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Review: LEGO Jurassic World

Jun 26 // Ben Davis
LEGO Jurassic World (PS4 [reviewed], PS3, PS Vita, Xbox One, Xbox 360, Wii U, 3DS, PC)Developer: Traveller's TalesPublisher: Warner Bros.MSRP: $59.99Released: June 12, 2015 As a huge Jurassic Park fan, LEGO Jurassic World is pretty much exactly what I expected from a dinosaur game themed around children's toys. There is no shortage of humor, plenty of satisfying references to the movies and books, playable dinosaurs, and I get to run around as Ian Malcolm with his shirt torn open. What more could I ask for? LEGO Jurassic World's story is built around the plots of the movies, but while the movies can be tense and thrilling, the game remains silly and lighthearted. Death scenes from the films are played out in a comedic fashion. The LEGO characters are never actually killed; instead, they usually end up sharing a goofy moment with the dinosaur that attacks them. For example, Gennaro can be seen cleaning the T. Rex's teeth with a toilet brush after being pulled from his restroom hiding place, and the raptor tamer who dies in the very first scene of Jurassic Park only loses the precious sausage he was holding onto rather than his legs (there's a weird recurring sausage joke for some reason, which I can't say I really understood). Meanwhile, other parts feature raptors riding motorcycles, wearing fruit hats, and chasing lawn mowers through the long grass, so the dinos are generally more charming than they are terrifying. Of course, for a LEGO game, this was kind of a necessity. [embed]294839:59241:0[/embed] Gameplay is heavily puzzle-based, requiring obstacles to be solved by choosing the specific character required for the task. Most of these obstacles are accompanied by button prompts, and there are numerous quick time events scattered throughout as well. There is also some light combat, whenever the party is attacked by dinosaurs or InGen employees, but it involves little more than punching things until they get dizzy or fall apart. Characters do have health bars, but the only penalty for dying is losing a few studs, so it's not really a big deal. The health bars honestly feel wholly unnecessary, as there aren't any lives and characters already essentially feel invincible. They could have probably scrapped that mechanic entirely. It's possible to play as nearly every character from the Jurassic Park films, even minor characters such as Mr. DNA and that weird boy at the dig site who says raptors look like giant turkeys. Each character has their own unique skills which typically play off of their personalities and roles in the films, all of which will need to be utilized in order to traverse each level. Some characters, like Dr. Grant and Gray Mitchell, are good at building things out of dinosaur bones; characters like Lex Murphy and Kelly Malcolm can scream loud enough to shatter glass; characters like Tim Murphy and Ian Malcolm have items that can illuminate dark areas (night vision goggles and flares, for example); and others like Ellie Sattler and Owen Grady aren't afraid to get dirty and rummage through dino droppings (by diving in head first, no less!). It's necessary to play as many different characters in order to clear all of the puzzles and obstacles in the game. Of course, there's not only human characters, but dinosaurs to control as well. Most dinosaurs are unlocked by collecting amber bricks hidden in every level. They can be summoned via dinosaur creation pads, and sick dinosaurs can be healed in order to join the party as well. The dinosaurs come with their own sets of skills; Triceratops can charge and bash open large objects, Dilophosaurus can melt certain things with its venom, T. Rex can roar loud enough to shatter stuff, and Velociraptors can pull switches and sniff out hidden objects. The craziest option is the enormous Brachiosaurus, which can be used to crush certain platforms with a huge stomp, but it's so gigantic and slow that it's almost hilarious. It's even possible to play as Pteranodons and Mosasaurus, although they're restricted to the aviary and aquarium, respectively. Story mode will take the player through twenty levels centered around many of the most memorable and action-packed scenes from the movies. It's really fun to reenact classic scenes like the very first T. Rex attack, the raptors in the kitchen, the San Diego crisis, and more through the playful lens of the LEGO world. Every level is filled with puzzles to solve, obstacles to overcome, and a set amount of collectibles to find. Many levels implement chase sequences, such as running from the Gallimimus herd, or puzzle-based boss fights, like taking down Indominus Rex. There's nothing too complicated, though, so it should be an easy ride for most players. Upon completing each level in story mode, free play mode will be unlocked, allowing players to choose any character they want and switch to someone else at any time. Many of the collectibles can only be obtained in free play, since the characters in story mode might not have the required abilities, so it's necessary to play each level at least two times in order to find everything. Outside of story mode, players can also freely explore each of the four parks. The parks contain more collectibles to find, sick dinosaurs and workers in peril to help, characters to unlock, photograph locations, races, and more. The parks on Isla Sorna are unfortunately rather small and unexciting, but Isla Nublar's Jurassic Park and Jurassic World are both huge and full of all sorts of attractions and cool areas to discover. Strangely, though, once story mode is completed, free play in the parks takes place entirely during nighttime, which kind of bothered me as some areas just seem much less exciting in the dark. I'd prefer to view these beautiful parks in the bright sunshine. [Edit: Apparently, this can be changed, but only by fast travelling to specially marked areas on the map. Still an odd choice, but at least there are options!] Split-screen co-op is also an option, and players can jump in and out of the game at any time. Co-op can make solving puzzles and overcoming obstacles much easier, as players will not need to switch between characters as often and multiple tasks can be completed at once. For such a light-hearted adventure as LEGO Jurassic World, I can definitely see co-op being a popular option. The best aspect of LEGO Jurassic World for me was all the little nuances and nods to the films which were sprinkled throughout. Idle animations for characters usually highlighted certain aspects of their personalities or referenced specific moments from the movies. For example, Zach Mitchell will put on his headphones and start dancing, Amanda Kirby will test her megaphone (put that thing away!), and Ian Malcolm will run a Chaos Theory experiment by dripping water onto his hand. Many of the trophies also make great references to the movies; I think my favorite is the "Hello John!" trophy which is awarded for having both characters set to John Hammond. I also loved that Mr. DNA was in charge of all the tutorials and loading screen trivia. Aside from borrowing plot, characters, and locations from the movies, LEGO Jurassic World also borrows sound clips. While some new dialogue was recorded specifically for the game (mostly for the Jurassic World section), a lot of the dialogue is taken directly from the films. This can be entertaining at times (hearing Jeff Goldblum's ridiculous laugh on the helicopter never gets old, even when it's coming out of a LEGO character's mouth), but it can also be quite jarring. Since the tone of the movies does not match the tone of the game, the dialogue is often way too tense and emotional for what should be silly, light-hearted scenes. There are also many instances where background noise from the films can be heard in the game's dialogue, which sounds really strange when compared to the newly recorded dialogue. Unfortunately, LEGO Jurassic World is not without its fair share of bugs. During my time with the game, there were several instances where I had to restart a level after a character got stuck between a wall and an object and couldn't move or jump to escape, or after they fell through the ground when I switched away from them. There were also a few instances where, after spawning a dinosaur and taking control of it, I could no longer switch to any other character and was permanently stuck in my dinosaur body. Usually, this meant I lost all progress on that level up to the point where I got stuck, so that was always a bummer. While it may have its flaws, I was still perfectly satisfied with my time in LEGO Jurassic World. Fans of the LEGO games should basically know what to expect, and Jurassic Park fans should be more than happy with the story, cutscenes, characters, and references. It captured all of my favorite Jurassic Park moments and added its own unique sense of humor into the mix, and that's essentially all I really wanted. And if you still need a reason to play this, just remember that is has LEGO Jeff Goldblum. Let's be honest: that's all anyone really needs. [This review is based on a retail build of the game purchased by the reviewer.]
LEGO Jurassic World photo
Hold on to your butts
Another year, another beloved franchise gets the LEGO treatment. This year, blocks and dinosaurs come together in LEGO Jurassic World, a compilation of games spanning the entire Jurassic Park film franchise. Released simultan...

