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Dad Beat Dads photo
Dad Beat Dads

Belated Father's Day: Throw babies in Dad Beat Dads

My dad could beat up your dad
Jun 26
// Darren Nakamura
True story: my dad used to be quite the brawler. At a stocky 5'5" (165 cm), he was often underestimated. What he lacks in height and reach he makes up for in tenacity. What I'm trying to say is that I'm pretty sure my dad co...
Borderlands screenshots photo
Borderlands screenshots

Tales from the Borderlands: Catch a Ride screenshots, we got 'em

Catch a screeeeeeeeeen!
Jun 23
// Darren Nakamura
Tales from the Borderlands: Catch a Ride is out today, and it continues the excellence the series has been known for thus far. As I normally do while playing through Telltale titles, I had my finger firmly planted on the F12 ...
Unravel photo

Unravel is an adorable new puzzle platformer

Yarn but not Yoshi
Jun 15
// Darren Nakamura
At EA's press conference earlier today, the big publisher unveiled something that felt a little out of character, but in all the best ways. Unravel is a puzzle platformer that makes use of the craft item look Nintendo has be...
Fallout 4 screenshots photo
Fallout 4 screenshots

Fallout 4 screenshots fresh from the Bethesda showcase

Looking good, Boston
Jun 15
// Darren Nakamura
Bethesda spent a lot of time on Fallout at its E3 showcase. Though the video presentation is probably the way to go for those hungry for Fallout 4 information, fans short on time might prefer a quick browsing of screens. Thou...
Fallout Shelter photo
Fallout Shelter

Be an overseer of a vault in Fallout Shelter for mobile devices

Available on App Store tonight
Jun 14
// Darren Nakamura
[Update: Bethesda's Pete Hines mentioned on his Twitter that "we will have info later about [an] Android version."] At Bethesda's E3 press conference, the big draw was Fallout 4, but nestled in the middle of the Fallout prese...
Dishonored 2  photo
Dishonored 2

Dishonored 2 announced with female protagonist

Or a male protaganist
Jun 14
// Jed Whitaker
Arkane Studios announced Dishonored 2 on Bethesda's E3 2015 stream, featuring the option to play as a female protagonist named Emily Kaldwin. In the trailer Emily takes on four-armed robots, and she does some cool shadow pow...
Telltale Borderlands photo
Telltale Borderlands

Tales from the Borderlands Episode 3 out June 23

Catch a Ride
Jun 11
// Darren Nakamura
In life, sometimes it's best to celebrate the little victories. For instance, the forces of the universe have prevented me from attending E3 this year, but as a consolation, Telltale is releasing Tales from the Borderlands Ep...
Diluvion Kickstarter photo
Diluvion Kickstarter

Manage an ornate submarine in the open world of Diluvion

2D and 3D gameplay
Jun 10
// Darren Nakamura
Sure, big name Kickstarters like Bloodstained and Yooka-Laylee are in the spotlight right now with their campaigns winding down having made millions of dollars. But don't forget that there are others out there looking for th...
Deathwing photo

What righteous fury looks like in Space Hulk: Deathwing

Exterminate the heretics
Jun 09
// Nic Rowen
I've been interested in Space Hulk: Deathwing ever since they put out that trailer with the groovy music from Kadebostany a few months back. Today, Streum On Studio (the same team who brought us the wonderfully strange E.Y.E....
Game of Thrones screens photo
Game of Thrones screens

Game of Thrones: Sons of Winter screenshots, we have some

Painted with blood
May 26
// Darren Nakamura
Another episode of Game of Thrones: A Telltale Game Series, another batch of screenshots I took while playing through for review. There weren't any huge twists this episode, so I'm not afraid of spoiling too much, but as alwa...
Pac-Man 256 photo
Pac-Man 256

Crossy Road developer working on Pac-Man 256

I must have missed about 250 Pac-Mans
May 22
// Darren Nakamura
[Update: Now we have a trailer and screenshots! Disregard snark at the bottom here.] In its ongoing celebration of Pac-Man's 35th anniversary, Bandai Namco has said that Pac-Man will show up in unexpected places. The first c...
You Must Build a Boat photo
You Must Build a Boat

