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Review: Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition (DLC)

Jun 07 // Brad Nicholson
Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition (PC, PS3, Xbox 360 [reviewed])Developer: CapcomPublisher: CapcomReleased: June 7, 2011 as DLC, June 28 stand-aloneMSRP: $15 or $40 I recommend that you take a look at the list of changes and the new adds that I’m about to mention before you drop your dollars, provided you’re looking at this as DLC. While this is new and jolts some life into the 2010 game, it doesn’t fracture the user base. AE is a cross-platform piece of content, which means that “vector” SSF4 owners can compete with AE owners online. There are a couple of catches that offsets this good, rational move. Foremost, AE doesn’t let you use the new characters against vector opponents. You're at the whim of the adoption rate if you want to use your new dudes online. Also, the new balance tweaks for AE can’t be used in matches with vectors either. There are now two sets of balance tweaks that you have to pick and choose from when playing online.  That sounds like a mindless direction to take the game, but to Capcom’s credit, there’s an option to stick with either balance set to begin with. You can also sort matches based on the balance you want. The overall online experience remains the same in AE with the exception of the added balance swapping and the fact that you can now name an endless battle room. The same can be said for the single-player components, which means that Capcom again missed another opportunity to add an actual, meaningful tutorial to SF4. For what it’s worth, at this early part in AE’s life, the matchmaking seems to be faring well. I’ve been paired up with AE people numerous times without issue. Playing with vectors is smooth, too.  The “Elite” replay channels are coolest adds to the online, but they're also just a block of videos showcasing the best of the best out there. For what it's worth, you can see some insane stuff on this channel -- dudes just trashing each other and playing on a level that I’ll never hope to attain to. It’s good for the popcorn element, for sure, and, hey, it might even teach you some new tricks. The four new fighters come across as an injection of flat, uninspired hacks. Evil Ryu, a dude who looks like he’s been spending too much time at after dark poetry sessions in a gaggle of coffee shops, is a blend of Akuma and Ryu. Oni is a cross between Akuma and Gouken. Both characters absorb the strengths and weaknesses of the base characters they copy, so there’s not much to appreciate here. Street Fighter 3: New Generation veterans Yang and Yun are speedy and offensive focused, so they tend to be played about the same. They also look similar to each other. While making sense on a genetic level, this doesn’t make for compelling visual design.  The current crop of SSF4 characters are colorful and differentiated for the most part, so these new guys feel like flops in comparison. Their campaign movies do measure up with the rest of the casts’, though that isn’t saying much.  It’s hard to say much more evaluative about AE. It’s a small update that you could live without despite its $15 digital price tag. As a value proposition at $40, it’s a laugh unless you missed out SSF4, which is easily one of the brightest and sharpest fighting games in the recent past. The new characters in AE feel pointless in my non-pro hands, and the new “Elite” replay channels are definitely not something I've been yearning for. Then again, this something new for an older game. Your call. As DLC, we're giving it a 5.  This is a mediocre, totally average addition. As for the Super Street Fighter IV core game, it's still a 9.5.  You can find that review here.
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Super Street Fighter 4: Arcade Edition, as a stand-alone $40 product, is a raw deal if you already own Super Street Fighter 4. It’s a so-so update that adds four new bland characters, a small update to the game&rsqu...

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Preview: Deus Ex: Human Revolution (Xbox 360)


Jun 04
// Brad Nicholson
This is the part where I’m supposed to speak, generally, about other Deus Ex games and say things like, “Deus Ex is the greatest game of all time and you’re stupid if you didn’t like it.” Then, I...

