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Ladycade photo

Ladycade coming to London March 23

Female focused games event hits Loading Bar
Mar 16
// Laura Kate Dale
Not doing anything March 23? Near enough to London that travel seems feasible? Looking for a cool video game event to attend that won't cost you anything? Well, Ladycade is coming back to London's Loading Bar in Dalston from ...
EGX Rezzed photo
EGX Rezzed

Party with Destructoid at EGX Rezzed!

Videogames, bruv
Mar 12
// Beccy Caine
Morning, Brits. Thousands will be heading to London's Tobacco Dock later for EGX Rezzed's preview day; are you one of them?
PAX East 2015 plans photo
PAX East 2015 plans

Destructoid's PAX East 2015 schedule is here!

Party with the best damn community on Earth
Mar 07
// mrandydixon
PAX East 2015 is happening RIGHT NOW! And just like years past, the Destructoid community is there in a big, big way. Did you make the trek to Boston this year? Then check out our daily meetup schedule below! And be sure to j...
Telltale Storytime photo
Telltale Storytime

Telltale founders discuss the studio's evolution at PAX East 2015

2700 people in the Main Theater will remember that
Mar 06
// Darren Nakamura
At PAX East's big opening panel, Telltale Games co-founders Dan Connors and Kevin Bruner talked about how Telltale came into being. They began by following the storytelling path through the ages, from telling stories around a...
Valve VR hardware photo
Valve VR hardware

Valve is showing its 'SteamVR hardware system' next week

New Steam Machines and the final Steam Controller, too
Feb 23
// Jordan Devore
Here I was expecting to find out about Steam Machines and the finished Steam Controller at next week's Game Developers Conference -- sure, that's fine -- but the company also has a surprise in store for the San Francisco show...
Indie Megabooth photo
Indie Megabooth

Indie Megabooth is the place to be at PAX East

Say hi to Holmes and crew when you're in Boston
Feb 23
// Jordan Devore
"Dad By The Sword is a game about YOUR DAD running around in jorts and slaying Anti-Dads with a claymore. Experience a unique First Person Swordplay experience as you try not to get killed by leaping hot dog monsters. Out...
Apex in trouble photo
Apex in trouble

Apex fighting game tournament changes venues over safety concerns (Update)

Hotel ballroom collapses, forces location change
Jan 30
// Kyle MacGregor
[Update: The show must go on! Apex is relocating to the Garden State Convention Center. However, all events planned for today have been cancelled.] Authorities have put Apex 2015 on hold over concerns about the venue's struct...

You might be tempted to call Ronin 'Kill Bill: the Videogame'

Jan 24 // Brett Makedonski
[embed]286521:56979:0[/embed] It's that emergence of two conflicting styles that makes Ronin so satisfying. In the three-stage demo I played, I was tasked with working my way through buildings, hacking terminals, and eventually assassinating a target. Outfitted with a target marker outlining where any particular leap would transplant me, I hopped across levels and climbed up walls. Easy enough, no real threat there. However, when running across the increasing number of guards patrolling the secured area, that's when the turn-based action took a front seat. As soon as an enemy sees you, Ronin immediately switches formats. As a laser sight trains on you, you're given a ton of options and an endless amount of time to determine the best approach to the situation. An early encounter had me jumping to the ceiling of a room to dodge a single shot. On the next turn, the guard's focus followed me, so it required jumping back down the ground so that he shot high. Repeat until close enough to dispatch him with a melee kill. In the event that no guards in a room saw me (which happened often because sticking to the shadows is the way to go), real-time could be employed to stealthily sneak up on them one at a time. But, once spotted, it was back to the challenge of figuring out what sequence of jumps and kills would result in simply living past the encounter. That's not to say that Ronin funnels the player into two distinctly different combat approaches. At any time, a button press will switch the action to the other method. If you'd rather take a stab at brute-forcing your way through a section, go ahead. Although, chances are you won't make it very far. The method may feel new, but the reason for the madness will probably come with a twinge of familiarity. In a lot of ways, Ronin is kind of Kill Bill: the Videogame. It follows a helmet-clad, motorcycle-suited protagonist on a quest for revenge. Bloodshed is the only acceptable method, as she tries to infiltrate complexes and assassinate the leaders who wronged her. Then, at the end of each level, she gets away on a slick, souped-up bike. Even though it cribs from Tarantino fairly heavily, Ronin is still an absolute joy to play. A Devolver representative who hadn't played much presented the game to me, and we essentially figured out the last stage together. It was like a chess match against the enemies where we had to think three steps ahead at all time. Many deaths occurred, but we eventually got through all of the hairy situations. I was playing, but it honestly may have been just as enjoyable in his shoes -- helping outline the strategy turn by turn but not executing. The culmination of all of that was an appointment that ran over on time, but felt like it passed by in a breeze. I simply lost myself playing Ronin. I think that might be the case for a lot of people when they get to try it first-hand. It's so much more clever than it initially looks, and you'll consume yourself with trying to figure it out. And to think that its exposure was almost limited to a few who tried it at a game jam.
Ronin preview photo
But it's so much more than that
Devolver Digital has a penchant for picking up clever game jam submissions and giving them a chance to grow into fully-realized titles. Titan Souls is a fine example, and it would have never had any exposure outside of t...

