why it couldn't have corresponded to a button like Symphony of the Night's back-dash, especially since so many buttons go entirely unused. Once you actually get a handle on the jumping physics, you'll have to do quite a bit of precision platforming. Truth be told, I didn't really think any of the platforming sequences were that difficult until one small section on the game's final stage. That's either a good or a bad thing, depending on what you want from the game, but I know a lot of people will most likely have trouble acclimating themselves to the sometimes floaty jumping system. Also, when the Black Knight attacks, he sort of thrusts, kind of like Sir Arthur in Ghosts'n Goblins, which may take some getting used to as well. But the controls aren't the only thing you may be at odds with. Since you're in a "play," a giant stage obscures a lot of the screen. You can use the right analog stick to move the camera around and view your surroundings, but this might not be enough to work around the annoyance. For me, it was fine. The ability to manipulate the camera while running and jumping was a godsend (and should be in a lot more games), but it still would have been nice to turn off the stage in subsequent playthroughs. Nearly every enemy drops hearts, which can be used in the game's shop. It gives an incentive to fight enemies, but odds are unless you're playing on the hard difficulty, you won't go out of your way to get them. The shop is pretty barebones, and isn't really needed outside of the crucial maximum health bonuses. It would have been neat to see the shop expanded, but sadly, like a lot of the rest of the game, it feels way too familiar and trite. Another strange design choice is the fact that there's no autosave function. If you want the game to remember your progress, you have to manually save -- and when you do, there's no notification that you were successful. I can imagine quite a few people glossing over this (as it's only briefly mentioned in the tutorial), and getting pissed off at the loss of progress. One major thing to factor into Black Knight Sword is the difficulty level, which harkens back to the days of yore, when 2D platformers were actually challenging. While it will probably give you a run for your money more than most contemporary platformers, you have to play it on hard to really get the feel of a true challenge. Provided you do that, you're in for a treat. For a $10 platformer, there's a decent amount of content to hold you through after you finish your first playthrough. There are easy, normal, and hard difficulty levels, as well as a number of collectibles, an Arcade mode, and a few Challenge missions. It took me about three hours to beat the game's five total levels, including the final "Dr. Wily-esque" re-boss stage. At the end of the day, there's not much to Black Knight Sword. It's a platformer, it's kind of weird, and it doesn't really do anything new. When I was finally finished with the game's controller-flingingly hard final boss, I kind of looked at the screen and went "Huh, that was nice." I guess I'm a little numb to Grasshopper's tendency to exploit the world of weird, but either way, I did enjoy my brief time on stage, and fans of old-school platformers should too.
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Gray, by Grasshopper standards
Within my first thirty minutes of playing Black Knight Sword, I encountered a menu option called "cat head grass," a giant mother eye that eats hearts, and severed skulls in a microwave oven that serve as health power-ups. Yep, this is definitely a Grasshopper Manufacture and Digital Reality joint.

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Adventure Time: HIKWYSOG!?'s Secret Self Portrait Screen


Up Up Down Down Left Right Left Right B A Start
Nov 24
// Jonathan Holmes
It's feels a little wrong write this post. Publicizing the existence of this "secret screen" obliterates any semblance of secrecy that it once had. I blame Pendleton Ward for this. Some secrets are just too gr...

Review: Adventure Time: Hey Ice King! Why'd You Steal...