Review: Dungeons And Dragons: Daggerdale

Apr 27 // Brad Nicholson
Dungeons And Dragons: Daggerdale (XBLA [Reviewed], PSN)Developer: Bedlam GamesPublisher: AtariReleased: May 24, 2011MSRP: $15.00 This is a game that is afraid to let you act out a story. Instead of weaving its tale through your actions, most of the major plot points are revealed via abrupt and flat cut-scenes adorned with pieces of concept art. Worse, the moment-to-moment story is told via dry bits and pieces of text delivered by cheesy characters who always need you to do something trivial like, say, light torches, escort someone, or kill a mob. During the horrendous climax of the game, there are a few spots where you’re an active participant. But it’s hard to give Bedlam props because these are easily the most underwhelming and underdeveloped spots in the game.  The task at hand is a big deal, though the setup isn't a surprising one. A bad guy named Rezlus is erecting an evil dark spire and gathering an army of goblins, sellswords, and other nasty dudes to his side. You, as one of the four pre-set heroes, are tasked with stopping him from accomplishing his goal of taking over the Dalelands.  The classes are familiar archetypes: there’s the fighter, the cleric, the wizard, and the rogue. Each has several special attacks that separate them from the other, but your fighter or whatever will always be the same as your buddies’ -- these are pre-rolled pugilists; customization outside of equipment has been thrown out the window, and as a result, so has a lot of D&D flair. Each attack (including the standard ranged and melee options) are mapped to buttons in good, natural ways. And while the combat has no fluidity or nuance to speak of, the action does click with me... but only because the loot and grind aspects are good drivers.  Daggerdale counters all good feelings with its assortment of odd design decisions, ranging from the lack of original foes, to the meeting of random and wildly overpowered regular enemies and bosses, to increasingly poor pacing and distribution of garbage loot towards the last three-to-four hours of the six-to-seven hour game. The bugs are the worst. Textures load in constantly as you play, drawing your eyes annoyingly when your glossy balls should be staring down foes instead. Screen tearing is a threat, too. And as if that wasn't enough, there's also disappearing enemies, invincible enemies, enemies that fall through floors, spells that randomly go missing, quest objectives that refuse to appear to disappear, some teleportation oddities, movement issues, and sometimes enemies just... freeze -- it’s weird.  Another couple of stumbling blocks are married to the game’s economy and loot systems, the former of which feels busted. You make money by killing dudes, selling things and breaking barrels, but what you get compared to what stuff costs doesn't line up. Items are mad expensive. Wholesale health potions reliance is also an issue, mainly because merchants carry limited quantities. If you don’t have the concoctions, you simply can’t progress in the later game. It would have been nice, as a fighter, to have something else to lean that wasn't so hard to find for my healing needs. This stuff should be expected from a hack-and-slash, right? The genre is all about, after all, the user having to suckle from the red teat and pick up dropped loot. As a whole though, there’s too much of this brand of archaic design in Daggerdale. The class archetypes are just as dull as the fantasy-ass fantasy story, the fantasy-ass characters, the fantasy-ass levels, the fantasy-ass monsters, and the slow fantasy-ass dice-based gameplay.  In some ways I like how Daggerdale embraces convention. I like old-school RPGs, too. The problem is that this design mentality breeds frustration in the form of overwhelming inventory management, slow combat, and a lot of been-there-seen-that stuff. Daggerdale is a game that needs to offer something, anything, other than loot and grind and it just... doesn’t.  I’d love to note that the co-op element, which allows you to roll with up to three other people in these missions, is some sort of magical savior, but it’s not really. It’s riddled with its own specific bugs and problems, which are the makings of an even worse experience. The balance, which is already kind of broken in single player, is totally defective in co-op as well.  That's not wholly surprising. Daggerdale is a game that takes all its cues from the past, and while that sounds like an okay idea, it isn’t. From UI, to writing, to systems, this feels like an ancient game that was also, tragically, not given enough time in the oven. The loot and action components might click with you at times, but there are just too many technical issues and other problems in the way of this basic, visceral kind of experience.   
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Dungeons and Dragons: Daggerdale is an action-RPG developed by Bedlam Games, the new dudes behind the troubled Scratch: The Ultimate DJ project. This isn’t the kind of pedigree you want from a studio handling a new Dung...

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New Duels of the Planeswalkers expansion released


May 12
// Brad Nicholson
More challenges, Achievements, unlockable cards and decks have come to Duels of the Planeswalkers courtesy of an expansion pack. The update -- which apparently doesn't have a name but released this afternoon -- ushers in a ne...
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Ranger Pack DLC announced for Metro 2033


May 12
// Brad Nicholson
Earlier this week, the Metro 2033 crew made it clear that an announcement about the post-apocalyptic shooter's first DLC would be made soon. They weren't kidding. This afternoon, THQ pushed back the curtain, revealing "The Ra...

