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Dynasty Warriors photo
Dynasty Warriors

Dynasty Warriors as we know it turns 15 years old today


What's your favorite?
Aug 03
// Chris Carter
I still remember where I was when I discovered Dynasty Warriors. I was in a Blockbuster Video just perusing some games, and my friend shouted that I needed to hurry up so we could get to a meetup of some kind. So I kind of ju...
tri-Ace photo
tri-Ace

Spike Chunsoft and tri-Ace's Exist Archive looks even better in motion


I'm interested
Aug 03
// Chris Carter
Exist Archive: The Other Side of the Sky, the newest project from tri-Ace and Spike Chunsoft, looks pretty great. Now, compliments of for latter part of the collaboration, we have a gameplay trailer that shows us a bit more ...
Nathan Drake photo
Nathan Drake

Sony announces meh Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection special edition


'Handful of stickers'
Aug 03
// Chris Carter
Sony has revealed its special edition set for Uncharted: Nathan Drake Collection in Europe, and it's pretty meh. It comes with a 48-page Art of Uncharted Book, a steel case, and "a handful of stickers." Haha, stickers. O...
Halo photo
Halo

The best playlist might return to Halo: The Master Chief Collection


Infection!
Aug 03
// Chris Carter
Man, Infection is great. I remember when my group of friends used to manually play it before it was officially a "thing," and when it became a thing, we played it even more. 343 Industries has confirmed that it may return to ...
Vega photo
Mask on or off?
Capcom has officially confirmed that Vega will be joining the Street Fighter V roster. He will be playable at gamescom today, in addition to Necalli, the newest character to join the franchise. Evidently Vega has a new moves...

Guitar Hero Live photo
Guitar Hero Live

Singing confirmed for Guitar Hero Live


A better look at the in-game festivals
Aug 03
// Chris Carter
Guitar Hero Live could end up being a pretty neat experiment, and if Activision sticks to its word of not annualizing the franchise, I'll be happy. You can get a look at the in-game festivals (Rock the Block and SoundDi...
Red Ash photo
Red Ash

The Red Ash anime Kickstarter is funded, game still woefully behind


Maybe we'll hear some Mighty No. 9 news
Aug 03
// Chris Carter
Yes, you read that right -- there are two Kickstarters currently underway for Red Ash -- one is for an anime, and the other is for the game. While the latter is now funded by way of an outside publisher for PC, PS4, and Xbox ...
FF XII remake photo
FF XII remake

Final Fantasy composer distances himself from Final Fantasy XII remake talk


'The term remake was used in error'
Aug 03
// Chris Carter
This past weekend, composer Arnie Roth started chatting up a "Final Fantasy XII remake," much to the delight of the Internet rumor mill. This morning though he took to Facebook to put down those rumors, noting that "regr...
Ultimate Edition photo
Ultimate Edition

Entire 'Gears of War Collection' unlocked on Xbox One by playing Ultimate Edition


Gears 1-4
Aug 03
// Chris Carter
Microsoft has announced that if you purchase Gears of War: Ultimate Edition, you'll be able to unlock the entire Gears Collection by way of backward compatibility, and now we have a few concrete details on the matter. If...
Gunjack photo
Gunjack

CCP unveils 'Gunjack,' a new VR arcade shooter set in the EVE universe


For the Samsung Gear VR
Aug 03
// Chris Carter
CCP has another new game up its sleeve -- Gunjack. While the trademark was filed quite some time ago, now we have a solid gameplay trailer to look at and judge. It will apparently be an arcade shooter for the Samsung Gear VR...