10000000 sequel You Must Build a Boat out on June 4

'10000001' too on-the-nose
May 19
// Darren Nakamura
You Must Build a Boat has been in the works for a while. Originally planned as a free update to hit match-three puzzle game 10000000, it eventually ballooned into something big enough to be its own thing. That was more than ...
Adventure Time photo
Adventure Time

Adventure Time Puzzle Quest releasing on mobile this summer

Match three in the Land of Ooo
May 19
// Darren Nakamura
Adventure Time Puzzle Quest. That really says all it needs to about what to expect. It's going to be the addictive match-three puzzling that we have been doing for years, with the familiar faces of Jake the dog and Finn the h...
Old Doom 4 photo
Old Doom 4

Doom 4 used to look nothing like Doom

So this is why it's taken so long
May 18
// Jordan Devore
Ahead of its full reveal next month, Bethesda let out a couple seconds of footage for the new Doom. It looks cool to the extent that a snippet like this can look cool. Also, crucially, the footage is evocative of the series. ...
Civilization Beyond Earth photo
Civilization Beyond Earth

Civilization: Beyond Earth getting an expansion this fall

Settle the oceans in Rising Tide
May 18
// Darren Nakamura
Sid Meier's Civilization: Beyond Earth came out last year, and although I loved it, a lot of the series' hardcore fans picked it apart as being less complex than past entries. Though it doesn't nearly address every complaint,...
Portal Pinball photo
Portal Pinball

That Valve/Zen Studios collaboration is Portal Pinball

Now you're plinking with portals
May 05
// Darren Nakamura
The teaser is less than a week old, and now we have some more details on the collaboration between Zen Studios (best known for its pinball games) and Valve (best known for not developing Half-Life 3). It's not the excellent p...
Does Not Commute photo
Does Not Commute

Does Not Commute turns a Sunday drive into a traffic jam

You only have yourself to blame
Apr 23
// Darren Nakamura
Okay, this is neat. It's strange, because I sort of hated the levels in The Adventures of Shuggy where I had to play through, then rewind time and go through again without touching my past selves. Does Not Commute looks like...
Witcher 3 photo
Witcher 3

The Witcher 3 map revealed, and it's pretty huge

Goodness that's a big world
Apr 22
// Laura Kate Dale
We already knew The Witcher 3 was going to big, I don't think anyone out there has been doubting that with all the talk of game completion times recently. The question that has however lingered, just HOW big is The Witcher 3?...
Circa Infinity photo
Circa Infinity

I'm trying to wrap my head around Circa Infinity

With marginal success
Apr 21
// Darren Nakamura
At a base level, I think I understand what's going on in Circa Infinity. While on the outside of a circle, the player character needs to get to a wedge to move inside. While on the inside of a circle, the player character ne...
Mad Max photo
Mad Max

These Mad Max screenshots are looking a bit hot and sweaty

Oh my stars look at the leather
Apr 21
// Joe Parlock
Here’s something to make you feel old and angry: I’ve never seen the Mad Max movies. The first one came out 15 years before I was born, so the hype surrounding them was never around in my lifetime. I know a little...
Star Ocean 5 photo
Star Ocean 5

Take a closer look at the gorgeous Star Ocean 5

Premier screenshots show off characters, environments, and more
Apr 19
// Kyle MacGregor
Square Enix recently unveiled Star Ocean: Integrity and Faithlessness, the latest entry in the company's intergalactic role-playing game series, but details on the title have been pretty scarce.  We know it's in developm...
Obscure Video Games photo
Obscure Video Games

Obscure Video Games: Combat Queen

Am I buggin' you? I don't mean to bug you
Apr 11
// Obscure Video Games
Remember FMV games? Back in the '90s they were briefly the hot new thing. Games like Phantasmagoria and 7th Guest were considered cutting edge adventure games. Perhaps you even bought a CD-ROM drive for your computer just to ...
Borderlands DLC screens photo
Borderlands DLC screens

Borderlands: Claptastic Voyage screenshots, we got 'em

Full spoilers ahead
Mar 29
// Darren Nakamura
The first and only big story piece of downloadable content released for Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel earlier this week, and I just finished playing through it. As usual, I took a bunch of screenshots as I played through. Fair ...
GTA V on PC photo

Come on, you didn't think GTA V on PC would look bad, did you?

