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5:00 PM on 04.24.2014

PC Port Report: Dark Souls II

The appearance of the original Dark Souls on PC was welcome but it was... let's say troubled. With its innovative online mode married to the much maligned Games for Windows Live service and the game was locked at a piddly 102...

Alasdair Duncan


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Review: Mario Golf: World Tour photo
Review: Mario Golf: World Tour
by Dale North

It's been about 10 years since we've seen the Mushroom Kingdom gang out on the green, so it was high time for a new Mario Golf title. Camelot Software steps to the tee again, this time on the 3DS, bringing dual screens and and a new spin to their much-loved links with Mario Golf: World Tour.

But the biggest addition this time around is online play. Were they able to drive this one home?

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The next Skylanders borrows a little from the Pokemon series photo
The next Skylanders borrows a little from the Pokemon series
by Hamza CTZ Aziz

The developers at Toys For Bob are back in the saddle with Skylanders Trap Team, the next entry in their hit toys-meet-videogame franchise. This time the hook involves you capturing villains and enslaving brainwashing reforming them to work for you. Same overall formula where you use Skylanders both old and new, but now you have the aid of all the bad guys.

This means a new Portal of Power, plus a whole new set of toys specifically designed for capturing the villains. 

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Review: Disney Magical World photo
Review: Disney Magical World
by Chris Carter

When I heard that developer h.a.n.d. (which is mostly known for ports or collaborative projects) was creating a game similar to Animal Crossing with the Disney license, I was skeptical. Although there was a time when Harvest Moon and Rune Factory were still household names (both have seen 3DS releases), and many other simulator games were at the top of the pack, Animal Crossing is kind of the de facto king right now.

But when I heard that Nintendo would be publishing Disney Magical World in the US, I perked up a bit. There must be something there, right?

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Seven things I loved about playing Watch Dogs photo
Seven things I loved about playing Watch Dogs
by Alessandro Fillari

The delay of Ubisoft Montreal's new open world IP, Watch Dogs, surprised many. With only a month away from launch, and a rather bold marketing push for the holiday season, Ubisoft appeared ready, but then we found it wasn't. At all. It's not too often you see publishers holding back a game's release to further development, and it's certainly admirable of them to be so honest.

"The game wasn't finished," said lead game designer Danny Belanger rather bluntly. "You see all the content we have, there was a lot of different parts of it that were not at the level we wanted -- so it was hard, there was a lot of others reasons too, but at the end of the day, we didn't want to release the game in state we weren't happy with."

With its May release approaching, Ubisoft is ready to unveil its upcoming open world action title, and the publisher invited the press to get plenty of hands-on time with the game. As you can tell with title, I came away pretty pleased, though I have some reservations still.

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Tuesday Newsday: Dragon Age III, Star Citizen, Fatal Frame & Nuka Cola photo
Tuesday Newsday: Dragon Age III, Star Citizen, Fatal Frame & Nuka Cola
by Max Scoville

Here's your Tuesday Newsday for the last week or so! Today, we got a sexy new Dragon Age III: Inquisition trailer, some HD footage of Star Citizen out of PAX East, announcements of a new Fatal Frame on Wii-U as well as a bunch of Japanese games being localized. Sony, Microsoft, and ZeniMax have all been trademarking curious terms like "Eden Falls" "Screamride" "Killstrain" "Entwined" and "Nuka Cola."

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Review: Batman: Arkham Origins: Cold, Cold Heart photo
Review: Batman: Arkham Origins: Cold, Cold Heart
by Chris Carter

So far, the Batman Arkham Origins Season Pass has been a steaming pile of poop. Buyers have received some extremely underwhelming skin packs, and a piss-poor series of challenge maps for their cash, with the promise of another "story" addition down the line.

When I heard that said story DLC would feature Mr. Freeze however, I couldn't help but at least get marginally excited. As one of my favorite villains in all of Batman lore, it would be really hard to screw up a narrative involving the iconic frozen doctor.

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Ranko Tsukigime's Longest Day: A confusing mess of things I like photo
Ranko Tsukigime's Longest Day: A confusing mess of things I like
by Steven Hansen

I finally got to play Ranko Tsukigime's Longest Day last week. The lovechild of Suda 51, Tokyo Jungle director Yohei Kataoka, Silent Hill sound director Akira Yamaoka, and a bunch of other Japanese development talent, I've followed Ranko Tsukigime closely. 

So I was excited to finally get to play it. But I couldn't talk about it until today. Despite the fact that it decided to up and release in Europe last week. Even though it doesn't have a firm North American release date.

Whatever. I'm going to go see Short Peace in theatres this Thursday at least.

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Namco takes Gundam Vs gameplay west with F2P Rise of Incarnates photo
Namco takes Gundam Vs gameplay west with F2P Rise of Incarnates
by Steven Hansen

The 2 on 2 Gundam vs. Gundam series is as big in Japan as that full-scale Gundam model in Tokyo. It's also big on the Destructoid Forum, in that one Gundam fan keeps explaining how it's the best fighting game and tries to get people to import it. I'm more of a Gundam Battle Assault 2 kind of guy.

Anyway, Namco is taking the format of Gundam Vs. and bringing it west with a new IP, the free-to-play Rise of Incarnates. Because the 2 on 2 format is a bit different for Western audiences, Namco went with a F2P model to build a player base.

And you know it's been developed specifically for the west for several reasons. First, the initial stage being shown off is New York, with the post-apocalyptic staple crumbling Statue of Liberty. Second, there is a blond character with big hair. He looks just like us, my fellow Americans, with his rock and roll nonchalance and red leather jacket.