Steam for Mac is now available

May 12 // Brad Nicholson
GAMES: And Yet It Moves Atlantis Sky Patrol Bejeweled 2 Deluxe Bob Came in Pieces Bookworm Deluxe Braid Brainpipe Chocolatier: Decadence by Design Chuzzle Deluxe City of Heroes: Architect Edition Civilization IV: The Complete Edition Cooking Dash Diaper Dash The Dig Diner Dash: Hometown Hero DinerTown Detective Agency DinerTown Tycoon Dream Chronicles: The Chosen Child Escape Rosecliff Island Fairway Solitaire Fitness Dash Football Manager 10 Galcon Fusion Gemini Lost Guns of Icarus Hotel Dash Suite Success Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade KrissX Loom Luxor Luxor 3 Luxor: Mahjong Machinarium Mahjong Roadshow Max and the Magic Marker My Tribe The Nightshift Code Nightshift Legacy: The Jaguar's Eye Parking Dash Peggle Deluxe Peggle Nights Portal Professor Fizzwizzle and the Molten Mystery Quantz Sam & Max: The Devil's Playhouse  Tales of Monkey Island Season 1 Toki Tori Torchlight Trijinx: A Kristine Kross Mystery Unwell Mel Valarie Porter and the Scarlett Scandal Wandering Willows Wedding Dash 2: Rings Around the World World of Goo Zenerchi Zuma Deluxe
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As promised, Valve released the Steam client for Mac  this afternoon. The program is available for free, just like it's PC brother, and can be downloaded at the official Steam website. You can't miss the link unless you'...

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PSA: Super Street Fighter IV's second costume DLC is live


May 11
// Brad Nicholson
Feel the need to purchase a grass skirt for Dan or proper cowboy attire for Ken? Until this afternoon, that wasn't possible. Capcom-Unity has pointed out that the second set of downloadable costumes for Super Street Fighter I...
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Counter-Strike: Source to get a big update


May 11
// Brad Nicholson
Long live the king. Counter-Strike: Source is set to receive a major update in the near future that will add Steam achievements, a new "cinematic" death camera, new statistical screens, and a fresh "domination and revenge sys...
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Metro 2033 DLC details coming soon?


May 10
// Brad Nicholson
In late April 4A Games hinted oh-so-subtly that the next bit of DLC for Metro 2033 would "probably" not be what we expect from DLC for the post-apocalyptic sewer-shooter. We immediately shot publisher THQ and the 4A Games cre...
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Next Assassin's Creed viral website opens for business


May 10
// Brad Nicholson
It appears that Ubisoft has something for missing body parts and viral campaigns. At least, when it comes to some sort of Assassin's Creed follow-up. (Probably Brotherhood.)This afternoon several Destructoid users received a ...
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Nier 'World of Recycled Vessel' DLC hits on May 12


May 10
// Brad Nicholson
Love it or hate it, even more Nier is coming in the near future. Tomorrow, May 11th. Square Enix plans to release the game's first bit of DLC for the Xbox 360 and PS3 entitled "World of Recycled Vessel." The content adds 15 s...
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Threads of Fate heading to PSN


May 10
// Brad Nicholson
It appears that the next PSOne Classic release from Square Enix after Final Fantasy IX will be Threads of Fate, a dual-perspective action RPG released originally in the US in the year of Patrick Bateman (2000 AD). No official...
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Telltale teases new Sam & Max episode with art, details


May 10
// Brad Nicholson
Thanks to episodic gaming, we rarely have to wait for a sequel. Such is the case with Sam & Max: The Devil's Playhouse. The series is slated to pick up again "in just a few short weeks" with the release of the second epis...
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Things on Wheels, Rocket Knight hit XBLA this week


May 10
// Brad Nicholson
Without Major Nelson's gentle guidance we would still be in the dark, slaughtering each other like rabid animals in teeny-tiny cages. Also, we probably wouldn't know what was hitting every week over Xbox LIVE Arcade. The Nels...
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Natsume talks Harvest Moon, FarmVille, and learning


May 07
// Brad Nicholson
We've always thought about social game sensation FarmVille as a much simpler version of Harvest Moon. But it's a simpler version that has eclipsed the more complex series in following. Or, at least, creator Natsume doesn't br...
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Blur devs aren't ruling out a handheld release