Review: Rare Replay

Aug 03 // Chris Carter
Rare Replay (Xbox One)Developer: RarePublisher: Microsoft StudiosReleased: August 4, 2015MSRP: $29.99 From the moment I booted it up, Rare Replay was not only charming, but welcoming as well. I love the carnival style menus with old timey posters, as it's a nice little touch that clues us in on how much work went into it. The menu is very clearly defined and every game is detailed in a straightforward way, from the number of players to the release year. In addition to 10,000 achievements, there's also a "stamp" system that works as an internal record keeper of sorts, which unlocks various video extras. Said videos are basically miniature documentaries, ranging from takedowns of Rare, to existing games, to cancelled projects, and are very well done. I was really surprised by how interesting these clips were; even the more drab ones are filled with lots of new information. The menus are responsive as well, and after clicking a game, it takes roughly five seconds to load. It's crazy how much Rare thought of, as Replay includes built-in instruction manuals, auto-save functionality, and three save slots per game. There's also emulator-esque tools at your disposal, like quick saving in older games, cheats like instant rewinding (conveniently mapped to the left trigger), a toggle for infinite lives, and even a CRT monitor filter. All in all, it's a wonderful package presentation-wise. As for the games themselves there are 30 in all, 15 of which can probably be considered "retro" even by older gamers' standards, dating before 1994. That includes staples like the incredible Battletoads and Snake Rattle 'n' Roll, as well as a handful of more obscure games like Gunfright and Underwurlde. My time with a lot of these titles has been rather mixed, as some of them are too dated for their own good, but most of them absolutely hold up as arcade-like experiences. [embed]296727:59711:0[/embed] Having said that, the "Snapshots" mode (basically a challenge gametype with bits and pieces of select titles) is an excellent way to become acclimated to some of these games. Tasks range from typical score attack sessions to beating specific areas with specific limitations, to survival challenges. The best part? You can score over the goal and test your might by way of leaderboards. There are 16 games in all with Snapshots, and six more challenging multi-game playlists. As you start to move into the mid-'90s, more of the "classic" Rare fare starts to shine, like Blast Corps., Banjo Kazooie, Perfect Dark, and Jet Force Gemini. All of the games that had multiplayer enabled still have it within the ports themselves, and it was incredibly easy to just turn on another Xbox One controller and go at it with another player. One game I didn't expect to love was Battletoads Arcade, which was never released on a home console before Rare Replay. On the other hand, if I had to pick the worst game in the package it would probably be Killer Instinct Gold, which is a bare-bones version of the second game. It kind of makes sense though, as Killer Instinct 1 and 2 already exist on the Xbox One in the form of Killer Instinct 2013 bonuses, so Gold's inclusion is still unique. The modern games are pretty much all great, including Viva Piñata, one of the best zen garden simulators to date, and Jetpac Refuelled, a standout game on the Xbox Live Arcade, even today. Kameo, which was not a great full retail price launch title all the way back in 2005, is a great little extra in Replay, and is worth playing. At the end of the day the selection of games is superb, and one of the only missing games I wanted was GoldenEye. In case you're wondering, yes, every game that supported online play still does so in Rare Replay, though I wasn't able to test out this extensively before launch -- we'll provide updates if there are any issues after launch. For clarity on a few technical things, all of the Xbox 360 games are provided as separate installs by way of the disc (Banjo Kazooie, Tooie, Nuts & Bolts, Perfect Dark, Zero, Viva Piñata, Trouble in Paradise, Jetpac Refuelled, Kameo), but have full Rare Replay's features, and holding the start button still conveniently brings you back to the core menu. There's a wonky little first-time setup on the Xbox 360 side of things, but once it finishes you're all good. Since a lot of these games are still at least $10 on the Xbox Live Arcade, $30 for the lot (and more) is a great deal. Rare Replay is a new milestone for compilations. A great deal of care was put into the project, and 30 games is enough meat to ensure that everyone will really enjoy at least half of them. I sincerely hope this is the start of a revival of the classic Rare we know and love.
Rare Replay review photo
From the Stamper garage to Microsoft
The first Rare game I ever played was Snake Rattle 'n' Roll in 1990, but the company has been around for quite some time. Vs. Slalom was technically Rare's first title. Tim and Chris Stamper, the heart and soul...

Konami photo
Konami

Holy crap, this report on how Konami treats its employees is horrifying


Run Kojima, run!
Aug 03
// Chris Carter
Growing up, Konami was one of my favorite companies in the world. Now, it's a shell of its former self. But according to a report by the Japanese newspaper Nikkei, it's even worse off than we could possibly imagine. The repor...
Mighty No. 9 delay? photo
Mighty No. 9 delay?