Review: The LEGO Movie Videogame

Mar 21 // Ian Bonds
The LEGO Movie Videogame (Wii U, 3DS, PC, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, PS Vita, Xbox 360 [reviewed], Xbox One)Developer: TT GamePublisher: Warner Brothers Interactive EntertainmentRelease Date: February 7, 2014MSRP: $49.99 If you haven't seen the movie, here's a quick synopsis: Emmet is an average construction worker, just like everyone he works with. A little TOO average. So average in fact that no one notices him -- until he finds the "piece of resistance" and is mistaken for a master builder: exceptionally creative types who can make anything out of the LEGO world without instructions. With the other master builders such as Wyldstyle, Benny the Spaceman, and uh, Batman, they unite to stop Lord Business from destroying the world as they know it. The game itself, as expected, is just a longer version of the film's events, played out in the traditional LEGO game style. If you've played any of the others, this is familiar ground: You run along, smashing LEGO objects and punching hundreds of evil robots in the face while solving building puzzles and character-specific actions. You can of course switch between other characters, but often now there's many to choose from in any given level. Cycling through five different characters to get to the one with the special ability you need for a specific section is a bit much, but it's still only a minor fault at best. The levels are straight out of the movie, and for the first time in a LEGO game, the environments reflect that everything is made out of blocks, rather than just appearing that way once they explode. Cutscenes that move the story along are also straight from the film, so if you haven't seen the movie, it showcases quite a bit, but also doesn't quite present it as well as the film would. Still, it's a great companion piece (no pun intended). New to the series of LEGO games -- to tie it directly into the film -- is the Master Builder Vision. This allows you to select multiple objects in the game world to bring them together and create something new (but obviously per-determined by the game) out of them for newer puzzles. Minikits have sort of been replaced by instruction book pages that, once collected, drop you into a mini-game where you have a certain amount of time to pick the right piece out of a lineup. That said, the puzzles this time around aren't quite up to snuff with what's come before in other LEGO titles, but it does a fair job. Sadly, that seems to be true of the missions themselves as well as the characters. In TT Games' previous entry, LEGO Marvel Super Heroes, each character had multiple special moves and abilities, and the variety seen in each level with which to use these was pretty wide. Here, it's almost as if they've restricted themselves to what was in the film's environments, and didn't allow themselves to step too far out of that comfort zone. It's only once you've gone through half the game that its repetition lessens and it gets going really well. Once again, you can unlock freeplay so you can run through the levels again and go through any sections you couldn't access with the given characters on the first run-through, but the monotony of the early stages might stifle your desire to do so. If you're still a fan of the LEGO games after all the previous entries, this won't turn you off the franchise. Likewise, if you've never played any of the series before, this might not get you as interested as some of the better LEGO games will. It's not a bad game, but it's not a "must have" either. The LEGO Movie Videogame does a decent job telling the movie's story and being its own licensed tie-in game -- to its own licensed tie-in movie. Thankfully, both are fun in their own right.
LEGO photo
Everything is (moderately) awesome
First things first: if you haven't seen The LEGO Movie, you should probably go do that right now. It's awesome, and your face will love it. Back yet? OK, good. For those of you who have seen it, this is your predictable licen...