Nov 22 // Jonathan Holmes
Adventure Time: Hey Ice King! Why'd You Steal Our Garbage?! (3DS [reviewed], DS)Developer: WayForward IndustriesPublisher: D3 PublisherRelease: November 20, 2012MSRP: $29.99 / $39.99 (Collector's Edition) Adventure Time: HIK!WYSOG?! starts with a nightmare where an owl kicks your ass. From there, things quickly transition to a conversation between a boy named Finn, his shape-changing dog Jake, and a little Game Boy-esque robot named BMO. The robot encourages the boy and his dog to destroy every tea cup in the basement. Next, the two protagonists talk to another robot -- one that looks like a talking microwave -- about stat building (of course), before leaving the house. Just as they step outside, an old flying man steals their garbage. The heroes deem that behavior to be unethical, so they decide to go to the old man's house and beat him up. To Adventure Time fans, all of this will seem perfectly normal, and only works as a teaser for what's to come. To those who've never seen the show, it's a perfect primer for the brazenly bizarre, effortlessly charming world of Adventure Time. [embed]239115:45880[/embed]  Like some of the best episodes of the show, the game's storyline is fairly barebones, but the writing is excellent. I laughed out loud and not just because I'm a fan of the show. In fact, I'd wager that a lot of the charm and humor in the game may have a greater effect on people who aren't already familiar with Adventure Time, as the concepts and characters will feel more fresh. If you're a fan of the style found in games like Katamari, Scott Pilgrim, Earthbound, Animal Crossing, or other sweet and strange videogame series, chances are you'll feel right at home.  The similarities to Scott Pilgrim go deeper than that. Paul Robertson, one of the head animators on Scott Pilgrim vs. the World: The Game, worked on the art for Adventure Time: HIKWYSOG. If you're as big a fan of Mr. Robertson's work as I am, you'll pick up on his style right away, as it's quite prevalent during some of the bigger, more beautiful enemy graphics. Mr. Robertson was joined by Joakim "Konjak" Sandberg, one of the best sprite artists in the business, as well as Shiho Tsutsuji, a 10+ year veteran in the pixel art field, whose past credits include the Fire Emblem series and just about every 2D Kirby game of the past decade. All of these artists under one roof makes for one of the best-looking sprite-based games in recent memory. The animation here is more fluid and expressive than just about anything you might find on television, including Adventure Time.  The sound design and score on the game are equally impressive. Sound effects and voice samples from the show's excellent cast are peppered throughout, which comes as no surprise. The quality of the original songs and arrangements by Jake "Virt" Kaufman of the WayForward sound team are another subject entirely. They came out of left field, and totally blew my mind. There are a shocking amount of songs that feature full vocals, from the opening theme, to the candy graveyard theme (complete with creepy ladies whispering "death" in your ears), to a new song written specifically for a 1,000-year-old vampire queen, and many more. These songs don't mimic the exact songwriting style you'd find in the show, but that's a good thing. They stay true to the feel of the source material while giving even diehard Adventure Time fans something that they've never experienced before. The ending theme includes the lyrics "our friendship is stronger than any butt." I shouldn't need to tell you that you've just witnessed greatness. While the writing, graphics, and sound are all near perfect, the actual game design is more of a mixed bag. The game takes inspiration from Zelda II, offering a 2D, top-down RPG overworld and side scrolling town/dungeon/set piece action sequences. The pacing is far more dense than Zelda II, with important locations much closer together, faster-paced combat, and fewer instances of unavoidable random battles in Ooo to slow you down.  You'll need to have a healthy sense of exploration to get through the game, which requires searching both the overworld and the sidescrolling areas for new items and abilities in order to proceed. The structure is generally fetch-quest focused, which some may qualify as "padding," but if you love being in the game's world as much as I did, you'll take any excuse to spend more time with Peppermint Butler or the Earl of Lemongrab, even if it means searching every corner of Ooo looking for Wildberry Princess's diary. Thankfully, you'll need more than passive item collecting to pass through some of the game's various gates. There is also a fair amount of ability collection for both Jake and Finn, both of whom are controlled simultaneously. (Jake's actions are mapped to X and R, while Finn's actions are controlled with the remainder of the inputs.) Jake starts off with nothing more than a slow, weak, long-distance punch (he's clearly feeling lazy), but through various tomes of knowledge and personal experience, he learns to float in the air, Princess Peach style, to form an ear shield that protects from projectile attacks and repels harsh winds. He can also learns to turn into a cute little boat, and much more. Finn's abilities are more direct, generally focused on swordplay. He starts with a slide attack, ground pound, three-hit-punch combo, and an uppercut, but over the course of the game, he acquires a sword and multiple ways to make use of it.  To further mix things up, Finn and Jake can grab various pick-ups from enemies and treasure chests. Other than the well-hidden Wizard Stars which are generally used for health recovery, temporary stat enhancement, and special moves. Most of these items have links to the show, like the frozen business man's brief case, the crystal apple, beauteous wings, everything burrito, tiger hand, etc. Quite a few of them are rare, which makes hunting for them all the more fun. Only truly dedicated explorers find The Enchiridion (note: I still haven't found it myself). To add a further sense of discovery, there is an item-mixing system that can lead to unexpected results. Mix salt with a milkshake and chug it down -- you'll begin to spout ice shurikens straight out of The Chamber of Frozen Blades. It's a shame that this aspect of the game wasn't more fully integrated into the overall design. You can go the whole game without mixing a single item, or bothering with any non-quest oriented pick-ups. That speaks to my main issue with the game -- it doesn't ask enough of the player. Most enemies are fairly passive beasts. They have distinct and expressive attack patterns, but are all fairly easy to defeat or avoid. All the game's bosses have easy patterns to learn too. Other than the last two fights, experienced players will likely beat them all on the first try. Worse, the game is over way too soon. I didn't up my speed stats -- which increase your overworld and side-scrolling area walking speed -- until close to the end of the game, and I did a fair amount of extra running around and exploring (though there are still plenty of secrets I've yet to see), but I still beat the game in less than six hours. Although there is a New Game+ option, it's largely the same experience. In both difficulty and length, Adventure Time: HIKWYSOG?! feels like an extended first level of a much larger, potentially more challenging game. It's better that WayForward and D3 used their resources to create a short but expertly crafted game than to use the same budget to make a larger but more watered-down experience, but that doesn't change that fact that most consumers will expect a larger game for the retail asking price.  As for the collector's edition stuff, it's fairly barebones, but still worth owning for hardcore fans of the show. Like the game itself, the overworld map and bestiary book are small but made with genuine love of the source material. You also get a plastic stylus in the shape of Finn's sword, which will likely be most appealing to those with smaller hands. My favorite bit is the Enchiridion-shaped metal case the package comes in. It's extremely well put together, and gives even an old jerk like me a sense of wonder.  There was a time when a game like Adventure Time: HIK!WYSOG?! would qualify as a near perfect game, length and all. Ironically, WayForward's own excellent digital offering Mighty Switch Force has caused that standard to change. The game feels more like a top class, $15 download than retail title. That said, it's still an incredibly well-crafted game, and easily the best piece of self-contained Adventure Time artwork I've seen yet. With 50+ characters from seasons 1-3 of the show in appearance, it feels like more than a love letter to fans. It's closer to an expertly blended Megazord of everything that makes the show great. If you are a huge fan of Adventure Time, and/or are a less experienced videogame player, feel free to tack two points on to the score.
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I don't love it when you get small, Jake
Adventure Time is currently my favorite show on television. It offers the same kind of nonchalant surrealism, iconic but expressive characters, and the simple delivery of complex themes that got me interested in videogames in...