Guest Op/Ed: The real sources of unethical videogame journalism

Jan 21 // The Badger
Videogame journalists are the biggest nerds in the world This may seem like an unrelated point, but it's important to start this off by identifying who we're dealing with here. Nerds. Huge fucking nerds.  What do I mean by nerd? A lot of things, but the two key points for now are 1) nerds care about shit that is completely unimportant to everyone else, and 2) nerds want other people to see how important this unimportant shit actually is. A nerd is a guy who can't help spend hours trying to convince his loathing in-laws that The Game Grumps are way funnier than Mel Brooks. A nerd is a girl who sits you down in the middle of a hurricane and babbles about how the latest Legend of Zelda game completely sucks compared to the prior, nearly identical Legend of Zelda game. A nerd is in their own world. A nerd wants you to be in that world with them.  I'm not saying there is anything wrong or right about being a nerd. It's just a thing. Some nerds take pride in being nerds, and they tend to be the most annoying of their breed. Other nerds are ashamed of being nerds, which is also pretty fucking annoying. Videogame journalists tend to do both at the same time, which makes them doubly annoying, and triple susceptible to manipulation.  A nerd wants to be understood, to be validated, to have their peers finally "get" how fucking amazing Buffy the Vampire Slayer is. They want to be honored for their ability to immerse themselves in banal, worthless shit. They want to get paid for it too, because who wouldn't? This is the portrait of a "videogame journalist," a writer who might as well be wearing clown shoes and a t-shirt that has "deluded asshole" written on it in big rainbow lettering, should they ever talk to actual, real-life journalists about their jobs. "I just wrote a hot exposé on how how the guy who made Gears of War got tops scores in Mario growing up, where the fuck is my Pulitzer?" they cry, alone at the journalism party, wondering why every other journalist in the world can't make eye contact with them without laughing or turning away in sympathetic embarrassment.  AAA publishers are well aware of what they're dealing with here. They know that videogame "journalists" are the biggest fucking nerds in the world, and they have spent millions of dollars on turning this situation to their advantage.  Food, folks, and fun Oh, and I almost forgot to mention that videogame "journalists" are all totally fucking poor. I don't know how much the staff at Destructoid get, but I'd bet they don't make much more than your average McDonald's manager. I don't just mean the frontline writers either. I mean the bosses too. Unless you're one in the unknown guys in the way back, sitting pretty at one of the big-money parent companies that pull the strings of the game blogs you read, chances are you're poor as fuck.  So you're a multi-billion dollar company and you have a group of "journalists" in front of you who are totally financially bankrupt and aren't respected by anyone in the world except for their videogame loving "fans." Metacritic makes or breaks games these days, and some game blogs are read in the millions, so you know you need to get these fucking nerds on your side somehow. But how can you do that, other than by making actually good videogames? That's really fucking hard, right? Isn't there an easier way to win them over? Like any business transaction, you have to look at what you have that the other side wants, and vice versa. From there, you concoct a deal that will leave you richer and the other guy poorer. Videogame "journalists" have the one thing that AAA publishers can never have, but I'm not quite sure what the word for it is. I don't want to go as far as to say "integrity," but it's something in that ballpark. Multi-billion dollar publishers will always look like car salesmen to consumers. Some are more likable car salesmen than others, but we all know that all they want is for us to "shut up and give them our money." In fact, I have it on good authority that it was a corporate shill who created that meme. Nothing like memes to create a culture where buying shit makes you feel like a funny guy that's super popular on the Internet. But back to the point. Though they often fail at it, the game "journalist" has the potential to be seen as something more noble than a car salesmen. In theory, they are someone who tells the honest truth about videogames, despite the fact that they get paid shit and are mocked by real journalists for choosing that path. It's a path they can't help but fall into, and can't usually crawl out of either. They can't help but care about videogames and the people who play them. I'd call it "honorable" if it weren't so fucking stupid. Either way, it's an image that AAA publishers can only dream about having. So if you are a multi-billion-dollar game publisher, these borderline "honorable" people are who you want to buy, but the irony is, buying them would ruin them for you. If you put them on the payroll then *POOF*, cherry popped, and with it any illusion of honesty and integrity. That's counterproductive. That's scrubbing your toilet with shit-scented soap. So instead of buying game "journalists" directly, you have to work them sideways. You have to win their affection, to get them to feel instead of think. To do that, you have to feed them the things that they're missing -- acceptance, a sense of importance, and often times, actual food.  