Destructoid's favorite last-gen multi-platform games

Nov 22 // Brett Makedonski
If I try to think of any one series that defined this past generation for me, it would have to be Rock Band. Though the first entry was originally released in 2007 and iterated upon until Rock Band 3 in 2010, the band simulator franchise still sees playtime in my house to this day. It is by far the most long-lived franchise of the generation for me, and it's easy to see why. The arcade-style, high-score-driven, pick-up-and-play nature of it means that one can never be truly be finished playing. The constant stream of downloadable content was on a level never seen before. But those are just icing on the cake of the series' true strength: its ability to bring people together, gamers and non-gamers alike, to have an awesome experience unlike any other. When four (or more) people get on their fake plastic instruments and a song comes together well, it is incredibly easy to lose oneself in the fantasy and to feel for a few fleeting moments like an actual rock star performing in front of a crowd of millions. While other games have told some great stories and provided some great entertainment, no game other than Rock Band has transported my mind to another place. When you look at the games which dominate the landscape today, the very idea of Catherine seems improbable. It pairs two completely separate and niche game types, relationship simulator and block pushing. Its lead character is a twenty-something nobody whose fear of commitment is manifesting in horrible ways. Were it not for the willingness to market the game on the curvaceous design of the titular character, it probably would have vanished into the ether. Catherine may have sold itself on sex appeal, but the game which came in the box wound up surprisingly sober, featuring complex characters and tense intrigue. It wasn't perfect, but damned memorable, and the arcade-style block climbing sequences provided a remarkably good challenge. There's nothing else like it. Rayman Origins released in November 2011, but I didn't play it until almost a full year later. I only mention that because I feel criminally guilty about the fact. Despite seeing it given near-perfect and perfect review scores from the outlets I trusted most, it came out during the busiest part of the year and I just couldn't be bothered to make time for it. Fast forward ten months and upon the incessant insistence of a friend, I reluctantly relented and gave Rayman Origins a shot. What I found was one of the most satisfying platformers I had ever experienced. Everything about the game popped. There wasn't a single facet of Rayman Origins that didn't impress -- from the stunning visuals, to the tight controls, to the downright marvelous music. A giant cherry on top came in the form of some of the best local cooperative play in recent memory.  I may have been late to the party, but I'm ecstatic that I got there eventually. I cherished every minute that I played Rayman Origins. By the time I finally beat it, I was genuinely sad that it was over. I can't remember the last game that had that effect on me, and that's why I'm not forgetting Rayman Origins anytime soon. Castle Crashers is the reason I bought an Xbox 360. While we take them for granted now, beautiful two-dimensional, hand-drawn multiplayer beat-'em-ups were nearly impossible to find on consoles before Castle Crashers revitalized the genre. The Behemoth took a big chance on investing huge amounts of time, money, and creative energy into the game, and it shows. It was the perfect antidote to the sea of testosterone-soaked, serious-faced, overcompensating "hardcore" games that were choking the Xbox 360 market at the time. Castle Crashers is one of the most influential games of the past ten years, and I'm thankful for it.  Remember when it used to be fun to shoot guns in games? Like, when you powered up your BFG in DOOM to lay waste to a room full of Imps, and you grinned like you had just eaten an entire shit sandwich? Don't you miss that? I know I do, which is why Bulletstorm was such a breath of fresh air. With its emphasis on blasting baddies in unique and often humorous ways, Bulletstorm was the antithesis of the modern-day shooter. Instead of using your weapons as simply a means for getting from points A to BORING, you were encouraged -- hell, almost required -- to experiment with different varieties of weapon abilities to maximize the amount of experience points earned from every enemy. Each weapon was fun to fire, and the fantastic Leash managed to combine some of the best Plasmids from BioShock into one all-encompassing device that never grew tiring to use. Not only that, but the story was fun and funny, and the characters were genuinely engaging and full of personality. In a shooter! Bulletstorm is one of my favorite games from any generation, and its lack of a sequel is a goddamn crime. After Demon's Souls rocked the foundation of action games everywhere, Dark Souls really stepped up and kept the good times rolling. Although I'm hesitant to call it the superior Souls game, there were a number of advancements that suited by new and old players, along with a new set of areas and bosses to conquer. Instead of taking a level-based hub world approach, Dark Souls was more open, instead encouraging the player to get lost in a giant world. It was an incredible feeling, walking around with very little indication of where to go next, simply surviving from one hellish arena to the next. Thanks to the warm reception of Dark Souls, it looks like there's going to be a sequel coming in 2014, and I sincerely hope there's more after that. The industry needs games like the Souls series, to remind designers that not everything has to be spoiled before we've even picked up the controller. This one is a no-brainer. Red Dead Redemption was masterful. It's one of the only games where I'd just stand and look at everything around me -- absorbing my surroundings and transporting me to another world. It took the Old West concept (which had always seemed to let everyone down, besides Sunset Riders), and made it into one of the few titles that everyone still talks about. When I heard Rockstar was making a wild west game, I remember calling my brother and telling him the news like I had just won Miss America. I grew up watching old westerns like Bonanza and Roy Rogers re-runs with my grandfather, so to see this game come together was very exciting. People brag about how many hours they spent in World of Warcraft, Skyrim, and