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Here is how Adventure Time: HIKWYSOG? was made


Now in podcast form!
Nov 14
// Jonathan Holmes
Last week on Sup Holmes, we were lucky to talk to WayForward's James Montagna, the director of Adventure Time: Hey Ice King Why'd You Steal Our Garbage? for the DS and 3DS (podcast available here). James was kind enough...
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New batch of Earth Defense Forces 4 screens surface


Robots and explosions
Nov 09
// Conrad Zimmerman
Siliconera posted a whole mess of new screenshots for Earth Defense Forces 4, showing off the Air Raiders, a sort of support class providing health and targeting benefits to teammates while using air strikes, automated turret...
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Adventure Time 3DS goes gold, launching November 20th


Oh my glob!
Oct 26
// Brett Zeidler
Guys, we finally have a release date for Adventure Time: Hey Ice King! Why'd you steal our garbage?!! I mean, November 20th has been the day that I saw floating around for quite a while now, but it's the official date now as...
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Earth Defense Force 2017 Portable coming to North America


Sep 27
// Conrad Zimmerman
Less than a week after I got to play the new handheld port of Earth Defense Forces 3 Portable in Japan, it has been announced through the game's official Twitter account that the title will be finding its way to my home...

TGS: Arachnophobic after Earth Defense Force 4

Sep 21 // Conrad Zimmerman
The webs can trap you, as well as your fellow soldiers and civilians, and must be destroyed to liberate its captives. No movement is possible at all while in a web, beyond looking to aim. Spiders will still use their silk to try and drag you in (dealing constant damage as they do) and the webs now provide another obstacle to keep track of while this is happening, as the only thing worse than being pulled toward a spider is getting stuck, health draining away, and having to focus efforts on clearing a web. Earth Defense Forces 4 is a direct sequel to 2017 and represents something of a return to form for the series, following the western-developed Insect Armageddon. Loot hunters will be happy to learn that armor power-ups and weapon drops are back in full effect, with lots of stuff littering the environment. On the flipside, however, the destructibility of the environments has changed considerably. No longer can the player just fire a rocket at a building and watching it crumble to the ground as if part of a controlled implosion. I swear that I did see one such demolition, but subsequent efforts to take down a structure with as many as twenty rockets had no noticeable effect on my target. I can't decide if I like this element. From a gameplay perspective, the heartier buildings will make the game more challenging to play, forcing the player to run through the maze of streets in a city. But when I think about it as a fan of the series, I cannot help but feel just a smidge disappointed. I take a ridiculous amount of joy from the lack of realism in this element and I fear I'll miss it in Earth Defense Force 4. That said, the game does play well and it's a significant graphical improvement over EDF 2017. With luck, we'll hear soon from D3 that they're bringing it out of Japan and into everyone's homes.
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There's a new Earth Defense Force game on its way, recently announced by D3 Publisher and Sandlot, and there are few things here at Tokyo Game Show that I was more excited to see. Here on the show floor, the Xbox 360 version...