More signs point to a 2016 delay for Mighty No. 9


Not good
Jul 31
// Chris Carter
Mighty No[t the concept art] 9 isn't in the best spot right now. All week we've been hearing rumors of a delay into 2016, and I declined to really comment on it until I had done some digging. I can now confirm throu...
Monster Hunter X photo
Monster Hunter X

Check out some brief new Monster Hunter X footage


New monsters
Jul 31
// Chris Carter
This flashy Monster Hunter X video gives us a quick look at some of the new monsters in tow, as well as a bit of gameplay. While brief, it does a decent job of showing off a ton of creatures, in addition to some interes...

Review: Etrian Odyssey 2 Untold: The Fafnir Knight

Jul 31 // Chris Carter
Etrian Odyssey 2 Untold: The Fafnir Knight (3DS)Developer: AtlusPublisher: Curve DigitalRelease Date: August 4, 2015 (US) / February 12, 2016 (Europe)MSRP: $49.99 (Atlus tax) For those unaware, the Untold portion of the moniker denotes the inclusion of an all-new story mode, complete with preset characters and a new narrative. It sounds weird, but any Etrian fan knows that the series started off with dungeon-crawler roots, and thus, allowed players to basically create and customize whoever they wanted --with a loose story binding it all together. Thankfully, The Fafnir Knight includes both gametypes and multiple difficulty options for players of all backgrounds If you spring for the new setup, the tale starts off with low-key princess protection duty with your childhood friend Flavio, but quickly evolves into a grand tale of adventure to seek out the city at the bottom of the Yggdrasil Labyrinth. Early into the fray, your hero awakens their true power -- the Fafnir Knight class, capable of transformation. While the story itself isn't as memorable as a lot of recent JRPGs, it's still a fun enough narrative with a cast of likable characters. The dialog in particular isn't riveting stuff, nor is it laugh-out-loud funny; it's serviceable, which is essentially how I feel about Etrian in general. Dungeon crawling is basically the same as always (now with the enhanced 3D style), and with Fafnir Knight, you'll have the ability to manually map out your findings on the bottom screen. Or, if you're feeling a bit more conservative, it can automatically populate. FOEs have returned, which are basically giant superbosses present throughout the game. [embed]296957:59744:0[/embed] Like many JRPG superbosses, they aren't easy to best. You'll generally have to avoid them early on or risk instant death. Since they're visible on the screen, it's easy to see where they're coming from however, and you'll have to either deduce their patterns or use trap items to fool them. It's a nice little diversion, and returning later on to defeat a pesky FOE is a great feeling. Don't think that a more concise campaign implies that the formula has been dumbed down, as players will still be able to create an initial avatar and customize the classes of story characters. There is a caveat: you'll need to sacrifice five levels to switch classes. Additionally, you can't just call upon the guild to create new characters at will. To further muddy the waters, the Grimoire system seeks to mix things up a bit, as you can now equip party members with items that allow them to tap into additional classes. However, it feels extremely limited in nature, as most of them are a random drop, and it took me hours to find the few specific tomes I really wanted. It's an odd gambit by Atlus even in the confines of the Fafnir story, as the Etrian series has always prided itself on full customization. It's a bit easier to forgive once you dig into the new cooking mechanic, which has been expanded in an unprecedented manner. Now, you can customize ingredients and discover new recipes to craft as you cook your way to statistical bonuses for your adventures. Eventually, this diversion works its way more and more into the story. The Duke of the main town allows you to potentially earn a profit from the restaurant as you expand and re-invest in the town. It's a nice little meta-narrative and adds some lightheartedness to the game. Classic mode is of course, utterly different. It's a less limited tale featuring a mysterious labyrinth, and the experience is more about the journey than a real story. You can register new party members at will, and you're free to choose from over 10 classes at the start. It's very intimidating for non-RPG fans, so I recommend trying out story mode first. And really, that's what's so great about the Untold series -- it allows new players to acclimate without holding their hand too often, and still provides a way for hardcore fans to create limitless combinations of parties to their heart's content. Etrian Odyssey 2 Untold: The Fafnir Knight is a remake that's perfectly timed and well crafted, despite the fact that the formula isn't quite as fresh as the wholly new Etrian IV (I really miss the more open-ended maps). Now all Atlus needs to do is remaster Etrian III, and it'll have all four core entries ready to play on the 3DS. [This review is based on a retail build of the game provided by the developer.]
Etrian Odyssey 2 review photo
A worthwhile update
It sounds crazy, but 2008 was a long time ago. That's when Etrian Odyssey II was first released for the Nintendo DS, and seven years later, Atlus has decided to bring it to a new audience with The Fafnir Knight. While a few of the advancements from later games don't translate perfectly, it's still a worthwhile dungeon romp, and another great entry in this storied series.

