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Gauntlet is a lot like you remember, just upgraded photo
Gauntlet is a lot like you remember, just upgraded
by Brett Makedonski

Do you remember Gauntlet? It holds a special place in arcade gaming history, but at the same time, it's almost 30 years old. It seems like the perfect time for a remake, doesn't it? Magicka maker Arrowhead Games has the opportunity to give people that remember it a chance to play it again, while introducing the younger audience to an all-time classic.

For those unfamiliar, Gauntlet is a four-person cooperative, dungeon-crawling, beat-'em-up. The original characters -- Warrior, Elf, Valkyrie, and Wizard -- all return for this iteration, and only one of each can be played at a time. Each class has a playstyle that defines them and that will dictate your actions on-screen. A Warrior isn't of much use out of the fray, and the archer-like Elf isn't too effective trying to melee everyone.

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Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel takes the shooter looter to the moon photo
Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel takes the shooter looter to the moon
by Hamza CTZ Aziz

Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel is official. The latest entry in Gearbox's shooter looter takes place between the original Borderlands and Borderlands 2, hence the Pre-Sequel moniker. The new game is based on the Borderlands 2 engine as well, and will be sticking to the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC.

You'll be able to play as one of four new -- yet familiar -- characters as you work for Handsome Jack during his rise to power. Oh, and a majority of the game takes place on Pandora's moon. And you get jet packs. And laser guns. And ice weapons. Oh my.

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Preview: Armello combines board games, trading card games, strategy RPG play photo
Preview: Armello combines board games, trading card games, strategy RPG play
by Dale North

I met League of Geeks' Trent Kusters at GDC a few weeks back. We just missed each other at Bitsummit just a week before, but I'm glad we were able to finally meet up as I would have missed seeing a really cool game. 

Kusters' elevator pitch: imagine a game that mixes Magic the Gathering and Final Fantasy Tactics...

I stopped him before he could finish and told him that this game sounds right up my alley. Like, right up my alley.

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An early look at the PC version of Dark Souls II photo
An early look at the PC version of Dark Souls II
by Alasdair Duncan

How many times have I died in Dark Souls II now? 12, 14... 16?

Truth is I've already lost count of how many times I've taken a blade to the chest or an arrow to the face. Whenever I think I'm making progress, something takes me by surprise and I'm back to square one but I have to persevere, I need to keep pushing on. I have to learn about the enemies, their patterns, their routines. 

I swear I'll make it out of the tutorial area at some point.

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Huge open world and endless customization define The Crew photo
Huge open world and endless customization define The Crew
by Casey Baker

The developers of The Crew have an unusual take on their new IP that features fast cars, deep customization, and miles and miles of the United States to traverse across and race within. Ivory Tower and Ubisoft Reflections insist that despite its trappings that would suggest an open world racing game in the same vein as the latest in the Need for Speed series or Forza Horizons, The Crew is actually an MMO RPG.

When first presented with this concept at a recent Ubisoft event, I was a little skeptical that a racing game could be classified as such, given that it doesn't necessarily involve giant monsters and upgradeable weapons, and certainly bears no fantastical setting. However, after getting an hour long hands-on with the new game and witnessing the number of ways that this separates itself from its ilk, I could definitely see how it could be deserving of this different classification.

In The Crew, your vastly upgradeable and customizable car is your weapon. The giant monster you perpetually battle is the road, in several different kinds of events and spanning a seemingly large storyline across five enormous regions of the United States.

And like all MMO RPG's, The Crew is so much better with friends.

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Azure Striker: Gunvolt opens up official English site photo
Azure Striker: Gunvolt opens up official English site
by Chris Carter

Keiji Inafune and his superstar development collective are hard at work with creating Mighty No. 9 for every platform under the sun -- but who knows when it's actually coming out. As confirmed to us at BitSummit 2014, we know for sure that Azure Striker Gunvolt, Inafune's other Mega Man game is hitting the 3DS this summer.

That's starting to become a bit more real, as Inti Creates has launched an English version of a Gunvolt site, complete with character bios and some information, as well as screenshots. The site has been having some traffic issues as of this morning, so stay tuned if it doesn't work for you at the moment.

