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6:00 PM on 05.12.2014

Last Tinker is out today and you should give it a look

I've been meaning to write about The Last Tinker: City of Colors for a while now, mostly because it is pretty as heck. Knack's not cutting it. We could use a few more colorful platformers with anthropomorphic leads. Everything old is new again.  Anyway, it's out today on Steam for PC, Mac, and Linux.

Steven Hansen




Gardening Mama 2: Forest Friends ships to US retailers photo
Gardening Mama 2: Forest Friends ships to US retailers
by Conrad Zimmerman

Majesco has announced that Gardening Mama 2: Forest Friends has shipped to North American retailers where you may offer currency in exchange for a copy. 

Maybe it's just because I haven't played a Mama game since the Wii installment of Cooking Mama and have simply forgotten why I lost interest in the franchise, but I'm giving serious consideration to playing this. There's a seeming wealth of mini-game variants and other content, while Mama is coming off more adorable than ever. I love a character who makes failure entertaining in its own right, and her wrath certainly qualifies as that.

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Fairy Fencer F and Disgaea 4 Vita dated for the west photo
Fairy Fencer F and Disgaea 4 Vita dated for the west
by Steven Hansen

Earlier today, Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair got a release date for North American Vitas: September 2. I still need to play the first.

Anyway, more Japanese games have western release dates. Compile Heart's RPG Fairy Fencer F is coming on September 23. The loli characters come from the Hyperdimension Neptunia artist, but the games' gods were designed by Final Fantasy's Yoshitaka Amano. Plus, Nobuo Uematsu (Final Fantasy) did the music.

Meanwhile, Disgaea 4: A Promise Revisited -- a touched up, additional content (plus old DLC) version of Disgaea 4: A Promise Unforgotten -- is coming on August 12. Good fit the Vita.

Danganronpa 2, Fairy Fencer F & Disgaea 4 Vita dated for North America [All Games Beta]

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Radicool skateboard game OlliOlli coming to PS3, PS4, PC in July photo
Radicool skateboard game OlliOlli coming to PS3, PS4, PC in July
by Steven Hansen

OlliOlli is a super fun little Vita game, but a lot of people won't buy a Vita because "it doesn't have any games" and they like to be wrong about things. If you're one of those people (or you don't have a Vita for a reasonable reason; for example, you live paycheck to paycheck barely making rent), rejoice.

OlliOlli is coming to PS3, PS4, and PC on July 22, Den of Geek reports. Now we can all be punk teens and skateboard against Godzillas and use shoelaces as belts.

Exclusive: OlliOlli for PS4, PS3 And PC Eyeing July Release [Den of Geek]

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Borderlands 2 PS Vita bundle available May 6 photo
Borderlands 2 PS Vita bundle available May 6
by Conrad Zimmerman

Sony has announced a release date for the Borderlands 2 PlayStation Vita bundle today via PlayStation Blog. The bundle, which marks the first release of the handheld's slimmer hardware redesign in North America, will be available at retailers on May 6. Along with the Vita console, the bundle contains a copy of Borderlands 2 and an 8 GB PS Vita memory card, at a retail price of $199.99.

If you already have a Vita and just want the game, you'll have to wait a bit longer. Borderlands 2 for PS Vita will be available in stores and online May 13.

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LEGO The Hobbit now available photo
LEGO The Hobbit now available
by Conrad Zimmerman

Warner Bros. has released LEGO: The Hobbit to retailers in North America today, with a European release coming on April 11. As one might expect, new marketing materials have been released for the game, including the above launch trailer. 

There was once a part of me that was pretty disappointed when the LEGO game franchise implemented full voice acting for the characters. The non-verbal communication techniques used in earlier games always struck a chord with me, and their comic effect was exploited to great success. That said, I'm over it. The voice-over work is just great in this, and I'm not looking back anymore.

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Broforce now available on Steam Early Access photo
Broforce now available on Steam Early Access
by Conrad Zimmerman

I really want Broforce in my life. As of today, that can be a reality as the game has launched in Steam Early Access. You may now feel free to exchange $14.99 for the ability to play on PC or Mac.

A new trailer has also been released to stoke any flames of desire you may presently hold for platform shooters, with examples of environmental destruction, special abilities and a whole lot of explosions. Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go grab my wallet.

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Monument Valley looks a bit like Fez x Echochrome photo
Monument Valley looks a bit like Fez x Echochrome
by Steven Hansen

That soothing music was nice before I go drive to the middle of nowhere to do my taxes. I don't have anything that will play Monument Valley (iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch), which is out now, but if I did, I would. Thankfully an Android release is coming soon.

I love the minimalist, colorful, MC Escher inspired architecture. And the upright bird people that look like plague doctors. So cute. 

If you have an iWhatever, maybe drop four bucks on this neat little game.

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New Cabela's trailer puts a happy face on hunting photo
New Cabela's trailer puts a happy face on hunting
by Conrad Zimmerman

Cabela's Big Game Hunter: Pro Hunts was released into the wild today for Xbox 360, PS3, PC, and Wii U. Activision released this trailer to accompany the launch. I love it so, so much. It's less about the gameplay, which I completely admit has appeal, but the expressions made by the character models. These digital versions of hunting pros all have the same joy on their faces, the kind of joy that only comes from having an implement of death in your hand. 

It fills me with mirth, particularly when you consider how serious most characters are made to look while holding a gun in their hands. These guys have a sense of merriment and it just seems so strange and hilarious.

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Escape Goat 2 released as Tim Schafer tries to take credit photo
Escape Goat 2 released as Tim Schafer tries to take credit
by Conrad Zimmerman

Are you ready to laugh? Double Fine has released this video to promote the launch of Escape Goat 2 today on Windows, Mac and Linux PCs, and I suspect it's the funniest thing I'm going to see today. Watch what happens when Tim Schafer mistakes the developers of Escape Goat 2, MagicalBeanTime, for burglars and unleashes some street justice before attempting to steal all the glory from their work.

