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Review: htoL#NiQ: The Firefly Diary photo
Review: htoL#NiQ: The Firefly Diary
by Josh Tolentino

No, that isn't an encoding error up there in the headline: "htoL#NiQ" is indeed this PS Vita game's title, and is essentially a very stylish way to type "The Firefly Diary" in Japanese.

Whatever personal peculiarities led the team at Nippon Ichi to title their new game this way seem to extend to the game's design as well. htoL#NiQ marches to its own rhythm, and ends up being two things at once: a fascinating work of minimalism, and a needlessly difficult ordeal best enjoyed only by the most masochistic of flagellants.

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Review: Under Night In-Birth Exe:Late photo
Review: Under Night In-Birth Exe:Late
by Kyle MacGregor

The competition is fierce, and I'm not just talking about the folks delivering beat downs online. With so many fighting games on the market nowadays, fans of the genre are spoiled for choice. Studios are vying for mindshare, just as we're battling in the arena. Want people to take notice? Well then, you had better bring your 'A' game. And make sure to come out swinging.

That's exactly what Melty Blood studio French Bread has done with Under Night In-Birth Exe:Late, the latest 2D fighter to throw its hat into the ring. It might look like just another high-flying "anime" fighter at first glance, but looks can be deceiving. Under Night In-Birth is its own beast, one absolutely deserving of your time and attention.

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Review: Harold photo
Review: Harold
by Conrad Zimmerman

Moon Spider Studio has released its debut title, Harold, an endearing and challenging race game about the most incompetent runner ever to need protection from a guardian angel. With some quick thinking, quicker thumbs, and an opportunistic eye, players guide the titular Harold to victory against all odds.

Who doesn't love an underdog?

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Review: Pokémon Shuffle photo
Review: Pokémon Shuffle
by Chris Carter

Nintendo takes on the world of microtransactions with Pokémon Shuffle. What could go wrong?

A lot. 

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Review: The Order: 1886 photo
Review: The Order: 1886
by Chris Carter

The Order: 1886 opens up in a fairly gritty fashion -- a first-person sequence involving a near drowning, by way of water torture. It begins with a bang, thrusting you into this unknown, and frankly frightening world where half-breed creatures live among humans.

It's cinematic and gripping, and draws you into the world that Ready at Dawn and Sony have crafted together. But it doesn't really push the envelope from there, as the cinematic angle is prevalent in nearly every facet of the experience, often hindering gameplay.

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Review: Risk photo
Review: Risk
by Robert Summa

Typically, board games involving just dice aren't my thing. I don't like playing a game in which I feel I have no control in whether I win or lose.

Yahtzee is a prime example of this, while Risk is somewhere in between. Much like Monopoly, you do have to have some sort of strategy most of the time. However, because these games are so dependent on chance, those strategies often get thrown out the window.

With Ubisoft's newly released Risk for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, this is basically what you get. You can plan and plot as much as you want, but if Lady Luck isn't on your side, then you aren't going to win -- no matter what you do.

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Review: Kirby and the Rainbow Curse photo
Review: Kirby and the Rainbow Curse
by Jonathan Holmes

Let's take a quick look at the history of videogames with clay-based graphics. Skullmonkeys is a one-off that most people don't even remember. The ClayFighter series has been dormant since the N64 days. Armikrog has been in development hell for years. That clay-based Loco Roco game for the PlayStation 3 never happened. Maybe worst of all, Dominique Pamplemouse is not yet a million seller. What the heck, guys!?

Looking at how few clay-focused games have made it to the market makes Kirby and the Rainbow Curse an even more interesting part of Nintendo's overall strategy. It's both safe and risky at the same time. This is not Kirby's first foray into the world of arts and crafts, and Nintendo has toyed with the idea of clay graphics before. The cover art for the first and last issues of Nintendo Power were made from clay, and a lot of the promotional material from EarthBound used clay models. It's clear that Nintendo has been toying with clay for a while, but Kirby and the Rainbow Curse is the first time it has finally gone all the way clay. 

I hope it's not the last. 

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Review: Ace Combat: Assault Horizon Legacy+ photo
Review: Ace Combat: Assault Horizon Legacy+
by Chris Carter

Japanese publishers have some truly confusing localization titles sometimes. In 2011, Namco Bandai released Ace Combat: Assault Horizon for the PS3 and Xbox 360. It was a grittier take on the franchise that added real-world complexities to the established fictional formula, released to mixed reception.

