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Hudson

Konami is bad photo
Konami is bad

Creator blames Konami for end of popular 27-year-old series


Love to work for Konami
Jun 03
// Steven Hansen
Momotaro Dentetsu isn't a household name in the states, but in Japan the series has sold tens of millions and long predates Mario Party as a popular (train-themed) video game board game. The Hudson series has seen dozens of e...

Remembering studios that closed in 2012

Dec 22 // Sterling Aiayla Lyons
Hudson Soft Founded on May 18, 1973, Hudson Soft has been a force in this industry for so long that it seemed as if it would always be around. By 2003, the company had over 500 employees, with studios in both Tokyo and California. Throughout its history, Hudson designed a vast amount games and characters, including the iconic Bomberman, as well as less-iconic-but-still-identifiable Bonk. This story was one that was drawn out, as last year saw the closure of the offices in California. The final nail would come this year, when even the Tokyo offices would also be shut down. It’s something that is definitely heartbreaking for many a fan of the company's works, as well as people who loved the classic bee logo -- doubly for people in both categories like me. With the closure came the announcement that Konami would be absorbing what was left of Hudson, and retiring the name. So while the cute bee might be put out on the rocker on the front porch, hopefully the properties that bee ran won’t be neglected in the future. THQ & THQ San Diego Yesterday we reported that THQ had filed for bankruptcy. The company may not intend to reduce its workforce size during this period, but it's not a very optimistic situation. In March, the company reported a net loss of $239.9 million for the end of the fiscal year, which was over $100 million greater than the previous year's loss. Shortly after, THQ publicly made a deal with Electronic Arts to sell off its license to the UFC franchise. This directly lead to the closure of the THQ studio located in San Diego, the team behind the UFC games. This is one of those times that just goes to show you how fragile some things are in the industry. One deal sealed the fate of a whole studio, and all the workers there. While this might not be the end for THQ yet, the company's long-term survival is by no means guaranteed. I don't usually root for a publisher, but my heart is out for this one, if only for Saints Row 4. Black Hole Entertainment Black Hole Entertainment might be known for a few different games. It developed a couple of Warhammer games: Mark of Chaos and Black March. The company's most notable recent achievement would be Heroes of Might and Magic 6, which can be claimed as the reason for its downfall. Shortly after filing for bankruptcy, an insider from the company came out with claims that Ubisoft, the publisher they worked with, was at fault. The claims laid down include a lack of accountability from Ubisoft for missed deadlines, consistently sudden changes and feature removal demands by Ubisoft, and Ubisoft restructuring the key development team numerous times. Supposedly, the penalties from the missed deadlines, as well as the losses from money spent on features taken out of the game after completed made it so that an unreasonable 200 million copies needed to be sold before Black Hole would see any profit. Whether these claims are true is unknown, but the fact that the company went bankrupt still remains. Radical Entertainment Radical Entertainment is mainly known for the recent series Prototype, but it has been around since 1991, getting passed between multiple publishing companies through its history. There were layoffs, and many claimed that these layoffs lead to the crash of the Vancouver game design market. It was the oldest studio located in Vancouver, after all. This story happens to have a silver lining, as it appears that the company is still partially intact, functioning as a support studio for Activision Blizzard. Rockstar Vancouver/Barking Dog Rockstar's Vancouver studio is known for Bully and the recently released Max Payne 3. Shortly after the release of Max Payne 3, it was announced that Rockstar would be dissolving the studio to refocus its efforts in Canada on its Toronto-based studio. This story does not bring the saddest news of closure though, unless you're someone complaining about the decline of the Vancouver market. All 35 of the Vancouver employees were offered positions within the Toronto studio. With the additional claim of more positions being created afterwards, hopefully this leads to big new projects coming from those folks. Sony Liverpool/Psygnosis Sony Liverpool, perhaps better known as Psygnosis, is the studio behind the WipEout