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Deadnaut impressions photo
Deadnaut impressions

Exploring the ghost ships of Screwfly's Deadnaut

While it's easy to overlook, this squad-based indie should not be missed
Jan 30
// Rob Morrow
Deadnaut is a tactical, squad-based, sci-fi horror affair from Australian developer Screwfly Studios. The title launched on Steam last November and I'm regrettably only getting around to playing it now. Its un...
Nintendo Download photo
Nintendo Download

Nintendo Download: Gunman Clive 2

Also, Metroid Prime Trilogy
Jan 29
// Chris Carter
The Wii U eShop is getting more exciting today with the release of Metroid Prime Trilogy for $9.99. I still have my lovely hard copy safe with the rest of my Metroid collection, but considering how rare it is, I'm g...
Sims 4 Free Trial photo
Sims 4 Free Trial

Play The Sims 4 free for 48 hours on Origin

Breathing virtual life into Origin Game Time
Jan 23
// Conrad Zimmerman
Electronic Arts has added The Sims 4 to its Origin Game Time program, which offers a trial period on some major releases in the Origin library. Players can install The Sims 4 now through Origin and play free for 48 hours, sta...
Nintendo Download photo
Nintendo Download

Nintendo Download: Citizens of Earth

Also, Punch Out!! Wii U
Jan 22
// Chris Carter
The headliner this week is definitely Citizens of Earth on the Wii U eShop. Brittany didn't think it was the second coming of EarthBound, but there were some redeeming qualities -- maybe it's best to wait on the fence fo...
Space Beast Terror Fright photo
Space Beast Terror Fright

Space Beast Terror Fright is my new drug

Nornware's FPS manages to distill the intensity of Aliens
Jan 18
// Rob Morrow
Space Beast Terror Fright is Johannes "johno" Norneby's interpretation of the sci-fi first-person shooter: take the artful tension-building and high-octane muzzle flash from James Cameron's Aliens, add in the corridor c...
Nintendo Download photo
Nintendo Download

Nintendo Download: 3D After Burner II

Also, Lufia: The Legend Returns
Jan 15
// Chris Carter
On the Wii U, we have Street Fighter 2010: The Final Fight on the Virtual Console. Nintendo calls this an "NES classic," but I beg to differ. Also on the Wii U eShop, there's Electroic Super Joy: Groove City, Family Tennis SP...
Roundabout Demo photo
Roundabout Demo

PSA: Pick up the Roundabout demo on Steam

We've also got one FREE ride for a lucky commenter courtesy of No Goblin!
Jan 10
// Rob Morrow
We've posted about No Goblin's Roundabout before. Yup, it's that '70s B-movie game about driving a "spinning limousine." I'll be the first to admit that based on the gameplay footage I'd seen, I thought it would probably...
Nintendo Download photo
Nintendo Download

Nintendo Download: Mega Man Battle Network 2

Also, Chariot
Jan 08
// Chris Carter
It's not a huge day for Nintendo consoles in terms of the eShop, but I'll take it. On the Wii U we're getting Mega Man Battle Network 2, Maze, Wipeout 3, and Chariot. The latter is a fun little co-op game that can also be pla...
Chester United photo
Chester United

Stylish indie platformer Chester gets sequel this year, demo right now

Chester United coming to Linux, Mac, and Windows
Jan 05
// Darren Nakamura
Chester has not been in the news lately, but back in 2011 it was known for being one of the few worthwhile games on the Xbox Live Indie Games channel. It widened its audience after that by releasing on PC. Our own Jordan dev...
Nintendo Download photo
Nintendo Download

Nintendo Download: Pokemon Pinball

Also, a Shovel Knight discount
Jan 01
// Chris Carter
Death, taxes, and the Nintendo Download update are always inevitable. Nintendo waits for no holiday -- Christmas, New Year's -- it doesn't matter, they are going to update the eShop on Thursday. Sadly today isn't all that gre...
Nintendo Download photo
Nintendo Download

Nintendo Download: Duck Hunt

Also, Shantae on Wii U
Dec 25
// Chris Carter
In an interesting turn, Nintendo has a great Nintendo Download week for us on Christmas Day. On the Wii U there's Shantae and the Pirate's Curse with a few extra upgrades like off-TV play. Additionally there's Duck ...
Nintendo Download photo
Nintendo Download