Ask your average San Francisco-area game journalist how many fancy parties they were invited to by AAA game publishers last month, and they'll likely be unable to tell you off hand because there were too many to keep track of. All of these parties are well-catered with fancy food and free drinks. They are almost all held at trendy clubs, complete with stylish DJs playing cutting-edge music. Young, attractive PR people work the "press party," playing the role of "professional friends." They'll smile and joke and hang out with the "journalists" as they drunkenly play some half-finished, totally mediocre, risk-free AAA videogame. Maybe they'll get drunk and make out with the attractive PR people later on. Maybe the game being previewed at that party will get a 9/10 by that writer later in the year. Maybe that happens with every goddamn over-hyped annual AAA game release in the history of AAA game releases. Maybe it's been going on for years. And that's just the tip of the iceberg. That's not even getting into "review events" where journalists are flown to exotic locations, fed even fancier food, and basically treated like kings for the entirety of a long weekend, before returning home to their shitty studio apartments and nightly ramen-noodle dinners. That's not touching E3, a trade show disguised as a press event where AAA publishers make an economy out of swag and "insider" game screenings, parties, and press conferences, where journalists are trained to measure their worth by how close they were able to get to certain "important" games and publishers, and not by how thoughtful and unbiased their coverage is.  This lists go on and on, and nothing on the list has ever been a secret. Like that giant gas pipe with "DANGER" written in bling all over it, all this unethical bullshit is hiding in plain site since the dawn of the game industry. Capcom even used to advertise its "CAPtivate" event on its own blog, despite the fact that it was basically a giant trip to Hawaii it bought for game "journalists." There was no GamerGate-style hashtag to complain about it either. That's right, gamers weren't worried at all about collusion and conflicts of interests at all back when Capcom took all of the most-read game bloggers in the world on a fucking group vacation to Hawaii. I guess gamers in those days were too busy fretting over the fact that some blog might have given a game they liked an 8 instead of a 9, or some other such bullshit that they've been trained to think is important. Good thing those days are over, right guys?  If anything, gamers seemed to think that CAPtivate was cool. It probably gave them hope. If they became game journalist someday, they too could hangout with women who were paid to pretend to like them and get free food and basically be allowed to remain children forever. That's "living the dream" for many people. I know it was my dream for a while, until I woke the fuck up. Now I see that we've created a culture where the rich, popular kids occasionally ask the biggest nerds in the world for help with their homework, and in exchange they let the nerds sit at the "cool" table at lunch for a day. But just for a day. Then it's back to the fucking nerd hole with the lot of them. Even worse, everyone involved seems totally OK with maintaining this practice as the status quo. That's fucked up.  So why is everyone OK with it?  Part of why everyone's OK with it is that everyone either feels like they benefit from it, or they feel powerless to stop it. AAA publishers get their coverage, game blogs get views and free vacations, and game blog readers get to read about the games that they've been convinced are "hardcore" and "important" by the other two groups. The consumer is having their wallets stolen from them as AAA publishers look them straight in the eye and say "I'm doing you a favor," and god fucking damn it, the average consumer seems to believe them. Why else would broken, bland shit like Destiny be one of the best-selling games of 2014? As for the "journalists," they just look on at the crime and say "Well, that's just how the system works. Guess I'll just shrug my shoulders and obey this review embargo. Wouldn't want to lose my job! Wouldn't want to get my dick cut off by Activision! Gotta keep your dick around, even if the only thing you get to use it for is pissing out press releases and jerking off to the idea that you're doing something worthwhile with your life." And in the face of all this, thousands of people think that some poor, no-name game developer fucking some poor, no-name game "journalist" are the root of the ethical issues in "game journalism"? Are you for fucking real?  