Of course it looks gorgeous
Mar 27
// Brett Makedonski
While PC users patiently wait to become the last people on earth to play Grand Theft Auto V, they can temporarily sate the need for open-world mayhem with these gorgeous images. Expansive skylines, incredible lighting, detail...
Talos Principle expansion photo
Talos Principle expansion

The Talos Principle bringing more deep thoughts with Road to Gehenna expansion

Follow Uriel in a previously hidden section of the simulation
Mar 24
// Darren Nakamura
Players who took the time to really explore The Talos Principle might recognize the name Uriel. Though the base game is seen through the eyes of a particular simulation participant, evidence of others exists in the form of QR...
EVE Valkyrie trailer photo
EVE Valkyrie trailer

New EVE: Valkyrie trailer starts with a routine escort mission

'See you in the next life'
Mar 19
// Darren Nakamura
EVE Valkyrie has come a long way since the footage from last year's EVE Fanfest. The trailer above shows a more fleshed out mission, beginning with a mundane escort and ending with, well, something a little more exciting. Th...
Borderlands screenshots photo
Borderlands screenshots

Tales from the Borderlands Episode 2 screenshots, we got 'em

Over 100 Atlas Mugged screenshots
Mar 17
// Darren Nakamura
Another Telltale episode, another excessively large set of screenshots taken as I played through with an Xbox 360 controller while keeping my pinky finger on the F12 key. Tales from the Borderlands still looks great despite t...
Halo 3: ODST photo
Halo 3: ODST

One screen of ODST in Master Chief Collection sums up the past four months

Take it all in
Mar 13
// Brett Makedonski
Halo 3: ODST is getting added to The Master Chief Collection sometime in the near future. It's going to be free for anyone that owned The Master Chief Collection prior to December 19, and it'll likely be paid D...

We Happy Few's bright exterior hides a dark secret

Mar 12 // Darren Nakamura
Compulsion was fairly tight-lipped on the story of We Happy Few, but did give a few details to get me started. It takes place in a dystopian city on an island, where everybody exists in a constant state of euphoria thanks to a drug called Joy. At least, everybody except the player, who finds himself to be the only lucid person among the smiling drones. The goal is to find a means and an opportunity off the island, but neither is clear from the outset. Without much obvious direction, the more immediate concern is survival. The player has a few meters to keep track of, including hunger and thirst. Eating and drinking keep those at safe levels, but finding supplies is the tricky part. Or it's one of the tricky parts. Another thing to consider is that the government laces the town's water supply with Joy. It sets up a sort of push and pull, where drinking too little causes dehydration and drinking too much will put a lot of the upper into the player's system. This has some beneficial gameplay effects like increased stamina, but comes with a hard crash after a while. Overdosing can cause the player to black out and lose a day entirely. [embed]288935:57741:0[/embed] Past basic need management, there are other supplies to be found in the world of We Happy Few, many of which can be crafted into more interesting items like lockpicks or weaponry. Fighting isn't always the best option; stealth is often preferable. The interesting thing about We Happy Few's stealth is that it isn't about skulking in the shadows, but about blending in with the population. Walking down the street in broad daylight will garner no suspicion from the locals, but loitering in one spot for too long or sprinting will. I could almost imagine my character passing others with exaggerated arm movements and a forced smile just to avoid any second glances. There is a planned day/night cycle, with different events occurring at different times throughout the day. I was not able to see that in my time with the game, because I jumped out of a third floor window and broke my legs in a botched escape attempt before the day could turn to night. It seems like it's meant to be a fairly short but replayable game, because the team at Compulsion is putting some effort into procedural generation for the city. Though the overarching story and player goals will remain the same from run to run, individual playthroughs may yield different buildings or events, and the layout of the city will always change after the player dies. Creative Dude Guillaume Provost didn't use the word "roguelike," but it did seem to lean in that direction. Combat in the preview build was mostly melee-based, with angry Joy addicts coming at me with skillets and cricket bats. Unlike the crafting and stealth systems, straight combat didn't feel particularly deep, but I didn't have enough time or resources to create any of the cool toys that were available in the menu. Compulsion has already nailed the atmosphere for We Happy Few. As it turns out, there are some cool ideas for a game under that too, and the way the gameplay and the narrative interact via the unique stealth system is a great touch. It certainly needs some more time to fully flesh out the ideas laid out, but so far this looks like one to watch.
We Happy Few photo
Happy, happy, joy, joy!
For a while, the general aesthetic in games was dark and grimy, with muted colors to convey dismal feelings. The more recent counterculture of color was welcomed, bringing happiness back to the medium. But a funny thing happe...