For some reason in that same year Namco Bandai also dropped Ace Combat: Assault Horizon Legacy (the legacy is important, you see), which was basically a remake of 1997's Ace Combat 2 for the Nintendo 3DS. Now they've added a "plus" on the end and added amiibo support.

It still has nothing to do with Ace Combat: Assault Horizon.

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Review: Blackguards 2 photo
Review: Blackguards 2
by Darren Nakamura

A few weeks ago, I called Blackguards 2 "deep, unfriendly, and buggy." I had put several hours into the tactical role-playing game, but hadn't seen enough of the story to comfortably put out a review.

Fast forward to today, and my original assessment requires a bit of tweaking. Within the first two weeks of its release, Daedalic put out two huge patches, each aiming to fix the stability issues that plagued Blackguards 2 at launch. The patches did introduce their own issues, but for the most part I would describe it now as only deep and unfriendly. Two out of three ain't bad.

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Review: Evolve photo
Review: Evolve
by Nic Rowen

Trying to pin down my exact thoughts on Evolve has been trickier than pinning down any kind of prey the game has thrown at me. I was cautious with my initial impressions of the game earlier this week, noting an uneven play experience that often feels like a frustrating runaround. While I'd love to say another few days of dedicated hunting and skulking was enough to iron out the kinks and worries I had, in the end this is one hunt you might want to sit out.

It's a shame, because when Evolve is firing on all cylinders, it has been some of the best multiplayer fun I've had in years. But those precious few moments are far too rare -- and far too laborious to set up -- to give Evolve an unreserved recommendation.

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Review: Super Stardust Ultra photo
Review: Super Stardust Ultra
by Chris Carter

Super Stardust has been around for a long time -- since 1994, in fact. Although most people know the franchise from Super Stardust HD, it was originally on the Amiga platform before it hit the big-time. Now developer Housemarque is back yet again with Ultra, which isn't really a new entry so much as a fresh coat of paint for the PlayStation 4.

Hardcore fans may feel duped by this not-so-sequel iteration, but newcomers who have long been curious about Stardust will want to jump in right with Ultra.

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Review: The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask 3D photo
Review: The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask 3D
by Chris Carter

The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask is unlike any other Zelda game in the series. For instance, there's no sign of the franchise's classic villain Ganon, and no Zelda outside of a quick flashback reference.

It's also a decidedly darker affair, with strong themes of depression, anxiety, and general angst due to the impending end of the world. Heck, there's even straight-up voyeurism quest and the assumption of dead people's identities.

Majora has a lot of really cool ideas, and most of them are augmented by the slight upgrades found in Majora's Mask 3D.

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Review: Total War: Attila photo
Review: Total War: Attila
by Greg Tito

The horn sounds. Again and again. It's kind of annoying really, these vuvuzela m'fers blowing wind all through my dramatic victory on the fields north of Constantinopolis. Still, it does feel good. I am sacking the center of European civilization after all. I never liked those Romans anyway. Blow those horns, you barbarian bastards!

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Review: Unmechanical: Extended photo
Review: Unmechanical: Extended
by Darren Nakamura

Unmechanical has been available on iOS and PC for a few years now, but we at Destructoid have sadly neglected it for all that time. I have even personally looked at emails, thought "that looks neat," and then put it in the back of my mind until it was no longer relevant. It's time to rectify that.

Unmechanical: Extended is out now for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. It features the same three-hour experience as before, with an additional episode that adds another half hour or so of helicopter robot puzzle gameplay.

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Review: Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate photo
Review: Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate
by Patrick Hancock

Ah, Monster Hunter. A game that ends up being more of a culture than anything else. These have always been games about community and self-improvement. Getting better isn't measured in some arbitrary number, but how well you can execute your talents. It also helps that as you get better your gear becomes increasingly more badass.

Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate doesn't tamper with the classic formula too much, but the additions here are certainly nothing to ignore. New weapons, new mechanics, and an incredible amount of monsters makes Ultimate more than just the "same old thing."

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Review: The Escapists photo
Review: The Escapists
by Chris Carter

Kenan: Kel, I'm going to need some chicken wire, some beeswax, a rooster, a few rolls of toilet paper, and a 5-Iron. We're busting out of prison today!

Kel: Aw here it goes!

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