series. At the start of the year, Sony Worldwide Studios came out with an announcement that they would be restructuring the Liverpool studio. Many of the projects they were working on were halted as a result. It wouldn't be until August when the announcement finally came about the studio's closing. The studio employed roughly 100 people across two development teams. The studio was reportedly working on two projects at the time, each for the next-generation Sony console. While the facility at Liverpool remains functional, it is only to house other Sony Computer Entertainment Europe departments. The status of the two projects, one being a new WipEout, is unknown. BigBig Studios BigBig Studios, I feel, is mainly known for Pursuit Force, one of the better launch games for the PlayStation Portable. The studio was formed from a core team of four former Codemasters employees. Sony acquired the studio in 2007, and assigned them to work exclusively on games for the portable system. That might have been the major component in the downfall of the studio, due to the generally dismal life of the portable device itself. The last game they made would be the recent Vita game, Little Deviants which released to less-than-stellar reviews. The studio would be shut down at the beginning of the year as part of restructuring of Sony's European studios. Zipper Interactive Zipper interactive started out making computer games before it became tied to the franchise that would rule the company for the most of its life span, SOCOM. In 2006, the studio was acquired by Sony Computer Entertainment and would go on to make games exclusively for the PlayStation brand.  Not to let SCE Europe have all the fun restructuring studios, SCE Worldwide Studios announced in March that Zipper Interactive would be shut down. The reason given was that it was part of a normal cycle of resource re-alignment within Sony. The studio had roughly 80 employees at the time of closure. Its recent games, SOCOM 4, MAG, and Unit 13 are still going to be supported, according to Sony. Paragon Studios NCSoft is one of the few companies that almost exclusively deals in MMOs. Of course, most of that is acquiring studios that make those kind of games and just putting the monetary system on top of that. There are two things that usually happen. Either the game becomes too bloated to sustain from a financial standpoint, or the people calling the shots shift their focus to something "new." Such is the case with City of Heroes, which was finally shut down this year, much to the outrage and disappointment of its players. The really sad part comes with the liquidation of Paragon Studios, the developers behind the game. As of now, I don’t exactly know what happened to the folks who worked there, whether they were reassigned, or just let go entirely. At the very least, I hope that they are all still out there making games. 38 Studios and Big Huge Games 38 Studios started in 2006, originally named "Green Monster Games." Founded by Baseball star Curt Schilling with a dream to make his own MMO, he seemed to start out the right way, hiring talent that had great experience in the game world. In addition to writer R.A. Salvatore and artist Todd McFarlane, former general manager of games at Comcast Jennifer Maclean, former lead engineer at EA Jon Laff, and a former lead designer of EverQuest Travis McGeathy were in the employ of the studio. To further bolster the prestigious talent base of the company, 38 games acquired studio Big Huge Games, of Rise of Nations fame. The single-player RPG that BHG was working on at the time would be turned into a tie-in to Schilling's MMO. It all looked like it was going the right way, and in 2010, the studio received a $75 million dollar guaranteed loan from the state of Rhode Island to relocate their business to the state, in the hopes of creating new jobs. In February of this year, that RPG would see release in the form of Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning, which received favorable reviews. A missed loan payment just a few months later, and very shortly after, the entire 379 person workforce was laid off, with 38 Studios entering bankruptcy. Schilling and his studio has come under investigation since then for criminal charges, though at the time of writing, no federal charges have been filed against him. A state-level investigation is still underway. As for the folks under Big Huge Games, they're still happily together as Epic Baltimore.
Studio Closures in 2012 photo
Taking a sec to pay respects
This year was great in general for videogames. Beyond the predictable success of games like Halo 4 and Call of Duty: Black Ops II, there were a ton of hits that came out of nowhere, including not just big publisher titles, bu...