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I never tire of shooting giant bugs, so I was thrilled to see D3 publisher with not one, but two EDF titles on the Tokyo Game Show floor. Earth Defense Forces 3 Portable is port of the game we know as Earth Defense ...

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Earth Defense Force 4 detailed in latest Famitsu


Sep 13
// Conrad Zimmerman
The new issue of Famitsu currently on stands in Japan features a preview of Earth Defense Force 4 with a whole mess of exciting information. The title, currently in development by Sandlot for Xbox 360 and PS3, is set 8 ...
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Adventure Time DS game getting collector's edition


Jul 13
// Jim Sterling
It's not often we get special edition DS games, especially since the launch of the 3DS, but WayForward's Adventure Time: Hey Ice King! Why’d you steal our garbage?! will be rocking a totally math collector's version.&nb...
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Earth Defense Force 4 announced, giant insects celebrate


Jul 12
// Allistair Pinsof
Earth Defense Force 4, the latest entry in the world's favorite giant insect killer simulator, was announced today via a teaser website. Other than that spiffy logo above, we don't know anything else about the project. From m...
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Earth Defense Force for Vita gets jetpacks and miniskirts


Jul 05
// Kyle MacGregor
What could possibly be better than killing robots and giant bugs? Oh, that's right, doing it with a jetpack of course. Word comes from Famitsu that the Palewing character from Earth Defense Force 2 will be making a return in...
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Adventure Time game will take a page out of Zelda II


Jul 03
// Tony Ponce
From Nintendo Power #280, the same issue that revealed Mighty Switch Force HD for Wii U, comes some juicy information regarding WayForward's other upcoming game, Adventure Time: Hey Ice King! Why'd You Steal Our Garbage? As y...
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Go back to space with Earth Defense Force for PS Vita


Jun 16
// Kyle MacGregor
There's nothing quite like a port of a five year-old game to get you stoked about your brand new system. Hey! Wait! Come back! I'm being serious! D3 Publisher is bringing Earth Defense Force 3 Portable to PlayStati...
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D3 Publisher brings charming indie platformer Pid to XBLA


Jun 13
// Kyle MacGregor
Just the mention D3 Publisher instantly conjures memories of cloying, budget-priced games with B-movie sensibilities all too proud to bear the mantra of "so bad it's good."  So after Onechanbara, Eat Lead: The Return of...
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D3 countdown site for E3 gives me a headache


May 25
// Dale North
Check out this new countdown site from D3 Publisher. I tried to sit and watch for whatever clues it seems to be dropping, but it's giving me a freaking headache with its blurriness and wobbling. Words and images seem to pop u...
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D3 Publisher is putting out a new Onechanbara starring two vampire sisters named Kagura and Saaya. Other than the vampire part, these new girls in Onechanbara Z: Kagura look just like the last two heroines from the last&...

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Bikini slayers return in Onechanbara Z Kagura


Sep 01
// Conrad Zimmerman
D3 Publisher has released the trailer announcing the impending arrival of Onechanbara Z Kagura for Xbox 360. The zombie-slashing Cheesecake Factory, Aya is back for another round and you can see her gearing up for ...
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New Onechanbara coming to 360, stars vampire sisters


Aug 31
// Jim Sterling
D3 Publisher has a brand new Onechanbara game in the works, and it'll be ditching series heroine Aya for a pair of vampire sisters, Kagura and Saaya. I doubt many people will notice the difference, since anime children with m...
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Dungeon Defenders finally releases on October 19


Aug 23
// Bob Muir
Trendy Entertainment has put out another trailer for Dungeon Defenders to remind you that, yes, the game still exists! Dungeon Defenders is a third-person co-operative tower defense game with four different classes. This par...
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Ben 10 Galactic Racing screenshots look vibrant


Aug 03
// Brett Zeidler
If you absolutely cannot wait for a new kart racing game, then D3 Publisher has you covered with the sixth installment in the Ben 10 series, Ben 10 Galactic Racing, which features 16 playable characters and 25 tracks that spa...






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