Gunvolt [Gunvolt.com]

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The best stuff on Destructoid this week [4/5] photo
The best stuff on Destructoid this week [4/5]
by Steven Hansen

[We post a lot of articles here at Destructoid. The endless, ouroboros news cycle has us burning the snake at both ends, which will ultimately push big news, thoughtful original pieces, and all sorts of other great content off of the front page. Check here every Saturday for my attempt to rectify that.]

Yes, I missed the last two weeks for various reasons, but the checks are in the mail and I'm trying to make it up. Please don't take my baby from me. She's all I have. This every other weekend thing is already depressing enough. I can tell she hates coming over, too, away from her friends and her regular everyday life, but what am I supposed to do? Give her up?

I'd rather be "every other weekend dad" than a yellowing Polaroid.

Here's the last recap. Let's all try to be just a little better, because the world ain't going to be a little better to us. Let's try to be a little better to each other. Let's begin anew.

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Grey Goo aspires to get to the roots of the real-time strategy genre photo
Grey Goo aspires to get to the roots of the real-time strategy genre
by Brett Makedonski

The real-time strategy genre has undergone quite the transformation throughout time. Seemingly gone are the days where games require that you focus on strategy, often replaced by experiences that reward combat ability and quick clicking. Petroglyph Games aims to right this with Grey Goo -- a title that will try to put the "S" back in RTS.

The way that Petroglyph intends to do this is by forging the most balanced game that it possibly can. Grey Goo will put equal parts emphasis on economic management, base-building, and strategic combat. Over-reliance upon any of these three facets won't necessarily result in sure victory; it could just as easily result in sure failure.

If that sounds complicated, that's because it might be. However, Grey Goo won't necessarily overencumber the player with weighty mechanics. Everything's relatively straightforward and basic as far as commands go, most of it mapped to the mouse and QWERT keys. Again, it's the actual strategic approach that's going to trip most people up.

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SOMA is underwater horror with flashy monsters & average crabs photo
SOMA is underwater horror with flashy monsters & average crabs
by Steven Hansen

When I see the name SOMA, all capitalized as Amnesia developer Frictional is wont to stylize, I think of my dentist. Because that's its name. And it's not a scary thought. I never had frightening associations with dentistry, even when it was around the corner from where I lived in a dingy office above a fruit stand (before it relocated to the nicer SOMA area).

But I have little explanation or forethought for that anecdote. SOMA's underwater origin -- it was previously assumed to be set in an abandoned space station -- was also, "decided [on a] whim during a meet-up," between Frictional's co-founders.

It was a good whim. The ocean is a terrifying, unexplored place, particularly in games. It's not all Ecco the Dolphin down there. There are goblin sharks, damn it. And James Cameron putting around in his deep sea submersible. And the creepy, bioluminescent things that doomed SOMA's world like belief in laughable Randian philosophy doomed Andrew Ryan's.

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To Leave is one of the neatest games I played during GDC photo
To Leave is one of the neatest games I played during GDC
by Steven Hansen

GDC is full of neat games. There are sentai management sims. Body building cats. Hyper Light Drifter. But one of the neatest games I played during GDC is To Leave, which creative director Estefano Palacios says is the first indie game out of Ecuador. It's definitely the first one coming to PS4 and Vita. (Incidentally, check out the promoted cblog from last year, Gaming in Latin America).

Sony discovered the 12 person team's game as part of its Latin America, Incubation Program and has been "instrumental" in getting it exposure, flying Palacios out to GDC to rep the game, and technology, giving the team dev kits.

Palacios discovered me, hustling to take advantage of his good fortune, while I shambled, eyes glazed over, trying to remember where I was going and where I had been. I'm glad he did, because chatting with him and playing To Leave perked me right up.

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Child of Light is a return to classic JRPG wonder photo
Child of Light is a return to classic JRPG wonder
by Alessandro Fillari

Last year, the news of Ubisoft making an old-school throwback to the JRPG genre took a number of people by surprise. When Destructoid got the chance to check it out, there was a healthy amount of curiosity around it. Not too many people knew what to make of it, especially considering it was coming from the team that made Far Cry 3, which is a title that seems very far apart from it.