Lords of Thunder photo
Lords of Thunder

New VGM supergroup Lords of Thunder to debut at MAGFest


Inspired the face-melting shmup on TurboGrafx-CD
Dec 21
// Tony Ponce
You won't just find old faves performing at MAGFest. Sometimes, new bands will take to the stage! Lords of Thunder is a supergroup that consists of Mike Villalobos and John Pike from Descendants of Erdrick, Mateo Marshall fr...

It Came From Japan! DoReMi Fantasy

Nov 08 // Allistair Pinsof
DoReMi Fantasy: Milon no Dokidoki Daibouken (Super Famicom)Developer: Hudson SoftReleased: March 22, 1996Current value: $75 - 300Fan translation: YesFor fans of: Super Mario World, Kirby, Donkey Kong CountryI started off this season of It Came from Japan! with what I considered the best possible line-up I could have compiled. And yet, I haven’t found much to love which makes discovering DoReMi Fantasy that much sweeter. It’s true that I raved about Magical Pop’n and Tetris Battle Gaiden, but I already was familiar with those titles. Though I often read about DoReMi on import sites, this was my first time playing it and I won’t soon forget its name.As I traversed DoReMi’s seven worlds and barely beat its increasingly difficult bosses, I kept wondering why we don’t see contemporary indie developers make platformers of this style and quality. I think this because DoReMi is a progressively designed game that wouldn’t feel out of place on any download service. Its lush ambient soundtrack is unlike the giddy music of other platformers, for instance. It also features a very generous amount of mechanics, with each new world building upon what was introduced in the last. You just didn’t see the sort of things in the ‘90s, though it’s commonplace now (if not expected). The large, colorful sprites, variety of  art assets, and constant twisting of established mechanics is what sets DoReMi a notch above both its 16-bit brethren and contemporary platformers. Oh yeah, and the most important aspect of all: fluidity of control. Milon stops on a dime, jumps as you expect, and controls like a dream when you acquire the boots item that let you rapidly press the jump button to gracefully glide. I almost wish the controls weren’t so good in the first world because the game was too easy at first. Once I got to the grueling levels of the third world, I was extra appreciative of the smooth controls.DoReMi isn’t all about jumping, however. You’ll do a lot of shooting as well. In fact, jumping on enemies only temporarily stuns them. Instead, you’ll need to hit them with a bubble and then jump into them. Once Milon collides with the bubble, it will go floating upward and take down any other enemies it touches. Exploring levels will unveil improvements to the bubble’s range, costumes that add health, and bubblegum that will save Milon from falling into a pit. Make no mistake, however: This is a very simple game, even when Milon learns to surf and summon ladders at will. Locking players out of content until enough collectibles are acquired is a pet peeve of mine. This often feels like lazy design which can ruin games, best exemplified in Donkey Kong Country 64. DoReMi, along with Super Mario 64, proves to be an exception. Each world contains five stars hidden in the levels, which would drive me nuts if the levels weren’t so well designed. Each level is brief, unique, and fun to explore. Thankfully, you can even quit out once you acquire a star, so you don’t have to play the whole thing again (assuming you didn’t find it on the first go-around).Each world has its own enemies, obstacles, and look that keep the game fresh during its entirety. DoReMi has the expected forest, ice, and fire worlds, but it also has some more creative ones like a candy world and toy world. The detail put into these levels really makes the concept of each world come to life. I kind of wish the entire game took place in candy world, since it’s gorgeous starry sky and delicious-looking treats paired so well with the calming soundtrack. And it made me hungry. DoReMi features some of the best graphics on the system, even if it doesn’t concede to the CG and Mode-7 gimmicks of the time. Hudson had a knack for making big, beautiful sprites and DoReMi may be its crown jewel. Even with the stellar visuals, it’s always the mechanics and smart level design that steal the show. The woods contain gusts of wind that slow your movement, the candy world features champagne bottles that blast you across the screen, and the ice world has blocks that won’t appear until you hit them with a bubble, making for some tricky platforming. Some worlds contain more elaborate elements, like the Concert Hall world that contains fake exits, demanding environmental awareness from the player.I’m not the biggest fan of 2D platformers because I don’t think there are many good ones. If I played DoReMi upon release, I may have saw things differently. Since I only just beat the game, it feels premature to rank it above or below Donkey Kong Country and Super Mario World. But, I feel confident in saying DoReMi forms a trifecta with those two titles -- sorry, never was a Kirby guy. Maybe it’s at this point that I should mention that DoReMi is a sort-of sequel to Milon’s Secret Castle on the Nintendo. I feel like I’m doing DoReMi a disservice by even mentioning that mediocre title. DoReMi barely feels like a sequel, featuring only a couple elements of the original. DoReMi is confident and whimsical in a way that the original wasn’t. It even features genuinely funny dialog and a bizarre Bomberman cameo that is sure to make Hudson fans smile. DoReMi is the full package. It would be among the very best platformers on any system, including current ones. When the game finally came to international audiences with its Wii Virtual Console release in 2008, it could have been easily mistaken for a current release. Except, you’d be hard-pressed to find one with the character and quality of this lost gem from Hudson. What are your favorite 2D platformers? Have you enjoyed the selection of games this season of ICFJ? Who the hell pays $300 for a SFC game, I mean really?
It Came from Japan! photo
Only in dreams
[It Came from Japan! is a series where I seek out and review the weirdest, most original and enjoyable titles that never left the Land of the Rising Sun.] There is a wide divide between Super Mario World and all platformers ...