Astral Breakers photo
Astral Breakers

Astral Breakers, a competitive puzzler on Wii U, looks pretty neat


On paper at least
Jul 31
// Chris Carter
Astral Breakers kind of surprised me, as I hadn't heard about it before today. It will be released for the Wii U eShop next week, and it looks like a cool little competitive puzzle game, much like Puzzle Fighter. It'll s...
Don't Starve photo
Don't Starve

Klei announces new expansion for Don't Starve, 'Shipwrecked'


Go on...
Jul 31
// Chris Carter
Klei has announced the third expansion for Don't Starve, following Reign of Giants and Together -- Shipwrecked. It's coming this fall, with new playable characters, areas, seasonal effects, and creatures, and is de...
Red Ash photo
Red Ash

Red Ash Kickstarter loses roughly $4,000 since publisher announcement, stretch goals revealed


This Kickstarter...
Jul 31
// Chris Carter
Recently, it was revealed that the Red Ash project, a callback to Mega Man Legends, had already secured a publisher mid-Kickstarter campaign. The game is being made. Now, the Kickstarter is solely for "extra" funds and c...
Final Fantasy Explorers photo
Final Fantasy Explorers

Final Fantasy Explorers arriving west in January


On 3DS
Jul 31
// Chris Carter
Final Fantasy Explorers looks intriguing -- like Square Enix's take on Phantasy Star Online. Thankfully, the publisher has just announced this week that it will be headed west, specifically on January 26 in the US, and ...
Resident Evil 2 HD photo
Resident Evil 2 HD

Resident Evil HD team already presenting Resident Evil 2 remake to Capcom


The wheels are turning
Jul 31
// Chris Carter
This theoretical Resident Evil 2 remake project is starting to possibly take form this week. After asking fans what they would want to see out of the remake, Capcom R&D Division 1 once again took to Facebook to ...
ZombiU photo
ZombiU

How do you feel about Ubisoft's ZombiU and the current-gen remake?


I'm fairly apathetic towards both
Jul 31
// Chris Carter
I'm kind of apathetic towards this new ZombiU re-release on PC, PS4 and Xbox One. I remember playing the game for the first time at a preview event, and being generally blown away by the Wii U GamePad's comfort factor wi...
Arkham Alfred photo
Arkham Alfred

Playing as Alfred in Batman: Arkham Knight is just as funny as you'd expect


He even talks to himself
Jul 31
// Chris Carter
The same folks who brought us the Batman: Arkham Knight Halloween Easter egg video have uncovered a way to mod Alfred into the game in playable form. This video showcases some of the best moments in the game, most of which a...