Of course you're not for fucking real. You're a smokescreen, obviously.  I know that certain parties at certain AAA game publishers are fucking thrilled with GamerGate, and have actively worked to keep that shitstorm going under anonymous accounts, not unlike this one that I'm using right now. And why wouldn't they? GamerGate distracts from the real ethical issues in game journalism while bringing hits to the blogs that are basically working as unpaid PR for whatever cookie-cutter, "must-have" game of the week that they're hocking that day. It inflates the importance of game bloggers, and as a result, the importance of the games they blog about. 99% of the time, that's one of their games.  GamerGate also works to discredit the people who are scariest to AAA publishers; critics like Anita Sarkeesian who have managed to get their voices heard while remaining outside of the AAA PR ecosystem. Capcom can't fly Anita out to Hawaii and try to win her over. They can't slap a review embargo on her. She doing just fine without having to get involved with "hype-trains" or review events. She might be shitty at her job, but she's still an honest-to-God game critic, and that scares the fuck out of AAA publishers.  Equally scary are game developers who don't need AAA publishers to find their audience. Minecraft is their fucking worst nightmare, but it was too big to kill so they had to buy it. It's buy, sell, or kill with them, just like it is with all pimps. Those are the only services a pimp can provide. If they catch a girl who looks like she could live without a pimp, you can bet they'll do their best to swat her down, to make an example of her. You wonder why no AAA publishers came to the aid of the game developers who are getting chased out of their homes by identity theft and death threats? It's because they are happy to see it happen. They are happy to see anyone who dared to work the streets without a pimp get shanked. But hopefully you're not happy with it. Hopefully you're not happy with people who are getting paid multi-million-dollar salaries to further a system where the shit trickles down from the top and lands squarely on your face. Hopefully you want to do something about it.  I've been trained do as I'm told so please tell me what to do, anonymous stranger! If you insist. First of all, let go of that goddamn fucking bullshit GamerGate hashtag. It makes you look like an idiot at best, a fucking stalker at worst. Start a new hashtag. Try #GameBoycott. Use it to identify games or game consoles that were presented to game "journalists" for coverage at fancy parties where they were given free stuff and other attempted buy-offs. Try that for a change, instead of spinning your wheels with dumbass witch hunts and obsessive nitpicking. Stop getting mad at the dog for farting and do something about the giant gas pipe in your kitchen. I'll even give you a head start. I heard that Nintendo threw a big surprise party for game "journalists" last week where they were all fed free expensive food and given a "gift bag" that included a New 3DS and a bunch of games and shit. I think it's fair to call that an attempted buy-off. If you agree, boycott the New 3DS, and make some noise about it. Show Nintendo that you won't tolerate those kinds of business practices. Show them that you don't appreciate their efforts to buy the affection of nerds with really expensive gifts and fake friendship, regardless if those nerds are on the "consumer" or the "journalist" side of the equation.  Your money is the only thing they care about. If you want game "journalism" to be more ethical, you've got to go after the AAA publishers running the show. Trying to kill the blogs that write about their games won't help. If one dies, two more will just pop up in their place. Instead, reward the blogs who are up front about what AAA publishers are doing, and avoid the rest. Don't lose focus. Don't fall for smokescreens. Be consistent in your efforts to fuck with the secret AAA douchebags who are really in control, the guys smiling in the shadows as they wipe their asses with your hard-earned money. I know these guys personally, and trust me, they deserve to be fucked with.  [Disclaimer: The views and opinions of The Badger do not necessarily reflect those of They do make some interesting points, though.]
The Badger photo
Because you apparently can't figure it out on your own
[Note: The Badger could be anyone -- a game developer, a member of the gaming press, even a writer for another game blog. They could be just one person or multiple people. You'll probably never find out who they really are, w...

