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OUYA

Ouya photo
Ouya

Update: Razer/Ouya deal means no money for indies, devs encouraged to not talk to press


Free the Games fund goes kaput?
Jul 28
// Mike Cosimano
[Update: In a call with Polygon, Razer CEO Min-Liang Tan confirmed that the company would be looking into fulfilling the contracts made by Ouya. "We are going to try and make good on this fund and give these developers an opt...
Ouya photo
Ouya

Ouya CEO Julie Uhrman has left the company, confirms Razer buyout


Remember Ouya?
Jul 27
// Chris Carter
[Update: Razer has confirmed to Destructoid that it has acquired OUYA’s software assets, including its "content catalog and online retail platform." The deal was closed on June 12, 2015. The OUYA store will eventua...
Nintendo NX photo
Nintendo NX

Nintendo NX might be running on Android


Flappy Birdo and Yoshi Ninja coming soon
Jun 01
// Joe Parlock
A few years ago, a device descended from the heavens and changed the way we play games forever. Since it launched, no one has ever been able to play games on any other device for it just felt unclean. It will foreve...
Cat Lart, Mall Cop photo
Cat Lart, Mall Cop

Asshole cat simulator Catlateral Damage out next week


PC, Mac, Linux, Ouya
May 18
// Steven Hansen
I went to bed at like 7PM last night without cleaning up after dinner because I am always tired. This morning, while trying to work, I had to clean up because my cat (he's so cute, yes he is, yes he is) kept jumping on the l...

OUYA for sale photo
OUYA for sale

OUYA now available for purchase (the company that is)


Get it while it's hot?
Apr 28
// Jed Whitaker
OUYA, the microconsole that was a $15 million hit on Kickstarter, is in financial trouble. According to a confidential email obtained by Fortune, OUYA is deep enough in debt that it's going to be put up for sale. This coming ...
Toto Temple Deluxe photo
Toto Temple Deluxe

Headbutting for goats in Toto Temple Deluxe!


GET THE GOAT!
Mar 09
// Caitlin Cooke
For better or worse, sometimes you just have a hankerin’ to steal a goat. Those of us at PAX East with said craving headed over to Toto Temple Deluxe, which delivered goat-stealing gameplay in a fast-paced keep-away bra...
OUYA photo
OUYA

Ouya nets $10 million from Chinese investor Alibaba


E-commerce giant seeks software for its set-top boxes
Feb 02
// Kyle MacGregor
Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba has sunk $10 million into Ouya, WSJ reports. According to sources familiar with the situation, Alibaba inked the deal last month with hopes of integrating the Ouya library on it...
Sup Holmes photo
Sup Holmes

Sup Holmes goes live with Souleye, the composer of VVVVVV


Get to know the people who make great videogames
Jan 04
// Jonathan Holmes
[Update: Show's over everybody! Thanks so much for watching, and to Magnus for hanging out with us. That new game he's planning sounds completely bonkers. If you missed the live recording, definitely watch the rerun. You won...