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[Illustration by Ashley Davis] Just before the blackout, we learned that the last remains of Hudson are to be absorbed by Konami on March 1. While nothing has changed in that regard, Hudson saw fit to issue a statement clarif...

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[Illustration by Ashley Davis] This is the end, my friends. After the heart-breaking closure of Hudson Soft's North American division last year, tears were shed, but there was still hope that the properties that put the compa...

Review: Tetris Axis

Oct 17 // Dale North
Tetris Axis (Nintendo 3DS) Developer: Hudson Soft Publisher: Nintendo Released: October 2, 2011 MSRP: $29.99 There's a dozen and a half new modes in Tetris Axis that play on the classic game formula. I like some of them, but diehard fans of the traditional formula probably won't like any of them. Hudson Soft was trying to do something different and while I appreciate that, the end result is a game that seems to go in every direction except the one direction you'd expect. Well, you'd expect 3D silliness, and there's plenty of that. Because there's a lot of game modes to cover, I'll briefly go through them. Marathon has you clearing as many lines as possible. You know, standard Tetris. Fever mode has you playing in a narrow matrix to clear as many lines as possible in one minute. In this mode you'll earn coins that can be exchanged for items. These items will give you power-ups to make your life a bit easier. I love a good Time Attack mode, and this one's not bad, though not that much different than Fever mode. This one also has earnable power-up items, like the cascade tool. At a cost of 50 coins, this item will push down blocks to fill in lower holes when used on a cleared line. You just feel dirty doing that, as you will with all the other power-up items. In both of these modes, do well enough and you get flipped to a fast paced color clearing bonus screen that has you putting preset minos in puzzles for big points.  Survival has you clearing as many lines as you can while incoming lines make their way toward the top. The game keeps count of your total time and line count. There's also a computer battle mode that has you throwing lines at your virtual opponent. Hudson's own Bomberman is the first opponent. The computer likes to throw curveballs your way, like flipping minos, or random individual blocks, or worse, bombs that tear up all your building work. You can do the same with items as you earn them, throwing a wrench in their gears by hitting X. Some items, gained by clearing lines, can also help you out, like the UFO that comes from space to suck up your bottom rows.  It may sound fun, but it's a deal breaker to me, as the use of these items throws all of the game's balance out the window. Skill no longer matters if there's an item that will clear your board for you. I enjoyed the party modes more than any of the game's featured modes. In Party Mode you will do things like use minos like jigsaw pieces to build picture puzzles, or build an object by looking at its silhouette on the bottom screen. Modes like Tower Climber, where you'll stack blocks against a cylindrical matrix, or Fit, where you'll drop shapes into holes in the plane of the same shape to clear, will blow your mind if you're still stuck in the 2D days. Your mind will be further blown when you realize you can use the circle pad to turn the matrix around in 3D. Woaaaah. The two games in the AR mode are good only for wowing friends that haven't seen the 3DS in action yet. AR Climber has you stacking tetriminos against a cylinder that is generated in your real-world playspace with augmented reality technology. You'll work to guide a tiny character to the top of this cylinder by using your dropped blocks as steps. This game must be played on a surface you can walk fully around as you'll have to run around it to see all the way around the cylinder. The AR Marathon mode is like standard Tetris, but on a smaller floating playspace that appears in your environment. Both of these modes will likely give you motion sickness if you move around at all, and with the AR Climber mode, you'll have to. Forget turning the 3D slider up on either one of these unless you want to turn your brain to mush.  Tetris Axis does support many types of competitive play. Local Play requires another 3DS owner with a copy of the game, but there's also download play support for up to eight players. Internet mode lets you battle a random online player through quick matches. Connection time was often slow, and it would often time out. Fun. I liked the addition of dancing Miis and club-style classical music remixes, and the graphical presentation and 3D novelties were neat, but none of this really satisfied my craving to play some good ol' Tetris. Somehow the standard-ish Marathon mode wasn't doing it for me. Again, I appreciate that Hudson Soft was trying to do something new and different, but I find myself wanting to go back to Tetris DS after spending some time with Tetris Axis. I guess I'm old-fashioned that way.
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Count on this: where there's a new Nintendo portable there's a new Tetris game. This time around, for the Nintendo 3DS, it's Tetris Axis. A strange name for a strange system. And it's a prety strange game, too. Yes, ther...