Battlefield, but Red Dead Redemption was my game that I can honestly say I put months worth of time into. Exploring every nook, cranny, and glitch, I can happily say I am the master of Horse Stacking -- stacking 88 horses on a barn, before the server imploded from the awesome feat. Now, there were no Cowboys from Moo Mesa in it, but John Marston is one of those iconic videogame characters that we all wanted to be. I can't say the same for his son Jack, but I think we all felt justified after completing the game. The multiplayer was such an added bonus. Running around with a gigantic somberro, tossing people off horses, and stealing wagons may sound primitive, but it's some of the best fun I've had in an online game. I was even nice enough to give Chad Kroeger of Nickelback a buffalo on a community playdate, even though I pushed him down for 30 minutes in Pikes Basin before I realized who it was. With a story that was so well-written and one of the best DLC expansions I've ever played in a game, Red Dead Redemption is one of those titles that I'll tell my kids about one day because Mortal Kombat on the Sega Genesis is not the greatest game of all time. While I love emotional games, I also enjoy my fair share of games that offer pure violence and terror like Dead Space 2. It improved every mechanic from the original while also upping the scare factor to 11. Dead Space 2 also features my favorite moment from a game ever thanks to the eye-surgery scene. A moment, by the way, that has made me totally reconsider Lasik.  That I'm a Deus Ex fanboy should be fairly common knowledge by now, so to say that I was excited by Eidos Montreal's attempt at rebooting the franchise was an understatement. No other game has come close to offering the freedom of approach that parallels the original Deus Ex, so I was worried that Human Revolution would follow the more modern trend of creating a directed experience. Not a bit of it; Deus Ex: Human Revolution offers the same amount of options that you'd expect -- stealth, hacking, and combat are all available for you to choose. Yes, the boss fights were a let down, but the recently released Director's Cut fixes those and a number of other small bugbears. Honestly, it's gotten me really excited to see what a true next-gen Deus Ex game can offer. I recall absolutely loathing Far Cry 2 the first time I laid hands on it. Ubisoft Montreal's open-world shooter did not leave a good first impression. Not in the slightest. But like something out of a romantic comedy, it grew on me. Despite all the faults and rough edges, I came to love it. And now Far Cry 2 is one of my favorite titles ever. The way the game design supports player agency is impressive and a large part of why I still find myself returning to Far Cry 2 several years after release. Unlike most games, it fosters creativity. Levels aren't tailored to communicate a specific idea, they're arranged in such a fashion that players are left to design their own experience and express themselves through the game's mechanics. Snipe from a far off mountaintop. Set the savanna grass ablaze and slowly constrict a ring of fire around your enemies. Get in and out without being seen. Or just bomb into the middle of an enemy encampment with a jeep and run in guns blazing. Do whatever you want whenever you want to do it. This isn't just another vapid sandbox game that asks one to participate in a scripted thrill ride with wide open spaces to wreak mayhem between contrived missions, it's one that actively encourages players to come up with their own rules and blaze their own trails. From the moment I first took the backside of an acid-spewing sniper rifle to a psycho midget, punting him half way across the screen, I was in love. Borderlands came out of nowhere, but was easily many gamers' "sleeper hit" of 2009. Part first-person shooter, part Diablo-esque loot fest, Gearbox Software's breakthrough title resulted in many sleepless nights for me. My best friend Kevin and I were so consumed with tackling every mission and finding the next greatest weapon that Borderlands became our lives. If we weren't playing online, we were making do with the horrible user interface the game had when split-screen play was going on. It didn't matter though, and in actuality it gave us a easier way of using the map when driving cross country on a vehicle! Borderlands was also the first title to consume me in achievement hunting. I'm a whore when it comes to achievements, but I typically only get what I can the first time through. That wasn't the case here by a longshot. We did it all, and when the expansions came out, we did it some more. I even went as far as having my friend's future wife sign him online and boot up the game so I could get the 250 brains collected achievement for him in the The Zombie Island of Dr. Ned expansion while he was at work. Yeah, we had problems... but that's something a great game tends to cause. Although Fallout: New Vegas is the superior game in many respects, Fallout 3 arrived at the right time for me. The perfect time. I had always adored the lore of Fallout, but couldn't for the life of me get into the classic Interplay titles in attempts to do so years and years after their original releases. In 2008, I finally had a way into the series courtesy of Bethesda. Leaving Vault 101 for the first time -- being blinded by direct sunlight, and slowly realizing how vast the surrounding landscape was, and how badly I wanted to explore its every last inch -- that's where open-world games like this excel. Knowing that some of the most fascinating encounters weren't experienced in the same way by friends, and sharing those stories was a true treat, one which Fallout 3 generously provided time and time again. You simply can't handle the situation at Tenpenny Tower and not want to tell everyone about it. For all of the game's bugs and overall lack of polish, it consumed me. I bought into this world, its inhabitants, and its magnificent music. There was rarely a moment during the many months I was actively playing Fallout 3 when the Capital Wasteland wasn't on my mind. And now the memories are rushing back. I can still hear Three Dog spouting off those same tired lines. [embed]266180:51528:0[/embed]
Favorite multi-plat games photo
Last, but not least
To commemorate the launch of new consoles, we've taken to retrospective pieces to remember some of the best titles on each system. We did it with the Wii last year, and we've done it with the PS3 and Xbox 360 over the last tw...