Nintendo Download: Mega Man Zero

Also, Natsume Championship Wrestling
Dec 18
// Chris Carter
If you aren't into old games, this may be a pass week for you. On the Virtual Console for Wii U comes Natsume Championship Wrestling, and the always great Mega Man Zero. Also on the Wii you'll find 99Moves, Blok Drop X T...
Nintendo Download photo
Nintendo Download

Nintendo Download: Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Trilogy

Also, Xeodrifter
Dec 11
// Chris Carter
The Wii U isn't looking good this week. All you're getting is Lucadian Chronicles, Angry Birds Star Wars, and Angry Birds Trilogy. Yep. Seriously. The 3DS however is rocking it as usual. The big drops include Phoenix Wright: ...
Nintendo Download photo
Nintendo Download

Nintendo Download: Captain Toad

Also, Fire Emblem
Dec 04
// Chris Carter
Nintendo is delivering with a heavy-hitting first party title this week -- Captain Toad. It will hit the Wii U eShop and retail tomorrow for $39.99. Also on the Wii U is Fire Emblem, Lode Runner, and a Sonic Boom de...
Mega Man 2.5D photo
Mega Man 2.5D

The new demo for Mega Man 2.5D is the best one yet

Co-op is the best part
Dec 01
// Chris Carter
Peter Sjostrand set out to create a pretty awesome Mega Man fan game that trumped a lot of others currently out there. The goal was to create a 2.5D experience spanning multiple titles, and it's looking great so far. Of...
Daedalus - No Escape photo
Daedalus - No Escape

Top-down shooter Daedalus - No Escape has a demo on Steam

This minimalist take on the arena shooter is definitely worth a look
Nov 29
// Rob Morrow
Daedalus - No Escape is a neat take on the arena shooter formula. Take the fast-paced competitive fragging from games like Unreal Tournament and Quake III Arena and present it from a minimalistic top-down perspective, using ...
Nintendo Download photo
Nintendo Download

Nintendo Download: Persona Q: Shadow of the Labyrinth

Also, Mighty Final Fight
Nov 27
// Chris Carter
The Nintendo 3DS is the champion this week, as it's getting a few pretty awesome releases to pad out that gigantic library. On the Wii U though you can pick up Mighty Final Fight, Mario Pinball Land, Thomas Was Alone, GetClos...
Nintendo Download photo
Nintendo Download

Nintendo Download: Super Smash Bros. Wii U!

Also, Pokemon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire
Nov 20
// Chris Carter
This is easily one of the biggest weeks of 2014 for Nintendo. Both systems have some heavy hitters, but the crown jewel is no doubt Super Smash Bros. on the Wii U, which is out tomorrow. The console is also getting Watch...
Nintendo Download photo
Nintendo Download

Nintendo Download: Mario Kart 8's first DLC pack

Also, Sonic Boom
Nov 13
// Chris Carter
The big name this week is definitely Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric, but with late review copies I wouldn't make haste to pick it up. Also on the Wii U there's Xavier, A World of Keflings, Tengami, Mario Kart: Super Circuit, and L...
Devolver Digital photo
Devolver Digital

Devolver Digital releases public test for The Talos Principle

A quantum leap forward in games marketing
Nov 07
// Rob Morrow
From the shy, but devilishly good-looking people at Devolver Digital and Croteam's department of theoretical philosophy comes a brave new thought experiment in games marketing. Rather than relying on the tried-and-true ...
Nintendo Download photo
Nintendo Download

Nintendo Download: Pokemon Puzzle Challenge

Also, Sportsball
Nov 06
// Chris Carter
It's an interesting week for Nintendo Download, which a mix of just about everything. On Wii U we have Sportsball, as well as The Swapper, Disney infinity 2.0 (download edition), Super Mario Advance, Flapp & Zegeta, ...
Halloween demos photo
Halloween demos

Happy Demoween, Destructoid!

Win cash, play demos, egg Mr. Andy Dixon's house!
Oct 31
// Rob Morrow
Just in time for Halloween, we've got several devilish announcements that may be of interest to you, our ghoulish Destructoid readers. First up is a monstrous ten-gigabyte demo that just went up on Steam for Tango Gamework's ...
Nintendo Download photo
Nintendo Download

Nintendo Download: Demon's Crest

Also, Stealth Inc 2
Oct 30
// Chris Carter
It's a pretty mellow week outside of a few indie releases for Nintendo. On the Wii U we have Stealth Inc 2: A Game of Clones, Costume Quest 2, Demon's Crest, Kirby: Nightmare in Dreamland, Cosmophony, Falling Skies: The Game,...