Affordable Space Adventures is the Wii U experience I imagined in 2012

Mar 09 // Darren Nakamura
Affordable Space Adventures puts players in the role of space tourists, in control of a Small Craft™, a ship woefully underequipped for the perils of interplanetary exploration. It starts with only a flashlight, but gains new components over the course of the game. Early on the fuel-burning engine activates, and the explorers can get moving. As new systems come into play, they are controlled on the GamePad, referred to in game as the "heads down display" (heh). Some systems are binary; they are either on or off. Most have variable levels of power, from zero (off) to five (max). Success hinges on managing which systems have power at which times. For instance, pushing the thrusters' power up to the higher levels can allow for a quick escape but will overheat the engine if left for too long. Further on, the explorers encounter armed drones to circumvent. Though they are dangerous, their sensors are limited. Some detect heat, some detect sound, some detect electrical activity, and the most robust detect a combination of the three. Each ship component produces some amount of each, so the key to getting past the sentries is figuring out which systems are essential and which can be temporarily powered down or shut off. [embed]288785:57661:0[/embed] At this point, Affordable Space Adventures becomes a sort of puzzle game. It starts simple: if a drone senses heat and/or sound but the ship just wants to descend, then the trick is to hover above the danger zone, kill the engines, then restart it after passing safely by. Climbing through a similar situation would require the electric engine, which has a different feel to it in addition to producing different detectable effects. Later on, things get more complicated. Some drones can sense both heat and electricity, so players have to come up with clever solutions for avoiding detection or destruction. One section had us turning off the decelerator and coasting through a drone's area of effect. Another had me crank up the antigravity to gain upward momentum, kill the engines, then restore them just in time for my pilot to navigate us to safety. The game can be controlled by a single person using the GamePad, and it works fine, though it can get a little hectic coordinating the systems management on the touch screen with the piloting on the big screen. Where Affordable Space Adventures really shines is in two- or three-player cooperative mode. With two players, the one with the GamePad controls the systems and the flashlight while the other controls piloting, scanning, and firing flares. Almost everything players can do is interconnected so communication between teammates is essential. For instance, while the pilot is the one who activates the scanner, the engineer is the one who aims it. Adding a third player splits the labor further, adding a science officer to the mix. I was only able to play with two during my time, but even that was a great experience. It simulates the action on a spaceship bridge, where each person has specific roles and success comes from coordination and communication between teammates. Other games have done this, but Affordable Space Adventures is probably the most accessible of its ilk, requiring fewer players and just a single console. As a single-player or a cooperative game, Affordable Space Adventures makes excellent use of the Wii U GamePad. Any who like asymmetric cooperative multiplayer would do well to check it out. When the team works well together it can overcome some tricky circumstances. When the team doesn't work quite so well and the ship explodes and everybody dies, well, that's funny too. Affordable Space Adventures should be available on the Wii U eShop on April 9. The final price has not yet been decided.
PAX East photo
Better late than never
When Nintendo first unveiled the Wii U, my mind raced with ideas for games that could be created with the two-screen interface. A lot of the cool stuff that the DS did could be transferred to the big screen. Better yet, title...

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