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Hudson working on a new Bloody Roar game! (Update: Nope)


Oct 03
// Jim Sterling
[Update: Well, horrible news is in store for those who wanted to play with anthropomorphic furry pugilists. It appears the Twitter account was a fake. One that duped pretty much everybody online. It was just a joke, and ...
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Uh oh: Some WiiWare games are now off the market


Aug 08
// Jonathan Holmes
A handful of WiiWare games were just pulled from the U.S. and European Wii Shop channels. As far as I know, the full list of removed games includes The Magic Obelisk (in the U.S.) and LONPOS, Shootanto: Evolutionary Mayhem, D...
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Get your Nintendo (and non-Nintendo) fan art here


Jun 26
// Jonathan Holmes
Fan art alert! Artist Zac Gorman has a web page dedicated just to Nintendo fan art, and it's pretty incredible. His animated comics are particularly stunning. As his style is a little on the cartoony side, you might expect hi...
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Nintendo DLC: House M.D., Super Adventure Island


May 30
// Dale North
It may be a national holiday in America, but that doesn't mean that Nintendo is taking a day off. There's plenty of DLC coming our way this week. Here's what we've got: Wiiware: FAST - Racing League (1,000 Wii Points) - futu...
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Diner Dash and Dream Chronicles removed from PSN, XBLA


Apr 20
// Dale North
No! I'm a big Diner Dash fan. I have various versions on PC, Mac, iPhone and iPad, but one of the coolest is the console version. Moving Flo around with a joystick is a totally new challenge that makes the game a bit more ten...
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Canceled Bonk's soundtrack is free to stream


Apr 14
// Tony Ponce
Bonk: Brink of Extinction was one the more prominent titles to get the big boot once Hudson Entertainment closed. Sure, our impression from last year's E3 was rather lukewarm, but it was still a revival of a beloved property ...
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Nintendo DLC: Super Bonk!


Apr 04
// Dale North
This week's downloadable offerings for Nintendo's systems includes a classic Super Nintendo title that is so old that you could even call it prehistoric. Super Bonk was great on the SNES -- such a fun game. In it you worked t...
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Hudson's final Tweet


Mar 30
// Dale North
Dear Hudson fans. Thanks for your support for all these years! We'll be closing our account tomorrow. Please follow our titles @Konami :(
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Hudson 3DS titles not necessarily canceled


Mar 23
// Jordan Devore
Earlier today, we reported that a few Hudson games for 3DS -- Bomberman, Bonk, and Omega Five -- had been dropped. But, that might not be the case, exactly. "If (the announcement) didn't come from us, it's not true. We have n...
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Hudson games killed: Three 3DS titles including Bomberman


Mar 23
// Dale North
Konami took over Hudson recently, and with that came a canceling of titles. Sad, I know. The latest issue of Famitsu updates us on what exactly was canceled. We don't know why they were canceled, but we do know that...
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Hudson is Konami's April 1st, now a social games arm


Mar 08
// Dale North
Worst April Fools' Day joke ever is Hudson as we know it closing up shop. They become the property of Konami on this day, and they'll be turned into a social networking division for the company. Also, Hudson Entertainment, th...
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Get the full story on why Hudson closed


Feb 24
// Dale North
I'm sure you've heard that Hudson has closed its doors and all of their projects have been canceled. It's one thing to say that Konami gobbled them up, but it's another to hear the full story, which has been a decade in the m...
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Destructoid: Dark Souls, Fox News, Squidbear, and Hudson


Feb 09
// Max Scoville
Good morrow, Toidlings. I come before you with the fiftieth fabulous foray into foul and frivolous feculence. In other words, this is The Destructoid Show Episode 50. (Please ignore the fact that I've only been on it for 5 w...
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Here's the worst piece of news I've heard in a while. According to Morgan Haro, the CEO of Hudson Entertainment, the Western branch of Hudson Soft, will be closing down at the end February when Konami acquires the company. Al...