Review: Neverending Nightmares

Oct 08 // Nic Rowen
Neverending Nightmares (PC [reviewed], Mac, Ouya)Developer: Infinitap GamesPublisher: Infinitap GamesReleased: September 26, 2014MSRP: $14.99 Neverending Nightmares is a psychological horror game all about mental illness. A direct result of lead creator Matt Gilgenbach's personal struggles with depression, OCD, and intrusive thoughts. While he has dealt with bouts of instability throughout his life, it was the failure of his last game, the critically well-received but commercially ignored Retro-Grade, that sent him into a tailspin of depression that eventually became the inspiration for Neverending. Gilgenbach took all of the darkness swimming around in his head and poured it into a game he could use to express the confusing, disturbing, and emotionally draining experience of coping with it. The game puts you in the role of Thomas, a deeply troubled man who has just woken up from a horrific nightmare about killing his sister. You set about exploring his mysterious and spooky home to try and find her, only to constantly reawaken into a downward spiral of even more disturbing nightmares. It's intentionally vague on story and context, and all the better for it, letting the play mechanics shoulder the narratives' heavy lifting. It's a refreshing use of the medium's ability to convey a message without literally spelling it out. Thomas's strange home loops and winds around itself in impossible ways. A seemingly endless supply of doors and nearly identical hallways dissolve any sense of place and direction. Even when moving in a consistently straight line it's easy to let doubt creep in and start to feel lost. As the game is entirely centered around exploring the ever worsening locations Thomas finds himself in, that nagging, unsure feeling hangs over the entire experience. Thomas is not an action hero. He shuffles through the hallways of his psyche with a hesitant step. Pajama clad and utterly defenseless, any encounter with one of the monsters (all various manifestations of his uncertain trauma) that wander the halls will result in his immediate disembowelment, or face devouring, or rib splitting, or whatever other horrific end is inflicted on him. But even death isn't a release from his suffering. Thomas will simply wake up in the nearest bedroom, always just a short distance away. His utter lack of combat prowess means running and hiding are your only options. You can sprint, but only for short distances. Jog too long and Thomas will double over in agonized, wheezing pain from an asthma attack. Thomas's asthma doesn't just make it more difficult to run from monsters, it's a constant frustration, and I mean that in the best sense of the word. You can't rush in Neverending Nightmares, even when backtracking over previously cleared ground -- you'll be forced to travel at a cautious pace. There is one sequence in the game that has you chasing after an apparently friendly apparition, only to be left lagging helplessly behind due to his illness. It's incredibly agitating, and that is the entire point. As someone who dealt with asthma as a child, I have to admit that sequence got to me. It reminded me of the terrible sensation of feeling betrayed and hindered by my own lungs. The fantastic gothic art style inspired by Edward Gorey's illustrations sets an incredibly oppressive mood. The sketchy black and white style fashions the characters with a cartoonish look, while the backgrounds and world objects are filled in with a fanatical attention to detail. The closer you look, the more hostile the world becomes -- family portraits are laced with the implication of violence, there are skulls subtlety embedded in the wallpaper. It's mesmerizing and terrifying at the time. The bleak monochrome color scheme is broken up by the occasional splash of color. Sometimes this is helpful, like highlighting intractable objects with colored trim. More often, it's disturbing. Bright red spurts of blood sprayed across a child's bedroom, raw meat left to rot on the kitchen counter, a blue vein torn out of flesh. Neverending is careful about doling out its horror. It doesn't revel in bloodletting like a slasher-film, at least not at first. The violent imagery is measured out in slow and deliberate helpings, which only makes it more jarring and horrible when things turn nasty. The brilliant sound design works hand-in-hand with the visuals to foster paranoia, whispering from the darkness. An ominous ambient soundtrack mixes with sound effects designed to put you on edge -- distant footfalls, the wayward chime of a music box, a glass shattering somewhere down the hall. There is a special audio mode for playing with headphones and you'll definitely want to take advantage of it to get the full experience. Neverending Nightmares is a slow burn, a creeping dread. This isn't a game about zombie dogs suddenly crashing through windows, it's about unending, inescapable tension. Being caught in a perpetual flinch, waiting for a blow that you are so sure is coming it might almost be a relief to take the sting and get it over with. When the rare jump-scares finally occur, they feel completely earned. That is the thing about the experience, it all feels earned. The tactics it uses aren't entirely unique or novel. This isn't the first horror game to use dis-empowerment to ramp up the tension, or to rely on great visuals and sound design to set a mood. But, it's all done with such fantastic execution it feels like the result of a specific vision, not just a mish-mash of popular horror game gimmicks. By the time I was done with Neverending Nightmares, not only did I have a great scary time, I felt like I understood a little bit of what Gilgenbach and others struggling with the illness feel on a daily basis. Make no mistake, it's still a horror game first and foremost, but that extra little bit of dark knowledge is unsettling. The terror feels more real, more concrete, than any other horror game I've played in recent memory. For everything I love about the style and atmosphere, I can't help but feel the actual content was unfortunately thin. While wandering around the exquisitely distressing locales is rewarding in its own right, the game is starved for things to do in them. There are a few small puzzle elements, but they are so brief and understated I hesitate to call them puzzles. The odd intractable objects you can examine for finer detail are creepy and intriguing. The artwork for these moments is always fantastic, but there are just so few of them, and even fewer that ever payoff in a meaningful way. The length is also concerning. It took me around two hours of playtime to unlock all three endings. I can respect a game that is able to offer a tight, concise experience that does what it sets out to do and is done before it overstays its welcome, but sadly, this is not that game. While the total length is short, some of the areas drag on well beyond their prime. The Asylum level in particular, despite featuring some of the most disconcerting visuals of the game, brings things to a grinding halt. It's filled with endlessly repetitious cellblocks and enemies that force you to slow the game's already languid pace to a crawl. It's also one of the key branching levels if you want to see all the endings, so you'll have to slog through it multiple times. By the end of that, you might be fit for institutionalization yourself. The three possible endings all offer some perspective on Thomas's psyche, but feel rushed and undercooked. One of them was so short and abrupt I thought I accidentally skipped it somehow. Short endings aren't the end of the world, it's the journey not the destination that matters, but they still left me cold. A happy ending that wrapped everything up in a neat little bow would have been a disservice to the rest of the game's commentary, and I wasn't looking for one. But, some kind of closure at least would have been welcome. I admire the sheer artistic bravery of Matt Gilgenbach. It isn't often that a game developer will tear his heart out and lay it down for everyone to see. Despite its flaws, Neverending Nightmares offers a striking and unforgettable horror experience, combined with an uncomfortably intimate look into the true torment of mental illness. However, its lack of content and uneven pacing prevent it from being the classic it feels like it could have been.
Neverending Nightmares photo
Into the mind of madness
Mental illness is terrifying. Depression is a soul vampire that will suck the light right out of you. Obsessive compulsive disorder does not make you a supernaturally great detective like it does in the movies. It makes you p...

Amazing Frog? photo
Amazing Frog?

The Ouya's best game is finally coming to Steam


I like the way you move
Oct 02
// Jordan Devore
Before Goat Simulator, there was Amazing Frog?, a physics-driven make-your-own-fun sandbox game that's so damn funny I'm willing to put up with the irksome question mark in the name. It's a game most of us have not actually ...
Poncho photo
Poncho

Poncho is a cute robot in a lovely open-world platformer


Looking for some Kickstarter loving
Sep 22
// Darren Nakamura
It always hurts my heart a little bit to see what looks like a great game failing to gain traction on Kickstarter. Certainly, the crowdfunding community is more cautious these days than it used to be, and with good reason in...