Toejam and Earl Dreamcast photo
Toejam and Earl Dreamcast

Toejam and Earl 3 Dreamcast code found, might be released

Pending donation
Oct 24
// Steven Hansen
The Xbox had a ToeJam and Earl III. Apparently, the Dreamcast did, too. We just never saw it. Someone found it, though, and put some beta gameplay online. They're also planning a fundraising campaign to publicly release the ...

Guild Wars 2 photo
Guild Wars 2

Bazaar of the Fours Winds content live for Guild Wars 2

How Bazaar! How Bazaar!
Jul 14
// Jason Cabral
Time to dust off that Tyrian merchant hat and polish up all of your excess junk that you don't want -- I mean, quality product that you would hate to part with -- because the Bazaar of the Four Winds content for Guild Wars 2 ...
Mirror's Edge photo
Mirror's Edge

Mirror's Edge is going open world on PS4, Xbox One, PC

Get ready to explore New Eden
Jun 12
// Kyle MacGregor
Electronic Arts labels boss Frank Gibeau has revealed the newly announced Mirror's Edge reboot will be an open-world game, GameSpot reports. "We're bringing Faith back in this open-world action adventure game," &nbs...
GRID 2 photo

On the grid: GRID 2 multiplayer integrates RaceNet

Now with suspenseful music as you receive comments!
Apr 16
// Jason Cabral
Integrated statistic tracking and social networking features with videogames is no new concept, even in the racing genre, but the road warriors at Codematers look to be adding a lot more to their RaceNet with the upcoming re...
Frozen Synapse photo
Frozen Synapse