But after spending some time with Child of Light, about three hours to be exact, there might be more in common with these two titles than you think. I got the chance to talk with lead writer Jeffrey Yohalem, and saw what passion and a small team working on a unique throwback to JRPG titles managed to come up with.

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Mario Kart 8 is stunning and fierce in HD photo
Mario Kart 8 is stunning and fierce in HD
by Alessandro Fillari

As an institution within the videogame racing genre, Mario Kart has always been an example of what arcade style racing is all about. Focusing on simple, pick up and play gameplay, while still offering high level skill based action, the Mario Kart series has been going strong for over twenty years; and it doesn't seem like it'll stop any time soon.

Now, the series is finally taking its first steps onto an HD platform, and after spending about an hour of playtime with it, I just don't see how they can go back after this. I'm just going to come right out and say it: Mario Kart 8 is one gorgeous game.

As the first full HD release of the series, the developers at Nintendo went the extra mile with creating a game that is visually spectacular, but also the most content rich game of the series.

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Hands-on with Ultra Street Fighter IV's Decapre photo
Hands-on with Ultra Street Fighter IV's Decapre
by Ben Pack

Earlier this week I got to spend some time with Ultra Street Fighter IV, Capcom’s fourth and final iteration of the original 2008 game. My demo was presented by professional fighting game player turned Capcom employee Peter “Combofiend” Rosas, who walked me through the fifth and final new character, Decapre, as well as the other changes of the version.

The game features five new characters, including four adopted from Street Fighter X Tekken. These characters are Hugo, Elena, Rolento and Poison. The first two characters are meant to play like their versions in Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike, and the later two are more similar to their SFxT versions.

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Krautscape is a racing game where you make your own path to victory photo
Krautscape is a racing game where you make your own path to victory
by Brett Makedonski

Practice makes perfect in racing games. "Sight reading" a new course (so to speak) might turn out okay, but any perfectionist will spend hours learning the every nuance of every track in order to shave precious seconds off their times. But what if that weren't an option? What if the racetrack wasn't a static entity?

That's what Krautscape has going on. One of the many defining characteristics of this indie racer is that the leader procedurally generates the track. As you pass through the gates that mark the building points, different lanes dictate different directions to send the action.

That's a unique concept for a game, but not enough for developer Mario von Rickenbach. That's why the vehicles can also fly. That's right, if you don't like the way that the track is going, find a place to soar off the edge and take the lead away. Pick your spots wisely though, because a miscalculation could end up in a supposedly savvy move putting you even further behind.

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LEGO Minifigures Online is an MMO that anyone can jump into photo
LEGO Minifigures Online is an MMO that anyone can jump into
by Brett Makedonski

Let's face it: massively multiplayer online games can be intimidating for some people. Between the incredibly nuanced systems that some titles tout, and the tales of time and dedication required to "properly" play a game, it's not exactly an inviting scene. It's tough to fault those that shy away from the genre altogether.

Funcom's out to make an accessible free-to-play MMO, and it's got the world's most beloved toy brand behind it. LEGO Minifigures Online is a game that's technically aimed at children, but it's plenty reasonable to expect a more mature audience will find a certain cathartic thrill, too.

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Arkham Knight has the right playground for Batman's new toys photo
Arkham Knight has the right playground for Batman's new toys
by Brett Makedonski

Rocksteady Studios has found itself in a somewhat precarious position with Arkham Knight. The team's two previous installments in the series are so universally revered that it begs the question "What can it do to live up to, and surpass, Arkham Asylum and Arkham City?" Rocksteady's opted to take the path of increasing the scope of everything and changing the formulaic approach to some of the series' conventions. It remains to be seen how well it'll work.

Arkham Knight is the first in the "Rocksteady Trilogy" (this term kept coming up, presumably to distance themselves from Arkham Origins) to give Batman free rein of Gotham City. The plot device driving this iteration is that Scarecrow has threatened to release a fear toxin so the entirety of the city has been evacuated. Well, except for all the thugs, criminals, and super villains that refuse to leave. They'll be Batman's punching bags en route to finding Scarecrow.

If this version of Gotham City sounds like semi-familiar territory, that's because it kind of is. The cynically analytical might say this walled-off playground full of baddies smacks of Arkham City with skyscrapers. The optimist might suggest that this added verticality is a welcomed progression for the series.

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