Neverending Nightmares is eerily evocative, and set for release on September 26

Sep 09 // Alessandro Fillari
[embed]280897:55588:0[/embed] Neverending Nightmares is aims to make players feel vulnerable and anxious. You play as Adam, a young man who awakens from a disturbing dream and finds himself in a place that is not so familiar. Think Richard Linklater's Waking Life, except as a pure horror title. Every time Adam wakes from his dream, his environment gets progressively worse. Is it a dream? Or is he having extreme delusions in his waking life? Players will have to navigate the ever-changing environments to discover the truth, and ultimately find how this all ties into our disturbed central character. Much like other psychological titles that play with perspective, the horror seen in the game is a reflection of the main character's psyche and deteriorating mental state. And this was not only for the purposes of narrative and design, but also a form of therapy for Neverending Nightmares' creator Matt Gilgenbach, who suffered from mental illnesses. "The original idea was from Matt Gilgenbach, and he wanted to get the player of the game to feel the same kind of mental struggles that he is still dealing with today," said lead artist Joe Grabowski. "The anxiety that players go through, not knowing what's around the corner, or when you have the candle you're still encompassed by the darkness -- so that's definitely the kind of story want to push through. We want bring the subject of mental illnesses to the forefront." The sense of dread in Neverending Nightmares is palpable, and you never feel quite safe at all during the game. This feeling is made stronger by the fact that Adam has no weapons to fight back against enemies. In some cases, you'll have to run or hide in closets to avoid instant death. You're constantly vulnerable, and you'll have to use your wits and reflexes stay a step ahead of your foes. Gilgenbach wanted to make the visuals evoke classic 20th century horror fiction, while using color as a little as possible. "Our art style in general was inspired by Edward Gorey, so we looked at that early on for the game," said Grabowski. "We're able to have the black and white aesthetic, but also things in color for the purposes of gameplay." As you can see in the trailer and screenshots, color is used to emphasize horror while also highlighting special items that can be interacted with. In many ways, it felt like I was walking through one of those Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark books -- you know, the ones with the disturbing illustrations that ended up being more frightening than the stories themselves. I felt that same kind of unease when playing through this game. It was unsettling. But of course, that's the point. It's pretty amazing to see that such a horror title would be a form of therapy for some, but also a means of shock for others. Neverending Nightmares channels dread and terror quite well, and if it can hit the same nerve that struck me as a child, they've certainly got something special in store for players come release on the 26th.
Neverending Nightmares photo
Survival horror has never felt so grim
It's certainly an exciting time to be an independent game developer. With the rise of Kickstarter allowing anyone with the knowledge, the skills, and an idea to find support, we're seeing a larger breadth of games come out th...

Ouya heads to China photo
Ouya heads to China

Ouya sets sights on China in hopes of success


Microconsole maker to partner with Xiaomi to bring its games eastward
Aug 22
// Kyle MacGregor
The Ouya hasn't been embraced in the West, so now the company behind the Android microconsole finds itself turning to China in search of an audience, Reuters reports. Chinese electronics giant Xiaomi is brokering a partn...
Neon Caves photo
Neon Caves

Neon Caves is out today on Ouya


From the makers of Toast Time
Aug 14
// Chris Carter
I don't do very many Ouya stories (because I don't get the opportunity, really), but I wanted to jump on the announcement for Neon Caves' release because I like the studio involved. Developer Force of Habit, who has crafted ...
 photo
I mean, Guardians was good. Just not that good.
I forgot that I saw Guardians of the Galaxy last week, because it was good, but not as good as everyone's been saying. I also got real mellow playing the music puzzle game Sentris, and I want you to come to our stupid panel at PAX.

Shadowrun Online photo
Shadowrun Online

Shadowrun Online adds character customization, random co-op


New update out now
Aug 08
// Rob Morrow
An update for Shadowrun Online has recently arrived and it's filled to the brim with new features, improvements, and fixes. This is the one I've been waiting for, people! We can finally create our own characters and enter r...
Kickstarter photo
Kickstarter

The Deer God funded, now coming to Wii U and Xbox One too


'Dear God: we paid for all this stuff ourselves, so thanks for nothing'
Jul 23
// Jordan Devore
Did you get your pledge in for The Deer God? I didn't, because these days I try to severely limit the number of projects I back on Kickstarter, but damn did it look neat -- visually and conceptually. Crescent Moon Games ende...
Ouya photo
Ouya

Ouya rolls out all-access pass for $59.99


That's 800+ games
Jun 30
// Jordan Devore
Now this is an interesting tactic. Ouya is offering a 12-month all-access pass for $59.99 in a limited quantity. The pass covers one-time purchases under $30 "such as full game unlocks and level-pack add-ons," but not in-game...
Sheltered photo
Sheltered

Team17 to publish post-apocalyptic strategy-sim Sheltered


Manage, food, water, radiation, and other survivors
Jun 30
// Darren Nakamura
In years past, Team17 has mostly been known as the studio behind Worms, but lately the studio has been expanding that image by publishing other UK-based, independently-developed games. Last month we saw the publisher pick up...
Reading Rainbow OUYA photo
Reading Rainbow OUYA