Mode 7 devs show off Frozen Synapse for iPad

Android version announced as well
Apr 08
// Jason Cabral
What do you get when you take a popular turn-based indie title and try to bring all of its charm to iPads? You get the latest iteration of Frozen Synapse, from the fine folks over at Mode 7 Games. Don't worry good followers ...
Walking Dead Vita photo
Walking Dead Vita

The Walking Dead shambles onto the Vita

So you can be horrified when you're on the bus
Mar 22
// Fraser Brown
Telltale is one adventure game studio that knows the importance of battling the misconception that the genre is just for PCs, with most of their games seeing multiplatform releases, including their critically lauded The Walki...

I still don't own a PS3 or Xbox 360, but that's okay

Feb 24 // Tony Ponce
["Wii Kawaii" by Norman Thomas Glaves] The fact that I'm putting all this down in writing ought to strike you as bizarre. If your closest gamer friend said that he only owned a PS3 or 360, you wouldn't bat an eye. But if he said he only owned a Wii, you'd probably give him an earful about why he should branch out or upgrade to a far more capable machine. Hardly the kind of response anyone ought to expect in regards to hardware that has sold -- or will if it hasn't already -- over 100 million units. I'm not saying that everyone has to enjoy the Wii. I'm not ignorant to why many of you chose to supplement it with another platform, sell your launch unit back, or flat-out not buy one period. Maybe you were soured by some less-than-optimal motion implementations, maybe you had had enough of Mario and crew. Or perhaps when nearly all of the big third-party hitters failed to materialize, you packed your bags and took your business elsewhere. What I can't agree on is that the Wii didn't have enough content to satisfy anyone who was willing to stick with the system. Just because BioShock, Assassin's Creed, and so many other titles were absent, that doesn't mean there weren't still good games available. I strongly believe all game consoles are worth playing, even if it turns out not to be your favorite thing ever; for the major contenders in any generation, there will always be enough material to keep you occupied. The big argument against single-console ownership is that you invariably miss out on promising titles only available on the competition. But hasn't that always been the case? Who doesn't have a backlog? There are Wii games I haven't gotten around to yet. Same with the Genesis and NES. Hell, I've even got Neo Geo Pocket Color titles on my to-do list! And that's precisely why picking up a console at the end of its life is so alluring. Not only is there a vast library of attractively priced software to choose from, the hardware itself has also had time to mature. As consoles become more like specialized PCs, I'd rather wait until all the kinks in the system's infrastructure have been ironed out. That being said, you're probably still wondering how I could stick with just a Wii for as long as I have. It all boils down to my personal gaming habits and philosophy. Like many of you, I grew up with Nintendo. Nintendo has always been a provider of safe family entertainment, but none of us considered that a stigma back when we were fresh young gamers. However, whereas others' tastes expanded or shifted towards more complex or "realistic" experiences, mine remained fairly static. I feel much more at ease in the colorful fantasy worlds of my youth -- incidentally, I spend the bulk of my television viewing on Nickelodeon, Disney Channel, and Cartoon Network. I'm entirely opposed to content with a harder edge, but usually such material makes me feel uncomfortable, especially when it comes to videogames. The more that games skew in an adult direction, the less likely they are to resonate with me. I am very appreciative of Nintendo for its commitment to family-friendly entertainment; its first- and third-party software catalog continues to be a very persuasive draw for me. Not that such games don't exist on Sony or Microsoft's machines, but it's clear that those two position their hardware to attract the seasoned consumer who prefer content that reflects his older tastes. Above all, Nintendo is the last pure gaming company still manufacturing hardware. For all the faults of the Wii or any other Nintendo console, I know that Nintendo will always position its machines as game delivery platforms first and everything else second. Both Sony and Microsoft have stated that they want their consoles to be all-purpose media hubs, which makes me wonder if they're only using games to leverage their other businesses. ["Console Guys?" by Mike Inel] When the first PlayStation came out, I remember how my friends and I mocked it. CDs that could be scratched up so easily? Obscene loading times that were unheard of on cartridge-based platforms? Who does Sony take us for? And the hardware build quality was lower than what we were accustomed too -- remember having to pull tricks like stacking books atop the loading tray or flipping the entire console upside-down just so it could read the disc? But I couldn't argue with that stellar library, thus my family eventually brought a PS1 into our house. I similarly waited a few years for picking up a PS2. Though I may not be a fan of Sony hardware itself, the I loved that the PlayStation brand hosted so many fun, quirky games. Nevertheless, Sony consoles had to prove themselves to me before I made the investment, which is why I never purchased them on day one unlike Nintendo consoles. The PlayStation 3 rubbed me the wrong way right from the start. Not only was its price tag prohibitively high, it also seemed to be pulling away from the quirky Japanese-ness of its predecessors. Sony was pushing hard into Western-flavored territory with precisely the kinds of games that turned me off. And even after it built up a library that satisfied my interests, there were so many other issues related to its PC-like infrastructure that made me extremely wary. And Xbox? Never considered it. The original Xbox was Microsoft's first step into gaming and it showed -- I had a PS2 and GC already, so why I should I care about this other guy here? Then Xbox 360 arrives and Microsoft goes a billion dollars in the hole dealing with the "red ring of death." I'm frankly impressed by how many people had their 360s replaced multiple times and still stood by the damn thing. I want the stuff I buy to work, and I wouldn't have put up with any of that nonsense. Eventually the "red ring" became less of a headache, but I still avoided the 360 for all the same reasons I was avoiding the PS3. Xbox Live likewise doesn't interest me. I don't find online multiplayer all that attractive; having to pay for it is even less so. The most invested I've ever been in online gaming was during my first year of college with GunBound, which I gave up on after a couple of months because I was tired of deep-pocketed players buying their way to victory through the game's real-money item shop. So I stuck with my Wii and had a lot of fun. And because I focused on a single platform, I was able to give games a chance I probably would have ignored had something else on another machine caught my eye. Furthermore, my gaming habits have changed significantly since leaving college -- I have a big burst gaming session after going weeks without playing anything, then I go dark again. Given how infrequently I would pick up the controller, it would have been fiscally irresponsible for me to pick up a second console and have to split my time between both. I know I've missed out on some amazing games, but on the bright side, I also missed out on the $10 retail price hike, widespread hardware failures, far too frequent firmware updates, critical game-breaking bugs (excluding those in Twilight Princess and Skyward Sword, both which I managed to avoid before I even knew they existed), season passes, on-disc DLC, day-one patches, user account hacks, etc. Every console has its own issues -- the Wii certainly has plenty -- but the fewer impediments to my enjoyment the better. Having purchased a Wii U on launch day and already experienced a small fraction of these problems firsthand, I'm glad I was able to avoid them for as long as I did. But as I said in the beginning, I'm eventually going to pick up a second console. It will be a PS3, of course -- the majority of 360 titles I'm interested in are multi-platform anyway. The hardware and software are at more affordable prices, the library is vast, and the firmware is more or less finalized. If ever I have questions or concerns, I can refer to more than six years of historical data in order to maximize my enjoyment and avoid any pitfalls that my friends have had to suffer. Sounds like the best plan! No matter which platform I had chosen to support at the start of this generation, I know I would have found enough to entertain myself. I can't say whether I would have had more fun had I gone with 360 or PS3, but there really is no way of knowing. Sure, I've been disappointed by some studios' lack of support for the Wii, but you have to take the good with the bad. All that matters is that I am pleased with my decision and don't regret it in the least. When it comes to our gaming preferences, we are all unique. I hope that by sharing a bit of myself, we can gain a better understanding and appreciation for one another.
I don't own a PS3 or 360 photo
What matters is that I had fun
Confession time. With PS4 slated for the end of the year and the next Xbox like out around the same time, the curtain on the seventh home console generation is finally coming down. But while many of you are eagerly anticipati...