As many good ones do, the joke arises out of reality. MagicalBeanTime completed the final weeks of development on Escape Goat 2 using a spare office at Double Fine headquarters. 

Even if you don't give a whit about this really fun and strange puzzle-platform game, that's a damned funny ad. And if you do care, you can pick it up from Steam, Humble or GOG.com this week for 10% off the regular price of $9.99.

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Escape from 1954: Alcatraz photo
Escape from 1954: Alcatraz
by Steven Hansen

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San Francisco is an underused setting in games. I still need to play Driver: San Francisco, but I'm not sure how much it takes advantage of the city.

Daedalic's new adventure game 1954: San Francisco seems to, as you split playtime between Christine, scouring the streets of San Francisco, and her husband, Joe, whose doing a 40 year stint on The Rock.

Meanwhile, there's a large cash sum at stake in this seedy noir. As Joe, you'll have to pull a Clint Eastwood and escape from Alcatraz. As Christine, you can abet your husband's escape or leave him to rot in jail and go shack up with his ex-partner. Damn.

You can pick 1954: Alcatraz up today on Steam. It's even on sale.

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Awesomenauts Assemble! to arrive on PS4 March 4 photo
Awesomenauts Assemble! to arrive on PS4 March 4
by Conrad Zimmerman

My favorite online multiplayer game is finally going to land on PlayStation 4 next week, as Awesomenauts Assemble! releases on PlayStation Network. The title releases in North America on March 4 for $9.99, with a European release on the following day.

As an avid Awesomenauts player, the arrival of the PS4 version brings with it mixed feelings. The original console releases were great fun, until the Steam version rendered them obsolete with a steady stream of new content and balance tweaks. Now comes Assemble!, already behind the curve, with portions of the Kickstarted Starstorm DLC content already in the wild on Steam and numerous balance and gameplay shifts having been made in adjustment to that.

It still calls to me. Maybe it's a desire for a simpler time before Ted McPain and his goddamn shotgun completely countered my melee strategy with Gnaw. Or when aggressive Voltars were as rare as they were dangerous (they're all just dangerous now). And maybe it's a little bit that I want to play more stuff I love on the PS4. Doesn't matter if it's a time capsule, I want to play it all the same.

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Double Dragon: Neon now available on Steam photo
Double Dragon: Neon now available on Steam
by Conrad Zimmerman

The zaniest adventure of Billy and Jimmy Lee is available for PC players today, as Double Dragon: Neon arrives on Steam. You may now purchase it for the perfectly reasonable sum of $9.99.

Setting aside all of the awesome music, goofy plot line, and absurd villains, it's still my favorite Double Dragon game. There's a satisfying technical depth to be found in the combat and the addition of the game's collectible progression system has kept me coming back over and over. If you're into brawlers and haven't played this yet for some inexplicable reason, you should probably get to it.

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Mario Kart 8 coming in May 2014 photo
Mario Kart 8 coming in May 2014
by Jonathan Holmes

Nintendo President Satoru Iwata just dropped a load of information to reassure shareholders that he had a plan to save the company from ruin. A lot of his ideas are really interesting. One of them was not. Mario Kart 8 is being released in May, guys. Not a particularly mind-blowing reveal, but it's important news all the same. 

It makes sense that Nintendo would throw a little game talk into their otherwise OS/Smartphone/Infrastructure/Online Storefront focused presentation, as games is the one place where Nintendo always manages to pull in money. While the Wii U hasn't sold a ton yet, it does have a pretty impressive attach rate, with Super Mario 3D World, Wii U Party, and Wind Waker HD all selling over a million units with less than a year on the market. That means that on average, about one of six Wii U owners bought those three titles. Nintendo is surely hoping to keep that software momentum going with Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze in February and then Mario Kart 8 a few months later.

We already knew that Mario Kart 8 will get a simultaneous global release (like Pokemon X/Y), which will help consolidate marking power and make for a nice selling point right out of the game. Knowing that I can play against strangers in France on day one is pretty neat. Will the game go on to sell 24+ million units like Mario Kart Wii did? It will be fun to find out!

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Earth Defense Force 2025 lands February 18 photo
Earth Defense Force 2025 lands February 18
by Conrad Zimmerman

D3 Publisher has announced the launch date for Earth Defense Force 2025 in the US. You'll be able to blast those bugs on February 18 when the game releases for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. 

That's not all that is releasing, however. The first downloadable expansion for EDF 2025, "Special Ops," will also arrive on launch day, offering five additional missions for $2.99. Two more mission packs, "Mutant Rampage" and "Beyond Despair," release on February 25 and March 11, respectively, each containing 20 more missions a piece, priced at $8.99. D3 Publisher has additionally stated that these packs will be made available in a bundle at an unspecified date.

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Bloody Valentine: Last of Us DLC coming February 14 photo
Bloody Valentine: Last of Us DLC coming February 14
by Steven Hansen

You don't have plans on Valentine's Day, right? Are you feeling...left behind? Don't worry. It's just some corporate call to arms that guilts you into spending way too much money on seasonal garbage. Why go out to dinner in elbow-to-elbow crowds with 45-minute wait times when you could stay home and play videogames?

The Last of Us is getting prequel DLC, Left Behind, that focuses on Ellie and her friend Riley. It's going to be $15 and, according to Naughty Dog's Neil Druckmann, it'll be out on February 14. Spend your Friday night indoors, why don't you.

Also, apparently you can buy an American flag hat for a dollar, presumably for use in the multiplayer. Ew.

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