Limited Edition Reading Rainbow OUYA up for grabs now


Hand-signed by LeVar Burton
Jun 27
// Darren Nakamura
Late last month we talked a bit about the Reading Rainbow Kickstarter, which is in its last few days now. When it passed $4 million, producer of Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey (among other, less important things) Seth MacFarlane...
Catalateral Damage photo
Catalateral Damage

Back Catlateral Damage on Kickstarter, get some indie games


If you're quick that is...
Jun 16
// Alasdair Duncan
When we first saw Catlateral Damage earlier this year, I thought it was a fun little game, a kind of spiritual successor to the Katamari series only instead of cleaning up, you're just a cat wrecking stuff. Because that's th...
Freebies photo
Freebies

VVVVVV's user-created levels and editor are now free


A nice gesture
Jun 12
// Jordan Devore
Designer Terry Cavanagh has release a free version of VVVVVV that features player-created levels and the full level editor. It's called VVVVVVV: Make and Play Edition, and it can be downloaded as of today for Windows, Mac, an...
Towerfall photo
Towerfall

Towerfall now available on Mac and Linux platforms


Plus, a sale
Jun 02
// Chris Carter
Towerfall Ascension is pretty great, and after a long Ouya exclusivity time it finally hit the PS4 and PC. Now, you can grab it on Mac or Linux, which is great news for those of you who haven't gotten their hands on it yet. You can also grab it on sale currently for $9.99 -- but be quick, because the sale ends in a few hours. Now on Mac + Linux [Towerfall]

Reviews In Review: Watch Dogs, Monochroma, Wolf Among Us

Jun 01 // Ben Pack
World End Economica Episode 1 (PC)Developer: Spicy TailsPublisher: Sekai ProjectRelease: May 5, 2014MRSP: $12.99 World End Economica has so much going for it: an interesting premise, a protagonist with an actual design and personality (even if it is a little rotten) and the opportunity to capitalize on a business rarely (if ever) explored in video games: stock trading. Unfortunately, it squanders the opportunity to capitalize on these great bullet points and winds up a generic, muddled mess of pacing issues, bland dialogue, and characters too difficult to connect with. Verdict: 4/10 - Read the full World End Economica Episode 1 review  Watch Dogs (PC, PS3, PS4, Wii U, Xbox 360, Xbox One [reviewed])Developer: Ubisoft MontrealPublisher: UbisoftRelease: May 27, 2014 / TBA 2014 (Wii U)MRSP: $59.99 Despite the fact that Watch Dogs hasn't made any meaningful impact on the genre, I found myself having a ton of fun with it. Between the deep levels of customization and the sheer breadth of content, there's no shortage of things to do. If Ubisoft can take the game's core fun factor and marry it with an actual "next-gen" experience the next time around, they'll have something truly special. Verdict: 8/10 - Read the full Watch Dogs review The Wolf Among Us: In Sheep's Clothing (iOS, Mac, PC [reviewed], PlayStation 3, Xbox 360)Developer: Telltale GamesPublisher: Telltale GamesRelease: May 27, 2014 (PC, PS3, Xbox 360) / TBA (iOS)MSRP: $4.99 (Each Episode) Having said that, Wolf Among Us continues to wow me with all of the details therein. From the Little Old Lady who lived in a shoe in a random painting to Curds and Whey in a jar, there's lots of lore building, and all it makes me want to do is read the comics proper. While The Walking Dead always feels like more of a micro-tale with each individual group, Wolf Among Us feels like something greater, and bigger than Telltale -- and that's a good thing. Verdict: 7.5/10 - Read the full The Wolf Among Us: In Sheep's Clothing review Monochroma (Linux, Mac, PC [reviewed])Developer: Nowhere StudiosPublisher: Nowhere StudiosReleased: May 28, 2014MSRP: $19.99Rig: AMD Phenom II X2 555 @ 3.2 GHz, with 4GB of RAM, ATI Radeon HD 5700, Windows 7 64-bit The narrative itself is generally engaging overall, but it suffers from a few holes. Aside from being told that the little brother is in fact the protagonist's little brother, the player is given no intrinsic reason to want to help him, and in fact, the player can grow to resent the character. Otherwise, there is not a good reason given that the two brothers decide to walk to the city and infiltrate a corporation instead of staying home and calling for medical help. Verdict: 4/10 - Read the full Monochroma review Worms Battlegrounds (PS4, Xbox One [reviewed])Developer: Team17Publisher: Team17Released: May 27, 2014MSRP: $24.99 Like most Worms games, you'll need other people to play with or risk monotony. Enemy AI still isn't the sharpest tool in the shed even this far in the game, and they can take far too long between turns, leading to boredom. Given the price tag of $25, it's perfect for those of you who haven't played a Worms game in years and have the itch. But if you've been playing along for the past few years, you might be able to skip this slightly upgraded collective of recent entries -- unless you're a fanatic, of course. Verdict: 7.5/10 - Read the full Worms Battlegrounds review  
REVIEWS! photo
Plus World End Economica
Reviewer? I hardly know her! This week's reviews in review goes out to Steven Hansen. Check out the video and all the reviews below.