Sexy man for Rayman photo
Sexy man for Rayman

Man with sexy voice croons about Rayman Legends' delay

Put on your headphones and dim the lights
Feb 12
// Tony Ponce
The low-level echelon of so-called "gamers" have said their piece about Ubisoft's decision to delay Rayman Legends for the sake of porting it to the 360 and PS3. Now it's time for a real man's man to speak softly into your e...
Wii U exclusives photo
Wii U exclusives

Platinum: W101 & Bayonetta 2 will stay exclusive to Wii U

They'll go multiplatform only if Nintendo allows it
Feb 08
// Tony Ponce
Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor's Edge is going multi-platform, and no one's all that bothered. Rayman Legends is going multi-platform, and that bit of news is met with slightly more perturbation. Whatever your opinion on any individua...
Rayman Legends photo
Rayman Legends

Rayman Legends delayed to September, goes multi-platform

Wii U loses another exclusive
Feb 07
// Conrad Zimmerman
It looks like everybody is going to get a chance to dive in on the latest Rayman title, as news comes from Ubisoft today that they will be expanding their publishing of Rayman Legends to include PS3 and Xbox 36...
Every major 2013 game photo
Every major 2013 game

Here's a cool overview of every major game of 2013

From multiplats, to PC, to console
Jan 25
// Chris Carter
Although you might have seen it already, here's a great picture of 2013's biggest releases, divided by their console/PC debuts, from internet user KingNL. This picture just encompasses releases on consoles and PC -- no portab...