Nintendo at PAX South photo
Nintendo at PAX South

Majora's Mask 3D and New 3DS XL playable at PAX South

Also Super Smash Bros., for those living in the past
Jan 20
// Darren Nakamura
The New Nintendo 3DS XL is the current hot commodity for Nintendo fans, with special edition units selling out. For those who are not so keen on ordering one before playing, an opportunity to get some hands-on time is coming ...
AGDQ 2015 photo
AGDQ 2015

Awesome Games Done Quick 2015 is underway

Watch some speedruns, donate some money
Jan 05
// Darren Nakamura
If this morning's Humble Bundle didn't already tip you off, this year's Awesome Games Done Quick event is now running. Every year it gathers some of the best speed runners to show their stuff, streaming the event and collecti...
New purple trailer photo
New purple trailer

No Man's Sky also has purple, is still amazing

Not all men's sky
Dec 05
// Steven Hansen
No Man's Sky showed off a particularly purple planet in its Game Awards trailer. It's still exciting, walking amidst bioluminscent fauna and dinosaurs, getting into your ship and zipping off to another planet. Oh, and t...
PlayStation Experience photo
PlayStation Experience

The PlayStation Experience schedule is up

Show me some of that No Man's Sky
Dec 04
// Jordan Devore
When Sony announced PlayStation Experience, I didn't pay it any attention outside of a cursory glance, but in the weeks since, the Las Vegas event has shaped up nicely. It kicks off on Saturday, December 6 with a keynote at 1...
Misandry photo

No Man's Sky planning 'something different' at PlayStation Experience

See new worlds, new gameplay
Nov 19
// Steven Hansen
I've been excited for No Man's Sky for almost a years' time now, but it has become a passive excitement as I wait patiently for it to release. This video, what with some footage I haven't seen and it generally looking a...

Narcosis: Hallucinogenic, ocean floor terror

Nov 17 // Steven Hansen
You are an industrial diver working on the very bottom of the Pacific Ocean (the best ocean). Here there are shades of Dead Space, but without a gory and horrific surprise. An incident has left everyone else on the underwater rig tied up on account of them being killed, so you, on your lonesome, need to get topside.  Narcosis is mostly linear and narrative driven, but there's, "no conspiracy," writer David Chen explained. There is no dark mystery to unravel. More than the typical "survival horror" genre this is "survival," with some psychological horror woven in, most directly through narration as you are treated the to inner monologue of a man in serious trouble.  The psychology is also played with by harking back to the title, Narcosis, which is an actual condition that effects deep divers, causing audio visual hallucinations. It can also be brought on if your oxygen supply dwindles, the gauge of which you can look down within your dive suit to see on a physical HUD. This effect is doubly impressive while playing entombed in an Oculus Rift and head phones, as I did on the Game Connection Europe show floor, as you look down inside your cockpit at your oxygen levels, or look through the pane of glass that stands between you living still and being smooshed by immeasurable pressure. Chen calls it a "walking coffin." Your oxygen levels are important to your survival, and you will occasionally find canisters to replenish. Important to your oxygen levels is your rate of consumption. Under high stress situations, you consume oxygen more quickly. Disorientation leading to stress leading to decreased oxygen leading to more vivid hallucination could prove a vicious circle. Deep sea life--often exaggerated in size or ferocity--also cause problems. The only source of light beyond a flashlight is your flare gun, which doubles as a means to cause distractions for fish n' things what want to nibble at you. You also have a knife, but I only ever used it to prise a face-hugging nasty from my face. It clamping on out of nowhere scared the heck out of me, jump scare as it was.  What I played of Narcosis was a lot of deep sea walking, jetting over crevasses, and a bit of avoiding fish things. As you see in the trailer, there'll be bits taking place back within the flooded station, and you'll have some actual tasks to complete to get yourself topside. It's aiming for a fall 2015 Steam release. We'll see if the Oculus is out by then, because the two work real well together. Otherwise, I'm keen to explore the deep story Chen aims to deliver.
Preview: Narcosis photo
You a narc?!
I said it when I checked out Amnesia developer's SOMA early this year, but we could do with some more games set underwater. It's a scary place. There are goblin sharks down there, damn it. And you don't even have t...