IndieCade photo
IndieCade

IndieCade Showcase @ E3 lineup: The games you need to know


Don't look, just keep your eyes peeled
May 31
// Brittany Vincent
IndieCade is coming around once again, with more than 30 independent games to be shown off at this year's IndieCade Showcase @ E3. The selections were culled from entrants that will be available at this fall's larger IndieCad...

Reviews In Review: Wolfenstein The New Order, Transistor, Drakengard 3

May 24 // Ben Pack
Kero Blaster (PC [reviewed], iPhone)Developer: Studio PixelPublisher: PlayismReleased: May 11, 2014MSRP: $7.99 (PC) $4.99 (iPhone) If Cave Story was Amaya's answer to Super Metroid, Kero Blaster is his Mega Man X. It's dense and perfectly paced, just begging to be replayed over and over. If I were to have to introduce someone to the genre of 2D action/platformers, it is probably the game that I'd give them, as it starts off easy-yet-engaging, and ends with giant bosses, swarms of enemies on screen, and everything else you could want in the genre. It's a game you may beat in a day, but will be playing off and on for a lifetime.  Verdict: 9/10 - Read the full Kero Blaster review Moon Chronicles: Episode 1 (Nintendo 3DS)Developer: Renegade KidPublisher: Renegade KidReleased: May 15, 2014MRSP: $8.99 It's really difficult to give Moon Chronicles a strong appraisal one way or the other. It's far from a stellar experience, but isn't a bad one either. There just isn't anything here that hasn't been done better elsewhere, and I can't see anyone other than FPS-starved 3DS owners or hardcore fans of the original being too interested. Verdict: 6/10 - Read the full Moon Chronicles: Episode 1 review Wolfenstein: The New Order (PC, PS3, PS4 [reviewed], Xbox 360, Xbox One)Developer: MachineGamesPublisher: Bethesda SoftworksRelease Date: May 20, 2014MSRP: $59.99 In many ways, Wolfenstein: The New Order is "First-Person Shooters: The Game," but it gets most of the important details right. It's still weird to me seeing Wolf games developed over and over by new devs, but MachineGames did a great job adapting the franchise in its own way. With a few tweaks, the next iteration could be something truly special. Verdict: 7.5/10 - Read the full Wolfenstein: The New Order review Drakengard 3 (PS3)Developer: Access GamesPublisher: Square EnixRelease Date: May 20, 2014MSRP: $59.99 It's not too challenge of a game all things considered, because the difficulty curve is meticulously designed to not overwhelm or frustrate players. It's well made to the point where you won't feel like everything is too easy, and if you really need that extra edge to overcome a certain task, you can go back and level-up with sidequests. If you want to do everything you'll probably find yourself around a 100-hour completion rate, but the story is roughly at the 40-hour mark. Drakengard 3 is a bit unconventional at times (like its developer) with tales of extreme hair cutting and dragon piss, but action fans will want to seek this one out immediately. Within 15 minutes I was drawn into its world and its cast of characters, and I wanted to see Zero's journey through from start to finish. If you like games like Nier, you'll loveDrakengard 3. Verdict: 8.5/10 - Read the full Drakengard 3 review Transistor (PS4, PC [reviewed])Developer: Supergiant GamesPublisher: Supergiant GamesRelease: May 20, 2014MRSP: $19.99 / £14.99 While Transistor initially feels like a whole new game, structurally it sticks closely toBastion. Both games feature a beautiful but abandoned city that has undergone huge tragedy. In Bastion it was called the Calamity; in Transistor, it's dubbed The Process. Both feature areas where the player can rest and take stock; Red finds special doors which take her to a deserted island where challenge rooms are located (much like the Proving Grounds in Bastion). If the game isn't sufficiently challenging, Limiters can be installed that will make things harder for Red but at the benefit of gaining extra XP or other bonuses. These can be installed like Functions, swapped in and out at access points, but work the same way as the Idols in Bastion.  Verdict: 8.5/10 - Read the full Transistor review R-Type Dimensions (PS3 [reviewed], Xbox 360)Developer: Irem, Tozai GamesPublisher: Tozai GamesReleased: May 20, 2014MSRP: $9.99 If you have any fondness for the series, or if you're just looking for a solid side-scrolling shooter that's about as hard as can be, R-Type Dimensions faithfully re-creates the original experience and before long you'll be wondering why you did this to yourself. Verdict: 9/10 - Read the full R-Type Dimensions review  
REVIEWS! photo
And more!
Look, E3 is coming up soon and that means we're about to get super excited about games. Let's take a minute and be thankful for the games we have right now, ok?

Reviews in Review: Mario Kart 8, Super Time Force and more!