Though he turns into a monster and there is a mad scientist who rides on a tidal wave of corpses.

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Preview: Grid Autosport's San Francisco needs steeper hills photo
Preview: Grid Autosport's San Francisco needs steeper hills
by Steven Hansen

Hot on the heels of last year's GRID 2, Codemasters is coming back with GRID Autosport, a "celebration of pure, unadulterated motorsport." This is going to be less of an arcade racer than GRID 2 ended up being, but without drifting too far into stodgy simulation either.

We'll see if the middle ground pleases anyone on June 24. It did please me, though, despite the insurmountable damage I did to all of the cars. I am a much better driver in real life.

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Theatrhythm Final Fantasy Curtain Call announced for North America photo
Theatrhythm Final Fantasy Curtain Call announced for North America
by Dale North

Square Enix's follow-up to Theathrythm Final Fantasy has finally been confirmed for release in North America. That's right: Theathrythm Final Fantasy Curtain Call is coming our way sometime this year, priced at $39.99.

We saw this bigger, better version of Theathythm at Tokyo Game Show last year, and have been hoping for its western release ever since. It's so good! Its 221 awesome songs and 60 playable characters cover all things Final Fantasy, from Final Fantasy Tactics to Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII.

And as for new characters, Ramza, Zack, Yuna, Barret and others show their little tiny faces.

It's not just new songs and characters, though. A new Versus Battle mode lets you go up against friends, and a Quest Medley mode lets you pick your own routes through quests of different lengths. A new Collecta Crystarium system lets you collect cards by winning battles to boost character stats.

I'm so, so ready. Are you?

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Happy 25th Anniversary, Game Boy! photo
Happy 25th Anniversary, Game Boy!
by Brittany Vincent

With fond memories of SolarStriker and Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins, today I wish the original Game Boy a very happy 25th anniversary. The little handheld that could came into this world kicking and screaming, setting a precedent for on-the-go gaming and becoming the best Pokémon Red and Blue system it ever could be. I kid. I burned that thing up, Pokémon or not.

On April 21, 1989, the original Game Boy leapt onto store shelves bundled with a copy of Tetris, and to date it's gone on to sell 118 million units. Most of them were me purchasing additional copies of Pokémon Red and Blue to force people to trade with me since trading alone with a link cable ceased being so much fun. Or Monster Rancher Battle Card GB.

I didn't get my Game Boy from a retail store and instead my parents nabbed mine from a pawn shop in a sweet carrying case. We were inseparable, especially with my first game having been Kirby's Dream Land. I wouldn't even put that sucker down to let my parents take a decent photo.

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More games need a Photo Mode like inFamous: Second Son photo
More games need a Photo Mode like inFamous: Second Son
by Steven Hansen

inFamous: Second Son saw an almost benign update with Photo Mode last week (hashtag many filters). With it, you're photografree to turn off the HUD, adjust depth of field, change time of day, and, well, take pictures. Pictures of stunning digital vistas and creepy monster teens. It's like you're a member of the Ansel Adams Family.

It's in some ways an extension of inFamous 2's user-generated missions, which stemmed from Sony going hard on the "Play, Create, Share" campaign after the success of games like LittleBigPlanet. It's also a natural extension of a thing a lot of games already had -- level editors -- now even more useful with the ability to share levels with everyone.

And it's a great idea, equal parts a smart business decision and a fun, artistic tool for letting you make screenshots that second stun

[screenshot via NeoGAF's emalord]

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Review: NES Remix 2 photo
Review: NES Remix 2
by Chris Carter

NES Remix was able to scratch an itch for many retro enthusiasts out there, but it lacked a certain spark that made it a must-buy for the average gamer. It would be hard to really consider half of the selections "classic," and it lacked any real extras beyond a hit-or-miss array of remixed stages.

But the second time is a charm in this case, because with heavy-hitting newcomers like Kirby's Adventure, Punch Out!!, and Metroid on top of returning franchises like Mario and Zelda, NES Remix 2 really knocks it out of the park in terms of its selection.

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Firaxis designers speak on Civilization: Beyond Earth photo
Firaxis designers speak on Civilization: Beyond Earth
by Darren Nakamura

Last weekend during its panel at PAX East, Firaxis announced the next big project for the Civilization franchise: Civilization: Beyond Earth. After the announcement, Destructoid took some time to talk to some of the designers behind bringing the strategy series into space.

Lead Designers David McDonough and Will Miller were present for the interview along with Systems Gameplay Designer Anton Strenger. The designers discussed the inspiration behind Beyond Earth, some of the world building systems, and the possibility for crossover with other Firaxis science fiction properties. Read it below!

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What was your favorite Marty O'Donnell song? photo
What was your favorite Marty O'Donnell song?
by Hamza CTZ Aziz

As we learned this past week, Marty O'Donnell is no longer with Bungie after nearly two decades at the company. His music is iconic in this industry, and the Halo series owes a part of it's infamy thanks to what he did on that series without a doubt.

While I think Marty will find work again easily if he wants it (maybe go to 343 and make the Halo music good again?), I did want to take this moment to reflect on his career at Bungie. Specifically the Halo series as the music he created for it has been some of my favorite for any game franchise out there.

The one that left the biggest impact on me was the Halo 3: ODST soundtrack. From the haunting saxophones of "Overture," to the feelings of defying the odds with "Special Delivery," ODST's original score has been one of the handful gaming soundtracks to actually move me to tears. Proper credit to Michael Salvatori who worked on this album as well.

So what was your favorite song/album/piece that Marty O'Donnell worked on while at Bungie, or otherwise. Did you know he made the Flintstones vitamin song? That was a good one too. Man remember when the Flintstones were cool?

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