Defiance developer diary explains what the game is about

Aug 09
// Brett Zeidler
Trion Worlds has released a new developer diary where they talk all about what makes their upcoming shooter MMO Defiance tick. Jayson shed quite a bit of light on the game at Comic-Con last month, but Trion went into the fin...

Have some media from Mass Effect 3's multiplayer DLC

Apr 10
// Victoria Medina
EA has released a video and some screenshots of the new multiplayer DLC Resurgence Pack for Mass Effect 3. Just a friendly reminder from your benevolent corporate overlords that there is new content for the mu...

Two Tribes wants your help for Toki Tori 2

Oct 24
// Jason Cabral
Dutch developer Two Tribes has just announced its newest project, and it wants to get players involved in the game development process too. Ten years after the initial release of Toki Tori, Two Tribes are working on Tok...

LEGO Harry Potter: Years 5-7 shows off some more gameplay

Oct 07
// Victoria Medina
LEGO Harry Potter: Years 5-7 is coming out next month (November 11th), and to celebrate the almost-release, Warner Brothers Entertainment and TT Games have put out a new trailer. Its more LEGO and Harry Potter so there shoul...

Buddy Rush has cross-platform gaming, oh em jee

Sep 22
// Victoria Medina
Buddy Rush, a mobile RPG out for the iOS and Facebook just released for Android users today. While that news by itself might not mean much to you, it isn't the only thing to come out of this. Buddy Rush is a cross-platform mo...

Batman: Arkham City OST announced

Sep 06
// Victoria Medina
The Batman: Arkham City OST has been announced and will feature scores from artists including Panic! At the Disco, Daughtry, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club and Coheed and Cambria to name just a few. The soundtrack...

Angry Birds are on your feet

Sep 03
// Victoria Medina
Angry Birds, a mobile app game that started small, has become a huge phenomenon with ports to all other major systems (it even has a board game now), and even some apparel. Now shoes can be added to the list of things An...

Have more Sherlock Holmes screenshots

Aug 30
// Victoria Medina
Round two of the Testament of Sherlock Holmes screenshots are in and the game still looks good. The Testament finds the detective unable to solve a crime that paints him as the main suspect. As he begins to look more guilty h...

Max Scoville demos Lollipop Chainsaw

Aug 28
// Victoria Medina
Suda51's newest game project, Lollipop Chainsaw, was at PAX and Max Scoville got a chance to play it. There are lollipops, a chainsaw-wielding cheerleader, rainbows and zombies.  A quirky, fun game in which you kill zom...

Tara Long and Nick Chester discuss Quantum Conundrum

Aug 28
// Victoria Medina
The big Square Enix game reveal happened yesterday with the unveiling of Quantum Conundrum. The title is a collaboration between Square Enix, Airtight Games, and Portal's Kim Swift. Tara Long and Nick Chester got t...

Screenshots for the Gorg game that is Unstoppable

Aug 23
// Victoria Medina
Not much information has been released about Unstoppable Gorg yet, but it was shown at gamescom and the fine people over at Futuremark Games Studio have released a few early build screenshots for your viewing pleasu...

Play with big balls in Wipeout 2

Aug 18
// Victoria Medina
To be clear, the Wipeout I am referring to is the one based on the ABC tv show, not the totally awesome racing game. So if you like the show, or you enjoyed the first installment of the game, you can check this one out o...

Rock of Ages: Rock beats everything

Aug 18
// Victoria Medina
Atlus has done some great stuff in the past, and Rock of Ages looks just as good. This trailer had me rolling (har har). If you are watching this and wondering what exactly is going on (like I was), you can find an...

Have more Rayman Origins

Aug 18
// Victoria Medina
So far the Rayman Origins trailers have been great and this one is no exception. Although there is no gameplay, it is funny, and Rayman is all about fun, so it works. Ubisoft also released more screenshots of the game, both ...

Hakuna matata, Disney Universe

Aug 17
// Victoria Medina
More Disney Universe news coming at you. A new world and character outfits have been released. In addition to the characters already touted, anyone playing will get to run around as popular characters from The Lion King....

Disney Universe will let you be Wall-E

Jul 20
// Victoria Medina
Disney has decided that the 42nd Anniversary of Neil Armstrong's stroll around the Moon is the perfect opportunity to unveil another environment for their game Disney Universe. Along with Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland and ...

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