May 17 // Ben Pack
Mario Kart 8 (Wii U)Developer: Nintendo EAD Group No. 1Publisher: NintendoRelease Date: May 30, 2014MSRP: $59.99 Mario Kart 8 is my favorite series entry since Double Dash, and if it gets arena battle tracks at some point by way of DLC, it will be a near-perfect package. Its vibrant visuals will hold up for years to come, ensuring that the game will withstand the test of time, and it will be a staple in my household for a long, long while. Verdict: 9/10 - Read the full Mario Kart 8 review Ether One (PC)Developer: White Paper GamesPublisher: White Paper GamesReleased: March 25, 2014MRSP: $19.99 Ether One nails its puzzles, atmosphere, and sound (ambient and voice acting). It also nails its story -- whether or not you decide to fully unravel its world and its mysteries -- culminating in a, well, refreshing, smart finale that will stay on my mind for years to come. Verdict: 9/10 - Read the full Ether One review The Walking Dead Season Two: In Harm's Way (iPad, iPhone, Mac, PC [reviewed], PlayStation 3, PlayStation Vita, Xbox 360)Developer: Telltale GamesPublisher: Telltale GamesRelease: May 14, 2014 (PC, PS3) / TBA (iOS, Vita, Xbox 360)MSRP: $4.99 (Each Episode) Episode three was probably my favorite from season one of The Walking Dead -- so far, I'm feeling the same way about In Harm's Way. Based on the preview the next tale seems to be a buffer of sorts before an explosive end, and I'm really looking forward to seeing how Clementine's journey ends. You hooked me yet again, Telltale. Verdict: 8.5/10 - Read the full The Walking Dead Season Two: In Harm's Way review Super Time Force (Xbox 360 [reviewed], Xbox One)Developer: Capybara GamesPublisher: Capybara GamesRelease date: May 14, 2014MSRP: $14.99 All told, Super Time Force is a satisfying run-and-gun game made even better with a fun (and funny!) take on time travel. It's as enjoyable to play as it is to look at. You'll likely be able to burn through the game in a few hours if you're not going for full completion, but it has such a winning personality that you'll find yourself coming back for more. Verdict: 9/10 - Read the full Super Time Force  review Demon Gaze (PS Vita)Developer: Kadokawa GamesPublisher: NIS America Released: April, 2014MRSP: $39.99 You'll have to have plenty of patience and a pretty good imagination to get the most out of Demon Gaze. The dungeon crawling is great and the NPC interactions outside of the dungeons are fun, but it's insanely challenging (even on the easiest setting) and the high level of repetition and mostly static presentation could get to you after some time. And you'll also have to be okay with the game's many horny NPC situations as they didn't skimp on the fan service. Verdict: 7/10 - Read the full Demon Gaze  review Cloudbuilt (PC)Developer: CoilworksPublisher: Rising Star GamesReleased: March 20, 2014MRSP: $19.99 Cloudbuilt is frustrating. It's frustrating to play and frustrating to recommend. I like the style, I like the parkour mechanics overall, but there's a lot of junk to contend with. The antagonistic design (minefields everywhere) is one thing, but the unforgiving checkpoints and limited lives lead to a lot of repetition. Meanwhile, the combat ends up about as unsatisfying as Mirror's Edge, with worse enemies that either absorb too many bullets or deflect them with shields anyway. If you want something that is going to fight you every step of the way as you shave seconds off of run times (and you have a strong pinky finger), this is for you. Verdict: 6/10 - Read the full Cloudbuilt  review JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: All-Star Battle (PS3)Developer: CyberConnect2Publisher: Bandai Namco GamesRelease Date: April 29, 2014MSRP: $49.99 Overall, despite its shortcomings, Jojo's Bizarre Adventure: All-Star Battle is a colorful spectacle that both fans of the anime and future fans of the anime will want to pick up and experience, even if just to watch a man use only his upper body strength after hopping off his horse to hold his own in combat. It's funky, gorgeous, and oozing with style. And where it comes up short, it simultaneously delivers in terms of fanservice and content. You won't be putting it down for quite some time, unless, you know, you need some time to eat a few more breads in your life. Verdict: 7.5/10 - Read the full JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: All-Star Battle review
REVIEWS! photo
Plus The Walking Dead, JoJo's Bizarre Adventure
Hey, what are you doing here! There's a ton of good games that came out this week! No wait, come back and watch this video for a couple of minutes, read the article, then you can go play those games.