Review: Angry Birds 2

Jul 31 // Chris Carter
Angry Birds 2 (Android, iOS [reviewed on an iPhone 6])Developer: Rovio EntertainmentPublisher: Rovio EntertainmentRelease Date: July 30, 2015MSRP: Free-to-play Yes, it's still the same concept as before -- you'll take a handful of birds, and with the help of a slingshot, fire them into the path of evil pigs. Just like before, it's still really fun to unwind and fling things around, and actual designs of some of these forts and contraptions hasn't gotten stale. Sure it's mostly mindless, but there's a great degree of skill involved with Angry Birds as well, like identifying specific objects like TNT, and certain degrees of structural integrity to do the most damage. This depth is aided by the fact that like in Angry Birds Star Wars II, you can choose individual birds to use in each level. Levels are much more interesting as you can now approach them multiple ways, not only in terms of figuring out solutions, but different methodologies in which to reach your end goal. It's also a beautiful game, and Rovio has mastered their craft to the point where it has production values much like a fully-fledged Disney experience. I love how bright everything is, and how charming the character designs are even to this day. Now here comes the bad news -- Rovio got greedy. Unfortunately, it has heavily incorporated free-to-play elements into the game in just about every way possible. There's an energy meter, there are in-app-purchases (IAP), and it constantly nags you to connect to Facebook. Let me break it down though so you better understand exactly what went wrong. In terms of energy, players can thankfully continue to play levels without using up your stock of five "hearts," but if you fail a level once, you'll need to use some stock. This is an issue after level 20 or so, as stages become so complex that you'll often need to give them a go a few times. [embed]296952:59745:0[/embed] It also exposes the "multi-tier" format of Angry Birds 2's stage design. In short, each individual world map level can have multiple arenas within it, so if you fail on a later tier, you'll fail the whole thing. It's actually a cool idea in theory, as you have to play conservatively and try to earn more lives constantly, but it all falls apart when you add in an energy scheme. IAP feels wholly unnecessary, as the game charges a ton of "gems" to continue mid-level after failing to come back to life. Gems are earned at a rate of roughly one continue per 45 minutes, lest you opt to buy them. The sad part is that unlike most of the iterations in the past, there's no option for a premium version. Say what you will about the franchise, but Rovio has generally done pretty well in a sea of freemium-fests over the years, providing fans with a way to buy a game outright. But with Angry Birds 2, you'll have to suffer through all of the fixin's that Rovio forced into the game. Angry Birds 2 proves that the Angry formula is still fun, but Rovio isn't doing itself any favors by gating that fun left and right. Angry Birds is supposed to be a series you can just pick up and play, and I have no idea what they were thinking here -- other than "more money."
Angry Birds 2 review photo
I'm the angry one
As I've said a million times in the past, I have no real problem with the original Angry Birds and the initial string of sequels. Yes, it was a derivative of Crush the Castle, but Banjo-Kazooie was a derivative of M...

Two new Worms games photo
Two new Worms games

Team17 is busy: Two new Worms games announced


Worms WMD and Worms 4
Jul 31
// Chris Carter
Wow, Team17 has a lot on its plate! In addition to helping with the production of Yooka-Laylee, it looks like it has two more Worms games in the works. The first is called Worms WMD, and will feature a new 2D cartoo...
Mega Man photo
Mega Man

Kidrobot's Mega Man toy collection finally dated, priced


August 4
Jul 31
// Chris Carter
After a nebulous "summer" release date for the Mega Man Kidrobot toy line, we now know some final details. They will be released on August 4, with individual boxes to go for $5.99, and complete sets will run you $49.99. ...

Nintendo Download: Kirby's Return to Dreamland Wii U

Jul 30 // Chris Carter
If you missed last week's edition, here it is. As for what I'm getting, I think I'll re-buy Return to Dreamland because of how great it is, and to add to the ever-growing collection of Kirby games on my Wii U. For those who are interested, sales are going on for both the Wii U and 3DS.  
Nintendo Download photo
Also, Xeodrifter Wii U
While the last few months haven't been particularly exciting for the eShop, Nintendo decided to bring out the big guns today. On Wii U we have Badland: Game of the Year Edition, Xeodrifter (with Cross-Buy for 3DS), Kirby Sque...

Capcom photo
Capcom

Capcom wants to know if you want Resident Evil 2 HD, you should say yes


Um, yes
Jul 30
// Chris Carter
I remember exactly where I was when I played the first four entries of the Resident Evil series. The second game in particular was memorable, as I played it with a friend in my neighborhood for days on end, and we invented va...
Red Ash photo
Red Ash

Inafune's Red Ash is now being funded by FUZE, Kickstarter is for 'more content'


Zuh?
Jul 29
// Chris Carter
Well, it looks like businessman Inafune did some business things, as the Red Ash Kickstarter, which looks like it wasn't going to make it, has secured outside funding. It will be published by the Chinese digital entertainment...
Rhythm Thief photo
Rhythm Thief

Rhythm Thief on iOS is getting shut down this September


It's one of those online-only games
Jul 29
// Chris Carter
Rhythm Thief & The Paris Caper is the latest casualty of war in Sega's efforts to purge its mobile catalog for quality concerns. As of today nothing may be purchased within the app, and on September 28, 2015, it will be c...
Rare Replay photo
Rare Replay

What's your favorite game from Rare Replay?


You have 30 choices
Jul 29
// Chris Carter
I got my hands on Rare Replay, and I've been playing it quite a bit for our review next week. It's crazy how addicting Blast Corps is, as I just completed it earlier this year on my N64, and was enticed to beat it y...

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