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Hudson's soul (and property) now belongs to Konami


Jan 20
// Jim Sterling
Hudson Soft is now 100% owned by Konami, it was revealed this morning. The Bomberman publisher is to be fully consumed by the Japanese powerhouse, which already owns a 54% stake in the company.  Hudson shall become a who...
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NA PlayStation Store getting TurboGrafx-16 games


Jan 05
// Jordan Devore
Starting this month, Hudson will gleefully begin pumping out TurboGrafx-16 games for the North American PlayStation Store. They'll be offered as individual downloads for PlayStation 3 and PSP should you feel the need to reliv...

Review: Lost in Shadow

Jan 04 // Nick Chester
Lost in Shadow (Wii)Developer: Hudson SoftPublisher: Hudson EntertainmentReleased: January 4, 2011MSRP: $39.99 While the game unabashedly wears its influences on its sleeve, Lost in Shadow brings its own gimmick to the table: a world where a shadow boy runs, skips, and fights in twilight. While the foreground is almost always visible, it’s the dark shadows that the “real-world” environments cast that are tangible to the player. Navigating the world is mind-bending at first, like taking a trip through a hallucination. It’s natural to focus on the solid object in a game’s forefront, which can lead to some early confusion. But it’s not long before that uncertainty gives way to wholly understanding how to interact with this new world, and you’ll soon find yourself taking pleasure in discovering passages otherwise unobtainable, now shrouded in shadows.Lost in Shadow is played using the Nunchuk and the Wii Remote, the analog stick on the former used to move the shadow boy around on the game’s 2D planes. The remote is home to buttons for other basic actions, like attacking enemies, jumping, and moving switches. It also acts as a pointer, or in this case, to move around Spangle, a helpful little sprite who can move physical switches and lights in the “real world.” Lost in Shadow is as much about playing in the darkness as it is about playing with the darkness, and there’s where Spangle comes into play. The pint-sized fairy can be used to move objects and lights, shifting shadows and changing the lay of the land, creating new paths and allowing you to access new areas. While some of these object manipulation and light-shifting spots can be looked at as puzzles, there are few areas of Lost in Shadow that are so complicated that you’d be able to label them “puzzling.” Most are simply a matter of keeping an eye open or hunting and pecking around an environment for moveable objects. There’s certainly some clever, M.C. Escher-like design at play here, but folks looking for head-scratching moments will probably feel let down. “Shadow Corridors” -- mysterious mini-realms found throughout the game’s areas -- change things up a bit, and feature mechanisms that allow you to shift the world from left to right in 3D space. Shift the wrong way and get crushed by a shadow; move it properly and create a new path. It’s definitely an interesting twist, but doesn’t really offer much beyond the initial novelty. Because you can only shift left or right, you have a 50-50 chance of choosing the right direction. Choose wrong and you’ll die before instantly being revived... in the very same spot where you just perished. The goal is to work your way up the game’s enigmatic tower, and thus has you mostly working upward, with stages broken up in chunks of a few floors. The exits for each area are blocked by “Shadow Walls”; in order to pass through them, you’ll have to find and collect three “Monitor Eyes” found in the region. As the levels get more intricate, this often leads to quite a bit of backtracking, as missing a single tucked-away eye will have you cursing at your television as you stand in front of a dense, unpassable “Shadow Wall.” This gets particularly irritating in some of the game’s larger sections, which may find you doing more backpedaling than working your way up the game’s lofty tower. On the subject of how the game is broken up, it should be mentioned that the only checkpoints come when completing those chunks of floors. That is to say that dying after spending 15 or more minutes traversing a single segment will send you right back to the start to do it again. While the game is light on intricate puzzles, there are plenty of traps and enemies to contend with, and most players will certainly drain their health more than a few times during their adventure. It’s great that Lost in Shadow offers some challenge; that’s not the issue. It’s just unfortunate that the lack of checkpoints can sometimes feel so brutal and exhausting. Lost in Shadow’s combat is also regrettably shallow, sometimes to the point of irritation. It relies on a single-button combo system that has you tapping the Wii Remote’s B button three times to launch a series of attacks. Afterwards, you’re left completely vulnerable, as there is no guard or evade button. The result is an archaic and annoying “run and pop” type of combat, where you’ll move into an enemy, hit them a few times, and then turn your back and run away. This leaves you completely open to taking damage, which can quickly get irritating. Fortunately, this type of encounter repeats itself across almost all of the game’s adversaries, so once you get the pattern down, it becomes easy enough; it’s just not much fun. Visually, Lost in Shadow cribs quite a bit from ICO, with a hazy aesthetic, giving the game a washed-out, mystifying look and feel. As you’d expect from a game called Lost in Shadow, there are some breathtaking plays on light and dark. Coupled with a haunting soundtrack, the developers do a respectable job imitating the same kind of otherworldly vibe found in Team ICO’s titles. But where games like ICO and Shadow of the Colossus managed to use that atmosphere in conjunction with characters to an emotional advantage, that’s where Lost in Shadow fails. Simply put, there’s no real connection to the shadow boy or the game’s narrative, which spends all of its time trying to be mystifying but never really offering up much substance. While this ambiguous storytelling can sometimes work in a game’s favor, there’s usually some storyline breadcrumbs or a relationship that helps ground it in reality. Lost in Shadow offers very little, so it ultimately feels like a series of platforming trials and little more. Thankfully, the designs of the bulk of Lost in Shadow’s platforming trials are clever enough, providing a mostly fun and memorable experience, if an emotionally empty one. For most, that will be enough; there’s something to be said about shrewd level design wrapped in an alluring artistic style that nods towards some of gaming’s greats. Still, it’s regrettable that Lost in Shadow stumbles in key places that make it a “good,” but never truly “great,” adventure. 
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Drawing as much inspiration from Jordan Mechner’s classic Prince of Persia as from Team ICO’s gloomy, haunting aesthetics, Hudson’s Wii-exclusive Lost in Shadow seemingly begs for gamers’ attention. ...