Reviews in Review: Sportsfriends, Amazing Spider-Man 2

May 12 // Ben Pack
Bound By Flame (PC [reviewed], PS3, PS4, Xbox 360)Developer: SpidersPublisher: Focus Home InteractiveRelease Date: May 9, 2014MSRP: $39.99 The game is actually on your side when it comes to whipping your character into shape, too, as if to compensate for dim AI and the repetitive grind that some may not find as rewarding as I did. There's plenty of loot scattered throughout the multiple winding passageways and easy-to-navigate dungeons, giving you numerous chances to craft new potions and other necessary items for use in battle. While gold isn't exactly in short supply, you'll still be faced with enough opportunities to make your own fortune rather than looking for your next payday. Verdict: 7/10 - Read the full Bound By Flame review Hitman GO (iOS)Developer: Square EnixPublisher: Square EnixReleased: April 17, 2014MSRP: $4.99 Still, I was more than enamored with the numerous nods to classic Hitmanmoments, additional costumes, and the amount of polish lavished upon this bizarre yet savory addition to the Hitman universe. It's not perfect, and it certainly won't appeal to everyone, but if you're jonesing for your next taste of the life of an assassin, Hitman GO is the hippest way to emulate everyone's favorite sharp-dressed agent.  Verdict: 8/10 - Read the full Hitman GO review Republique: Metamorphosis (iOS [reviewed on an iPhone 5], Mac, PC)Developer: Camouflaj, LoganPublisher: CamouflajReleased: April 30, 2014 (iOS) / PC (TBA)MSRP: $4.99 (Each Episode) I had my doubts about the Republique project as a whole, but it's clear to me now after two episodes that Camouflaj "gets it." The studio is finding a way to improve upon the core tenets of the game while maintaining an episodic format, which many other developers don't tend to do. While I wouldn't recommend that everyone rush out and buy the Season Pass right now, I'm looking forward to seeing what the next episode brings to the table. Verdict: 7.5/10 - Read the full Republique: Metamorphosis review Sportsfriends (PC, PS3, PS4 [reviewed])Developer: Die Gute FabrikPublisher: Die Gute FabrikRelease Date: May 6, 2014MSRP: $14.99 Despite the fact that I don't think I'll be playing Barabariball or Super Pole Riders for very long, Hokra's level editor gives it legs, and Johann Sebastian Joust shouldn't be missed by anyone who enjoys having company over. It's a very uneven package in the sense that there could have either been a few more games and a few could have been better, but honestly -- $15 isn't a terrible price just for Joust alone. Verdict: 7/10 - Read the full Sportsfriends review Raiden IV: OverKill (PS3)Developer: MOSSPublisher: UFO Interactive GameReleased: April 29, 2014MSRP: $19.99 Raiden IV: OverKill could have used a few more extras, but the fact that you can get it cheaper than the Xbox 360 version when it launched (it's $20 now digitally as well) is a compelling reason for genre fans to pick this one up. While theRaiden series in general isn't my favorite collective of shmups, it's been a steady staple for over two decades for a reason. Verdict: 7.5/10 - Read the full Raiden IV: OverKill review The Elder Scrolls Online (Mac, PC [reviewed], PlayStation 4, Xbox One)Developer: ZeniMax Online StudiosPublisher: Bethesda SoftworksRelease: April 4, 2014 (Mac, PC) / June 2014 (PlayStation 4, Xbox One)MSRP: $59.99 ($14.99 subscription fee, with 30 days included in base game) I think right now, the most prudent thing to do is to wait for ZeniMax to iron out all of The Elder Scrolls Online's kinks (including how it handles post level 50 content to make it less grindy), and play the console version of the game. Not only will it arrive with all of the updates from the PC version in tow, but it'll also have full native controller support -- which feels more natural than a mouse and keyboard in this instance. Verdict: 6.5/10 - Read the full The Elder Scrolls Online review Tesla Effect: A Tex Murphy Adventure (PC [reviewed], Mac)Developer: Big Finish GamesPublisher: AtlusReleased: May 7, 2014MRSP: $19.99 / £14.99 The humor doesn't always work and the puzzle design is still rooted in the series' 1990s adventure game roots, meaning it feels archaic in spots, but there are some welcome concessions to modern design with the flashlight and hint system. Tex Murphy might be alive in 2014 but he'll need to learn a few more tricks if he's to stay around for another adventure.  Verdict: 6.5/10 - Read the full Tesla Effect: A Tex Murphy Adventure review  
Review recap photo
Plus Tesla Effect, Raiden IV: Overkill
Hey some dude in the comments said I should do this drunk so Max made me drink malt liquor. Anyway here are the reviews I reviewed last week (as well as a couple more that went up after the video).