Inside My Radio is a rad rhythm-platformer

Nov 16 // Steven Hansen
But boomboxes are a big, dead cultural artifact. Inside My Radio, one of the coolest projects I checked out at Game Connection Europe, puts you in the role of a lively LED inside of a dying boombox. Your goal is to bring back the funk (or, actually, the electro, dub, and disco).  Inside My Radio is structured similarly to underrated rhythm-platformer Sound Shapes, with a number of stages making up the track list in an album. Within the musical genres of electro, dub, and disco, there will be subgenres and styles represented, which will wind up with their own albums, so it won't be a three-tune affair.  Unlike Sound Shapes, though, the music here isn't just tonal, visual set-dressing. Here, your main movements--jump, dash, slam--have to be synchronized with the backing beat, or nothing registers. A bit closer to Crypt of the Necrodancer, perhaps, but with a more consistent rhythm rather than a tile based affair. Should you slip up and lose the beat, prompting a complete meltdown, as is often the case in rhythm games, a button press brings up a metronome-like visual indicator around the LED chap that you can follow to get back on track.  Aside from rhythm-based precision platforming, there are a few puzzle sort of things to deal with, as well as the ability to slightly alter the style of track within the level you're playing, depending on which bit you prefer. The dubworld even has a giant mixing board you can manually adjust for the sound you want.  The music I've heard is good, the visual style is lovely in its colorful lighting and sharp angles (the cutscenes, too, which look a little different). I'm excited to check out more Inside My Radio, headphones on, soon. PC and "consoles" are currently confirmed, though it may be a tip that the studio's last, very different game came to PS3 and Vita alongside PC. 
Inside My Radio photo
Get in my radio (an Austin Powers joke)
There are things to consider when it comes to playing music in public. Are you in an open space, perhaps a park, with enough distance between you and others so that your tunes don't dance on over into unwilling ears? Are you...

PAX East photo
PAX East

Heads up! PAX East badges are on sale right now

If you're too late, just stare at this picture for a while
Nov 12
// Jordan Devore
Passes for PAX East are on sale! Get in here while you still can. The show takes place at the Boston Convention Center the weekend of Friday, March 6, 2015. Tickets are $45 for a single-day badge and $95 for a three-day badge. Scalpers be damned. I've never made it out to Boston, but I'd like to go, one day. The weather that time of year, though!
Game Night USC photo
Game Night USC

LA Dtoiders, join us for another Game Night!

Featuring Aegis Defenders, Anamnesis, Walden, and more
Nov 07
// AngryBananas
Destructoid is excited to once again be partnering with Angry Bananas, Giant Robot, and Meat Bun to host another Game Night! What: Game Night USCWhen: Saturday, November 8, from 6:30pm to 10pmWhere: Giant Robot 2, 2062 Sawtel...
Photo gallery photo
Photo gallery

Paris Games Week: Trash strewn floors, candy smells and games

In pictures
Nov 04
// Steven Hansen
Paris Games Week has finished happening. It happened across the street from Games Connection, where I was busying myself with loads of smaller folks' games, so naturally I visited. I played The Order, which a lot of folks are...
Cool games photo
Cool games

Izle leads Game Connection Development Award winners

In the company of Limbo, Loading Human and other past winners
Oct 31
// Steven Hansen
Game Connection Europe held its annual Development Awards this week in Paris, with Area Effect's Izle leading the way with five wins. Each of the ten categories feature two possible awards, the European Games Booster Award an...
Gamer's Rhapsody photo
Gamer's Rhapsody

Gamer's Rhapsody will gather music and games on November 15-16

Minnesota in the middle of November? Cool
Oct 29
// Darren Nakamura
I have previously expressed that we, the Destructoid community, need to find a new meetup to replace PAX, since PAX is too big to handle now. Maybe Gamer's Rhapsody can be a contender. Probably not for this year, but maybe in...