I miss demo discs

Oct 28 // Nic Rowen
For the younger gamers among us, or those who missed the heady days of PS1 and pre-broadband internet PC gaming, demo discs were a phenomenon in the mid-'90s to early 2000s. You'd find them packaged in with gaming magazines, or on a rack next to the checkout at an EB Games for the same price as a single weekend rental, or through weird cross-promotional deals with Pizza-Hut (the guiltiest pleasure). In all honesty, they weren't some grand new invention, just a logical step forward from the shareware floppies of the PC world. But, for gamers raised on consoles to that point (like myself) the entire concept was revolutionary. Instead of just reading a review in a magazine, or watching a 10-second clip of repeating video at the mall kiosk like a hobo, you could actually get your hands on a small chunk of a game and play it for yourself. In fact, you could get your hands on all kinds of games in a single disc! I probably clocked as much time on demo discs as I did on actual games on the PS1. I remember playing the Metal Gear Solid demo (with the Japanese voice actors!) over and over again, wringing every last drop of gameplay from it. I spent hours replaying that 20-minute chunk of the game, finding new ways to mess with the guards, or just having fun leaving foot-tracks in the snow. By the time MGS released, I felt like I was playing a sequel more than anything. Any shump on a demo disc triggered my latent OCD, and usually talked me out of buying the game. I'd spend so much time setting and breaking personal high scores on the demo stage that I never felt the need to purchase the full version. Gimmicky games like Bloody Roar suffered a similar fate; you really only needed to see one or two kung-fu guys turn into a tiger or wolfman mid-fight to appreciate what that series had to offer. It was such a thrilling novelty at the time. In fact, demo discs were one of the main reasons I wanted a PS1 so badly (aside from Final Fantasy VII).   Of course, that all seems wonderfully old timey and folksome now. These days, with every console offering downloads, "beta tests" for multiplayer titles out a month before release, and Steam occasionally offering free weekends with entire full games, it's hard to even remember an era where demos weren't a ubiquitous, expected, and wholly commonplace part of the industry. But if you ask me, it's not the same as it used to was (I say, gesturing wildly with my cane, not noticing that my housecoat has fallen open and I'm exposing my shriveled, long-unused bits to the horrified nurses). It's important to remember that demo discs were a bundle of games, a collection of samples. Nowadays, it's easier than ever to get a trial of a specific game. Maybe too easy. You just go into whatever system you're on, search down the title, and download. You don't need to bother with anything else. Back in my day (spittle dripping down my chin, staining my bib), you ended up playing whatever the hell was on a disc, and you were better off for it. Thanks to demo discs (and juvenile poverty) I played all kinds of games I never would have touched. Back during lean days, demo discs were a godsend of gaming goodness, a way to milk hours of enjoyment from your PlayStation without tossing out another 60 bucks. If something was included on a disc, you were eventually going to play it – no matter how outside your wheelhouse it was. I fondly remember one summer when my brother and I were flat broke. We ended up playing a demo of NHL '98 over and over again, in part because we had exhausted every bit of gameplay from our library and had nothing else to do, and in part because we found out (much to our contrarian horror) that it was surprisingly fun. We would later half-jokingly, half-seriously, float the idea of picking up a copy of it because we enjoyed it so much. I know we weren't the only ones who had our horizons broadened because of demo discs. I'll never forget a surreal Saturday when we were invited to my uncle's house specifically to play PaRappa the Rapper with his whole family. You have to understand, my uncle was not the kind of guy who was down with quirky Japanese rhythm games. He was an old-school adventure and RPG guy, into Kings Quest and Diablo, not animated rapping dogs. But they played PaRappa on a demo disc and ended up madly in love with it, unable to get enough. It represented a sea-change in their home; the PC was banished to the basement office while their PlayStation library seemed to swell every weekend. That PaRappa demo, as odd and silly as it was, opened that whole family up to an entirely new world of gaming. Developers have had a lot of time to recognize and absorb the importance of demos as a marketing tool. As such, they (rightfully) put a lot of work into making them smoothly polished experiences that show off their games in the best possible light. That's all well and good. But goddamn do I miss the wonkiness and sheer silliness of old-school demo disc games.   [embed]283129:56140:0[/embed] Yes, most demos from that era were perfectly fine. But then there were the wonderful exceptions. The sweet beautiful monsters of sublime weirdness that would just leave you speechless and boggled. There is something retroactively charming about demos for games that were only half-cooked. Shown off before they were really ready, featuring placeholder sound effects and UI elements that wouldn't show up in the full release. Or the sloppy, painfully rushed demos that would drop you into the middle of a game with no explanation or context. Like waking up out of a fugue state in the cockpit of a plane, blood all over your hands, smeared on the instruments, people screaming at you to pull up. Have fun! It was a weird peek behind the curtain during a time when the gulf between development and consumer was as wide as possible. It was always fascinating to compare what was cut or changed between a demo and the full release, and speculate on the reasons why. I remember feeling savvy when I started to understand the differences between a good demo and a bad demo from both a consumer and developer perspective. In a weird way, demo discs helped to make me a craftier, more aware, gamer (and I bet I'm not the only one). Yes, demo discs were a promotional tool. And yes, bemoaning their obsolescence is almost as slavishly consumerist as being wistful for the days before PVRs and being able to skip the commercials. Part of me is embarrassed about that. I'm not entirely comfortable with the idea that I really and truly loved some marketing gimmick; my 15-year-old self, clad in a Rage Against the Machine T-shirt, would be mortified. But demo discs were promotional material in the best possible way. We take it for granted now, but being able to try out a game before you plunked down money on it was a fantastic opportunity back then. Honestly, they ended up warning you away from sub-standard titles as often as they sold you on something. They enriched your gaming vocabulary. Demo discs offered select excerpts from a weird smattering of genres and titles you might never have glanced sideways at, building your library with tiny sample-sized portions. People complain that they get into gaming ruts these days, always playing the same sort of thing. I wonder if that would happen as often if they were gently pushed to try other genres like demo discs used to. It's probably just the pleasant fog of early onset dementia, but I would be totally fine with bringing back the demo disc format. Along with spats, The Andrews Sisters, and the rotary telephone.
Demo disc nostalgia photo
Ramblings from the dementia ward
It's hard not to sound like an old man when you go off on something like this. Decrying modern advancement in favor of some kind of nostalgic never-was is always a terrific way to seem out of touch. Intellectually, I know tha...