Reviews in Review: Child of Light, Daylight, Kirby Triple Deluxe

May 04 // Ben Pack
LEGO The Hobbit (3DS, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, PSVita, Xbox 360 [reviewed], Xbox One, WiiU)Developer: TT GamesPublisher: Warner Brothers InteractiveRelease Date: April 8, 2014MSRPP: $29.99 (3DS, Vita), $49.99 (PS3, Xbox 360, WiiU), $59.99 (PS4, Xbox One) Still, there is a good bit to like about the game as well. If you've enjoyed the many other LEGOadaptations, this one is not without it's charm. The characters and backgrounds match the films well, and the game follows the story of the movies very closely, down to the questionable bonus material padding. Though again, being a bit limited by the original voicework may not allow for the normal LEGO slaptick-type humor, and a few scenes of real tension and whimsy from the films seem to fall a bit flat. Verdict: 6.5/10 - Read the full LEGO The Hobbit review Kirby: Triple Deluxe (3DS)Developer: HAL LaboratoryPublisher: NintendoReleased: May 2, 2014MSRP: $34.99 Kirby:Triple Deluxe is yet another winning entry in the franchise. It delivers the core Kirby experience alongside of a few very well done extras, which is pretty much everything a fan could ask for. While the Kirby formula could easily be getting stale for some, it still represents a whimsical corner of platforming games that's centered around one central ideal -- fun. Verdict: 8/10 - Read the full Kirby: Triple Deluxe review Child of Light (PS3, PS4, PC, Xbox 360, Xbox One [reviewed], Wii U)Developer: Ubisoft MontrealPublisher: UbisoftRelease Date: April 30, 2014 Child of Light will satiate pretty much everyone but the most hardcore of RPG fans, and even then, they'll find plenty of enjoyment. There are a few minor issues here and there that hold it back from instant-classic status that could be enhanced in a sequel or future work, but regardless, Child of Light is a noble effort from Ubisoft Montreal, and another win to put in the studio's diverse portfolio. Verdict: 8.5/10 - Read the full Child of Light review FRACT OSC [Mac, PC (reviewed)]Developer: Phosfiend SystemsPublisher: Phosfiend SystemsMSRP: $14.99Released: April 22, 2014 FRACT OSC is a game where you need to be willing to go in blind and just explore; this might be something that puts a player off within the first 10 minutes, as there's no tooltips or tutorial to tell them what to do, unlike most modern games. If you allow yourself to be drawn into the strange, geometric landscape and understand the structure of the puzzles and progression, then you'll be rewarded with a great experience. Verdict: 8.5/10 - Read the full FRACT OSC review Life Goes On (Linux, Mac, PC [reviewed])Developer: Infinite Monkeys EntertainmentPublisher: Infinite Monkeys EntertainmentReleased: April 17, 2014MSRP: $12.99Rig: AMD Phenom II X2 555 @ 3.2 GHz, with 4GB of RAM, ATI Radeon HD 5700, Windows 7 64-bit Life Goes On might not start with the most mindblowing hook, but the idea is solid and Infinite Monkeys develops it well. By constantly adding new tricks into its repertoire and not dragging itself out unnecessarily, it maintains a good quality throughout. Puzzle difficulty ranges from easy to medium-hard; it rarely gets diabolically difficult, and when it does it is only when completing optional objectives. Although it is not particularly nice to look at, the underlying gameplay is worthwhile for any puzzle platformer enthusiast. Verdict: 7/10 - Read the full Life Goes On review Borderlands 2 Headerhunter 5: Sir Hammerlock Versus the Son of Crawmerax (Mac, PC, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 [reviewed])Developer: Gearbox SoftwarePublisher: 2K GamesReleased: April 15, 2014MSRP: $2.99 As with the other entries in the Headhunter series, Sir Hammerlock Versus the Son of Crawmerax is a short experience with a relatively low price tag. Although it does not complete Borderlands 2 with a bang, it does a decent job of rounding out the series and setting up for the next one. Those particularly interested in the path of the characters moving forward will enjoy what this DLC does toward that end, but most other Borderlands fans would be just as well waiting for the release of the Pre-Sequel this fall. Verdict: 6/10 - Read the full Borderlands 2 Headerhunter 5: Sir Hammerlock Versus the Son of Crawmerax review Daylight (PC [reviewed], PlayStation 4)Developer: Zombie StudiosPublisher: Zombie StudiosRelease: April 29, 2014MSRP: $14.99 Overall I felt as if Daylight was made as a jump-scare machine with a loosely tacked-on plot. I never felt invested in Sarah or cared much for the mysterious man rambling through her phone. In fact, I was more concerned with getting Miss Ghost off my back so she’d stop screaming, more so out of annoyance than fear. Daylight would have benefited from a fresh set of spooks rather than intermittent scares and muddy plot lines, but at the end of the day if you’re looking for a cheap thrill you've found it. Verdict: 4/10 - Read the full Daylight review Destiny of Spirits (Vita)Developer: SCE Japan Studio, Q EntertainmentPublisher: Sony Computer EntertainmentMSRP: Free-to-play Released: March 25, 2014 As is the case with any free-to-play game, you really have nothing to lose but time by trying outDestiny of Spirits. It helps if you're a hardcore Sony fan and strive for some of the more unique characters, but otherwise the pace is far too slow, and the rewards are far too little for the amount of time you need to invest in it. Verdict: 6/10 - Read the full Destiny of Spirits review The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (3DS, PC, PS3, PS4 [reviewed], Wii U, Xbox 360, Xbox One)Developer: BeenoxPublisher: ActivisionMSRP: $59.99Released: April 29, 2014 The Amazing Spider-Man 2 isn't a complete disaster, and I can easily see fans of Spidey enjoying it at a deep discount. It's just a shame that Beenox somehow got worse at makingSpider-Man games over time, and that the powers that be insist on rushing them as movie tie-ins. Somehow, someway -- we will get our Arkham of Spider-Man games again. Until then, you can just pick up a used copy of 2004's Spider-Man 2. Verdict: 6/10 - Read the full The Amazing Spider-Man 2 review Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn (PC, PS3, PS4 [reviewed])Developer:  Square EnixPublisher: Square EnixMSRP: $39.99 ($12.99 per month, with a free PS3-to-PS4 license transfer) Released: August 27, 2013 (PC, PS3) / April 14, 2014 (PS4) Despite those issues, Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn is my favorite MMO since World of Warcraft. It has a lot of things going for it, tons of content to explore, and best of all -- lots and lots of support. I have no doubt that the popularity of A Realm Reborn will continue to rise with every major update and expansion, and I wish Square Enix nothing but the best. I didn't think it was possible, but they have absolutely atoned for the original mess that was Final Fantasy XIV -- and then some. Verdict: 9/10 - Read the full Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn review
Reviews! photo
Plus LEGO The Hobbit & More
It's the end of the week which means that it's time for another episode of Reviews in Review. This week a TON of games came out, so if you missed any of our reviews just check out the video for a quick recap. Seriously, what else are you going to do for four minutes? This week I use some really bad accents.

Pier Solar HD photo
Pier Solar HD

Pier Solar HD delayed until June


I'm still waiting on that Dreamcast version, yo
May 01
// Brittany Vincent
With Pier Solar HD, what's old is new and what's new is old again. Unfortunately, we've got to wait quite a bit longer before we can actually give it a try now. The Sega Genesis-styled RPG care of Watermelon has been delayed ...

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