May 07
// Brad Nicholson
Blur developers Bizarre Creations aren't ruling out a possible handheld release of their racing game. In a recent interview with VG247, lead designer Gareth Wilson kept the possibility of such a thing open. But he also made i...
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Epic Mickey hitting bookstands, too


May 06
// Brad Nicholson
It looks like Epic Mickey will appear on more than just the Wii. Don't get too excited here -- we're talking books. NeoGAF (via Kotaku) recently discovered two different Amazon listings for books that seemingly tie into the u...
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New level and fixes comes to Trine PC


May 06
// Brad Nicholson
The Trine patch announced by creator Frozenbyte is now live for the PC version of the physics-based puzzler. Upon updating, players will get the chance to check out a brand new mission and, overall, play around in a game tha...
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Infinity Ward is working on its 'next big project'


May 06
// Brad Nicholson
More than a few of us media folk have been wearing our Michael Pachter "Super Martian Prediction Hats" ($12.99) and saying that Infinity Ward will be gutted as a result of its recent losses of top-tier staff. In light of what...
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Infinity Ward to release second MW2 map pack this year


May 06
// Brad Nicholson
Despite what we see as internal trouble, Infinity Ward is set to release a second map pack for their shooter Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 in the later half of this year. During the recent Activision financial call, Activisi...
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Comic the Jumper: the second art style revealed


May 06
// Brad Nicholson
Continuing its stream of reveals, The Maw creator Twisted Pixel is now showing off the inspiration behind the second (of five) different comic book styles set to be in the game -- and boy does it get our Greatsword hands all ...
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Halo: Reach beta to open to Silver members on May 14th


May 06
// Brad Nicholson
No Gold sub, no problem. This is the mantra Microsoft will have for about three days as the publisher is set to open up the Halo: Reach beta to Xbox LIVE Silver members. Starting on May 14 and stretching until May 17, all own...
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Bejeweled 2 coming to WiiWare


May 06
// Brad Nicholson
Betting men who are allowed to still bet if Bejeweled 2 is coming to the Wii should go ahead and exploit the poor dude taking the bets. Earlier yesterday, GamerBytes.com spotted a German USK Ratings board summary that all but...
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Steam Digital Deluxe Edition of Civilization 5 announced


May 06
// Brad Nicholson
2K Games and Valve have inked an "agreement" to put out a special Steam deluxe edition of the no-troop-stacking Civilization title, Sid Meier's Civilization V. According to a fresh out of the oven press release, the Digital D...
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Champions Online devs to reveal new MMO this summer


May 06
// Brad Nicholson
Not losing steam after the Champions Online Xbox 360 cancellation, Cryptic Studios has plans to reveals its third MMO soon -- as in, this summer soon. "I can't speak to the specifics of what we're doing," Cryptic's Bill Roper...
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Two Capcom-published games hit the App Store


May 04
// Brad Nicholson
Publisher Capcom has two fresh games available on the App Store for the iPhone and iPod Touch: Dark Void Zero and Hatchlings.In a recent press release, Capcom celebrated the fact that both titles are using Aurora Feint's OpenFeint tech, which in a nutshell, allows for leaderboards and an Xbox LIVE-like Achievement system.
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Telltale offers up spectacular Monkey Island bundle


May 04
// Brad Nicholson
For this week only, developer Telltale Games is offering the full season of its Tales of Monkey Island series and Secret of Monkey Island: Special Edition for 20 bucks.Why both games -- the latter developed internally by Luca...
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The Force Unleashed II set for an October 26th release


May 04
// Brad Nicholson
The follow-up to The Force Unleashed, LucasArts' The Force Unleashed II, will be released on October 26th, 2010.In a recent official Facebook page update, the creator of the series delivered the release date directly to some ...
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Dragon Age: Origins mystery DLC dated and priced


May 04
// Brad Nicholson
A new piece of downloadable content for BioWare's fantasy action RPG Dragon Age: Origins, dubbed "Darkspawn Chronicles," is slated for release on May 18th at 400 Microsoft Points.This is according to Microsoft's latest Xbox L...






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