Whoa! Final Fantasy Type-0 HD is pretty fun

Oct 29 // Steven Hansen
[embed]283148:56145:0[/embed] I had Ace as the default party leader, as in the TGS demo, but now the scythe-wielding Sice and dual-cartoon-Luger-wielding King were up to test out. Okay, but maybe some of you are as out of the loop as I was. You have a party of three characters and can switch between any of them at any time. This will probably be necessary given their variance (if these three were any indication) and lax-seeming AI that makes them less effective than when you're using them. And this is an action game, blurring the "ATB" line more than Crisis Core. Each face button is an action, Ace is basically gambit. His default attack to spam throws cards at enemies to damage them. He also has a Nightcrawler-ish disappear move where many others have a straight dodge or roll, a powerful, in-his-vicinity ice blast, and he can load up cards so his card attacks do things like explode. You can change abilities, of course. There's customization and development to go along with party plays, choosing choosing leaders. King with the pistols proved a power house and his range is useful. First, because the levels, clunky in design as they are, try not to be too open arenas. The mech and soldier filled area I played through, anyway, This probably stems from it being a PSP game. The stretched, blade textures and geometry, too. (And the load times between areas)  Still, it's not bad, save for when you exploit the enemy AI and stick yourself behind somewhere you can't be touched and take pot shots. But really, there's just a fun energy around Type-0, whether or not that "mature" plot of teens fighting war comes to anything (I couldn't understand it, what with the French). The camera is hyper sensitive, sometimes confoundedly so. This can probably be adjusted, but I found it endearing. Movement and attacks are firm, grounded, like in lead boots. And if the action doesn't do it for you, what other contemporary Final Fantasy is going to let you walk around the world map on a chocobo or cruise in an airship?
Preview: Type-0 HD photo
Hands-on at Paris Games Week and also a new trailer
Look, you can't blame me for turning a blind eye to Final Fantasy Type-0. Why hurt and labor and want over something you can't have? At least not a videogame, of which there are alternates and substitutes plenty. Elliot Gay k...

I still haven't beaten that Bloodborne TGS demo

Oct 28 // Steven Hansen
[embed]283147:56144:0[/embed] Tokyo is weird. Paris is weird, too. There are trampolines and a skate park indoors in this gaming expo hall, and also a place where you throw bread into holes. But Tokyo's weirdness manifests itself as a packed TGS wherein you get to play 10, 15 minutes of a game before handing off the controller. This is why I didn't beat the Bloodborne demo at TGS, I maintained. I went with the agile, dual bladed loadout and retraced my steps, sweeping wide around abandoned carriages with straw-haired, cleaver-wielding assholes lying in wait behind. I wasn't as rusty, this time, and I was hurrying up the ladder to a terrifying scream. I was killing without coming close to being hit. Down the cobblestone steps, around the corner, bam. Three enemies clumped up. With an agile character, I dash stepped around blows, rather than rolling. Still, with three free swingers, I took my licks. I lived, though.  Down to the mechanical contraption that kept the gate shut. I pulled the lever. The gate opens, now, and it stuttered a little bit, sweeping away a previously cast aside deadman whose corpse messied its arc. That's it, though? I peeked down an alleyway and a lumbering, round, round round dark-caped mass stood hunched, not facing me. Let the good times roll. Alas, they did not. I did. I rolled the heck out of dodge. The big galoot took 60% of my health away in a swing while my stabs and slices barely seemed to be chipping the paint off his health bar's walls. So I ran, happy he did not follow, back up a gentle incline, past the three I had previously dealt with, health restored with the coolest potion animation. I am not sure how many enemies I came upon huddled around a giant pyre in the street. It was like the Village scene in Resident Evil 4 and I without a gun, no chance of being saved by the bell. I fight sneaky so I thought sneaky. Let me draw them out, down to where the big, round monster waits. Maybe he'll kill them. Why not try? Well, because in backing away I backed myself up against a carriage, could not roll away, and the blows of many a disfigured and horrific slicing and stabbing implements came down upon me like my own personal rain. I tried again with the more standard blade and blunderbuss outfit, but a wild button press, in a similar situation unequipped me and had me punching at blades. Maybe I'll try the giant fucking hammer tomorrow.
Bloodborne PGW photo
We meet again, I'm dead meat again
Usually seeing a demo you played just a month ago means there isn't too much more to wring out. This is not the case with Bloodborne. The Tokyo Game Show demo bested me. That same demo was playable today at Paris Games Week. ...