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Best Buy stores get Lost in Shadow demo


Dec 27
// Nick Chester
Odd because it's not a Madden NFL title or something with plastic instruments, you'll be able to find a demo for Hudson's upcoming Wii title, Lost in Shadow, at select Best Buy stores starting this week. By "select" I mean th...
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Fishing Master now available for iPhone, totally free


Dec 17
// Conrad Zimmerman
Laugh if you must, but I love Fishing Master. Lord knows I have taken abuse for it before. But its charm and gameplay are worth more than anybody who would mock me for enjoying them. And now it'll be even easier for me to tak...
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Hudson brings TurboGrafx Gamebox to iPhone, iPad


Dec 13
// Dale North
The TurboGrafx Gamebox app, coming soon to the iPhone and iPad, will let users download and play a bunch of classic TurboGrafx-16 videogames in their device. The app comes with one free title: World Sports Competition. Don't ...
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Bomberman LIVE: Battlefest out on December 8 for XBLA


Nov 30
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
Time to blow up your friends all over again as Bomberman LIVE: Battlefest is coming to Xbox Live Arcade on December 8. Expect eight-player online battles, customizing Bomermens and new items too. Four new modes are also inclu...
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New Lost in Shadow screenshots


Oct 05
// Conrad Zimmerman
We got a batch of images for Hudson's Lost in Shadow tonight. They show off the eighth area of the game (according to the name of the folder they arrived in) and, apparently, there's a lot of water in the level. I know t...
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Birth of Lost in Shadow isn't as messy as actual birth


Sep 14
// Nick Chester
 Hudson has released the first of a four part documentary detailing the making of its upcoming Wii title, Lost in Shadow.  In this first part, the game's director, designer, programmer, and sound lead discuss the g...

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