Nintendo Download photo
Nintendo Download

Nintendo Download: Bayonetta 1 and 2!

Also, Shantae and the Pirate's Curse
Oct 23
// Chris Carter
It's a rare day when a Nintendo Download week has me equally excited for the Wii U and 3DS, but here we are. The big-hitter on the Wii U is definitely Bayonetta 2, which, as a reminder, comes with the original Bayonetta ...
Pokémon demo photo
Pokémon demo

Don't overplay the Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire demo

I forgot Tropius can fly
Oct 21
// Jordan Devore
Do you have your code for the special demo of Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire? There are a handful of ways to acquire one before the games' full release on November 21. Those who missed getting a code via email s...
Nintendo Download photo
Nintendo Download

Nintendo Download: Hyrule Warriors DLC

Also, Castlevania: Harmony of Dissonance
Oct 16
// Chris Carter
Rejoice, Hyrule Warriors owners, the Master Quest pack is out today, along with the free character update. Also on Wii U there's Ballpoint Universe: Infinite, Lone Survivor: Director's Cut, Chests O' Booty, PING 1.5+,&nb...
Pokémon remakes photo
Pokémon remakes

Here's how to get the special demo for Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire

Mega Glalie will eat your face
Oct 14
// Jordan Devore
By now, you've hopefully had a chance to read Steven's words about Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire. Funny guy, that Steven. The Pokémon Company has since sent over some accompanying media showing the new ...

Disney Fantasia Music Evolved demo is out

Try it out!
Oct 10
// Dale North
I believe that Harmonix's Disney Fantasia Music Evolved is one of those games you'll have to experience for yourself to really get. You can read our previews and get some idea of how it made us feel, but I really think that t...
Nintendo Download photo
Nintendo Download

Nintendo Download: Bayonetta 2 demo!

Also, Castlevania: Circle of the Moon
Oct 09
// Chris Carter
One of the biggest things to come to the Wii U eShop in a while is the Bayonetta 2 demo. The game is just a few weeks away, and you can finally get a taste of it. Spoiler -- it plays a lot like Bayonetta 1, and that's only a ...

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