The Order: 1886 sure is, uh, cinematic

Oct 28 // Steven Hansen
[embed]279471:55243:0[/embed] There's also a strange bit of inaction in the room when cutscenes finally end and you're asked to find a way out. I was drawn first to a paper at the bar, which had a numbered map, and, if you press to flip to the backside, names, some of them crossed out. It didn't prompt anything, like a quest, or a cutscene. Context-less, maybe it's just a piece of environmental story-telling referring to early events. Maybe it's a clue, though, an important piece of info that an interactive, attentive player can use somewhere down the line. That'd be nice, at least. Then I walked around the small room, over the dead body, several times trying to figure out how to get out before a button prompt started a cutscene wherein we thermite burn through a giant metal stove or something that was (kind of) blocking the door (but probably could've just been moved by four people?). Maybe something this cinematic and story-driven just needs is to be played in full. And only once. Maybe vertical slices aren't helpful. I liked the weapon you're given. It shoots out clouds of thermite which you then fire flares at to ignite. It was fun to watch the fire come to life in an instant and spread, though never out of control, because this is a tailored experience. Sometimes judging the distance of these clouds was tough, though it didn't matter. I don't know if the cover-based shooting gallery was easy because it's a public demo meant for people to have a good time with or because it is typical and easy, serving to get you to the next set piece. Quickly I changed my tactics and fired flare first, then thermite cloud. I tried to brain people with flares and then ignite their friends. Towards the end of the short demo I gave up on the shooting gallery, left cover, and just danced circles in the courtyard spitting fire indeterminately. That isn't what the game wants, no doubt, but I still didn't come close to dying, and it was a bit more amusing.
The Order: 1886 photo
Not saying we should 86 this order, but, hoping there's more to it
I finally played The Order: 1886, Ready at Dawn's upcoming PS4, monster-filled, alternate-London-history third-person shooter here at Paris Games Week. I still really want to like it. I like a lot of things about it. Well, ma...

The Dream of the 70s-90s is alive in Portland
If you live in the Pacific Northwest, perhaps you attended the fifth annual Portland Retro Gaming Expo which took place the weekend before last. If you didn't, well -- here's a lovely pile of photos that the talented Geoffrey...

Ticket on sale tomorrow photo
Ticket on sale tomorrow

Tickets for PlayStation's Vegas community event on sale tomorrow

Are you PlayStation Experienced?
Oct 23
// Steven Hansen
Sony recently announced the two day "PlayStation Experience" fan event. Tickets to the December 6-7 Las Vegas event are going on sale tomorrow.  There's going to be hands-on time for upcoming games, some brand new annou...

Final Fantasy and World of Warcraft composers join up for a concert

Coming to Naka-Kon in Overland Park, Kansas
Oct 16
// Dale North
Final Fantasy composer Nobuo Uematsu and World of Warcraft composer Jason Hayes are teaming up with their respective bands, The Earthbound Papas and Critical Hit, to perform live at Naka-Kon in Overland Park, Kansas this Nove...

PlayStation Experience Event takes place in December in Las Vegas

You're invited
Oct 10
// Dale North
The very first PlayStation Experience will take place in Las Vegas on December 6 and 7. This is a community event that Sony says that they've been planning for awhile. A community event! Not some stuffy press event! Yes. It w...

Nindies at IndieCade. Wait, Nindies? I love you, Nintendo

New Nintendo indies to be shown at IndieCade
Oct 08
// Dale North
The list of new Nintendo independent games to be shown at IndieCade that we received this morning? Great. Great news. But I'm more hung up on the title of the press email that Nintendo sent out: Nintendo Showcases Prolific &...

Katamari Damacy composers confirmed for MAGFest 13

Lonely Rolling Staaaar
Oct 02
// Dale North
MAGFest, the Music and Games Festival, is going into its thirteenth year, and to celebrate they have some big musical guests lined up. Katamari Damacy composers Yuu Miyake and Yoshihito Yano will be...rolling into town t...

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